All posts tagged: Bible

Keep Your Heart Soft as Soil

It’s shaping up to be a dirty year… but perhaps you hadn’t heard. Today we celebrate a special patch of soil we call Australia and I thought it fitting to point out that 2015 is the International Year of Soils – as declared by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations. They want us to focus on the foundational importance of soil in producing sustainable food systems. “Healthy soils for a healthy life” is the motto. I like dirt. Dirt is the evidence of fun times on my son’s clothes when I dress him for bed. It’s the earthy womb that bears carrots and tomatoes and potatoes and beans to our table. People tell me it’s a special kind of therapy to sink your hands into it, sun-warmed and smelling sweet with decay, sifting weeds from its rich granules. Dirt is also the substance Jesus used to explain the state of the human heart in his story titled The Parable of the Sower. In Matthew 13 you will read of four different landscapes where …

In Pursuit of Wifely Perfection

What is the perfect wife? Is there such a thing? Discuss. I went to the launch of international best-selling author Katherine Scholes’ latest book last week.  She is also a Tassie girl.  Can’t wait to get into this novel set far away in Tanganyika, 1947, amidst the doomed British groundnut scheme in a land where the soil wasn’t the only uncooperative character. It’s titled The Perfect Wife. So, as I settled down to begin, admittedly during the AFL Grand Final (sacrilege!), I wondered whether I would be enlightened much on just what it takes to earn such an accolade. The perfect wife of 1947 was very different to the perfect wife of 2013.  About as different as the Stepford Wives and footy WAGs.  I tend to think wives of this era have a lot more contradictions to navigate than ever before.  She has the polish and domesticity of the ‘40s while also juggling a few ankle-biters, a career, a Masters degree and a clean eating diet. I read of a plastic surgeon in the US …

Covering the Faith Base

Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on doors.  Muslims eat halal food.  Hare Krishnas wear distinctive orange robes.  Buddhists meditate.  What of Christians? All these religions are committed to some kind of meaningful custom that sets them apart and honours their concept of god.  Modern Christianity, however, seems increasingly devoid of distinction, bending to the ways of its culture. I realise this isn’t necessarily bad or wrong.  It is in an attempt to remain relevant, after all, that the modern church features pop-style worship music over traditional hymns, services that employ the latest mixed-media innovations, shortened sermons to meet our shortened attention spans and social media engagement. But how do you know me to be a follower of Christ?  What sets me apart? The Bible is the believer’s life manual.  If that’s the case, and we’re serious about our convictions, perhaps we should be recognised by its physical presence in our home, handbag, workplace and car.  Perhaps we should be set apart by the fact we have our nose in it at every opportunity.  Not a common sight, …

The One Word “Written on the Brow” of Every Man, Woman and Child

“Where there’s tea, there’s hope,” said the quote written across a gold-framed mirror on the wall in a looping hand.  We were having breakfast in the most adorable little teahouse* with bold, emerald green wallpaper in a vintage design, French-style seating and a single pink tulip propped in a vase at each table. As I gobbled down my pesto eggs on sourdough with a pot of earl grey tea, that little sentence kept niggling at me.  Finally, I pointed it out to my brekky buddy. “Really? Tea and hope?” I scoffed, “What a lot of shallow nonsense!” I should point out here that I’m a tea girl.  I enjoy the occasional coffee, but tea is my staple.  My kitchen features a precarious mountain of tea canisters and it’s a joyful day when I discover a new blend to add to the collection. Tea equals contentedness, comfort and enjoyment? Yes. Tea equals hope? Not so sure. I rate such a statement up there with that ridiculously over-used poster ‘Keep Calm and (enter meaningless activity here)’.  My …

Urgent Community Announcement – Keep Reading, it Just Might Save Your Life

There will be an earthquake on Thursday at 5:30pm. At peak hour traffic the six-magnitude quake will test the city’s infrastructure, shaking the swampy foundations of Invermay, bringing Launceston’s few storied buildings to their knees, compromising the structural integrity of bridges spanning the Esk Rivers and rattling windows from Youngtown to Rocherlea. Before you write me off as some kind of freak doomsday prophet, consider the hypothetical (yes, it’s just a hypothetical!). Imagine you were given a memo with the potential to save thousands of lives while simultaneously subjecting yourself to ridicule. Imagine you were the only person who knew that an earthquake would ravage Launceston this Thursday. The question is, would you open your mouth? Your mind is racing with what-ifs. If your information is wrong you stand to forever scar your reputation not to mention inconvenience a city-full of people, many of them family and friends. But if you’re right, you will save lives. As a resident of this fair city I sincerely hope that you wouldn’t keep that kind of information to yourself. …

You’ve Got Mail

You walk to your letterbox, open it, and find the usual fistful of mail. A few catalogues. A letter from a hopeful politician wanting your vote in the looming election. A brochure for pest control. What looks like a car registration bill. And a pale blue envelope with your name in sloping letters. You turn it over to see who has opted for snail mail over flicking you a quick email or text. There, written in the same deliberate, yet graceful, hand is a word that makes your heart quicken. God. Pfft! Who’s pulling a prank? you wonder. You turn the envelope back over to check the postmark: Paradise. There’s a place called Paradise in Tassie, somewhere out past Deloraine. But there’s another word stamped in the corner; Eternity. What would you do? Say it was you who went to that letterbox and pulled out that pale blue envelope enclosing a letter from God. What do you think it would say? Your answer will speak volumes of who you think God is. Perhaps He would open with, “Oh …

Why You Should Never Read a Book Twice (Unless it’s the Bible)

As a word-hungry kid I was given a book called A Peep Behind the Scenes by Mrs. O. F. Walton (which gives you an idea of just how old it is). The novel had a wonderful storyline following a girl who danced as part of a circus with all its colour and energy. Generally, I only read a book once and as a result A Peep Behind The Scenes remained on a literary pedestal in my mind. I raved about it. I recommended it. I heaped accolades on that author. That was until a few years ago when I picked it from the bookshelf and thought I’d revisit the narrative of my youth. Silly idea. It was nothing like I remembered, certainly not the punchy, exciting storyline preserved in my mind. I didn’t even bother finishing it – just flicked through a few chapters and returned it to the shelf. I’m sure you know the feeling. Like visiting the home of your childhood, everything is distorted by a younger perspective. You remember the ceilings being higher, the …