Friday, 23 May 2014

One Sick Bunny.

In the natural course of things pre~production week any time is a complete circus.  We get locked into rehearsal schedules that fall apart at the last moment, change venues, times & dress codes & leave us scrambling all over Brisbane.  You learn to go with the flow & come very prepared.  It doesn't bother me overmuch but any time John has to deal with it he gets more than a little irate.

So I spent a good few weeks trying to organise transport on Fridays for the girl because we have other commitments & nothing was going to work unless we all went over early, dropped her off, did our thing then went back to pick her up.  My man was not happy.  It made for a very, very long night & there was no guarantee rehearsal would end on time.  We are talking the arts & artistic temperaments here so it was hit & miss any way I looked at it.

Then Friday Cait rang from work for me to come get her.  For some strange reason I immediately assumed she'd been sacked ~ though I couldn't think why ~ but no, she was white & clammy & as sick as a dog & it was her call to ring & cancel out of rehearsal.  I thought it was a wise call as she is in rehearsal for most of today & they open Tuesday.

I blame the chicken pox.  All growing up Cait was the healthiest & most robust of children.  She never caught anything.  One dose of chicken pox & wham!  Suddenly the child has allergies to soap, powder, shampoo, food, clothing, fragrances & she catches every stray bug that's going around.  She has had 2 colds in 2 weeks & now she has shared! Ick.  Today will be interesting.  Wish us luck.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Bouddica Shout~Out.

We are heading into Production week.  Rehearsals 6 nights a week on the other side of the river.  I feel tired before we begin.

Brizzyites ~ the music is shaping up beautifully.  Very impressive. And the tickets are extraordinarily reasonable ~ between $25 & $45. Have a look.  However be warned; this is an adult production & according to Cait the rape scene is graphic & the battles realistic so don't bring the kiddies.  It is, after all, based on the life of a queen who very nearly brought Rome down!  If you've ever looked at some of the original texts any reproduction is going to be mild by comparison.

We are going to make a little party of us to go & hear Cait.  Hear because she won't even get to be on stage.  She's so miffed about that.  No costume,  No makeup.  No cloud of reflected glory.  Not sure how they are going to do this as, if I have the right theatre [& I may not] this is theatre in the round.  

I am really looking forward to hearing the whole thing right through as, per usual, I have only heard bits & more of the difficult bits than anything else.  Timing.  It always amuses me that so many musicians have trouble with basic counting!  Luckily I am well supplied with reading matter which I have deliberately held over knowing this was coming: the end of The White Princess ~ which is bound to end badly; Kafka on the Shore....Priscilla: the hidden life of an Englishwoman in wartime France...others I haven't even looked at yet, hoarding them like a greedy miser against the days of prolonged rehearsals & missed boats.

And as per usual Cait likes me on hand for no other reason than the bulk time of any production is mindbogglingly boring.  You stand round silently for sound checks. Light checks.  Mike checks.  Costuming.  Makeup.  Positioning... while the production crew runs round with yellow tape putting crosses on the stage & the light guys make indecipherable scribbles in their scripts & the sound guys go into huddles over balance.  Meanwhile the stars of the show stand round getting cold & hungry & mightily bored.  Worth it?  Oh, yes.  For the nights of lights & applause & the high of performing!

This looks like being a really terrific production so if you're in Brisbane the last week in May or the first in June get yourself a ticket for some really wonderful music & a story that deserves to not be forgotten.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

It never rains but it pours.

My girls are the practical sort.  They can cook & navigate & problem solve.  Really.  They can.

Lib's a classic.  Her solution to getting lost in Brizzy?  Ring home.  Our conversations would go like this:

Mum, I'm standing on the corner of such & such & I need to get to such & such.  Would you go on Google maps & tell me how to get there from here?

So why would I be surprised to get a skype message from the child on the other side of the world at 2am her time going:  I have an assignment due in an hour.  Would you read over it & say if I've covered everything? Ummm....

In the middle of our conversation on covenants her brother arrives home from work & proceeds to dip his oar in the water as well.

