Sunday, August 12, 2007

introducing ...

502 blog posts later and after many stories, travels, videos, photos, finding love on the internet ... I am proud to announce the inaugurating post at All new updates will be posted at the new site.

Many in the realm of Christendom are choosing to refer to themselves as Christ-followers rather than Christians. Many theologians, evangelists, church planters, and "Christians" have adopted the term to remove the baggage and stigma the term Christian seems to bear on today's culture.

While many cringe at the word Christian, the name Jesus Christ almost universally demands respect. "Christian" in many cultures, however, conjures up images of tele-evangelists, the Ku Klux Klan, crusades, etc.

Christ-followers wish others to associate them with the Son of God and not a particular denomination or faction of society. Do they resent those who call themselves Christians? No.

What do you think of the use of terms?

The videos linked to on the new i'd rather laugh than cry are a parody of the Mac vs PC ads on television. They equate Christians with those of the traditional line of church-goers, while Christ-followers are associated with emerging types.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

married for one month, part 15

anthony asked:

  1. Did you really actually know before you met that you would get married?
  2. Were you too emotionally committed to pull out of it, even if you discovered that you came across differently in person than expected when you met, and discovered unforeseen personality incompatibilities? (I expect you to say that there were no real surprises when you met, so my next question would be...)
  3. Would you have been able to get to know each other well enough for their to be no real surprises when you met if you didn't use webcams?
  4. What do you think of the dangers of the false sense of intimacy that internet communication can bring?

Christine responds:

Mike and I did not begin communicating via webcam until September (2 months after we shared our feelings for each other). I knew I loved him even before I heard his voice (July 13, 2006 ... before that it was all msn messenger, email, and blogs). I wanted to be sure it was really him that I loved ... and not his wonderful good looks and sexy Aussie accent (that would have been enough for my dear friend Laura, I dare say ; ).

There was no pressure for Mike to propose to me when he came to America. By then I already had plans to visit during December/January. If things did not work out, the plan was for me to stay in Sydney over the holiday rather than going on to Tassie. It was Mike who took on the responsibility to purchase a ticket for me to fly from Sydney to Hobart.

Mike and I knew the dangers of internet relationships ... the ease of hiding behind a computer, etc. Thus we purposefully were very open, honest, and vulnerable about our own faults from the very beginning (msn messenger days).

married for one month, part 14

Kelli B asked:
  1. what's been the hardest thing to adjust to - going from single to married?
  2. what's your favorite way to serve Mike/Christine?
  3. what are you so excited to share with others about married life? to motivate and inspire them?

Christine responds:
  1. Answered in posts below.
  2. The other day I found myself determined to make certain sacrifices so that I do not contribute more damage to our already strained finances. I told Mike that I would buy juice from the shop. Now Mike knows that I'm fond of visiting a juice bar once or twice a week to enjoy a freshly squeezed glass of juice. But at $5 per large serving, I was better off financially just buying a $3 large bottle of juice for the whole week. But wonderful Mike was determined to bless me with, "I want you to not feel guilty and enjoy the fresh squeezed juice." Mike appears to be quite pleased that I cook for him.
  3. I love working as a team with my husband ... whether it's holding the light for him as he drills a whole in the back of his desk or listening as he practices sermons and giving him suggestions. There is no place in marriage for selfishness.

Mike's 5 cents:
  1. Hardest thing has been not working myself into the ground. When I work too hard 2 people suffer not just one.
  2. Christine is a good listener and she works hard to keep the bathroom clean. I also do most of the cleaning and cook breakfast sometimes. I'm also patient with Christine's "creative distractedness".
  3. See my answer here

Thursday, August 02, 2007

married for one month, part 13

Jonny asked:
  1. Will all the kids/babies fit in your car?
  2. If someone is over at your house for dinner, what time do they have to leave?

Christine responds:
  1. I doubt the Camry will be around long enough to be filled beyond capacity with toddlers.
  2. You have to leave at 9:30, Jonny. Don't worry. We'll stop the movie and start from where we left off the next time you come around.

married for one month, part 12

Tracy asked:

What expectations did you have of marriage that you didn't realize that you had? (usually discovered in their disappointment)

Christine responds:

Moving into a bachelor's home where a system of how things are done and where items belong is difficult. It's difficult for a bride to feel that anything is really her own. She feels she's a guest until she can make her own home as she would like.

I thought I could march in and go about things as I normally would albeit in a new surrounding. But because living in Mike's old flat (while Dave is still overseas traveling) is only temporary ... I have to be careful to put things back just as I found them and respect the general system of established order.

I was surprised by how much stress I felt, as a result.

Much of this, however, will be alleviated as we move into our new apartment. Then I can decorate, arrange, and organize (don't scoff!) as I wish (of course, taking Mike's suggestions and needs into careful consideration).

