Thursday, April 30, 2009
As Jesus died on the cross
Sad to me. Is it to you?
There is the cross he died on. See two beside him.
Easter is good
Easter eggs are good but
God is better.
God raised Jesus from the dead.
Sad to remember. It is if you think about it.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
An anonymous commenter down here. Have to draw attention to it.
I still think I'm right, of course!
Today 6'X' at ESh School learnt that Mrs. Richardson is a bitch. That's what they were saying, at least. And I was. But they were revolting. And they were revolting first. So it wasn't my fault.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
It's not that bad. It's not like I had the whole piece... But since that I've had that much I might as well finish it off.
For me, the easiest crumb of cake to say no to is the first. After I've had that first bit, there's no stopping me. I've gotten a taste for it and will most likely keep going till all the cake's gone.
I was lying in bed the other night, imagining sin looking like a piece of chocolate cake. My dealing with the two is much the same. I know that x sin is bad. It's bad because God says it is, but it's also bad because it will lead to y and z undesirable consequences. So I decide not to do it. I just won't. Easy. But that tiniest, smallest sckeric of x's icing... I look. I think. I smell. I touch... My mouth is watering... I taste! My senses are euphoric! They cry out for a fuller experience! X, X! (Y and Z are, for the moment, out of sight.) X! The cry is deafening. Resistance useless. Defeat inevitable. I have x and x has me.
The trouble with sin (and chocolate cake) is that very quickly we develop a taste for it. Having had a little bit, we discover that we like it and we want more. There are cakes in the shop window that don't appeal to me. Baked cheese cake, pecan pie... but I'm confident that if I put the time in, I could acquire a taste for these. Similarly with sin. There are sins that I've had no particular inclination towards... but after a few crumbs and a bit of icing, they are putting fat on my soul as chocolate cake adds weight to my thighs.
In fact, I don't think there's many sins I couldn't acquire a taste for if I gave them a go.
So, what's the answer*?
1. Don't buy the cake. Don't even look at it. Don't smell it. Don't touch it. If someone else has brought it into the house, put on your gloves and bin it.
2. Say no to that first crumb and don't break off the icing. It does matter. The first crumb is the easiest to resist.
3. If some (somehow!) reaches your mouth, don't swallow! Stop. Spit it out now. All of it! And bin the rest of the cake.
4. So you've already had some? Don't make it worse. Stop now and bin the rest.
5. Work out what you're really craving. Chances are, it's not chocolate cake. Go fry up a steak.
* To sin, that is. Chocolate cake doesn't matter. In 100 years time, we'll all be thin.
Wait and see if Andrew comments.
I like it. And it smells nice.
[UPDATE: Nope. Andrew didn't notice.]
Monday, April 27, 2009
Five seconds later (after a long pause!) I got a grip!
"Well. Everyone in your whole entire family is wrong." And I gave him a cross, corrected it, and changed his result.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Pretty soon I'll be erasing (or disguising) all the posts I wrote about this particular song. What I thought were it's most offensive words may turn out to be the title of the cd!
[Trying not to take it personally.]
Maybe we try too hard.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
RIP Randolph. Actually, I don't care whether your resting is peaceful or not. So long as you and your comrades don't come back, ever.
*technically speaking, we killed him.
Friday, April 24, 2009
8 Then David said to God, "I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing."
9 The LORD said to Gad, David's seer, 10 "Go and tell David, 'This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.' "
11 So Gad went to David and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Take your choice: 12 three years of famine, three months of being swept away a]">[a] before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the LORD -days of plague in the land, with the angel of the LORD ravaging every part of Israel.' Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me."
13 David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men."
1 Chronicles 21:8-13
An interesting idea. Heartwarming. Anyone come across it before?
You should try it.
Conference tomorrow that I need to do stuff for.
I start teaching Sunday School on Sunday - with brand new material that I've not quite writing yet... And I'm wanting to make t-shirts and posters and other things to make it look happening and exciting.
Still one song to be re-written again... (yes, the stupid one. It's the 11th hour and 59th minute...)
The washing is out of control.
No time to go to work.
Hope the phone doesn't ring.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
- be a netball coach
- be a group trainer (I made those kids hurt! Run faster! More push ups!)
- Read and talk for an hour about the 2nd World War
- Wander round in the autumn sunshine
- Send my kids off to LOTE, library, and RE
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
It's all enveloped up, addressed and stamped, and Andrew has promised to put it in the post box for me.
