Sunday, January 30, 2011

Developing a Praise Mentality

We had a guest preacher in church this morning as our officers are on furlough, and he brought us a message on praise and worship.

The reading for today's message is from Psalm 34.

A praise mentality is where you can praise the Lord even in the most trying of circumstances.

There are times when it is very difficult to praise the Lord and a lot of people will ask the question "Where is God in this situation". Right now, with people recovering from floods and others protesting against tyrannical governments, there are probably lots of people asking that question, but God is there and I believe that He grieves to see us in such distress. I also believe that he allows these things to happen to see how we react and to test our faith.

If we want the devil to flee from us we need to adopt an attitude of praise and worship, we shouldn't wait for circumstances to improve as we may forget.

Many times in the Bible praise and worship was used as preparation for battle. Whenever the Israelites gave glory to God they were victorious but whenever they disobeyed or failed to give glory to God they were defeated.

My own circumstance have been very trying of late (since March when I was retrenched) and I have needed to lean on God for help, but I'm sure that, with God's help, I will get through this rough patch.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The week that was 29-01-11

This week started off just like every other week, gym on Monday and chiro for Sue on Tuesday, but then things got a bit different. It being a public holiday here in Aus on Wednesday, Sue couldn't go to her regular Aqua class so I skipped the gym and joined her for a swim in the pool before spending a relaxing afternoon at home.

At 10:30 on Wednesday night we got into a taxi which took us to the railway station and we spent 22 hours out of the next 29 riding in public transport. We took the train from Albury to Moss Vale, a bus to Albion Park, another train to Kiama then a third train took us to Bomaderry. We were then picked up by one of my brothers-in-law and taken to my father's house where we showered and changed ready for lunch. We had lunch with my father and stepmother, 2 sisters and their husbands and my youngest niece. It's not often that we get together like this as my youngest sister and her family live in Mildura and it is so far for them to travel to get together with the rest of the family. This particular gathering was to celebrate my father's 80th birthday (which was almost 2 weeks ago).

After lunch, we returned to dad's place for some birthday cake before returning to the railway station for the trip home.

We didn't fully retrace our steps as that would mean a 3 hour wait in Moss Vale. Instead we skipped the bus trip by taking the train all the way to Sydney Central and catching the Melbourne bound train from there. We only had a hour layover in Sydney which was plenty of time to get dinner. We got back home at about 4:30 on Friday morning having had very little sleep during the preceding 29 hours. While it is very difficult for me to sleep on the train I can't say that I didn't as I'm know I missed seeing at least one station on the north and a few more on the return trip.

I think next time (when dad turns 90 maybe) we will take the car and arrange some accommodation for a couple of nights. While it is cheaper to take the train (us pensioners get a couple of free train trips a year), it's much more comfortable to take the car.

As you might guess, I didn't get to the gym on Friday.

Today has been another busy day finishing with dinner with friends at the club to celebrate my birthday (which is today). I over-ate as I usually do at all-you-can-eat buffets, so I'm going to have to work extra hard at the gym next week.

See you tomorrow for my usual sermon notes.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday 26/01/11

Another week has passed and I still making very slow progress.

I managed to finish the Baby's sunhat.

I still need a suitable sized head to model these for me but I'm not sure where to find one. A baby sized doll would be just about perfect as I could also use it to model other clothing.

I also managed to make up a few towels but didn't bother taking photos as I have already posted plenty of photos of towels in previous blogs.

On the "Work in Progress", I managed to add a couple of rows to the water bottle cosy but didn't bother with photos as it doesn't look that much different to what I posted last time.

The next couple of days we're going to be spending a bit of time on trains and buses so I may get a chance to do a little more although most of that time is going to be over-night and crocheting makes me tired at the best of times.

Til next time, ttfn.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Prophet Jonah: AWOL

The reading this morning was taken from the 1st chapter of Jonah verses 1-16.

The Apollo 13 space mission was considered a successful failure. They failed to land on the moon but they succeeded in getting the astronauts back after their ship had a catastrophic failure.

Jonah was a failure but eventually succeeded. His name means "dove", the symbol of peace, and of restoration and hope.

Most people know the story of Jonah, how he was commanded by God to go to Nineveh and tell them to repent or perish, but, since Jonah hated the Ninevites and wanted to see them perish he ran the other way.

Jonah was the only prophet to ever run away from God.

In Isaiah 6:8 Isaiah was asked "Who will I send" and he responded "Here am I, send me". Moses was asked a similar question and his response was something like "Here am I, send Aaron". Jonah's response was "Here am I, but I'm headed the other way".

Jonah forgot that you can't escape from Gog because He is omnipresent.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The week that was 22-01-11

Another very hot week here in Lavington and not much happening.

After missing the Gym on Monday (we were traveling back from Melbourne), getting called down to the pool to help Sue before I finished on Wednesday (her ankle has been giving her trouble, we think it's because she is trying to favour both knees), I didn't manage a full round of exercises yesterday because some of the equipment had been pulled apart to be re-upholstered. Maybe I'll have a better run next week, although we're planning on a trip to Nowra to help celebrate my fathers 80th.