Mike's friend, Sam, gave Mike this wise advice before Mike left for Germany:
"Let your wife decorate and arrange things as she wants and your own happiness will increase!"

married for one month, part 11

Amy Imms asked:

Ok, Jason & I have a few questions...
  1. What has been the most challenging aspect to married life so far??
  2. If you guys were coming to my place for dinner, what would you be hoping I didn't cook? And if you didn't like it, would you eat it anyway?
  3. Considering the long distance nature of your dating and engagement, are you finding anything about each other particularly different than expected?
  4. Christine, could you see yourself living the rest of your life in Hobart?

Christine responds:
  1. The most challenging aspect of married life so far has been knowing our role as a couple and not individuals. Does that make sense?
  2. Nothing swimming in grease ... but yes, I'm a good missionary girl and will eat what is set before me. Oh, and please remember what I said about baby squid.
  3. Um ... nup. We talked so much and were so open with each other that nothing has really been a surprise. Perhaps it's hard to believe, but I cannot emphasize enough ... it is ALL by God's grace! Mike and I are extremely blessed to have experienced such a smooth transition into marriage.
  4. I've known from the beginning that following Mike's two year ministry apprenticeship that he plans on going to Bible College in Sydney. However, this is not set in stone. If for some reason Mike and I are led to remain in Hobart working ministry jobs or even secular jobs, I will definitely not resent him and shout, "You tricked me! I thought I'd be living in SYDNEY! You said you were going to be a PASTOR!!!" and then run to our room, slam the door, and cry into my pillow. (knock knock knock ... "If I'm meant to sleep on the couch can I at least grab my pillow and a blanket?") No, I love Hobart and if I had to finally settle in one place, why not here?
Mike's 2 cents:
  1. I reckon the way we interact together with other people as a couple. eg. at church. I always feel awkward and not sure what to do. I guess I sort of agree with Christine.
  2. Dominos Pizza. It really is sooo filthy. "pizza hangover anyone?" errgh. But I'd eat it if you put it in front of me.
  3. Nup we talked about pretty much everything before we married. Christine is messy and I'm anal, you have to be honest about these things b4 you get married. But all credit to God for how our relationship has worked out.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

married for one month, part 10

Anonymous asked:

Is there anything you wish you had been told before you got married that no one told you?

Christine responds:

Nup, I can't say that there is.

Do I know everything?

Not by a long shot!

But I feel well-prepared and ready for this journey.

However, I think it is VERY important that readers consider what my friend Nixter has to add:

I have loved some of the things you have said and it has caused me to think through how I can be more like Christ in my marriage so thank you. I also think it is great that you haven't had any major struggles in your first few months of marriage - Praise God!

But I just wanted to say that that is not the case for a lot of people, I know many people who have struggled tremendously in their first year of marriage and that that can be quite normal.

I know for us there were heaps of adjustments in the first few months before things started settled down. In the book ‘From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife’ it talks about how you are not alone in that struggle. So I think what I am saying is - it isn't always that easy and more often than not it is initially quite hard, this is at least from the people I have spoken to on the issue and also my own experience. Living with girls for 28 years of my life, doing what I want to do etc and then sharing a house, a bed, chores etc with your spouse can be quite an adjustment.

I would hate for people to think that if it isn't as easy for them then something is wrong. But I just want people to know that it is quite normal to feel uncertain, scared, freaked out, etc

One final thing to add – Marriage is a blessing, a gift from God and over time as you learn more about your spouse certain things become easier, other issues may raise there head but you learn more about how each other ticks and how to communicate and love each other.

married for one month, part 9

Beth asked:

At what point did you know you would marry Mike? Was it a particular conversation, series of conversations, reflections on those conversation? What was your 'aha!' moment like, if you had one?

Christine responds:

I knew before I entered a romantic relationship with Mike that I would marry him. There was no way that I would have invested my emotions and time in such an absurdly long distant, unlikely union unless I knew I could also say "I do".

There was no "aha". Instead I knew that Mike was the sort of man that I would like to live my life with. He was a Christian, a leader, and passionate about kingdom of God in the same manner I was (not to mention tall and handsome!). He seemed to be a worthy partner of the race God had set before me.

married for one month, part 8

kath asked:
  1. what's the best (and worst!?) advice you were given leading up to marriage?
  2. what did prayer and bible reading disciplines look like in the first month of marriage? particularly regarding regularity and shared vs independent time.
  3. now you're a jolly, are you gonna change the name of your blog?

