Mandy's Musings

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

more photos

Some amazing photos of the storm clouds that closed in on us in the afternoon.

Canoeing - the photographic evidence

Sharon has entrusted me with the photos, so here's a selection.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Canoeing in Kangaroo Valley

Yesterday I went Canoeing in the Kangaroo Valley with 5 of the girls from The Bible Talks (the trip I was invited to here).

It was a fun filled adventure, with quite a few silly moments. The aim was to be at Ali & Karyn's by 8.30am ... I was the last to arrive at 8.45. Then we had to work out who was going in who's car ... How to choose? Hair colour of course - so Sam, Fiona and Sharon went off in one car, leaving the blonde's in the other car.

First stop was Kenso cafe for coffee - it was an early start and we needed our caffeine boost before heading down the M5 to Kangaroo Valley. By all reports one car chatted the whole way while in the other car at least one passenger caught up on some sleep. Delayed a little by the road works near Mittagong, we arrived in Kangaroo Valley a little after 11.30am along with lots of others keen for a day of paddling. The weather was fantastic - sunny and warm, but not overbearing. We were hopeful that the predicted possible thunderstorm or late afternoon showers would not eventuate.

So with the money paid and instructions to get down to the river, we set off. Left out of the driveway then right at the first street, which would turn into a dirt road for about 4kms. When not far down the road we saw a sign saying 'no access, private property' we were concerned but not alarmed, we'd followed the directions. After contemplating turning back because this must be the wrong way, we forged ahead continuing up the road... until we came to a gate equipped with security camera's having arrived at someone's house. So we turned around and headed back down the narrow road while phoning for directions. Yes, we had turned onto the first street on the right as instructed, but we actually needed to turn into the second street on the right! Eventually we found the right street and headed to find our canoes.

We had a quick snack to fortify us before heading out on to the water. Karyn & Fiona in one canoe, Sharon & Sam in another with Ali & I in the third. We managed to find our rhythm and paddled out enjoying the beautiful valley, spotting birds and ducks. Sharon took lots of photos (that I'll post soon). There were some rumblings of thunder in the distance, but it still looked quire fine. A bit after 1pm we spotted somewhere on the shore to pull up for lunch - Sam predicted that it would start to rain in about an hour. Karyn, Fiona, Ali and I made it on to the shore, but Sharon & Sam decided to stay in the canoe near the shore to eat. We had a lovely picnic lunch and ate far too much as we played 2 truths and a lie. Who would have thought that one of us was questioned by the police about a murder in Nepal or that another had auditioned for Nida?

As we tried to reload everything into the canoe's to paddle back, the thunder was closing in and the rain began to fall. About to head off, we were warned by someone on the bank that the storm was close and if the lightning was less than 14 seconds apart to get to the shore or else we could be in trouble. So we set off to paddle back down the river. Ali & I decided to swap places in the canoe - a move that was to prove to be a bit of a disaster as we literally zig-zagged our way back down the river, with me unable to get the steering right from the back. It provided lots of amusement for Karyn & Fiona who thought we were trying out some new technique!
Eventually we made it back to shore. Trying to get the canoe out of the water I managed to break my blue flip-flop, then let go of the canoe and have to wade into the water to rescue it. In attempting to pull it out of the water, it had to go under a rope and for some reason it didn't occur to me that I could go over the rope and pull the canoe under, so I went down and pulled the canoe under the rope with me.

Not ready for the adventure to end, we headed into Kangaroo Valley in search of the fudge shop. We turned up just after the power had gone out and so were unable to have a nice warm drink. So it was off to Berry before taking the coast road home. After running in to some of the second year MTC girls, we sat down for coffees, smoothies and cake in a lovely Berry cafe. They had experienced a black out as well, but the power had come back on by the time we arrived. With a discussion about whether the bathroom was in fact quite pleasing or really rather ordinary, we headed for home along the South Coast. We didn't make it to the coast road near Wollongong - it was raining pretty steadily by that point anyway.

It was a great day - lots of laughs and fun.
Photo's from Kangaroo Valley Canoe's website

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The supremacy of Christ

One of the joy's of my week is Tuesday mornings where I meet with Emma to read Colossians from the Greek. It's our attempt to use what we learnt at college and doing it together is an encouragement to make it happen. We've discovered that we are getting quite good at looking things up in the dictionary!

Yesterday we looked at Col 1:15-23 a great passage that tells of the supremacy of Christ and his sufficiency for our salvation. It was great to be reminded that all things were created by him, through him and for him (v16). And why did the firstborn over all creation take on human flesh? To reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross (v19).

