Monday, December 19, 2011

Connections and Ginger Snaps

Yesterday I made a batch of Jen's Ginger Snaps.  The kids cheered.   They love these biscuits (or should I say cookies?) and I love making them - they help me remember.

In November 1999, my husband and I moved from steamy Brisbane to wintery Bozeman, Montana USA.  We had found out about 10 days prior to leaving that twin boys were to arrive in March 2000, to say that our heads were spinning would be mild.  It was quite a move.

When we arrived, finding a church was one of the challenging tasks before us.  We went along to a couple of different churches, but it was difficult.  Then we came upon Gallatin Valley Presbyterian Church.  Home.

For the next two years these warm, loving people took us into their hearts and their homes.  Listening as a new mother cried and asked and wondered about this amazing job of bringing up two tiny boys.  Throwing the grandest Baby Shower I have ever attended for a women they had known for about 4 weeks.  Teaching the Bible with their mouths and their hands and their arms and allowing me to do the same.  Telling me truths about motherhood that I have passed on many, many times.  And my friend Jennifer gave me her Ginger Snap recipe.

So, as I make Jen's Ginger Snaps in steamy Brisbane - I am back in wintery Bozeman.  I love the fact that while it has been 10 years since we've been together, I can know that as I wait to see those wonderful women in Heaven, we can all munch Ginger Snaps that we've made for the people we love.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Women's Ministry Consultation

Feb 4th 2012
Presbyterian Church Offices
168 Chalmers St, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
We hope to have a room full of women and men who are leaders, formal or otherwise, within the Presbyterian Church and who want to see women growing and active within the PCA.
The aim of the Consultation is to
  • get an up-to-date sense of where Women’s Ministries are at throughout the PCA;
  • Identify key issues still requiring attention;
  • Hear news from each state regarding Women’s Minstries;
  • Discuss aims and agendas for our upcoming Flourish Conference in July 2012.
    The day will be tightly structured to gain maximum input and sharing opportunity but will also provide an opportunity for networking and detailed discussion.

    1. If this is something that you or someone from your church my be interested in please indicate your desire to attend by early December 2011 by email to John McClean (Chairman) or by post to PO Box 89, Ferny Hill, QLD, 4055.
    2. Please include a brief description of your involvement and/or interest in women’s ministries within the Presbyterian Church as well as a paragraph detailing what you believe you could bring to the Consultation. Please also feel free to suggest others who you believe may be of value to the Consultation.
    3. Refreshments and lunch will be provided and there will be no charge for the day, however, we are hoping that most delegates receive sponsorship for travel through their relevant committee or church. Limited funds to assist with travel will be available. Please indicate if you will require assistance with this.
      We look forward to a time of enriching and thought-provoking discussion with some clear aims and working goals to come out of the Consultation.

    • John McClean
    • Andrea Pryde
    • Cecelia Orford
    • Mairi Girigis
    • Margaret Thatcher
    • Rachel Bain

Monday, November 14, 2011

Brilliant Book Club Book...

This term I have been in a book club which has read and discussed Tim Keller's book, The Prodigal God Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (We also watched a 6 series DVD which went hand in hand with the book.)

It was a really great read and I was so challenged and inspired by it. Keller's book looks at the Parable from Luke's Gospel in chapter 15 in a whole new light. It was something I had never even thought about despite having read the parable so many times. Even the title of the book was something new to get my head around. In the initial pages Tim supplies us with the definition

- adjective
1.recklessly extravagant
2.having spent everything

Thinking of God as prodigal was a totally new theme for me, but yet so obvious when you think about all that God has done to redeem us his people. Part of the introduction reads like this:
This short book is meant to lay out the essentials of the Christian message, the gospel. It can, therefore, serve as an introduction to the Christian faith for those who are unfamiliar with its teachings or who have been away from them for some time.
Even so it continues on to describe how it is also such a 'Fresh Apprehension of the Christian message that they (Christian believers) feel themselves to have been essentially "re-converted". This book, then, is written to both curious outsiders and established insiders of the faith.'

The parts of the book which really resonated with me were those which dealt with themes of 'Redefining Lostness', 'The True Elder Brother', and in particular the paradigm of home which is described as 'The Feast of the Father'. Keller goes on to say that if we can see ourselves as already being seated at the 'Homecoming Feast of God' then it will radically effect the way that we view our lives now and how we use our time and resources.

