31 October 2011

45 Lessions Life Taught Me

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written, so here is the column once more:
  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay-check.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood.. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. Happiness is a by-product of the joy in giving.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive everyone everything.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  42. The best is yet to come...
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Written by Regina Brett,
of the Plain Dealer,
Cleveland , Ohio.

23 October 2011

Perth - Matilda Bay, Happy Anniversary

Finally the reason for our trip to Perth, Western Australia. The wedding of Kevin and Erika in October 2010. Gosh! Where did the year go? It's already a year, at least, since the wedding to this posting.

Kevin, Erika, Happy Anniversary!

It was a warm sunny October day and what a beautiful day it was for a wedding. The wedding was held at a church in Subiaco, an inner western suburb of Perth.

The wedding reception however, was held at the Matilda Bay Reserve, located south of Perth and practically next to the University of Western Australia. With the stunning backdrop of the Swan River and views over the city of Perth, Matilda Bay is popular as a place for social functions and weddings.

The Matilda Bay Reserve is a thin strip of land covering 20.6 hectares, situated between Hackett Drive and the Swan River in Crawley. It’s about a five minute drive from the city. The reserve encompasses Pelican Point which is an important breeding sanctuary for international migratory birds, but we did not see any at the time.

Matilda Bay is a recreational parkland. You can see lots people in their sail boats or speed boats and children leaping into the water from one of the nearby jetties. Fishing is also a popular activity.

For us, just sitting at the edge of the river with a glass of wine, catching up with (old) friends and watching the sail boats move effortlessly up and down the river, feels just right.

The reserve's area is popular with a variety of visitors including students from The University of Western Australia, walkers, cyclists, swimmers, rowers and picnickers. There are free electric barbecues dotted around the reserve and are cleaned daily.

View Larger Map

18 October 2011

Why Christians Need The Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:16-26 (NLT)
16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

This text lays out four important reasons we need to let the Holy Spirit have full control of our lives as belivers:
  1. The Holy Spirit Helps to Conquer Our Sin Nature. The Holy Spirit will help us make the right decisions if we listen to his advice.
  2. The Holy Spirit Makes It Easier to Follow God's Guidelines. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to live by God's guidelines. If we listen to and follow the Holy Spirit's promptings, then we won't have to force ourselves to obey the Lord - we will want to obey him.
  3. The Holy Spirit will Produce Godly Qualites in Our Lives. When we live by the Holy Spirit, he develops godly qualities (known as the fruits of the Spirit) in our lives.
  4. The Holy Spirit Encourages Us to Seek God's Approval above Man's. We will seek God's glory above our own when we follow the Holy Spirit's leading.
In essence, the Holy Spirit enables Christians to live lives that are pleasing to God - something that is impossible to do on our own.  He makes following Christ a joy rather than a duty.

New Believer's Bible
Ps Greg Laurie

15 October 2011

Prepare The Way - Paul Wilbur

Isaiah 40:3 (NLT)
3 Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting, "Make a highway for the LORD through the wilderness. Make a straight, smooth road through the desert for our God.

John3:27 -28 (NLT)
27John replied, "God in heaven appoints each person's work. 28You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him--that is all.

John 14: 6-7 (NLT)
6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!"

Luke 4:18-19 (NLT)
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, 19 and that the time of the Lord's favour has come."

10 October 2011

Perth - Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island, Western Australia very own island getaway is located just 18 km off the coast of Western Australia, near Fremantle. Its Mediterranean style climate,short distance from the city, unique flora and fauna makes it a very popular getaway and holiday destination; resort accomodations and golf course. Wikipedia write up of Rottnest Island gives a good account of the island history, its flora, fauna and tourism facilites.

Getting to Rottnest Island is easy. You can take a ferry like we did at the Barrack Street Jetty in Perth’s city centre. Other alternative are by plane, helicopter or even your very own boat, if you have one.

We arrived at the island main settlement at the Thomson Bay where all activities on the island starts from. The island may be small but it's impossible to do everything in one day. So planning is essential for a day trip to the island. We opted for the whale watching cruise and will have to come back to Perth again to do the others.

Click here for a map of the island and the Thomson Bay Settlement. You can find the usual franchise restaurant outlets; Subway, Red Rooster and Dome Cafe for a quick and easy lunch. Some retail outlets to way the time away till the next schedule bus or boat departure to your island destination. There is even a small church for some quite time and prayer.