Christine responds:

1. Best - Sacred Influence, pg. 53
Only one perfect man ever walked this earth, and he never married. Since every wife is married to an imperfect man, every wife will have legitimate disappointments in her marriage. Are you going to define your husband by these disappointments, or will you pray that God will open your eyes to the common blessings that your husband provides and to which you often become blinded?
Worst - Hire a professional photographer. LOL! Neither Mike nor I are fussy about weddings and considered not bothering with professional photos. However, some said that we would regret not doing so because photos are all that we would have left to remember the occasion. Honestly? Friends and family took SO MANY wonderful pictures that if we didn't have professional photos we would be perfectly happy.

2. Every night before we fall asleep Mike leads us in prayer. I typically pray while I shower in the morning while Mike prays and reads the Bible. Due to the hectics weeks leading up to and during Worldview Survey as well as dealing with Immigration, Mike and I have not been able to set aside enough time to settle down and read together. However, we plan to arrange our schedules after we move into our new apartment on Thursday to purposefully set aside time to unwind together and read God's Word and other books together.

3. Following this series of posts I will switch to

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

married for one month, part 7

fional asked:

Do you think it's worth waiting til you're married to have sex?

Christine (smells) responds:


Sex has become a wonderful complement to our relationship. The level of intimacy we share matches our commitment to each other.

Is it the above all, end all? No.

Is it marvelous? Yes.

But our marriage is built on love for Jesus Christ and of course communication.

To have waited this long to express that aspect of our love was extremely worthwhile. We have no guilt. We can enjoy each other fully without embarrassment or shame.

Mike adds his two cents worth...
Sex is really good inside of marriage. People and many christians get sold rubbish that they are missing out if they don't have sex before marriage. Speaking from my experience this view is bollocks. I'm glad I waited and if you are waiting too good for you. Don't let people rubbish you for being a virgin. "I have sex with my wife thankyou and it's da bomb."

married for one month, part 6

Laura asked:

Do you recommend stirring up controversy as a way to catch a husband? HA!

Christine responds:

I recommend being honest AND gracious about your convictions. Do not hide your intelligence because you think it will scare men off. But beware of flaunting it.

married for one month, part 5

Anonymous asked:

What do you see as a biblical view of birth control?

Christine responds:

I am not willing to tag my personal view of birth control with the adjective biblical. Not because it is contrary to the Bible. But because I believe there are many godly men and women who have prayerfully considered their options and have come to varying conclusions.

I will say, however, that Mike and I have slightly different views. I have chosen to submit to him in this area of our marriage in order to show honor for his leadership in our life together.

Monday, July 30, 2007

married for one month, part 4

The Borg asked:

What strategies are you both going to employ to get through the difficult times when neither of you seem lovable?

Christine responds:

Mike and I both had problems with this question.

Perhaps it was with the word lovable. We tried to think through instances when we would find ourselves unable to love the other. The reason none came to mind was not because we are still in the honeymoon stage and we just think the other person is absolutely marvelous and can do no wrong. No, I think we accept each other as human and continue to love each other because ... we love each other. I may not feel like making dinner after an evening of gathering together immigration paperwork, but I do it because I know it blesses Mike.

I'm not saying that neither of us have given into annoyance or haven't hurt each other at some stage. But we are very quick to seek forgiveness because to hurt Mike is to inflict misery on myself.

If anyone could answer this differently, I'd be interested to know if you have strategies for such situations.

married for one month, part 3

Anonymous asked:

Do you think that as many people will read your blog now that you are no longer single?

Christine responds:

My purpose for writing has never been (well ... except for those couple of months in 2005) to stroke my ego and get people to read my blog. Look back through my earliest posts. No one commented (except Mike who a couple of months ago went through and read all my past writing and left sweet love notes at the end of each of them.)

That isn't to say, however, that I do not enjoy the exchanges of thought that occur in the comment sections. I often tell people that the comments are the best feature on my blog. I'm convinced that is why people return in between posts ... not to see if I've updated my blog ... but to see if anyone commented!

If no one reads my blog now that I'm married, I don't mind so much ... but I don't see why they wouldn't just because I'm a Mrs. now ... it would probably have to be a drastic change in subject matter or a complete disregard for updating my blog for people to stop checking up on me.

married for one month, part 2

Jonny asked:
  1. Would you accept living in Australia for the rest of your life if you had to?
  2. Or do you miss your friends and family in other countries too much?
  3. Could you eventually come to call yourself Australian and have an understanding and appreciation of our way of life or are you a terrorist?
  4. Do they have any good men in Kentucky? (Obviously I don't care either way).
  5. Do you miss America and wish you could be home?

