Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Andrew just came home with a new computer for me!

MacBook Pro. 13 inch LED backlit widescreen notebook.


Monday, August 30, 2010

make me mexican!


Easter Day by Oscar Wilde

I discovered this sonnet today.

THE silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.
Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head:
In splendour and in light the Pope passed home.
My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
To One who wandered by a lonely sea,
And sought in vain for any place of rest:
'Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest,
I, only I, must wander wearily,
And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.'

Sunday, August 29, 2010


... I have a delicious, wonderful day all to myself.

My house is cleanish, the washing is on now, we're not desperately short of food, I wrote a serious lyric last week- so the day is clear. I have two new poetry books I'd like to look through and an entirely frivilous half written poem.

[Just so long as no one's sick...]

I'll be in my favorite coffee shop for a very long time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

talk re-heat

I spoke at a women's breakfast this morning. I knew I wouldn't have time to write a new talk so I planned to reheat one I wrote earlier in the year.

I got it out of the freezer last night and defrosted it, but I didn't have time to stick it in the microwave this morning. I served it up cold. It would have been nicer warm, but was okay.

it's been a ridiculous week

I started it by writing a ridiculous blog post. Since then I've had a ridiculous number of things on, a ridiculous amount of snot in my head, a ridiculous number of visitors to my blog, a ridiculous number of comments and ridiculously little sleep. There is a ridiculous mess in my house which I have to clean up right now (Visitors tomorrow. And church. And a baby shower.) I am ridiculously tired but that can't be properly addressed for another 24 hours. Can I turn the clock forward then pause it at 10am Monday morning?

Friday, August 27, 2010

the daily fear

Our boy, Nathan, has been making his own newspaper. It's called The Daily Fear. I like it.

You probably can't read it all. Let me help you out. (original spelling retained)
  • Man left critical after arm wrestle
  • The last newspaper days - 'The last days of the newspaper has begun they are ending quickly. The are ending fast because of e-readers and they should be called ad papers. People don't read them now they draw on them.'

  • Obama is evil - 'Obama is the lepard king. He'll start a war that he can't win. He has 4 heads, he has 4 wings. He will help defend South Korea from the north. They will press their way into the north where there they meet chinese and Russian troops. That will be the end of the US Army. Then they will drop nuclear weapons on China and the will go bankrupt and what's left will go to Russia and lose. (He got his info from here!)
  • Prediction : The world will end 20 May 2011.
  • Flood of Blood in Pakistan - Is this the beginning of the end?
  • Ashera Poll found and worshiped.


Ali tagged me in this meme. I have to write 10 things that make me happy. Lots of things make me happy. I couldn't limit it to 10. Here are 15. Ask me tomorrow and I'll list another 15.

1. Jesus. The forgiveness of sins. Life everlasting.

2. The 'newspaper' Nathan is making at the moment. It's called the 'Daily Fear' and is delightfully satirical.

3. A high school musical duet.

4. Thinking about the new creation where I'll be able to hang out with friends for a really long time.

5. Micah eating his dinner.

6. Joel's clay sculptures.

7. Anything expressed in venn diagram form.

8. My choir. Today they learnt a harmony part for 'Song for the Mira' and sang it nicely.

9. Getting a song demo in my email inbox.

10. The chest track in Body Pump - if I can load up the bar significantly and not fatigue out before the end.

11. A good Sophie Hannah style poem.

12. 3 hours in a coffee shop.

13. Making Andrew watch 'Twilight' movies with me.

14. A new idea.

15. Someone else doing my paperwork.

I tag: Ruth, Sarah, Anthony, Nathan R. Nicole,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I sang this with my year 6s and 7s today

The Cross, the Love of God

There is a place of rest and peace
for the troubled soul
The burdened come to find relief,
the broken are made whole.
Sinners trapped in guilt and fear
find forgiveness, mercy here
The cross, the love of God.

The guiltless for the guilty died
My Lord instead of me
His perfect record swapped with mine
That I might righteous be
Clinging to this rock I'm strong
All fear of death and judgment gone
The cross, the love of God.

No ear had heard, no eye had seen
no mind discerned, no dreamer dreamed
the love of God in wood and thorns and nails.
No weakness, shame, no fear or sin
No piercing charge of guilt within
Can take us from the cross, the love of God.

