Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hi, I just read Naomi Reed's Blog, you might be interested too.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another year

I LOVE holidays. Time off from the busyness of the daily routine. Sleeping in and not needing to be out of the house by a certain time. Time together as a family doing fun things. A chance to get away (Albany was sooo much cooler than Perth!) Time to read and pray and time to just do nothing!

Now they are almost finished. School goes back Monday over here and once that happens the quiet and peace of a January on leave will be shattered by the commencement of absolutely everything! Music lessons, Brigades, baseball, teeball, soccer registration, table tennis, archery, back on the Sunday school teaching roster, Youth Group not to mention the committees I am on and the planning for various activities taking place this year, oh and work! Getting together to check our diaries was a major reality check as we saw the year filling up rapidly and the number of times juggling would be necessary to manage everything on at any one time.

How did we get so busy? How can we ensure that our busyness does not swamp what is really important? I struggle with this. I know that my relationship with Jesus is so much more important than anything else and yet it is so easy for time to read His word and pray to be squashed out by the myriad of other things that seem urgent. The urgent so often trumps the important.

I am praying that as the busyness begins I don't forget the things I have learned during the holidays. Time to be with people is worth creating. Our activities at church are there for a reason - they are there to help us know Jesus better and to trust Him more fully.

1Cor. 13:1-3   
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 

Heavenly Father, Help me to love those around me. Help me to remember, each day, to slow down enough to see how best to put that love into action.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Blessing and Challenge of Family...

I have been thinking a lot recently about the blessing and the challenge of family and of being a parent.  Parenting is something that I think we "grow" into, although I don't think that makes it necessarily any easier. And yet the time that we spend with our children can be some of the happiest moments of our lives.

I am sure that although we meet each other daily, or weekly at school, or church or bible study, I am not convinced that we share with one another just how difficult and demanding being a parent can be.  Do we continue to perpetuate the motherhood myth and just pretend that we somehow have it all together? Are we really keen to help others and be an encouragement or are we just so busy caught up in our own little world that we do not have the time or energy to be involved in each others lives.

How can we know that the women we are speaking to at church has just lost a baby in miscarriage...are we aware of the things that we say, do we stop to ask the difficult questions?  These were some of the issues that we raised at our recent Flourish Conference. I was wondering how we are all getting on out there?  What have we gone on to be involved in?  Have we been inspired and challenged?  Sometimes it seems that life just goes on regardless and we are too caught up in it all to be reflective or even to have time to pray.

How has the Lord been ministering to you?  How have you been able to be really present in the lives of your children? What a great challenge it is. Despite the busyness of this time of year and all the energy that is required, it is so reassuring to  know that we can take refuge under the wings of the Lord and find rest in Him.

  5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62 Verses 5-8

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Praying for our children.

I had been taking my kids to this school for over three years before I met another Christian parent. I had made plenty of friends over that time but none knew Jesus as their lord and saviour. Well, if any did, I hadn't discovered it.

It was a good school in many ways - it still is, but the school hierarchy were resistant to the idea of a chaplain or even Scripture taking place in the school. It had been made plain to me by the Acting Principal that he didn't believe kids should be taught such fairy tales in school!

When the new principal arrived, she too saw no role for a chaplain or Scripture in the school. It is the local Public Primary School. We live just across the road and up the hill a bit - less than 5 minutes walk there seeing it is all down hill. It takes a little longer to get home at the end of a long day.

I have now had kids at the school for nearly 12 years and assuming we stay in the area we will have kids there for another 4! I am part of the furniture.

In my 4th year at the school a change took place. I kept meeting Christian mothers. A family of 6 children with 5 of them at the school who had recently moved South from Alice Springs; A mother of 2, the wife of a Church of Christ minister; a grandmother from the local brethren church; another grandma helping with school pickups for her twin grandchildren....

An idea started to form. Maybe it was time to start a prayer group for this school! So after a few conversations with these new friends and much trepidation I approached the principal to get details of the group included in the school newsletter. I was expecting criticism and objections but they didn't come. She may not want Scripture being taught in the school but she was very happy to know there were people meeting to pray for the school, the teachers, the students and the community.

We now meet 3-4 times a term, we are still only a small group of about 5-6 parents and grandparents though we rarely get that many to the prayer meeting. About 15 parents have been involved over the years as children have come to the school and then moved on to other schools. We pray, we encourage each other to evangelise our friends and contacts in the school, we have donated Christian books to the library and run thank you morning teas for the staff.

My eldest left the school and moved to the high school next door - we started praying for the high school too! The High School has a Chaplain - she started coming to the prayer group so we could encourage and support her in her job. My daughter left the school and moved to another high school in the area, we started praying for that school too! We pray for our children as they live as Christians within a secular school environment, as they think about sharing the love of Jesus with their friends.

