Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Mudgee photos

Thanks -giving

One good custom Americans have which we missed out on, because of the vast differences in the history of our national beginnings, is the celebration of Thanksgiving. But, since all of us, everywhere are commanded to "give thanks in everything, I thought I'd have a go at scratching the surface ..

For these I give You thanks my Lord, my Maker and Sustainer,
At the turning of the year, and the ending of the season,
With the lifting of my heart, the submission of my reason,
I give thanks.

For the unexpected sunlight, the shaft that pierces darkness,
The stars in silver clarity, the mystery of shadow,
The lorikeets in rainbow hues, piercing as an arrow,
Summer rain.

For trees that dance against the sky, and flowers dressed in wonder,
The green curve of a wave, the enormity of storm,
The blessedness of bread, the dew upon the lawn,

For unexpected hugs, and gentle words of healing
The clasp of hands, the smiles of friends, the deep embrace of prayer,
For shelter and for cosiness, Christ’s beauty everywhere,
Lovely light.

For life in You that has no end, the comfort of Your promise,
The certainty that stays my days, forgiveness past my guessing,
One cross to answer all I am with overwhelming blessing,
I give thanks.

Mudgee Photos -- Critters


Authentein is the Greek word used in 1 Tim 2:12 where Paul says that he does not allow a woman to "exercise authority" over a man. That is the traditional translation, others take the word to mean "domineer" or "usurp authority" or some other word denoting autocratic and illegitimate authority -- something no Christian should exercise! A friend and I were checking out the word today in my Logos Bible programme which he finally got working for me (long story, but blessed be he!)and were stunned by the bias and dismissal shown in some of the references -- especially considering how this potentially impacts 50% of the population! So I turned my indignation into a poem ..


Pull the drawstrings tight
Around your carefully garnered authority
Lest you spill it on the ground

Keep them in their place,
Not responsible for anything,
Except somehow, in their weakness,
The sin of all the world.

Oh contain the She!

Never face to face
Limb to limb
Part and counterpart,
Heirs together of glory.

Give her fine words
But not the one that matters.
Equality in the realms of philosophy,
Fantasies of fair meaning,
But guard your dictionaries well,
Lest she dream of standing beside you.

I do not know this God,
Lord of the hidebound lexicon,
Who would take one half of the parable of being
And treat it with despite.
Is your Grand Order
His true, most holy cause?

We must have regard for our sisters,
For the ones slain by a word,
Taught by the phallocentric
To move shame-faced through the world.

Go hoard and strut your primacy while we
Stand bare-head in the rain, receiving His anointing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seven Weird things about me ..

Ok, this is all Karen's fault .. since she tagged all her readers!!!

1. I'm an Australian who can't swim .. never got the hang of it. Ok, co-ordination isn't my strong suit!

2 my third class teacher nicknamed me "Miss Dictionary" (after I corrected her spelling of Gallipoli)

3. When I was little, I used to spend time playing with the toys I didn't like, so their feelings wouldn't be hurt.

4. I was 9 years old in 1964 when the Beatles came to Australia. All the girls in my class went crazy over them. At 9 I couldn't figure what the fuss was about, and I said so. So i was the strange kid in the class who didn't like the Beatles!! (and I don't do peer pressure too much either!)

5. I really dislike the flavour of peanuts.

6. Having no brothers, I had no idea as a child what the physical differences between boys and girls were -- and no one would tell me! So I tried to figure it out for myself and thought that boy's hair didn't grow!! In the 60s, when males started to wear their hair longer, I got very confused.

7. In my student days I used to sing in the train. because of my schedule I was often travelling in moderately empty trains, and I would get in the end section of the carriage, by myself, and, while the train was moving and making a noise, i would sing and (presumably) no one would hear me ..

Too much information?
if you have a go at this "confessional", let me know ..

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nothing original ..

Nothing original here:
Only the same old heart,
Weary and smudged and weak,
Shop-soiled in every part.

Only the same laments
Born from the same long pain;
Only the same desires,
And the same prayers again.

Here the same hidden fears
Writhe in their same tired dance,
Wasting my vital strength,
Limiting love’s expanse.

Here the same battle’s fought
For its ten thousandth round
When shall I overcome?
When is the victory found?

Only the same despair
Mocks at my faith’s thin thread
Only the same resolves
Hunger the same scarce bread.

And yet, the same, same God
Turns not his face from me
And with the same vast grace
Holds me with constancy.

And the same promises
Capture again my heart
And His same love still breaks
Every defensive part.

So the same song I join
Which all the saints must sing
Wonder and praise to Him:
Lover and Lord and King.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"I am Australian"

I don't usually share this sort of thing, but this is part of my heritage, my world, my life. Wehave, like any other nation, our share of national songs, but this is the one that moves me.

