Heart Reflections Live

Friday, January 25, 2008

Australia- Do Not Forget Your Christian Heritage

Happy Australia Day Weekend to all Australians, here and overseas.

In the midst of the fun of the Thong-throwing competitions (U.S. readers translate- flip-flops), Cane Toad races (YUK!!), Dunny races, Aussie singalongs, and the snags on the barbie (Sausages on the barbeque), please don't forget the rich Christian heritage on which this nation was sovereignly founded by God.

Have you heard of The Rev. Richard Johnson? He was Australia's first Chaplain and Preacher. He came over with the First Fleet. He was a great man of God with a passion for souls who was a product of the evangelical revival in England. He was hand chosen for the job by, among others, The Rev. John Newton, of "Amazing Grace" fame, and the inspiration for William Wilberforce in England.

" Johnson was a man with a deep sense of calling, a great love of the Bible, a man of prayer and a man of compassion. He often visited the convicts and even took an Aboriginal girl, who had contracted small pox, into his home for several months...
Barry Chant writes in " A Fascinating Look at Australia's Origins", :"It is tempting to draw a contrast between our irreligious settlers and those Pilgrim Fathers who settled the United States. But in fact, hundreds of copies of Scripture were landed here in 1788 thanks to Richard Johnson...he brought 100 Bibles, 400 Testaments and 500 Psalters, 100 Osterwald's necessity for reading the Scriptures, 25 Plain Exhortations to Prisoners, 200 Sermons on the Mount, 200 Exercises Against Lying, 50 Woodward's Caution to Swearers, 200 Christian soldiers... It was providential that Johnson was the first religious figure to come to this land. The Portuguese, the Dutch and the French all sailed around it, touched it... Prior to Cook... they all seemed to head for the Great Southland but then sailed around it!...it almost looks as though an unseen hand redirected those little vessels to other lands. it cannot be coincidence. I believe God had a sovereign purpose for Australia...it was the simple evangelistic gospel that He intended to be proclaimed in this land!... The truth is that the message young Johnson brought to Point Jackson was the nearest to the New Testament that anyone of his day is likely to have proclaimed."

Richard Johnson continued:" I entreat you... to read the word of God carefully. Many of you have had Bibles... given to you...Begin the day with prayer: and... if you find it impracticable to meditate or pray, from the interruptions you are exposed to... If you have families you should call them together, and pray with them and for them. There are many promises made to worshipping families, and those who, like Abraham, endeavour to teach their children and household to know and serve the Lord. (Gen 17:19 Prov 3:33)"

All this information is taken from "Discovering Australia's Christian Heritage" by Col Stringer.

I hope I have gotten you excited if this is new to you. We need to stand strong in the faith, stand for our heritage,teach it to our children, and not let anyone take it from us.


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:55 pm 1 comments

Monday, January 21, 2008

And She Huffed and She Puffed...

And she BLEW those candles out!!

Here is Zara Hope with her flower cake. My husband asked her specifically what cake she would like for her4th birthday, and she said- a Flower... Must be the budding (pardon the pun) gardener in her!!

My husband and I made the cake together. I baked it and mixed the icing, and then my creative hubby got busy cutting the flower shape, mixing the colourings and completing the creation. She loved it!!

I can't believe little Zara is 4 already!!

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 2:30 pm 2 comments

Zara on her 4th Birthday

This has to be one of my all-time favourite photos of Zara. I call her "My little Curly Top".

Her favourite things at 4 are Being a Princess, gardening with Daddy, playing cooking, and helping with cleaning, and reading -especially Bible Stories.

She melts our hearts...

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 2:08 pm 0 comments

Celebrating Talitha's 6th Birthday

Here is a photo of the girls together as we celebrated Talitha's 6th Birthday at my parents' place. She is holding 2 of her gifts- a "Princess" bag and the "Hans Christian Andersen" DVD.

Zara, aged 3, in the photo looks deceptively tall, but she is kneeling on a chair.

Our girls are such a blessing to us!

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 1:38 pm 1 comments

Monday, January 14, 2008

Changes at the House in the Hills

I've been too busy with life this past week to have enough time to update my blog!

We are going through a growing time in our home in the hills and changes are afoot! Zara turned 4 on the 5th of January, and has now graduated from her Grow Years cot with the side off, to a lovely wrought iron and wooden single bed- a garage sale find for $10 AUD! It's beautiful- but she looks so tiny in it!

Changing the girls' room around, meant finding another spot for the cot, as you never know if God's got more blessings for you at 40 or not, and it is now residing( crammed in to tell the truth!) in the girls' playroom to be used as extra seating and a daybed for Zara on days when she needs a nap.

