Friday, December 26, 2008

A Typical PNG Graduation

'She who must be obeyed' (from hereon called 'SWMBO') is a MK (Missionary Kid) - that means she was brought up on a Mission Station - usually in a country other than their own and typically a third world country. Her parents went to the Eastern Highland of Papua New Guinea in 1953, into uncontrolled territory, and set up a Christian Mission Station, which they called Faith Mission (FM), to bring the Good News (Christian Gospel) to the native people of the Gimi Tribe near a village called Gono. This Mission is still an active Christian Ministry with two American (husband & wife) missionaries overseeing the work but is now mostly run by the Gimi Christians, who have developed and spread the work to other areas of PNG under the name of Faith Fellowship Church (FMC).
The Gono Mission has an Aid Post - which is actually a small hospital with several beds and an outpatient ward. It also runs a Primary/High School for the village children. Both of these are overseen by an extremely dedicated missionary whom we shall call Sister B - she is a qualified Nurse and Teacher.
Many things are done twice in PNG. This is because they want to enter the civilized (Western) way of of doing things but still wish to hold onto their traditional ways.
So here we have a High School graduation in Traditional Dress -
And then again in the so-called civilized style. Sister B is shown in this photo with the five Graduates. Don't you love their shoes !!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Pleasant Christmas Dinner

Preparations for Christmas Dinner are almost over and my mouth is watering for that tasty turkey there just waiting to be eaten (before it gets too cold). Even Grandma is helping out by cutting up the strawberries for the pavlova for desert. Time for a quick photo before my plate of goodies gets cold. God Bless You All on this Christmas Day 2008 and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa Came Early This Year

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. Santa came early to the "Our Aussie Half-Dozen" household this year. This Santa is very near and dear to my heart - and he has a special place in his heart for these half dozen kids.
When Santa left, after giving each child a present, "she who must be obeyed" and I gave out the presents that we had brought for them. So we had a great time of gift giving and we think (and hope) that everyone was happy with what they received.
THE AFTERMATH We know you're not Santa - just Santa's helper, but we're happy to have our photo taken with you, Grandpap !

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christian Jingle Bells

Dashing down the stairs, to see what Santa brought
Forgetful of the one whose blood our freedom bought
Open cards and gifts; eat ham and turkey too
But we forgot the one to whom this special day is due. - Oh
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way,
Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace was born upon this day - hey
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Sing with joy and mirth,
Oh what fun to celebrate our Lord and Saviour's birth!
Christmas time is fun, that we all agree,
Sharing time and gifts with the family.
But there is much more to this Christmas day,
More than toys and gifts and food - together let us say - Oh!
Let's dash down to church on this sunny Christmas morn,
Everyone rejoice for Jesus Christ was born,
In Bethlehem this day, so many years ago.
He lived on Earth and died in pain
because he loves us so - Oh!
The words to this song were written by my daughter, Mum-me from the "Our Aussie Half Dozen" blog, written, I 'm guessing, in the very early 1990's and sung by our church almost every Christmas since, especially when I'm leading the singing. I'm not leading this Christmas, so maybe it won't be sung this year. However, it's very easy to pick-up, just think of the tune Jingle Bells and sing this song to that tune. Many people have asked for the words once they heard it sung.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What's Christmas Without Carols?