I've achieved this task and now I feel like I can do anything!
[Incidently, while looking for the things I needed to fill out the form, I found $500 worth of uncashed cheques and medicare receipts. Bonus!]
2. The Eras fonts were cool 7 years ago.
3. God sticks his finger up at the strong by choosing the weak.
4. The BBC can be trusted to choose the next doctor.
5. It's important to know when to stop.
6. Knowledge, faith and passion are a compelling combination.
7. Baldness can be excused.
8. A hairy face must be forgiven.
9. Presbyterian men should shave more.
10. Glory is hidden in the dirt.
11. It will be worth the wait.
12. Ties with large or irregular patterns should not be worn.
13. After the second hour, I start passing notes.
14. After the fifth hour, everyone starts passing notes.
15. After 11pm it doesn't matter.
[written during a long meeting]
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I've been reading this book to the kids. It's a beautifully told, [humanist] account of the history of the world. If your kids are history buffs, you should take a look at it. We're up to the fall of the Persian Empire, but I've read ahead!
Gombrich incorporates biblical events into his overall historical picture, which is quite interesting. He speaks highly of the bible and even encourages us to read it ourselves, though he says we shouldn't be in any hurry to do this! As you'd imagine, Gombrich has no idea that it was God acting behind all the political events.
I can't wait to keep on reading it to the kids. Will be harder now that we're back into the grind of everyday life.
Here's what we did:
- daily jog along beach
- visit to the capricorn caves
- horse riding
- swimming in pool
- shell collecting
- dvd watching (Dr. Who, Clone Wars, A Series of Unfortunate Events)
- driving between Yeppoon and Rockhampton (far too much!)
- church here
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Hoping for a studio miracle whereby this no-so-stupid-song becomes a good-song (the tune is already good).
Things I've learnt from this particular endeavour:
- 5 syllable words suck (unless you're Chris Tomlin)
- 4 syllable words aren't much better
- Big theological terms make for bad songs
- Nothing rhymes with 'unlimited'. Nothing that you'd want to sing, anyway.
- No song should ever use the word 'unlimited'. Even if it doesn't need to rhyme with anything.
- I need to know what I'm talking about and feel something for it before trying to write it into a song
- Opening up a doctrine text and reading a couple of lines is bad writing prep
- Some lyrics should never be sent to your tune-man
- tune-men who can normally be counted on to reject terrible lyrics occasionally let something slip through
- tune-men expect a re-write of dreadful lyrics
- re-writing is so much harder than writing from scratch and no fun at all
- God is kind and can make the okay come out of the terrible.
We're off to see my sister in Rockhampton. We're staying right on the beach in a lovely big house - apparently we can sit on the deck and watch the kids swim. The boys are going on a 3 hour long horse ride. Andrew and I hope to get to do some conversation, watch more Doctor Who, eat some steak (Rocky is the beef capital of Australia), swim and run. I'd like to beat Andrew at this exercise circuit (actually, I'd also like to beat him at running, but considering that he can run a marathon and I can run...well... not that far... it's unlikely.)
Hope you have a good week. No fighting while I'm gone and I expect any mess cleaned up before I get back!
See you Monday night.
Warm Up - jogging
Work with partner and do three sets of each:
1. Push Ups and Wall Squats
a. Push ups (partner counts) start on toes, move to knees when nec. Keep going till you fatigue.
b. Wall sit squat (both people together). One leg at a time. Watch clock for each leg.
2. Walking Push Ups and Crunches
a. Push ups, face to face with partner, on toes, walking to the right (moving arms and legs) push up, walking to the left, push up. When one person drops, fall to knees and push up from side to side, till someone fatigues. Keep count.
b. Sit ups. Partner holds legs at 90 degrees and counts. Crunch till fatigue. 25 would be average first time.
3. Lunges and Shoulders
a. Lunge, knee 1cm from ground, 2 counts up, 2 counts down till leg till fatigues (should 40+ first time). Repeat with other leg.
b. Shoulders. 2.5 - 5kg weights in each hand. Raise arms to front. If make 20 without fatigue, pulse at top till fatigue.
4. Reindeer run - Towel around waist of one person. Other holds towel from behind. Front person runs, back person tries to stop them. Till fatigue. Swap.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
who taught you
to block out today
and strive for tomorrow,
swimming in front
of waves of dread
[ahead! ahead! always ahead!]
with memory's teeth
snapping at your heels?
