Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thank God it wasn't cancer

Hi Everyone

Today was a very emotional day for me. My beautiful cat Jessie (pictured) has had lumps under her chin for over a month now. They hadn't cleared up with medication and she had begun to scratch at them. I was told it could be cancer.

I went to my classes as normal but, at the back of my mind, there was this fear. As the day progressed it grew worse. Luckily it was a really full day so I didn't have enough time to have a full blown panic attack but I was getting close - my heart was beating fast and I had to control my breathing. And, of course, I prayed. Not just once, oh no, I prayed every few minutes.

My friend Tony took Jessie and I to the vet. Once there I was ushered into the consultation room. I was there, alone with Jessie, for about ten minutes. I prayed and did deep breathing exercises the whole time.

The vet, a young Chinese woman, was very sympathetic. She cuddled Jessie to calm her down and looked at the lumps. She said she would show Jessie to the skin specialist. I was alone in the room - more prayer and breathing.

When she re-entered with Jessie in her arms she said "I've got good news." The good news is that Jessie has cat acne which can be treated with antibiotics and a shampoo. I felt my body go limp. Thank you God!

I came home expecting to cuddle up to Jessie in celebration. But she wasn't having that. She sprinted out the door and hid in the bushes. I had to chase her for over an hour!

Jessie is now inside and calm and well.

Thank you to everyone who prayed.

God Bless


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Album of Opinions Revisited

Hi Everyone

As many of you know before my grandmother died last year she left me a book that recorded the opinions of the relatives and friends of my great great grandmother and grandfather. These are really interesting. I am including, today, the full set of opinions of my great great grandmother Emily Wragg. I am also making up a new Album of Opinions and would love it if you could answer these same questions and either email it to me or include it in a comment.

Anyway here it goes - Emily Wragg's opinions

The noblest aim in life
The Greatest wonders of the world
Electricity and steam
The characters you most admire in real life
Kind husband and loving children
Who do you consider the greatest living politician?
Bad is the best right now
What political questions are you chiefly interested in?
Marriage with a deceased wife's sister - I don't like it.
The greatest artists and musicians
Too many to mention
Your favourite characters in fiction.
John Halifay
The time of year you like best
The authors you admire most
Walter Scott, Pope
A Brief Definition of love
A state of impermanence but beautiful while it lasts
The scenery you admire most
Woodland, beach and agricultural
Your idea of happiness
Quiet time with a dear relative or friend
Your favourite motto or proverb
"Whatevery thy hand guideth to do, do it with thy might."
The wrongs you would redress
Reforms you would advocate
Religious instruction in schools and the better management of children.
Your favourite recreation or hobby
Reading and needlework - no hobby
The true place of woman in society
House or at a friend's
Your favourite topic of study
It has been music
Your chief ambition
To be worthy of a good name
The Christian name you like be
Herbert Lucy
Your ideas on the subject of marriage
A state of happiness if both parties are loving
The qualities you respect most in men and women?
Men - generosity and courage
Women - modesty and sincerity
Your favourite flowers, birds and beasts
Roses, Talking Birds, Dogs

Name Emily M Wragg
Date June 25th 1885

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The System (our play) - Scene 2

Hi Everyone

Today my friend Heather and I finished the first draft of our play. We did a 'reading' and we both thought it was better than we had expected sooo...I decided to test whether you like it or not. I am doing scene 2 because scene 1 is a poem which Heather will write - scene 2 is where the action starts. The play would be rated 'M' is it had a rating because of adult themes, nudity and course language. If you're offended by any of these things don't say I haven't warned you. It is based in the psychiatric ward. Happy Reading!

Scene 2 - The Smoking Area

Light comes on and Chrissie enters. She lights up her smoke from the 'cigarette lighter pole' and then sits down next to a dazed Will.

