Wool storage

Since the beginning of my reignited excited about knitting I have had some storage problems. The first and most pressing was what on earth to do with the hundreds of balls of wool I have already acquired. A quick Google search and a trip to my local storage shop later and the problem is solved. It's a shoe storage bag but works very well for wool in my opinion. Only problem is its already full and there's not that many doors in my house! Better get knitting...

Cards for my nephews

I love making Iris Folding cards. The website is really badly made, there are patterns available from each year since 2007 but there's no home page where you can get to them all. Regardless, they are really cool patterns and available for free! They even have some finished examples that people have sent in to give you colour ideas.

I think this racing car and train were fun for my favourite nephews. Happy birthday! :)

Easter Gifts

Well Easter is always a fun time away for our family. We go to Katoomba Easter Convention with family and friends. It's a great time to spend together, celebrating Jesus death and resurrection which gives us such a great hope. I'm hoping to blog about the excellent talks we heard this year but I'll never do them justice - so just go and download them

This year I thought I'd be a bit creative and make my Easter gifts.

My inspiration came from this lovely website. My don't look quite as good but never mind. The jars were so easy, found them at a $2 shop and filled them with my favourite kind of eggs. The ribbons just made them look like I put some effort in! 
I thought the bunny tails I found here were hilarious.  I found the clear cellophane bags at a $2 shop and just printed the header onto card and coloured it in. The tails are marshmallows. I even included a little note that no bunnies were harmed in the creation of them, just to reassure my sister-in-law who has a very cute pet rabbit who is a well loved member of the family. 
Added a few other goodies and put them all in a nicely styled brown paper bag and job done. Easter gifts for 2012 I declare to be a success.

Knitting Needle Storage

My knitting needles have been driving me nuts for ages. I have heaps and they're strewn all over the house. So today with the help of a little googling and the sewing machine my parents bought me for my birthday, I made my own knitting needle storage. I think its quite cute really. It didn't take me long either.

If you're looking to replicate, you should check out these sites. This one has a design that requires fabric that is double sided. This one uses two pieces each of two different fabrics. I kinda joined the ideas together. Next time, I'd make sure I sewed my backing piece on last so that it covers up all the lines from the needle pockets I sewed on the inside. I thought this blog had a particularly cute and colourful needle pouch but she didn't include a pattern. I think she's going to sell them if you can't be bothered to make your own!

Now I just need to go and find all those knitting needles and file them away.

Happy Birthday Dad!

It was my Dad's birthday a little while back and I made him a card. I took my inspiration from PoppyPaperie's Site and Bobunny's blog (see the Dad card right at the bottom of the page). My card isn't even close to as good as the examples but Dad still liked it anyway. Who doesn't love a homemade card?!

As an aside, I have the best Dad in the world. I know many of you will disagree but you would be wrong. In the talk on Sunday, Geoff said that many girls go through their teenage years longing to know that their Dad loves them. I'm not sure whether that was true for me or not but looking back, I should never have been in any doubt...

Engaging with God: Peterson

I just have to write a book review on this book because I'm so glad I've finished it! So here goes:

Engaging with God by David Peterson. Intervarsity Press 1992 ISBN-10: 0-8308-2697-1

Intro: Why did I read this book? My prior assumptions.

I decided to finish my Moore College Preliminary Certificate in Theology by completing my final unit: Christian Worship. This is the "additional reading" for the course and since I am a postgraduate student, additional reading is compulsory! I must admit I was not looking forward to reading it, my husband said it was tricky and he reads very tricky books so that's saying something. I also didn't expect it to say anything I didn't already know and judging by the size of it, it was going to take a long time to do that!

1. Background of the author

The Rev. Dr. David Peterson was a student of Moore College. His many qualifications and work experiences are neatly presented on the Moore College website.

2. Description of the purpose

Peterson begins by reflecting on his purpose for the book. His major question is "What after all, does the Bible mean by 'worship' and how does it relate to the other great issues of the Christian life?" He seeks to "grapple with a broadly based Biblical Theology of Worship". In his opinion, "We have enough "how to do it" books and not enough reflection on worship as a total biblical idea".

I'm not sure I fully agree with the claim that we have enough "how to" worship books, there are plenty of books out there but in my experience most of them are not useful. Worship Matters would be an exception to that, although I still haven't finished it.

However, I do agree that we have a greater need to understand what worship is, in particular, what does God mean by worship, what does He expect from us when we worship. God has revealed Himself to us primarily in His Son Jesus, and in His Word and so a careful study of the Bible should shed some light on these questions.