Please feel free to ask about any references you don't understand.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Unborn

There has been much talk recently on the subject of abortion, and it reminded me tonight of this poem. Many years ago (August 1981 to be exact) I had a miscarriage, at 10 weeks pregnancy. It was the more poignant to me because it was 2 1/2 years later before i conceived our beautiful daughter. There was a period when I wasn't certain if I would ever have another child, which made me all the more grateful for the precious son I had already been given. Yet, at the time, I never really grieved the child I lost, I just pushed the issue aside, and got on with life. it was 9 years later that it all came back to me, and I allowed myself for the child who was never born, who spent such a tiny time alive. that was when I wrote this poem. (Poetry has always been a major emotional outlet for me). One final note: it has taken me by surprise in recent years to learn how debatable the salvation of these little ones is to some people; rightly or wrongly I have never doubted that my child-who-never-was is waiting for me in the Father's presence.

Some sunlit run; fresh, sparkling, clear and free,
With lilting laughter, brave to meet the day;
The legacy of light lives large in them,
With a glad liberty, they run their way.

But, others in dark stillness are enclosed.
The shade their heritage, no day they know.
Bound to the lifeless silence of the night;
No harvest theirs, who never forth did go.

Lips virgin of all speech; sad, sightless eyes,
A personhood unstretched to measure life;
The ponderous regret of "might-have-been",
The reaching out, with endless yearning rife.

The tragedy of being, being not.
Unheld, unknown, naked in the night,
Unformed, in bitter smallness so alone,
Never to drink the Day-spring of Delight.

Never to be, yet held in perfect love,
Somewhere beyond the reaching of the flesh.
This Never-Being cherished into joy,
By Him Who holds us all in tenderness.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Letter to my Blog

Dear Little Blog,

Sorry it’s been a while since I talked to you. Please don’t think I don’t love you any more.
But sometimes I’m busy, and sometimes .. well .. old friends should have room for contented silence in their conversation, shouldn’t they? I don’t want to bore you, so, when I have nothing to say, I say nothing. But life’s been happening, and it’s probably time we had a little chat.

** The US election: even on holidays we turned on the tv in time to get the candidates’ speeches, and were very moved by them. Aussie politicians could learn a few lessons from these guys. At the risk of alienating all my American friends, I have to admit that I’m glad Obama won. Things look different from the other side of the world – over here we’re a lot less concerned with America’s domestic policies (and can’t see what’s wrong with things like universal health care – we have had it for over 30 years) and a lot more concerned with having an American neighbour whose foreign policies make sense to us. And I admit that I was crying at the sight of the faces of black Americans, faces shining in wonder because they had never believed this could happen in their lifetime. Whether americans want their friendship or not, it’s a simple fact that many other countries will feel friendlier towards America because she has a black president. As to how well he’ll perform – to be honest I haven’t the foggiest idea – but I do know that sometimes symbols can count for more than empty rhetoric.

** Holidays: Alastair and I went away for a week to Mudgee (central western NSW, wine growing and general tourist area,) The place we stayed at was lovely – 10 minutes out of town, a set of cottages on the brow of a hill. From our cottage verandah we looked over 50 metres or so of lawn, studded with trees, then a little lake, then about 200 metres of vineyard back to the main road. Idyllic, especially as we had the place to ourselves, even the owners were away. Mornings and evenings the big grey kangaroos would come down from the bush at the back of the property to graze on the lawn, and currawongs and little blue wrens flew in and out of the trees. We went to several vineyards, but really, two or three in a week were enough for us. Craft galleries, national parks (including an amazing place called Dunn’s swamp, where bright red bottle brush (Callistemon) were in flower along the water’s edge) and the historic old town of Gulgong, where there is a museum dedicated to Henry Lawson, a rather tragic Australian literary figure, who was born there on the goldfields.

**Sickness: So I went and got bronchitis on holidays. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but at least being married to a doctor sometimes pays off – I was able to get a prescription for antibiotics as soon as I recognised what was happening to me, so I never got really sick. Then I go to the doctor today for my 6 month checkup and get told I’m anaemic (at my age!!) so I have to get on the iron tablets ..

Birthdays: end of October, beginning of November is birthday season round here. Beginning with my special day (Oct 28), then my FIL is November 7 (he just turned 88), my DIL is Nov 9, and my son is Nov 11 (he just turned 29) So that has taken some time and energy as well (and a very nice family dinner at a restaurant with views of the dock area of Sydney harbour). Oh, and what did I get for my birthday? What I wanted, of course –a compact digital camera with 10x zoom .. fantastic for photographing birds and flowers ..

My Masters: just before we went away I got a letter from UTS to say my application for my masters has been approved (exciting but scary) So I had a heap of paperwork to get organised. What am I doing? A Masters in Adult Education – this one is specially geared for people who’s undergraduate degree was in other fields (not education) but who want to learn better ways to teach and train in their own discipline. Of course, I would have liked to do my Masters in Theology, but as a woman in the church here, there would be absolutely nothing I could do with it. This degree will open doors rather than closing them.

The internet: Another reason I haven’t blogged is that our internet has been subject to a lot of intermittent drop outs, often for hours at a time. Finally they sent us a technician yesterday and he found some corrosion at the junction of our cable internet with the street. Changing those connections seems to have fixed the problem

Well, I’m sure there’s lots more, like the sermon I have to prepare for Sunday (the first I’ve had to do for months), church matters etc etc,but hey, at least we’re speaking again. Now I just hope, dear blog, that you will be generous and forgiving and speak back to me and not get all huffy

Bye for now