We need to do work in the playroom to accomodate more changes too- we are homeschooling Talitha from the end of the month, and are going to create a homeschool/sewing corner in there. There is some stuff in there which we will be moving downstairs for our next garage sale, and everything else will have to be rearranged. We will be putting in the corner for the sewing machine and homeschool storage, a wooden right-angled cupboard we got for free! Yes-free! We were driving past someone's place, saw it in their front yard where they were cleaning up, and asked-They were throwing it out!!- We are currently storing it at my parents' house until the big change over.

As for the sewing part, I learned properly in high school, but that was over 20 years ago! I'm taking some refresher lessons from our lovely neighbour, Pat, on her machine- it's nice to know I can still sew a straight line!, and am proudly bringing back items I've machine mended from our mending bag. It's quite exciting to be able to move things from the mending pile, to the ironing pile, and back into the girls' or hubby's wardrobe. I want to be able to sew basic modest skirts for myself and dresses for the girls as they get older. It will save us a lot of money, and will supplement our op-shopping bargains. It's all quite exciting!

What changes is the New Year bringing your way?

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 1:23 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

True Living

"Life means far more than many of us ever dream of. It is not merely passing through the world with a fair measure of comforts, with enough bread for our hunger, with enough raiment to keep us warm. Life means growth into the image of Christ himself, into strength, into well-rounded character, into disciplined manhood and womanhood, into the blessed peace of God. But the peace into which he guides us is victory over all the trials, a quietness and confidence which no external circumstances can break."
- by J.R. Miller D.D.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 11:19 am 0 comments

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Peaceful Australian Christmas and New Year

We've had a lovely Christmas/ New Year Season this year, celebrating with family and close friends.

For my overseas readers who may be interested, Christmas in sunny Queensland is usually HOT! This year it was not, with a "low" (potential cyclone) hovering off the Queensland Coast. Not only didn't we need our airconditioner, we were digging out warm clothes as well, to suit the very wet, windy conditions we've had! We also had a "white" Christmas of sorts too, as where we live, high in the hills, gets very cloudy, misty and nice in bad weather. Many Aussies celebrate Christmas on the beach with prawns and a BBQ (It's not unusual in Australia to see images of Santa Clause in board shorts and thongs (flip-flops) ). However, some Aussies- like us- take a more traditional approach and have a lovely set table, roast vegetables and a combination of ham on the bone and cold chicken. We have traditional plum pudding and custard for dessert. I feel sorry for all the tourists who came to south east Queensland for Christmas this year. Many of the beaches were closed and are now badly eroded.

Anyway, Christmas morning started for us with Church, and then coming home to finish preparing the meal. We were joined by my Mum, Dad, younger brother, and our friend Michael from church. After lunch came our present opening ceremony- much anticipated by Miss 3!. Why wait till the afternoon? It's one way we keep things more Christ-centred, and it's so much nicer having my extended family present too.

We gave our girls 2 sets each this year of imitation bakeware/ cookware- all in metal and ceramic! We couldn't believe how little they cost too! Last year we gave Zara the chinese cooking set in the same brand, and it's still being played with. They're sturdy too. Talitha can stand on the metal pieces and they won't break or bend. They are playing with them almost constantly.

Our children like simple toys. I do too, I confess. Why would I spend a fortune on a gameboy, X-box, or PC 3 and more on games, when a few simple cooking toys and active imaginations can occupy them for hours. Simplicity rules!

Oh! I must tell you what hubby bought me! He and I decided to wait for the sales to get our presents, as we'd strove to avoid the commercialism, hype and crowds pre-Christmas, with my hubby only going shopping twice for a few things on his own. I got a new cordless kettle, a gorgeous teapot ( our first in 7 years of marriage), and a beautiful vintage style green and cream ceramic mixing bowl. I felt quite spoilt!

Boxing Day brought some lovely Christian fellowship. We spent most of the day with good friends from Finland, Markus, Kaisa and their 2 little girls Saara and Alisa. We were treated to some delightful Finnish Christmas Fare and really enjoyed it. Our children really enjoyed trying the food from another culture as well, and had a lovely afternoon playing in Saara's tent and climbing trees!

New Years Eve was a quiet affair for us. Usually we can see fireworks from our sunroom, but since all displays were cancelled due to the weather, we had a peaceful evening reading and reflecting on the goodness of God, and then enjoyed the blessing of a peaceful nights sleep- and no, we didn't even sit up to midnight!

How was your Christmas and New Year?

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:23 pm 1 comments