Friday, 30 August 2013

K'nect Group

Last night, Mum and Dad hosted their small group/home group (whatever it is you call it).  At our church, we call them K'nect Groups.  Us kids were really excited because K'nect Group night is the time where we get to watch a movie with the kids of one the couples who are very good friends of ours. 

Last night was different, though.  Us older kids (ages 15+)  decided we would have our own Bible study while the younger ones watched a movie.  We all settled in our sitting room (which isn't very big, but it was cozy :) ) and after pretending to take the plate of ANZAC biscuits and fudge brownies away from each other, we settled down to business.  The book we are doing the study out of is called The Life you've always Wanted by John Ortberg.  The first part of the first chapter talked about being disappointed with ourselves and how we have fallen so short of the Lord's calling on our lives.  It was most thought provoking and the discussion was more so because we had viewpoints from varying personalities, perspectives that we would not have normally seen by ourselves.  We would up by reading Exodus 3:1-15.  This spoke about Moses and the burning bush and about how Moses had to turn aside from his daily routine and his sheep to listen to God's voice.  We also discussed about how God says, "I am who I am" and so we don't need to worry about who we are as much as we need to focus on the Lord and who He is and grow in that.

Now I want to encourage you.  Last night was such a fantastic time of fellowship and encouragement that I would highly recommend meeting with people to discuss God's Word.  We young people need the Word of Truth as well, else how will we know the road to take? 

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.  (Psalm 71:17)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Baked Oatmeal



 This is one of my family's favourite breakfasts!
Ingredients:
3 cups oats
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk
Berries/pear
Vanilla essence/cinnamon

Method:
Mix dry ingredients together
Combine wet ingredients and add to dry
Add vanilla essence and 2 cups berries (they can be frozen) – or – cinnamon and 2 pears (chopped into small pieces).
Stir in and cook in 180°C for 25 minutes
Serve hot with cream or yoghurt

Serves about 6

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Spring! Spring! Spring!


The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. (Song of Solomon 2:12)

Yes, although it is still August, spring has definitely arrived and today is absolutely glorious!   While I was on my walk with CA (19 months)  in her pram, I marveled at how suddenly the warm weather has 'sprung' upon us.  The sun was extremely glarey and had that bite in it that the Australian sun gets leading up to the hot months.  All around, butterflies were flitting to and fro and the birds were singing their little heads off so that I wondered how many of them would end up like that poor little bird on Shrek.  As I meandered along, I noticed the patches of yellow spring daisies that lined the path.  Those yellow daisies used to bring me such delight every year and I would gather as many as my skirt would hold and compete with my sisters to see who could make the longest daisy chain.  I no longer particularly enjoy getting the sticky juice all over my hands, nor the pollen tickling my nose and throat, but the sight of those daisies still invoke a certain excitement inside me that I can help giggling about.  The trees too are pulling out their summer dresses and nearly everywhere one looks, there is fresh growth.  Some of the evergreens even have buds and flowers among the soft green foliage.  What a beautiful world the Lord gives us at spring time.





















For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Monday, 26 August 2013

New week



Isn't it funny how many people share Garfield's hate for Mondays?  What is it about Mondays anyway?  Personally, I think people are just a wee bit lazy and hate to look ahead to a another week of work. :)  I was thinking of some verses to encourage you in the new week.  Here they are.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever..  (Psalm 23:6)  God's goodness and mercy are the same always - even on Mondays.

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.  (Psalm 39:4)  Life is too short and too frail to spend it in hate and dread of Mondays.


Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.  (Amos 9:13)  God wants to bless your day and make it fruitful.  Don't stand in the way because you don't like the name of the day.
For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  (2 Corinthians 6:2)  Today is the day of Salvation - God's mercy is the same everyday.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1)  And always remember that no matter how you feel whether it be about Mondays or anything else, God always - ALWAYS -  loves you.
So there you have it.  Use your day to the greater glory of God and remember Him in all things..  May He give you the grace to succeed and be fruitful in what you do.  God made us to work for six days and rest for one, so get at it with rigor and vigor! I hope this gave you the pick-up you need for today. :)  May the Lord bless your entire week.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Sewing Project

I had a crazy idea for a sewing project.    11-year-old EE really needed a new skirt, but it is near impossible to find anything at the shop at the moment.  So I thought I would make one.  I had seen an idea of using jeans and altering them into a skirt, so I decided to give it a shot.  I started by ripping the inner seams of the legs up to the seat.  Then I put some patchwork together and sewed it in the gap at the front to make an upside down V decoration on the front of the skirt.  I had taken about 15 cm off the bottom of the jeans and I used this to fill in the back.  Then I hemmed the whole thing (with double rolled hems - my grandma is very particular about that!)  To top off the project, I hand-stitched lace all around the bottom.  Over an hour of aching back, neck, and fingers later, the skirt was complete. 
I am not totally happy with it - I will probably take the back piece out and re-attach it as it has pleats when it shouldn't.  Mum and I have also decided that next time, it would probably be beneficial to shape the denim a bit so as not to give so much of an impression of filled in jeans.  All in all, however, I am impressed that it worked so well for a first attempt with my limited sewing skills. 







