Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ô la mortelle injure! La cadence est moins lente!

Et la chute plus sûre! Nous rabattrons bien leur caquets!

Nous serons bientôt leurs laquais!

Qu'ils sont laids! Chers minois! ~ from Pavane

From this:

    To This:

Saturday we are doing the Sinfonia ~ which has the advantage of being local!  Bonus, Star is singing with her cousin, Rosemarie Arthars, & Dimitri Kopanikis, one of Star's singing teachers, so it will be quite a family affair!  Marie, a mezzo~soprano,  is soloing.  Sooo looking forward to that!  Mum is coming down.  Gran is coming.  Dearest is coming.  Dino hopes to come & island friends are also going to make the effort.  Star gets well supported when it is cheap & local!

It should be a great concert!  V.M is doing Faure's requiem & the Pavane from the ballet as well as Madame Butterfly's Humming Chorus, Massenet's Meditation from Thais & Sibileus' Findlandia. *sigh*  So much great music!  My cup overfloweth!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Night at the Ballet.

Star was worried because I was spending my birthday in town, in the Green Room, doing much of nothing but I actually had a really, really nice day.

Firstly, on the way in, we detoured.  Star likes to take cookies or something else backstage to allieviate the boredom ~ & the terrible hunger pains half the kids seem to suffer.  Certainly no cookies ever come out again no matter how large the packet!  Then Star announced she was buying me shoes for my birthday.  My mother can tell tales about buying me shoes, most of which ended with both of us in tears & near hysteria & no shoes in sight so I rather looked askance at this one.  

Given the odd shape of my feet I scanned the rows & rows of shoes quickly.  Whatever I chose had to be flat ~ no heels for me ~ & really soft.  Voila! A sandle~y pair met the critea.  It took all of 5 minutes.  My mother will never believe this though I was certainly wearing the shoes when she saw me.  Star also added a large butterfly scarf in blue shades before I could convince her to leave the shop.

Then into town.  We were hours early so we could meet ma's train & be taken out to lunch before the matinee performance.  I have decided meals in town are dodgy as.  Firstly ma & I chose things that were apparently off the breakfast menu & no longer available so we had to scramble to make a second choice. Star & I went with the antipasto plate.  It arrived with some poor small slivered fish centre stage!!!!  I hurridly hid that somewhere I couldn't see it.  Disgusting.  Everything else was lovely, though far too much of it.  The olives where the size of small honeyeater eggs. 

Just as we were finishing up Dan Crestani wandered past.  Star, already mad & giddy, promptly waved like a lunatic with the big cheesy grin she usually saves for coppers.  Dan hesitated, did a double take, looked from Star to me & back again then wandered over looking puzzled.

Do I know you?

No, Star said cheerfully. I'm with the choir.

Ah!  Light broke.  Dan said he'd been hoping to meet everyone involved in the production so actually chatted with my lunatic child for 5 minutes.  So lovely of him as I'm sure he didn't need to be bothered right then & was probably on his way to warm up.  My mother said he didn't look big enough to play Merlin but I told her I'd thought he was very good though I'd only seen him in rehersals still with script to hand & on the monitors ~ but then my idea of Merlin is probably a little different to most people's & has far less to do with the Arthurian story than what druids actually did.  I hope it made ma's day as she's just had a cornea graft & her eye was still a little sore.

We walked Star round to the stage door & I collected my pass before walking ma round to the Playhouse.  I saw her in then returned to the Green Room for my nap!  Just as well as there is a lot of waiting time with these things & by the time the matinee was over we really just had time to see ma onto her train home & 3 hours to fill.  I took Star down to Max Brenner's for a snack.

After our huge lunch neither of us was particularly hungry but I knew it was Star's last chance for anything so we did the fondue ~ which was at least healthy in parts.  We got there before the crowds too & wandered along Southbank before I abandoned Star at the stage door & went to wait for our friend, who was terrific about arriving right on time.

And finally, I actually got to see this production!  I loved the set design, which was simple but hugely effective.  Modern technology is a wonderful thing as they just used lighting & projection for most of it.  Supurb!  The dancing was very physical ~ which I was aware of, but much more sensual than it seemed on the monitors & certainly not PG rated.  A good thing that Star never actaully saw this! lol  Dan, as Merlin was brilliant.  He did a wonderful job of conveying the magic, the mystery, the naunces of mythos. Rachel Walsh danced Gueinevere; Keian Langdon danced Arthur & Hao Bin danced Lancelot.  Of course, having seen this in rehearsal & on the monitors I knew lots of it & already had my favourite bits I eagerly anticipated:  Star in her monk's robe ~ because she was so far over on the extended stage the monitos don't actually cover that area & so, though I'd heard her, I hadn't ever seen her; the entrapment of Merlin by Morgaine;  The joust ~ which was quirky & fun & excellently done!; the Pavane ~ which is just an exquisite piece of music & so lovely!

Ma left me my present ~ all 3 seasons of the brilliant BBC comedy To The Manor Born starring Penelope Keith.  If you've never seen this you don't know what a treasure you're missing!  Brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Night at the Theatre.

It's so dreamy, oh fantasy free me.