I know you're all going, Awww, that's so sweet.... so I'm guessing I'm not the only one this happens to.  And those of you in the know will be nodding sagely thinking. Experienced homeschooler...Hah!  Libby is one of my kinesthetic ones.  She & I don't even begin to share the same headspace.  Her sentences quickly become long & convoluted.  Given just an hour I couldn't even begin to deal with her grammar.  Now don't get me wrong.  There is generally nothing wrong with her content but I learnt a long time ago the easiest way to not be misunderstood is to apply KISS.  My writing tends to be blunt & to the point ~ & as a rule I keep my sentences short.  That way I can be pretty sure of maintaining a grip on my content.  One reason I dislike the Victorians.  No~one has any business writing a sentence that is long enough to create a paragraph on its own!  I digress.

Now first thing in the morning after a good night's sleep I would probably be as sharp as a wet cornflake & have some hope of dealing with Lib's request.  It was not first thing in the morning.  It was dinner time.  I was trying to make my carnivores meatballs [I left out the onion...ewww] after a very full day because Tuesday starts early.  Yes, all my days start early but most days I revert to coffee after I drop the lad to his boat & stare vacantly at FB until I'm nominally awake.  Tuesdays start with a bang.  I have to make sure the house is tidy enough for the prayer group [& as Cait is out singing Monday night & we get home latish it almost never is], that bibles & notes are to hand & I have Dearest up & semi~functional.  He too needs plenty of caffeine.

Then the bible study I was attending has ended & the leader will not be resuming so after some discussion we are beginning our own.  Book chosen but not yet here so after our prayer session we have been doing some short studies from online preaching I have found particularly good.  Only this Tuesday, having warned people it was super long, we did Walid Shoebat & if you have ever listened to him you know he has you scrabbling through the bible at a frantic rate of knots.  His biblical knowledge is phenomenal & although I have listened to this particular message several times I am still hearing things I missed the first time round.  Not for the faint~hearted. [And in case you're wondering the island internet is almost non~existent on most of the island so most Christians can't access this stuff at home.]

I then did Dearest's paperwork & mailing so was hardly at my most coherent when Lib skyped.  I can only hope I was some sort of help.  It's not that I don't know this stuff & Google is wonderful for all those bible verses you know but can't remember where they come from but the origin of my knowledge was derived from an out of print book I don't own & delivered via lecture so citations were not possible ~ perish the thought I made the notations on my study notes at the time!   

And just for fun Lib is studying through Malyon.  Um, yeah.  So some of the verses that I consider standard for covenant understanding Lib had never heard before. There is no redemption without the shedding of blood.  The life of the flesh is in the is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul...Lib is one of my more detail orientated children & I'm a big picture thinker so, yeah, that was fun.  I mean for me, once I start doing Connect the Dots I can go on forever!  And all over the shop.  You say covenant to me & I go straight to the cross because every covenant there ever was between God & man was just a foreshadowing of the cross.  Talk about driving Libby wild.  She, sensibly, wanted to stick to the parameters of her subject matter as she saw it.

One subject down.  Meanwhile back at the ranch...Ryan's opening gambit as we went to the boat this morning : Mum, have you ever seen into the Spirit Realm?  Give me strength....

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Making Mum Happy.

Everyone in this house knows that if you want to make mum happy you buy her books.  I am that boring & predictable.  And chocolate.  Dark & nutty ~ or shells.  Shells are goooood!

At some point on Sunday both materialized.

I had in mind to acquire The Language of God ~ which was recommended to me by my good friend, Jeanne at A Peaceful Day.  As Cait was buying & fluey our hunting was left to the last minute & I couldn't find what I wanted.  However I do want this book.  It will just have to wait for another time.  Instead Cait bought me Philippa Gregory's The White Princess.

I have always been surprised by how much I have enjoyed this series, which is not only right out of my time period historically but in a period I particularly dislike.  It has made clear & understandable the War of The Roses.  Simply grasping that this was primarily a very public family feud made it much easier to grasp the intricacies ~ at least for me.  I'm not a fan of the Tudors, who were a ghastly lot ~ though perhaps I should blame Margaret Beaufort , who is quite one of the nastiest characters in English history & spawned this diabolical dynasty.  Being me I have made this all so much easier to grasp by reading the whole thing out of order, stating with The Other Boleyn Girl before it became well known & a rather notorious & bad film.  What is very attractive historically is that Gregory looks at all this male history through the eyes of their women.  I think she does a pretty good job of it.

