Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mud, Mud Glorious Mud

Our day started quiet normally and quite clean.......but later school had to be cancelled for an hour or two due to the temptation of heavy rains and it's consequent potential for creating mud! Joseph has never been able to resist mud and he was soon followed by Erica, Emma and Tim and then Jessica kindly let Baby Jarryn out to join the fun too!

Yip...his aim is pretty good...he got me on the stomach

Our garden needs to be landscaped but in the meanwhile the kids have built their own bike ramp which was soon converted into a lovely mud slide/mud pool by the children and the rain. Water was collected from a nearby gutter that was leaking and dumped into the new 'bath'/mud pool . the sand pit shell was used as a boat. The leaking gutter doubled as a shower if they got a bit too muddy!

I love my children so much and love being with them all day every day...what a blessing a homeschooling lifestyle is to us as it integrates a natural love for real life living.

So this is what happens to the Murray family when we have been away from NZ rain and mud for too long, with drought conditions and water restrictions!

Well we finally managed to get everyone clean and dry, washing done and Jarryn in bed, school work finished for the day and I came downstairs to find my oven on..???....I peeked in hoping someone was baking me a nice chocolate cake for being such a nice Mummy...after all not all mothers allow such messy fun ....but what did I find in my oven....nothing but mud bricks drying...

I love him!

He is experimenting with oven baked and sun baked mud bricks, not that there is much sun today!


they all escaped into the garden again and had to be changed out of muddy clothes again...
As of now everyone is banned from the garden for the rest of the year!

I guess I will feel better about it tomorrow! :)

How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds and How Deep the Father's Love for Us:

Today we accidently found an alternative tune for "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds". The tune for "How Deep the Father Love For Us" by stuart Townend fits with the words for "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds". We don't have anyone who plays the piano well enough for us to sing along, so when we sing together we have to find the tune with our voices and sometmes we get it wrong, in this case the 'wrong' worked rather well! Our problem is... it is usually me who finds the tune but if someone sings the wrong tune, then I go blank and cannot find the correct tune.

Here are the two hymns in discussion..... (How Sweet is public domain, How Deep includes the link to the publishers. )

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds (By John Newton)

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
’Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary, rest.

Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,
My Shield and Hiding Place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!

By Thee my prayers acceptance gain,
Although with sin defiled;
Satan accuses me in vain,
And I am owned a child.

Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,
O Prophet, Priest and King,
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I’ll praise Thee as I ought.

Till then I would Thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath,
And may the music of Thy Name
Refresh my soul in death!

How Deep The Father's Love for us:(By Stuart Townend)

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocing voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that helf Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I knoww that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast inJesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Lack of bitterness when suffering comes our way

Here is today's Grace Gem: Google them they have lots of good devotions:

Life's highest and best lesson

(J. R. Miller, "The Story of Joseph, Practical Lessons")

We read that Joseph bore himself so congenially, and did his work so well, and was so capable, so true, so trustworthy--that Potiphar "left all that he owned under Joseph's care; he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate." Genesis 39:6. Joseph would never have won such a success--if he had given up to discouragement, if he had brooded over his wrongs, if he had sulked and complained, if he had spent his time in vain regrets or in vindictive feelings. We should learn the lesson, and it is worth learning--for it is life's highest and best lesson.

The problem of life, is to keep the heart warm and kindly--amid all injustice and wrong; to keep the spirit brave and cheerful--in the midst of all that is hard in life's circumstances and conditions; to be true, and right, and strong--in all moral purpose and deed, however others may act toward us.

Our inner life should not be affected by our external experiences. Right is right, no matter what others around us may do. We must be true--no matter if all the world is false--even false to us. We must be unselfish and loving--though even our nearest friends prove selfish and cruel to us. We must keep our spirit strong, cheerful and hopeful--though adversities and misfortunes seem to leave us nothing of the fruit of all our labors.

In a word, we are to live victoriously, truly, nobly, sweetly, cheerfully, joyfully--in spite of whatever may be uncongenial in our condition!

This is the lesson of all Christian life. We should not let the outside darkness into our soul. We should seek to be delivered from all morbidness and all unwholesomeness. We should not allow anything to crush us.