Christine responds:
  1. If I had a gun pointed at my head? Sure! (I'm soooo just kidding!!!) Seriously? If I had to, yes, I could accept living in Australia for the rest of my life. I once warned Mike that in two years time I might become agitated and restless. I may not even know why at the time, but he ought to be prepared that the reason could be my "biological clock". My entire life I have picked up and moved on average once every 2 years. This has been my lifestyle and it will not be easy for me to stay in one place. Mike is aware of this and has promised to be understanding during times when I am dying to scratch the itch to move. He knew what sort of woman he was marrying.
  2. No, I do not miss my friends to the extent that I am desperate to see them again. Most of my friends share my love for travel and are keen to come to Australia to visit at some point. When I moved here, I hugged my friends and let go of them so that I could cling to what God had waiting for me here.
    Luke 9:62 - Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."
    Thank God, however, for skype and email. These make the transition easier.
  3. I will never be fully Australian. Just as I was never fully German or American. Mike sometimes teases me about the manner in which I pronounce words differently, however, he doesn't want to make me into something I am not. That being said, I am certainly keen to learn all I can about my new home. While watching the news Mike will sometimes interject, "Pay attention! If they ever start a citizenship exam THAT will be on it!"
  4. There are so many wonderful men in Kentucky ... particularly at Southern Seminary and Sojourn ... that I am proud to call my friends. Because I married an Australian does not negate that fact. God was merely saving me for someone and somewhere else.
  5. No, I do not miss America. I LOVE it here. I love Mike. I love Crossroads Church. I love the island of Tasmania (my new home). I love walking to town and Uni. Mike doesn't believe me. "I'll believe it when I hear you tell it to Laura's face when you talk to her next." I do wish I could share some of these new experiences with old friends ... I wish I could be there when Cassey and Jiri welcome their new son to the world. But we all understand that God has called each of us to different places at this stage in our lives. To constantly look back feeds discontentment.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

married for one month, part 1

Anon. asked:
Just wondering... but as another self-described "independent woman," I find myself wanting to know which parts of the engaged/married experience (so far) have been the most trying for a woman who had been used to making her own decisions in every area without having to submit to another human being in each of them. I think it will be very difficult for me to adjust to that, given that I've been living on my own since 1999. Have you experienced frustration or fear or similar feelings along the way? Has it been harder or easier than you expected to live in Biblical "coupledom"? Or is it, frankly, too soon to tell?

Christine responds:
A month or so before I left the United States for Germany I was reading over my vows and was hit by this portion:
I promise, by God's grace, as He enables me to submit to you and to obey you in everything, as I do to the Lord. I recognize you as my head, even as Christ is the head of the church. In so doing I resolve to put my trust in God and not give way to fear.

The weight of this statement overwhelmed and humbled me to the point of tears. I realized then that I could not give into fear because ultimately my trust was not in Mike but in God. Mike will eventually fail me and disappoint me and I will do the same to him!

At that moment I realized that I did have fear in my life: fear that Mike would disappoint me and not live up to an unreasonably high standard. Could I place myself under him knowing this?!

But who am I? I, too, am a sinner. I, too, will disappoint. To expect more of Michael than his human limitations would be to make him god. And if I clung to him in desperation and he failed me, my world would fall apart leading to resentment and then bitterness. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." This is what drove me to tears: this vision of the monster I could become, gripped by the sins of idolatry and bitterness, wounding others because I myself had been wounded.

It was at this moment that I knew I had to reject this idolatry and cling to God and his provisions and perfect goodness.

When Mike somehow disappoints me I am now free to joyfully show him grace and forgiveness. Instead of resenting Mike, I hope in Christ and repent of my own sinful behavior.

I am thankful that this transformation of the mind took place before our wedding. As a result, it has been an incredibly smooth transition into living together in grace and love.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

God is enough

your contributing questions

On July 29, Mike and I will answer questions concerning our first month of marriage. Please contribute any questions you may have in the comment section below.

Questions specifically addressed to Mike will be answered on his blog. Those addressed to me will be handled in a post on this blog.

Sample Question:
Christine, after being married for a month have you retracted any of the radical statements you've made concerning marriage in the past?

Response: Maybe, which radical statements did you have in mind?

formal portraits

Here are the formal wedding portraits. Mike and I brilliantly decided to have them taken the Friday before the wedding, relieving us of immense amounts of stress the day of the event.

Someone on Facebook asked, "Christine, where did you get your wedding dress? It looks like one of the J. Crew gowns that I ogle whenever they send me new catalogs."

I too admired this classic, simple dress from J. Crew. In fact, I admired it so much that three years ago I BOUGHT the dress.

You do the math.

Monday, July 23, 2007

long awaited pictures

Photos have been consolidated by various guests (one of which had an OBSESSION with the girl in the green dress).

Click here if you have the patience of Job to go through over 200* pictures of the wedding.

If you are more of the school of Job's wife, just run through 18 pages of thumbprints and you'll be fine.


*A big fat thanks to Dave, Joel, and Mark for taking pictures during the ceremony/celebration.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


add me on Facebook and you can see pictures of the wedding (coming soon).

Meredith posted some of her pictures of the wedding here on Facebook.