Heart Reflections Live

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You Must See "Amazing Grace"!!!

It takes the promise of a really good, edifying movie to get my husband & I to the cinema. In the past 5 years we have only been to see "The Passion of the Christ", "Finding Neverland", "The Phantom of the Opera", "The Search for Happyness" & now "Amazing Grace".

We'd been much anticipating its release here in Australia, after seeing the trailer, when first released overseas, & I must say we were not disappointed. It was one of the best Christian orientated movies we have ever seen.

Amazing Grace is one of our favourite hymns, & it gave added dimension to my faith, when years ago I studied the life & testimony of John Newton & his transformation from cruel slave trader to humble Pastor. I knew little about William Wilberforce however, except that God used him to put an end to the slave trade in England. This movie filled in the blanks for me.

I won't spoil it for you but I'll just say that the plot is gripping- never boring, Christ & His redemptive work is exalted, the characterisations & acting are beautiful & sensitively portrayed, & it will ignite in you a passion to change the world for Christ. The ending is powerful- take plenty of kleenex! We'll definately be getting the DVD.

I think it's time for a new Reformation... Have you seen "Amazing Grace"? How did it affect you?

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:31 pm 0 comments

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bindi Irwin's 9th Birthday Party

As you may have seen on the news, last Tuesday was Bindi Irwin's 9th Birthday, and in the usual Australia Zoo tradition, it was a grand event with all children FREE!

Hubby thought it was a great reason for a Daddy & Daughters day out, & it was greatly anticipated by both our girls, especially Talitha, who got a day off school! While not an official public holiday, many children from all over the Sunshine Coast often go, as it is a much more economical way to enjoy the Australia Zoo experience and the Irwins are like the Royal Family of the Sunshine Coast.

Talitha & Zara had a ball! with both girls getting to hug Bindi & wish her Happy Birthday (Talitha twice!). Talitha got Terri's autograph, Zara had a pony ride & they enjoyed some of the extra events schedualed for the birthday- that is except for the Aussie rock group , The Veronicas!

The music started while they were seated in the grand stand & Talitha covered her ears & said, "This music is yucky! I don't want to hear The MORONICAS!! & yes I'm serious she really did say this!! Our girls have good taste in music!! They escaped & headed out for lunch, where they rang me to give an update.

Anyway apart from the music, a good time was had by all. The picture of Bindi was taken by my hubby, as she was making candles.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:29 am 0 comments

Friday, July 27, 2007

Our Secondhand Shopping Bargains

Being frugal folk, one of our favourite kinds of family-days-out is thrift shopping- be it op-shops, garage sales (Yard sales for my US readers!), or markets & the last couple of weeks we've been scouring the op-shops & garage sales again. What do we shop for? Why, anything at all we may need, that we don't want to pay new price for!

We've certainly been blessed these last couple of weeks shopping. Our purchases include:
- a green table with 2 plastic chairs for our children's playroom- it even has pencil holders!
-gardening tools
-an unusual percussion instrument
-several skirts & blouses for me- all good quality & nice brands.
-2 pink sweaters- one for each of the girls
-2 lovely dresses for Talitha
-a 1970's grater
-a magazine rack
- 2 of the Katie books by Susan M. Coolidge
& 2 lovely matching vintage red & white aprons (complete with white "Leave it to Beaver" frills), for Talitha & I.

I love secondhand shopping. As a Christian, I believe it's good stewardship ( eg. less money spent on clothes, leaves extra for more important things like Christian schooling or hospitality.) And always remember, when you op-shop it's nice to know the money is supporting Christian charities & not the multi-nationals!!