So you can't see me, no, not at all.In another dimension ...~ Rocky Horror Picture Show.
We all remember Riff Raff.  Unforgettable.  Just one of those characters but not someone you want your 16 year old daughter emulating.  Well I don't.  So my eyebrows rather went up when a delighted Star arrived home & announced she had landed this starring role in her drama group's up & coming production.  OK, I have a sneaking enjoyment for the Rocky Horror Show but it hardly seemed the sort of production suitable for the under 18 crowd to put on.
"Oh Mum!  It's nothing like the original! "  You can say that again!
Last night this rather short & bizarre show had its one night stand.  Dino & I dutifully toddled down to the community hall for our Friday night entertainment, dropped our  $2 donation in the bowl, found ourselves seats up the back & prepared to be generous & encouraging.
The drama group has been rather a thorn in my side since its inception, mostly because so few of the kids take it seriously enough to actually learn their lines in time for any production & several things have been scuttled because they just couldn't do it.  It is disheartening when, like Star, you have been word perfect for weeks & able to focus on actually acting rather than just delivering your lines.  Granted Shakespeare is difficult ~ but hardly impossible & I tend to think if Star, who is very ADD, can manage to learn all her lines & deliver them with aplomb, so can everyone else.
Anyway, the last production, which was to have been a heavily edited Dream was scuttled.  I felt for Star who had wrestled manfully with the Shakespearean English until she could deliver her lines intelligibly.  This year the drama was a combined dance/drama thing & they spent several workshops coming up with a plot & dialogue.    The younger ones are about grade 4/5; the older ones upper high school age but even so very few of the kids are able to successfully brain storm that sort of thing.  [About here we sing the praises of a homeschool education because Star is the exception!] 
The finished product bore little resemblance to the Rocky Horror Show ~ which is indisputably a good thing!  The younger girls gave a most wonderful rendition of the 3 weird sisters' speach from Macbeth.  Star proclaimed one of the balcony speeches from Romeo & Juliette.  She is a ham & dressed as Riff Raff, brought the house down.  And we got a version of The Time Warp.  There is something to be said for being performance hardened.  Star knows how it should be done so even though this was her first year of dance all her movements were clear & well defined.  Besides, she loves an audience!  She was having an absolute ball ~ & it makes such a big difference. 
The island is a very small duck puddle so it is very easy to make a huge splash & Star got plenty of accolades for her performance.  She lapped it all up; why not; it was lots of fun, but tonight we are back to the real thing: 3/4 boredom for a hap'ny's worth of notoriety & the choir doesn't even get recognized.  I am taking Star's dance/drama teacher with me to tonight's performance as Qld Ballet gave us complimentary tickets.  I was absolutely delighted ~ especially seeing it is my birthday & Star has been feeling terribly guilty about me spending my big day holed up in the Green Room!  Ma is taking herself to the matinee & we will have lunch together so it should be a pretty good day all round.

It's just a jump to the left.

And then a step to the right.

Put your hands on your hips.

You bring your knees in tight....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The greengages had a pale blue bloom, especially in the shade, but in the sun the flesh showed amber through the clear green skin; if it were cracked the juice was doubly warm & sweet ~ The Greengage Summer.

It's been a while since we had a homeschool post ~ but then it's been a while since our homeschooling has been settled & organised.  Just the same I did sort out our book study for this term ~ one of my very favourites that I thought Star was now old enough for & might actually enjoy ~ & though she won't say I think she is rather.

So we are reading Rumor Godden's The Greengage Summer.  The Americans, typically, renamed it nonsensically Loss of Innocence, but this is much more than the coming of age story it is tweeted as.  Godden is brilliant at capturing the inbetween world of the child teetering on the brink of adulthood .

I think one of the things I love most about Godden is her subtlety, & she can be very subtle.  The Grey children are selfish & in an effort to alleviate this undesirable state of affairs their mother packs them up holus~bolus & heads for the battlefields of France that they might see for themselves what others had sacrified on their behalf.  The Grey children come from a grey, drab & uninteristing England into the wonders & light of a French summer on the Marne.  Their mother is taken ill on the journey & the children are left to their own devices at their hotel, Les Olliets.   Olliets translates as carnations ~ the flower of adult love.  They are suddenly thrust into an adult world they never knew existed, full of nuances, betrayals, hypocrisies wherein the budding beauty of the eldest daughter, Joss, triggers a series of tragic events for which their unthinking selfishness is responsible & from which they can never return.

The other thing I like about Godden is her strong visuals & sense of place.

It looked a garden from one of our French grammar books, hideous & formal, but beyond it a low box hedge bounded a wilderness of grass & shrubs & trees, bamboos, a monkey puzzle smothered in creepers, & tangles of roses.  Overgrown paths wound among them where white statues glimmered; some of the statues were broken, their arms & legs hacked off; one was lying on its side.  Beyond the wilderness was what seemed to be an orchard, & in its high wall was a blue door.  As I looked at the door a barge hooted down the river.

The garden was light, but it was a young light without sun, clear & stained green by the  shrubs & trees...

It brings back, very clearly, memories of France: the light, the smells, the quick French it is so hard to follow, the gauzy light [one understands better the French impressionists], the food!  A French patisserie is something to behold!  And like all the best writers Godden is inadvertently educational because the Marne is also Champagne country & the children learn about how champagne is made.

We will look at the country & history of the Marne for history, which will tie things nicely together given we are unlikely to actually finish Star's school work by the end of term, let alone by the return of work date. More rehearsals & performances are looming & it will be that way all term so will will do what we can when we can & if we have to continue into the hols ~ well, that's the price we pay.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Animal Antics.

Purring is an automatic safety valve device for dealing with happiness overflow. ~ Anonymous

 We have had a kookaburra hanging round.  He shows so little fear of us ~ or the cats for that matter ~ that it is obvious he has been hand fed by one of the neighbours.  He is so brazen we had an incident last week that has left us gob smacked.

I have been away a lot at night with Star & Dearest has been cooking even on the nights I am here because I have been granny napping in the afternoons, catching up on the erratic sleep I get when Star is in performance mode.  What Dearest likes to cook is one pan roasts, finishing of the spuds in hot oil just before he serves up. 

Our weather has been a little warmer than usual so the other night Dearest opened the kitchen window that doesn't have a screen as well as the ones that are screened.  To his astonishment the kookaburra flew in the window, nicked a broiling hot spud straight out of the oil & took off out the window again! Ouch!  I bet he had a burnt mouth!
Then there are the cats.  Marlow is a prize idiot but Kirby is really, really smart ~ smart & neurotic.  Ever since he arrived he has loved being outside.  Indeed, although he was really spooked, he couldn't wait to get outside & explore.  He spends a lot of time outside & the joy of his life is when his people join him outside.

