Saturday, September 29, 2012

Silly Suzie and the Razzle Dazzle Party

Here is my kids' talk for tomorrow morning. (It's on James 1:22-24). Here's a powerpoint of my visuals. I'll have on the screen for the adults to look at, but I'll use the actual visual in front of the kids.

Silly Suzie and the Razzle Dazzle Party

Once upon a time there was a girl called Suzie. Here she is. Can you say hello to Sizie?

Suzie was excited. She was going to a razzle dazzle party! She needed to dress up in her best razzle dazzle clothes. Here they are. A razzle dazzle watermelon skirt, A matching watermelon shirt, shiny shoes, racey razzle dazzle socks, and a bit of bling - a sparkly necklace. Do you think those things will make her look razzley dazzley enough? 

I think Suzie will look great.

Okay Suzie. Time to get dressed.

But when Suzie started to get dressed, things started to go wrong. 

She put on her razzle dazzle watermelon skirt, but... look what she’s done! Silly Suzie! It’s upside down! And her matching watermelon shirt? It’s crooked! 

Next, her racey razzle dazzle socks. What’s she doing? She’s put them on her hands!

Now for her shoes. Oh no!

Surely she can’t go wrong with the necklace...

Well, maybe she can!

Silly Suzie! She doesn’t look like she’s ready to go to the party, does she?

‘There,’ she said. ‘I’m all ready for my razzle dazzle party. But before I go, I’ll just take a quick look in the mirror just to make sure I look all right.’

So Suzie stepped in front of her mirror and when she saw herself, she got a surprise. She saw that her skirt was on upside down, her shirt was crooked, her socks were on her hands, her shoes were on the wrong feet, her necklace was around her ear, her ear rings were on her elbows...

‘Dear me.’ She said. ‘I look a fright! I need to get fixed up!’

But as soon as Suzie stepped away from the mirror, do you know what happened? She forgot what she looked like and went to the razzle dazzle party just as she was. With her clothes on all wrong! She forgot what she saw in the mirror!

So Suzie went off to the party. Do you know what happened when she arrived? Suzie’s friends were all in their special razzle dazzle clothes but when they saw Suzie, they stopped what they were doing and they stared. Oh my goodness! Suzie! Didn’t you look in the mirror!

[But she did look in the mirror, didn’t she. She just forgot what she saw.]

Suzie’s best friend Belinda knew just what to do. She took Suzie by the hand, took her into the bathroom and helped her get fixed up.

She looks better now, doesn’t she?

Suzie was silly. She looked in the mirror and saw that her clothes were wrong, but straight away forgot. She didn’t fix them up!

Very silly.

Did you know that sometimes we can be just as silly as Suzie.

Listen to what the bible says. 

“Anyone who hears God’s word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at themselves in a mirror and then goes away and forgets what they look like.” 
You see, the bible shows us what Jesus is like. It shows us how Jesus is kind and loving and brave and good. 
But it’s also a little bit like a mirror. It shows us what we’re like. We see how we’re not like Jesus. We can get angry. We can be unkind and unloving.
When the bible shows us what’s wrong with us, what should we do? Should we just walk away and forget about it? No! That would be silly. We need to remember what the bible says and do something about it. We should say ‘Jesus is kind, so I’m going to try to be kind too.’ 
If I read the bible and then just forget about it, then I’ll be silly like Suzie. And I don’t want that, do I?
Let’s pray.
Dear God,
Please help us not to be forgetful like silly Suzie. Please make your word stick in our minds so that we can change and be more like Jesus.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Just listened to a rough mix of our new song Did You Know. It is just what I hoped for! Our other one - My Heart Delights (version 10 billion) - is different to what I expected... but kind of good. There are a handful of other songs on the cd that I like a lot.

It will be released next month.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

All alone in a disgustingly messy house.

Andrew is out working.

The kids have gone away for the weekend.

Even the dog has abandoned me.

There are explosions coming from the kitchen. Joel's parting gift was the audio of a computer game he's left running in some tab somewhere on the computer.

I should clean up but I'm moping instead.

iview time?

Kids' talk this weekend

Between RE and Sunday School, I think I'd give at least 25 kids talks a year. Maybe up to 40. I'm not new to this.

But this weekend I have to give a talk to a group of kids I don't know at all. Complete strangers. There's likely only a few of them but I've got no idea if they will be toddlers or pre-teens. And they won't know me.

Preparing this talk has made me realise how much I depend on kids liking me. All of the kids at school know me and I have a reputation for being fun and exciting (and sometimes a bit growly - but in an 'I love you but you are driving me mad' way.) Because the kids are on side with me, most things work.

But what if these kids think 'Who is this random and why's she talking to us?'

What do I do then?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Les Mis Movie coming!

