Sunday 23 March 2014

The Goodbye - Fare the Well

Sorry for the long delay between posts. But I'm sad to say this will be my last post on this blog. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. However it's time to say goodbye, to close this chapter of my life and start on a new one... whatever that may be.

Thank you for all your support and I hope we meet again.

Until next time we meet again.

Thursday 6 February 2014

The Outing - A Summer Wedding

There's nothing quite like going to a wedding, is there? Especially one in the summer. Luke and I were privileged to witness two friends get married in December and here are the photos. :)

First, the outfit photos...

 Anna & Bex, the wonderful wedding cake extraordinaires!

Summer outdoor weddings mean you can wear hats, and that makes me happy.

Our good friend Carolyn was one of the bridesmaids. Her dedication and attention to detail in every aspect of the wedding preparations was truly incredible. 

I always think the best wedding photos are the ones when they are walking back down the aisle. The pure joy on their faces is such a beautiful thing. 

Okay, so for decorations we made hundreds of pom-poms for a kind of pom-pom curtain to break up the room where they held the reception. As it turns out, we made too many so we had a good 60 left. We distributed these to the guests and told them to throw them in the air when the couple were announced as "Mr & Mrs" for the first time. It looked great. And it was a nice surprise for the couple. However, I was just glad that those handmade pom-poms got used. And here is a photo of one making a getaway on the newly wedded bride's dress.

Carolyn's maid of honour speech. Part of it was in Spanish (impressive).

Until next time :)

Wednesday 5 February 2014

The Review - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Okay, let me get two things clarified staight up:

1) I do not like Ben Stiller as an actor
2) Danny Kaye is my absolute favourite comedian.

Now these two things would automatically make you conclude, if you knew something about the movie I am about to review, that I would avoid it like the plague. Mainly because it stars Ben Stiller in the title role of a film that has previously been done by Danny Kaye. And you'd be right. When Luke first told me about it I think my stomach actually did a horrible kind of lurch. I swore to myself that I'd never see the film or go near it, and that it was pretty much blasphemy of the foulest kind and an insult to Danny Kaye as a legendary comedian and actor. You know what they say though.... never say never.

I saw the preview of the film and thought: hmmm... Ben Stiller doesn't look completely annoying in that. And the cinematography is pretty impressive. Actually, it looks like a conpletely different film. Then the reviews came out and they were all amazing, so Luke and I swallowed our pride and went to see it at the cinemas.

It's true that both films are based on the short story by James Thurber, but that's about where the similarity ends. I guess because the story is so short it allows for a scriptwriter to be incredibly creative.

Essentially the storyline is this: A daydreamer (Walter Mitty) escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job is threatened along with that of his co-worker, he takes action in the real world, embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

At times I felt like I was more watching an advertisement for Iceland, but it was a really great feel-good movie. Before it ended, though, I came up with a way better non-cliched ending, whereas of course the movie went for the very predictable conclusion of the kind audiences want - but oh well.

Interesting fact: The name Walter Mitty and the derivative word "Mittyesque" have entered the English language, denoting an ineffectual person who spends more time in heroic daydreams than paying attention to the real world, or more seriously, one who intentionally attempts to mislead or convince others that he is something that he is not. In military circles, this usually refers to people who try to fake an impressive career.

My personal favourite part of the film is how it includes the short story's famous sound effect (as does the Danny Kaye version) in a very subtle way. You see, in the short story when Mitty daydreams, there is always the sound "pocketa, pocketa, pocketa" incorporated somehow. And I realised this was the sound a train made while Mitty was waiting at the station at the start of the film, just before his first daydream.

The trailer:

Until next time :)

Tuesday 4 February 2014

The Dress - Forest Green

Okay, so at the moment it's sunny outside, but these photos were actually taken back when it was colder. Which is great for our friends in the Northern Hemisphere, and let's face it - this is Wellington, NZ, so it probably won't be too long before I'm wearing something like this again... Weather pessimist, who me?

 Dress: Mango (Taiwan)
Just before I left Taiwan back in 2009 (wow, that seems a while ago), we were just about to head into winter. Since I had managed to wear summer clothes all year and was just about to head home, I was at a loss as to what to do. I didn't want to buy more clothes, especially winter ones, when I was just about to head back to an Australian summer. My wonderful friend Marcie lent me some of her clothes and I also splurged on this winter dress, which as you can still see I have. However, to be perfectly honest, I'd like to add 2-3 inches onto the hem line.

 Belt: Gifted
I don't know if "gifted" is the right word for where this belt came from. Technically it came with another skirt, which I have long thrown out, but I probably wear this skinny black belt about twice a week - funny huh?

Scarf: Street Market (Nepal)
Oh, would you look at how international my clothes are today. My mum actually bought this scarf when she and I were over in Nepal in 2006. However, I would always wear it, so when it came time for me to move I said: "Mum, can I please have the scarf." And she agreed in exchange for my collection of two "Don't Let The Pigeon" children's books. If you have no idea what "Don't Let The Pigeon" (by Mo Willems) is, then you need to go to your local bookshop and buy one. So funny. New books are actually under embargo until set release dates because everyone wants to know what the pigeon will do next.