Monday, 19 August 2013

Happy Birthday Nanna!

Yesterday was a special day in our family- it was my Nanna's birthday.  It was a day of fond memories and smiles through tears... I am sure some of you know this bitter-sweet feeling.  I wish you could have known my Nanna because you would have loved her.

My Nanna was a very much loved lady in her community.  She wasn't very big - she was shorter than my mum - but she stood out where ever she went.  Maybe it was the speed at which she walked (I could never keep up with her).  But I think it was more because she radiated Christ where ever she went.  She would stop strangers in the street to pray with them or to tell them about Jesus.  She also had one afternoon a week when she would take the children'
s Christian radio program.  I used to love trying to tune in to hear her.

Nanna put a lot of energy into telling us about Jesus too.  Every time we visited her or she visited us,  we children would pick two books for her to read aloud to us: one from our bookshelves, and one from the Bbile.  There was one time she read through the book of Romans with us.  The other book was often the Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories books as Nanna was rather fond of those.

If there's one thing I remember about Nanna it was that she was always trying to get us to eat more.  Even if we had protested several times that we were full, she would keep offering seconds (or thirds, or fourths,...) until we fairly had to get up and leave the table.  She was extremely fond of mashed potato and would dish it up nearly every night.  I remember one evening when Jess and I ganged up together and asked Nanna as she was beginning dinner preparation, "Nanna, could we have baked potatoes tonight?"  She considered this for a moment before replying, "No, I think we'll have them mashed tonight!"

But the most memorable thing about Nanna was her personal relationship with God.  She was up at 6:00 every morning and we didn't see her until past eight.  Those 2 - 2 1/2 hours were spent in studying God's Word and in prayer.  Nanna was a pray-er.  She kept whole lists of things to pray for and I know that she prayed for each of us kids every morning.  She was so at peace with God and so at peace with her condition that the week before she died, when she was in palliative car, she was still asking us, "Is there anything I can pray for?"

The last words Nanna said to me were, "I love you.  Keep reading your Bible."  She died 13 days before my thirteenth birthday.

My Nanna leaves a legacy of faith and prayer and restfulness in God and in who God is that I hope and pray I can pass down to my children and my children's children through to all generations.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Blind Cricket

 
 
How funny is this!   LOL!
 
 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Finally, brethren, pray for us...

I read this article on the Bigpond news page:


Egypt's Christians terrified
Friday, August 16, 2013 » 06:08pm
 
Egypt's Christians are living in fear after a string of attacks against churches, businesses and homes they say were carried out by angry supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
As police dispersed Morsi supporters from two Cairo squares on Wednesday, attackers torched churches across the country in an apparent response.
'People are terrified; no one dares leave home,' Marco, a 27-year-old engineer, told AFP by phone from the central city of Sohag.
The city has become a ghost town, he said, describing an atmosphere of terror where attackers 'know where the Copts live' and torched several churches before turning to homes.
The Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic Christian youth movement, denounced what it called a 'retaliation war' against the religious minority which makes up around 10 per cent of Egypt's population.
The group accused Morsi supporters of targeting them in response to Coptic Pope Tawadros II's support for the July 3 coup that ousted the Islamist leader.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a local NGO, says at least 25 churches were torched on Wednesday and Thursday, and that attackers also targeted Christian schools, shops and homes across 10 of Egypt's 27 provinces.
Iraq's Chaldean Christian archbishop Louis Sako told AFP that one of his community's churches was among those targeted on Wednesday.
For Marco, the attacks against the churches were not a surprise - Christian religious buildings have been targeted before.
It was the torching of Coptic Christian homes and the looting of their businesses that shocked him.
The attackers were 'people chanting pro-Morsi slogans and wearing headbands with the phrase 'Muslim Brotherhood' written on them', he said.
The Maspero Youth Union, which documented abuses against Christians during Morsi's one year in office, also laid blame for the attacks on supporters of the ousted leader.
'Copts were attacked in nine governorates, causing panic, losses and destruction for no reason and no crimes they committed except being Christians,' the group said.
Morsi's supporters have often accused Christians of supporting president Hosni Mubarak.
On Thursday, the country's interim army-installed government described attacks on Egypt's Christians as a 'red line' and pledged that authorities would 'respond forcefully' to any new attack.
Shortly afterwards, the defence minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who led the coup, pledged that the military would pay for the rebuilding of the churches attacked on Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, interim prime minister Hazem Beblawi also announced he had met with Coptic Pope Tawadros II to express solidarity in the wake of the attacks.
And state news agency MENA reported that 80 Morsi loyalists had been arrested and turned over to military courts for their alleged involvement in torching churches in Suez province on Wednesday.
The Muslim Brotherhood made its first comment on the attacks on Thursday evening - a condemnation tempered by the assertion that many Copts supported Morsi's ouster.