Unfortunately this is tick country & every day I go over both cats really carefully.  I, however, have been getting home after midnight & the other night when Kirby came in he decided he couldn't wait till I arrived home & made a fuss of Dearest until Dearest noticed the tick crawling up his fur.  He then perched at Dearest's eye level & turned his head to show Dearest the tick that had attached itself above his eyebrow & waited  without moving for Dearest to remove it.  Then he watched with fascinated interest as Dearest set the ticks alight.  They make a satisfying *pop* as they explode & I swear that cat takes great satisfaction in knowing they have come to a nasty end!

When I finally arrived home Kirby crawled into my lap & snuggled in with a huge sigh.  No, my boys don't appreciate me being gone from home so much but they are much better than they used to be & know I will eventually arrive back & there will be a special treat in their food bowl.  It sweetens the absence just a little!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Double Portion.

“You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” ~ 2Kings:2One of my very favourist stories can be found in 2nd Kings.  You probably know it.  It is one of the most dramatic in the Old Testament.

The time has come for the prophet Elijah to depart the world.  This was commonly known amongst the prophetic people.  Anyway, in those days prophets trained to be prophets under a practising prophet by becoming their servant & Elijah's servant was Elisha.

Elijah knows God is coming for him so twice he suggests Elisha leave him but this Elisha refuses to do.  He is Elijah's servant.  More, he is Elijah's designated heir to the prophetic mantle.  He is sticking with him to the end.

Finally Elijah turns to Elisha & says: Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?”  And do you know what Elisha asks for?! A double portion!!!!  I don't know why this has always struck me with amazament but it has.  Elisha's not content to just accept the leftover scraps.  He's bold.  He says, in effect, I'll have what you have ~ & then some!

I was sharing recently, because it struck me that Elisha was onto something & so I have been praying for a double portion.  The person I was sharing with looked at me dumbfounded then said in tones of utmost horror, Don't you think that's a little greedy?

I'd never thought of it like that so I thought about it & here's what I concluded.  My heavenly father is rich.  I could ask for a hunderedfold of His spirit & it would still not even begin to drain His resources.  We are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our strength & all our might & all our soul ~ something not humanly possible.  The only way to actually obey that command is if His Spirit enables us so logically the more of His spirit we have the better able we are to love Him in the way He desires to be loved.  Thirdly, we're not shy about asking for worldly things.    You know people will tell me all the time that they are saving for this, that or the other or that they are upgrading to a newer model whether it's a house a car or a t.v set. Don't you find that just a little odd?

Here's God filling His word with promises we can claim & we fix our eyes firmly on the things of this world.  Why shouldn't we be greedy for the things of God?  Why shouldn't we desire to have as much as He is willing to gift us with? ~ & He's prepared to gift us very lavishly indeed if we just ask. 

The things of this world will pass away.  They are already going.  They rust; they mold; they plain wear out.  The things of the spirit do not perish.  Why do we not eagerly desire that which we can actually take with us into the Kingdom? 

In the Last Days the people of God are going to face terrible persecution.  If I'm around when that happens I want to be like Elisha, who finding himself heir to the mantle of Elijah, struck the water with Elijah's cloak & demanded: Where is the Lord God of Elijah?”

He did expect to be answered. ~ & he was; decisively. Yep, I want a double portion!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eating sushi has become the new Russian roulette. ~ Eli Saddler.
Doing nothing is soooo exhausting.  I have done nothing for 2 days straight & I am over the Green Room.  In all honesty I had planned to wander round Southbank yesterday.  Not that I have any money to spend but the markets are always fun to look through & there is people watching.  My people watching embarrasses my children but people are just too fascinating for words. 

As it turned out it was cold & windy & threatening rain so I decided discretion was the better part of valour & holed up in the Green Room where I was subjected to other people's viewing choices on the monitors.  Not that I'm whinging.  Either version of the King & I is good; I got the Jodie Foster version. Later it was Doc Martin so, you know, good taste.  But last night was noisy.  I think there must have been productions in full swing in every theatre because the starting times & intervals are staggered & there just seemed to be more very noisy people in the G.R than usual & I am plain tired; tired enough at any rate to sleep through a good part of the noise.  And Star seemed more in evidence than usual too but she is bored witless unless she's actually singing ~ & once again the only 1st alto, which is hard work.  Threw one of the sopranos off enough to become an alto temporarily!  Oh.  My. Besides the games in the dressing room are getting hairier by the minute because the adults waiting to be cued are also very bored & finding ways to alieviate that boredom. Hmmm.

Anyway the kids had a 3 hour break between the matinee & the evening performance which was enough time to take a walk & go out to eat.  They opted for the sushi bar down near the cinema.  Oh. Dear.  I'm not a big fan of Japanese food ~ not as it arrives in Japanese restraunts round here.  I have a friend who cooks ordinary Japanese food when she is in Australia & that is fine & perfectly edible but seafood, particularly raw seafood is just disgusting.  I don't care if you happen to like it, I find it gaggy.  Consequentially Star & I have never done a sushi bar ~ & if I have my way we will never do another one!

I have food issues anyway & the sight of a constant stream of food, much of which I just find gross, going round & round puts me off.  Then even with the menu to hand deciding what is actually safe to eat is a bit of a Russian Roulette gamble.  It could be anything! As Star found out.  Ah, well.  Live & Learn.  Several of the kids had ordered peach tea with pearls.  My eyebrows went up at that but one of the girls was insistant that the pearls were just ground up horses hooves jellified.  Why would you eat that?  Why would you call it pearls?  But then why whould you eat shark fins & squid?

Neither Star nor I particularly enjoyed our meal but it was an interesting experience. Plain fact is we are not sophisticates.  We enjoyed our icream in a waffle cone much, much more.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The problem of Israel.