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 12:34 pm 0 comments

Monday, July 23, 2007

From Generation to Generation

From Generation to Generation: I've often looked at photos of those in my family who've run their race already and have gone on to be with the Lord. Some I've been privileged to know & love, others I must be content to know through the family stories passed down, knowing I'll see them in Heaven one day.
As you may have guessed, passing on our Christian Family Heritage is very important in our house. It's an important part of the Word of God too. The Bible is always exhorting us to think beyond ourselves, to think multi-generationally- from generation to generation & to learn lessons from the Patriarchs, both biblically & in our own families too. Psalm 145 shows the greatness & glory of our God & His goodness to us. How important it is for us to not only remember this, but to speak forth & sing His praises daily & pass this on to the next generation.
Our relationship with God & our love for His holy Word needs to be in our hearts & on our lips 24-7, not just at Church or mid-week Bible Study. We need to look for every opportunity to impart this to our children:
DEUT. 6:7 "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down & when thou risest up." We need to constantly re-evaluate how we spend our time with our children. Are we actively sharing Jesus & God's ways with them, or are we teaching them the ways of the world?
I know when I find myself starting to feel discontent & gloomy over the dirty dishes waiting to be washed, or the nappies in the nappy bucket- it helps me to think back in time to my Great-grandmother, Henrietta, who lived on a farm, near Toowoomba, in Queensland, Australia. She was a wonderful, Christian woman; I've been told, of the Lutheran faith. She reared 8 children (all close together)- Hey! And I've only got 2. Imagine HER nappy pile- and she didn't have a washing machine! Would she have gotten bluesy from time to time? I imagine she would have, and do you know what else I imagine? I imagine her counting her blessings, praising the Lord, looking out the window across the rich soil of the Darling Downs & yet seeing beyond that to the glories of Heaven still to come" Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Sing for the night is o'er Hosanna in the highest Hosanna for Evermore."
I imagine her sons pitching in on the farm & her girls helping her around the house-all learning a good work ethic & the tradition of having the Word of God read at mealtimes. This so inspires me-You know why? It's the same God who saved me!! HEB. 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."
Sometimes I feel I have a lot to live up to when I study my heritage. I have always, since my younger days in the faith, loved the writings of John Bunyan- especially The Pilgrims Progress. When my Dad's Father passed away, it was revealed to me that through him we were direct descendants of John Bunyan, I was floored! I hope if ever I am persecuted for my faith, that I handle myself with the same strength & dignity that he had. We have collected some of his writings & will be reading them to our girls as they get older.
One of my Aunties has written a book ("One Way Ticket" by Fay Bradford) on my father's side of the family, who emigrated from Schleswig-Holstein & pioneered 2 townships in Queensland, Australia. I think of the quiet faith & fortitude the women in particular must have had to leave a cultured, middle-class life in Germany, travel by sea & become a pioneer in the Queensland bush. I am fascinated by stories told of my Great-great-grandmother Catherine (pronounced Cat-ar-ina). She married a widower with 6 children & then they had another 4 of their own. Here is a quote about her from my Auntie's book, spoken by one of Catherine's step-sons, shortly before he died, "… but I do remember every day & night of our mother (meaning his step-mother), & her love for us though so many & her love & work for everyone in the district, day & night. The sick & the well, she was ever ready to comfort & befriend. The babies she brought into the world, the eyes she closed for the dying, the trials & tribulations she suffered through the years, all made her our lovely Mother, & I'm sure she would be pleased to know you are here with me doing the same good work."
What an example of a Titus 2 woman-how this Quote makes me grieve over my short-comings & hunger for more of the fruit of the Spirit in my own life. We can learn so much looking back, that can help us gain strength to go forward. Even if we feel we have no Christian Family Heritage, we can still learn from some of the "sad & sorry" characters in our family, not to follow in that way. Just think-our Lord Jesus had Rahab- a former prostitute in His family line. History becomes a wealth of lessons for us when we know the Lord.
I love to teach our children the great hymns of our forefathers. The words are so rich in Bible truths- for they also worshipped the same God. I also love reading the King James Bible. I'm reading the same version my Grandfather grew up on & read every night & I love to think of all the great revivals that came from that wonderful version. Gaining wisdom from the "old paths" JER.6: 16, helps me to grow in Jesus who is alive in me today.it is my hearts desire that our 2 daughters also grow up to know the Lord & walk in grace & truth as we study God's Word & learn from our heritage together.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 10:40 am 0 comments

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Shocking Barna Study on Christians & Harry Potter

I enjoy perusing different magazines, published by different churches to see what is happening in different parts of the body of Christ. An article in the latest Queensland Baptist publication contained statistics that disturbed me greatly.

Barna studies report that 77% of church-going teens & born-again Christian teenagers have seen or read Harry Potter.
12% said that Harry Potter increased their interest in witchcraft.
Only 4% said they'd received any warnings or information about witchcraft through their churches- how poor is that!!

Why don't so many churches today use the the Scriptures as they are meant- not just to encourage the flock, but to rebuke, warn & chasten when necessary too.

