Monday, January 31, 2011

just for the record...

I'm not into self-loathing or hatred for my country or culture. And I'm not having tantrums.

I have a huge amount of affection for Australia. I like to live here. I've never lived anywhere else, nor do I intend to (till I'm part of the new creation. Then I intend to visit the new-creation-Australia of which this Australia is only a copy). I work to make Australia a better place. I vote carefully. I pray for our leaders. I long to see Australian people converted.

Not sure what I've done wrong. Not sure how I'm hampering the evangelistic effort by finding the whole Australia day thing tacky, a little concerning and a bit inappropriate on Jan 26. 

Why we should celebrate Australia Day in 40-50 words

Part of Nathan's homework for this week. Dave B, this is for you.


Why we should celebrate Australia Day in 40-50 words
I think we should celebrate Australia Day because it’s a public holiday. Public holidays should be like the Sabbath was to the Jews. Holidays are good because it means less school. Australia Day should not be celebrated because the racist white people came to Australia, but because Australia is now a country of many different cultures.

Frankenstein?

A prep kid told me I look like Frankenstein. It may have been an innocent comment - he was just speaking the truth in the way that kids do. My eyes are deep set. His teacher told him off.

It's got me wondering. Maybe I'll dress up next week.

teaching again!

Finally. I've had enough of pds and planning days.

Today I teach 5 prep classes, a prep choir and 2 year 5s.

Good times.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Not a problem. An opportunity.

Okay, so I'm going to be without my MacBook for at least a week.

This is a great chance to:
  • read some things on paper rather than on a screen.
  • do the first stage writing of some songs - I start on paper then move to computer.
  • feel what my kids feel when I don't let them have electronic time
  • have some quality time with Andrew (begging to use his computer)
  • enjoy the sunshine
  • re-acquaint myself with the cd player
  • cultivate patience (this desktop is slow)
This will be a good thing. It will.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

kernel panic

I have a kernel panic on my MacBook. (I'm panicking too.)

What do I do? It just keeps on telling me I need to restart by holding down the power key. I do that, then it tells me to do it again.

I called the help line and they told me to try a few things which didn't work. I'm going to take it to the apple shop tomorrow, but what do I do in the mean time? Life feels empty and uncertain.. Any ideas?

Friday, January 28, 2011

May I Stand (first draft)

1. May I stand
for Jesus every hour
May I play my part
and share him with the world
Every land
must hear his name in glory
Every heart must bow
and tremble at his word.
I long, oh Lord
to speak of your grace
but fears rise inside I turn and hide away my face.
Oh Lord, although I am afraid,
May I stand up for your name

2. Lord you see
They hurt me with their laughter
Lord you know the wounds
their mocking words have made.
Strengthen me
To stand up and be counted,
Speak your name more boldly,
Make me unafraid.
Fearful I am
My heart is so weak
Send down your spirit, give me words that I can speak
of you. Although I am afraid,
May I stand up for your name
Bridge bit:
What is the worst thing they can do all together?
If they take my life away, then still I’ll live forever

3. It’s nothing new
This struggle I am facing
always through the ages
this has been the way.
Jesus too
knew what it was to suffer 
prayed ‘father forgive them’
as life slipped away.
Make me like him
through all of my pain
with patience, with faithfulness
speaking of the grace
I know. Although I am afraid
May I stand up for your name.
sar 2011
[I write lots of posts but what I really want people to comment on are the poems. You don't have to like them.]

an idea

If we want to have some national celebration, let's not have it on Jan 26. Let's have it each year on Feb 13.


near perfect

I need no Tardis

Yesterday's here
to screw with today,
a half-life like plastic
it won't go away.

sar 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

more on nationalism/patriotism

Joanna wrote this in a comment on Andrew's '5 Reasons Patriotism is Wrong' post. I think it too good to leave there.
"...a heightened sense of pride in one's country tends to get in the way of good theology, which applies to nations as well as people. Nations, after all, are just one of the more recent structures that human minds have imagined for the organisation of community life.
In Australia, for example, the wealth and prosperity of this nation comes from natural resources and land that were stolen. Our 'founding fathers' made it very clear that their understanding of Australia was based on a vision of racial exclusion and the defence of 'whiteness'. (Have a good read of Alfred Deakin!) Horrors like the massacres of Tasmanian Indigenous people, the stolen generation, the White Australia policy, were all natural consequences. This may not be surprising, given the doctrine of total depravity. But I think it means a general attitude of repentance and humility and desire to sacrificially make reparations may be more appropriate than pride, with our nation as well as with ourselves as individuals."