Remember, your task in living--is to keep sweet, to keep your heart gentle, brave, strong, loving, full of hope--under the worst that the years can bring you of injustice, hardship, suffering, and trial.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When God's answer is 'no'

Jessica and I have been talking about this a bit recently...

When God's answer is 'no' we most often say, "He is not answering my prayers" but the truth is... He is.... God is just saying, "No" or "wait" or "in My timing".

If we see a little kid in the shops begging for this and that , never satisfied, always wanting more, crying and screaming and having a temper tantrum because they are not allowed their own desires - what is our reaction? We immediately recoil and think...what a brat, poor mother, how embarrassing, or something to that effect. We never think poor little darling why doesn't that silly mother just give in and get the whole shop for that child! If the child thinks it is good for her why can't the silly mother see it too? Do we?

Then why do we presume that we as God's children can get every thing we want and feel we should have. It is a natural reaction for sure...but with Paul we need to train our hearts , our minds to trust in all circumstances to say...." I have learned to be content in every circumstance" God is sovereign in all things...good and bad! He allows us to face difficulties and hardships for His glory and honour. For in reality we can only be happy if we live totally for God and are close to God in all our circumstances. So often learning through hard times helps us to help others too who suffer, it makes us soft and compassionate and least it does for me.

Try John Piper's sermons on this topic

"Trusting God: Even When Life Really Hurts" is a great book on this topic too. A must read for every one - even if you don't hurt right now. See

Monday, October 26, 2009

another answer to prayer

Granny and Grandad take Jarrynto the park earlier this year.

We ate our fist avocado today! When Granny was here last she said to one of the kids that maybe she would come again when the avo's were ripe. And so today we were just bemoaning the fact that she wasn't here yet. Mind you we only had one avo on the tree! But can you believe it? I have just had a call from my Mom.... they have just a few hours ago had an offer on their house in NZ, it goes unconditional as soon as they can sign the paperwork! Doesn't God take such care of the small details in our children's lives- what perfect timing. What a precious confirmation for the child invloved! So yippee and yay.... they are coming to the wonderful land of Oz! Their transfer will go through sooner than ours and they will be here in 3-4 weeks time. They will stay with us until they can buy here. We pray they will find a house close by. We have been without 'rellies' close by for 5 and a half years- it will be so nice to have them close again, I still miss all our South African 'rellies' and from that point of view immigration is always hard...what a blessing grandparents are to grandchildren! God is so good to us, indeed this is a blessing from Him for which we are very grateful indeed! Please pray for their dear friends, Errol and Kim, who live a few doors away and meet with them in their home for church which Dad has led for years and years will be hard or them to say goodbye to each other. Errol is undergoing treatment for cancer at present. We hope they will come and visit here in Oz again though!

answer to prayer!

We have had our Ipswich house waiting to sell for a very long time now, come to think of it we moved out in May! It firstly sat because insurance took so long to sort out the flood damaged floor coverings. Then we finally got an offer through another agency which fell through.

Finally we have had it listed with Rebecca of 'Go Gecko' for only a few weeks. Rebecca has worked so hard...I cannot tell you how thankful I am for her! She has always been kind and respectful and ever so helpful, her feedback was excellent! Since last Friday she got us 4 offers, with two really good ones to chose from today! They were soo close! And another agent also had a reasonable offer for us today. There are minor conditions for the offer we have signed today, should be unconditional in 10 days - please pray it will all go through smoothly! And not our in about a month! Yippee! It will be wonderful not to have to go though to Ipswich for house issues! At the same time we will miss having a swim and a base when we have things to do in Ipswich, but who can afford luxury like that! We have been unable to rent it out as it would than become a commercial property and we would pay tax on any profit!

I feel a bit sad to see it go...we have been there for 5 years...the longest stay we have ever had in one house since we have been married! For history's are the pictures from the Go Gecko advert! Their advert is obvious, my personal comments are below the photographs!

31 Kiah Street, Eastern Heights

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Down the internal stairs you have another air conditioned lounge & dining room with a neat & tidy kitchenette, a huge rumpus with a bar or storage area and another large room that could easily become a bedroom or 2. There is also a basic second bathroom, and a deep single garage and workshop with internal access
Perfect for entertaining family and friends, you have an in ground pool with an expansive sunshade, pergola area and a fully fenced back yard. Put your finishing touches on this home and reap the rewards!
Situated walking distance to primary & high schools, a bus stop just around the corner, as well as the chemist, doctors surgery, take away and Brothers Football Club. Centrally located and in a great street - you can't go wrong!
Call Rebecca Herbst 3281 6657

We have spent hours in this pool...cooling off, socialising with our family and friends, years of happy memories together! Emma and Tim learnt to swim here and we all got good exercises here - this pool meant an easier labour with Jarryn, as it kept me so fit!

