Wednesday, April 30, 2008

meme about me

sourced from Kansas Bob's blog:

1. WHO WERE YOU NAMED AFTER? - my first name is all my own, my middle name (Sylvia) was my mother's name

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? - I cry a lot when I read

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? - I was a terrible writer as a child (poor motor skills) These days my hand writing is acceptable, but it will never be a thing of beauty

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? - Lunch meat?? a good leg ham is nice, but if I want to be wickedly self-indulgent, the ultimate is smoked salmon

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? - 2 (boy 28, girl 23)

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? - I'm pretty confident I can say yes to this

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? - I try to only use it for humour, not for put downs, but some people who know me would be surprised at how many painfully sarcastic things I think but don't say

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS - Unless they snuck off somewhere on their own ..

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? - I won't even go on a slippery dip!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CEREAL? - not a cereal person, when it's the only option I eat cocoa pops if I'm feeling naughty, and muesli if I'm pretending to be virtuous

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? - Never unless they're lace ups, and rarely then!

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? - Not physically

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM? - Way too hard to call .. mango? berry? jaffa?


15. RED OR PINK? - Dark pink please

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU? - This could be a list: my weight? my very fair English type skin (very hard to live with in the Aussie climate)my procrastinatory tendencies?

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? - no one particularly

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO RESPOND? - I hate putting pressure on people

19. WHAT COLOUR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? - blue jeans (with embroidered flowers) black shoes

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? - tinned apricots with honey yogurt and a little grated chocolate

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? - the hum of the computer

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOUR WOULD YOU BE? - purple -- a nice deep violet

23. FAVOURITE SMELLS - fresh bread, cinnamon, spring flowers

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? - a lady from church who was asking me to pray for her

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? - I'm sure he's a great guy!

26. FAVOURITE SPORTS TO WATCH? - not very sporty, will occasionally watch cricket

27. HAIR COLOUR? - dark brown (artificially maintained these days)

28. EYE COLOUR? - Blue

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? - Nup. wear glasses part time and au naturel the rest

30. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS - I don't like/watch scary movies, but I think sometimes a sad (or bittersweet) ending is artistically right

31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? - the Kite Runner (great movie)


33. SUMMER OR WINTER? - Summer

34. HUGS OR KISSES? - Hugs (but why not both?)

35. FAVOURITE DESSERT? - definitely too hard -- probably homne made chocolate cheesecake


37. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? - people who don't read my blog (most of the human race!!!)

38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? - currently re-reading through David edding's sagas .. favourite old books can be comfort recreation when I've got sermons etc to work through. Will take a bunch of new ones away with me on holidays next week

39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? - I have been delivered from mouse pads (use an optical mouse)

40. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? - didn't watch tv

41. FAVORITE SOUND? - running water, birdsong, beautiful music

42. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? - Beatles (but I'd rather have 60s folk music than either of that period)

43. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? - Phuket (on a cruise that went from Singapore up the coast of Malaysia. Phuket was the furthest north)

44. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? - how special? I can do a lot of things a bit -- write poetry, preach, tell stories . I'm a reasonably creative cook and have a good eye for colour

45. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Sydney (in an inner city hospital

Fish and submarines

Another sermon illustration:

If you were to climb into a submarine you might think that, as long as it held watertight, you could glide on down to the bottom of the ocean. Sadly, if you tried to do this you'd soon discover how mistaken you are. Submarines can only go so deep before the pressure of the water crushes them like an empty soft drink can being crumpled by your hand. Indeed, a number of years ago submarine called the Thresher went down too deep. The water pressure rose to the point that the submarines heavy steel bulkheads were crushed. The sub was torn apart, leaving pieces of debris scattered across the ocean floor for searchers to find.
If you want to go down really deep you need a specially designed research vessel shielded by heavy steel armour. Now imagine you jumped into one of these heavily clad research vessels and headed down to the ocean depths. Guess what you'd find? Fish. Fish! Fish with skin just millimetres thick.
How is it that fish with just a thin skin covering can survive the pressure of such great depths, where a submarine with thick steel plates cannot?
The answer is quite simple: fish have equal and opposite pressure inside them. Submarines do not.

The world will try to squeeze us into its mould, to respond to hurts with jealousy hatred and bitterness. But if we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we will have the strength to resist.

Melancholy/ Phlegmatic

Well, at least according to this test. Hard to answer though, so I'm not sure how accurate it was..

Your personality is Melancholy Phlegmatic

Melancholy Strength:9 Weakness:8 43%
Phlegmatic Strength:5 Weakness:7 30%
Sanguine Strength:5 Weakness:4 23%
Choleric Strength:1 Weakness:1 5%

You may want to review the definitions

Your test results are available at

Thank you for taking the personality test. Pass the link on to your friends so you can learn about their personalities.

This test provided by Jehiah

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

wifely submission

and here is another post I wrote on the same forum, commenting on the view that a wife's submission means she is to give up on her own hopes and dreams and only have her husband's hopes and dreams (I question whether, long term, that is even truly possible except by massive repression), I said:

There are several problems with the traditional assumptions, apart from it being a grand invitation to abuse (all good things can be abused, so we always have to tread carefully around that one)

** it is an invitation to idolatry, calling the wife to put her husband in the place that belongs solely to God

** It ultimately makes the husband mediator between God and his wife -- usurping the place that belongs only to Christ

** by creating a male-only 'priesthood' within the home, it denies the priesthood of all believers

** the wife becomes the husband's servant/employee/inferior instead of his true counterpart

** it denies any concept of the wife having any gifts, abilities, insights to be used in the Kingdom. Did all those parables about talents and service to the kingdom etc rerally only apply to half the human race?