The crochet has been a bit slow this week because of the heat. I managed to get a couple of rows done on the drink bottle holder while in the doctor's waiting room the other day. We were there to get a diagnosis on Sue's ankle. I also managed to finish the sunhat this evening (pictures on Wednesday as usual). I'll probably work on a few towels now as there quite light and quick to get done.

With the completion of the second sunhat my to-do list is looking a little shorter. It is still quite long though, so I will be busy for some time yet. I also need to make a few phone calls to see if I can find a few more markets at which to sell my wares, and I do plan on opening an Artfire store shortly (for some definition of "shortly").

That's it for this week, see you on Wednesday unless something real exciting happens in the meantime.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday 19/01/11

No finished articles this week but I was silly enough to start a new one while away in Melbourne.

I'm still working on the Baby's Sunhat.

And the new WIP is a drink bottle holder.

The stripes are supposed to be vertical. Maybe I should have offset each other row.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A day on Puffing Billy

I didn't feel much like doing anything when we got home from Melbourne yesterday so I've managed to go through the photos today and have selected some for you to look at.

The trip south started a little damp but the weather cleared by the time we got to Melbourne.

We met a couple of soapie (Home and Away) stars while down there. I didn't know who they were because I don't watch the show, but Sue is an avid watcher.

We went a watched a basketball game (WNBL Dandenong v Canberra) on the saturday night. It was a good game to watch but we weren't pleased with the result as Dandenong won.

And on to Puffing Billy.

Ready for boarding.

Some information on the train

The train winds through the hills and crosses the road several times

One of the stations along the way

This is one of two bridges that you can actually get a photo of from the train

Very picturesque country

I think there's a creek down there

The engine that pulled us from Belgrave to Gembrook

Hamburgers for lunch cooked by me

Ready for the return trip

The last bridge before Belgrave
We also saw some yarn on the hoof but the picture didn't come our real well.

The return trip was quite uneventful but tiring and now we're trying to see if we can get down to my father's place for a family get together as one of my sisters is traveling all the way from Midura. My other sister lives quite close to dad so I expect she'll make the effort.

See you tomorrow for WIP Wednesday.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Week That Was 16-01-11

This is a day late because we got back to our cabin a little late last night after watching a WNBL game. Also, there won't be any sermon notes this week as we didn't go to church this morning (aren't we naughty).

This week has been quite busy with trips away, as well as the regular going to the gym and other things.

The first trip was to Wagga Wagga to meet up with Sue's son so that we could have lunch with him on his 23rd birthday. It would have been an uneventful trip except that I discovered that I had forgotten my wallet and had therefore been driving without have my license on me (something that is frowned upon here in Aus). When we got back to Albury we headed down to the shops where we met our CO from church who has given me the job of looking after the Corps' website.

The second trip was to Melbourne as part of our 11th anniversary celebrations. Yesterday we went to Chadstone Mall where we met a couple of the stars of Home and Away (one of Sue's favourite shows, I generally try to avoid seeing anything to do with it). After the mall we went around to visit one of my friends here in Melbourne to catch up.

After a pleasant afternoon we headed off to watch the Canberra Capitals play against the Dandenong Rangers. We were hoping for a repeat of last weeks game in which Canberra won by 8 points. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case this week, Dandenong won by 4 points.

Today we went to Belgrave to catch a steam train known as "Puffing Billy". It was another very pleasant afternoon and we took the camera with us. If I get a chance when we get home tomorrow I'll check through all the photos and let you all have a look at a sellection of them. Sue seemed to be taking photos every few minutes so I'm sure there are quite a few to go through.

I have even managed to do a little crochet but I'll show you that on Wednesday.

Until next time.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WIP Wednesday 12/01/11

In spite of the heat and humidity I have managed to a bit of crochet this week. I also managed to finish the matinée jacket that Sue knitted, and here is the final product.

One pink baby's sun-hat was also completed.

And a second sun-hat in white was started.

I still have a few towels that I want to make up and plenty of other projects (beanies, drink bottle cosies, tea cosies, etc) that I would like to get started on but I'm not sure which one is going to be next. I might put the makings of the beanies and drink bottle cosies in my travel bag as they will be relatively small items that I can do in Drs and chiro waiting rooms.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Trust me, I'm a rat

I was a little concerned about the title of this morning's sermon but it is all about trust.

We all put our trust in someone or something. Passengers on planes trust the pilot to get them to where they are going safely, and they also trust the plane and the maintenance crew and quite a few other people to have all done their jobs. We trust GPS devices to tell us where to go (actually, Sue and I have fun arguing with ours when it tells us a direction we think is wrong).

When someone we love falls ill or has an accident we often want to do something about it even if there isn't anything we can do. We have to trust the professionals to do those things that we can't.

When all else fails, we can trust in God!

Those that trust in God are likened to a tree standing next to a river while those that don't are likened to a bush in the desert, dry and withered.

We need to take time to be still and listen for God, even in the darkest storms.

Friends are good for encouragement be we shouldn't trust them to get us out of our troubles.

Don't run to the phone, run to the throne.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

The week that was 08-01-11

Not a particularly busy week this week as it's been a bit too hot to do anything, especially at home.