BTW, have you noticed how a kind of patriotism is becoming hip in evangelical circles? I wonder if it's an American import that's crept in, mixed with the love your city/community thing (which I don't mind - though it can become too channel 7). Thoughts?

melt down

Oh the joys of the new school year!

Despite a good first two days of school, there were many tears this morning. Andrew put his finger on what's going on. Every year, a kid like Joel has to think about what will or might happen when he is 'found out' by his teacher and new classmates. Will he get laughed at when people discover that he can't read that well? Will everyone think he's stupid? Will he get put in the bottom group for everything?

Today things were compounded by the fact that he has swimming. Joel swims well. But he has a broken toe (no plaster or bandage or anything and it doesn't make him limp - it just hurts!) which slows him down. He can't kick properly at the moment. So he's worried about also being thought a bad swimmer.

Who'd be a kid again?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why is it that most contemporary christian art isn't very good?

from here. What do you think of this answer?


Michael Leea choral & orchestral composer living...
2 votes by Mandy Adams and Alex Wen
I'll split my answer into three parts, narrative art (movies, books, etc.), visual art, and music.

Narrative art is the simplest to analyse. "Christian" films have, as their primary purpose, the goal of teaching a lesson or telling a moral. Think of them like Aesop's fables, writ large. Once that's taken as the primary purpose, everything in the film is bent toward that goal. Characters are simplified, situations are loaded with editorial bias, and complex moral decisions are narrowed down to simple black and white heroics.

This is, in every way, the opposite of good narrative. Narratives require complexity, confusion, real tension, and unexpected resolution. Good narrative takes as its primary purpose the goal of being good narrative! Everything else serves that end. If it happens to have a moral lesson, it's because that moral lesson existed as an essential part of the narrative, not the other way around.

Visual art suffers from a similar kind of dichotomy. Good art is good because it evokes meaningful aesthetic contemplation. Christian art takes as its purpose the goal of meaningful spiritual contemplation. Those two are not mutually exclusive, as we can see from the wealth of masterpieces that are based on religious themes. To be effective, however, the religious contemplation has to be secondary to the aesthetic contemplation. If not, then the work is reduced to pamphleteering, to symbol and sign instead of art.

As stated above, Christian music is a marketing term. It is used to sell music to a self-defining niche of consumers. Music suffers from both of the critiques above (moral lesson vs. narrative purpose and aesthetic contemplation), but it carries the added burden of genre appeal. If your music only appeals to one out of every fifty people who hear it, that's enough to build a fan base that can sustain your career. If, however, your music only appeals to one in fifty people, AND it's being marketed to a self-defining niche market that only accounts for 6% of total record sales, it becomes almost impossible to build a sustainable career. As a result, music that is marketed within the Christian market niche must have as broad an appeal as possible within that niche.

"Christian" art doesn't have to be bad, but if it defines itself first as "Christian", and then as art, it inevitably will be.

5 reasons patriotism is wrong

Andrew wrote this last year. I'm reposting it because I like it. (Many people disagreed.) #5 is 10 times more true this year than last year. 


5 Reasons Patriotism is Wrong

1. It's thinking your country is superior to every other, which is both deluded and proud.
2. It inhibits critical reflection on what is good and bad about your culture.
3. It's selfishly putting what is good for me and my country above what is good for humanity.
4. For Christians it forgets that our citizenship is in the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
5. It means that Aldi can make money selling cheap and tacky Australian flag merchandise and people drive around with those cringeworthy plastic Australian flags on their cars that they got free with their carton of beer. 

good taste takes a back seat on Australia Day

Australian Flag apparel was all the rage at the beach today.

Popular items included Australian Flag:

  • Bikinis
  • boardies
  • towels
  • hats
  • tatts
  • attach to the head umbrellas
  • drape around yourself flags
  • bodysuits
  • singlets
  • t-shirts
  • fingernail polish
  • thongs
  • body paint.

There were thousands at Kings Beach today. I think we were the only group dressed normally.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

just pulled down that post

It was dumb.

misery takes a lot of time

I had a bit of conflict this morning. I don't think I actually did anything wrong. But my existence is annoying to someone else. (Some of you are, no doubt, nodding in agreement - finally she's realised!)

I've been moping.

Such a waste of time.

Thankfully, we're going to the beach tomorrow. All will be better then.

frustrated.

Life would be so easy without the people.

Monday, January 24, 2011

National Ukulele Crisis

Floods? Whatever.

Just about every music store across Australia has sold out of lower range ukuleles.  Things are desperate. Shops don't expect to restock until March or April.

I'm after a class set. Does anyone have one gathering dust?

Acts lessons presented

Need to do it again on Thursday for another church.