Though oceans swell and mountains quake
and sun and stars may fall
The cross our fortress will not shake,
it stands forever tall.
Towering over ages vast
In every place its shadow cast
The cross, the love of God. 

sar 2010

Sound familiar? I've recycled some lines and ideas from other lyrics I've written that didn't go anywhere. Most likely, this one will also go nowhere.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

on a different note...

The 10 year old girls I teach don't like this as much as I do.

off to work, bs, re...

... have fun and play nicely among yourselves.

Back tonight.

ps. When I write a repentance limerick, what I really want to know is that you enjoyed the poem.

Monday, August 23, 2010


A blogger with rocks in her head
wrote a post that was linked to and read
by four hundred. She frowned
and then pulled the post down
for some things are much better unsaid.

sar 2010

On disagreeing with eachother

The problem with actually saying stuff on a blog is that people will disagree. I don't particularly like disagreement. I'd much rather we were all happy hanging out here together... Or arguing lightly about stuff that we don't really care about either way.

Notice how women commenters felt the issue of schooling much more strongly than guy commenters? We've got so much invested in our kids and want so much to do everything the best way.

I have no doubt that all of you (especially those who disagree with me) are very committed to your children and want what is best for them. Nor do I doubt your commitment to Jesus. If you lived nearby and came to my church I think we would be good friends.

So is it judgmental for me to hold strong views which are incompatible with your views?

What about if I really believed in infant baptism and thought all you believer's baptism types were sinning? Could I express that view without being judgmental? Even if I couched it all in nice language and said I didn't think your opinions were a salvation matter, the truth would remain that I seriously believed you were doing the wrong thing. Should I express that or keep it to myself? [I care nothing about the baptism issue.]

My pro-state school position comes from my foundational view that in normal circumstances*, we should aim for the greatest good (educational and gospel) for the greatest number of people. I rank what is good for the whole system ahead of what is good for my particular (normal-ish) child. Some will think this callous. Fair enough. Rather than list 16 points as I did, it probably would have made for a more useful conversation if I stated my underlying principle and we argued from there. It probably would have removed it a little from the practical outworkings and kept some hurt out.

So, if you'd like to keep this going, pick an option.

In the case of a normal-ish child (ie. not a special needs case)

a.) We should make our schooling decisions based on the 'greatest good for the greatest number' principle.
b.) We should make our schooling decisions based on what is best for our child.
c.) This is completely the wrong question to be asking. The better question is...............

But I think it's almost time to put this topic to bed. I don't want to be known in blogland as a horrible person who thinks badly of everyone else (I don't. Really, I don't.) And in these last 3 posts I have blown my policy of minding my own business on family type things. Just for fun, leave an 'a', 'b' or 'c' in the comment box and I'll resume regular blogging. I'm sure the third eagle of the apocalypse has something amusing for us to watch.

* I think kids with special needs are in a category of their own and parents should do whatever they can to make education happen effectively and happily for their SN children. I wish there could be excellent public schooling options for all children whether they have SN or not, but this is not the case at the moment.

that schooling post may have sounded a bit strong.

I'm a fan of state education. I think a strong public school system that christians participate wholeheartedly in will ensure the best outcomes (both gospel and educational) for the greatest number of kids.

But I also believe that the decisions you make are your decisions and are none of my business.

Some of my best friends [went to private schools / send their kids to christians schools / homeschool their kids / vote liberal].

Sunday, August 22, 2010

new direction for my blog.


It's come to my attention that I spend heaps more time disagreeing with others than saying what I actually think about stuff myself. Particularly male-female type stuff. Perhaps this is bad. It is easier to pick holes in other people's arguments than it is to carefully argue for my own ideas. So maybe I need to change and occasionally try to give my own opinions in as non-polemical a way as is possible for me.

Or maybe not.

I'm going to try to write a few posts on what I think on stuff. Feel free to argue it out with me.

why I won't homeschool

Jenny tells us her reasons.

I've put a comment up. As balanced as you'd expect my opinion to be.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

family time gets no better than this.

An exciting night.

What do I do about this?

Our boy, Nathan, is pretty excited about today's election. He's googled all the parties (major and minor) and read their policies. He reads everything we get in the mail. He knows all the local candidates and some from further afield. He watches ABC News24 every moment we let him. He listens to the radio. He preaches to his friends. I think at age 10 he is more informed than 95% of adults.

Yesterday Andrew and I looked on his blog and discovered that he's been using his school email address to send notes to politicians. Like this one he sent to our local LNP candidate:

Dear Mr. Mcarvie
I don't understand why you fear refuges so much. Watch this clip by get up.