Who muted your senses
and severed your soul?
I feel your heart race,
your hands shake.
Today is a carton that cannot be sealed
Yesterday's lid is waiting to open
The past is a jack-in-the-box
springing to life.
hold this day
Fling it against the wall
and wash it with your tears.
Weep, little child, stop running and weep
Lay your head on my breast, I will hold you
Friday, April 10, 2009
I've never worked for a church or anything but have talked extensively with women who do. I think they have the hardest job in the world (well, maybe not quite...) Maybe I'll write a post sometime on why I think they do it so tough.
In the subsequent, post-New-Testament era of the Church, whenever Christians took on vocations of celibacy, they did so most often in community—in monastic orders, for example. Those committed to a life of sexual abstinence recognized that such a commitment would best be undertaken not in isolation but with others and would be sustained by the rhythms of corporate worship and the mundane tasks of providing for one another’s daily needs. [from here]
I'm thinking about this... particularly in relation to those struggling with sexual temptation and loneliness... Does anyone know their church history? What was the original thought behind monastic communities? Was celibacy the first thought and monasteries a way to make that easier? Or was it the other way around? Are there any applications today?
3 x Doctor Who
High School Musical 2
A Series of Unfortunate Events
I like the Doctor Who dvds and HSM. Joel will love them all. Micah will like at least the Doctor Whos. Nathan is our difficult customer. He pretends that HSM is too sissy for him and says that Doctor Who is stupid (but not because he's scared!). I'm hoping he'll like ASOUE. But, like me he struggles with movies and books where things keep on going wrong, and surely that's the formula for ASOUE!
I'm going to start my Doctor Who marathon tonight. Saving HSM 2 till Sunday. I'm looking forward to it too much to share it with scoffers. So it may just be Joel and me.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I am drawn to these haunting confessions of Auden’s because I, too, am a homosexual Christian. Since puberty, I’ve been conscious of an exclusive attraction to persons of my own sex. Though I have never been in a gay relationship as Auden was, I have also never experienced the “healing” or transformation of my sexual orientation that some formerly gay Christians profess to have received. But I remain a Christian, a follower of Jesus. And, like Auden, I accept the Christian teaching that homosexuality is a tragic sign that things are “not the way they’re supposed to be.” Reading New Testament texts like Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 through the lens of time-honored Christian reflection on the meaning and purpose of marriage between a man and a woman, I find myself—much as I might wish things to be otherwise—compelled to abstain from homosexual practice.
As a result, I feel, more often than not, desperately lonely.
In the subsequent, post-New-Testament era of the Church, whenever Christians took on vocations of celibacy, they did so most often in community—in monastic orders, for example. Those committed to a life of sexual abstinence recognized that such a commitment would best be undertaken not in isolation but with others and would be sustained by the rhythms of corporate worship and the mundane tasks of providing for one another’s daily needs.
Worth a read.
As a starter I often feel inadequate for not being a perfectionist. For not having the patience to sit down with a piece of music till I can play it 100%, for not finding joy in completely finishing tasks... The post was meant as a celebration of me being me and not having to be what others more naturally are.
I think perfectionists are wonderful people. Most of my closest friends are perfectionists. I spend much of my life envying them. If you are a perfectionist, I probably envy you. I envy your thoughtfully researched, insightful and well written blog posts. I envy your full pantries (I'm about to make my daily visit to the shops!), your organised linen cupboard, your paperwork abilities... and most other things. And I wish I could play the piano like you.
Caveat: This post contains advice for parents. Blog posts with parenting advice get on my nerves. This may get on your nerves. Don't say you weren't warned!
Anyway... Parent/Teacher interviews...
...are a game that we play.
And a not-so-fun game. For anyone.
Teachers have to be so careful about what they say. Parents don't like being told that little Johnny is a socially inappropriate, whingy, pain-in-the-neck. Mum has no problems with him at home. He plays quietly in front of his x-box all afternoon and causes no-one any troubles. Why is he so different at school? Maybe it's just that he clashes with this teacher.
Teachers have to phrase everything so carefully. Make it understood that they see Johnny's good points. 'He eats his hotdog and chips so well at big lunch and he never leaves anything behind in his lunch box. He has a lovely smile. I saw it twice last month.'
Yet they have to go some way towards explaining the comments and results on the report card. 'It's not that Johnny can't do his work. I believe he probably can do it. It's just that he tends not to. You have to see it from my point of view. I can only grade him on the work that he does...'
