4 January 2023
There are many groups meeting together weekly, monthly and quarterly for a variety of reasons or causes. The variety of reasons seems to be limitless. As human beings, we flourish with contact with our own species. I have a friend who makes quilts, and she belongs to a quilters’ group. She also likes walking and is part of a walking group. I guess many of you reading this belong to at least one group, if not many more.
In the adjacent photo, the ladies around the table are doing craft. They make everything from handy bags, aprons, pot holders, clothes for premature babies, hats for cancer patients, and anything else you can think of. It is quality work.
We meet with our congregations of worshippers on one day in the week to praise God and worship Him, and often we meet the same people in Bible Study groups, planning meetings, choir practices etc. It is a wonderful experience and comfort to know and share with a Church family.
Romans 12:5 (ESV)
So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
11 January 2023
On a trip to Turkey, in 2013, our group was taken to the Archaeological Ancient Museum in Antalya Province. This Museum is one of Turkey's largest museums and located in the District of Konyaaltı. It includes 13 exhibition halls, an open-air gallery and 5,000 amazing works of art.
I took this photo while wandering around the various rooms absorbed with the exhibits, which went back over thousands of years. Unfortunately, I did not write down the details of the object in the photo and my efforts to contact the museum by email have not been successful.
If I recall correctly, it is a small finger or foot bone and from a person who was famous at the time. The fact that such a small item is on such a large table speaks to me of its importance.
God commonly uses small things to accomplish His big plans according to His sovereign nature. In the Bible Joseph, Gideon, David and Esther were some of the lowest and least in their families, but they achieved great things.
Galatians 5:22–23a (ESV) reminds us that the little things in life make a big difference:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
18 January 2023
I love to hear the birds, particularly first thing in the morning as I awake. I am most fortunate to have a family of magpies who sit on the fence outside my bedroom window. I talk to them through the window and they stop carolling. After I have finished telling them I can hear them, they commence again.
When I lived in a country area in New South Wales, I was entertained often by the kookaburras. How I love them. I would ring up my friend in Sydney and hold the phone towards a kookaburra who was warbling.
The trees in the front garden would also be filled with rainbow lorikeets. These birds enjoyed the bird table. What a blessing they were.
Birds have a special place in the Bible. A raven was sent out from the Ark to test the level of the water, and the Holy Spirit was in the form of a dove. Chickens, eagles, hawks, quails, peacocks, sparrows and more, all have their story in the Bible.
Exodus 19:4 (ESV)
You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
25 January 2023
The Portuguese love their food. They eat all the time during the day and then sit down to a big meal at the end of the day (and many of them are as thin as a whip). Their foods are mainly fish, and the No. 1 fish is sardines. You can cook sardines at home, but why would you when there are sardine tables and barbecue fires on every street corner during the sardine season.
Being Australian, my only experience of eating sardines was out of a tin and smothered in oil. I did love that and would enjoy it on toast, but the sardines in Portugal would scoff at that. I made the most of the sardine season in Lisbon.
The Bible story of the feeding of the five thousand with fish and bread is thought by some scholars to mean sardines were the offered fish. There is also a red sardine stone spoken of in the Bible. It is often listed with, and likened to, the Israeli jasper.
Leviticus 11:9 (NLT)
Of all the marine animals, these are ones you may use for food. You may eat anything from the water if it has both fins and scales, whether taken from salt water or from streams.
1 February 2023
In January each year the Governor of Victoria usually has an ‘Open House’ event, and my friend and I usually go along. It is a very festive occasion with all kinds of activities in the grounds and a look through the beautiful Government House in Melbourne.
Government House is the official residence of the Governor of Victoria, currently the Honourable Linda Dessau AC CVO, and is located in Kings Domain, Melbourne, next to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Government House was opened in 1876 on land that had originally been set aside in 1841. Its architectural style is Italianate architecture.
The adjacent photo is of the beautifully set dining table ready for an official function. It is magnificent. I think if ever I was invited to such a function, I would be very nervous about which eating utensil to pick up. I understand that the key is to start from the outside and work inwards.
Romans 13:1 (ESV)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.