Well, it's not Christmas at all - is it?
At least most, if not all of my readers will agree, I hope.
Last night we had our local "Combined Churches Christmas Carols" at the local school hall. It was quite a success, with more than 150 people attending. I know that because we had 150 (battery operated) candles to give out and ran out just before things got under way. These 'candles were left over from last year's Christmas Carols Night, that was supposed to be held in the open air in the Baptist church grounds, but a storm came right on starting time and we had to quickly move everything (including the people who stayed) into the church and have it there. Everyone was in good spirits, but the rain (storm) did put a damper the whole night - and consequently we had heaps of left over 'candles' that we had hoped to sell and make a small profit for the Scripture in Schools programme. So instead of selling the left over 'candles', last night, we gave them away and asked for donations which was then given to the same programme - I didn't count it, but "she who must be obeyed" thought it was over $100. Date 16/12/08 (Actually came in at $181.50)
Each church had a part to play -
The Catholics did a 'something' at the beginning with candles and lots of words that not very many people listened to, because the sound system wasn't working too well, but they soldiered on (even when the candles wouldn't light when they were supposed to) and finished with a swinging calypso carol and everyone finally got the beat.
A young Christian Pop band with dancers then did a number about Mary and baby Jesus - have no idea where they came from (they all left as soon as they finished their number). Maybe they were from the Uniting Church (they weren't on the programme sheet, so must have been a late entry).
The Anglicans did a short play (two actors) an angel and a shepherd - it was a farce about a new, timid, scared angel coming to bring glad tidings to an arrogant, unimpressed shepherd that was more afraid of the noisy angel scaring his sheep than being sore afraid of the angels. But it ended well with the "Hallelujah Chorus" scaring off the sheep.
The Bapos did a puppet show, which went over very well, especially with the kids, about the word Christmas & Xmas and why Christ shouldn't be left out of Christmas. Two of our deacon(esses) did that and excelled themselves. That Puppetry Course they went to several months ago was worth the money.
In between all of these activities we had - you guessed it - Christmas Carols, of course - isn't that why we were there? But the 'piece de resistance' was the Combined Churches Choir - we (yes, I was in the choir) had been practising, at the Reformed Church, for the last couple of months every Sunday afternoon for about an hour at a time. We sang, acappella, harmonising in four parts, five carols and as I said, we were the show stoppers of the night. Okay, okay maybe I am a little bit biased, so all together it went off very well with a magnificent supper to follow.
If you look carefully at the photo at the top of this pontification (it was supposed to go above these words, but somehow ended up at the top) you will see an old guy, with long grey hair, in the middle of the back row - guess who?
PS The RSL decided to have their Carol's Night last night too!! Wouldn't you believe it, and they had Fireworks at the end of theirs, as well as the local school choir participating (whose school hall we were using), so for us to get over 150 people in competition to what they offered, I think we did pretty well - don't you?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santa Jigsaw

Click on this web page - complete the Jigsaw (really easy) - and watch the fun begin.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Don't Get "Caught Short" in Queensland

CAMPERS and expectant mothers who are ''caught short'' and swimmers urinating in the surf will risk automatic fines under new laws governing public nuisance in Queensland. The homeless, elderly or bushwalkers caught short off the beaten track could also be slapped with a fine. The reforms to the Summary Offences Act did not include a ''reasonable excuse'' provision, meaning those receiving a $100 public urination ticket had no legal recourse, Queensland University of Technology senior law lecturer Alastair MacAdam said. ''A public place is defined in the dictionary to the Summary Offences Act to mean a place open to or used by the public, whether or not on the payment of a fee,'' Mr MacAdam said. ''A fine of $200 may well result in disadvantaged people ending up in jail for answering the call of nature in a discreet way. ''But the ramifications are far ranging. Where does a person travelling, say, 200 kilometres west of Roma, who pulls on to the side of the road and urinates discreetly stand? Or the person who goes fishing in a dinghy and urinates in a container or over the side? ''Technically, swimmers who urinate in the ocean could be booked.'' The new laws will be on trial for 12 months from January 1, first in the South Brisbane and Townsville police districts. Automatic fines for public nuisance offences range up to $300 and can be issued on the spot by police for offensive or disorderly behaviour, disobeying police directions and urinating in public.


So if you're thinking of going to Queensland or worse still, you actually live there, just make sure you don't get "caught short" - Mummy McTavish take note (Townsville is on the list) - keep a sharp eye on Lion & Dragon, wouldn't want them fined for doing what comes naturally.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Bit Disappointed :-(

Yup - no one has worked out what my hidden 'thing that makes me happy' is - or if they have they haven't let me know. Come on now it's not all that difficult - a bit of lateral thinking may help if you're unable to work it out.
Now if you can't work it out - I give up.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mum & Nano Still All Clear

Today we went back to see the surgeon who operated on my "better half" and he looked at the latest x-rays and said, words to this effect - "Yours was an unusual case but it's all clear now - looks good to me, there was no indication of asbestosis, I took out all of the pleurisy matter so you should be feeling much better soon, you don't need antibiotics or any medication, your incisions are healing very well and you don't need to see me anymore."
PTL and Hallelujah !!! So why are we still feeling let down - is it because we shouldn't have had to go through all of this stress and anxiety in the first place - our doctor, radiologist and surgeon all diagnosed asbestosis - were they wrong? The surgeon couldn't or wouldn't give any explanation, so we are left with the only two other explanations, that God performed a miracle, or that all three professionals were wrong.
"Why are you complaining?" I hear you saying. Well we're not really complaining, (just confused). We are happy and rejoicing with the results and we want to believe that God has performed a miracle, otherwise we have been let down (at great cost, financial as well as physical & psychological) by the people in whom we are supposed to put our trust and faith (and lives).
CONCLUSION: When in doubt, "Trust in God".