We need to pray that our brothers and sisters in Egypt have the faith and strength to stand up for the Lord they have committed their lives to.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.  2 Thessalonians 3:1

Thursday, 15 August 2013

When I was a little girl...

Recently we have been watching '80s and '90s back-in-the-day playschool episodes.  You know, the ones that start with the squares and have the rocket clock and the flower clock;  the ones that star John, Noni, George, Angela, Simon, Trisha and, of course, Colin. :)

And yes, we ALL watch it - it is just too funny not to.  My favourite line so far?

George appears with a large coat on and produces a Fergus the frog from a pocket.
Colin: Oh, you've got a frog in your coat!
George immediately starts coughing.

LOL!

The funny bit is, AR, who is three, doesn't get it.  It goes straight over her head while us older people sit around snickering. :)  Sometimes, I'm not sure who's having the most fun... :D

When I was a little girl, this was how playschool was done... :)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Babushka Dolls


I can't stand Babushka Dolls; they are so full of themselves.... :D




The power of God's Word

When we were on holidays in April, we happened to be in Victoria the same time that my grandfather was moving house.  We were able to say goodbye to the house he had lived in since my mother was 12, and see his snazzy new apartment.  My Pa is not a hoarder, but my Nanna was, and when she passed away 5 1/2 years ago, he started getting rid of the cupboards full of stuff that she had accumulated over the years. 

Well he has almost finished, and while we were visiting him, he gave me a Bible of Nanna's.  This Bible is very precious to me because some of my most vivid memories of Nanna are of her reading or singing about God's Word to me and my sisters.  Sometimes, I can still hear her voice singing that old, old song, "Only a boy named David."

The other day, I flipped to the very front page of Nanna's Bible and found that she had inscribed it.  In her old fashioned writing are the words, "God's Word will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from God's Word."  What a simple yet powerful way to sum up the necessity and life-giving power of the Bible!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Gourmet?

I was the lunch lady today.  We had some left over fish in the fridge and Mum said to heat it up and add a salad.  I was feeling a bit crook in the tummy and decided that I would still make lunch for everyone else, but I probably would not partake.  Fish and salad sounded a bit plain so I thought I would attempt gourmet style carrot.  My method?  Instead of grating or chopping the carrot, I just kept peeling it into ribbons.  This was the result:

I am yet unsure whether it looks like gourmet carrot or scraps for the compost.  Once lunch was all dished up, it looked like this:

I decided to have some after all. :)

My sweet sisters were a little more sceptical.  EE's comment was, "Carrot peels - yum!"  BG's vote of confidence was a little more direct.  "Can't you afford to feed us anymore than the peels, Em?"  AR wouldn't eat it because she thought it was rubbish.

Hmmm...  maybe plain cut food is better.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Welcome

Welcome to my blog!  My name is Emily and I am so excited that you are reading this. :)  I decided to start my blog because I have so many things that I want to share with people and this seemed to be the most effective way of doing it...

I live in NSW with my parents, one brother and my six sisters.  (If you were wondering, I am the one in pink up the back in the above photo.)  We home-school and are very blessed to have access to Christ-centred curriculums that guide us in honouring God in all we do.

You may be wondering why I called my blog Amity.  Well, amity is an old English word meaning 'friendship'.  To me it represents harmony, love and encouragement as well, and that is exactly what I want for my blog.  I am blessed if what I have written or posted has made your day or encouraged you right when you needed it, or even just made you laugh!  Oh, and please feel welcome to leave a comment under any post.

Over time, I will be adding sections to the Quick Links.  There will be a Musings section (articles and inspirations from my Bible readings), Giggles (funny things and blonde moments) and Diary (everyday life).  There will probably be others as well.

So have a blessed day and I pray you are encouraged as you read.  As Bach said - 'To the Greater Glory of God!'

My love to you in Christ,

Emily

Maths

I did some maths to figure out why I'm so tired today and this is what I came up with:

 sensitive teenage girl + 1 cup of coffee + 5(ish) cups of tea = hyperactivity until 3:00 a.m.

This was a couple of nights ago, but I'm still on catch ups!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Economic Bust!

Picture this:
With unusual thoughtfulness and economic drive, I decided that while making dinner, I would boil the potatoes in the steamer water, thus cooking the potatoes and the vegies at the same time.  Before I knew it, the potatoes were finished but the vegies in the steamer basket above were not.  No problem, I thought.  I'll just drain the potatoes then tip the hot water back into the pot and finish the vegies off.  It was a good thought until I stood over the sink with the potatoes, about to pour them into the colander.  That's when I realized that if I poured the potatoes into the colander, the hot water would go down the drain.  Oops!  I stood there for a while, weighing up whether to tip out the hot water and re-boil cold water for the vegies, or scoop the potatoes out with the slotted spoon and put the hot water back under the vegies.  I went for the slotted spoon, but I don't think I've attempted anything quite so economic again!