Hope this helps you change your mind,

P.S This will go on blog.

As a parent, is there anything that I should do about this (except laugh)?

Friday, August 20, 2010

maybe there is a point to all of this...

...Apart from the fun.

I just had a lovely email from a reader.

Thanks so much.


Listen to us.

The microphones are brutally honest.

here goes...

Thursday, August 19, 2010


My choir is on the radio tomorrow morning. We are being broadcast live on 612 ABC Brisbane sometime between 7.30 and 8am. Probably around 7.40. I'm a little nervous. We are a new choir (we only formed in May) and haven't been able to practice since last week Friday. I'll put up a link if we sound okayish.


Sarah has a blog. It's already good. Add it to your reader or whatever you do.

following Jesus - lesson 2

This is our salvation lesson. I aim to clearly explain the gospel. I tried an illustration I've not used before - Jesus stepping in and taking God's judgment. I set it up in the biker drama then tried to follow it through in the lesson with some visuals.

Download it here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

new job starts today

Half time at the kids' school. Music.

This makes Tuesday as full as it can possibly get. Gym, work, bs, re, Joel - Art, Nathan - soccer. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

are your beliefs rational?

Mine are pretty much rational. I scored a distinction.

You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.
The fact that you progressed through this activity without being hit and biting only one bullet suggests that your beliefs about God are internally consistent and well thought out.
Try it yourself.

Thanks craig.

asylum seekers

Sunday, August 15, 2010

pre-mill madness

I've been having some fun reading up on the world's end. Apparently it's to happen on May 21st 2011. This is exactly 7000 years after the flood and a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, so um... next May it is. The logic behind it all is amazing.

I have to admit that I find the rapture stuff kind of exciting. If I believed it, adrenaline would be pumping through my veins. Imagine having the secret knowledge that Obama was about to betray a 2 decade long alliance with Iran and nuke 'em and then be nuked in return by Russia and then... Thrilling!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the 'third eagle of the apocalyse' on Obama

Obama is not the antichrist. He's the Leopard (Daniel 7) and the last king of the south (Daniel 11). He'll be the last president of the USA.

Do you think this guy's for real? Andrew doesn't think so.

the 'third eagle of the apocalyse' on contraception

Admit it.

You want one of these.

Final 'Following Jesus' Files

Proper images this time and a couple of mistakes fixed.

Lesson 1 - Scripts, Notes and Graphics

Pre-reader Booklet

Early Reader Booklet

Reader Booklet

[sorry - I got them wrong before - just changed them to the new files.]

something you might not know about me...

I had a reasonably significant speech problem when I was a kid. No one except my mum had any idea what I saying. I was in weekly speech therapy for 3 years and had an at home program that my mum diligently put me through every single day. At age three, all of my consonant and most of my vowel sounds needed work. My family teases me over an instances when I was asking for some 'ga-ga'. No one knew what I wanted. Eventually mum figured out that it was stuffing (from a chicken) that I was asking for. At least I got the syllable count correct! I remembering mastering the word 'pot'. I pronounced it kind of p-hot, making the 'p', then dropping my jaw for the 'o' and finishing with the 't' (easily forgotten).

I speak okay now. Some might say I speak too much.

Two out of three of my kids have had speech issues. Their problems are pretty much fixed (thanks to wonderful speech therapists) but there is a deliberateness in the way they move their mouths which reminds me of past struggles. Our little one has a formal, proper way of speaking. Some have asked if he has an accent.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Are you? Am I? Should we be?

went to the apple store today

Mmmmm. Macbook.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why do I have so many tabs open?

Al - it's your fault. I go to your site, chase up a few links and... fifty extra tabs!

'Open link in new tab'. It seems like a good idea. Then I have to stop what I'm doing and shut down 397 of them*. When it gets too out of control I decide it will be quicker to kill firefox and start again. But no. All my old tabs keep coming back to haunt me. I DON'T WANT THEM! Sometimes I think it would be faster to run down to dick smith, buy a new computer, install everything I need and begin again.

*To be fair, not all 397 tabs are Al's fault. And even if they were, I wouldn't stop reading.

Andrew wants to buy me a new computer

He likes buying computers.

And he's sick of me using his. Life is too short for me to continue to use my desktop. Every click wastes precious seconds.

What should he get?

If there weren't people starving in the world, it would make sense to buy a Mac.


gen 3:22

I went to some Doug Green lectures yesterday. Good stuff. An interesting new take on Gen 3:22.