Some stuff I could change. Little things.

Can't be bothered just now.

Van Diemen's land

Can't wait to sing this with my choir.

back to school!

School starts again today. It's 7.36 and the kids are dressed, packed and ready to go.

I'm not.

I'm blogging.

I've been looking forward to today. I like work and am pleased to go back. I'm also pleased it's today because tonight I present my Sunday School material to a church that's doing it this term. I've been staying up till midnight most nights for the last two weeks working on it. Tonight I hand it all over. I've still got to tidy up the file with all the scripts in it. A couple of hours work. Then I'm done.

Why do I do these things? After the fun part is finished, it's just a whole lot of tedious hard work.

If it crashes badly tonight, I may rewrite it all before I present it to another church on Thursday night. Who needs sleep?

Anyway, my hope is that in one way or another this whole Sunday School thing will be finished soon and I'll be able to get back to regular life and blogging.

Friday, January 21, 2011

my job just doubled!

Two days per week!

music teacher's pd today

So so so so so much better than learning how to write a science program.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

acts

I may need to cut a lesson from my Acts curriculum.

At the moment it looks like this:

1. Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Ends of the Earth (Acts 1)
2. Pentecost (Acts 2)
3. In the name of Jesus (Acts 3-4)
4. Stephen (Acts 6-7)
5. To Judea and Samaria (Acts 8)
6. About Face (Saul's conversion - Acts 9)
7. Cornelius (10-11)
8. Mission Unstoppable (Paul and Silas at Philippi - Acts 16)
9. To an unknown God (Acts 17)
10. To the ends of the earth (Acts 27-28)

Which would you cut? I was planning to cut Cornelius (#7). All those clean and unclean animals are too abstract. But I don't think I want to any more. The Jew/Gentile thing is huge in Acts. Would anything be lost if I cut #9?

What do you think?

a prayer

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 


I like this prayer. I like that it's not "Lord, consider their threats and keep me safe" but it keeps first things first. "Lord, consider their threats and help me speak your word with great boldness."

I can alter this prayer to suit my circumstances. "Lord, consider my discouragement / weariness / sadness / sin and enable me to speak your word with great boldness.

Now I want to feel the ground shake.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

disappointed

Today I went to work to find that the man who's job I took last year (he was on long service leave) is back. He wasn't sure if he was going to retire or not. It seems that he's not retiring just yet.

It's his job, not mine. I have no right to it. But I have heaps of good ideas and had so much fun last year.

So I'm sad now.

School is keeping me on (mostly out of kindness) for one day a week. I'll probably teach year 1-2 music or something like that. I'm not really a fan of the lower school. But neither is he.

I get to keep my choir which is great and I'll be moved to the top of the supply list so I still expect to get plenty of work.

But I'm still disappointed.

call me lazy...

... but this year I am NOT wrapping the kids books in wrapping paper, then sticking on a doctor who pic and then contacting them. I'm just NOT.

big 5 personality test

I'm a O84-C64-E86-A38-N9 Big Five!!


Openness to Experience/Intellect
        High scorers tend to be original, creative, curious, complex; Low scorers tend to be conventional, down to earth, narrow interests, uncreative.
        You enjoy having novel experiences and seeing things in new ways.    (Your percentile: 84)
 
Conscientiousness
        High scorers tend to be reliable, well-organized, self-disciplined, careful; Low scorers tend to be disorganized, undependable, negligent.
        You are well-organized, and are reliable.    (Your percentile: 64)
 
Extraversion
        High scorers tend to be sociable, friendly, fun loving, talkative; Low scorers tend to be introverted, reserved, inhibited, quiet.
        You are extremely outgoing, social, and energetic.    (Your percentile: 86)
 
Agreeableness
        High scorers tend to be good natured, sympathetic, forgiving, courteous; Low scorers tend to be critical, rude, harsh, callous.
        You find it easy to express irritation with others.    (Your percentile: 38)
 
Neuroticism
        High scorers tend to be nervous, high-strung, insecure, worrying; Low scorers tend to be calm, relaxed, secure, hardy.
        You probably remain calm, even in tense situations.    (Your percentile: 9)
 



I'm happy with this apart from the Agreeableness score. I'm fairly easy to get along with. I think.

really.

Why can't we all just play together nicely?

Simon of Samaria

This is the first song we've written for a new kids cd on the book of Acts. It was inspired by (the bible and) Studio 60.

Simon of Samaria


Simon of Samaria
was a sordid sorcerer
he wowed the city with his magic tricks.
And everybody watched, amazed
they gasped in wonder and proclaimed
"This Simon is the mighty power of God"

Then Philip came along and spoke
of Jesus, gave them life and hope
And Simon's tricks, they seemed a little thin.
To pull a rabbit from a hat
is cool but so much more than that -
Jesus died to set us free from sin.