As we move further into the End Times the question arises of Israel.  I have been telling my children for years to watch the Middle East because what happens in the Middle East is central to everything else & more than any other sign I can think of is a good indication of where we are in God's time~line.

We are commanded to read the times.  Ignorance is neither bliss nor what Christ meant when He told us no~one would know the day nor the hour of His return.  That there even is an Israel is a miracle of sorts because for 2000 years there wasn't.  The area was Palestine & not only did the Arabs hold it they were loath to give it up & had the idea, shortly after Israel's inauguration as a Nation to push Israel bodily into the sea ~ resulting in the 6 Day War which the Arab nations lost & Israel won.  The Arabs have neither forgotten nor forgiven.

As I read my scriptures I have a problem.  I am told to pray for the peace of Israel ~ when I know there will be no peace until Christ returns. Guess that is what I am meant to pray for.  Israel is a vexed  thorn in the Nations' flesh.  As far as I can work out none of the promises given to Israel have ever been rescinded.  They are still in effect & God will keep His promises in regard to Israel.  It is something we should pay heed to because whatever Israel's apostasy & whatever price they will pay for that apostasy they are still God's chosen people & the apple of His eye.

As I understand that Jesus was an observant Jew, so I understand that the bible is a Middle Eastern text.  Unfortunately for me the bible has been taken over by western scholars who have put a western slant on much of the context & inadvertently obscured what is plain & unmistakable from a Middle Eastern viewpoint.  I have found Walid Shoebat interesting & helpful in this regard.  As an Arab Christian he has a unique understanding of scripture.

At present I am busily working through the prophets replacing all the Ancient names for the countries around Israel with their modern equivalent so that the scriptures make better sense in context. There is no Tyre & Edom but we still have Lebanon & Jordan ~ & the hatred of Ishmael for the son of promise has not abated through all the centuries.

I was deeply distressed a while ago by an acquaintance who took the opportunity of being confined on the boat with me for 20 minutes to give me her insights on the Middle East ~ all of which she has from liberal journalistic friends though as a professing Christian she had no idea of anything the bible itself has to say in regards to Israel.  I could only stand so much & eventually began quoting scripture at her.

I'm not the brightest spark in the tinder box & I don't have the scholarship to argue the case for Israel in any depth but I know that God keeps His promises & He has promised to restore Israel.  The Israelites have never been anything else but His stiff~necked, stubborn & wayward children who are His chosen people.  Where we stand in regard to Israel at the end of time is one of the defining moments.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

 O, wad some power the giftie gi'e us To see oursel's as ithers see us ~ Robbie Burns.

Somewhere deep inside, most women carry an image of beauty.  You know the one; the if I could change one thing about me picture; the if I were slim & willowy image;  The I wish I looked like ... sighs.  In our deepest hearts we equate being beautiful with being loved.  Our sense of self is so warped that even the women unanimously considered beautiful by the rest of us think they are ugly.

It's not that we aren't loved.  Most of us are loved by someone ~ & we know it.  The trouble is we don't feel loved.  What we feel is fat or ugly, or stupid or plain, or whatever it is that keeps you awake at night squirming in the dark.

The desire to be loved is so ingrained ~ & we have so tied being loved to being beautiful ~ that any number of women ruin their feet in stupid shoes to give their legs a longer, slimmer look, tuck their tired tummies into corsets, & wear any peculiar assortment of uncomfortable clothing no matter how impractical or immodest in an effort to attract that lovin' feelin'.

The plain fact is most of us are very ordinary ~ & we are going to remain that way no matter how we push & pull, poke & prod, slather ointments & creams into tired creases, tired bodies into tight outfits till we resemble overstuffed sofas bulging in strange places. Some of us have difficulty even putting an outfit together & wander round looking like a tired & alien object the cat dragged in & forgot behind the fridge. 

Now apart from the sin of covetness which I'm sure the Lord meant to extend to coveting our neighbour's lovely high cheekbones, peaches & cream skin, large dewy eyes, He did actually mean what he said about the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in His sight. 

Now I came to certain conclusions a long time ago. I am plain.  Not ugly, not grossly unattractive. Plain.  On those occasions I am forced to look in a mirror I don't see I've got nice eyes & quite a good smile.  I see a long horsey face ~ no dispersions on horses but what looks good on the horse is far less attractive on me!   I see that my cross~bite never quite fixed itself & my face is lopsided. Five children & menopause have done disasterous things to my figure & age is catching up to me fast ~ which could be good.  Now I have to squint to see all these imperfections.

Now I honestly don't care that I tend to look like a car wreck.  Generally my mind is on other things & not only do I get that physical beauty is skin deep, I know my scriptures & concluded it's a good thing the Lord looks on the heart.  Just the same I think we all hanker to be beautiful in the eyes of those we love, only to get a reality check every time we look in the mirror.

Well I learnt something this week & I pass it along to you my sisters in Christ, because if your men are anything like mine they pretty much take you for granted.  It is understood, not only by my sons but also by my sons' friends, that they are never ever, under any circumstances, to get into a car with a drunk driver.  They are to ring me & I will come & get them & take them to where they are going.  It goes without saying that anyone in the house when the food hits the table gets fed ~ because we know not all of Dino's friends work regularly & sometimes the only meal they see in a day is the one they get here.  I pick up kids who have no petrol to put in their bombs till pay day & drive them home because they have worked hard all day leaving the island before sun~up, arriving back after sundown having had to walk to the jetty in the morning.  I get rung for that recipe they've been bragging about but can't remember how to cook, to do crosswords down the phone, & provide the theological ammunition for inhouse debates. I figure that's what mum's do.  Mine did.  Yours probably did.  Chances are you do the same.

When God made man in His own image He made him with a rather strange little quirk.  A man may be lured by outward beauty.  He may sucumb for a moment to the lure of the flesh.  He may use & abuse what is carelessly offered but when the tin tacks are down he sees beauty very differently.  He sees it as God does.

