Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Reason

A little story about a religious skeptic who worked as a farmer [by Paul Harvey], which I would like to call 'The Reason'.

One raw winter night the farmer heard an irregular thumping sound against the kitchen storm door.  He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the evident warmth inside, beat in vain against the glass.
Touched, the farmer bundled up and trudged through fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling birds.  He turned on the lights and tossed some hay in a corner.  But the sparrows, which had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house, hid in the darkness, afraid.
The man tried various tactics to get them into the barn.  He laid down a trail of Saltine cracker crumbs to direct them.  He tried circling behind the birds to drive them toward the barn.  Nothing worked.  He, a huge, alien creature, had terrified them; the birds couldn't comprehend that he actually desired to help them.
The farmer withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window.  As he stared, a thought hit:  If only I could become a bird - one of them - just for a moment.  Then I wouldn't frighten them so.  I could show them the way to warmth and safety.
At the same moment, another thought dawned on him.  He had grasped the reason Jesus was born.

From the The Nativity Story

Oh Holy Night
Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure

Oh Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine, the night when Christ was born.


Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love, and His Gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

As a side note, it's interesting how all the old paintings of the nativity scene, etc. show the Jewish Mary and Joseph as Anglo white people.  Not very politically correct *cough*.
I'm sure you'll understand that by displaying these pictures I am in no way promoting this sort of exclusive idea.  Hence, I included the previous picture from the movie The Nativity Story, which I think is much more realistic. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Confessions: I think I'm a grinch

I thought I should write something about Christmas here on my blog.  I mean it's only a four days away, and millions of people are already celebrating the Christmas 'season'.  The decorations are up in the streets, carols are playing through the stores, cards fill the letterbox, and presents are being wrapped.

To be honest, though, I couldn't really be bothered.  There, I've said it.  What a grinch.

Adoration of the Shepherds by Charles Le Brun
As a Christian, I first recognise the story behind Christmas.  But after almost 20 years of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and the Three Wise Men, the story has become so familiar... almost clichéd.  How sad.

But don't worry!  When a person [like me] realises that something has become clichéd, they're on the way to re-discovering it's power and originality!  (Seriously.  I mean, it's the first step, right?)

So please bear with me as a re-discover what made the Christmas story a world-wide 'best-seller'.

While we're on that subjects, here's something which I found in my inbox this morning - a new Christmas song.

While at the mall a couple of years ago, my then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, "where's the line to see Jesus"? My sister mentioned this to my dad, who immediately became inspired and jotted words down to a song in just a few minutes.

It's just amazing - listen to it here.  There is a gorgeous music video too which already has over 1.5 million views on YouTube!

Anno Domini Edwin Long 1883

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Well, there's not much to say with these photos.

high tide at the inlet

We had a great time, it rained a lot, and I went to the beach.
Here's some proof.  In this photo you can see the sky about to break open and deluge us with fresh water.  Hehe, let's just say we didn't have to jump into the ocean to get wet.

stormy sky 

Before it rained we ate chips.

what we do at the beach

overdoing the effects as usual

I could tell you more, like what movies we watched, and what we ate, but you'd probably find that boring (ever seen a John Wayne classic?).

There was one nice-weather day.

shall we swim?

Is it just me, or are the above rocks a little different?
I hereby declare them to be retro rocks, because they are chunky and clunky.



I hope you all have a beach moment this summer, and that it doesn't rain on your parade.

just to prove i was there

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

hello summer

hello summer
hello summer by TheMouseFiles featuring wedge sandals shoes
summer 2010 begins with storms, floods, and torrential rain. Oh, Aussie summer!

Is is gumboots or sandals today?

I've been away for two weeks (v. nice) hence the long silences on the Mouse Files.
But I'm back and rearing to go!  Look out for some holiday snaps...

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