Heart Reflections Live

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Australia...

My Australia is...

... sipping tea on the wide verandah of a "Queenslander"house, eating pumpkin scones, lamingtons, Tim Tams and Pavlova...

...enjoying vegemite toast and Sanitarium Weetbix for breakfast...

... depicted in the paintings of Darcy Doyle and John Bradley...

...Tree lined streets of Jacarandas and Red-flowering Tea trees in the Spring...

...rows of Terry Towelling cloth nappies waving in the breeze on the Hills Hoist...

...spotting sleepy-eyed koalas in the gum trees...

...Listening for the Kookaburra to herald the dawn birdsong at the break of day as all creation praises its Maker...

...The Cane Fires...

...the call of the Magpie, Bell Bird, and even the mournful sound of the Rainbird at flood times and cyclone season...

...Hubby in the garden with his Victa mower...

...standing teary-eyed at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier...

...Singing the little-known THIRD verse of our national anthem declaring Christ our Head and Cornerstone...

...looking with pride at our national flag, remembering our ties with Mother England and The Magna Carta which protects our religious freedom, and The Southern Cross constellation which hangs in our Southern skies showing the world exactly where Christ was pierced for our sins...

...The Great Southland of the Holy Spirit...

I pray all Australians here and over seas had a wonderful Australia Day Weekend!
Labels: Christian Heritage
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 12:00 pm 0 comments

My Country by Dorothea MacKellar

My Country
© 1904 Dorothea MacKellar
The love of field and coppice, of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance, brown streams and soft, dim skies-
I know but cannot share it, my love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror- the wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests, all tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains, the hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops, and ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us we see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather, and we can bless again
The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks, watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness that thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country, a wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her, you will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours, wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country my homing thoughts will fly.


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 11:51 am 0 comments

Australian Cuisine

Since, I have so many international readers, I thought I would do a couple more posts on Australian foods and culture.I enjoy so much learning about YOUR countries via your blogs, I thought I'd share a little from mine.

Being born in the late sixties and growing up in the seventies, our meals were greatly influenced by English foods. One of my Grandfathers was British,and our heritage is strongly English and German. We grew up mainly eating very traditional meals of meat and 3 vegetables per meal, followed by a homemade milk pudding.We never had international foods, and takeaway was always Fish and chips or accasionally a pre-cooked chicken. Roast Lamb dinner has traditionally been the Aussie favourite over the years, but in recent times with the influx of more international foods, Spaghetti Bolognaise officially tops the list as the favourite Australian Aussie meal!

THE PAVLOVA: is our famous Aussie dessert. It is a huge merengue shaped like a cake. We usually buy the shell, top it with whipped cream and fruit and/or crumbed chocolate.

VEGEMITE: In the Bible there was Israelites, Canaanites, Jebusites, Hivites- in Australia we are a nation of Happy Little Vegemites! This is a dark yeast based spread rich in Vitamin B. I sometimes have it on toast, lightly spread over butter. It tastes like...Vegemite. Forget Marmite and Promite- they are totally different. The only substitute we sometimes buy is Mighty Mite by Three Threes- it is Ausralian owned, and very very close in taste.

THE MEAT PIE: Yum, what can I say? We actually have stores over here that specialize in meat pies. They are also the all-time favourite food sold at sporting events over here. There used to be a TV jingle over here when I was a child that went "Football, meatpies, kangaroos and Holden cars!"

The Lamington: These are a plain vanilla cake, cut into large square serves, dipped in chocolate icing, then dipped in dessicated coconut. Very nice.

Please don't ask about delicasies such as kangaroo, crocodile or snake- I was tricked into eating a Kanga-banger one night (a kangaroo meat sausage)I felt so sick after finding out what it was, I can't remember what it tasted like!!!

Anyway, that's a brief run-down on some of the main foods people associate with our great country Australia.


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 10:47 am 0 comments

Monday, January 25, 2010

Uniquely Australian

Well, tomorrow is Australia Day- January 26th- and so this week I've been reflecting on our Aussieness, mateship, and the wonderful things God has blessed us with that are unique to Australia.

I've dug through our DVD cupboard for some Australian movies for our girls to watch, and have come up with "The Man From Snowy River", and "Phar Lap"- both our girls are interested in horses at the moment- Talitha especially! Our copy of "The Lighthorsemen" is out on loan at the moment, we also have the Australian mini-series "Against the Wind" made in the 1970's, which is the true story of the lives of 2 convicts, and gives a good look into the history of Australia, and the bad corruption in the country's ruling authorities, prior to the Govenor Lachlan Macquarie coming to power. If you live in other countries and wish to learn more about Australia, try to hire these movies they are very well done.