Chrissie: I wish they'd give my lighter back.
Will: You will not believe the day I've just had.
Chrissie: You were gone for a while...what did you get up to?
Will: It's David.
Chrissie: What? What happened?
Will: I don't believe it...he, he's dead.
Chrissie: That's not funny Will.
Will: I'm not joking, he's dead.
Chrissie: Dead...DEAD...Dead?
(Chrissie moves to the bench opposite Will and cries. Jude and Sara enter).
Sara (to Jude): You're going to hell Jude! There's no such thing as purgatory.
Jude: How do you know that? Are you God?
Sara: I'm more dangerous than God so you better watch out!
Jude: You can't touch me. I am God!
Sara: Whatever...What's up with her?
Will: She's upset.
Sara: Now what?
Will: David's dead.
Jude: Where is he? I'll bring him back to life.
Sara: He died before I could fuck him.

Chrissie cries louder.

Will: Haven't you got any feelings?
Sara: For him I do, not for her.
Jude: I think you're going to hell.
Sara: This is hell baby.
Jude: Where is he? I'll heal him.

The nurses Karen and Jen enter. Jen walks over to Chrissie, holds her and pats her back. Karen clears her throat loudly.

Karen: Let's have a bit of quiet please.
Chrissie (Between sobs): He's dead...he's dead.

Karen takes notes on her clipboard and Chrissie stops crying. Nicky runs in brandishing a note. He doesn't notice Chrissie's state.

Nicky: Flash for cash again. I've got $20 for smokes. David left me a note.
Karen: Give me that.

Chrissie grabs the note and reads aloud.

Chrissie: Here's your $20 back. Thanks mate. Goodbye.

Chrissie slumps back down with Jen.

Nicky: Do you girls want to make it a three some?

Chrissie slaps Nicky's face. Nicky walks off grinning. Dr Boloum enters holding a fancy black clipboard.

Chrissie (to Dr Boloum): What happened to David?
Dr Boloum: The circumstances aren't clear and I'm not free to comment at this stage.
Will: Oh for God's sake I saw the whole thing. He ran in front of a bus.
Jude: Why did he do a thing like that?
Will: He thought he saw his mother's murderer or something.

Karen claps her hands.

Karen: Jen, you look after Chrissie. The smoking area is now closed.

End of Scene 2

Please also remember to keep praying for my housing situation and the health of my beautiful cat Jessie.

God Bless you all


Saturday, April 25, 2009


Hi Everyone

Today it is ANZAC Day in Australia. For those of you from other countries ANZAC stands for "Australia and New Zealand Army Corps" and it is the day we remember our soldiers who suffered and/or died in war, especially World War One. Australians, for some reason unknown to me, specifically think of the bravery of our soldiers in Gallipoli. Gallipoli was a big mess up by the British and Australian lives were lost because of their poor tactics.

Today I forgot it was ANZAC Day. I got up early to do the grocery shopping. All the shops were shut except McDonalds. I ate at McDonalds then went back to the supermarket. Still closed. There were other people milling around outside the entrance. No one seemed to know what was going on. I went back to McDonalds and there learned the truth. The shops would open at midday. The morning was for ANZAC Day.

I am always unsure what I should feel when ANZAC Day comes around. My father's family are Quakers, and therefore pacificists and I have been deeply influenced by their beliefs. My grandfather on my mother's side didn't go to war, I think because he was needed to farm the land and provide food. My maternal grandmother's brother - Uncle Bill - went to the second World War and was taken prisoner by the Japanese. He didn't talk about it at all until shortly before his death and even then not to me.

So what I'm getting around to saying is that I don't know what war is like or how I feel about it. I have never been affected enough by war to really experience its ramifications and my imagination isn't good enough (or gory enough) to imagine them.

I can appreciate that many young men gave up so much because they loved our nation and I can understand how much they must have suffered. But only intellectually. I don't know it.

On the other hand I can also appreciate what pacificists say - war is awful and should be avoided at all costs. Although I have never seen how terrible war is it doesn't take a genuis to know that it's not a good thing.

So there you have it - my confused response to ANZAC Day.

A reminder to please keep me in your prayers regarding my housing situation.

God Bless


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twilight - the Book

Hi Everyone

My apologies for being absent from the blogging world for a little while. Upon returning to Hobart I was seized with incredible tiredness and it was all I could do to get to my classes.

Now for the subject at hand - Twilight. Let me tell you that before Twilight I hated vampire tales, was sick to death of teenage love stories (after being a teacher for five years they get to you) and had no idea that the two together would be so compelling.

The book is wonderfully written and the romantic/sexual tension is really wonderfully done.

I also related to the heroine - Bella Swan. Bella is clumsy (like me), smart (hopefully like me), has low self-esteem (like me) and has no idea how she comes across to other people (like me).

I imagined I was Bella and I found myself falling in love with a vampire. Believe me I've never done that before!

Edward's character is done really well. I could really see his struggle with his growing love for Bella and his knowledge that being a vampire would, well, sort of complicate things a little.

The book also has a lot of twists and turns - Bella's life is at risk three, yes three, times. Usually I would just think that that was totally unrealistic and stop reading. But it's hard, very hard, to stop reading Twilight.

I did read somewhere that some Christian groups dislike Twilight. I am unsure why. If you're one of them please tell me why.

As a Christian reader I really related to it. Edward's struggle with his 'inner monster' is very like my own struggle with sin. It was done very, very well. Also his totally unconditional love for Bella is very like God's love for us.

Bella, likewise, is willing to risk her life to save both her own and Edward's families.

Apparently some people hate Twilight - I really thought I'd be one of them but I have already made arrangements to purchase the other books from a girl in my course who has them and hates their presence.

On a different note (ie end of book review note) please pray for me regarding my cat's health and my impending eviction.

God Bless


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Inspirational People - Tracey

Hi Everyone

I want to share with you some stuff about one of the most inspirational and supportive people I have ever met (drumroll) - the wonderful Tracey!

I first met Tracey in 2000. I was not a Christian but had gone to her church out of curiosity with my friends Amy and Jen. Amy, Jen, Tracey and I went to a pub after church.

My first impression of Tracey was that she was funny, creative and down to earth. Sometimes first impressions can be realistic.

Tracey became a Christian in 2000 (before I met her) because of her flatmates Nick (now a church elder) and Mikey (now a pastor). The house she lived in was near the church and a lot of the church members would pop in after church. She also especially remembers Paul Chew (now an Anglican minister).

After becoming a Christian Tracey "Felt like everything made sense."

Tracey's leadership abilities were obvious and after a year of intense spiritual growth in 2000 she commenced a Ministry Apprentiship in 2001 at the University. She said that although this was a steep learning curve for her she didn't want to waste any more time.

At the end of 2002 I had my breakdown. My friends Amy and Jen called Tracey and we met up. Tracey took me through a Bible study about depression and supported me with weekly meetings.

Tracey also taught me how to have better social skills so I could explain to people what was going on and what they could do to help. This was invaluable as most people had no idea what was happening or how they could help.

Tracey encouraged me to develop my intellectual reasoning also so that I was not making decisions purely with my emotions.

When I met Tracey she was finishing off a Bachelor of Arts. In 2004 Tracey moved to Melbourne to go to Bible College. I did not want her to go. I didn't think I'd cope without her and, to a large extent, I didn't.

Tracey has now completed her Graduate Diploma in Bible and Ministry and she still hasn't come back to Hobart! Come on Tracey we need you!

Anyway Tracey is currently studying for a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She will be an awesome counsellor. She is due to finish this at the end of 2010. After that she will consider a range of options including a school chaplain, church counsellor or University Ministry.

She also currently works as a legal receptionist. She says she doesn't love this job but it has been good for her.

If you want to find out more about Tracey her blog address is She doesn't update it often but it is always fun when she does.

God Bless


Friday, April 17, 2009

The Zoo and other animals

Hi Everyone
As you can tell today I went to the zoo. The first exhibit was the mercats (pictured - the ones that are not lions or kangaroos). I like mercats because they are cute and really energetic. Most of the animals were asleep or resting but the little mercats were running around. We were in time to see them fed.
I was really wanting to see the 'Big Cats' - the lions in particular. I love lions. Of course in real life they would be terrifying. African people I know hate them. But, to me, they are just sooo beautiful and majestic.
And, of course, we had a big kangaroo exhibit. Even though I have seen heaps of kangaroo exhibits I still like them. This one was chasing people for food and rubbing up against people for pats. I patted it a bit but it was more interested in the little kids.
We had a rest at the hotel for a couple of hours and then went out for tea. Today we went to a Greek restaurant called Dion, which is apparently the name for the house of Zeus. We had pita bread and five dips for entree then I had mediterranean chicken. Oh it was so lush. A little tangy and sooo tender.
After that we went to the only comedian in the show I have seen live before - Judith Lucy. The last time I saw her (in Hobart about 15 years ago) it was all feminist jokes. Not this time! This time it was about turning 40 (two and a half years for me so I did understand). Like me Judith Lucy is single and has no kids and doesn't drive a car. I could really relate but it was perhaps a bit two close to home to be outrageously funny.
The next act was Stephen K Amos. He was just great. A black comedian originally from England he just poked fun at everyone and everything. He played the race card a little bit but also commented on just everything and anything.
In between the two acts I lost my temper completely at the bar. I even scared myself. People were pushing in and shoving me and the bar tenders closed the bar just as I was about to order. I just felt it was unjust and I could feel this rage welling up. Thank God for Stephen K Amos otherwise I might have screamed.
Please pray that I will not be overwhelmed by anything like that again.
God Bless you all

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A blast from the past (and more comedy)

Hi Everyone

It is a little well known fact that I lived in Melbourne until I was 9 years old. I identify as being a Tasmanian but Melbourne also holds a special place in my heart.

Anyway today my brother, my sister and I went back to Surrey Hills where we used to live. My sister wasn't born (she is only 16) when we were there but it jogged some memories for my brother and I.

Before the school was a park with pine trees that were very tall. When my brother was about 4 or 5 he climbed nearly to the top. My mum, who is terrified of heights, had to climb up after him. It was a real life cliff hanger moment. Anyway pictured is my brother standing against one of the pine trees.

Our school, Canterbury Primary School, was up the road. My brother and I are pictured at the school. I remember the school being very traditional which bored me. I would sit and stare out the window. The teachers assumed I couldn't do the work and put me in a remedial class. Well my mother wasn't having that. She stormed up to the school and told them I was smart. I then got extension work which was more fun. It was during these extension classes that I found my true book-love The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Apart from that we had some glorious food today. We met my uncle Tim for lunch and went to an Italian restaurant called 'Calabrien' in North Carlton. I had a seafood and avocado pizza which was just delicious. At tea time we went to China town to a restaurant called 'Dahu Peking Duck Restaurant'. I had steamed dumplings, green tea, prawn crackers and a beautiful dish made of beancurd, pork and chillis. Unusual taste but I loved it.

We saw two comedians tonight, both women - Fiona O'Loughlin and Nina Conti. Fiona I had heard of before because she is from Alice Springs and I used to live there. I just loved her for some reason. She mainly talked about her husband and kids but it was just sooo funny. Two of her kids came on stage too.

Nina Conti was more sophisticated. She is a ventriloquist and puppeteer as well as a comedian. She had rather a complex theme - centred around how her puppet was the 'missing link' in the evolutionary trail. Then the puppet said well actually he wasn't real so maybe she was delusional and depressed. I know it probably sounds like a better show but there was something about Fiona.

Tomorrow we go to the zoo which I'm excited about because we don't have one in Tasmania. Also we get to see a feminist comedian I've seen before.

God Bless you all


A very busy day

Hi Everyone
As you can tell from the pictures yesterday I went to the Melbourne Aquarium. We don't have one in Hobart so it is a bit of a treat. The shark pictured is the only Grey Nurse shark alive in the whole state of Victoria. The other picture is the King Penguins. They were really big to me as here we only get the little penguins.
We went on a glass bottom boat and the sharks and other fish swam under us. That was really cool.
I got to have about an hour with my sister shopping and I bought a new handbag for ten dollars and a really nice black dress for fifteen dollars.
We went to a restaurant called Portland Lane for dinner and I got to have my favourite dessert - sticky date pudding in butterscotch sauce. It was wonderful.
We saw three acts at the comedy festival and I think three is a bit much. I was exhausted.
The first one was 16 different acts. The best two out of that was a guy who put tape on his mouth and just mimed everything and a guy who dressed up as a nine year old boy and talked about moving his grandmother into a home.
We then saw a woman called Denise Scott. I didn't like her at first but she got better as the day wore on. She talked a lot about her husband and children and made fun of them.
The last act was Arj Barker. He was probably the best but I was soooo tired by the time I saw him I couldn't take it all in. He started off with a send up of the whole 'breathe out' negativity stuff on a screen. He then did a whole heap of political and religious stuff.
Please pray that I keep my stress levels under control and am able to be assertive about my need for rest.
God Bless

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Hi Everyone

As most of you know today was the day when I travelled to Melbourne. Pictured is the plane we went on. It is a very small plane and seats about thirty people. It was a bit squashed inside.

I am a bit scared of flying and prayed all the time that we would arrive safely. We had very little turbulance which was good.

We then had to get on two different buses to find our hotel. The hotel is nice - four stars - and has a TV with Austar and a pool. I forgot to bring my bathers though.

We went to a lovely Indian restaurant called Balti for dinner. I had beef korma which was just exquisite.

There were many frustrations. I am not very fit and I walk slowly. Also we kept getting lost despite having a map. Sometimes it got so bad I just wanted to go back home. I'm not used to having so many things jammed into a day.

Anyway we went to the Comedy Festival after dinner. The picture above shows me outside the theatre.

The first act was Dave Hughes. He was quite funny - lots of blokey Aussie humour with some topical stuff. He also talked quite a lot about relationships and his wife which I thought was quite sweet.

The second act, Wil Anderson, was much, much better. He commented on mainly topical stuff -our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the global financial crisis, drugs, the Victorian bushfires, religion and gay marriage. He was, like a lot of comedians, a bit anti Christian but he was very, very funny. I laughed nearly the whole way through.

Anyway I need to sign off now so I can get up early to go to the Acquarium.

God Bless


Monday, April 13, 2009

A Traditional Easter Sunday - with eggs!

Hi Everyone

My family is very traditional about Easter, especially my brother.

We were all up by 8 am to give eggs and other chocolates to one another. Pictured is what I received.

We then had a breakfast of savoury toast together. The savoury toast was mixed with mum's special chutney which I love.

My brother hid a whole heap of eggs in the garden and we had to hunt for them. This was fun. Even though I do it every Easter it was still fun. I found lots of eggs.

One of my friends from primary school (she is the person I've known the longest apart from family) came around and we had a great catch up. She was pleased I was feeling a lot better and I was pleased she had a house and a job.

The evening meal was wonderful. Mum and I started off with a seafood cocktail. After that was a roast dinner of turkey, chicken and vegetables, including cauliflower cheese which is one of my favourites.

I said grace at the table. This was hard as I know my family do not share my faith. I stumbled a bit but I thanked God for His love and forgiveness.

Tomorrow we go to Melbourne for the Comedy Festival which is really exciting for me. This break has been just what I needed.

God Bless you all


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection Sunday - My near death experience

Hi Everyone

As today is the day we celebrate Jesus' resurrection I thought it might be interesting for you to read about my first experience with God.

I was 15 years old and I had glandular fever. I had taken weeks and weeks off school and just lay in bed feeling terrible. To top it all off the glandular fever was making my asthma worse. I would take my asthma sprays and they would only provide the smallest possible relief.

Anyway one day I was especially sick. I thought I was going to die. My mother went to work but called my aunt to check on me. I couldn't walk and was coughing up blood.

My aunt took me to the hospital where they took me into one of the urgent emergency rooms immediately. They put me on an oxygen mask and they were just putting in a drip when I felt the room go starry, then grey, then black.

I went down a white tunnel which was full of love and brightness. The further up the tunnel I went, the brighter the white light was.

After some distance I heard the most beautiful voice. It said ''It is not your time to die. You must go back. There is something you must do."

I opened my eyes. I was in hospital attached to a drip and an oxygen mask. I was admitted to hospital for several weeks.

I didn't tell anyone of my spiritual experience until much, much later - when I was in my twenties. But I pondered it in my heart and it is one of the reasons I sought out Jesus and the church.

I still don't know what the thing is that I must do - I must wait patiently for an answer.

This memory comforts me and reminds me (like in Psalm 23) - "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death you are with me."

God Bless you all


Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Shack - Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

Hi Everyone
I just finished reading The Shack. It was a gripping read - well written, lots of action and emotion and, of course, a lot of spiritual information.
I will only tell a little of the story because I want you all to read it.
Basically a family goes camping and, while there, their youngest daughter is kidnapped and brutally murdered. The father, like most of us when tragedy strikes, got angry at God.
He receives a letter from God to go back to the shack where the murder of his daughter took place.
What follows then is the story of his burgeoning relationship with God.
What I liked the most is that it taught, in an interesting way, that God is a God of love, of relationship and of forgiveness. God wants our good and He is good.
It's often hard for me to realize this when my own life has often been so negative. This was the same for the guy in the story. I also relate to Jesus more than I relate to God the Father or the Holy Spirit. This was the same for the main character, Mack, as well.
I would encourage everyone to give this book a go - even if you are not a Christian, or you are but don't believe God can speak so personally. Just pick up this book and see what you make of it. It is truly intriguing.
God Bless you all and have a Fabulous Easter Sunday Tomorrow.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A bus ride and a game of cards

Hi Everyone

Happy Good Friday! Today, thank God, was a much better day. Although I didn't feel particularly spiritual, and I didn''t meditate on Jesus' atoning sacrifice, I was a little more relaxed.

I woke up at 4 am and cleaned the house (so my land lady doesn't have cause to kick me out even earlier than July), spent quality time with my cat and packed.

At 10 am my friend Kate arrived to take me to the bus stop. She and my pastor Dan are also arranging a roster to give food and medication to my beautiful cat Jessie. Thanks Kate and Dan. I am so relieved.

I then got on the bus and proceeded to read a very good book. I won't tell you what it was because I intend reviewing it once I've finished. Stay tuned!

Half way through the bus journey an eleven year old girl sat next to me. She was surprisingly honest and perceptive. She told me she was reading Shakespearean plays in her spare time and could calm her dad down when he was angry.

My mother, brother and sister met me at the bus stop. I had some hot cross buns then mum made a dinner of fish, flat bread and salad.

After dinner we played one of our families favourite card games. It is called '500'. My brother said it is only known in Australia. You play in pairs and you win tricks by going a suit. You are dealt ten cards and you call out how many you think you will win eg six hearts. Six is the lowest you can go.

I was surprised to realise how loud my family are. My mum told me she has a hearing impediment and I think my brother and sister are just used to talking loudly so she can hear them.

The card game was fun and I feel much better now. Thanks to all who prayed.

Please pray that my holidays continue to be relaxing and enjoyable.

God Bless


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Another crap day

Hi Everyone

Today I found out that the people who were going to look after my cat while I'm away won't be here to be able to do it.

I rang my Pastor and he's going to organise something I think.

I'm feeling pretty terrible - headaches, anxiety, depression - not a good omen for the start of my holidays.

Tomorrow I go to Burnie to spend Easter with my family and then on Tuesday I go to Melbourne for the comedy festival.

I hope these things cheer me up. It's only about 5 pm and I have had enough of today so I'm going to bed.

Please, please pray for me.

God Bless


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm a Spiritual Director

Hi Everyone

I'm still stressing (and needing prayer) about my housing situation but I thought I'd post about something else today.

Yesterday one of my friends met with me to discuss how I could be her 'spiritual director'. I was honoured to be chosen. As she doesn't want to be named publicly I will call her Theresa.

Theresa grew up in a difficult home where drugs, sex and violence were common occurrences. Since becoming a Christian a few years she has totally changed her lifestyle and is now studying to be able to help other people do the same thing. I described her, in some of my autobiographical writing, as 'fiercely intelligent' and she liked that description.

There were five areas we discussed
  1. Bible reading
  2. Prayer
  3. Corporate or church involvement
  4. Meditation
  5. Christian growth and lifestyle

In terms of Bible study she has received a prophecy that she will be like the Biblical prophet Jeremiah. She aims to read Jeremiah soon but is finding it difficult. She loves the law books and the New Testament letters as she likes structure. She is sick of the simplicity of daily readers. Recently she has been reading the Psalms. At first she didn't like the Psalms because she thought it was just everyone crying out for help but now she is getting more out of them. She reads the Bible every few days and is comfortable with that. Previously she was anxious that she was not doing enough.

Regarding Prayer she also likes a structured approach. She often 'hears' God speak to her personally but stopped hearing from Him in this way for about six months. This got to her. A woman at her church told her that "God had turned his back on her." She thought that this was because she was putting other things and other people before God in an idolatrous way. Last week she repented of this and confessed her failings to God. Last Sunday she heard again from God personally.

In terms of Meditation she has been struck by the Bible verse: "Be still and know that I am God." She read an article on meditation and was inspired. She finds, however, that the guidelines are too loose for her structured mindset. Her mind goes off on tangents instead of sticking to the thing she has chosen to meditate on.

Theresa has had many problems with her Church or corporate body in the last few years. Now, however, she is feeling really good about her involvement there. About a year ago she felt she was excluded and she pushed really hard to be included. She realised that some of this was caused by her own negative thinking so she moderated her self talk and ceased mind reading. She is now more involved in church activities. However, she thinks that trying so hard at being included has pushed Jesus out of the picture a little. She desires to focus more on Him and focus on people only secondarily.

Lastly Theresa has been through intense Christian Growth. She has turned away from the sins of her family and structured her values on Christ. Because she has been so successful in doing this she is, and she admits it, a little arrogant. She realises that it is OK to be confident in her changed lifestyle and her success despite the odds but she needs to balance this with humility and reliance on Christ. She is also becoming more adept socially. She finds socialising draining but realises it is necessary to get on in the world.

I hope you have liked reading about my friend Theresa. Please pray for her and for me that I will encourage and rebuke her lovingly.

God Bless


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Oh no - an eviction is looming!

Hi Everyone

I'm almost too depressed to write this but I feel quite supported by my fellow bloggers so I thought I would. It will, however, probably be shorter than my usual posts.

Today I had a fairly good day (writing class, my studies and coffee with a friend) until I got home.

There was an envelope pushed under my door. I immediately felt something was up.

I tore it open and read it. It said that I have until the end of July to find alternative accommodation as a relative of my land lady will be moving into the flat then.

End of July, you may think, that's ages. It might be for some people but not for me. I can not get a house with a private land lord or agency as, during the period that my mental illness was acute, I was always in trouble for a messy house and debts.

I, therefore, have to go through the public system or live with someone I know. I see my case manager tomorrow and hopefully she will be able to assist me.

Right now I feel so depressed I almost don't want to go on living.

For those that pray please, please, please pray for me in this situation.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog and encouraging me.

God Bless you all


Monday, April 6, 2009

I go to the doctor

Hi Everyone

Today I went to the doctor. Because...I was physically sick twice in March and I still feel pretty run down and, of course, because I am feeling very stressed and depressed. I have even had my menstrual period twice in four weeks which I think is probably due to stress.

My doctor is really lovely. She is thorough, kind and patient. She did a physical examination and then quizzed me a little about my lifestyle and psychological state.

In the end she told me to:

  1. Keep doing my studies because it distracts me from my problems and, besides, I'm good at it.
  2. Take a multivitamin every day
  3. Get lots of rest
  4. Don't exercise or overdo activities
  5. Go to the Melbourne comedy festival as planned because humour is healing
  6. Take valium when needed
  7. Stay out of hospital if at all possible

She said I suffered from a post viral syndrome with depression and anxiety (which are pre existing).

Tomorrow I go to the psychiatrist for my monthly check up and blood test.

Please continue to pray for my physical and mental health and for my beautiful cat.

God Bless


Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Chinese King Lear

Hi Everyone

I'm still depressed but finding ways to distract myself.

Yesterday I went to a Chinese version of King Lear. King Lear (as you can tell from my email address) is one of my favourite Shakespearean plays.

The story is: The ageing King Lear wants to divide his kingdom up between his three daughters - Goneril, Reagan and Cordelia. To get their share they have to tell him how much they love him.

Goneril and Reagan describe their 'love' eloquently whereas Cordelia is simple and plain. In a rage King Lear disowns Cordelia.

Lear realises he has made the wrong decision as Goneril and Reagan betray him and he is left to roam the streets, gradually going mad. He realises he needs to find Cordelia.

A lot of twists and turns and then, like most Shakespearean tragedies, nearly everyone dies.

This production, though, was very Chinese. It took me some time to get used to the clanging and jerking sounds of a traditional Chinese orchestra.

I did love the dancing, though, which verged on martial arts.

One man (Wu Hsing-kuo) played all the parts and he did it brilliantly. I particularly liked the opening scenes where Lear walks around, half mad, looking for Cordelia.

Also Cordelia came across as gentle and sweet, as opposed to her more confident, manipulative sisters. I think this is the right interpretation. Cordelia loves her father but it is not in her nature to be so flowery in her feelings.

All in all a wonderful distraction from my depressed mood.

God Bless


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jessie goes to the vet

Hi Everyone
Yesterday I took Jessie to the vet because she has a scabby growth under her chin.
I thought it was probably a cyst.
The vet said there were 3 possibilities - 1) it is just an infection and will clear up with anti biotics and anti inflammatories. She gave me both of these to give to Jessie. 2) It is a cyst and 3) it is cancer.
I am very worried about possibility 3. So worried that I took valium yesterday so I could sleep off my emotions.
I have only had Jessie for a few months and she has fast become my best friend. The thought of losing her cuts deep.
Please pray for me an Jessie about this - that Jessie will recover and that I can deal with my emotions a bit better.
God Bless

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day

Hi Everyone
Did anyone 'get' you for April Fool's Day? My brother 'got' me by telling me our planned trip to Melbourne after Easter to go to the Melbourne Comedy Festival had been cancelled. I bought it hook, line and sinker.
A couple of young women in my class told their mothers they were getting married. One even said she was pregnant. I think, at these times of the year, I am just a bit too nice.
The sort of comedy I enjoy is the sort produced by Christian writer Adrian Plass. Adrian Plass came to my attention in the late 1980's with his book The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass. Here was a Christian writer sending himself up - believe me that's a rarity.
Plass is funny, humble and a good writer. I have read nearly all of his books and I never fail to be amused and entertained. He is like a breath of fresh air into the mass of Christian literature.
His latest offering Bacon Sandwiches and Salvation is no exception. It is an alphabeticised guide to Christianity. Short pieces which is good for my current scatty concentration span.
I will share my two favourite excerpts, with a little commentary for those who aren't familiar with the Christian subculture.
"Doctrine the things that I believe, not to be confused with heresy, which is the things other people believe."
Each church has its particular doctrinal slant. In my case I go to a Presbyterian church. Their slant, if you like, is predestination. They are inclined to, in layman's terms, focus on 'God directing everything' rather than humans having personal choice.
My father's family are Quakers. Their doctrinal slant is peace. They do not believe in war or violent conflict for any reason. They emphasise verses like 'Blessed are the peacemakers' etc.
The church where I became a Christian is a Pentecostal church. They emphasise spiritual gifts or supernatural gifts such as prophecy and speaking in tongues.
These slants are, I think, quite fine but, unfortunately, they have led to accusations of 'heresy' and outbreaks of hatred and conflict. This, really, goes against the teachings of Jesus.
If we can laugh at these things we will, hopefully, both minimise and appreciate these differences.
Now for the second quote: "Old Testament The part of the Christian Bible containing the Scriptures of the Hebrews. Must, of course, be regarded as inerrant, infallible and a guide to daily living. That is whuy modern churches regularly take their disobedient teenagers out and stone them..."
Yeah, it does say in the Bible that parents can have their kids stoned for unrelenting disobedience. Nowdays the stoning would be murder and child abuse and the offending parent would be jailed for a very long time. Really makes you think doesn't it? How times change.
In Australia now parents aren't even allowed to hit their children, although many do. How do you think modern Christians should deal with these sorts of passages? Any ideas would be welcome. I'm sure I don't know the answer.
The fact that this is humourous underlines, I think, that know one knows what to do with these sorts of passages.
Anyway happy April Fool's Day.
God Bless