I am also plodding my way through Kafka on the Shore.  This is a book club choice & not the sort of thing I would normally indulge in simply because I find the main character hugely annoying [spoilt runaway obsessed with his body. *sigh*].  Then there is all the discussion about food which bores me to tears.  I would have set it aside as completely unreadable except that 2 people whose opinion as readers I respect encouraged me to give it some time.  I am reading the mystery sequences, which are lovely & interesting & skimming a lot of the rest.  However it has grown on me & I am enjoying the writing style, which took a little getting used to but which is strangely evocative of time & place.  And I've decided anyone who reads as much as Kafka does cannot be all bad.  He just needs to grow up some ~ though I am not convinced that that is going to happen in the course of this book.  I don't have much tolerance for coming of age stories & unlike my friend Sian can find no parallels with Holden Caufield of Catcher in the Rye fame.  And I dislike cruelty to animals ~ even to animals who do not exist, who live only in stories.

Today is warmer than it has been.  The skies are blue & clear.  The sun is cozy.  There is washing on the line & cats on the beds & all is well with my world.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Proud Owner of a Debt.

Yes, she is now the proud owner of a debt.

She only stalled 5 or 6 times driving back to the jetty. Give her credit.  She is used to driving 2nd hand beaten up bombs not brand spanking new deluxe cars that actually work as they are meant to!

And just in case you're wondering about the most significant aspect of the whole deal:  this car comes with a working radio!!!  Um, yeah.  That's my girl!

No, I haven't driven it yet.  Cait did offer but when all's said & done it's a car.  A book now, that's another matter entirely.  Cait knows waaay better than to offer me a book she's keen to read unless she doesn't want to see it again for a least a week. The lads have agreed to share the driving on Friday.  They are keen to get behind the wheel.

Isn't it a pretty blue?

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Stop the world...!

  Yes, it's been that busy.  The sad thing is it doesn't sound so terribly busy ~ until you are doing it.  Prayer mornings?  An hour of my time, you think, then we sit round having a cuppa & a chat before everyone goes home again.  Perish the thought.

Firstly, certain types of prayer are just plain hard slog.  No 2 ways about it.  Intercession.  Praying stuff in. Hard.  Exhausting.
We are praying in our children's ministry.  We are interceding for Libby & for a dear American friend having a really hard time just now.  We are interceding for a number of unsaved people just now as well.  I cannot speak for anyone else on such matters but if the Holy Spirit says Pray, we pray till we're allowed to stop.  And yes, I normally do try to keep it to the hour because people have other things to do, lives to live, families that need them but not this Tuesday.  We were in prayer from 7.30 to nearly 10am, then I had a teaching video some of us wanted to watch on how Satan keeps people in bondage.  Another hour, but so worthwhile as we all got so much from this.  One lady took copious notes.  Then our leadership got together to prayer out what we had learnt into a troublesome situation.  By the time we were all done most of my day was gone & I was beyond tired.

Then, as FBookers know, Cait has been buying a new car ~ which we will go over & pick up this afternoon once she gets off school.  We have to organise spare keys & parking keys & a plethora of little details that can only be finalised once the deal is done.  So more trips than normal to the mainland but I am just soo relieved as despite numerous visits to the mechanic no~one has found what causes our old Barina to not start when it has been starting perfectly every time for weeks on end.  Even if Cait was licensed she could not have traveled alone in that car.  No more.  She still wants me just for traveling company some nights but more & more she will soon be on her own.

We also have a prayer day coming up at Rhema ~ which we are all looking forward to.  These are generally well attended & we get a lot out of them.  There's something about a corporate anointing that allows for really deep prayer.  Prophetic prayer.  

Then there is the mental preparation as Ryan is preparing to move back to the mainland.  This will ease some of my workload but we will miss having him round the house.  Well, I will.  I think Cait enjoys being an only child.

We are experiencing first hand that while the days may be long, the years are indeed short & passing all too quickly.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Season of our Freedom.

Let's face it: I tend to see the world a little differently to most.  This is as true for the things of God as for the way I read books & deal with history.  It probably accounts for some of the difficulties we have had both in fitting in to a church & establishing our own.  Generally people like what they know & are comfortable with & on the whole Christians tend to be at the more conservative end of the scale.  I fit there ~ & I don't fit there.  Mostly I can't be bothered going to all the trouble of explaining some of my choices.  They don't affect anyone but me.