Well, Australia can take credit for Vegemite( no it doesn't taste like axle grease!), the Victa Mower, the Hills Hoist Clothesline, the "Queenslander" style house with its wide verandahs ( A verandah is similar to the porch on a home in the South part of the USA, only it sometimes goes all around the house) No we don't live in one (sigh!), Tim Tams-Yum,Drizabones, RM Williams boots, and Arnott's Biscuits. I find it sad though that some of these things are no longer owned by Australia.... ( Buy Australian!! Aussie readers please!)

Our nation is the home of The Great Barrier Reef, Ullaru, Cradle Mountain, beautiful opals, the kookaburra ( We have gum trees in our street and often see kookaburras- my favourite!), kangaroo, koala, platypus, red deserts, and lush rainforests. We are truly blessed.

So what uniquely Australia stuff have we got in our home? Let's see... We have Blinky Bill ( a koala character) and a traditional Koala that plays "Waltzing Matilda" in the cot; I collect things with kookaburras on them- 2 vintage jugs(pitchers), some wall prints, a fridge magnet, a hand painted tile hanging in the kitchen; Darcey Doyle Artwork-images of vintage Australia, a copy of "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie"; and some stuffed toy Aussie animals for the children to play with.

Some facts you may not know: Australia has been named "The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit" by Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandez de Quiros in 1606.He was the first recorded European explorer to lay claim to Australia.

The constellation The Southern Cross is on our flag and hangs in our Southern skies. Each star shows the exact points where our Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood for the remission of our sins. Our nation has had its share of droughts ,floods and natural disasters. Recent surveys say that mateship is now second in Australia to getting ahead. We need to pray for our nation, that God would drive us to our knees, and exhort us to "Look up"- He is there for any hardened sinner who'll look to the One who is there, and whose enduring sacrifice is illustrated above.


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:11 pm 0 comments

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Absolute Preciousness of a Garnet in Gold- Twice Over

Many moons ago (about 11), a certain Night in Shining Armour (my hubby) proposed marriage to his fair maiden in a mountain top inn after a delightful meal. Poetry was recited:

Roses are red, violets are blue, my heart belongs truly to you.

I pray you will always stay in my life, which is why I am asking if you'll be my wife

Yes, I'm so sentimental, I'll remember that poem for the rest of my life! Then came the ring-carefully concealed near the window ledge... A gasp of delight... A beautiful red garnet set in a victorian style filigree yellow gold setting.

I adored the ring, as I adored the one who placed it on my finger. My then, fiancee had been trying to establish his own business at the time, and there were not many dollars to spare. I knew the lovely dinner and the precious- to- me ring had been paid for with sleepless nights cleaning. It came at a cost, was given in love, and was worth more than any diamond to me. (Personally I don't think engagement rings HAVE to be diamonds anyway!)

Two children later, we spent a year living in Beerwah, Qld, near Australia Zoo. (As an aside, how weird is this? We only spent 12 months in Beerwah, it turned out to be the year Steve Irwin died, and he died on my hubby's birthday.)

Anyway, I was doing some heavy cleaning and decluttering, hubby was preaching overseas, and as I prepared lunch, I caught sight of my ring and went cold, when I realized the garnet was gone. I checked everywhere I was working, in the vaccuum and the garbage to no avail- the stone was no where to be found. Hubby rang from overseas to find me in tears over the missing garnet. I put the damaged ring away, and put an emerald ring of my Grandmother's on the finger next to my wedding band, as my hand felt like something was missing...

A few years later, we are living in the hills we love, we've celebrated 9 years of marriage in October, and I've not long had my 42nd birthday...

Hubby wrote in my birthday card "To my lovely wife, I love you very much, so I thought it was about time you got this gift again."

What was it I wondered. I was speechless and tears flowed, as I opened my gift- it can't be I thought- There it was, another garnet ring set in gold, different this time- a sleek design with a heart shaped stone. I'm still looking at it a few weeks later, as it sits under my wedding band, and my Grandmother's ring now graces my right hand.... SOMETHING LOST HAS BEEN RESTORED!!!!

Does this remind you of anything? God creates us in love, handcrafts us in beauty, like my first garnet engagement ring, and then, things happen and we realize something is missing- there's an emptiness, a longing, a hole in our hearts, because of our sin. Our loving creator, sent Jesus, His Son, to pay the penalty of our sin, so that when we realize our unworthiness before a Holy God and repent, we can be restored, and have a new heart... just like my ring.

Isn't that just like God, to bless my socks off with my birthday present and give me a parable to share as well! Praise His Name!

The pictured ring is similar to my birthday present. I couldn't find a picture of an exact copy.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 5:39 pm 0 comments