My son recently told me [as we discussed these very things] that I am the most beautiful woman he knows.]  Gulp.

You may all now go, Aww, isn't he sweet?  [He is].  Just remember the mirror is the devil's invention & the men in our lives look on us & see the quiet & tranquil spirit we are unaware of but that God has been diligently cultivating in us & we are beautiful in their eyes!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Looking unto Jesus.

Living fearlessly is not the same thing as never being afraid. It's good to be afraid occasionally. Fear is a great teacher.


Confession time.  Did I ever tell you I'm not very brave?  Because I'm not.  Oh, I'm not scared of tiddly things like snakes & spiders [though rats & mice rather do my head in].  Nope I save it for the good things, like drowning.  And I live on an island!  I tell you my imagination can make quantum leaps from .00 to 90 an hour in 0.00 seconds.

Like coming home from church on Sunday in Dino's tinny.  There I was, perched in the bow like Jacky enjoying how big the sky was, how wide the vast expanse of sea was,  & how big the stars pulsed & reflected in the deep, dark water.  Whole 'nother thing when the motor cut out.  I promptly envisioned us drifting out to sea, never to be found, dying slowly of thirst, starvation & salt madness.  Yep.  I'm that good.

I have to live with me & it's not always fun.  I have the sort of conversations with God where I get told to shut up & listen, where I'm shown the sort of things to have me looking for the largest, highest rock around with the deepest, darkest cave ~ & the mindset to hibernate there for the duration.  I am not allowed.  Honestly.

So the question is, how then should we live

I know the time is growing short; just how short I'm not sure, but much shorter than I want to think about or am comfortable with.  See the above.  I have been aware for several years that the Lord is gathering His remnant together to address the End Times: His Bride, the church within The Church that is wholly Christ's regardless of denomination.  He is raising up intercessors & prophets. He is raising up evangalists & preachers.  We are seeing Acts 2:17 fulfilled in our time And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams...

The Harvest stands ready in the fields.  I am watching the workers go out to gather it in, a great harvest that is being redeemed by the Lord.


There is a second crop & it is to be found within the churches because the people of God have grown soft & lazy.  It is weak & grown thin & spindly & it is not producing fruit as it should because we have forgotten the first lessons of love:  We have been redeemed at a price; we must lose our lives to save them; we must pick up our cross & follow Him. 

As a people we have been called to holiness.  All that is is to be set apart for the sole use & purpose of our Lord ~ but how many of us live our lives as if we actually believe that?  It is time, & past time, to do a little house cleaning.  To examine ourselves in the Light of Christ & make the necessary changes.

The warning is not given to the church to generate a spirit of fear.  That is never it's intended purpose.  No, the warning is given that we might prepared ourselves, be ready, that we might listen attentively to what the Living Word is saying to us & be strengthened & enabled to go out into the world to perform those good works that have been prepared ahead of time for us to do.

God's spirit is not a spirit of fear. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

There is a place in the ocean so deep that no light shines, no wave breaks.  Whatever the froth & turmoil on the surface of the ocean the deepest place remains untouched, unmoved.  So it should be with us.  We should rest so deeply in Christ that His perfect loves casts out all fear but we cannot enter into that rest if we allow the things of this world to distract us, tempt us, divert us, corrupt us.

I cannot overemphasis the importance of personal holiness because it is clear evidence of the new life, of the presence of the Holy Spirit manifesting in our lives. Without it we will not see God.  That aside, I am convinced it is the one thing that can convince a non~believer of the reality of Christ.  Nothing attracts ~ & nothing repels~ like genuine holiness.  It brought Christ all the way to the cross.  It will bring us there too.  The only way through is to cling tightly to the Lord's hand, looking constantly unto Jesus as the waters rise around us.

For a moment there even Peter walked on the water!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

...holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away. 2 Timothy3:5

Scripture enjoins us to Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another~and all the more as you see the Day approaching &  it always distresses me when I find myself without a body of believers to worship with.
Unfortunately not all bodies of believers are the same & some we are expressly warned to stay away from because they may have the outward form but they do not have the spirit of God.  That is an ugly & unpalatable truth but some churches have had their itching ears tickled for so long they no longer feel even a squirm of alarm at what is preached from the pulpit.  As one of our children commented angrily after yet another unsuccesful church visit, "I get fed better just staying home & talking with my family!"

I don't think we are particularly hard to please.  We aren't after a fancy building, prosperity preaching, a WOW! worship team, overhead projectors & carpet on the floor.  None of us care how many hues & shades people's skin colour comes in, or who they were before they came to Christ.  We do require evidence that the word of God is preached accurately & that the Spirit of God is moving amongst His people.  It sounds like an easy ask but we have not found it so.  We have been in churches that are outwardly rich & seem to have had blessing after blessing heaped up, pressed down & overflowing but dead at the heart.  We have been in churches that have so watered down the gospel it is almost unrecognizable, or worse, so weakened the people of God they are easy prey for wolves.  We have been in curches that cling to their traditions like drowning men, afraid that if they let go there will be nothing of God to sustain them.  We have been in Happy~Clappy churches that forget Christ was a man of sorrows & aquainted with grief.  Much as I admire Lewis I think he was wrong to encourage people to simply attend their nearest local church because not all churches are the same ~ & that is as true of the Alglican tradition of which Lewis was a part, as it is of the wider body of believers.

I have had to think long & hard about certain things. Do I believe God abandons people or churches?  Well, actually...No.  But there are people & churches He cannot work with because they are dulled to the things of the Spirit.  Without a clear directive from the Lord that is not a church for a believer who wants to continue to grow in the Lord.  It may be a place, if the Lord so calls you, for a believer to minister but I actually think that is quite rare because it is iron that sharpens iron, otherwise the edge grows dull & gifts languish unused. I think the heart of God is grieved beyond measure when His people shut Him out.