I did get back into the gym (three times this week) and Sue managed to get into the pool a couple of times, so we are getting our exercise. Sometimes I think the temperature at the gym is better than at home, but all that exercise is just too much like hard work.

We went for a little drive yesterday to explore a bit more of the area. I had read about a market in Myrtleford and wanted to check it out. While the market was quite large I don't think we will be setting up a stall there as it only happens once a year, is quite expensive ($70 per stall) and is more than an hour from home (the self imposed limit for our travels to markets).

On the way home we stopped at Beechworth to stock up on lollies. Yes, I know lollies aren't good for you, especially if you're trying to lose weight and get fit, but it's a weakness both Sue and I share.

There hasn't been much progress on the crochet front, although I did manage to finish the matinee jacket that Sue started, it only needed a bit of stitching up and a picot edge. I have started making one of the baby's sunhats but it's slow going in this heat. My hands just get too sticky so quickly that it gets hard to work.

That's it from me for this week. Hope you all had a good week.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WIP Wednesday 05/01/11

The start of a new year and plenty of WIPs and completed items to talk about.

First cab off the rank is a pair of arm rest covers.

I finished these before Christmas and wrapped them up with Sue's Christmas present. That might seem a little silly considering she watched me make them. The in-laws were quite impressed which made it all worth while.

Next I have the bonnet that I featured in my first WIP Wednesday.

It is now finished along with a couple of booties.

These were to complete an ensemble that started with a coat.

Now I have the full set ready for sale.

While Sue and I were visiting I managed to find time to do a bit more on my Salvation Army Blanket (about a dozen rows) and it now looks like this:-

I have about 20 more rows of the crown before I can drop the yellow and just work with one colour. This will have a blue border when it's finished and I'm hoping that will help pull it into shape. It will obviously need to be blocked, and I need to find someway to make the yellow that's showing through where it's not supposed to disappear. As I said previously, this is the first time I have worked with two colours like this and there seem to be a few bugs to iron out. Hopefully the judges at the show will appreciate the effort that's gone into this a judge it accordingly. I'm sure the COs at church will appreciate it when I hand it over.

The last item I have this week is a matinée jacket that Sue knitted and handed over to me to be finished.

All that needs to be done is a picot edging, sew in the ends and thread in the ribbon.

I probably need to improve my photography skills as some of the colours aren't showing up correctly. The white coat, bonnet and booties have a blueish tinge in these photos and the apricot jacket shows up as almost white.

I also need a baby sized doll to act as a model as lying baby clothes flat on a table just doesn't do them justice. Anybody have any ideas on where I might get one?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Seasons of Discipleship

We're all different! We all have different priorities, we're in different stages of life, etc.

Going to church doesn't make you a christian any more than going to MacDonalds makes you a hamburger.

The Seasons of Discipleship are:-

Season 1 - Sowing
Season 2 - Growing roots - this can't be seen as roots grow underground
Season 3 - Growing - every plant grows at a different rate
Season 4 - Bearing fruit - every different plant bears different fruit

God declared that every seventh year should be a year of jubilee, nothing is to be planted during this year, the ground lies fallow, it is a time of rest. We all need time off.

Worship can take place anywhere you take time to be with God, but attending church will provide much needed nourishment.

Sometimes we need to be willing to surrender all to God.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

It has been a busy 2 weeks since I last did a weekly update. Sue and I travelled up to Dubbo on Christmas Eve to stay with her brother and his wife and two fur children (dogs).

While I was there I managed to get a little done on the Salvation Army blanket that I doing (more on that on Wednesday), paint most of a cabin that my brother-in-law was erecting in the back yard and get sunburned (I really should have worn a hat).

We were a little worried about how we were going to get home as there was quite a heavy downpour just after Christmas and there were reports of flooding on the two main roads we would normally choose between, but everything cleared up and the flooding subsided (unlike what we have seen on the news about the state of things up in Queensland) and all we saw were some rather large lakes that wouldn't normally be there.

Now it is time to make plans for the new year. Some of the to-do list I posted a while back has been completed but there is quite a bit yet to be done. My to-do list, in order of priority, now looks something like the following:-

Booties to go with the bonnet and jacket recently finished
Sunhats to replace the ones sold a couple of months ago (I still have the booties to go with them).
Hanging towels - just the plain ones at the moment as I have plenty of the others done for now.
Beanies in footy team colours - I just need to find out what colours the local teams play in but I suspect that they are the same as the AFL teams.

Stubby holders - I figure I will make these in footy teams colours also.
The Salvation Army blanket - about 20 rows of the crest to go before I start on the border, it will be much easier once I'm only working in one colour.
Tartan rug #1 - it can wait until the weather cools.

I think most of this stuff is on hold until the weather cools as it is far too hot to even think about knitting or crocheting. I'm sure there will be opportunities (chiro and doctor's waiting rooms are usually air conditioned) and i hope we get to have some craft group meetings down at the church (which is also air conditioned). Failing that I might have to go down to K2TOG to see if the owner would like a bit of company for a while (she has a lovely area at the back of the shop where people can sit and work).

Wishing you all a prosperous and blessed year.