"And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

What if 'has now become' was translated 'used to be'?

"And the LORD God said, "The man used to be like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

The man [and woman] were already like God. They knew the difference between good and evil. But now they don't. Their minds have been darkened (Rom 1). It would be bad if they lived forever. They must leave the garden.

I'm drawn to Doug's alternate translation because it makes better sense than the traditional 'has now become'. The way I've heard the traditional translation explained is that Adam and Eve were previously innocent. Post-fall they 'knew' evil in the way that a husband 'knows' his wife. They'd experienced it. I struggle with this explanation because it makes the sinful state sound like the mature state of humanity. It almost glorifies sin. 'Used to be' captures the great fall from wisdom and knowledge that happened in ... the fall!

I know no Hebrew so I can't make a call on this. I've heard that 'have now become' is how that tense is usually rendered elsewhere in the OT. Anyone know anything?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Nathan and Ben both have good stuff to say.

Nathan also wrote a christian values checklist here which is better than mine. I like how he included the North Korean government, the Taliban and the Roman Empire.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Old Botany Bay

"I'm old
Botany Bay;
stiff in the joints,
little to say.

I am he
who paved the way,
that you might walk
at your ease to-day;

I was the conscript
sent to hell
to make in the desert
the living well;

I bore the heat,
I blazed the track-
furrowed and bloody
upon my back.

I split the rock;
I felled the tree:
The nation was-
Because of me!

Old Botany Bay
Taking the sun
from day to day...
shame on the mouth
that would deny
the knotted hands
that set us high!

by Dame Mary Gilmore

Joel is reciting this poem to his class tomorrow. We both like it a lot. Mary Gilmore was a journalist and wrote for the AWU from 1908. By 1931 she was considered too radical for the AWU and wrote for the communist party instead. She stood up for the rights of women, children and indigenous people and wrote many cool poems.

Following Jesus Sunday School material - get it here!

Week 1 drama script, lesson overview and graphics here.

Reader booklet (age 8ish-11ish) here.

Early Reader booklet (age 6-8) here.

Pre-reader (little kid) booklet here.

[you may need to hit the green download button below the box if the file is slow to load online.]

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

my christian values checklist

Incomplete and skewed. Just like this one.

Hmm. Who to vote for...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jesus our ransom

I've been wondering what angle I should take for lesson 2 (Salvation) of our Following Jesus Sunday School program. The basic point need to be that it was important to Jesus that we be saved, therefore our salvation (and that of others) should be important to us. In each unit I write I try to have one lesson that spells out the mechanics of salvation fairly clearly. This is it for this series. I need to do it differently to how I've done it in other units or the kids will feel like they've heard it all before. I'm trying out the ransom angle. For week 4 (service) we are looking at Mark 10:45, so this makes sense. But the ransom angle is a tricky one. If you're a theologian-type, maybe you can tell me if I've fallen into any error.

I'll use the Biff and Bash motorcycle gang drama to kick things off: After some initial banter going on about their code (tatts, glasses, bikes, moustaches) B and B hear the postman's bike and pay out on it. His bike's got a little girl 'vroom' compared with their bikes that have a big mamma 'vroom'. When they get the mail they find a ransom note saying something like this:

To Biff
I got ya bike.
I like it. It got da big deep vroom.
Ya want it back? Then leave 50 bucks in the jar behind the tree.
from X

Biff and Bash debate about paying the ransom. They value the bike and end up paying it.

Then move to the talk bit.  I thought I might make a similar looking ransom note:

To God,

Your rules say that everyone who sins belongs to me forever.
__________________ has sinned so she is mine! If you want her back you need to pay the ransom: One perfect life. Give me one perfect person and I'll give you ____________________ .

Hope you are unwell.


I can use verses from the epistles to talk about sin and us deserving death and then go to Mark 10:45 and talk about Jesus dying as our ransom. But should I have written the note from Death? Better ideas? Anyone?

church for kids unit - Following Jesus

Nathan and Robyn and Kutz and Mel and Andrew and I have been working on a 4 week Sunday School unit on the Christian life. I started wanting to do something similiar to what Tim Chester does in his book 'The Ordinary Hero' but they ended up like this.

Title : Following Jesus

Fun drama : Biff and Bash and the Outdoor Motor Cycle Gang. Biff and Bash follow their leader in everything. Their motto is Tatts, Glasses, Bikes, Moustaches (these are things their leader has). The drama is silly and just introduces the idea of following someone means valuing what they value. And it introduces the idea of tattoos!