Earrings: Pandora
Okay, I'm not a huge Pandora fan. But when I saw these while killing time in Sydney airport, I fell in love. They're so cute, yet so understated and simple. Love!

Until next time :)

Sunday 2 February 2014

The Verse - 2 Corinthians 7:10

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

2 Corinthians 7:10

Sorry it's been a wee while between posts. The computer had decided to have a hissy fit but all seems to be sorted now. Today I want to share with you the sermon I heard just this morning by a visiting pastor called Jono. I really benefited a lot from his teaching, so I hope that you will too. Jono preached on the above verse, drawing heavily on the work of Thomas Watson, one of Jono's favourite "Christian dead guys."

The message described the difference between godly & worldly grief (or sorrow, depending on your translation), using 6 points to summarise each. I love when pastors divide their sermons into points, as it just makes it so much easier to follow and remember. Better yet if they remember to call out when they have moved to the next point. :)

Okay, so here we go...

Six Characteristics of Worldly Grief
1) Worldly grief fears only the effects and punishment of sin and is not sorry for the sin itself. Jono aptly characterised this as a child which cries when it is caught doing something naughty. It is not crying because of its actions, but more because it got caught and fears imminent discipline.
2) Worldly grief confuses the law & the gospel. For example, when we look at our lives and see a sin that we want to put an end to, we try really, really hard to stop doing that sin. In this way we make the law our saviour. We are trying to clean ourselves up instead of God doing it.
3) Worldly grief does not actually deal with sin, because we are incapable of killing the sin in our life. We must face the fact that our sins come from within us, from our wicked heart. We need something outside ourselves to save us.
4) Worldly grief is purely emotional, not spiritual.
5) Worldly grief is horizontal only and leaves God out of the picture. It is completely self-focused. We may think about the person we have wronged, or mourn because we have not lived up to our own standard of "good", but worldly grief does not think about how we have sinned against God.
6) Worldly grief leads to death, as stated in the verse above.

Six Characteristics of Godly Grief

1)  Godly grief enables us to truly see our sin. And how do we do this? By reading God's word, which is the means through which the Holy Spirit reveals our sin to us.
2) Godly grief means we feel sorrow for sin. We mourn over our actual offence against God, unlike worldly grief, which only feels sorrow for the consequences.
3) Godly grief confesses sin. Confessing sin lets sin out.
4) Godly grief produces real shame for sin. It is not completely paralysing, but instead should drive us towards the cross.
5) Godly grief includes a hatred for all sin in our life and a desire to be rid of it.
6) Godly grief includes a turning from sin and turning to Christ (the definition of repentance).

I really like this passage from Thomas Watson on repentance:

“Repentance is a pure gospel grace. The covenant of works admitted no repentance; there it was, sin and die. Repentance came in by the gospel. Christ has purchased in his blood that repenting sinners shall be saved. The law required personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience. It cursed all who could not come up to this: 'Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them' (Gal. 3.10). It does not say, he that obeys not all things, let him repent, but, let him be cursed. Thus repentance is a doctrine that has been brought to light only by the gospel.”

(From The Essential Works Of Thomas Watson)

So if you are a Christian who is not in the habit of showing godly grief for your sin, or should I say continually repenting (because it's more than a one time deal) - and I'm actually preaching to myself here more than anything - there are only one of two reasons:

1) Deep down in your heart you believe that you don't need Christ's sacrifice on the cross


2) You don't think Christ is capable of saving you.

Both these conclusions are wrong. So may I encourage you (and myself) to get real with God and get real with your sin. Bring about godly grief which leads to salvation, as it says in 2 Corinthians, and may your heart rejoice in the Gospel once more!

Sunday 26 January 2014

The Sammy - Me & My Sammy

Me and my Sammy,
Meant for each other,
Sent for each other,
And liking it so.
Me and my Sammy,
'Sno use pretending,
We knew the ending a long time ago.

Friday 24 January 2014

The Dress - Autumn Comforts

We all need one. One of those jumpers/cardigans which is just so comfortable and warm. I had one of these. Well, to be honest I stole it off my sister when I was 18 and wore it so much that she told me to keep it. And then *sniff sniff* a year ago I had to say goodbye, as I had worn it so much there were holes in the knitting. How can I ever replace you? I thought. 

And then one day I was looking at H&M's website and playing around with their barbie doll "dress the lady" feature (seriously great way to waste time), and I discovered the perfect replacement cardigan. You shall be mine! I thought and quickly put it in my virtual shopping trolley heading for the checkout. Then disaster! What! No international shipping!!!! Okay, you invest who knows how much money so your visitors can dress a mannequin in all your clothes, but you don't foresee that people outside the UK might want to buy your clothing! Well, back to square one, I thought.

But then, my lovely sister invited me to London and Paris the December before last, and do you know what they have in London? H&M! And what cardigan did I manage to find in their store... the one from the website! Mine at last! I only had to travel across the globe to find it! :) The End.

Cardigan: H&M
Plus it makes a great Christmas jumper!

Jeans: Just Jeans
Boots: Vintage Store
Ziggurat in Wellington

Until next time :)