All posts tagged: blessing

Caution: Risk of Blessings Ahead!

There I was, jogging on the treadmill at the gym, maintaining my usual four-minute kilometres. Ok. I wasn’t going that fast. Ok, ok. I wasn’t even running. But in my defense, any kind of jiggly activity while a mum is still breastfeeding is not recommended. Let’s move on from that mental image tout de suite. So I was walking – very briskly – on the treadmill at the gym, and I’d forgotten my earphones and the infomercials were making me feel dumber by the second. Instead, I let my mind carry me away (a dangerous activity), ruminating on such world-altering ideas as why gyms don’t somehow offset their energy consumption by using treadmill-junkies as power generators, hamster wheel style. And, if Harry Potter’s such a good wizard, why does he still wear glasses? And why do cats gravitate towards the laps of cat-haters? Anyway, it was amongst all that brain waffle that I noticed a warning on the treadmill. CAUTION: RISK OF INJURY TO PERSONS! The notice proceeded to advise the operator to read the …

An Ordinary Guy Called Merv

He rocks up each week and sets up his sandwich board in Launceston’s Brisbane Street Mall. The sign simply asks, “Need Prayer?” Perhaps you’ve seen Merv on a Thursday, standing there whatever the weather, armed with a friendly greeting and a smile. As you’ve bustled about, ticking items off your shopping list, Merv has been looking for eye contact and the opportunity to bestow blessing on someone’s day. It takes a certain amount of courage to shelve one’s inhibitions and put faith into action. I’ve always admired people with such conviction that their beliefs are more important than how they are perceived by the rest of the herd. Even if their beliefs are different to mine – who can help but acknowledge the self-sacrifice they make? People like Merv, however, aren’t about passing judgement or shoving religion down people’s throats. When I asked him why he would do such a counter-cultural thing as offering to pray for strangers in a city’s busiest shopping district, he said it was to “be a friendly face” and to …

What the Turtles Told Me About Resting and Waiting

Every evening at dusk on our recent holiday to Vanuatu we paddled a canoe from our island resort to a nearby reef.  Once positioned where juicy beds of seaweed waved long fingers in the tide, we lifted our paddles to nurse them on our knees and wait.  We scanned the translucent blue, drifting, silent. And then we would hear the telltale sigh or snort, the release of air as a sea turtle surfaced nearby.  We would watch their head and shell break through the salty deep to glance left, right, left and dive once more. Hubby and I would share a wordless smile. Every day these shy creatures would venture into the shallows to feed on the sea grasses at dusk and dawn.  Sometimes they would swim in reaching distance of our canoe and glide beneath us, giving a rare glimpse at their mottled backs and flippers.  But the instant we dipped our paddles back into the water to follow them or attempt to get a closer look, they would disappear, leaving nothing so much …

Maybe, Just Maybe, the Lord’s Prayer no Longer has a Place in Parliament

Perhaps the Lord’s Prayer should be scrapped from parliament.  This issue rears its head with as much regularity, it seems, as the debate around changing the date of Australia Day.  Acting Greens Leader, Senator Richard de Natale is responsible for the latest call. Personally, I’d like to see the Lord’s Prayer remain. But is the greater evil that a bunch of pollies are paying lip service only to the lines of a prayer that the Christian faith community upholds as a holy blueprint for communication with our Heavenly Father?  Words like sacrilege, hypocrisy and disrespect have been used for lesser offences. And, as author, historian and Centre for Public Christianity director John Dickson wrote recently in an article for ABC’s The Drum, “The Christian love of prayer is more than matched by the Bible’s aversion to hypocrisy” (Letting go of the Lord’s Prayer in Parliament, January 19). The prayer in question goes like this – and I quote from a modern version, the Good News Translation. “Our Father in heaven: 
 May your holy name be honoured; …

Put Your Tourist Eyes On

When I heard that Launceston’s own City Park was named as one of the Top 10 Australian Parks in the Travellers’ Choice Attractions awards, I was dubious. Don’t get me wrong – I love my hometown and I’m first to espouse the caliber of its attributes. But… Well… I just wondered… Why Launceston City Park? So, I took a walk. Decked in puffer jackets and beanies, Master Two and I started at the playground-end, and didn’t progress much further for a good half-hour. It’s a great playground – the kind that allows those terribly distracted mothers who are torn between watching their child and watching their electronic device to do so in relative peace of mind. The slides aren’t too fast. The steps are the right height. There’s soft-fall matting everywhere. We continued eventually into the greater City Park district, scampering beneath a canopy of European trees, many of them centenarians, offering a leafy dapple of sunlight. We fed the ducks. We skipped across the open-air chessboard. We played hide-and-seek in the Conservatorium with the …

Turning Weakness on its Head

In my (admittedly Gen Y) lifetime, I have never seen Tassie brought so low. A crumbling economy is seeing businesses calling the administrators in domino effect. One after the other after the other… I’m seeing families, their hearts stretched across Bass Strait as He is forced to take work interstate and She stays behind to look after the kids and the home. Once every six weeks they grip each other tightly and wish it could be different. There are men who have worked one job for decades, who have one skill practiced to perfection. These men have been turned out and told to learn a new skill, to pick up what work they can elsewhere. Dignity and pride have taken a beating. Depression and despair are pervading. I see a government floundering under the burden of such a dire economic scene and its response is to deflect attention to social reform. Get the people hot-tempered about gay marriage, euthanasia and surrogacy so that they forget the chilly climate of need in our state.  Particularly chilly for …