Tattoos : Each week we give the kids a tattoo with our Following Jesus logo and the word of the week (Salvation, Obedience or Service). The idea is that it helps the kids remember how to live. And looks cool.

Week 1 - Introduction - Being a Christian is about following Jesus. Being like him. Valuing what he values. Loving what he loves. The things that are important to him are the things that should be important to us.  The next three weeks we are going to be learning about 3 things that were really important to Jesus: S-O-S : Salvation - our Salvation, Obedience to God, Service to others.

Week 2 - Salvation - It was really important to Jesus that we be reconciled to God, have sins forgiven etc. Jesus died to make that happen (explain). Are you friends with God? Are your sins forgiven? Do you care whether other people are friends with God? It is important to Jesus that people are God's friends. If we're following him, it will be important to us too.

Week 3 - Obedience - (Mark 14 bible focus) Jesus did what God wanted even when it was really hard and he didn't want to. 'Not my will but yours be done.'  We follow Jesus in this. Obeying God is important to us too. We do it even when we don't want to.

Week 4 - Service - (Mark 10 bible focus) Serving others was important to Jesus. Jesus didn't come to be served but to serve. We follow him in this. Life is not about what I can get out of it. It is about what I can give to others.

Bookwork - Written for three different levels - pre-reader, early reader, reader

Logo/Tattoo: Ben did the pic.

following Jesus - service (readers)

Anthony asked what desktop publishing I've been up to. Here's a sample. The little Jesus pics are by Ben.

following Jesus - service (early readers)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

forgot to have dinner tonight

Is it too late now (11.06pm)?


A nice piece of desktop publishing.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

language adjustment

If you live in my household, the new rule is this:

NEVER say 'I can't find my...'

Instead, say 'I'm looking for my...'

The first comes across as a whinge. It's a statement of inaction. You can't find it. You've given up all hope. You've stopped looking. Oh well. If the situation is that bad, you might as well get busy to take your mind off it. Here. Take out the rubbish.

The second is winsome. It implies action. I was going to ask you to take out the rubbish but won't because you are already busy. Good kid.

Piper on men listening to women speakers.

"Over time, [for a woman] to assume an authoritarian, teaching role in your [ie. a man's] life, the manhood of a man and the womanhood of a woman is compromised."

Agree? Disagree? Want to qualify it                                                                                                                                                    


Andrew is right.

(Of course.)

Monday, August 2, 2010


On level three just past the dukes and dames,
entwined, protruding from the hardened dirt,
two lovers lie, their putrified remains
exposed for all to see and then assert
some pretty fiction: 'this a romance strong,'
'in life together, not parted in death,'
'an injured soldier made the journey home
lay with his dying love till his last breath.'
What sentimental rot! The caption reads:
'their love endured though world around would end'
We spin our tales of love's heroic deeds
But no one knows what lies around the bend.
The love we said would never die, grow old
Now like them lies in dusty earth out cold.

sar 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I can wait patiently

I don't need to know right now.

If it does say anything interesting, I'll find out eventually.

And it doesn't matter anyway.

Doc Martin has finished.

Life still has meaning because Jesus is still alive. (Repeat three times to self when necessary.)

christian values checklist - 5 things I hate about it

from here.

1. Many items on this list are not Christian values at all. Take #22 - 'Oppose all illicit drugs and fund abstinence based rehabilitation'. Why is abstinence based rehab the christian way? Is God opposed to methadone programs? Or #21. Christians have different views on the charter of rights. Or #10 - Why should same sex relationships not be registered? Or #7 with the education voucher things?

2. The list is disproportionately obsessed with issues of sex and reproduction. 11 items!

3. The re-writing of Australia's history required for #2 sounds a bit silly. Didn't think we had much of a christian heritage.

4. All of the parties get a tick for 'support greater care of God's environment'. Do they really want to care more for the environment? Are they all willing to make the costly and unpopular decisions that may be necessary? Certain parties that got the tick for this one voted against the ETS and don't believe in global warming. A much softer line seems to be taken on this than on any other item on the list.

5. The biggest problem with this list is not what it says, but what it leaves unsaid. The things (apart from repentence and faith) that God has told us he cares about most are not on the list. What about showing respect for the elderly? the poor? the sick? the outcast (refugees...)

Anyone want to add more to my list?


I've been noticing how easy it is to confuse conservative middle class values with christian values. In case you were wondering, school vouchers are not a christian value.