At different times I have worshiped in just about every convievable mainstream denomination ~ & then some.  My allegiance is not to denomination but to Christ. So having mentored & discipled Dino for over 12 months I knew we needed to find him a church because people are like sponges.  They soak up the things of God but unless you also wring them out they just get waterlogged & rancid.  He needed an opportunity to minister as well as to be ministered to ~ & my heart quailed!  I hate church hunting.  I hate fronting a crowd of strangers.  I hate fumbling through an unfamiliar service.  I hate like poison the necessary process of discernment ~ & I knew I was along for the ride because Dino does not drive yet. 

I was happy enough to go wherever Dino felt led so long as the fundamental critea were met & I must say the Lord is full of surprises because Dino chose a Charismatic church.  I was leery.  Dearest has a thing about the charismatic churches & I didn't want an inhouse war erupting. Having been dragged along Dearest is actually really happy because nothing is over the top but there is a great emphasis on hearing from God, knowing your scriptures & following the Spirit.  So far so good. Even Star is happy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The fishermen know the sea is dangerous & the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for staying ashore. ~ Vincent van Gogh.

Just as I'm thinking it's all good & I can do this, God throws a spanner in my works.  For 2 days in a row I left home in time to brave the peak hour city traffic but it's QPAC & by now we know our way in there pretty well & can mostly do it on automatic pilot.  Star doesn't need to feed me sugar at well regulated intervals or reassure me as I have yet another meltdown in car & traffic.  She plugs in her earphones & leaves me to concentrate on the erratic Queensland drivers who have yet to learn why indicators were fitted to their vehicles or that amber lights mean, Prepare to Stop not, Hit the Aaccelerator Hard.

So there I am toddling onto the highway happily enough when Star happens to glance out her window.  Her bobbing & singing grinds to a stunned stop.

"Oh. My. Gosh." She breathed.  Behind her a glowering sky roiled & fumed trailing  waspy tendrils & sparking electric fury  in bullwhip cracks.  It was the sort of sky to make my heart quail. I glanced at my watch calculating the minimum amount of time needed to negotiate Brisbane traffic on a Saturday afternoon & the speed of the rabid, bruised clouds threatening to hail on our parade just as soon as possible.  Within minutes twilight descended & cars switched on their headlights.   A little  wind gusted dead leaves before it & the air was ripe with the smell of coming rain.

It was a good time to pray ~ & I did.  A second trip bumper to bumper in zero visibility I did not need. 

We got the edge of the rain but it was not enough to halt the flow of traffic & I scooted down Grey Street & into the QPAC parking with a mighty sigh of relief.  We were early.  I can't say enough nice things about QPAC.  I didn't even have to ask for a pass last night.  Someone had obviously made a note & I got handed one nicely peeled & ready to stick on my jumper.  Star dumped her music, make~up & Blacks then we went & got her an icecream & I waited in one of the shortest lines I've ever seen at Max Brenners for a Dark hot chocolate to take with me into the Green Room.

I found my usual spot in front of the monitors because by 7.30 most people are either in the pit or on stage & I virtually have the place to myself.  Both monitors were tuned to the footy & while I occasionally watch Union if the Wallabies & the All Blacks are going head to head I'm not interested otherwise & have no idea which teams were creating all the havoc & noise.

As the studio calls came through & people departed for their various nether regions I hunted round for the buttons & flipped one of the monitors over to the ballet stage because ~ Opening Night.  I wanted to see how it had all turned out.  Besides, I can gauge where we are & when Star is likely to arrive demanding food & whether or not I had spotted her hooded form & why does her choir like me better than her.  Sometimes I feel like the company mascot!  Unfortunately the sound defeated my technological expertise so I watched the ballet to the howls & whoots of the footy teams annihilating each other ~ which made for interesting viewing indeed.  It was exhausting so I went to sleep & woke just in time to see Arthur being carted off to Avalon ~ which meant we were nearly done & Star would arrive any tick of the clock ~ which she eventually did towing another young choir member & wanting to know if we could give her a ride home.  Goodbye 11 o'clocker, hello last boat of the night.

Last night Star found herself the only child to begin with.  Everyone else was at the eisteddfod.  She was also the only 1st alto in the entire choir ~ which meant she had to hold her part all on her own & had to sing alone for a sort [very short] segment.  She wasn't overly happy.  I have heard & I have heard how the chords just sound wrong ~ even though they aren't~ & how her part always sounds weird in her ears so I know that to sing it all on her own required a huge amount of sang froid & confidence.  Luckily very little rattles Star.

It was after 10pm when we left town & once we are out of the city the traffic thins to a trickle, then to nothing at all.  We made really good time but got lost once we'd dropped our passenger in the unlit back streets & paddled round in the dark trying to figure out where we were!  I was too tired & grumpy to find it funny.  Still we got a park right at the jetty which meant we could sit warmly in the car & wait for the next boat while Star regaled me with all the backstage gossip ~ most of which is unrepeatable in polite company & unmodified because Star looks 20 rather than 16. Sometimes the only thing to do is laugh ~ & we have a well developed sense of humour!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Overturning the neat & tidy dictum....

Creative minds are rarely tidy. ~ Anon

The garden grows without us.  Star's schedule came through today; the garden  will have to continue to grow without us.  The madness has begun & it will not end until the New Year.

Camelot opens Saturday.  Despite the storms & hail I got Star to rehearsal on time last night ~ even early ~ so she could glory in her monk's robe which is unbearably hot under lights & which I could have told her was going to be unbearably hot.  Concert Blacks for the pit. 

After a lifetime of absorbing the dictum on how important it is to present *neat & tidy*,  Star found herself in the unenviable position of not being able to get her hair mussy enough for her dishevelled monk's look.  All that conditioner has had a powerful calming effect on her hair!  All choristors in trouble for drowning out the orchestra.  Ummmm....I don't think that's suppossed to happen.

Dress rehearsal tonight.  Thumbs up to QPAC who have always been very good to us, accomodating the quirks of islanders with unusual needs for space to occupy & boats to run for.  As a performer Star is accounted for but it makes such a difference to me when I am able to park myself unobstrusively in the Green Room & read [or sleep, as the case may be ], especially when the weather is as inclement as it has been lately!

I'm no ballet critic but what I have seen of Camelot I have enjoyed very much so if you're a Brisbanite ~ well you know where QPAC is, go check it out!  I think I have got tickets for my birthday.  I'm going to take Dino.  Not sure what he will make of all the men in tights! Still, Star invited him & big brothers are such suckers for little sisters!
Crawling into town in a massive storm with zero visibility = cat~napping in the Green Room.  Woke to Faure's Pavane.

Gorgeous.  I could hear the Star, who sings alto.

Some things are so worth it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Going out on a limb...

A while back we had this discussion on prophecy.  You may remember. We discussed it here when discussing the covering, & here

When I really have stuff on my mind I stop blogging while I wrestle with it & you, my longsuffering friends, get the drivel in my life.  I'd apologise but there's no point.  I know perfectly well I'll do exactly the same thing next time because it seems I am chronically incapable of giving my mind in depth to more than one idea at a time.

There were several issues I raised ~ beyond the fact I get my knickers in a twist about the whole thing.  Let's face it: Isaiah was sawn in two; Jeremiah got dropped down a well & forgotten; Amos was tortured; Malachi died young...shall I go on?  And besides, I believe I pointed out I was told to wait.

I believe that stricture is now lifted.

If you belong to the household of God then this is first & foremost for you.  It is for you because God desires His people to be fully aligned with His will.  He desires that you be fully armed & prepared for what is to come & He desires workers who are fully committed to Him because the harvest stands ripe & ready in the fields but the workers are few.

At the beginning of 2011 the Lord began showing me things in prayer.  Much of this related to the fulfillment of end times prophecy.  All the horsemen of the Apocalypse now ride the earth.  Peace has been taken from the earth.  There will be more & greater Tsunamis.  There will be more cities set on fire by their inhabitants, more rioting; it will be far bigger, far worse than what we saw in England & Europe recently.  The cities I have been shown are, I think, large American cities but I do not recognise them.  I have seen a large fireball crash into a densely populated area & an enormous wave of water swallow large tracts of land.  There is a great darkness coming that will strip individuality from people & make them conform into one huge mass of mindless humanity.  I personally believe it will be directed by a particular religion but the Lord Himself has not shown me that so I will not name it here.

Beginning in October 2010 the Lord has given me a series of warnings from scripture beginning with  Hosea 10:12 ~ Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

January 26:2011 They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Isaiah 30:10

February: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest shall be raised up from the uttermost parts of the earth. ~ Jeremiah25:32

July: The Lord is going to lay waste the earth & devastate it; He will ruin it's face & scatter its inhabitants.  Isaiah24:1
The same message has been repeated over & over.  Prepare.  Be ready.  The Master is coming.

Happy Birthday!

I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. ~1 Cor1:4

Having a largish family is like shuffling a deck of cards; how you play your hand depends on who you've been dealt at any given time.

For a great many years we had a very male dominated house.  Then the lads all packed their bags & departed for regions unknown & we were left with just girls.  Dearest was rather horrified.  Suddenly he was very out of his depth.  The girls were on the whole gentler, sweeter ~ & much easier to get along with ~ except for those rare occasions when they weren't.

The whole dynamics of the house changed because the girls were likely to have cooking frenzies.  Romantic comedies were far more likely to be viewed than action thrillers.  PMS reared its ugly head & the cats were treated more like recalcitrant children than wayward animals.

Now I have just one of each but the missing ones leave gaps that can't be filled.  Tomorrow my Liddy turns 22.  Apart from the fact that it is absolutely impossible that a whole 22 years have passed since I looked into Liddy's serence & unconcerned face for the first time while trying to wrap my head around the fact that I had indeed been right all along & this time we had got our baby girl, what is she doing so far from home on her birthday!

Technically she wasn't actually here for her birthday last year either but she was round & at some point we did see her & managed to celebrate.  This year she is in Chile.  Her birthday present is still sitting on my desk.  Sorrow, Lid.  Perhaps sub~conciously I expect to wake tomorrow morning & find Liddy is up early demanding her goodies.  I have threatened cheesecake without her.  Bad mummy!

I have been in trouble with both my mother & my daughter for not blogging enough.  My visitor tally tells me Liddy is stalking my blog so here's to you, Lid!  Your present will arrive in due course.  Many Happy returns for the morrow!  May Christ's love fill your days & His Holy Spirit sustain you ~ & I will speak to you in the morning.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Fishy Tale of sorts.

May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish BlessingIn all the wet & cold of the past few days we had a visitor land on our verandah rail.  Before I could intervene [because what is usually fed to our native birds is actually bad for them] my Star was out there with some sausage being thrilled to bits that Mr Kookaburra stayed for lunch rather than taking one look & abandoning her for somewhere safer.

Yesterday Star & I were at the dance school so Star could sing.  She is thrilled because she gets to be on stage rather than in the pit & gets to wear a monk's robe & all the rest.  Meanwhile [back at the ranch] Kirby was lost somewhere in the house because he hates loud thunder like poison & there was lots of it], & Marlow went into meltdown because he was home alone.  The men in my life had gone over to one of the other islands to meet up with members of a church Dino is interested in.

I am a little vague as to some of the pertinent details.  I think church planting is the general idea.  What there is is a motley collection of hurt & hurtful people who may or may not know Christ.  This is not for me.  I have neither the time nor the energy to plant a church anywhere but that does not mean there may not be a job for us or fellowship we can partake in.

Sooo, apparently a single dad shared how his wife had left him & he was trying to raise 4 kids when there was no food in the cupboards & my Dino, who is drawn to youth & who has been having a *Liddy Conversation* with the Lord about certain *idols* in his life [I call them Liddy conversations because they are not bad things in themselves but when the Lord goes, "Well, do you love that more than me?" they go, "No, Lord, but..." lol] & the Lord had a point to make. 