3. Evaluation of the book - did the author meet his purpose?

Based on the purpose above I was expecting a "Biblical Theology of Worship". Unfortunately, I had no idea what that was! It turns out, for Peterson that involved carefully working through the Old Testament and then the New Testament texts searching for all references to "worship". ALL of these references were then carefully analysed in their literary and situational contexts and then conclusions about worship were drawn from that.

As a result, this book is difficult to read. It is very detailed as it carefully pulls apart different passages of Scripture. I must admit, some nuances went straight over my head, however I did choose to try to understand Peterson's point and the implications of those little technical details. It was hard work.

However, it was very rewarding. In particular this book really helped me to think carefully about the difference between Old Testament and New Testament worship. How is it that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament sacrificial system? Why is it that we don't have to sacrifice lambs anymore, or worship at temples? For many years now I would have been able to tell you that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament system of worship but I would have struggled to tell you why, how or what evidence there was for this. Hebrews is a key book in answering this question, but what surprised me was that the Old Testament already pointed to a time when the system would be done away with and the gospels, and other New Testament passages also speak of Jesus fulfilling this Old Testament sacrificial system.

This book also helped me to see what use the Old Testament has in informing our worship today. The Old Testament describes worship as homage to God, service to God and reverence for God. It also very clearly outlines that worship is given by redeemed people who God has revealed Himself to and they will worship Him acceptably in the way that He outlines. We cannot just make this stuff up. God tells us how He is to be worshiped and its very important.

I'm not sure whether it was the Moore College Course or this book or both that prompted me to start thinking carefully about what I believe about communion. I've enjoyed wrestling with the question, "if I could rewrite all the rules and traditions for communion what do I think the Bible says it should look like". In one sense this is purely hypothetical, however it is fun nonetheless. It was interesting to look at Jesus Last Supper carefully and consider what His intention for that meal was.

In summary, this book certainly gives an extensive, detailed description of what the Bible says worship is. I'm not convinced it was clear about who worship relates to the other great issues of the Christian life however I suppose it ended up arguing that worship encompasses all of the Christian life and so perhaps it did. This book did not seek to be practical but I could certainly see areas where some practical outworkings could be established.

4. Topics not yet covered

Well this book is ridiculously detailed, I doubt Peterson missed a single verse out of his analysis so in terms of investigating what the Bible says about worship, Peterson left nothing out. However, it does lack detail about what worship should look like practically in our daily lives and in our meetings together. Particularly in how the Lord's supper should be celebrated today, or how we reconcile our various traditions with what the Bible says about the topic.

5. Place in the literature of its subject

Ok so admittedly, your average Jo Blow Christian is not going to read this book. I'm not saying they shouldn't read it, its just full of very minor details that are tricky to understand or see any practical implication of. It's the kind of book that unless you have to read it to pass an exam, you'll never make it to the end. So perhaps we should be encouraging more people to do the "Christian Worship" Moore college course so they have to read this book!

However in my opinion, this book should be the first port of call for people who are about to write a "how to" book/seminar/talk on worship. If you don't have this stuff ingrained in you, then your "how to" book is just going to be another addition to the myriad of other useless books on the topic.

The book is helpfully broken up into chapters on different sections of the Bible. So the teaching of Acts on Worship is all contained in one chapter. This at least means that if you were looking at one particular section of Scripture, you could just read that chapter of the book. However I think ideally someone would write an "Engaging with God for dummies" book. This material is useful and would help inform our worship, but needs to be presented in a clearer way so that it is more accessible to the average person.

Conclusion: My personal reaction to the book

Actually, I really enjoyed the book. The chapter on Revelation was inspiring and the book in general has challenged a number of my assumptions about worship. I've learnt a lot about Old Testament worship and a little more about how we should interpret that and the teaching of the New Testament in our lives and gatherings today. It's not a book I'll read cover-to-cover again in a hurry, but I'd certainly use it as a reference and I'm glad I took the time to read it carefully. 

Lion Mask

Some time back I was stuck inside on a rainy day with a bored 1 year old who likes making lion noises. The obvious thing to do was to make a lion mask.

Here is the result. We painted a paper plate together, let it dry and then added the paper mane later on. Rolling the paper was a little tedious for the 1 year old but the gluing part was fun! Attach a ruler to the back and voila! A lion has been created!