Sunday, April 02, 2006


Why do so many hospitals have Christian sounding names? We deal with a couple of hundred hospitals in Australia, and processing around 60 or 70 orders a day we end up knowing the names of the hospitals very well. I think it's very interesting how many have Saint and religious sounding names!

Calvary Hospital, St Andrews, St George (public and private), Sisters of Mercy, Holy Spirit Hospital, St John of God (I love that one, I mean - why mess about hey?! This St John, he was specifically from God!)

There are so many Mater Misericordiae hospitals that it is annoying.

It makes for some funny comments, that's for sure. Quite often we get faxes marked with random names, where people haven't bothered to listen to us on the phone and just write down whatever they approximate our name is. The best I heard was when we got one such fax and one of the girls picked it up and asked: "Is anyone waiting to hear from the Holy Spirit?"

I had a private chuckle at that. It got even better when one of the other girls got straight up and said - "Yes! I've been waiting to hear from the Holy Spirit!"

I tell you - I've tried praying, fasting, singing, praising - but never thought to try faxing the Holy Spirit! Revolutionary!

Buddy Bears

Well, let's confess straight up - in an uncharacteristic move by me, I didn't read the whole information sign thing, so I can't totally explain the purpose behind these brilliant bears. I can tell you that they are brilliant though, and I think that's good enough.

There is a Buddy Bear from every nation in the UN - each country picks an artist to decorate the bear, and they tour every UN country. We stumbled across them just near Circular Quay one sunny day. Giant teddy bears and a camera? In my book that's a recipe for fun!

Shelley needed to kiss this bear...

I found the British one and couldn't figure out it's crazy headdress, but loved it anyway...

Emma loved the NZ bear...

Bears as far as the eye could see!

They were all so imaginatively decorated! I loved the Canada one, which had pieces of smashed teacups and saucers on it (with flower patterns still visible!) and was a homage to the mothers of Canada. The Serbia - Montenegro bear, which had bullet holes in it (honest!). The USA bear, which had the big spiky headdress like the Statue of Liberty. The Moldova bear - which had a world map on it's belly and a sign saying "Where's Moldova?" and an arrow pointing to it. (Entertaining and instructive!)

I tell you - if you're going to have an exhibition touring the world - I consider having giant teddy bears as an excllent idea.

International Visitors Month

I have a great bunch of friends who are spread over the whole world! March has been geat, becuase everyone has been coming over to visit!

Dean flew over for training for his work, and we managed to show him around nearly every tourist spot in Sydney in 10 days. This is us just spotting something fascinating at the Sydney Aquarium.

The girls! Vicki and Kirsty from New Zealand, and Michelle from Brisbane, and a beautiful gathering of my lovely girls from London who are now based in Australia.

Most beautiful of all - Mish came for Colour! We had such a great time! Sadly she is definitely needed in London, so I had to give her back eventually.

Looking forward to all the gang coming out for conference in July - and beautiful Laura moving over for college too!

The nice thing is that I have lots of great countries that I need to go visit now, to catch up with friends everywhere. The sad thing is not being able to see these wonderful people whenever I like - but according to one very wise lady who I know - the anticipation actually strengthens the friendships! (See you in January Marcia!)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Threefold cord

"For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them."
Matthew 18.20 (AMP)

I have a passion for gathering people together! I always think that people are stronger when they have friends around. There was a period when I was at school where we moved every year, and I spent a lot of time being the 'new kid'. That period where you're new and don't have a support group of friends around you is so hard. I'm still working on conquering my feelings of self-consciousness and timidity from that, to be very honest. (Funny how it's so easy to share with the blank face of the internet!)

"Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor;
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Again, if two lie down together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?
And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him.

A threefold cord is not quickly broken."
Ecclesiastes 4.9-12 (AMP)

I love gathering people together. I love choosing people who aren't connected and connecting them. I love to create a fun, relaxing environment for people to be together. I love making people feel wanted and included and important. I love when I see people who I've brought together creating lasting memories and friendships. I love seeing people flourish in the confidence that comes from knowing that they have friends who believe in them.

v. gath·ered, gath·er·ing, gath·ers
v. tr.
To cause to come together; convene.
To accumulate (something) gradually; amass.
To harvest or pick.
To gain by a process of gradual increase: gather speed.
To collect into one place; assemble.
To pick up and enfold.
To draw about or bring (one thing) closer to something else.
To attract or be a center of attraction for.

And sometimes you find people whose hearts echo the same beat as yours - people with whom you can totally relax; people who enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs; who make you want to become a better person; who know what to say to make you smile, cry, be inspired, or laugh hysterically. It took me a long time to believe that I was worth having friends that wonderful, and that I was actually worth something back to them as well.

"It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us."
Epicurus 341 - 270 BC

I wholeheartedly believe in fighting for friendship.

I know that sometimes there are people who are in your life for a season, and you can enjoy their time with you and then it's okay to let them go. But there are some people who you know you need to keep forever. Friendships that are worth everything, and worth fighting to keep. People who delight in your company and opinions, who invite you to lean on them when you need strength, people who completely love you just as you are.

I love to gather people like that.

"Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;"
William Shakespeare

There's something about friendship that I think reflects the heart of God. The bible says that when God created Adam, he realised that it was not good for man to be alone, so he created Eve. We are created for fellowship, our hearts ache for friendship.

My heart is aching a little at the moment.