All posts tagged: truth

She’s Pro-Life and Doesn’t Realise it

I met a woman who is pro-life and doesn’t realise it. She’s one of those people with grit and strength learnt through hardship yet without the hard shell of bitterness that many battlers wear. Let’s call her Rachel. Before the law called her an adult, she had done many adult things. Drugs. Alcohol. Sleeping rough. Sex in exchange for a place to lay her head. And at sweet 16 she was pregnant, a child about to bear her own child. Rachel smiles and laughs through the telling of her story, slowing to emphasise the gut-wrenching bits, but not lingering there long. It’s in the past now. The present is her focus – how could it not be when it involves a happy toddler and the rollercoaster of motherhood! Why did you keep your baby? I ask. She was the typical candidate: young, emotionally unstable, no money and in the vice of substance abuse. “It never crossed my mind to abort my baby,” she says. “I couldn’t tell you why.” She pauses, eyes travelling to an …

Happy Birthday Jesus!

There will be a birthday party in our house on Christmas morning.  As soon as our two-year-old son’s sweet little head hits the pillow tomorrow night, hubby and I will be in mission mode; hanging balloons, icing the cake, wrapping presents, setting the table with party hats and whistles. I can predict his response. He will march from his bedroom – he always wakes up perky – and his eyes will double in size as he takes in the living room transformation.  He will laugh and clap his hands and sing, “I excited, I excited” while performing his little ‘I-have-more-energy-than-I-know-what-to-do-with’ dance. And all the effort will be worth it. Perhaps you’re thinking we’re one of those unfortunates with a birthday in the family that falls on Christmas Day.  Well, we’re not.  We’ve decided to celebrate Jesus’ birthday this year with the same dynamism and anticipation as we do our own birthdays.  He IS part of our family after all. I have delighted in establishing our own family traditions. There have been long discussions into the …

Christmas is NOT just for kids

Every time I hear someone say, “Christmas is for the kids” I want to stamp my foot, fix my hands to my hips and, in my most maturest, grown-up voice respond, “It is NOT!” I love Christmas. I love presents, tinsel and carols.  I love the feasting, the family time and the drinks with friends.  I love decorating the tree, lovingly wrapping each gift and driving around in the nights before Christmas to look at the houses lit up like the proverbial.  The season is certainly made richer for the squeals of delight and wide-eyed wonderment of children.  That was evident at the Christmas pageant through Launceston’s streets recently.  Kids hoisted on their dads’ shoulders and jumping at the roadside brought a generous measure of joy to the atmosphere. But let’s not relinquish Christmas to the kiddies. Children bring the merriment, but it was one single child more than 2000 years ago that brought the reason for the celebration – for adults and children alike.  He came via an unplanned pregnancy, out of wedlock, to …

I’m a Christian and I’ve had a Crap Year

It’s been a crap year. A friend came and sat beside me at church and asked how I was. “How’ve you been? How’s life for Team van Ryn?” I looked her in the eye and decided that instead of contriving a sugar-coated response, I’d give it to her straight.  She’s the kind of person with the knack for teasing the truth out anyway.  I told her about the funerals, the health scares, the medication complications, the ‘no driving’ instruction, the waiting, the thwarted plans and the feelings of sorrow, frustration and fear. She nodded and said she had experienced the same periods of difficulty in her own past. “There’s nothing I can say,” she acknowledged, “but don’t be afraid to let it show.  Be honest with people.” It was immensely refreshing to speak so candidly.  To lose the pasted-on smile and the trying-too-hard squeak of happiness in the voice, shuffling from foot to foot while casting a line into the waters of the past to hook a positive, something to talk about without making people …

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 …

Holy Switch Points to Tough Truth of the Gospel

“I saw the truth,” said Launceston woman Kim Grainger. She had just participated in Holy Switch, a documentary that took young people from six different observant religious families and swapped their lives for a week. Anglican Christian Kim went to stay with Hindu Aakash Tolani’s family in Sydney. The ABC series began last week and we saw a Kim enchanted by the mix of Hindu and Indian culture in her wealthy host family. I was intrigued to know how the switcheroo had impacted her, if it had rattled her faith. “At first, I was completely thrown by just how similar these faiths are on the surface,” Kim shared with me, “they identify and live by all the same Christian values that I live by, it just looked a little more glamorous!” It certainly did. Especially when contrasted with the chilly scenes of Tasmania that met Aakash as he stepped from his taxi in the dark of night to traipse to the door of a modest weatherboard home. Kim’s arrival was by boat to the family’s private jetty, …

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 …