Teachers generally hate confrontation with parents. If a parent complains to other parents (as they very often do) things quickly become unpleasant. For everyone. It's very hard for the teacher to be understanding and sympathetic towards a child when they know the parent is making trouble. And the child will not be motivated to work in class if they know their parents are fighting with the teacher. If a teacher brings up something about your child that you don't want to hear, listen anyway. They don't say bad things for fun.
If you have a child who is difficult or complicated or struggling, chances are you will not enjoy parent teacher interviews either. You've poured your heart and soul into this child for 5 years and the teacher tell you that all is not right. You feel like a failure. You feel like the teacher doesn't understand the full picture of what's going on. And they probably don't.
I was listening to a pretty awful bitch session between teachers today about some parents. Thought I might post a few thoughts on interacting with teachers: (I'm assuming the teacher is female.)
1. Say nice things to the teacher to show that you appreciate the work that she is doing.
2. If there are issues, let the teacher know that you want to work with her to solve the problems.
3. If the teacher says that your child is having issues with something, assume that she is right. Don't contradict. She is with your child 6 hours a day and (normally!) won't invent a problem. If you don't agree or don't understand, ask for examples of situations where the problem occured. Ask how she expected Johnny to behave or to perform in such a situation or with such a task.
4. Once the problem has been identified, ask what steps you can take together to address the situation.
5. If you think that your child is having issues with something that the teacher has not brought up, bring it up yourself. Find out if the difficulty that you see your child having is normal for their age or if it's worth giving some special attention to. If the teacher hasn't noticed the problem ask her if she could particularly watch your child's for the next little while. Check back with her in a couple of weeks. If you still have concerns, follow it up with a specialist yourself.
6. If the teacher suggests you see a specialist for something, see the specialist. It is not a sign of failure to take your child to see an OT, speechy, physio, psych, optometrist, doctor whatever. Find out what is available for free through the education system.
7. If things just aren't working for your kid at school, ask for a guidance officer assessment. Guidance assessments can give a good picture of your child's overall intelligence so you can see if they are working to their potential.
8. If your child has been mistreated by the teacher, find out all the facts before you accuse her of anything. Then, if you need to, raise the issue with her gently but firmly. Let her know that you are on her side and you support her, but advocate for your child. We had a situation last year when our 7 year old was punished (most unjustly) by being shut in a classroom by himself for most of lunch time. We were appalled by the teacher's treatment of him (he was very upset) and I immediately wrote a nasty email to the school. Thankfully I never sent it. When I was calmer I saw the teacher. I told her how our child was feeling about what happened, heard her side of the story (apparently it was all another teacher's fault(!)), and was able to say 'I understand that you were just carrying out a threat that was made, but it's unsafe and inappropriate [not to mention illegal!] to leave a child unsupervised in a classroom for half an hour. It can't happen again.' She apologised. There were other issues that we then moved on to - better ways to help our struggling child with his work.
9. Say nice things to your teacher whenever you can.
10. Say nice things to your child about the teacher whenever you can.
And to finish: There are some babyish habits that our kids have that are cute at home. Such things my not seem so cute at school. In the early school years, teachers will find the following really annoying:
- lack of Independence - not being able to put on their shoes, get themselves dressed after swimming, pick up after themselves
- stupid or irrelevant questions and comments - any question or comment that's not about what we're doing right now (eg talking about your dog during a class discussion on space. Children will get into trouble for doing this.)
- whinging - 'I'm thirsty' is a whinge. 'May I please get a drink?' is a question. 'My fingers are sticky' is a whinge. 'May I please wash my hands?' is a question.
- telling tales
- drawing attention to themselves - calling out, answering the roll in a funny voice etc.
- needing to go to the toilet - kids need to learn to manage their bodies. Remind them to use the toilet at morning tea and lunch times even if they're not desperate to go.
- not sitting still
100 9-10 year old
100 descant recorders
1. Divide children into 4 roughly equal groups
2. Place one group of children into classroom
3. Give each child a recorder
4. Close classroom windows to keep out the rain
5. Tell children to play recorder (kids should work individually or in groups on whichever piece they are up to)
6. Endure for half and hour
7. Dismiss group 1 and repeat with groups 2, 3 and 4.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Tomorrow I'm teaching:
-3 year 6/7 classes about the repeat sign
-2 year 3 classes about ta, te-te and doh, mi, soh, with the song 'fuzzy wuzzy was a bear'
-1 playground duty and
-1 year 2 class, where I get to do whatever I want.