I was really struck by the movement in verses 21-23. The key words in this section are: 'once', 'but now' and 'if'

Once you were dead
But now you have been made alive in Christ
If you continue to hold on to the hope that you have

A great reminder that Jesus has indeed rescued me from a helpless state and won forgiveness for me on the cross, so that the only appropriate response is to continue to hold on to him in all that I do.

Maybe this Greek caper is not so bad after all ...

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Luther on Hermenuetics

Recently started reading through my set of the 'Complete Sermons of Martin Luther'. It's 7 volumes, and each sermon is long ... the first has 100 points. Maybe it will have me thinking Phillip's sermons are short when he gets back next week!

He made some really interesting comments on the evangelists use of the OT:

First, we must keep in mind that the Evangelists do not quote the prophets word by word, it is enough for them to have the same meaning and to show the fulfillment, directing us to the Scriptures so that we ourselves may read, what they omit, and see for ourselves that nothing was written which is not richly fulfilled.

And again:

It seems to me that the Holy Ghost led the apostles and evangelists to
abbreviate passages of the Scriptures for the purpose that we might be kept close to the holy Scriptures and not set a bad exemple (sic) to future exegetes, who make many words outside the Scriptures and thereby draw us secretly from the Scriptures to human doctrines. As to say: If I spread the Scriptures verbatim everyone will follow the example and it will come to pass that we would read more in other books than in the holy writings of the principal book, and there would be no end to the writing of books and we would be carried from one book to another, until, finally, we would get away from the holy Scriptures altogether, as has happened in face. hence, with such incomplete quotations he directs us to the original book where they can be found complete, so that there is no need for everyone to make a separate book and leave the first one.

I don't know that I'd ever quite thought about it like this before, but I love his emphasis on driving people back to the Scriptures. What do you think?

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Amazing Grace: The William Wilberforce Story Movie Trailer

Click here for the trailer to this new movie

HT: Ali. Thanks for this.

I did a bit of reading on Wilberforce last year while I was writing my essay on the Eclectic Society. Not sure if The Eclectic society will get a mention in the movie, but it is one that I'd definitely like to see.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

New Principal for Oak Hill

Oak Hill has announced herethat Mike Ovey has been appointed as the new Principal.

I had Mike (along with Garry Williams) in the Doctrine of God unit I studied last year and think that it is great news. Of course, Mike did cut his teeth lecturing at the best theological college in the world, Moore!

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ministry and Meals

I was describing my week to a friend the other night and was struck by how much of the ministry I did was around meals. From lunch at my place with the Student Ministers, to a BBQ with the Elders of The Bible Talks, coffee with the wife of one of the ministry team, Bible Study launch with dinner, dinner with some of the women from The Bible Talks, to afternoon tea at my place. That's all this week!

Thus it always makes me laugh, although I realise it is slightly inappropriate, when I read Romans 14:17 and other passages like it. For although gospel ministry is not about eating and drinking, as Christians we seem to be unable to get together without eating. Yet on the other hand, breaking bread and eating together was characteristic of the early followers of Jesus (see Acts 2). Food and fellowship go hand in hand.

In a culture where we see the prevalence of two extremes, where people either don't eat, obsessed with diets and the perfect body, or overindulge such that obesity is a growing problem in Australia even amongst children, how can we as Christians be distinctly different in the way that we live?

image ©Michael Bretherton

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Monday, February 05, 2007

One word

At a dinner party on Saturday night, we were trying to think of one word that described ourselves. It's quite a hard task.

I struggled to know whether my word would be argumentative or determined. The other two I remember others coming up with for themselves were obstreperous and saved.

It then lead on to a discussion of words that should be words and my favourite was from Emma: telepathetic (defn: hopeless at telling the future).

If you could only use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?


Thursday, February 01, 2007

A well spent 35 minutes

I don't think I realised how expensive moving was .. all of those connection fees add up. So when one organisation billed me $299 for about 20 minutes of work, I was outraged. I rang customer service and politely but insistently explained the predicament and my unhappiness. The officer listened and then placed me on hold. Thankfully I have a hands free phone at work, so I got on with some admin while I was waiting. About 10 minutes later she got back to me and said she was going to speak to the technician who did the work, but that I needed to stay on the line. Back on hold for another 10 minutes or so, whereupon I was told - the technician says it should only be $59, would you mind holding again while I fix that up. um, NO, I'll happily wait. Another 5 minutes on hold. The officer comes back on the line. I've changed that in your account now, so the total owing by 15th Feb is $59.

35 minutes later, I'd saved $240. So glad I didn't just pay the bill assuming the charge was right!

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