Of course Cosette is blonde.

The Soprano Will Always Get The Man

Eponine smiles as she sinks, safe from harm
She's finally wrapped in her longed for one's arms.
And Marius, once decided and firm,
Finds he is now divided and torn.

The sky or the sea? The day or the night?
The chocolaty rich or the strawberry bright?
The gods, they look on and smile smugly sure
The alto? The soprano? We've been here before.

"It's sad," they lament, "but she'll just have to go.
Her rich, mellow tones are too deep and too low.
Her eyes are too dark, her dress is too tight,
And the green that she wears shows her soul is not right.

"But Cosette, sweet Cosette! When she sings it's a ray
Of sunlight that brightens the darkest of days.
Oh Marius, come! See her wind caressed curls!
Surely you'll agree, she's the pick of the girls!"

And the tenor, of course, can't resist her blonde hair
And her trills give him thrills. Oh come on, that's not fair!
A man can't foresee that a voice now so bright
Will soon turn to screaching from morning till night.

Marius, soon you'll regret what you've done.
Your flower will droop when brought in from the sun.
But come, the song's written, the script must be read
And a heartbroken alto is better off dead.

So die Eponine!  This embrace is the best
an alto like you can ever expect.
It's the way of the world that no matter how thin
Her soul or her art, the soprano will win.

sar 2010

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Plumb Lines for the Kitchen

  1. The washing up is not finished until the bench is wiped down.
  2. Drying up includes putting away.
  3. Water bottles should not be put back into the fridge empty.
  4. Put things away, don't wipe around them.
  5. Cups don't jump themselves into the dishwasher.
  6. If the sink has not been filled with water, you haven't cleaned the kitchen.
  7. Clean the sink before you fill it with water.
  8. Wash the cleanest things first.
  9. When you are washing a bowl, cup or plate, think 'Submerge and wipe.'
  10. Dishes should be placed upside down on the drainer.
  11. Near enough is not good enough when it comes to the bin.
  12. Taking the rubbish out includes taking the recycling out.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Christian maturity in 1 Corinthians

I'm thinking about what it means to be 'mature' in the faith. I've got my own ideas, but before I get too committed to them, I thought it might be worth... like... reading the bible to find out what Paul would say.

So tonight I've read the book of 1 Corinthians through the lens of 'What does a mature Christian look like?'

Here's my findings. In a list.

Mature Christians from 1 Corinthians - long form

1. Mature Christians work hard to maintain unity in the church. 

2. Mature Christians boast in the Lord. The things that the world values: education, intelligence, wealth, human competence, strength, appearance, attractiveness, body shape, personality... are held lightly by mature Christians. God chooses the things that the world disdains - the weak, the despised, a crucified saviour - to show that the things the world thinks are great, are nothing. Jesus Christ is what matters to mature Christians. He is their righteousness, their holiness and their redemption. They boast about him.

3. Mature Christians understand the mystery of the cross. It makes no sense to unbelievers. Immature Christians are embarrassed by it. Mature Christians glory in it.

4. Mature Christians will often be weak, dishonoured, hungry, thirsty, poor, in rags and homeless for the sake of Christ.

5. Mature Christians do not repay evil for evil. When cursed, they bless.  When persecuted, they endure. When slandered they speak kindly.

6. Mature Christians are filled with grief when sexual immorality is found in the church. They call the church member to repentance.

7. Mature Christians understands what he/she was without Christ - perhaps a drunkard or a swindler or greedy or an idolater or sexually immoral. She/He also understands what she/he is now - washed, sanctified, justified in the name of Jesus. Mature Christians flee the behaviour of the old life.

8. Mature Christians are thoughtful in exercising their freedom. They will forego a freedom in order to help a brother or sister avoid sin.

9. Mature Christians consistently seek the good of others instead of their own good.

10. Mature Christians do not take their salvation for granted. They are diligent in avoiding and resisting temptation.

11. Mature Christians do not elevate their own gifts above the gifts of others.

12. Mature Christians are loving.

13. Mature Christians seek the building up of the body as the priority of meetings. This determines how gifts are used.

14. Mature Christians women will not dishonour their husbands in public meetings of the church

15. Mature Christians eagerly await the resurrection and the final defeat of death.

16. Mature Christians gives themselves fully to the work of the Lord, knowing that it’s not in vain.

Mature Christians from 1 Corinthians - shortened form
1. Mature Christians are loving (1,5,8, 9,11,12)
2. Mature Christians glory in Christ (2,3,15)
3. Mature Christians give themselves fully to the work of the Lord, despite the hardships that it will bring (4,15)
4. Mature Christians take sin seriously (6,7,8,10)
5. Mature Christians seek the building of the body in their meetings (11,14,13)

Christian Maturity

2 questions. Can you summarise your answers in a sentence?

