Wednesday, January 31, 2007

post-feminism ethics

I agree with a recent Marie Claire (AUS) article that implied that feminism holds little relevance for women of my generation.

If that is the case, what issues in a post-feminism society might be a stumbling block for a woman in her 20s to accepting the Gospel as truth?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

reminded me of the foothills of the Alps

While in Tasmania, Mike and I took a trip to the southern part of the island. While driving through Huon Valley (known for its apples), I immediately felt at home. It seemed to me to be the very replica of the Bavarian foothills of the Alps (where I grew up as a little girl). I can't wait to move there! Soon ...


Today I sold this pile of books to Half Price Books. It's a conglomeration of theology, history, foreign policy, etc. ... sigh, I hate getting rid of books ... but this only makes up 1/4 of my library. (I hope Mike appreciates what I'm bringing into our marriage.)

Why did I part with them? Well, to lessen the burden of moving them when I move to Tasmania in the middle of the year. (Figuring out how to move my life to the other side of the world ought to be an adventure!)

Anyway, how much do you think I got for the whole lot?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

crank up the opera

"Could you please let us in?" asked Andy as he leaned his head out of the car window directing his request to two young ladies in the car next to us.

"Sorry, there's so many cars and we need to get through, as well."

"But we have a dwarf in the car."

The girls looked at each other in disbelief. What sort of made-up excuse is that?!

At this point Pete, the dwarf, in the front passenger seat, leaned over and waved at the two girls.

Shocked, they mutely waved our vehicle in front of theirs.

It was a balmy Sydney Saturday midnight. The streets in The Rock were not unlike the parks during Victorian London's Season. Sport cars crept by each other at a snail's pace carrying passengers decked out for clubbing. It was the typical "see and be seen" environment. And we were radically out of place.

Andy, Pete, Sophie, Amy, Dave, Mike, and I had spent the evening in a crowded park with thousands of Sydney's music-lovers enjoying Symphony Under the Stars. Being late arrivers we could only find a narrow patch of grass in between two blankets. We were positioned in between smoking Frenchmen on the left and a symphony snob on our right (complete with shushes and the occasional throwing of FOOD at an unruly young person who hadn't headed her warning to be silent!).

As the music played and the sun set behind the skyscrapers, the fruit bats emerged from their trees and swooped through the air to the rhythm of the music of the Americas. (One caused quite a stir among the crowd not too far from us when it's life abruptly ended and it plummeted to the earth in a heap on a picnic blanket.) At the end, fireworks accompanied the orchestra as it played the 1812 Overture.

After unfolding our limbs from our uncomfortable positions and picking ourselves up off the ground, we headed to Pancakes on the Rocks (open 24 hours never without a waiting line). Following a scrumptious late-night dessert of chocolate pancakes, chocolate ice cream, and strawberries, Amy and Dave parted ways for their own adventurous trip back home (which involved all trains shutting down, police helicopters hunting down a criminal, people shoving onto the last bus out to the Shire, the two of them getting separated in the confusion, and Dave almost threatening the bus driver to LET HIM OFF THE BUS so that he could be re-united with his friend) while the rest of us got into Andy's car.

Andy's car was rather dissimilar to the other cars around us. His did not have spinning hubcaps. Nor did it sport a booming bass. His passengers were also not dressed for the occasion. As we slowly made our way down the road, drivers and passengers in the sporty cars passing us did not bother to "check us out."

I had an idea.

"Andy, turn on the radio and crank up the opera!"

*pictures by Mike on our last weekend together in Sydney

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

from the kitchen window

(Photos by David Jolly, 2007, [single])

It was strange not teaching or supervising at a Bible Club for a change.

Our first day at Yamba, I spent most of the time cleaning the kitchen of the facilities at the Aboriginal Hall. My assigned job was "Kitchen" which involved keeping watch over the leaders' personal belongings and handing leaders their group's snacks when they needed them. I was a bit disappointed before we left to find that I would not be working with an age group. But upon reflexion I asked mike not to have it remedied. God knew what He was doing. I would stick with my kitchen job.

The kitchen was gross. It took all I had not to gag when we walked in ... the smell ... the bits of food stuff all over the floor and cabinets and ceiling. I immediately set to work cleaning every surface. Mike thought I was wasting my time, it would just go back to being filthy when I left. But I asked him to indulge me ... at least I felt like I was making a difference. After I did that I sat down to think of how I could organize distribution of supplies and snacks easier. And then I determined that should any child prove difficult and need to be removed from their groups they could be sent to me. I'd assign them a cleaning job to do (still plenty to be done).

Then I sat at the window of the kitchen to observe all the groups at work. It was good to overlook everything to get a broader perspective.

Because of that I was able to pick up on things and encourage the group leaders during our group time in the morning and after we left the club each day. I encouraged them to have a sense of urgency. We'd only be there a week. Loving on the children and being nice wasn't going to save them. I repeatedly emphasized that the Gospel needed to be on our lips at every possible opportunity ... at snack time ... at crafts, etc. How will they believe unless they hear?

Many of the leaders were only in their teens and I could tell that they themselves didn't quite have a grasp on how to communicate the Gospel ... how to explain it. I was sympathetic because I, myself, didn't quite know how to clearly communicate it to unbelievers, not to mention CHILDREN, till this past summer when Mike sent me a copy of Two Ways to Live (which REALLY helped shape the way I share the Gospel with others. I used it with the teens and kids throughout the summer in Washington and Oregon.)

A number of the leaders came from Charismatic churches while a handful were Baptists and most were Reformed. I was greatly encouraged by the work ethic and passion of my Charo brothers and sisters. The repeatedly urged the others to pray and were enthusiastic about the Lord. "How good's the Lord!" Their apparent love for the children was unmistakable. In many ways they put their more theologically sound partners in the Gospel to shame.

Mike and I may be moving to Yamba/Maclean when Mike is through with Bible College (and after one/two years of ministry apprenticeship). That has been his plan for years and I'm willing to go, as well.