Our Lounge, very tiny for us all to fit into, especially as Doug's hi-fi equipment and CD's took up a big chunk of space!

Dining room, which aside for the long table had a zillion book cases squished into it! And the inevitable school work too.

Our lovely upstairs bathroom minus dirty washing and towels dropped on the floor and whale splashes to slip on.

Kitchen we survived with, it is literally failing apart - has needed renovation for years...funny how it can annoy one for ages and yet not really matter in the big scheme of things! Really in everyday living we hardly thought about it.

Main Bedroom and ditto the above re paint colours, we rarely noticed the gross colours in our everyday business. And I just never had enough time to paint the whole house. One somehow just learns to live with what you have! And to actually be grateful for the many blessing God provides. The size of this house far outweighed it's inconveniences.

This green grotto was mostly used by the girls.

I think just about everyone has stayed in this room over the years but it was Jessica's room most recently.

The bar-room was mostly used as a school room but after Jarryn was born I ventured there too seldom and worked on the dining room table so the boys invaded it and it became their domain/pad.

Kitchenette- seldom used, except for Granny and Grandad for an early morning cuppa when they stayed.

Downstairs rumpus, which we used as the computer room and for drama lessons in drama days. Minus a lot of mess!

We called this our piano room as the piano was here and it carries happy memories of our piano teachers and piano lessons.
Granny and Grandad have also lived here on visits.
But best of all Jarryn was born here and the darling was a few minutes later surrounded by family and friends - 16 people in all!

Downstairs bathroom- I think it must be the original one built next to the laundry, but it served well enough for guests and for swimming and the boys got banished there at a very messy stage.

Back veranda - minus all the pool gear, washing drying and table tennis table etc

Ditto for the tiny back yard, it looks so empty minus all our is sooo good to have space for the kids to run in our new house!

Front veranda - overlooking our friendly neighbour's house! Minus our flowers and flower pots. In latter years we had a couch there and enjoyed sitting and reading or talking there after we had waved goodbye to visitors etc.... that is - when it was not too hot.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has always been an interest of mine...I don't know how come I did not pick up such significant physical effects? This is an interesting web page

Sunday, October 25, 2009

what is the point?

If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13: 2(b) -3

What is the main purpose of our lives?

To love God and to love others.
There is no meaning to life without God!

100 orphans....5000 men

Douglas and I dream of helping African AIDS's a very long story- I won't tell it all here... suffice to say that I have had in the back of my mind for many, many years now the idea of buying a farm in South Africa that could support one hundred reality it seems so far fetched and out of reach.

Yet today's sermon was about Jesus feeding 5000 men( not including women and children)- 5000! As I was listening a thought became more and more persistent! If Jesus could feed more than 5000 from 5 loaves and 2 fish surely it is not too much for him to keep a hundred orphans? And then just as I was trying to convince myself I really was stretching the sermon beyond where it was meant to go....we came to Peter's "who do you say I am Peter?" Jesus asked. His response, "The Christ of God!"

"Who do you say I am, Joy?"

Do we I really believe that this Jesus who can feed 5000 + , the one who keeps the stars and moon and the universe in order with time and precision, do we really believe He can feed one hundred orphans? He is the one who paints each sunset, who germinates each seed, who sees each sparrow fall and cares....who asks us to take care of widows and orphans! Can He feed 100 orphans....why yes, of course He can, in fear and trembling I say, "He can".

Please pray we might somehow be instrumental in doing this. I am soooooo comfortable here in the wonderful land of Oz and sooooo happy, it is so tempting to say...."we'll do the fundraising, just leave that to me Lord, I am happy to do that - it won't be too hard....."
we all, each and every one of has to be willing to "go" if God wants us to go- don't we?

Pray that God would show us where He wants us to be and what He wants us to do and that we would be willing to do what He wants us to do!

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand, Luke 9:

10 On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” ( ESV)