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Awarded & Tagged at the Same Time

Seems like my Grand-daughter blogger (Possum Princess) has given me an award and tagged me at the same time - that doesn't seem quite fair. Well anyway, I've been ask to list six (6) things that make me happy.
So here goes ( not necessarily in this order) -
1) Food
2) Achievements
3) Money
4) Illumination
5) Laughter
6) Yes's
I've cheated, there are actually seven (7) here - can you find the seventh? (It's the most important one). By the way, Possum Princess, you actually listed this one too!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mum-ee from ask me the following:-
Firstly, did you call yourself Saint Bernard because you view yourself as a bug, cuddly puppy? Or was it because you secretly want to have really long hair/beard?
Secondly, I wish you could bottle your air-con and bring it down here for us.
Thirdly - welcome to the blogosphere. I only have come across a handful of male bloggers, so you are fairly unique in that respect, as in many others too.
Well Mum-ee here's my answers (you can read it too - whoever is reading this blogg)
I was trying to think of something creative like 'our aussie half-dozen' but nothing was coming so I thought Bernard is a good name and I'm a saint (not in the world's interpretation of the word, just the Bible's) so why not. But guess what, there's already a blogg called Saint Bernard (some guy in France, I couldn't read it, forgotten most of the French I learnt in school) apparently likes mountains, so I added my year of birth and bingo - jackpot. So, no, I'm not a bug (but I've never heard of a bug called Saint Bernard) and I might have a bit of extraneous fat, but not enough to be called cuddly and yes I've always wanted a true Saint Bernard but not a very practical dog for Australia (I've heard that they are so warm blooded that they melt the snow as they walk on it)
To let you in on a secret, I've always liked beards and disliked long hair, but my other half seems to have the opposite view. Altho she has said I should get it cut after Christmas.
By the way it did get to 90 oF here and I would love to be able to bottle some AC and send to you, but it would probably melt on the way.
Didn't know that women were the majority of bloggers, but when you think about it, it makes sense because blogging is akin to keeping a diary (except it's not very confidential) or a journal and women seem to do that best. I think it's a great way to keep in touch with loved ones (especially when distances are great) without mounting up huge phone bills.
I hope that answers your questions Mum-ee, daughter of mine.
I have to show you all a copy of an email (about my blogg) I received from my eldest grand-daughter (only the name has been changed to protect her innocence). AMESOME!! :) I checked it out before I even read your email!!Your blog is really cool!! I like it!!! Love Possum Princess xxxooo

Possum Princess & Me Enjoying a cool drink at Sizzlers

Saint Bernard's Ponderings
Well hi there all you bloggers in cyberspace - this is my first go at this, so here goes.
Today I mowed and whipper snipped the outside lawn (weeds, sand, next door neighbours bird seed crop) and I've just cleaned my ride-on-mower, come inside and put on the air conditioning - whew, that's better, much cooler now. My google weather tells me its 90 oF outside (can't get it to show Celsius) so that would be about 34 oC, but it's nothing like that in here (or outside) so something is wrong with google, but it's definitely only 21 oC inside (the benefits of an air conditioner can't be bettered on a hot day).
We've decided to go solar, when we get the go ahead that our Govt. subsidy has been approved. We'll get a 1Kw solar panel array on the north side of our roof which should produce 4 to 6 Kwh/day. That would be approx. 150Kwh/mth or at current rates $20/mth savings. However, if our behind the eight-ball NSW Govt. gets its act together (like all the other States) we should get at least 4 times that in savings, as they will pay 4 for 1 for all solar power produced - this has something to do with savings on carbon trading (which I don't fully understand just yet - does anyone?). I figured if the Govt. wants to give me $8,000 towards solar panels, then who am I to say "No thanks, I'll do it my way!" instead I've said "Yes please, I'll be in that!" and at the same time it makes me feel as though I'm doing my bit for the environment.
Well, the environment, that's another story, isn't it? What or who do we believe about what's happening with the world warming, predictions of catastrophic weather, sea levels rising, polar caps melting and massive earthquakes - what did you say, no one's predicted earthquakes - well the Bible has, as well as wars, famines and pestilences (see Mathew Chapter 24). So what, can we really do anything about it? These things have been expected to happen for over 2,000 years now - the early Christians thought that they would happen in their lifetime - didn't happen! Down through the ages the end of the world has been expected to happen in that generations lifetime, but those generations have been and gone and we are still predicting the end times coming soon. The fact of the matter is that, no one knows when it will happen, except God (and He ain't telling anyone), so the best thing is to do your best for the environment, keep the faith (that's the Christian Faith) and get on with living the best life you can.
This ends today's pontifications.