2 TIM 4: 1-4: " I charge thee therefore before God, & the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick & the dead at his appearing & his kingdom; Preach the word;be instant in season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, & shall be turned unto fables."
The Bible is full of warnings on witchcraft. And the type of magic portrayed in Harry Potter has been drawn from Wiccan. Fiction based on fact can be very real, so it really can't be laughed off as fantasy.
LEV 20:6 says, "And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people."

I have heard so many reports from different parents, who have said that their children started to display, out of character rebellious behaviour, straight after reading a Potter book, or watching one of the films. Not all media with a witch or wizard in has to be avoided, especially if the magic is accurately portrayed as evil, & the evil one gets their just desserts. That can be a good teaching principle for children. But Harry Potter is very different, as the hero is indulging in the magic, and the hero is usually the one children emulate.

But while I do believe that churches should be warning people about witchcraft & using God's Word as a measuring stick for any media the family endorses, the real responsibility for teaching these things, must come back to the parents, sharing these facts with fear & trembling before a Holy God. When children learn from an early age the importance of measuring everything by God's Word, & see their parents faithfully doing the same & not just being Christians on Sundays, the impact can be enormous.

With the exception of a parent reading Harry Potter to check it out & to see if claims like mine are true, I really don't believe Harry Potter should have a place in any Christian home, especially not one that takes God's Word seriously.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:38 am 0 comments

Monday, July 16, 2007

Angels With Paper Wings

We've not long finished schoolholidays & it was such a delight to have Talitha home with us every day for 2 weeks, now she is back at school, Zara is missing her already, but this past saturday, they had a wonderful time playing together.

We'd promised to take them to see the Flaxton Minature Village, if they were good- and they were. They were both dressed up in pink dresses with long sleeves underneath to go out, & imaginations flowing freely, they discovered if they tucked paper napkins into the back of their dresses near the sleeve hole, they could have angel wings!! And "fly" they did, pretty visions in pink & white. One of Talitha's wings fell off & she decided to be an Aussie Mozzie for a while & then experimented turning some of her rag dolls & teddy bears into angels too!

How glad I am that we don't buy our children many of the things we see in toy catalogues- everything is so commercialized. I agree ( & so do our girls) with Anne of Green Gables that there's more scope for the imagination without them...

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:21 am 2 comments

Monday, July 09, 2007

Adventure Before Dementia- Is it the Biblical Way to Live??

My husband & I were recently stuck in traffic behind a 4WD sporting the sticker, "Adventure Before Dementia"- we laughed, another Baby Boomer hitting the road! I don't know if my American, Canadian or UK blogfriends are familiar with this phrase, but in Australia it's pretty much akin to "We're spending our children's inheritance!& enjoying it too!" -something that is fast becoming something of a trend here. But is it Biblical? What does God's Word say about this sort of thing?

Proverbs 13:22 says, "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just."
That's Old Testament, & in the New Testament the Apostle Paul said in2 Cor 12:14 "... for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children."
Lest any one think my parents are about to buy a camper van & take off into the wide, blue yonder- they are not!! They are wonderful, faithful workers, who have always saved hard, & often have to be encouraged to enjoy the fruits of their labour a bit more & thankfully they are now starting to do this. They are not following the worldly trend.

The Baby Boomer population is now demographically the largest group of people alive today, what a benefit they could be to the Body of Christ ! Empty-nesters could give time to building up the church & reaching out to Generation Y- the next largest demographic group, many of whom have grown up with a greater knowledge of who Ronald Macdonald is than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

There are so many children growing up today from broken homes, in a secular, humanistic school system, believing they have evolved from slime, who could really be reached by caring older Christian folk volunteering to teach Religious Education in the State school system. If we don't do it there are plenty of other people from different religions & ideologies eager to take a shot at it. Some state schools on the Sunshine Coast don't even have a program for R.E. I've heard.

Older folk have so much to offer the young- their own families & the wider community at large. The Bible always encourages us to think generationally, with our eyes towards Heaven. We are to live for Christ & not for ourselves. I'm writing this with respect & reverence to our older generation. We need you in our churches. We have youth needing to learn what it is to serve- maybe by helping you in your garden, if you are feeling sick. Service works both ways. They need your wisdom.

We need older women to "Titus" the younger- to teach them to love their husbands & their children, to be good keepers at home. Many young women, or new converts may have missed this growing up & know nothing of "Family Life" save being at day care & then going home to eat takeaway & watch videos to keep out of their parents hair. Can you see how much you're needed?