All good. Hope the kids are.
I've not worked 4 days in a row since 1998.
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Then there is a link to some how-to-play-the-piano site.
Ruth, Nancy, or whoever you are. I'm not stupid. My stats counter tells me that you did indeed 'recently come accross (sic) my blog': about 2 seconds before you left the comment! It also tells me that you found it by googling 'piano blogs'. I don't expect you will 'keep visiting very often' unless you're trying to sell me something else. I noticed you were trying to sell computer bags to Ali's readers a couple of days ago.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Why do we always think that we are right?
Why doesn't everyone have balanced opinions like me?
Why do brilliant men have egos as big as planets and as fragile as glass?
Why can't we all just get along?
Why hasn't the earth stopped spinning?
Why does God put up with us?
Why is Luke Skywalker so uninspiring?
Why is there only one series of Firefly?
Why don't we make any progress?
Why does wickedness taste so good?
Why is the finish line so far away?
Why do I go to bed so late?
Why am I writing this post?
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I'm a starter. I love the adrenaline rush of a new activity, a new project. Sitting down and completing the task? Making it perfect? That's just hard work. I'm trying to polish up 7 songs for emu's next kid's cd - it's killing me (hence this post). Why can't I just start work on songs for the next one? I'm three-quarters of the way through writing a term of Sunday School lessons. Guess how much I want to do the last quarter?
But it will be okay. I'll get the songs written and I'll get the lessons done. Other people (perfectionists!) will impose their deadlines on me and I'll meet them.
I'm glad I'm a starter. Starters (well, starters who have a social conscience and don't like to let the side down) get things done.
Starters write more blog posts. They might not be thoroughly researched, drafted and re-drafted then published word-perfect, but they'll get them up there reasonably frequently.
Starters play music in church less stressily. We don't care about getting it note-perfect. If the chords are right, she'll be okay. Need it played in a different key? Hey I can do that! On the spot transposition will be a buzz! And new songs? Bring them on!
Starters don't balk when they're asked to do something. In fact, being asked to do something is like being given a gift! (So long as we get to do it our way!)
Starters are fine with making mistakes. We get our buzz from the initial idea more than from the finished product, so a few mistakes along the way are no big deal.
Perfectionists, on the other hand, don't get stuff done so easily. And it's not because they can't finish tasks, it's because they can't start them.
If a perfectionist is asked to do something, the first thing they ask themselves is whether they are able to do it well. It's a silly question to ask because mostly you don't know if you can do something till you've tried. And can you do it 'well'? What does 'well' mean anyway? Perfectionists tend to not start things, just in case they might not be able to succeed. I think they miss out on all the fun in life.
Perfectionists play the piano very well. Much better than me. Or they would play it well if they actually played it at all. They tend not to play in church because of the high likelihood of making a mistake. They are also annoyingly committed to the dots on the page. Reading the dots on the page makes learning a new song an enormous task.
And blogging? Perfectionists update their blogs once a day or once a week or once a fortnight. You know exactly when the post will pop up. Pin point accuracy! 3, 2, 1... We have a blog post! And it's a great read. Measured. Considered. A perfectionist blog challenge: tomorrow, don't proof anything before you post it, and write an extra two posts, just to surprise us! (Perfectionists, if you take up my challenge, I'll try to let a post sit on my computer for 10 minutes before I hit 'publish'...)
Starters and perfectionists live on opposite sides of the world. We don't understand each other. We annoy each other. But we shouldn't. Any task that I've ever done really well, I've done with a perfectionist holding my hand. I've dragged her through the initial 2 meters (and believe me, she was heavy!) and she's dragged me through the next 2kms.
Are you a starter? Or a perfectionist? Or something else?
[True to my personality, I just made all of that up. I don't have any real definitions that I'm working from here. I based it all on observing myself and a couple of friends... Shoot me down!]
In the new creation, will we no longer feel hungry because the hungry feeling have gone away or because we've been fed a good meal?
In the new creation, will we no longer be sad because we've been given some un-sad drug or because the reason for our sadness has been happily resolved?
I hate impassive pictures of the new creation where people are painted as emotionally and sensually numb.
In the new creation, our hungers, thirsts and itches will not simply vanish. We will experience them being profoundly satisfied. And this will feel good.
Psalm 30:11 "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy"