Saturday, December 31, 2005

today is the last day i am a member of whitford church
today is the last day i am a 'leader'

new years eve - the day of reflection.

i have been a member of Whitford Church for 17 years. the first service we attended was in the shopping centre. i sat and listened to the strange new songs in about the spot which is now the chocolate isle. we became members in the first service in the 'new' building. i was baptised in the baptistery in year 4. my first 'ministry' was operating the overhead projector which i was quite bad at and always used to put the transparencies on upside-down.

i have been an usher, a car park attendent, a cafe helper, a small group leader, a children's church worker, a counsellor, a mentor, a mentee, a chicks surfie girls leader, a 'communion' preparer, a singer, a 'my story' organiser, a food hamper maker and deliverer, a Forest Edge (Fire-it-up) attender and leader, a women's ministry leader and a highschools worker. i canoed the blackwood river on a year 10 camp. i went on family camps to point peron and completed Discipleship Training School.

the first youth pastor was Kent Keller (but i wasn't allowed to go to youth because i was too young), then Phil Croot (finally ... i'm old enough), Scott Vawser, Glenn Bergsma, Matt Bartlett, Lauren Carroll and now Nick Martin.

i have made countless friends and received endless words of encouragement. i have 'back - sliden' and 'recomitted' to what i thought was Christianity countless times. i have wondered if i am a Christian because of whitford church or inspite of it. i would have sat through around 2200 sermons and sang over 10 000 songs.

so on december 31 2005, i would like to say a big huge thank-you to everyone who has invested into my life through the meeting place of whitford church. you're words of wisdom and encouragement, your music notes and prayers have not fallen on deaf ears. for better of for worse i have loved this church and i will only speak in the highest regards of you all.

good-bye x

Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing Day

just done an online ESL teaching unit with casey. been wondering exactly why we're going away in 11 days - not exatly sure. which is making the mental preparation a bit vague. i think i'm going to take the attitude of a student - with the good earth as my school. the temptation of this may be that i'm scared of truely engage with my and others humanity. it's easier , safer, less draining to study, watch and observe... but somehow this seems lazy? but i don't want to offend or impose so i'll just observe... hmmmm??

the tired part of me likes this idea - but the alive part of me wants to engage, care, lock horns with the people we'll met and the places we'll go. is that arrogance? i could use that very question as i cop out for when i'm scared and self centred.

God, who knows, only you. i can't even imagine what's about to hit us. one day at a time. one moment. breathe...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

There were four women.

The first was prostitute and criminal.
The second pretended to be a prostitute to seduce her dead husband’s father because she was so desperate to have a kid.
The third woman tried to seduce a drunk rich guy to allure him into a marriage she desperately needed.
And the fourth was a pregnant unmarried 13 year old.

So who are this scandalous group of women…

They are the four women mentioned by name in the genealogy of Christ. (Matthew 1)
Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab (Joshua 2 and 6) Ruth and Mary.

I’m sure there’s a point to this. Not sure what it is yet.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

i sit down to write
i bring myself to this present moment
deep sigh……………
it was the kiddies last day yesterday
lots of tears, lots of hugs, logs of cards.
“you’re the best teacher i’ve ever had.”
i know they say that every year, but they mean it every year too, so i believe them.
“you were the best class i’ve ever had”

a years emotion in one day.
and then…. relief.
wasn’t really expecting that – relief?

slept all night last night for the first time in weeks…aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrr
life is good. it hurts, but it’s good.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

in a strange and lonely world tonight. the rug is being ripped out from under me. my eyes are wide searching for a focus. i have 3 days left with my school kiddies, and then the persona of 'Mrs Ellery' loses all practical meaning. i've had 7 injections in 8 days... who knows what strange creatures swim through my blood. perhaps it's them that give me butterflies at the thought of cleaning the house, perhaps it's them that knots up my back in moments of peace, perhaps it's them that spin my thoughts through out the night and send charges of unnecessary adrenaline through my body. each day holds the emotions of a month.

Dear Lord,

I hold onto you - you are my only hope.

You are the order of the Earth

The logic of the seasons.

The rhythm of night and day.

The mathematics of my breath.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it."
- Stephen Butler Leacock,

ring of light

black shimmering water
the last shades of orange depart
dolphins play in silver light
dog tries to catch stick
husband tries to catch fish

i lay on my back sand in hair
i tilt my head round and watch the circle of sky
above the sky is clear
but east, south, west and north
bolts of lightning dance between heaven and earth
dog watches them suspiciously

and still now the thuder rolls
right ear, over head, left ear.
dog barks at the sky and 'scares' the thuder away.
the thuder leaves us for a moment.
dog trots in, proud she has done her job.
if you are running from a false view of God are you closer or further from Him?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

7 pathways

been thinking/talking lots about the 7 pathways that josh posted on the last blog. brought up the concept with my school kiddies this morning, but didn't actually show them the 'official' list. asked them to brainstorm 'ways people connect with God'.
i wrote each of their suggestions on a separtate sheet of coloured paper. they were:

the bible
emotions ('laughing' and 'fear' in particular)

mrs ellery: what about people (relationships was number 2 on my list)

kid: people are a part of nature, and so they don't need their own sheet of paper.

mrs ellery: what do you mean?

kid: well, when you see God making the plants grow it's like the same magic that makes people grow. (lots of nods)

another kid: yeah, the life magic that keeps everything alive.

another kid: people sparkle God, especially nice people, just like nature sparkles God.

next time you see a plant, stop and listen and see if you can see God making it grow.

Friday, November 11, 2005

i think i’ve figured something out.

if you can’t feel God in nature and don’t have a deep spiritual respect for all living things then:

a) you’ll think my spirituality is silly and childish
b) i’ll think yours is arrogant and offensive.


imagine if the strength of gravity changed with the seasons…

imagine if there were three genders…

imagine if humans had to sleep for 20 hours a day and we cared more about our dreams than our reality…

imagine a religion that abandoned personal ownership…

imagine a country where at the end of every 3 years the poorest person was made the leader…

imagine if everyone spent all day imagining…

imagine if no-one did.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

debrief post

just had small group. the girls have gone. the dog is asleep and the house is quiet. mulling over the nights conversation.

we did an activity together. we each had several blank little yellow cards and we had a big red card in the middle. on each of the little cards we wrote a statement of christian practise (eg. helping the poor, getting baptised in water, tithing, reading the bible, loving one another, obeying leadership, loving God, speaking in tongues .....)

we then had to try and place each of the little yellow cards on the big red card. the most essential cards in the middle (the core issues of our faith) and the less essential cards on the outer. some didn't even make it onto the red card. one got ditched out of the room.

my goal was that at the end we would be able to circle those practises and beliefs which are essential to our faith.

if you did this activity how many cards would you end up with in your circle? what would they say?

we ended up with 2.
haven't had the urge to post anything recently. funny how the urge comes and goes. but i feel like posting tonight. just had a really good chat with some friends and casey is not here for me to debrief with, so i'll debrief to you instead.
that last post was a casey post. i'm sure you could tell from his use on eloquent linguistics

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Midnight Oil

been reappreciating 'Midnight Oil' recently. I just really love their lyrics, something that has been thought out and is often meaningful. I admire anyone who can stand up for what they believe despite the flack they cop for it. Some favourite lines include 'It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees'; 'some things don't come for free ' and 'I just want to be with the fish in the sea.' i sympathise with the sentiments

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


school kid: i hate this footy. it's gay
mrs ellery (harsh tone): ah jimmy! don't say that word
kid (puts his head down and mutters under his breath): do we hate them that much we can't even say it?

i was devastated.

all year long i've been telling the kids not to say 'that word'. and in my mind it was perfectly obvious that we didn't say 'that word' out of respect for people who are gay. turns out half the kids thought they couldn't say 'gay' because they thought all the teachers hated gay people so much.

O Lord,
Help me to see the lies

Sunday, October 23, 2005


just finished watching 'Devil's playground'. it's a doco about the Amish people. interesting.

The Amish tradition was started in 1693 by a small group of people who thought it was wrong to babtise infants. They believe that only an adult can freely choose to follow Christ. They were harshly persecuted for this believe.

The Amish reject any technology that they think will have a negative impact on their community and family life (electricity, cars and trendy clothes are out, roller blades, log fires and volley ball are in).

Their traditions become away of them reminding themselves that they are not of this world. (1 John 2:15) They believe that everybodies life should be a witness to Christ.

But when Amish children turn 16 they are release into the world for their 'Rumspringa'. They go out and taste what the 'real' world is like. This time might go for 6 months to several years, and boy, do they party. At some point they have to decide if they will leave the Amish community or go back, get baptised and join the church and live by it's ways for the rest of their life. big call.

90% of them choose the Amish church.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


still trying to work out which bits of the bible i'm suposed to take literally and base my life on and which bits are just desribing what happened. which characters in the bible are suppose to be role models (what to do) and which are suppose to be the 'baddies' (what not to do??)

according to Fee and Stuart 'testament' is another word for covernant. interesting.

as a kid it always seemed fairly random which bits of the bible we listened to and which we didn't, but i figured their must be some logic behind it which at some point in growing up became clear. after all, all the adults i knew seemed fairly unanimous in which bits they actually applied to our lives and which bits were ignored (or at least ticked off as not relevant) and after all, the majority can't be wrong.

i guess this becomes most challenging when i meet people who take literally bits i have assumed were not meant to be taken literally. for instance 'sell all that you have and distribute it amoung the poor' (jesus in Luke 18) "Of course that's not to be taken literally... that doesn't make sense" i say to myself, almost unonsciously, until i met someone who thinks it's a blatently obvious fundamental part of following christ, and has taken this command literally more than once.

and are we suppose to take paul literally in 1 corinthians 11:5
' every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head...'
and paul goes on for several verses making it pretty clear that God wants women to have their head covered and dosn't want men to. To paul this is common sense type stuff. He concludes in verse 16. 'but if any one seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, not do the churches of God' ... so are we not 'the churches of God??? click here for the full argument of christians who do take this literally

huh?? um..... i guess it was only paul talking, not jesus that said that.... but hang on, if i think that then....

well, lets not go there.

fee and stuart have some interesting thought in 'how to read the bible for all it's worth'

"all of the old testament law is still the word of God for us even though it is not still the command of God to us. The bible contains all sorts of commands that God wants us to know about, which are not directed toward us personally. if we are not concerned about building parapets around the roof of our houses (deut 22:8) we should none the less delight in a God who cared that houseguests not fall off a roof with which they were unfamiliar, and therefore he taught people to build their houses with that sort of love for neighbour in mind..."

they go on to say only that which is explicitly renewed in the new testament can be considered part of the 'law of christ'. included in this category would be the ten commandments, since they are cited in various ways in the new testament as still binding to christians and the two great commandments for deuteronomy 6:5 and levitius 19:18 (love the lord your god with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself) "No other specific Old Testament laws an be proved to be strictly binding on christians, valuable as it is for Christians to know all the laws."

so what am i saying? i'm not quite sure?
maybe some of you who hold this mysterious logic could fill me in?

Sunday, October 16, 2005


the Sudanese community living in Perth gathered at the herb graham rec centre yesterday to celebrate their culture and perform their tribal dances. there was about 400 hundred of them and about 20 of 'us' (whities).

the official procedings started with a 6'5 black african man thanking the Nyoongar people for caring for the land which they have now made their home. he then went on to thank the australian government and all community workers who have helped them.

struck me as significant that he thanked the aboriginal Nyoongar people first. i imagine he understands their connection to this land i am sitting on more than i do.

as the afternoon went on each tribal group performed their individual version of a similar dance. there was usually a couple of men in the middle of a circle of women playing the drums. the women would dance around them often with some sort of rattling instrument on their legs. the other men would dance around them, often springing up in impressively high vertical jumps. they seemed to be a story enfolding, but the details were lost to case and i.

unfortunately we had to leave early cos of the Fuel ball (which, by the way was fantastic. they showed us a bit of the micah challenge promo)... where we did our own version of tribal dancing.
- charlie

ps. casey thinks that last line sounds corny.
pps. 1 more thought - the majority of Sudanese are Christian. if i hadn't known that i wonder if i would have been a bit freaked out by the tribal markings (some of which were thick scares across the forehead), the 'wailing' style singing and the unusual dancing? i wonder what i would have assumed about it's origins?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

dave andrews things to think about...

- taking the sermon on the mount as a Manisfesto for life?
- people who are genuine disciples of christ but who are from other religions?
- reasons why are western community has become so fragmented since the 1960's (tv, comsumerism, 2 parents working, cars...)
- is genuine discipleship even possible when we all live in our separate little worlds?
- bounded set christianity verses centred set christianty?
- should we ditch the name 'Christian' all together as it has so lost it's meaning?

hmmmm...still thinking.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Christi-Anarchy by Dave Andrew pg116

"the other day i was speaking to a very enthusiastic young man. the conversation brought up a whole range of issues that began to concern me. there was no doubting this young man's sincerity. there was no doubting this young man's resolve. there was no doubting this young man's passion for love and justice.

but, nonetheless, i became more and more anxious as the conversation continued. he seemed, if anything, too self-conscious about his sense of mission; too excited about the prospect of success; too scared about the possibility of failure; too determined to prove himself; too determined that he, and the people he was with, would save the world, damn it! he seemed prepared to do anything to make his dreams come true...

i have met too many young men and women like this young man - good men and women, with good ambitions, but haunted: haunted by doubts about their ability to bring about the changes they so desperately desire. and driven: driven by the need to prove, to themselves and to others, that they have the capability required to accomplish such a significant task."

i place the problems of the world back on Christ's shoulders
may i learn to love you in each present moment
may i learn to love every human being that crosses my path

perhaps this is all you ask of me?
got this in an email from matty b...

"Brennan Manning, in his book Ruthless Trust, tells the story of the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh who went to work for three months at "the house of the dying" in Calcutta. He wanted to know how best to spend the rest of his life.
On his first morning, he met Mother Teresa and she asked, "What can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. "And what do you want me to pray for?" she asked. He expressed the deepest desire of his heart: "Pray that I have clarity."
She said firmly, "No, I will not do that." Kavanaugh was taken aback. Mother Teresa continued, "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of. " When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God."
So often we want clarity - "If I choose this school, how will it affect my future? If we get married, will it work out? If we move there, will it be OK? If I take that job, will I be happy?" As leaders, we too idolize "clarity." We grow anxious if our vision is not fulfilled. We want clarity that our choices and decisions will lead to success.
In the midst of it all, Christ calls us simply to trust him, with a ruthless trust. "

the last idol

i want to be super successful.

i want to have a significant, productive, important life.

i don't want to waste time doing usless things.

and i want other people to know that i am living a super successful, significant, productive, important life.

fortunately for me i know god and god knows everything, so god knows what i need to do to be super successful, significant, productive and important. so if i just ask hard enough and just behave well enough he'll tell me right?

so i pray. every night i pray.
'Dear God, what do you want me to do? Should i work here? Should i live there? Should i travel? ' words, questions run through my head, and i have a good imagination, which means there's always lots of options, lots of questions, lots of things to decide. this, that or the other... which will lead to the most success?

and then i stop and i wait...

and you know in the last 12 months i don't think i've been given one single answer.

i wait for a nice logical answer to my questions to come forth.... i wait...
and (as it did the night before and the night before that) my awareness moves from my head to my heart. i take a deep breathe as i become aware of christ's presence in me. tears come to my eyes and i am humbled by his consuming love. i rest in his love. i am refreshed. revived and i come back to life.

but no answer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


i remember learning about God being omni present in sunday school. that meant that he was everywhere at once all the time. i assumed i was suppose to take it literally...

but then i learnt that non-christians didn't have god inside them,
and normal things like food and pillows and tv didn't have god inside them (but maybe the occasional demon)
and then i learnt that bad things like porn movies couldn't possibly have god inside them,
and for that matter dogs and cats and other bits of boring nature probably didn't have god inside them either

which left me seriously questioning what exactly 'omnipresent' actually meant.

about six months ago i read Bill Bryson's short history of just about everything (science book). he talked about the structure of the atom and how all atoms in all the universe, not matter what their role or function, no matter if they are liquid, solid or gas, alive or 'dead', all atoms dance to the same cosmic energy. their electrons whizz around blatantly defying the laws of physics. hmmm. i wondered if perhaps god was behind this mystery.

'one of the most wonderful metaphors in jewish mysticism is the teaching on the Shekinah (god's glory). The Shekiah takes the form of a woman and usualy plays God's wife, but she is in exile. God and his glory have been tragically separated through the fall. the separation is one of a cosmic crash in which god's glory was scattered into a myraid of sparks and caught up in all created matter. the holy sparks are now imprisoned in all things. even the lowest of created things have the holy sparks in them.

the remarkable aspect of this jewish teaching is the view that it is our holy actions that actually free the holy sparks ensnared in all things allowing the exiled Shekinah to journey back to God. God and his glory are joined together when people act in holiness. says martin buber, "the Shekinah is banished into concealment; it lies, tied, at the bottom of every thing, and it is redeemed in every thing by man, who, by his own vision or deed, liberates the thing's soul." ' (paraphrased from the shaping of things to come)

so surely to the scientist, the jewish mysticist, even the christian, this is a divine universe.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge
- that is curiosity

There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others
- that is vanity

There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve
- that is love.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


breathe deeply my child, breathe deeply
Lord, i don't deserve you
breathe deeply my child, breathe deeply, let me bring your soul to still
listen, listen to the sound of life
the unheard tune
i will open your ears and you will dance to the song
the inaudible melody that is hidden,
hidden in pain, hidden in suffering, hidden in love, hidden in courage.
eyes on me and you will dance to it's tune.
breathe in, breathe out, be still. listen. wait. hear. move. dance. fight.
salvation is here
He is here in each breath.
breathe in, breathe out, be still.


Friday, September 09, 2005

5 days later

5 days later and i have finshed reading Ishmael. my goodness - it has been a journey. my head spins with the clarity of new perspective. it would seem that at this point i am lost for words....... (pause)........ this book has connected with my believe system at so many levels. it has given me a whole new lens through which to read genesis. it quoted my favourite bible passage (matt 6) and affirmed my assumptions. it has given me a whole new context in my quest for living simply. it has articulated uncomprehensible memorings of my spirit. it has helped me rewrite the story that i enact each day.

5 days later and common sense has one again changed.

Monday, September 05, 2005

went fishing with hubby saturday night and rolled my ankle. feeling like a bit of a wombat. we were on the rocks at ocean reef marina. i'll just give you a moment to visualise the problem. me, case and dog out on the rocks with all the fishing gear. i can't put any weight on my left foot. it's getting dark and we need to get back to the car.

option one: i crawl back over the rocks using one leg, one butt and one hand (other hand was cut surfing this morning). estimated time to get back to the car - 5 hours. (we tried this and gave up after 10 minutes)

option two: hubby chucks me in the water and makes me swim back to the beach. estimated time back to the car - 12 minutes. (this was hubbies preferred option but i refused because it was dark and cold and we had just been trying to catch fish in there!)

option three: hubby piggie backs me over the rocks and skinny wooden plank. estimated time back to car - 1 hour.

after much debate (with a pack of unused frozen mullies on my foot) we went with option three. i have never been so grateful that my husband is build like a staffordshire bull terrier.

it was an unforgetable moment in our marriage. casey scrambling over the rocks, often on all fours, with me on his back. all i could do was cling on tight. he wasn't wearing the best shoes for the occasion but i managed to contain my nervousness to a few incomprehensible squeals.

thank - you honey. you are my rock.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


for the last few months i have been aiming to read a gospel a week. this small discipline is making the roots of my faith grow quicker than ever before.

just watched Luther.

apparently he was the first man to translate the gospels into the language for the everday person. he took enormous flack for 'disempowering' the church and putting the gospel back into the hands of the people.

my gratitude to this man runs deep.


i have just finished reading the first chapter of a new book and i have the sense that this book is going to have a profound impact upon me. the book is called Ishmael. It is a narrative written by daniel quinn. it seems to be about the dialogue between a man and a gorilla. (sounds a bit wacko i know, but by the end of the first chapter i am lost in the book and accepting it's realities.)

the thought in this quote plays in my mind...

"Once when i was in college...i wrote a paper for a philosophy class. i don't remember exactly what the assignment was-something to do with epistemology. here's what it said in the paper, roughly: Guess what? The Nazis didn't lose the war after all. They won it and flourished. They took over the world and wiped out every last Jew, every last Gypsy, black, East Indian, and American Indian. Then when they were finished with that, they wiped out the Russians and the Poles and the Bohemians... This took a long, long time and when it was over, everyone in the world was one hundred percent Aryan, and they were all very, very happy.

Naturally the textbooks used in the school no longer mentioned any race but the Aryan or any language but German or any religion but Hitlerism or any political system but National Socialism. There would have been no point. After a few generations of that, no one could have put anything different into the textbooks even if they'd wanted to, because they didn't know any different.

But one day two young students were conversing at the University of New Heidelberg in Tokyo. Both were handsome in the usual Aryan way, but one of them looked vaguely worried and unhappy. That was Kurt. His friend said, 'What's wrong Kurt? Why are you always moping around like this?' Kurt said, 'I'll tell you, Hans. There is something that's troubling me-and troubling me deeply.' his friend asked what it was. 'it is this,' Kurt said. " i can't shake the crazy feeling that there is some small thing that we're being lied to about.'

And that is how the paper ended."
me and one of my gorgeous work buddies went to 2 maths professional development day this week lead by charles lovitt. the current trend in the teaching of mathematics to get kids understanding what numbers are, problem solving, logical reasoning and using their common sense. sounds good hey? but it wasn't always the way 'good' maths teachers taught. there used to be a far bigger focus on simply getting the right answer, even if the kid had no idea why it was right. there's also a far bigger focus these days on helping kids enjoy maths and feel successful. reasearch shows there's a huge correlation between how kids feel about maths and their success rate. no teachers wants to set a kid up to fail.

most maths teachers these days would say they embrace and teach according to the new philosophy. but it's interesting how much old school philosophy is held onto and percieved as foundational, essential and 'obvious'.

for instance everyone knows that the area of a circle (pi r2) is taught in year 8. if it wasn't taught in year 8 the teacher would be considered irresponsible, ignorant and maybe even lazy. among the teaching world it is 'common sense' that pi r2 is taught in y8.

'fair enough' i thought and then charles lovitt asked us why? who decided it should be taught in year 8 and what were their reasons.

interestingly enough the maths curriculum that our current curriculum is based on was written in 1913. the purpose of the curriculum was to 'weed' out incompetence so that only around 15% of kids would succeed and make it through the curriculum and be able to get into the university of new south wales. the curriculum had failure purposefully built into it to ensure mathematics remained an elitest subject. pi r2 was originally taught to 16 year olds but too many of them could understand it at that age so it was pushed down to 13 so that more would fail and drop out.

so we have good responible teachers who really want their kids to succeed, teaching stuff which is beyond their students because of 'common sense.'

what else am I taking for granted today as 'common sense'?
just went surfing...
case reckons it's was in his 5 all time worst surfs ever and i managed to cut my stomach through my wettie.
oh well.
it's still a beautiful day and i still have a strange sense of optimism.
i breathe in, i breathe out... stillness. i breathe in, i breathe out...

He has brought me to still. He has brought me to life.

it is the thrid morning of spring... and i have a strange feeling of optimism.

Monday, August 29, 2005

little reminder

'like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural - it is man made and can be eradicated through the choice of human beings' -nelson mandela

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

sad, angry, pissed off.

lust had last beers with a good mate tonight. he has to go back to wales in a couple of weeks. someone somewhere in australia has decided he's not rich enough or educated enough or skilled enough to be allowed to call australia his home. it is the height of arrogance to decide that someone else is not 'good' enough to live on this little patch of god's beautiful earth.

didn't they learn how to share in kindie?

Monday, August 22, 2005


those of you whom know me well, know what a significant part animals (especially my cat and dog) play in my faith and mission. without them i would quite possibly be a self-centered, vain, consumeristic, know it all loner.

i care more about my animals than i do about my house.

today i learnt that i am allergic to dust mites, cockroaches, chickens, cats and dogs.

i cried all the way home.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

i had two goals in life
one was to never get a speeding ticket and the other was to never get a filling
yeasterday i got flashed on the way to getting a filling

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man... I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."

(thanks paul!)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

big brother sheldie preached tonight. made me cry. not sure why. think it was hearing the cry of my heart preached from the pulpit. he actually implied that feeding the poor was more important than being a nice little christian who follows all the rules. it feels so good to know that people who are important to me share some of my values.

felt a bit lonely for a while there.

open my eyes lord. let me see your sparkle in them.
made a new friend this morning :)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

the power of men

it surprised me to hear over the last few weeks that most aid organisations focus the resources towards women. ‘we’ve tried with the men’ they say, ‘but you give food to a man and he trades it for beer/gambling whatever. You give food to a woman and she feeds her family.’

most nights before i go to sleep i pray for my Christians sisters around the world…but tonight after watching Hotel Rwanda i pray for the men.

that moment Lord, that moment in time when you gave man free will…that moment, do you ever regret it? knowing good from evil? how could that have corrupted us so much?

My God, on behalf of all the abused women and children of this world, I ask for an awakening of good men. For one moment silence the deceit that deafens their conscience. Show them their illusions of fulfilment. May they find that diamond of truth which is present in each and every one of their hearts.

The father heart
The rescuer
The provider
The hero
May this be the men of our world.

Friday, August 12, 2005

phone call

just talked to my beautiful friend krissy for an hour...arrhhhh

she asked me why i haven't been blogging much recently...not sure...maybe the dust of my mind is settling...a new focus had emereged...

Monday, August 08, 2005

faith and grace

just had three incredible weekends in a row.

got back from the TEAR camp yesterday. so cool to met so many different people. so many different expressions of christianity. so many different theolgies. so many different thoughts about which bible verses to take literally and which to gloss over. so many different countries to serve the poor in. so many different ways to develop communities. so many things so cry about and so much to celebrate for.

faith and and grace...
cat, dog and hubby all asleep, but i'm awake.

heard chad peacock play at the gbt tonight. groovy tunes. made me miss kris and jen though. spent the night imagining what it would be like if they were there. sigh.

to my beautiful girls i love you and can't wait to laugh with you again...

Monday, July 25, 2005

classroom learning

learning about wa this term.

kid 1: what's a convict?
kid 2: it's like a refugee?

i cringe and wait...

kid 3: they're different...
me: how are they different?
kid 3: a convict's done something bad but a refugee hasn't.


kid 2: but they both come to australia in boats and they both get locked up right?
kid 3: yep

the liberty of addiction

my gorgeous friend elissa was studying youth work years ago. she told me that everyone was addicted to something and she had to write an assignment on what she was addicted to...intrigued i wondered what on earth my angelic friend could possibly be addicted to...'god's love' she replied. and that's what she wrote her assignment on.

the addiction of consumerism...the nicest of all sins.

heard ash barker say 'christians should sell everything they own and give it to the poor at least once in their life.' i can't imagine he'd be very interested in the latest ikea magazine.

hung out with jarryd and bonnie in their community in lockeridge. they share everything they own and are choosing a life of voluntary simplicity...inspiring. i don't think any of their furniture was from ikea either.

i've got another friend who has an equal lack of interest in shopping for furniture. she has just given birth to a child with a hole in his heart because she was stoned for most of her pregnancy.

addiction...freedom from all other values...including consumerism.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


this morning went to leaders brekkie. '40 days of community' was lauched to us.

had supper with a community of christians who are living together in two houses in lockridge. they share all there possessions and are attempting to discover what it literally means to be a disciple of christ.

as we work through the campaign at church and spend more time with this community in lockridge it will be interesting to compare the two concepts of community. i think i'm about to learn something...
alive...what does it mean it be truly alive? what does it mean to embrace our humanity? i've got this fascination with the concept of 'life to the full'. and i have this feeling i have severely missed the point.

'some people laugh more, they cry more, they love more, they hate more, they forgive more, they screw up more, they care more and they get burnt more.

and some people play it safe.'

had dinner with ash barker tonight. got the feeling he didn't want to have some big theological debate, he just wanted to have a good laugh and some good food with his (new found) friends. connecting with people...arrrhh...good times girls, good times :)

Friday, July 22, 2005

watched tv for the first time in a long last night...simpsons. laughed my head off :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

the gospels

at every turn i realise i need to know and understand jesus better - and my greatest clues to this amazing man i have so often ignored. his story not told once but four times. four short stories of my personal hero - you'd think i'd be a bit more excited about reading them. they have always been sooo accessible to me, too accessible, too disposable. their pricelessness lost on me. imagine if i had only just discovered them - like the difference between the meaning of food to a fat or starving child....but now i am hungry. my concept of 'christian' has shattered and now all i want is to be a disciple of christ.

so of i go, to read the gospels. jesus, help me find you, help me know you, help me draw an accurate picture of what you are really like...amen.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

last week was kindoff cool. hubby was in sydney for 8 days with a mate. didn't watch tv. didn't go shopping ('cept for food) didn't drive the car during daylight ('cept once to take stuff to good sammies) in some ways didn't do a lot. hung out with my neighbours. sat home alone saturday night and knitted one of them a scarf. went a whole two days with out speaking to anyone. first time i think i've ever done that...

a year ago i would have planned and programmed the whole week and filled it up with all sorts of exciting activites. but this time i didn't. i just kind off waited...waited to see what would happen...and i think i found something. something slightly obscure and slightly profound.

i think i found the present moment...and i found the pure joy of living in it.

and my hope and prayer is that i will live the remainder of my days living in the present moment, grateful for my experience of right now.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

sacred space

'Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom, may orchestrate my desires
in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.'

the more i learn to live in the moment the more i see through the illusions

'absence makes the heart grow fonder'

hubby comes home tonight. tummy did a little flip this morning. yippee :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

my dog just over ate and spewed all over the book i'm reading, Rich Christians in a Age of Hunger.

how ironic.

- charlie

ps. sorry matt, i'll buy a new copy!

Monday, July 11, 2005

found the core values, scroll up for 'History' - really cool

each to their own

rode to church yesterday morning. a friend asked me why. ‘because cars are bad for the environment’ i replied. ‘each to their own’ she said.

‘each to their own’ now what does that mean? “good on you but don’t expect me to?” maybe. “get of your high horse” maybe. “you can hold that value so long as I doesn’t interfere with the dominant values held by this community” maybe.

in my little church community i wonder which values are in the core, not negotiable, every body has to have a category and which values are in the ‘each to their own’, if you can be bothered category?


Friday, July 08, 2005

'like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural - it is man made and can be eradicated through the choice of human beings' -nelson mandela

watched some of the G8 concerts. heard nelson mandela say ' whilst poverty exists, no one can truely rest'... really? but i'm a christian...shouldn't beautiful waves of peace constantly wash over me?

parts of the body are living in extreme poverty. parts of the body are living in extreme wealth. that strikes me as odd. it doesn't seem to line up with things like sharing and being nice to your family. all the stuff we teach in kindy.

'we dare not rest until the scandal of starving christians is removed' sider

'it is a sinful abomination for one part of the world's christians so grow richer by the year while our brothers and sisters ache and suffer for lack of minimal health care, minimal education, and even in some cases-enough food just to escape starvation.' sider

'we have failed to comprehend the concept that the church worldwide is one body' sider

'would we build lavishly furnished buildings if members of our own congregation were starving?' sider

imagine if we christians actually shared our wealth equally with our global brothers and sisters. i've done the sums (based on If the World Were a Hundren People) and we (western christians) actually wouldn't come of to badly. turns out god really is a god of blessings and abundance. there's heaps for all his children...if they would just bloody learn how to share.

hillsong on hack

just listened to Hillsong Christian Conference report on triple J's hack.
interesting. sharky and osturk recorded part of the program on tuesday night inside the auditorium, darlene zschech and joice myer in the backgroud.

little excert
reporter: hi, i'm from triple j radio
attendee: think we're like christian freaks hey
reporter: no i don't think your christian freaks, i think your christians...
why do you think that i think you're freaks?
attendee: cause you just looked at me like 'what is wrong with you people'...
reporter (smiling) : i didn't look at you like that...i looked at you as a potential interviewee...
attendee: aw right...

lots of people shared about the amazing music and the connection with god that they feel.
some people rang steve cannane about why they had both attended and left the church.
one woman says she's been banned from the church and is writing a book about hillsong (presumable from a less than supportive view point). a few mentioned the mansions and flash cars that seem to be the norm for hillsong staff.

often when viewing media i find myself trying to side with someone, and in this instant i knew who i was suppose to side with, but i actually heard my thoughts resonating with people from both sides of the fence. i have felt the majesty of god during hillsong worship. i'm sure i heard him whisper to me during a hillsong sermon...but i just can't swallow the widening gap between rich and poor christians. it makes me angry. it infuriates me. it want to screem to rich christians CAN YOU NOT SEE? DO YOU NOT CARE? OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS ARE DYING. HAVE YOU ABSOLUTELY NO COMPASION. HOW CAN WE GO ON SPENDING? and then i realise i'm screaming to myself. because compared to my starving sisters i am rich. i'm a bloody princess in their eyes.

i spent $9 on a movie ticket last night.

and my urge to judge subsides. when ever i want to judge someone i just think of them as a little kid (i love little kids). so i think of brian houston the way god thinks of him. as a gorgeous little kid. fully in love with god, adoring his wife and kids, trying to do something amazing for his heavenly father. perhaps misguided, perhaps selfish, perhaps spoilt, but at least having a crack.

and i hope that the next time i put my needs before the needs of my christian sisters you would extend the same grace to me.

to listen to the half hour program click on last wednesday's show

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I Stand Alone - The Story Of Lord Shaftesbury By Jenny Robertson (kids book)

imagine that you are walking along a london street 140 years ago. the air is smokey from thousands of coal fires. the streets are dirty with horse droppings. a ragged man is scraping up some pieces of horse manure to sell for a few pence.

not only their way of life but people's idea were different then. the feeling that some people had a right to be rich while others would always be poor was very strong.

but one man did not accept the status quo. he dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of poor children in london. anthony ashley-cooper (later lord shaftesbury) stopped five-year-olds from working sixteen hours a day in factories. he rescued boy chimney sweeps from getting stuck up chimneys and made the practice illegal.

he looked at the conditions for children in london 100 years ago and could not reconcile apathy with his faith.

i wonder what i would have done if i was living in london 100 years ago? - charlie

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

i've given up on trying to put god onto words. he just dosn't fit, and attempting it seems to do more damage than good. music notes seem to come a little closer to describing anything about him...


'normal' what the heck is normal? and what is with everyone obsession with it?

what's a 'normal' way to spend time? what's a 'normal' way to make money? what's a 'normal' way to spend it? what's a 'normal' way to live life? what's a 'normal' way to follow christ? what's god's version of 'normal'?

maybe 'normal' is completely absurd

Sunday, June 26, 2005

'like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural - it is man made and can be eradicated through the choice of human beings' -nelson mandela

those who have the ability have the responsibility.

do i really believe that?
i'm not sure i even show a tenth of the compassion i'm capable of.

'life shrinks and expands in proportion to ones courage' -anais nin

courage. possibly my favourite thing.

Lord, grant me the wisdom to accept the things i can not change.
Courage to change the things i can
Wisdom to know the difference
And conviction to flee apathy.

good weekend

watched 'end of surbubia' dvd on friday night. it amazed me how dependant we have become on something which is quickly running out (oil). i get the feeling the average aussie lifestyle is going to look very different in 20 years, and with possibly a lot less of the comforts to which we have grown accustomed (cars, electricity, international food...)

had a bit of a birthday party saturday avo at the leederville hotel. mounty gospel choir were singing. it was incredible. i was standing their, beer in hand, eyes closed, worshiping god. got the feeling that if jesus was in perth this weekend he would have been there. (almost won a cd for my dancing efforts too!) thanks to all who attended. you put a smile on my face.

had a good sing at church this morning

and this avo hubby and i went for a surf down at mullaloo. icie cold crystal clear water, golden sun, perfect blue sky. caught a beautiful little wave and for the first time walked up to the tip of my 7'6 mini mal and back with out stacking it. smiling.

nighty night world.

Friday, June 24, 2005

this website is helping me in my quest... happy to see billabong, ripcurl and king gee on the accredited list :) i've also read that Levi makes a small effort to protect the human rights of their workers.

Fair Trade

three thorns in my side. 1. i love convenience 2. i love wearing beautiful clothes 3. i love buying beautiful clothes.

actually the last thorn i think i am just about free from. i haven't bought any new clothes since we got back from cambodia in january (which for me is quite impressive!) but the other two still muddle with my brain and effect my choices.

case and i have been learning heaps about Fair Trade products (and i think i can smell Jesus). Fair Trade is a label given to products in which work conditions met the UN human rights criteria at every level of production. The coffee bean industry seems to be the current focus of Fair Trade.

after reading the bible for myself i have on overwhelming sense that part of following Christ means caring for the, i have made a stand...i will not buy coffee or chocolate unless it is fair trade.

but unfortunately know i've started down the rabbit hole i can't seem to stop. the clothing industry is apparently also riddled with oppressive business that don't care about their workers. people work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week and still don't earn enough money to pay for basics like the doctors and school, and sometimes even food. working conditions are atrocious and workers are treated like slaves. i shudder to think of how many items in my wardrobe have been made by my beautiful christian sisters living in those conditions.

the red pill, the blue pill? kind of wish i choosen the blue pill. it's my birthday next week and i want to look good. ignornace is bliss...

there's this jumper that i want, but all evidence suggests that if i purchase it i will be supporting business that oppresses the poor. part of me wants to buy it, part of my dosn't. i have two voices in my ears.

"just buy it, don't be so pedantic" "you're being a bit anal" "get off your high horse" "stop being so judgemental, your making other people feel uncomfortable" "just be normal" "be thankful for the good things that you've got, shut up and take you place" hmmmm

the other voice...

"don't buy the jumper - take a stand" "at every opportunity make choices to live out your values" "what do you value most - looking good or caring for the poor?" "let me make you beautiful, let me make you radiate." "when you let your light shine you unconsciously give permission for those around you to do the same." "don't shrink to make other people feel more comfortable." "Who's approval are you after? their's or mine?" "you make statements everyday by the way you choose to spend your money. let me define normal. do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world"

arrrr...well after that it looks like i won't be buying that top...and bugger you if you think i'm being anal.

i dance for an audience of one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

useless money and ethical business

i have this sence that there's alot of useless money floating around the world at the moment. useless in the sense that god desparately wants to use that money to see his kingdom come on this earth, (feed the poor, release the oppressed etc) but because of the choices of selfish consumeristic christians he can't.

imagine if all the christians in the world lived of only what they needed, and gave the rest directly away to the poor...

casey and i are currently trying to 'cap' our lifestyle. to work out how much money we need, and then be content to live of that. [of course the word 'need' is an interesting one. i know for a fact that my definiation of 'need' and some of my sudanese friends definition of 'need' are quite different. my definition seems to include, 'need to be comfortable' where as there's is more 'need to survive'. ] But regardless, we want to work out what we need and then channel the rest somewhere more useful for god's kingdom. somewhere which maybe shows some respect for our unmet brothers and sisters who are living in poverty. (we useually channel this money through aid organisations).

other than capping our lifestyle, the other way we can help see god's kingdom come is by choosing Fair Trade products...i've just been learning how the coffee bean industry is literally keeping people in povery. the price that coffee bean farmers in third world countries get paid for their beans has dropped dramatically in the last two years. so much so that many of them can no longer afford education for their children, medical expences and in many cases enough food for their families. their are growing coffee beans to make cappuccinos and chocolate for fat white people when they can not afford to give their children a proper meal. mark on sunday asked what makes you angry...THIS DOES!

but some business do choose to pay a fair price so that produces will have enough income to provide for their basic needs...products from these producers are called Fair Trade, and they do not contribute to oppression, like the producers of nescafe, cadbury and brands apparently do. (if you have any avidence to suggest the contrary please let me know...i don't want to bag the innocent.)

but with this new knowledge i can not hide in ignorance any longer. i have a choice. convenience or compassion.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

if you are rich enough to be reading this then you capable of making choices that will help make poverty history...

"Our employment and consumption no longer impact just our local community. Our economic community in this global age includes our neighbors in every part of the world. Every dollar we earn or spend has some direct or secondary impact on brothers and sisters we will never meet in person. This is a blessing and a curse. We can promote great kindness or foster terrible atrocities throughout the world without leaving the confines of our home or community. "
caught the train on the way into the refugee rally in town today. witnessed something which turned my insides to fuming jelly. a bunch of six primary school aged kids were talking and laughing with an asian looking man, just out of ear shot. the kids were obviously not shy but from where i was they looked pretty friendly, playing and interacting with the other people on the train. as we pulled up to perth station the red headed kid threw a piece of rubbish at the asian man and then spat at his face. my inside's flipped. i was confused. what the hell had just happened? my blood was curdling...what to do? something needed to be done? this could not happen in perth in front of a bunch of adults with out someone saying something? what to do? yell at the kid? the train stopped and the doors opened. my mind was swirling. what to do? what to say? something about being an aussie and how that behaviour is not tolerated here. quick. what to do? the kids have walked off and are now half way up the escalator. 'do something' my heart screams. the man has walked in the opposite direction. the moment is slipping past. come on brain get it together. the moment is gone and i did nothing. something intolerable happened right in front of me and i did nothing. i feel ashamed.

i wonder if that man thinks that all the other people on the train thought it was fine for that kid to spit in his face?

to that man where ever you are, i am so sorry about what happened on the train. it disgusted me and i wish i had expressed some form of friendship to you today.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

alabaster oil

saturday night

hubby has gone to play computer games with his mates. all my girl friends are either busy or in america. figured we won't be ending world poverty tonight so had a glass of red wine and a candle lit bath.

felt god in every heart beat
saw him in the stars
his freezing air floated over my skin and brought me back to life...

as if i could escape his presence...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


been educating/discussing refugees with the kiddies. first lesson was to educate them that refugees are people seeking refuge (they're not necessarily terrorist or criminals as many of them assumed) asked them what they think should happen. most of them concluded that we should treat them as we would like to be treated be there should be some sort of checking system to make sure they don't have contagious diseases, drugs or bombs. i ask them how long people should be detained whilst this was happening...they reckoned a few days, or however long the health check results take, they pointed out that you can tell straight away if they have bombs or drugs.

then i read them some stories of people who have been in port hedland detention centre for years.

kid: so basically they are guilty until they can prove themselve innocent
me: ummm
another kid: that's like what they did to schapelle corby - guilty until proven innocent
another kid: how are they suppose to prove their innocent while their stuck in a detention
centre? do they get lawers?
another kid: why would they get lawers? they haven't done anything?

my favourite ad is floating through my head...

we are one, but we are many
and from all the lands on earth we come
we share a dream, we sing with one voice
i am, you are, we are......AUSTRALIAN

i've always been proud to be an aussie, and those kids certainly are.
come on aussies, lets stick up for the underdog - charlie
rode to school for the first time in 10 days today :)
kid: why didn't you ride to school last week miss?
me: because it was raining and i don't really like riding in the rain.
kid: so you only care about the environment when it's convenient?

umm, yeah i guess...just like i only care about refugees and poverty and the poor and the oppressed when it's convenient...


Sunday, June 12, 2005

having the urge to blurt but i really should shut up!!
"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings." - Nelson Mandela

Saturday, June 11, 2005

haven't been riding this week. to wet. charlie

Friday, June 10, 2005

god's presence

read/experienced this on sacred space this morning.

I reflect for a moment on God's presence around me and in me.
Creator of the universe, the sun and the moon, the earth, every molecule, every atom, everything that is:
God is in every beat of my heart.
God is with me, now.

god is in every beat of my heart...every beat?? but,but,but......



from the desert to the mountain top and back again. missing my girl friends. got a letter from one of them yesterday. made me ball my eyes out…knew it would…why did I so desperately want to read it?

one month ago…the mountain top…i remember…

called up an old, old friend on sunday night. it felt so good to speak to her…so good that I drove to bunbury to catch up face to face…there’s nothing like real human contact. i've never been good at the long distance thing.

the drive itself brought me back to life (in a strange superficial way). cranked up the music, skulled the V, opened the window and charged though the pouring rain…arrrhhhh…to be young and free…

and the next day…the ocean was alive, the rain poured, the thunder crashed. awe, beauty, fear…all at once. waiting to exhale…alive…really alive. a day forever etched in my mind.

and now i’m back home, back in the ‘real’ world. I have about 40 hours worked to do over the next three days (because I didn’t do any last weekend). i miss my friends. i miss my friend.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Went to Bells rapid today. It was my first time shooting the rapids in this kayak so i thought i might post a couple of pics. not bad eh?- case

Bells Rapid 1 Posted by Hello

Bells Rapid 2 Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 02, 2005

'nothing exciting happens on the path of least resistance'

gold quote from lauren, sunday night

Saturday, May 28, 2005

"you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. what you'll discover will be wonderful. what you'll sidcover will be your yourself."

alan alda (can't believe a man wrote that!)

follow your heart

"follow your heart, not your head" my superwise, conservative 87 year old grandma wrote to me last week.

'follow your heart'...does she have any idea how dangerous this advise is?? my heart is mysteriously risky. it seems to be lacking all the self protetive safety mechanisms programmed nicely into my brain.

my brains sees a hungry child and thinks of the total financial cost of ending global poverty.
my brian see a lonely neighbour and reminds me of how busy and tired i am.
my brain sees a dirty earth and says 'you are only one person. what can you do'
my brain sees the refugees and says 'they're probably bludgers or terrorists anyway. not your problem.'

my brain looks after me. he keeps me safe, warm and comfortable. my brain ensures a healthy superannuation package.

but my heart?? who knows what my heart will do??

my heart sees a hungry child and cries 'feed her'
my heart sees a lonely neighbour and whispers 'chat'
my heart sees a dirty earth and says 'clean it'
my heart sees an innocent sister in prison and screams 'free her'

i know my heart and i can not trust her to keep me safe, warm and comfortable. she is a perilous and risky guide and i have no idea where she will take me. she does not care about my superannuation package, she cares only for the heart of god.
arrrgh...slowly coming back to life. the glass is now both half full and half empty. had a good run, a good chat and a good laugh last night. one week since the girls left... maybe two thirds empty, one third full? -charlie

Monday, May 23, 2005

bike ride

had a fantasitic, angry and passionate conversation with hubby last night. we are so sick of talking, theorising, imagining. there is such a huge gap between the values of Christ (and therefore the values of a disciple) and the values that are shown in our daily lifestyle. there are so many inconsistencies in what we believe and in what we do. last night i swung between hanging my head in shame and banging the wall in frustration.

this morning i woke up, the frustration and conviction of the night before still burning in my spirit. i took one more baby step in the right direction.

i rode my bike to school. i actually acted out some of the values i've found myself talking about of late


*caring for the environment
*caring for my temple (without wasting god's money at the gym)
*not caring about what i look like (the no make-up flat hair image seriously made me question who's approval i was after)

i feel like a slightly more authentic human being today than i did yesterday, breathe... - charlie
there are so many inconsistencies in my life. i think i'm just gonna shut up and listen for a while. god dosn't seem to fit into words anyway... -charlie

Sunday, May 22, 2005

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side ofthe oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."

Bishop Desmond Tutu

(thanks matt)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

one more txt

'without the dark clouds, the sunset wouldn't be as brilliant. '

dark clouds

...big sigh. the girls have gone. end of day one.

saw grandma this morning. she told me to follow my heart not my head. kind of scary. kind of fun.

had a surf this avo and didn't sink. dark clouds covered the sky but the water was still crystal clear when the sunlight broke through. didn't care if i got hurt today. kind off scary. kind of fun.

watched the lightning tonight. kind off scary. kind of sad. had a bit of a cry coz i miss my two best friends.

end of day one.

Friday, May 20, 2005

i'm looking up at the surface of the ocean metres above my head. daylight twinkles. the sun looks warm. i remember needing air. darkness below, light above. i look to the light. i'm still, suspended between worlds. i remember needing air. now there's just a calmness in my lungs. a deathly calmness.

tomorrow morning a plane flies away. it takes with it so much of my joy, my laughter, my inspiration, my two best friends. i let go. i sink.

Monday, May 16, 2005

nighty night

before i tuck myself in to my super snuggly bed i pause for a moment.
i stop and i think.
i let my awareness travel to my christian sisters around the globe.
their bodies lay on the same earth upon which my feet rest.
to those who are hungry, Lord, please, bring food
to those who are cold, Lord, please bring warmth
to those who's children are sick, Lord bring miracles
to those who's babies will die tonight, Lord bring mercy

thank-you for my pillow

Friday, May 13, 2005


you know how every now and then you find a song that expresses exacly where your at...well this happened to me last week.

Hanging By A Moment By Lifehouse

Desperate for changing, starving for truth
closer to where i started chasing after to you
i'm falling even more in love with you
letting go of all i've held on to
i'm standing here until you make me move
i'm hanging by a moment here with you

i'm living for the only thing i know
i'm running and not quite sure where to go
i don't know what i'm diving into
i'm hanging by a moment here with you

there is nothing else to lose there is nothing else to find
there is nothing in the world that could make me change my mind
there is nothing else

forgetting all i'm lacking completely incomplete
i'll take your invitation if you'll take all of me

this song stops me in make tracks and faith rises up within my spirit. i'm desperate for changing, i'm starving for truth. i'm falling even more in love with god. i'm letting go of all i've held onto. i have finally realised there is nothing worth chasing except christ. i've had this weird obsessive addiction to reading the bible this last week. i just can't get enough. i think i'm turning into a bit of a freak - charlie


hubbies at work and i just found this old poem he wrote...God, my husbands amazing...

The power of a lost sun
with the making of a new
a silent end beginning
to shake the spirit through
loving all is pure
the alpha of it all
what lived here when we started
remains throughout our fall.
In loving of the living
In breathing it we do
lost not on lifeless gestures
what matters is it's true.

Monday, May 09, 2005


i wonder what our lifestyles would look like if all the christians on earth shared their wealth equally?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

thoughts on gratitude

"to complain that i could only be married once was like complaining that i had only been born shows not an exaggerated sensibility to sex, but a curious insensibility to it.....polygamy is a lack of the realisation of sex; it is like a man plucking five pears in a mere absence of mind." - chesterton

"the proper form of thanks is some form of humility and restraint: we should thank god for beer and burgundy by not drinking to much of them" chesterton

"as ecclesiastes tells if, a wholesale devotion to pleasure will, paradoxically, lead to a state of utter despair." yancey

"true happiness can not be achieved when it is in itself the goal. it can come as a biproduct on the way to something else." -me

so who enjoys the apple more? the one who carelessly eats knowing there are twenty more in the cupboard or the one who eats, saviouring every bite, because this is his only food for the day?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

rebel: one who refuses allegiance to, resist, or rises in arms against the established ruler a school teacher it's my mortal enemy. when will they learn to comply? when will they learn obedience? when will they realise that i am just trying to help them. if they would just conform... why do they refuse so stubbornly to fit the system?

but if i had a kid of my own would i want them conforming to people they engage with?

and why do i rebel? why do i push? i swirm? i just don't let myself fit? i get mad at people who love me? i resist.

i've betten myself up about this over the years. i knew i was a bit screwed up and figured that's why i was rebellious. i always associated rebellion with sin and presumed that once i was a mature christian grown-up god would relieve me of my rebellious spirit.

my thinking has changed.

jesus christ was the biggest rebel the world has ever seen. and there is still so much crap going on that needs rebelling against.
to be a christian is to be a rebel. i've just got to decide to what will i rebel. - charlie

'do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. hate what is evil' (paul in romans) do any of you bible scholas out there know what paul meant by 'hate'. was it an emotion or an action?

The Diggels

Once upon a time in a land far, far away was the kingdom Thear. The people of Thear were called Diggels. Diggels grew magic beans which made them healthy and strong. Diggels did not need to eat or drink, all they needed were their magic beans. As long as every Diggel got five magic beans a day they would be happy and healthy. Thear was a beautiful and abundant kingdom and there were plenty of magic beans for everyone. Diggels spent their days caring for their kingdom and growing their magic beans. Most Diggels could eat 10 or 11 magic beans everyday. The Diggels took pride in their manners and in being nice Diggels.

Then, one summer’s night, a terrible fire raged through the southern half of the kingdom. Fields upon fields of beans were swept a blaze. Diggels ran through the field’s desperately trying to extinguish the fires. As they ran their skin was burnt. They fought the fire all night long but it was no use. Most of the crops in the southern half of the kingdom had been destroyed.

The next morning the sad, burnt and hungry Diggels gathered together.
“We must send for help” they decided.
A group of ten men Diggels set of to the northern half of the kingdom to ask for beans.

When they arrived they were surprised to find a fence erected dividing the kingdom, north from south.
“Strange” said the men Diggels to one another. “Perhaps they erected the fence to stop the fire.”

The Diggels called out beyond the fence for help. “Please, we need magic beans. Our wives children are becoming sick.”

A young woman Diggel heard them. She saw their burnt skin and scrunched up her nose.

“Please,” the Diggels begged her “Run and find help. Our need is urgent”

The girl ran of to ask her father.

The ten Diggels waited at the fence. They could see all the amazing things magic beans were being used for in the northern half of the kingdom. They weren’t just used food anymore. Diggels used them to make artworks and adorn their clothes. They crushed them to make their houses smell nice.

The girl found her father. “Daddy, some men have come. They want some magic beans.”
“I’m sorry” said the daddy Diggel. “We have no beans to share. We need at least ten beans each for food and your mother needs three a day for her artwork.”

The daddy Diggel looked down with fondness at his daughter. He did not want to teach her selfishness.

“Perhaps I can give just one.” He handed her one bean.

The girl Diggel ran back to the fence with the one bean.

The ten Diggels were a little confused. They seemed to be so many beans in the northern half of the kingdom. They turned and began the long work home.

Months past and the kingdom continued. The Diggels of the north consumed about twenty magic beans each every day. The Diggels of the south about three. Many Diggles in the south grew sick, skinny and died. Some Diggels in the north would send a handful of magic beans down each week to help. These northern Diggels rejoiced in how kind and generous they were whilst admiring their beautiful magic bean artworks.


saying grace

about to eat breakfast…I stop and pause for a moment. I let my awareness focus for a second on the pear cut up on the plate in front of me. It is crystal white on the inside. I imagine the taste. I then let my awareness wonder to all my sisters on earth who because of poverty will not eat breakfast this morning. I say a prayer for them and their children. I give thanks for my pear. I eat.

Monday, May 02, 2005

life is either very very simple or very very complicated. just depends on how you look at it. -charlie

Sunday, May 01, 2005


ever wondered if some people are more alive than others?

some people laugh more, they cry more, they love more, they hate more, they repent more, they screw up more, they care more, they get burnt more, they play more, they fight more

and some people play it safe.

mum's got this quote on her fridge

'care more than others think is wise,
risk more than others think is safe,
dream more than others think is practical.'

bust free


Friday, April 29, 2005

anzac day

being anzac day this week i've been talking to the school kiddies about war, conscription, moral dilemmas and jesus

me: put your hand up if you think jesus would have gone to fight in a war

pause... 4 hands go up

me: put your hand up if you think jesus would have gone to prison instead of fighting

22 hands went up

me: put your hand up if you don't know

3 hands

me: to the children who think he would have fought, why?

kid: 'cause he always sticks up for little kids and he wouldn't want the baddies to get them.

another kid: but what about the german kids, jesus likes them. he wouldn't shoot their daddies.

another kid: but what about moses and the big sea. god killed his baddies. they would have had kids? What do you think miss?

um...siren goes...phew.

what do i think...still not sure - charlie

Thursday, April 28, 2005

for the record

i love jesus with all my heart and soul and mind. he is my rock, my life, my love my joy. he is my only hope. his spirit is the steel rod of my spine.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

last night

slept under the stars. watched the moon fly. felt cold. felt hot. felt alive. what more can i ask for?


'i like your christ but i do not like your christians. your christians are so unlike your christ'

mahatma gandhi

(tar roo)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

the hard way

as some of you know i've recently been trying to shake of the evil tenticles of fast pace consumeristic style living.

did a bit of gardening last week. (thought i'd surprise the hubby with a new backyard when he got back from walpole.)

so i made my plans, set my goals, visualised the finished product, rolled up my sleeves and got cracking.

i was half way through clearing a patch of earth. i was quite proud of the rate i was working. i reached down and pulled out a weed and was about to chuck it in the bin when something in my spirit twigged.

i think god whispered 'stop'. i stopped.

i looked at the small green weed in my finger tips. it had white roots, three green leaves and a green stem. the bit where the roots turned into stem was all sorts of beautiful green colours. i paused for a few seconds and thought about how this little plant could suck up water from the ground. it was connected to the energy that sustains life. it could even use sunlight to photosynthesize and make chlorophyll that made it green. i was holding a little miracle. i gave the weed a little portion of respect and then placed it in the bucket.

that week turned into a big long "quiet time". as i cleared, planted, watered and patted the earth i felt god. it was light, fresh and happy. i somehow could see god all over the place, i didn't have to try, it was just so obvious.

and then sunday came. i kindoff wanted to keep gardening but i decided to go to 6pm church. at church i focused on the speakers, i leaned forward and furrowed by brow, i sang songs and forced my self to concentrate on the words. i couldn't feel god very much so i tried harder. i 'pressed in'. i tried to block out everything around me and just focus on god. i could hear someone up the front encouraging me "break through, don't let your self be distracted, press in to god's majesty".

i looked up at the painted ceiling and the dimmed electric lights. it occured to me that if there was no ceiling god's majesty would be undeniably obvious in the stars above and this whole process of worship could be much easier, in fact looking up at the stars might even make a heart of worship inescapable.

but i stayed standing next to my seat (i even went up the front for a bit) i kept trying and by gods grace i did manage to push through all the distractions and i eventually connected with him. i had persevered and i had worshiped. i left with a headache.

please do not interpret this blog as an critism of church services. i have no doubt that many people were blessed by that service (as i indeed eventually was). i'm just saying that maybe we sometimes do things the hard way. - charlie

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

all aboard

check out this post by amy. she captures so perfectly my feelings about where i find myself. i love church but, but, but...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

faith vs doubt

growing up i kind of unconsciously thought that doubt was the opposite of faith. over the years (particularly as a teenager) i questioned and doubted many elements of the 'rightness' of the christian culture that was presented to me. it was often assumed that my doubt was somehow connected to 'backsliding' or moving away from god.

i have never doubted christ. i have often doubted christianity. learning to differentiate the two has been my salvation.

don't you love it when someone else puts words to a sneaky suspision you have but are yet to define. this happened for me last night.

"faith that is not tested by doubt is a faith that leaves the individual vulnerable...doubt is the fire that purifies our faith. doubt burns up the hay, wood and stubble, leaving behind pure gold." - tony campolo

so i will continue to 'doubt' my version of christianty with the hope that my definition of christian will beome more and more like christ's definition of faith. - charlie

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

do not wait

'do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person' - mother teresa

Friday, April 08, 2005

furry angels

11pm. bed time. brush teeth. get changed. get a glass of water. turn kitchen light off. unfold dog blanket. pat dog. ask god's blessing on dog. go to bed.
you may think i'm a freak but i'm not the only one. check this out and for the record i've had over 4 deep spiritual conversations with non-churchy neighbours this week as a direct result of my brown fury four legged angel.
last year my dog ran away. she went to a neighbours house, silently opened the door and hopped in the bath tub with a 4 year old boy. fortunately that 4 year old liked dogs and didn't freak out. later that year his mum gave her life to the lord. - charlie

origin of life

bill bryson quotes matt ridley in his explanation of the origin of life, 'wherever you go in the world, whatever animal, plant, bug or blob you look at, if it is alive, it will use the same dictionary and know the same code. all life is one'. matt and bill are of course referring to the magical phenomena of genetic transfer which they seem to believe originated in one cell, not one god - sounds like an inaudible melody to me. - charlie

Monday, April 04, 2005

naina's story

check out this story about a girl living in a detention centre in our 'beautiful' state on roo-ster's blog.

Friday, April 01, 2005

people are watching...

As a general rule I tend not to worry too much about what others are thinking of me (often to my detriment!) I have been brought up to assume people like me unless they tell me other wise. I socialise under the assumption of acceptance (maybe it’s the primary school teacher in me).

However over the years a few people I respect have cautioned me, ‘people are watching and people will draw their own conclusion from the little snippets they see of your life. You have chosen to be a ‘leader’ and with that you are inviting people to look at your life.’

Maybe I shouldn’t go to pubs because people might think I love getting drunk? Maybe I shouldn’t hug male friends because people might think I’m a flirt. Maybe I shouldn’t drive fancy cars because people might think I’m materialistic. Maybe I should go to church 3 times a week or people might think I don’t love god?

There’s something about this line of thought that doesn’t quite sit right. It makes me look to my head instead of my spirit for issues of conscience.

Maybe I’m just not cut out to be a leader?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

who will you be in the next 24 hours? - charlie

Saturday, March 26, 2005

what is a christian?

as some of you may know at the start of this year i decided to abandon everthing i thought i new about faith and start again from scratch - everything i had previously believed was up for grabs.

i had hit the reset button.

this left me with some fairly major questions. for instance, 'what is a christian?' i promised myself i would take on no ones opinions but christ. if he didn't have an opinion on something then i didn't need one either.

last week some of my school kids asked me, 'so who gets to go to heaven?' - my initial urge is to sprout of the answer from the bank of answers i have stored neatly in my brain - 'if you ask jesus into your heart then you get to go to heaven.' but i'm not allowed to use my neatly stored bank of answer anymore because just can't quite remember who put those answers there.

so i turn to the words in red - to the man who put the 'christ' in 'christian'. and i find the passage of the sheep and the goats (matt 25). sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell. simple enough. so how can i be a sheep? answer - feed the hungry, invite in strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison.

so that's it. christ summary on who gets to go to heaven. what is absent from this passage is as startling as what's in it.

to ask christ into your heart is to ask the poor into your heart.

do you fit christ's definition of those who are saved? i bloody hope i do.


you should feel very priviledged because you are about to read carefully choosen exerts from my private journal.

august 04 (current life description- working approx 50 hours a week, attending church approx 3 times a week plus small groups, failing in attempts to get to know neighbours, often sick with colds and sore throuts, failing in attepts to have a 'quiet time' everyday)

"i'm sick of swinging between stressing about pathetic details (fast pace) and being bored and depressed (slowing down). i can't believe some people live like that for years - thinking that's life. god - i want to be alive, more than i am now. i feel you made me for something different. do i even know faith? i'm so self sufficient, self protective. - and so dependent on the system (money, infrastructure etc). i feel so chained. imagine being so free you could give your last apple away...

september 4 04
dear lord, your very name crumbles my heart. i write through tears. you are my life. without you death, boredom, dullness, nothing.
o god - i want life to the full, please help me find life to the full - i'm so bored.

september 6 04
as i wake i feel a new connection with all my sisters on earth - what do you want me to do with that.

courage? is that my favourite thing?

september 7 04
with all our knowledge and eduation how did we become so insula? how can we think our reality is normal? why do we think we need so much? how did we become so trapped? there are false gods and idols all over the place. in our pursuit for 'freedom' (control) we have become so bound. do we even know faith when we run around all day trying to look after ourselves - making sure we have enough - fulfilling our need to be 'comfortable' - making sure our kids will be 'comfortable'. i'm not sure i want my kids to be comfortable - i want my kids to be couragous. being comfortable makes me feel stuffy, useless, smothered. i wonder what being courageous feels like - i've only had a taste

god - what is this that you have placed in my heart. i want to burst - i feel so contained, so small. god, set me free."

enough for now - charlie

easter story

Once upon a time, thousands of years ago before a human had ever walked this earth, a rebellion had formed in heaven.

The Great Lord looked down upon His hosts of gleaming angels. There was one who sparkled brightly on the outside, but whose heart had started to darken. The seed of pride had taken root. Lucifer longed for the power of The Great Lord.

“Look at Him sitting up there” Lucifer whispered to the other angels. “He says he cares for us but I wonder…He says he will be Lord forever…what if he makes us his slaves?” Lucifer slowly and strategically planted doubt in the hearts of the other angels.

He tempted them with power. “Come with me and I will make you strong. Others will stand in awe of you just like you stand in awe of Him.”

One third of the angels succumbed to Lucifer’s lures. The Great Lord was deeply saddened by their mistrust. Lucifer and his legions were thrown from heaven.

* * *

Several centuries past. The Great Lord created Earth. His most prized creation was man. He loved man more than anything. The Great Lord put a portion of himself inside every man, that man might radiate His strength, His love, His compassion, His courage.

Lucifer hated man from the very beginning. He hated that man loved The Great Lord. Lucifer wanted man to be pathetic, to be whimpy, to be selfish and arrogant, greedy and full of hate. Lucifer and his legions at once got to work on the demise of man. The assault of lies began.

The Great Lord watched as each man made their choice. Some men stood firm, they new Lucifer was a liar. Other men gave in. Their lust for power and wealth too strong.

Time passed and the world grew. Slowly it became sicker and sicker. Men with power became more powerful, more wealthy. The part of man’s heart which radiated The Great Lord grew dim. Blinded by their own selfishness they forgot to care for the weak, the sick, the hungry – those that truly needed their strength.

The Great Lord watched. “Enough!” He finally thundered, “I can stand this deceit no longer.”

Mary became pregnant.

Lucifer looked over his shoulder. He had feared this day may come. He whispered to Herod. “Quick, you must kill all the babies or one of them may steal your throne.”

But it did not work. The Christ was born.
Lucifer continued throughout Christ’s life to tempt him, to destroy him. Lucifer commanded his legions to work without falter at the destruction of The Christ. After years of toil Lucifer finally had The Christ right where he wanted him – hanging on a cross.

The Christ cried out, “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?”
“VICTORY!” screamed Lucifer across the Earth. The sky blackened. The Christ was pulled into the depths of hell.

For three days there in hell a war raged which those of us on Earth knew nothing of. On the third day Lucifer looked at the broken and gasping body of Christ chained to the table. Lucifer smirked with confidence. “Victory is mine.”

But then the eyes of Lucifer met the eyes of The Christ. His smirk faded.
“No” said Christ. “Victory is My Great Lord’s.” With that streams of light came pouring from the body of Christ. The chains broke. Lucifer fell back. “Arrrghh” he cried.

Lucifer was defeated once and for all. The Christ was risen.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

'the divine in me salutes the divine in you' - charlie

Manufactured Beliefs?

Last night we went and saw a doco called Control Room' (see It is about the Arab TV channel Al Jazeera. It proved to be not only another interesting take on the war in/on Iraq, but also a window into the world of the media and the power journalist's can wield. It got me thinking about how much information we are fed in today's society and how easy it is to sculpt this info to suite a myriad of agendas.

After reading Chomsky's 'Media Control' i was taken aback by the interrelation of democracy and media manipulation. Manufacturing consent is the name given to this process (it's also another Chomsky title) Both the books and the movie make the point that in our culture which is influenced by numerous media sources, we are constantly given an external focus upon which to fix our eyes. This enables our government to gloss over our interal problems for the greater cause of uniting to fight the common enemy of terrorism or whatever it is at the time. Now while i don't seek to endorse action taken on behalf of terrorists or their like, we could definietly use the resources committed to this war in my city/community rather than help damage an already sick nation thousands of miles from our homes.

Then again perhaps i have been listening to too much of this media control propoganda and my own view has been distorted by my own misinformation.

Now apart from the political side it makes me wonder what in my spiritual life do i believe because of misinformation? I know that some things quoted as almost scripture are just doctrines created by man and often regurgitated as part of a specific 'culture'. But it can somtimes be suprising to find myself quoting or acting on beliefs that, when i think about it, don't have a concrete theology behind them. It is scary the hurt i may have caused because of this misinformation. Now that takes me down a frightening path, to question all that i believe or thought i believed, seems like a daunting task. Maybe it would be easier to keep going along with all that commonly accepted stuff?

Monday, March 21, 2005

the most interesting thing powerphil has to say:

i can fit through a conventional doggy door.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

RE: science lesson blog 27 feb

very smart mirella just said, 'but jesus didn't jesus take his body with him?" hhhmmm, did anyone think of that? - charlie

Saturday, March 19, 2005

my fear

what if there's a difference between our 'western christian' culture and the lifestyle of christ. if i throw my heart and soul into a christian organisation i might take on the world view of that culture, not the world view of christ.

Friday, March 11, 2005

my path

if i know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because i am staggering from side to side?
Leo Tolstoy

Thursday, March 10, 2005


was chatting to my neighbour other night. it was still, the leaves hardly rustled. the bricks of the house were still warm from the heat of the day. she said to me with fist on chest that when she pats her dog and looks up at the stars she thinks - yeah, there must be a god.


just re-read stephen said's critic on the 'contemporary charismatic worship service' - (what i attend every sunday morning.)

i have often wondered where the, "sing, offering, sing, communion, sing, sermon, sing" format comes from. i have never found it in the bible. (this does not make it wrong - i have never found white polar bears in the bible either.)

stephen, in a short history lesson, explained that the 'contemporary charismatic worship service' originated in the 60's. christian baby boomers were dissatisfied with structured liturgical worship. they sort to find a more genuine expression of their faith in christ.

in some ways this is where i find myself today. i love my church to bits but i am realising it cannot be the only forum through which i express my faith. i am also becoming increasingly aware that many of my non-christian friends and neighbours will simply not fit the version of christianty presented at the services i attend on sundays.

so then what else could church look like?

if it was up to me (which we can probably all thank the lord it's not!) i would ask god and maybe he would say...

give to the poor

be friendly

don't declare people leaders - let people provide services

don't advertise me

look around you (and back in history) and learn how people connect with me - do these things

hmmm...what do you think jesus would do if starting a church in the northern suburbs of perth 2005? what would you do? - charlie

stephen's article -

Friday, March 04, 2005

rip that rug out

Here's a thought particularly pertinent to me at the moment as my brain is exploding with 'new knowledge and power'.

'I think that there is a large majority of self within questioning. It is for the purpose of knowledge that we ask, perhaps a knowledge that we were never meant to attain. Perhaps a fruit that we were never meant to taste. But now the poison has touched our lips and we long for its power. The very thing that brought us to destruction. It is within the knowledge of good and evil that we pertain to self.Our eyes have been pre-maturely exposed to the light, therefore, what we see as enlightenment, is, in its true form, blindness.' (from amy sarah's blog - a real world that doesn't exist...)

and there i was thinking i was becoming all enlighted - charlie

Thursday, March 03, 2005


teaching christian ed today. told the kids to close their eyes, heads on desks and imagine the world before god had created anything - no earth, no sun nothing. there was complete silence..........this is when god planned you.

I thought about you for ages
Even before the start of time
I contemplated everything
That went into you design.

I fashioned you completely
Uniquely through and through
I didn't start with someone else
Then slightly change them into you

I thought about your future
Dreamed what you could be
Then got to work creating
Someone the world has never seen....
(By Wes Beavis)

The kids then wrote their own poems about what god would say to someone who is sad. balled my eyes out. i tell you the kingdom of god is in the heart of those kids. - charlie