As you can see from the map, there is much to see and do on the island and the idea of a couple of nights at the Hotel Rottnest might just be the plan for the next trip to WA.

There is a small museum, housed in an original old mill and hay store, built by Aboriginal prisoners in 1857. The museum provides a fascinating insights and comprehensive information about the island including its history, marine wrecks, European settlement, Aboriginal prisoners, communication and some of it fauna.

Because of the island natural beauty, its many unspoilt beaches, spectacular flora, fauna and abundant marine life; powered vehicles of any sort (except for the Rottnest Island Bus Services) are not permitted on the island. Even electric bikes and vehicles are prohibited. Don't quite understand that but it is one of the rules of the place.

Only vehicles that are propelled by human power are allowed around the Island. That means you get around the island by bicycle, which you can hire or you get around by your very own pedal power, walking.

Some of the wildlife on the island; Quokka, unique to the island, Pied Cormorant, New Zealand Fur Seals and we spotted a Sea Lions among the rocks. Several dozen seals have called Cathedral Rocks near Cape Vlamingh their home. There are some concerns however, that a breeding colony for fur seals on the island may attract sharks to the holiday spot.

For more images of the island sights and wildlife, click here.
The following are short 10 seconds video clips of whales surfacing for air, off the coast of Rottnest Island. They are pretty difficult to capture on video and even much harder to capture by photo.

See if you can identify the whale type in the video.

View Larger Map

07 October 2011

How The Holy Spirit Works In Our Lives

John 14:15-17 (NLT)
15"If you love me, obey my commandments.
16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor (Advocate/Comforter/Encourager), who will never leave you.
17He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

The Bible uses three different Greek prepositions in the New Testament to describe the different ways in which the Holy Spirit works in our lives. The verses above shows two of these ways and a third can be found elsewhere in Scripture.
  1. He Works with Us as Non-believers (para).
    Prior to our conversion to faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and reveals Christ as the answer.
  2. Jon 16:8 (NLT) And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment.
    Some might dismiss his prodding as that of one’s conscience. Yet it is the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to our terminally sinful condition, exposing our need to turn our lives over to Jesus Christ.
  3. He Comes into Our Lives When We Turn to Christ (en).
    Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and invite him into our lives, the Holy Spirit comes and sets up residence, so to speak. First, he starts the process of salvation in our heart.
  4. John 3:5 (NLT) Jesus replied, "The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.”
    Secondly, he assures us that we have done the right thing.
    Romans 8:16 (NLT) For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children.
    Now he can begin changing us from the inside out and develop the new nature within us.
  5. He Will Come upon Us to Empower Us as Believers (epi).
    Jesus describes the dynamic empowering of the Holy Spirit upon our lives in...
  6. Luke 24:49 (NLT) And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.
    This is what the early Christians experienced in Acts chapter-2, and it dramatically emboldened their witness for Jesus Christ. This power is available to believers today. Scripture says of the giving of his Spirit.
    Acts 2:39 (NLT) This promise is to you and to your children, and even to the Gentiles --all who have been called by the Lord our God.
New Believer's Bible
Ps Greg Laurie

04 October 2011

Just Wanted To Say Hello

Just a note to say hello
Before I start my day
Couldn't help but drop a line
To my friends here and away.

As I sip my fresh brewed chocolate
Thoughts of you have crossed my mind
I'm sending morning greetings
And hope your day is fine.

Today is filled with sunshine
Like the friendship we share
My day will be just dandy
I'll pretend that I am there.

I have to go for now my friend
Have lots to do today
Just wanted to say good morning
In this 'posting' sent your way.


Contributor – Anonymous

01 October 2011

Ancient Words - Michael W. Smith

John 1:1-2 (NLT)
1 In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. 17 It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.

Colossians 1:6 (NLT)
6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours that very first day you heard and understood the truth about God's great kindness to sinners.

Ephesians 3:10-11 (NLT)
10 God's purpose was to show his wisdom in all its rich variety to all the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. They will see this when Jews and Gentiles are joined together in his church. 11 This was his plan from all eternity, and it has now been carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 111:10 (NLT)
10 Reverence for the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. The rewards of wisdom come to all who obey him. Praise his name forever!

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