Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's holiday time!

Holiday Computer (EM) Contract

Time Earned
Having a perfectly clean and tidy bedroom
20 minutes
Instrument practice (cello, clarinet, trombone) - good quality - you need to be able to tell me exactly what you have achieved.
Minute for minute (must be done in no less than 10 minute lots)
Micah - helping me with viola practice
Minute for minute
Uke/Recorder practice
Half time (2 minutes practice = 1 minute EM)
Clearing drainer in morning 
5 minutes 
Cleaning up after breakfast
5 minutes 
Scrubbing kitchen floor
(job and time can be shared)
60 minutes
De-moulding kitchen
(job and time can be shared)
60 minutes
Dusting lounge rooms and Dining room 
30 minutes
Random act of tidy
(mum will spot you doing it - you can’t mention it!)
5 minutes 
Loading washing machine
5 minutes 
1km jog
20 minutes

Friday, March 30, 2012

Viola day 2

My ears may never recover from this.

What exactly does a tone sound like? I've been listening to myself play so many rough approximations today that I'm struggling to remember.

And alto clef. I'm pretending that it's treble and transposing everything up a step. Then down an octave. It's working for now but I suspect it's not a long term solution.

What I'm reading

This last week I've been reading articles in psych journals about gender and cognition. The mars/venus pop psychology thing really gets on my nerves, especially when employed by Christians to promote Traditional Family Values or Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, but rather than just rage, I thought it time to do something constructive.

My aim is to read the research, think, and then write something about teaching women (and men) in church.

So far, it's really interesting.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Viola day 1

I sound like a dying cat.

Alto clef is messing with my head.

There is a fine line between inspirational and crazy.

Not sure on which side of that line my personal trainer lives.

Oh well.

Joel's dystopian story - Vaccine.

This is all Joel - except for the full stops and correct spelling.

Are you safe? 
Even now when the world is at its peak of security? 
Are you safe?
It glowed a harsh green light. He had done it. The first scientist… The first small, mean, tiny, cruel, jealous-of-the-tall-people scientist, to make the vaccine of life and  inject it into his puppet. He would have the biggest him puppet ever after it grew… and fed. No one would tease him now.
Now, 18 years later, the huge, dirty puppet has destroyed most forms of life.  
*        *         *
Lisa screamed in pain. It was coming. She screamed again. It hurt so much it almost killed her but she kept it up she gave birth. He came out but he did not cry. 
“Leo” Lisa said. 
*        *         *
Smash! The rock landed next to Leo. The rock, red smudges all over it, had killed many people but not Leo. He jumped back on his hands and pushed off… He landed flat on his feet. The puppet smashed the ground HARD. A wave of vibrations shot out and Leo stumbled. When he had caught his footing, a tiny puppet with green jacket and rough yellow fur was sitting in front of him. It jumped. For the first time he admired his surroundings: the burned out windows of trashed up dusty buildings and shards of glass… He could stab the puppet then escape. He reached for the glass. It was dusty and it might kill it. Leo grabbed it. He felt a sharp pain that grew. Leo screamed. His arm exploded splats of red, soggy flesh. Blood splattered the ground.
The puppet must have still been concentrating on his victory as Leo reached for the glass and jabbed it. It slumped. Coarse, red liquid flowed, staining its green jacket. It started to rise but not before Leo kicked off and sprinted flat-out for the mound. 
The mound was a heap of messed up buildings dumped on a hole with a tunnel into the hole. It was where Dr. Pupple, the scientist, lived. Leo needed help. Badly. Five minutes later, Leo reached the mound. Dr. Pupple was waiting. He welcomed him. Leo barely felt the regrowth needle, but his arm hurt like somebody sand-papered it until it was raw then rubbed salt in it. 
Bang, bang, bang, bang! Dust came down from the roof. More dust poured like a water fall then a patch of light came from the roof of the mound. Puppets dropped in one by one. 
The scientist screamed, ‘I created you!’ 
Leo looked long and hard at Dr. Pupple. Then he ran - this time for the power plant. The puppets followed.
When he reached the plant his arm was fully grown back. He needed it! Dr. Pupple and the puppets where approaching. Leo looked at the nuke infected water.  He looked at the puppets and what they had done. The landscape! It looked like the nuke power plant had blown up! It looked like after the Japan tsunami! He hated it. Even he was stuffed up. His cloths were torn and bloody. 
Leo pushed the infected water out towards the puppets.
When the water flowed it had a strange yellow light buzzing around it. Leo felt dizzy -like he needed to fall asleep. 
He did, but this was a permanent sleep.
The puppets fell down like a domino run: one by one dropping down then melting into green liquid that glowed a harsh green light.
‘My vaccine!’ yelled Dr. Pupple. 
Green liquid flowed to the now dead Leo.
by Joel

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

5 reasons why I've not been posting this week

1. I have a sore throat. Not sure what this has to do with blogging, but...
2. I have a new toy. A viola. Lent to me by my friend... but I bought my own very nice bow. I only got it last night but in anticipation have been listening to youtube viola music all week.
3. I've been watching Dance Academy Series 2. Every day.
4. I've been thinking about what a Dean of Women at a theological college would actually do. Wipe the noses of needy female students?
5. I've been thinking about approaches to women's ministry.

Happy to take comments on any of these.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Did You Know - alternate words V3L5-6

Did you know this little one
set the stars and lit the sun?
Did you know this child you hold
is the Lord from ages old?
Mary can you see the light
shining in the dark of night?
Sing praises for
the joy of all the earth
has come.
Can you hear the angels’ song
“Glory, glory to our God!”
Shepherds put away your fear
Christ the Lord, your saviour’s here!
Born in Bethlehem this night
a baby boy, your soul’s delight
Sing praises for
the joy of all the earth 
has come.
Faithful saints now pass in peace
for your eyes have finally seen
What was promised is fulfilled
Deaf can hear and lame are healed
We have seen God's saving hand
Reaching out to every land
Sing praises for
the joy of all the earth 
has come.

sar 2012

This is turning into a nice little song. We're really pleased with how it's coming. 

Since I posted it a couple of weeks ago, I've been rethinking V3L5-6. Deb didn't like them. Others agreed. The original words were:

We have seen His outstretched arm
Saving us from every harm. 

What do you think? Any better?

I'm still thinking about other options for V3L4. Nothing yet.

UPDATE: New words! Verse 3:

Faithful saints now pass in peace
for your eyes have finally seen
What was promised has appeared
Lame will walk and deaf will hear
We have seen God's saving hand
Reaching out to every land
Sing praises for
the joy of all the earth 
has come.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nenor's funeral

Well, it was 'lovely'.

Have you ever been to a funeral that wasn't 'lovely'?

IMO, like most funerals, this one was awful.

Not many people there. Just family and a couple of others. Nenor outlived her generation. Andrew did the service. He did a good job. I prayed.

Child #2 cried right through it. He does empathy. He didn't know Nenor well, but understood that she was Pop's mum and my grandmother. Child #1 and #3* cried at the end - like most of us.

My heart is heavy. It's the end of an era.

* I forget that our kids have done a lot of funerals in their short lives. Two children that they knew (horrible, horrible, horrible), 2 great grandparents (before this), several old people from church. Interestingly, this was my older sister's first funeral ever.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Proud of my boy

Nathan was on 612 abc radio this afternoon talking about the election. He said he thought Tim Nicholls (LNP) would win our local seat and that he had the best answers to the questions put to all candidates (sadly, true) but that on education issues he supports the labor party.


I've been completely undisciplined for the last year - with food, exercise, sleep... Things have got to change.

I've gotten myself 10 sessions with a personal trainer.

She's pretty full on. We met yesterday. I've signed all these contracts saying what I'm going to do.

I said I wanted to lose 10kgs, which IMO would put me at a pretty good weight. Thinner than I've ever been before. My PT suggested we aim for 15kgs.  Okay.

I've been exercising 3 sessions a week - mostly with weights. I'm upping that to 5: One with her (she'll aim to make me throw up), 2 pump classes, one RPM class, and one session of interval runs. Even though I use really heavy weights at the gym, I've been cruising. My body knows the routine and it doesn't hurt. 3 times a week I have to go to the limit.

I have to keep a food diary. No junk. No overeating.

I have to sleep better. No caffeine. 7-8 hours per night. This will be a big change.

I know I can do this (not sure about the 15kgs!) I'm looking forward to it.

I've always scoffed at the PT idea before, but for me it was mostly about drawing a line, investing some money and doing something different.

Monday, March 19, 2012

big day

Lost - one grandmother.

Found - one misplaced uncle.


I'm not grieving for the feeble old woman lying on the bed.

I'm grieving for the 2 year old who lost her mother.

And the girl who cried herself to sleep at night because her stepmother didn't want her.

And the teenager who loved youth fellowship activities at her church.

And for the able young lady who sewed army uniforms during the war years.

And for the bride who made her own wedding dress.

And for the woman who gave birth to my father and three uncles.

And for the lady who, like me, was princess in a household of men.

And for the wife who nursed her husband after he lost his leg.

And for the widow who went from looking after five men to none in just a couple of years.

For the grandmother I called Nenor

Who sewed obsessively, making her own patterns,

Who baked the most delicious scones for us every week (her tip was to use cream instead of butter),

And looked after us while our parents went out,

And taught us how to make bows for our hair (very fashionable when we were in primary school),

And believed in us.

She lived by herself for 35 years,

Outlasting all her contemporaries.

I'm grieving for the woman who, at age 95, became resigned to death because she could see no other future.

I'm grieving for the soul who was so practiced at unbelief that she couldn't accept the hope of eternal life even when she had nothing else to cling to.

My dear Nenor 1917-2012.

So. Who do I vote for?

I feel like I have no options.

The LNP's education policies are awful. I'm not into the Labor guy. I like many Greens policies but can't cope with their stand on Abortion and Euthanasia. And I won't do Katter.

Which way would you go?

(Not that it will matter in this particular electorate - the LNP will win.)

Tim Nicholls (Liberal National Party)
Tim Nicholls
Liberal National Party
Aged 46, Nicholls served as Liberal Councillor for local Hamilton Ward on Brisbane City Council from 2000 until winning Clayfield at the 2006 state election. While on Council, he served as the Lord Mayor's Finance Spokesman and as a member of the Expenditure Review Committee. In late 2007 Nicholls was the challenger in a farcical stand-off over the Liberal Leadership that split the caucus 4-all and prevented Nicholls moving a leadership spill against Bruce Flegg. After a fortnight of meetings that failed to resolve the deadlock, Flegg resigned and Nicholls withdrew from the race, Caloundra MP Mark McArdle becoming Liberal Leader and subsequently LNP Deputy Leader. Nicholls has been Shadow Treasurer since 2008, becoming LNP Deputy Leader of the Opposition in March 2011, though not necessarily Deputy Leader of the LNP given the non-Parliamentary Leadership position of Campbell Newman. Nicholls was a solicitor before embarking on his full-time political career.
Will Keenan (Katter's Australian Party)
Will Keenan
Katter's Australian Party
Brent Davidson (Australian Labor Party)
Brent Davidson
Australian Labor Party
Davidson works for the Queensland Police public affairs branch, developing public safety campaigns and helping to communicate safety information. He was born in Toowoomba, and moved to Brisbane six years ago to study journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. He has worked in both private enterprise - mainly small business, as well as government. Davidson is openly gay and a member of Rainbow Labor and is a strong advocate for equality, particularly on issues of mental health among young LGBTI Queenslanders.
Luke Morey (The Greens)
Luke Morey
The Greens

Friday, March 16, 2012

cake pop rant

Too good to keep hidden in the comments. Thanks Deb!

Must we, peoples, must we decorate EVERYTHING now? Seriously. Yes, we do not want our homes, dogs, food and laundries looking like they came to us backwards through a barbed-wire fence (as my dear mother would say) but they do not need to be crafted at every turn. Stop already with the diy! Leave the laundry shelves in peace. Put down your glue gun. Throw out that bottle lid without considering what cute use it might be put to if only you worked it into a free-hand crochet tablecloth. You don't need to find a perfect slogan to stencil on the lid of your washing machine that matches the laundry curtains. Just stop!!! Sorry. Must have a cup of tea. In a plain mug.

Now they tell me!

Would it be right for a minister to read a sermon or congregational prayer written out for him by a woman? Clearly not. Consider, then, whether it is right for him to lead the congregation in singing a song written out by a woman. As much as we may like the sentiments expressed by, say, Fanny Crosby, her words should not be given authority in the worship of the church. To sing her hymns in public worship is to make her a teacher, a worship leader, and a prayer leader in the church assembly.

But there is an out.

But wait! When Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:5 that a woman should keep her head covered "while praying or prophesying," isn't he presupposing that women will be speaking in church? 
Not really. In 11:5 Paul is referring to the situation where women are exercising the special spiritual gifts that chapters 11-14 focus on. Thus, the praying and prophesying in view in chapter 11 is inspired utterance, in which God is speaking through his chosen human instrument (2 Peter 1:21). 
On the other hand, the speech in view in 14:33b-36 is ordinary, uninspired utterance. Clearly, rules governing ordinary speech would not necessarily apply to inspired speech.
My songs are fine. They are inspired!
Quotes from here


I've been asked to run a seminar on music ministry at Flourish conference this year.

Flourish is a national conference organised by the Presbyterian Church for both men and women on the topic of women's ministry. David Jones will be the keynote speaker and the theme this year is 'Moving from theory to practice.'

I'm quite excited about it. I'll gladly accept any speaking engagement a plan trip away! Any ideas about what I should say?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What do you think of these cake pops for easter?

from here.

I love the community of blogdom!

I love that I've met so many of you. I also love that I know so many people that I haven't met.

Today I listened to a really good talk about teaching the bible to people.

The word Journey was used as a metaphor over 30 times.

Help me, guys! We can make a difference!

I'm an Independence Mother.

I did the quiz. You should too.

 ENTP  —The “Independence” Mother
“When I held my babies, I always faced them outward so they could take in the world.”
  • Full of energy and confident in her own self-sufficiency and competence, the ENTP mother encourages her children—as a role model and as a teacher—to be independent and confident on their own in the world.
  • A “big picture” person, she points out options and possibilities along the way. Objective and logical as well, the ENTP wants her children to evaluate their choices and learn from the consequences of their own decisions.
  • The ENTP mother is resourceful and action-oriented. She likes going places and doing things with her children, exploring all that life has to offer. She is less concerned with rules, routines, and schedules. Introducing her children to new concepts and activities, challenging them, and stimulating their intellectual development are top priorities.
Thanks Jean. Sounds like me. (Read my 'ENTP Energy Plan here. I didn't need to be told any of this stuff - it's how I live!)

for Deb.

happy song

Did you know this little one
set the stars and lit the sun?
Did you know this child you hold
is the Lord from ages old?
Mary can you see the light
shining in the dark of night?
Sing praises for
the joy of all the earth
has come.
Can you hear the angels’ song
“Glory, glory to our God!”
Shepherds put away your fear
Christ the Lord, your saviour’s here!
Born in Bethlehem this night
a baby boy, your soul’s delight
Sing praises for
the joy of all the earth 
has come.
Faithful saints now pass in peace
for your eyes have finally seen
What was promised is fulfilled
Deaf can hear and lame are healed
We have seen His outstretched arm
Saving us from every harm. 
Sing praises for
the joy of all the earth 
has come.

sar 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Why I'm into Carl Trueman and not you, O teacher of Christian Thought

It really has nothing to do with your theology. You think good stuff.

It really has nothing to do with your intelligence. I know that you are smart too.

I do prefer an English accent, but it's not that.

Here's what it comes down too. Carl Trueman is on youtube and you are not. I type Carl Tru... into the search box and youtube autocompletes the rest. I type your name, and somebody else comes up.

A few things.

1. Carl Trueman actually wants me, the average pewsitter, to get into ancient theologians. He talks about them in a way that engages me. He tells me their dates, where they lived, what the world was like and he reads me stuff that they wrote. I'm drawn in. I think 'Wow, Chrysostom lived in a world so different to mine and yet strangely the same. I need to read him.' So I do read him.

I have no doubt that you do this kind of thing for the students that you teach, but you don't teach anyone outside your lecture theatre. This is a shame. I'd like to learn from you, but I can't.

2. Carl Trueman relates his understanding of history to other stuff. Like politics. This is cool. You should do it. Don't come down on one side or the other, but tell us why the parties think what they think. Tell us why Christians have sided with one side or another over history, and tell us the stuff that we are too embedded in our own culture to see.

3. You guys have so much to offer the church. A few throw-away comments from a church historian friend have been a great source of perspective and encouragement to us in our ministry... but they are just that: a few throw away comments. We need more. We're hungry for it - probably hungrier than the students who sit in front of you facebooking while you lecture.

4. Carl Trueman has an easy manner in front of the camera because he's done it lots. He speaks like he believes in the medium and it's just normal, not all 'O look, we're sitting here in front of the video camera. Wowwee! A video camera!' The background matters - choose your location carefully. The colours you wear matters too. You'll need advice on this. Why not start with some scripted things, maybe something that comes up in your lectures, then move onto more spontaneous stuff. I reckon it's a mistake for you to interview each other. You (and us) are too conscious of your colleague.  Find a more neutral person to host the session.

You guys are doing great stuff, but why is it not on youtube? Really. Why?

I want to be into you, but you make it so hard.

4 things I like about Carl Trueman

1. Carl Trueman is intelligent.

2. Carl Trueman is interesting. Yeah, he's conservative, but he's intelligent and interesting as well. A rare combination.

3. Carl Trueman is English. I know. I'm shallow.

4. Carl Trueman is on youtube. This matters.

More soon.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Andrew is away.

How do I know when to go to bed?

I've developed a thing for Carl Trueman.

Who could help it?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tony Payne - Parenting as vanity

"In our culture, where we tend to worship our children and our families, this a particularly challenging idea: that pouring your whole life into your family is about as meaningful in the long run as pouring your whole life into your work. It too is a vanity of vanities that is meant to humble us, and lead us to fear God."

Nothing controversial here, I think. In our lives here 'under the sun,' all things are ultimately pointless. My children's good manners (I wish!), their brains, their accomplishments, all that nature and effort has invested in them... in the end will amount to nothing but a small pile of ash or dust. Death makes a mockery of everything: work, parenting, good health, talent, friendship, love.  Even gospel ministry. What's the point in building up a church if in a 10 short decades it will have declined again? If this life is all there is, everything is meaningless.

But there is another world, so everything here - Everything - is invested with meaning and purpose. The work I do is valuable - the children I teach may be spending eternity with Christ! The lowliest work has meaning because it is carried out by one who has eternity in their heart. 

In just a few more years we'll see this clearly.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dear World,

Please note that most people who attend meetings want to talk about topics, not around them. When you tell us we'll be talking around such and such a topic, many of us despair thinking that we'll never really get to the point. This may often be true but it is far from desirable.

Perhaps if we stop saying that we are going to talk around a topic and instead say we are going to talk about it (indeed, imagine an arrow shooting straight through to the heart of the topic - that's what we want in our meetings!) we'll get more done.



Why is it...

...that a one hour lyric is better than a ten hour lyric?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

5 things

1. If God says something, then that's good enough. God doesn't have to give me his reasons.
2. It is possible for God to make a completely arbitrary ruling - like on which particular animals are clean and unclean. That's his prerogative.
3. I might think I know God's reasons, but sometimes I'll just be guessing.
4. You might think you know God's reasons, but sometimes you'll just be guessing.
5. We can trust God. He has promised us good and has a history of keeping his promises and working for our good.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Week With Marilyn

Saw this today. I loved it.

Anyone else seen it?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Crazy, Stupid, Love.


Enjoyable until the last 15 minutes.

More on happiness

Happiness is 50% genetic and 10% situation. 

That leaves us with 40% to play with.

I've been blessed with pretty good happy genes and a comfortable situation. So I'm going to squander the last 40%. Rom coms or three hours of mindless face booking? 

financial happiness formula

happiness = what we have
                    what we want

If you happiness quotient is less than one, then you are unhappy.

eg #1. $100,000                                                                                                            
          3x private school ed, big house in nice suburb, annual overseas holiday, BMW

= 0.5 = unhappiness

eg #2. $100,000                                                                                                      
           house in modest suburb, modest car, state school ed, annual beach holiday

= 1.2 = happy

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thoughts on happiness

Andrew is reading a book on happiness. It sounds interesting.

Because I am a naturally cheery sort, who never* struggles with sadness or despair or frustration, I'm not reading the book for myself. But Andrew is passing some interesting bits on to me, which I will pass on to you, dear reader.

What do you think of these?

Increases in status are more powerful (by a factor of almost 3) than increases in income in raising happiness.

So if you get a pay rise along with everyone else, your happiness won't go up much. But if you alone get a rise, your status amongst your peers will increase and you'll become happier (for a little while.)

There are different systems in our brain that control wanting and liking. 

These can get out of synch, leading us to want stuff that we don't really even like. Like a kid in a shop who desperately wants a toy then gets home and doesn't play with it. Or like a grown up who works and works and works to get money - then never is happy because s/he doesn't get time with family. Economists have made a model of wellbeing based on market choices - the stuff we buy is the stuff that must make us happy - but it's far from accurate.

* never ever ever ever ever. Despair? What is that?