Retirement is never actually mentioned in the Bible. You may retire from your earthly job, but God may yet have some surprises for your Golden years. Your golden years are worth more than Adventure Before Dementia & when you're in Christ the best is always yet to come.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 2:55 pm 1 comments

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's My First Blog Anniversary!!!

Well, it's hard for me to believe that I've actually been blogging for a year now! I started with the intent of encouraging other Christian women online, especially those who are Mothers- though I'm always pleased to hear if my thoughts have lifted & encouraged or challenged anyone in the blogosphere.

I set out with the goal of doing 2 or 3 posts per week, God-willing. Some weeks I've achieved this, & some weeks I haven't. I've had some really topsy-turvy weeks with unexpected medical emergencies (Hubby's heart), or children passing the dreaded winter coughs, cold & flu around, & around again, but I figure if I miss doing a post or 2, because I'm caring for my family, then that's OK. If I'm blogging about being a Godly Helpmeet & Mama, & then not doing it myself then there's no point blogging & all. I strive to be real in my posts.

I've enjoyed the Christian fellowship with other ladies online, through swapping comments back & forth. It's great to be able to share thoughts on growing in Godliness, the Word of God, recipes & practical stuff like how to clean the house with a toddler in tow!

I figure my first blogging anniversary is a great excuse to call to some of my lurkers to come out of hiding & introduce yourselves!! I know you're there- that's what the measles on my map are for! I'd love to know where you're from, how you found my blog & if you enjoy reading. A special big thankyou to my regular commenters- you know who you are!- you really lift me up too & make writing a real pleasure. Now for my second year!! Stay tuned!!

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 2:02 pm 1 comments

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Good Laugh from a Little Girl with a Big Heart

Our little Talitha, aged 5 , had hubby & I in stitches yesterday. Already, she is very missions-minded, with a great desire that people from all nations, tribes & tongues would come to know the living Christ. She loves looking at library books about children from different cultures & is fascinated by those of different ethnic background. If you asked her who her favourite Hi-5 presenter is, she would say Kathleen, because she's Asian. If you showed her a range of baby dolls of different skin-tone & asked her favourites, she would pick the Hispanic or African ones.

As all little girls are, she also loves wedding pictures. We have a magazine liftout on Royal Weddings from around the world, including the British & European Royals, Japanese & Jordan royals. She adores this booklet & was showing it to her Daddy yesterday, pointed to a lovely picture of the Jordanian Royals & said, "Look! These people are bosums!" He questioned her again & she repeated firmly that they were bosums. He brought her to me, trying to shed light on her strange statement. We explained what bosums were & that they were not people. And then suddenly it clicked- They were Muslims!! In Australia we pronounce it M-oos-lim, if you are wondering. We quickly corrected her.

It was a very funny moment, but more than that we are pleased for the genuine love & interest she has in people the world over.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 10:44 am 0 comments

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Our Inaugural Service at Fathers House

The Lord be praised! Today we had our inaugural church service at Fathers House! After a lot of prayer & seeking the Lord for His will for our lives, & weeks of eager planning, we have finally opened a non-denominational, community minded, Christ-centred , Word-based Church.

This has been a huge step of faith for us, as a family, but God has proven Himself faithful yet again, & has greatly encouraged us.

We have plans to outreach to the poor in the community, do voluntary community service as a congregation, preach repentance & Grace to the sinner, & have longer term plans for a kids club & youth group.

If you love reverent worship, triumphant hymns & caring Christian fellowship, we meet at 10 am Sundays in the Mapleton Hall on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. For further details go to www.abbagrace.com/fhc.html.

My husband is a passionate preacher with a genuine heart for the lost & needy. He has preached extensively in Malaysia, & it's a real joy to be able to sit under his teaching myself, on a regular basis. His ministry under Christ, will be a great blessing to the people of the Sunshine Coast.
For all of my readers overseas, we would really appreciate your prayers for this ministry, very soon on the website, we will have pictures & other information to show you what we're up to. And of course, if you're planning a holiday downunder, especially to sunny Queensland, drop in for a visit & some fellowship. The Blackall Range, where Mapleton is situated, is one of the most beautiful places as well as one of the top tourist strips on the Sunshine Coast.


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:14 pm 2 comments