I can remember saying ~ more than once to a variety of people ~ be careful whose teaching you sit under; there is an impartation.... I know this is true.  A congregation tends to hold important what the ministry leadership holds as important.  So I was fascinated to find the first person the Lord brought us was a wonderful lady whose primary gift is preaching.  Theologically she & I are like peas in a pod.  You have NO idea how unusual this is.  Charismatics are a dime a dozen.  Meditative charismatics are as rare as hen's teeth!  She fitted into the church structure the Lord had given us as though it were a glove tailored exactly for her hand!

She is a thorough researcher.  An extraordinary prayer warrior.  Extraordinary in her faith.  I knew we were blessed beyond measure to have her on our side.  And she has been incredibly faithful.  Week after week she has turned up, just the 3 of us & preached to an empty room when asked.  In the time it's been just us I have learnt she won't roll her eyes if I say, I feel the Lord is saying this...leading doing this... Indeed more often than not she will concur, because the Lord is saying the exact same thing to her!  We have learnt to listen & trust each other.  This is important because there are things the Lord just doesn't talk to me about.  Probably because certain things cause me to promptly vague out.

This week the Lord spent most of the week talking to me about the Passover.  Mostly He was just gently reminding me of the flow of things but He also made sure I had grasped that I was dealing with Holy Objects ~ the same as the Communion elements & that we needed to be reverent.  A good thing too as I nearly lost the plot when I saw how many we actually had for Passover!  I know you are thinking, well, that's really not so very many...& of course you are right but most of our island churches peak at 1/2 a dozen to a dozen people so that was major.  What the Lord told Bee was that from Easter on He was going to gradually grow our numbers.  Her face was a study when she saw her prayer answered on Friday!  On Sunday we began our service with just the 3 of us again. *sigh* Then they came. One. Two, three, four!  Everyone who was at the Seder was back!

You've got to be hardy to endure one of our services.  The Lord hasn't blessed us musically so the praise element is light on & very different because we have no singers either so the whole lot of us use the praise as a prayer platform.  Then John uses that to lead in prayer & what he uses is the scriptures.  John being John will often pray through a whole chapter of the bible.  Not for the faint~hearted, no.    Then the reader will read more scripture.  Then either Bee or I will stand & proclaim ~ & we have both a teaching & a prophetic mandate so we can pack an awful lot of punch into our 35~45 minutes.  Then John closes by praying more scripture & I put on some music.  We are heavy on the word because Faith comes by hearing, & hearing by the word of God!

If you've read here long enough you know I have a thing about getting the knowledge of God into people's heads because when the going gets tough that's what will anchor you in the storm!  Resurrection Sunday is a ripper to preach!  There is soooo much to choose from, so much to cover, so much to impart & when I get going I can talk really, really fast & say an awful lot in very little time.!  What the Lord gave me to speak on was Christ our High Priest ~ oh, MAN!!!  I love this stuff.  Because you can actually see, in both Mark [14:63] & Matthew [26:65] the literal exchange of the old covenant for the new.    You see a high priest's garments were woven from a single piece of cloth without seam, & double woven round the neck to prevent accidental ripping as a high priest who tore his vestments was immediately disqualified from his office....Yet here we see the high priest deliberately tear his garment & we know from later at the cross Jesus' garment was gambled for as it was woven from a single piece with no seams!  From that moment before the Sanhedrin Jesus was operating in His office as High Priest!  I get so excited by this stuff.  I talk more fully about what happened here.  

I've known this stuff for a while & so I was off chasing other bunny trails ~ but I forgot not all my congregation was there with me! lol Half of them promptly immersed into their iphone apps to check my references.  I don't mind.  In fact that is excellent!  I don't say stuff unless I'm 100% sure but I like that they checked.  It's important preachers are accountable for what they teach.  And after we'd finished they rushed over to chat some more about it.

Impartations.  I am so grateful that those the Lord is bringing are hungry for His word.  I'm glad they are like the Bereans, not just sitting there like stuffed pigeons, but actively searching to see if these things are true.  This will flow on to everyone new who arrives.  The expectation has been set.  I'm pretty crappy at the sit round the table over a cuppa chit~chat stuff.  But if people want to chat about the word of God I am so there!  Because if you know the truth, the truth will set you free & those who are free in the Lord, are free indeed!