I am amazed at times as I see friends of my children going to different churches as they have been invited, as several are now going to Boys' and Girls' Brigades with my children and hearing about Jesus there.

There is still no Scripture taught at this public primary school but God is obviously at work. He reminds me often that He is greater than I am. He can work in the hearts of people even in a school that sees no place for Him.

Please join us as we pray that God will touch the lives of parents, teachers and children in the Public Schools of our country. Pray that Christians will shine the light of Christ as they live and participate in these communities. Pray that many of the parents and children will have a chance to hear about Jesus because individual Christians within their school communities are seeking to be faithful witnesses to Him.

Oh, and maybe you could start a prayer group of parents and friends for your local school!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Surprise Conversation

I was chatting to a friend. Not an easy conversation as she was upset about something she had had to do. It did not come easily to her so she wanted to talk. Talk we did. It was one of those times when friendships suddenly deepen as we share more of ourselves than we intend, or expect.

I was chatting to a friend. We help each other out in lots of ways. We look after each others kids, our kids are at the same school, in the same teeball team, have danced together in the past, have attended each others birthday parties. Our daughters are often mistaken for sisters because they know each other so well they bicker and spat and laugh and play.

I was chatting to a friend and I was surprised to discover she couldn't wait to be invited to church with me. In fact she was thrilled that we had asked her to come along. It was something she felt she needed to sort out and so jumped at the chance. She came the next Sunday and plans to come this Sunday too!

I was chatting to a friend and she wants to learn about the Bible. I asked if she would like to start reading through Mark with me and she has agreed! WOW.

I was chatting to a friend. She wants to start TODAY! Can we do some each week? Thursdays are good days to meet!

Why am I surprised? I have been praying for an opportunity to invite my friend to Church. I have been praying for a chance to ask her to read the Bible with me. Thanks Father for answering my prayer!

Women's ministry doesn't need to be big, or organised, or formal. It can be as small as chatting to a friend!

Friday, September 28, 2012

So what is next?

That is so often the question after a conference!

Flourish 2012 happened almost 2 months ago and we have all gone back to our lives and ministries. We have got back into the routines of life and are busy with the normal flow of things in our lives. For me that has meant sick kids (winter is like that!), teaching Sunday School, work, housework, meeting with friends, meetings, reading, watching movies and a whole range of day to day activities that are just too routine to mention. With a son in year 12 and a daughter about to change schools there always seems to be something going on in our household.

So where do we go from here?

Last Thursday I had the chance to share about what happened at Flourish with a group of women here in Perth. It was a small group - as is so often the case here - but none had been able to attend either conference and few really knew much of what it was about so it was a great chance to open up the discussions with these ladies.

The good thing was getting to open up the topic and the history. The difficult thing is that such a session can really only give a small glimpse of what went on over 2 days back in July in Sydney!

So what is next? More talking I suspect! More prayer, I hope. More opportunities to talk with individuals about how women and men can partner together to reach out to people with the Good News that Jesus loves them and has died to set us free.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Flourish 2012 continued... Fighting for our Daughters

One of the practical workshops that I attended at Flourish 2012 was with Letitia Shelton, entitled "Fighting for our Daughters". It was an incredibly challenging workshop that really inspired me to get more involved with ministry to girls in our community.  Letitia spoke about how she started working with a small group of girls and how that initial contact with teenage girls demonstrated so clearly to her how much teenage girls need to hear about the love of Jesus and to be shown love. 

Letitia now leads a group of 10 churches in Toowoomba, which has formed a group called City Women who work together to provide a range of opportunities for teenage girls and young single Mum's in the community.  Girl's Getaway camps are one of these such events and since they first started, 800 girls in the local area have heard the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bella Chicks is a Friday night fun filled group which meets in a local shopping centre, it is designed for girls in year 6 and 7 and  is aimed at building positive relationships. Also, Bella Sistahs offers mentorship and discipleship for girls keen to develop their own personal values and beliefs – to truly live out what they believe.

Another initiative that Letitia Shelton is involved with is, the creation of a positive magazine for girls, Bella which provides girls with an alternative to "Dolly" and "Cleo". Bella reinforces positive images and role models for teenage girls without exposing them to inappropriate sexualization and harmful messages.

 Bella is a non-profit magazine that is a catalyst for a cultural revolution, reversing the tide of self-damaging attitudes and trends imposed upon our young women.

In August Bella Magazine was launched in Launceston, Tasmania by MP Michael Ferguson & his daughter Eloise. In Tasmania Bella is available at Koorong and Birchalls. Bella subcriptions are available here.