Dino is my fisherman.  What he doesn't know about fishing is probably not worth knowing & so on hearing of this man's predicament he thought, naturally, I can do something about thisOh~ho, went the Lord.  Really?

So Dino took the man's details & came home for his tinnie & his bait & his crab pots & his rods figuring half an hour on the water would get him a feed for this man & his family. He caught absolutely nothing! Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Desperate, & on the point of giving up, Dino had a word with the Lord.  The fish he caught were undersized.  He dithered [it was, after all, for a good cause] but threw them back. He decided he would drift as far as the sandbank then call it quits.  On the point of reeling everything in he caught legal sized fish ~ 4 in half an hour.  I immediately thought of Peter, that pro fisherman, being told to throw his nets out after not having caught anything all night!

To the fishy bounty we were able to add both lettuce & silverbeet from the garden.  The Lord has really blessed our little garden this year & it is doing amazingly well.  I added some noodles & baked beans from the pantry.  They are cheap & easily replaced.  Also apples, which I having been able to buy small & in bulk recently.

Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Point made, I think.
Dancing is wonderful training for girls. It's the first way you learn to guess what a man is going to do before he does it. ~ Christopher Morley.

It's not often we get a new rehearsal venue & I don't completely freak out ~ but it has happened. Today we were here:
 Which is opposite here:
 That's Star's old umbrella school.  I actually already knew where this was.  I even knew how to get there.  And there was parking.  For free!
 It was locked up like Fort Knox & Star & I walked the perimeter trying to figure out how to get in.  Apparently they keep it locked to stop the general public from wandering in.  Really?  People do that?  It says it's a school.  Besides it's just a lot of dance studios : big rooms, glass walls ~ the usual.  I so want to see this ballet!
And after a major thunderstorm as we left this morning we came home in a glorious sunset.  Pretty neat, huh?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"It takes an athlete to dance, but it takes an artist to be a dancer." -Shanna LaFleur

Vocal Manoeuvres is a company.  My Star is at the bottom of the heap as part of AVAE [the Australian Vocal Arts Ensemble].  Exaudi Australis is the top of the pile, so to speak.  It is a performance based company & that has always been part of its appeal for Star.  Yes, she learns vocal technique, music theory, et al but she also gets plenty of performance experience, as you all know because I flap about it here.

This is my flappable term.  This is always where the tire hits the road & we head into crunch time.  Just the same October is generally pretty angst free & so I OK'd Star's drama.  Performance due in a couple of weeks, in time, I oh so blithly thought, to be over & done before all the other stuff I just know is going to happen & for which I do not have a schedule yet!

How wrong could I be!!!!

We spent last weekend in rehearsal for the Bach with Exaudi who have been invited to perform with the Queensland ballet & apparently our chicks have done so well Alison has extended the invite to AVAE.  We haven't been back schooling a week & already my well laid plans are out the window & in total dissaray.  Ten rehearsals, 10 performances ~ most of which clash with the drama I ok'd 10 months ago. *sigh*

You'd think I'd learn.  I did, thank goodness, inform the lovely, lovely Mia that if there was a clash the music comes first ~ as it must, being a professional company & all.  Star is less happy because she, naturally, wants to do it all.  By dint of sitting down with a distraught Star & both schedules & being unavailable for all rehearsals & performances because Star is only 16, still in school & suppossedly studying for year 11, she can do both.  She will have to work extremely hard & I have laid down the law about getting her school stuff done without drama, hassels & hoo~ha because if Star does all this then I do all this too & I am going to be one tired, grumpy bunny! Um, yeah.

So tonight we are back on the mainland to rehearse with Exaudi ~ & we are on the mainland Friday to rehearse with the ballet company ....& Saturday....

This is the relevant ballet.  I blanched at the ticket price but it's still nearly a month away & I have a birthday the last performance so perhaps I could indulge...? I love the ballet.  I love watching my Star do her Starry thing.  I hate that the Arts are exclusive because they are so darn expensive!  On the other hand, when they sound like this, it's worth it don't you think?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Click here to read snippets from the latest newsletter.
Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness. ~Richard Carlson

The weekend's gone  ~ in a flash & dazzle.  Star's circus was enough to wash me out for a week but Dino had me running hither & thither as well.  End result: one migraine.

We are gearing up for the end of year kerbang.  I can't believe we are there already but we are.  I have to find one drama costume.  I am waiting on a ballet schedule because apparently we are singing with the ballet company.  One Bach concert.  Carols.  No doubt a Christmas QPAC performance ~ all of which necessiates extra rehearsals & a lot of running around on my part.  It's not even that I mind because I don't really.  It's just I get so tired & when everything piles on top of each other & I have to start juggling madly I just get so plumb tuckered out.

And the cats start losing it.  It's not good when the cats start losing it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

One Bach coming up.

Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it. ~Henry David Thoreau

 Seven o'clock yesterday morning it was threatening rain;  the wind had ice in its fingertips & Star & I were standing on our jetty waiting for an early boat ~ far earlier than Star ever likes to get out of bed.  Bach workshop.  I was loaded down with reading material.  I know women who'd just hit the shops for 8 straight hours but I can't imagine doing that from choice.
 As it turned out I didn't get a chance to read.  I helped with the catering.  By afternoon tea time we had reached the silly stage!
 My friends, being the good sports they are, left me with the camera & posed beautifully.
 Star is not a good sport.  She took some shockers while we waited & waited on the jetty for a boat home!  We were exhausted.  We were cold.  Star had been confined in the auditorium for 8 hours.  Eight hours!!!
She'd passed beyond the silly stage to the bouncing off the walls stage! 

We got home & Kirby was missing.  An hour I spent calling my cat.  My neighbours must really love me.  I have one very subdued pussy with a bunged up eye & a dented ego. *sigh* It was a very big day.