But enough or I will give it all away. Needless to say I can heartily recommend it to you, your friends, and your church.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Women's Ministry Queensland

Women's Ministry Queensland WMPCQ have released their dates for the 2012 Calendar. If you are a local, then pop these dates on your calendar and bring a friend. Tell others about the events by directing them to our website. If you happen to be visiting Qld, you are welcome to attend any event. Please contact us and we can arrange transport.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Psalm 62

One of the blessings of our recent Tasmanian Women's camp was hearing Margaret Thatcher give a Bible Talk on Psalm 62. It was such an encouragement to hear that the Lord is Loving and the Lord is Strong, not just strong or just loving, but both loving and strong. In Him we find both rest and refuge.
Psalm 62

New International Version (NIV)

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

3 How long will you assault me?
Would all of you throw me down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 Surely they intend to topple me
from my lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.

5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

9 Surely the lowborn are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie.
If weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.

11 One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
12 and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
according to what they have done.”

Psalm 62 is a beautiful new song that we learnt during the weekend, by Stuart Townsend. What a great way to worship and praise our God and to have the words of scripture committed to memory...May it be a blessing to your hearts as it has been to ours.

A wonderful weekend in Tasmania...

Women across all ages and from many churches joined together for our Tasmanian Women's Camp. We were fortunate enough to have Margaret Thatcher, current President of the Presbyterian Women's Association in Australian, join us as our speaker for the weekend, (Margaret is pictured second on the left.)

It was great for the women of our Tasmanian churches to hear of the work that the PWA is doing throughout the nation. It was especially heartening to hear how the gifts of personal items of hand cream and moisturiser have been so well received by the women who are visited by the PIM patrols.

Margaret shared with us about her work with her husband Darrel when they were missionaries in Vanutu, 1995-2000 working within the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu at the Talua Ministry Training Centre. She is now working alongside Darrel in their current role as regional co-ordinators for Western Australia with Wycliffe Bible Translators. The weekend also included an excellent Bible Talk from Margaret on Psalm 62.

Approximately 60 women joined together on the beautiful North West Coast at Camp Clayton retreat. The weekend was filled with women singing, praying, chatting, laughing and sometimes even crying as we built relationships and shared with each other. The main Bible studies were from the book of Ephesians Chapter 1 verses1-14, as we looked deeply at all that have 'In Christ'. Every spiritual, it was really mind stretching, especially as we applied it to our lives and our churches. We finished of by asking ourselves how God's great purpose for our world should shape our priorities in our lives and in our churches.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


WMPCA holds a conference called Flourish, which by the way is on again in July 2012. Recently I picked up a book at a favourite bookstore I frequent called "Flourish, discover the daily joy of abundant, vibrant living" by Catherine Hart Weber, 2010. The book caught my eye firstly as the title mentioned the word flourish, but it also grabbed my attention as I have been feeling, well lets say, a little 'less vibrant' than I like to feel. So I bought the book. After flicking through it for some pearls of wisdom, I decided to give it a go and read it. I enjoyed the book and glad I bought it.

Catherine defines flourishing as discovering and becoming exactly who God wants us to be, and then use our lives to help others, do good and know and trust God. While the book didn't necessarily break me into a vibrant sweat of activity, it did heighten my awareness of Gods love for me and reawaken my gratefulness for His mercy and love. Ít challenged me to be me - as God created me - and love others in creative ways that might make a difference in their lives.

Maybe you might find this book good and encouraging, and maybe you will embrace tranquility. I end with the Bible verse that Catherine starts her book with:

Psalm 92:12-15 TLB The godly shall flourish like palm trees, and grow tall as the cedars of Lebabnon. For they are transplanted into the Lord's own garden, and are under his personal care. Even in old age they will still produce fruit and be vital and green. This honours the Lord, and exhibits his faithful care.

Hopefully I will meet you at Flourish in Sydney, July 27 & 28, 2012.

Many Blessings

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

small inspirations

Lately I have been listening to this Album by Sara Groves. It is not a new album, it was actually released in 2005... But it is new to me and one afternoon I was struck by the amazing lyrics of this song. Add to the Beauty

We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange place, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

It comes in small inspirations
It brings redemption to life and work
To our lives and our work

It comes in loving community
It comes in helping a soul find it's worth

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful
This is grace, an invitation

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out our best

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

The grace that has been given to us in the Lord Jesus, allows us to be people of purpose. It shapes our lives and reminds us of what God is working out through us. What a privilege to be part of God's great plan to bring redemption to the world.