Ultimately, while it sounds very spiritual, it does nothing for the sanctification of either husband and wife. The one is delivered from accountability, the other is stripped from true moral responsibility ..

Sometimes it's hard to wrestle through the fog of all this stuff, especially when you still carry some of those hierarchalist (is there such a word?) guilt trips inside your head ..

Her desire ..

On another forum, I just wrote something on the subject of Genesis 3:16 "your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you" Some traditionalists advocate that the woman's desire here is the desire to dominate her husband; I actually believe it's the opposite. This is what I said:

I agree (in fact i wrote an essay for college on this very subject once. I believe this is simply a prophetic description of what takes place in a fallen humanity that is no longer God-centred -- as a generalisation, men build their sense of security by being dominant and controlling, women are more inclined (and remember these are generalisations) to become co-dependent (= idolatrous) towards their husbands. Hence patriarchy, CBMW etc etc (there are many shades) -- it's a system that slots straight into our fallenness. It also explains why so many women are willing to ride on the patriarchal bandwagon -- not only because they've been taught/conditioned to believe this but because for at least some of us, there is this fifth columnist in our own hearts which makes us vulnerable to being dominated. Look at all the romances out there which show a woman being dominated (tamed?) by a strong (read bossy :( ) man. CBMW-types (if I can respectfully call them that) would say that is because God really made women to submit, and that is where we are to find our ultimate romantic fulfilment. But, apart from anything else, the sheer unhealthiness of many of those images/plot-lines, and the infantilising of the women, makes me question whether the appeal is not, rather, to our fallenness, and therefore the very thing we should be striving to overcome in the Kingdom of God?

I believe this dynamic helps to explain the abuse of women

Sunday, April 06, 2008


The next 4 Sundays (Apr 13th to May 4th) I'm going to be preaching on king Saul (my first ever go at preaching a series). I'm approaching the 4 sermons as follows:

1. Selection (why was Saul chosen? compare this to the selection of David, and ultimately to Jesus, who had "no beauty that we should desire him")

2. rejection (What went wrong? compare Saul to David. How do we rationalise our disobedience? what does real repentance look like?)

3. Dejection. (Saul's paranoid jealousy of David. The destructiveness of jealousy. God's solution to jealousy -- Psalm 73:23-28)

4.Disconnection. (Saul's involvement with the occult and final suicide. The sin of accidie -- spiritual sloth. The solution, childlike trust -- Psalm 131)

Soooo .. with all that on my mind, I just came across this great quote in my research:

The world needs leaders...

who cannot be bought;

whose word is their promise;

who put character above wealth;

who possess opinions and a will;

who are larger than their vocations;

who do not hesitate to take chances;

who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;

who will be honest in small things as well as in great things;

who will make no compromise with wrong;

whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;

who will not say they do it "because everybody else does it";

who are true to their friends through good report and

evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;

who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and

hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;

who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth

when it is unpopular, who can say no with emphasis,

although the rest of the world says yes.

-- Paul Borthwick


Wingless, beneath a beckoning sky
I watch the birds that wheel and fly
And, in frustrated longing, cry.

The skies are theirs, unclouded height,
Vast liberty beyond my sight
The lovely seeking of the light

Freedom their home. There they aspire
Past the wings’ reach. To climb yet higher
To quest and yearn and never tire.

That is the place where I should be
Unbounded by futility
Unshackled by the dregs of me.

You made me of this earthbound race
Put me in my appointed place
So You might lift me by Your grace

Not always here shall I remain
Not always bound by sin and pain
Not always counting loss as gain.

For You, my God, have set me free
Mine is a precious liberty
Your gift for all eternity.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Yes I graduated last Saturday. I've been holding off, hoping to include some pictures, but becausae my husband's computer, where all our photos are, is now out of order, it will have to wait. (for 3-4 weeks I've been having computer problems myself, turns out it was a faulty motherboard, and the replacement must have had a crack or something in it. So I've been using A's computer, which doesn't have my settings, my bookmarks, my feeds etc. no sooner did I get my computer back, working perfectly now, than his has gone on the blink. Looks like the identical problem)

Sooo .. my graduation .. (and yes, there will be photos, one day!)
It was a long, tiring, wonderful day. Last time I was the centre of attention, getting so many photos taken etc was 31 years ago, and I was wearing a white wedding dress, not a black academic gown! :) And the highlight of the day turned out not tobe getting my degree, but, completely unknown to me, winning the college's prize for academic excellence. Apparently all my fellow students thought I was the obvious one for the prize .. I was the only one who hadn't guessed!!!! So much for smart .. There was also the nice little accompanying gift of $350 credit to our local Christian bookstore -- together with some special money i gota little while ago, that will be enough to buy myself a really good bible computer programme -- with bells and whistles and Greek and Hebrew ...

We had a few friends and family back in the evening to celebrate with a BBQ, then it was to bed and up early to preach at the 8am service Sunday morning. I was asked to preach only a few days beforehand, and, not having a clue what to preach on, I checked out the lectionary reading. It was Thomas, and he's a special favourite of mine, so I was more than happy to preach on him...