Jesus, better than magic
Jesus, isn't a game
Jesus, better than magic
Cause he rose to life again.

Magic tricks and party games
had won him honour, wealth and fame
but shortly, Simon's sorcering days would end.
All his fans were much more wowed
by Jesus who they followed now
for Jesus died and rose to life again.


sar 2011



work

No one can tell me for sure if I have a job, but I've been told to turn up at work today.

Apparently the powers at EQ have been so busy sorting out flooded schools that little things like the placement of specialist teachers has been delayed. This is understandable, but it would be nice to know.

A friend is taking our boys to the movies. If it happens that they send me home, I'll get to go too.

which Acts passage goes with each picture?



I've still got two more stories to write, two more pictures to draw and two and a half more bookwork pages.

I need to redo a couple of these because they are a bit too close to tv characters.

Monday, January 17, 2011

can't

write

this

stupid

kids

talk.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

[Already written two today. My head is about to explode.]

new speakers!

Late christmas presents are just the best!

These arrived today from my brother-in-law Andrew on behalf of (my husband) Andrew's family.


They make my macbook even more wonderful than it already is.

the fruits of procrastination*

Here's what needs to happen in the next couple of days

  • Write the script for 3.5 sunday school lessons.
  • Draw 7 pictures (I've started some of them)
  • Make worksheets for 7 more lessons.
  • Make 8 demos for little kids crafts

Also

  • Go to school and find out if I have a job this year.
  • Take Joel to the doctor. We think he may have broken a toe.


* Was I procrastinating because I have problems with impulse control and delayed gratification? The unclutterer nazis would say so. I don't think so. After a year of working at absolute capacity I needed a break.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

episode re-watched.

Right. Back to work.

there is no point procrastinating

[But I so want to rewatch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.]

writing sunday school stuff

I
can
do
this.

nothing much to say

I've been busy avoiding working on Sunday school material that needed to be worked on ages ago.

Trying to stay away from the computer so as to not feel bad.

Return to normal programming when I can face up to the things I need to do.

s

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

worst ever natural disaster?

Julia Gillard and Anna Bligh are calling these floods 'Australia's worst natural disaster.' Really? How do you measure disasters? Financial cost? Area affected? Lives lost?

Yes, this is bad. People have died and many have lost all of their possessions. The recovery will be very expensive and will take a long time. It will be messy and smelly and horrible. Farmers may never be able to get on their feet again.

But 2 years ago, 173 people died in the Victorian bushfires. 173. 400+ more were injured.

Who needs to rank disasters?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

looking for something to do?

Trip over to youtube and watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Or drive down to JBHiFi. You won't regret it.

rain

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

things I learned this week

1. Andrew's family is lots of fun to holiday with.
2. Eggs can be hard boiled in a rice cooker.
3. Onions and spices can be fried up in a rice cooker.
4. A rice cooker / slow cooker combo make an excellent stove alternative.
5. Ukulelies are social little instruments and sound nice with a guitar.
6. It was worth spending the extra $35 on my uke. The $25 variety don't sound nearly as nice.
7. I can play Wonderwall on guitar. Kind of.
8. I like to look at beautiful mountain springs and rock pools, but I prefer to swim in the comfort of chlorine.
9. A 22 part TV series is probably better watched over more than four evenings. 7 episodes a night is pretty full on.
10. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is thoroughly enjoyable. Bradley Whitford is just as good in this as in WW.
11. I can cope without the internet or my mobile phone for a week but probably only if I'm with 18 other people.
12. March flies are really annoying.
13. Ticket to Ride is a fun game to play.
14. I'm glad our kids are past the playdough stage.
15. Disney brings everyone together.
16. Scrabble is stressful.
17. God answers prayers.
18. Our dog can cope without us.
19. Home is lovely
20. It is possible to have an extended family holiday without a natural disaster.

we're back!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

holidays tomorrow

We're going to Christmas Creek which is an hour away from nowhere (Beaudesert). Extremely unlikely to have any internet access. I've been downloading bits and pieces to keep me going while I'm away.

Right now I'm feeling self righteousness because the washing is completely under control - the day before we leave! I've also written a list which is sign of something pretty special.

I'm almost looking forward to the trip. Almost. As a rule, I don't like unusual holidays. I've never been to Christmas Creek before so why would I want to go now? But Angel (series 3) is accompanying us and my ukulele and my macbook.

I'll miss you all. If you are in the area, drop in.

happy new year!