1. What is 'maturity' for a christian?

2. What is the process for a christian to become mature?

Friday, September 21, 2012


Yesterday I was so excited that the weather was warm and springy that I took myself off to Sandgate and spent 2.5 hours in the sun without sunscreen. It felt nice at the time.

Not so nice now.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Isaiah 55 lyric

I've been asked to write a song on Isaiah 55. It's a good exercise, but I feel like I'm not very good at sticking with one chapter. With this one, I keep feeling pulled to John's gospel. The woman at the well, John 6 and John 10 keep suggesting themselves. But here's my attempt. It's a first draft, so I'm not worried yet about fiddly stuff, but would you feel ripped off if you asked for an Isaiah 55 song and you got this content?

Working Title

Come all who thirst
Come to the waters
Come rich and poor
Grace will provide
Why spend your life
Seeking what can’t satisfy?
There’s milk and wine, there’s living bread
So come and feast on Christ

Come all and hear
(of) life in abundance
Incline your ear
Listen and live
God’s word is sown
(It) yields a crop in every land
There’s joy and hope, eternal life
So come and feast on Christ

Come seek the Lord
While he is near you
Turn from your sin
Into the light
Oh burdened heart
(God) will forgive, he will redeem
His pardon's sure, his ways are right
So come and feast on Christ.

sar 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oh yeah, oh yeah!

TWIST Brisbane sales have overtaken TWIST Sydney.

And Melbourne and Perth and possibly Adelaide. Not that it matters.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Piano practice paying off

I can play the first 5 pages pretty well now. I'm feeling satisfied. It's easy once you've learned it - like most things, I guess. Makes me realise how lazy I've become. Kind of lost the ability to read treble and bass clefs at the same time. Non guitar keys were also freaking me out. But how can I play that? There's all these black dots on the page! There's flats in the key signature and there are no chords written! It's IMPOSSIBLE!

But my motto this week (stolen from school) has been YOU CAN DO IT!

I've had a clear objective (not embarrassing myself and wrecking the kids' concert). I've had good blog community support. I've shown good organisation skills in not loosing my music (a common problem for me) and in planning my time. I've been persistent. I've given effort and worked tough. Now I'm looking at taking the risk of playing it while children are singing. But even if I mess up I will still accept myself and be proud of my effort.

Man. I'm a walking life skills lesson!

Unfortunately my viola practice has been on hold to compensate. Will I ever catch it up. Probably not. It's all bad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ten things I love about my friend Tash

1. Tash is truly empathetic. Whatever I'm feeling, whatever I'm experiencing, Tash feels it along with me. This makes her a great confidant, a wonderful support and a fun friend.

2. Tash is committed to her kids in an inspiring way

3. Tash is real about her struggles as a parent.

4. Tash has talented and interesting kids. My kids like to be with them and I like to hang out with them too.

5. Tash married well. Andrew is great. Pretty much all of these items apply to him as well.

6. Tash does things thoroughly. She can be relied upon.

7. Tash is pretty. And she wears clothes well. [Shallow, I know, but true.]

8. Tash is good at her job and interested in it. I like to hear what she's doing at work.

9. Tash is very good at looking out for other people.

10. Tash is committed to my Lord, Jesus. This means that she's a friend I'll get to hang out with forever.

Happy Birthday.

x years is just the start!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Piano Practice

To be honest, I haven't done any real piano practice for 20 years.

All pop songs are the same.

All church songs are the same.

Most choir songs are wanna-be church songs or pop songs.

3 minutes work is enough to have most songs down.

But not this beautiful and difficult choir piece. John Rutter, where is the lazy pianist version? Where are the chords?

There is no way of getting around it, this piece requires the pianist to read the music. All twelve pages of it. Every bar is slightly different and it moves through 3 keys - only one of which is sensible.

I'm normally a follow the vibe kind of player. But the vibe of this piece is note perfect.

I've worked on this song for a couple of hours so far and still can only play it at half pace.

Okay Simone. Arm yourself with perseverance. This can be done. It can.

Do you play piano? I'll pay you $100 to play it for me.  

Verbs for the Christian life

The three verb tag line seems all the rage for churches these days. Our church uses 'connect, grow, serve' which we stole from the book Simple Church. The church down the road is just launching 'reach, teach, care'. I quite like hear the word, live the word, share the word. (I made that one up.)

But they are for church.

What 3 verbs would you choose to define your own christian life?

A friend suggested suffer, pray, endure, which is quite nice I think, but wouldn't work so well for a church. 'Suffer, Pray and Endure at St. Simone's Presbyterian Church.' Um. No.

So friends. Verbs.

Throw them at me.

It is possible to play piano while crying.

Little Elijah's funeral today.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Happy sounds on a Saturday morning.

Instrument practice is 2 different rooms!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Listening to mixes of EMU's new CD

It is really good!

[Not heard our stuff yet.]

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I am not a spammer.

I am a sharer of information.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ticket tracking

I've become a little obsessed with tracking registrations for the TWIST conferences coming up next month. TWIST Brisbane is my baby, and it is tracking very well. The event is still 5 weeks away and we've currently sold the same number of tickets as we had 12 hours out from last year's event (which ended up as a full house). I'm imagining a graph of ticket sales... If we follow the same curve as last year, we can expect well over 1000 at TWIST this year. Not that it matters. There are only 500 seats.

Get in soon, peoples, or there will be tears.

Got to go trawl the rego site. Someone else might have signed up.

[Yep. One more. Why do I keep checking? You know what else is interesting? The registration habits of Sydneysiders vs Brisbanites. Sydney tends to have a big early influx, then doesn't move much until the last minute rush. Brisbane is much steadier - perhaps because we don't do the early bird thing. I'm not a fan of early-bird deals. They take the excitement out of ticket tracking.]

3002 unread emails

But who cares?

Nothing is ordinary anymore

So I've written a little tune for last night's song. Here's a recording of my friend singing the pre-chorus and chorus. What do you think?

But what if the extraordinary
Bursts into the ordinary?
What if skies explode and sing with joy?
What if dreams from ages past
All come true, and God, at last,
Enters our world, is born, a baby boy?

Jesus has come
Haven’t you heard?
This is no ordinary world
For Jesus lived here
He made this earth his home.
Jesus has come
Haven’t you heard?
This is no ordinary world
And nothing here is ordinary
Any more.

Finished! Done! Finally!

After 30 different tunes and 50 lyric versions, My Heart Delights is now recorded up. This is fantastic because it means I don't have to do another edit of it ever. Can't wait to hear it.

Thanks for all your comments along the way. They made a difference.

My heart delights
1. My heart delights
    that God would leave his throne,
    and come to earth
    to claim us as his own.
    O love divine
    Clothed in this flesh of mine!
    God in our form
    A child was born.

    Jesus, Lord through all the ages
    God from God and light from light
    Came from heaven, brought salvation
    Be alone my heart’s delight.

2. My heart delights
    that God would give himself
    He sought no power, 
    no honor and no wealth
    What love, what grace!
    To suffer in my place.
    Upon the tree
    of Calvary.

3. My heart delights
    that I can live for him
    and serve the one
    who freed me from my sin.
    Lord light your fire!
    Become my one desire!
    My hope, my might
    My heart’s delight.

sar 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Song of the week: Train - 50 Ways To Say GoodBye

The kids enjoyed this one. We play it in E minor. Achievable and fun.

Dogs more empathetic than any other animal (and perhaps more empathetic than people!)

Yes. I agree.

Our pups has emotional intelligence in spades*. She knows when we are stressed or upset and is a wonderful, uplifting companion.

* Not so much other intelligence though!

Nothing is ordinary any more

We are planning a little christmas pageant for the kids at church. We'll have some older kids helping out with the bigger parts, but we want to make it so there's a part for everyone - especially the 3 year old play groupers. We've chosen to shape the pagaent around the theme of ordinary to extraordinary. ie. Mary was home doing ordinary things when something extraordinary happened....

We'll use a lot of normal play schoolish songs (This is the way we hang the washing, Ba ba black sheep etc) and a carol, but I want to have one on-theme original song. This is what I'm working on. It could be sung by Mary, a chief shepherd and a chorus.


Nothing Is Ordinary Anymore

1. It’s just an ordinary day
And I am an ordinary girl.
I wake up, I find clothes to wear
in my ordinary world.

It’s just an ordinary day
And I am an ordinary girl.
I get dressed and I brush my hair
There’s nothing special in the air,
Just living in my ordinary world

But what if the extraordinary
Bursts into the ordinary?
What if skies explode and sing with joy?
What if dreams from ages past
All come true, and God, at last,
Enters our world, is born, a baby boy?

Jesus has come
Haven’t you heard?
This is no ordinary world
For Jesus lived here
He made this earth his home.
Jesus has come
Haven’t you heard?
This is no ordinary world
And nothing here is ordinary
Any more.

2. I’m just an ordinary boy
And this is an ordinary day.
I watch the sheep roam through the fields
in an ordinary way.

I’m just an ordinary boy
And this is an ordinary day.
I feel the wind blow through my hair
There’s nothing special in the air,
Just living in my ordinary way.

sar 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Trellis and the Vine

I've been reading it.

Two questions.

1. Is there a hierarchy of gifts with teaching at the top?

2. Where does love fit into it all?