Friday, April 28, 2006


adj. gen·tler, gen·tlest
  1. Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender.
  2. Not harsh or severe; mild and soft: a gentle scolding; a gentle tapping at the window.
  3. Easily managed or handled; docile: a gentle horse.
  4. Not steep or sudden; gradual: a gentle incline.
    1. Of good family; wellborn: a child of gentle birth.
    2. Suited to one of good breeding; refined and polite: a gentle greeting to a stranger.
  5. Archaic. Noble; chivalrous: a gentle knight.
This is something I really struggle with, how to be gentle when I am frustrated at something or someone. It is fruit that I would like to be evident in my life, though I fear rarely is. :( I want gentleness to invade every aspect of my life, not just the public facade that I put up.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

We need to be following Jesus, serving (working) where He is.

Something I learned from doing part of the"Experiencing God" course last year, is that you need to look for where God is working and join Him in what He is doing.

That is part of the reason why I am helping out on the team of Mainly Music at my church. I saw that God was working with the women there, and I joined them. Too often these groups struggle to find those who are willing to work behind the scenes. You don't get too much recognition for your hard work, but the reward is in seeing lives touched by God.

When you look at Jesus and His ministry on earth - you see He spent A LOT of time with sinners, the prostitutes, the tax-collectors, the ill, the undesirables... No, I am not saying that the mothers at Mainly Music are any of "those types", yet we all need to be loved. I think that is what Jesus minstry says to me - we need to spend time with all types of people, not just the "lovable".

This deserves more thought, than I can give right now - I need to go help my daughter (9) with her mathematics.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

huge love:faithful heart

Pretty awesome to think of how much God loves and is faithful to his followers! :)

We could never attain that level of love and faithfulness, but I hope that by spending time with God that some of that love and faithfulness will rub off on me. I want to be more like Him in my everyday interactions - I sorely fail at that, but my heart's desire is to grow more loving and more faithful and loyal a friend to those around me.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


The term "Orwellian" usually refers to one or more of the following:

  • Manipulation of language for political ends. Most significantly by introducing to words meanings in opposition to their denotative meanings.
  • Invasion by the state of personal privacy, whether physically or by means of surveillance.
  • The total control of daily life by the state, as in a "Big Brother" society.
  • The disintegration of the family unit by the state.
  • The replacement of religious faith with worship of the state in a semi-religious manner.
  • Active encouragement by the state of "doublethink," whereby the population must learn to embrace inconsistent concepts without dissent.
  • A dystopian or antiutopian future.
  • The use of verbose and ambiguous language.

orwellian thought

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
George Orwell

think about it...

then look at this cool art strip i found online...

click on the image to make it readable...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

vacation time

Well, today I will be taking a 5 day hiatus from blogging - if I can hack it! :)

My family and I are going on vacation to my in-laws place. It's raining here, and will probably be raining there (Whakatane-NZ), actually raining is an understatement for what's going on here - it's HOSING DOWN! It's been a while since we have ventured down there, I went with the girls after Parachute Music Festival in January. I actually really like spending time with my in-laws, it's a break from cooking and cleaning, and most of the time I get to be pampered a little. Plus, Whakatane is a nice little friendly town, much nicer than Auckland! So - 5 days of good-times...

See you all when I get back!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

exposure : am i a good girl yet?

I have just finished reading an awesome book of redemption and healing, today.

Written by Carolyn Bramhall, a survivor of ritualistic satanic abuse as a child, and sufferer of multiple personality disorder, this is an excellent story about one woman's journey to wholeness.

At the beginning of her book she has written a poem about the beginning of being able to share her journey... I would like to share it with you - it moved me to tears.


Dare I?
Dare I take the risk?
Dare I expose my living-weary heart for you to scrutinise?
If you touch me I hurt.
My hurt is sacred.
Only the few are permitted to glimpse -
Will dare to glimpse
At the vulnerable mix of pain and joy called "me".
But supposing, just supposing
I let you peep at the shattered dreams;
Hope snuffed out - but shining yet.
Maybe you have a carress, balm-breath, oil of love.
Maybe, just maybe, you can help loose the suffocating, screaming bondage
And I could breathe again.
Maybe, just maybe, you can lift
The steel-cold weight of self-condemnation,
And allow waves of friendship
Bathe the thirsty shore of my tired self-worth,
Wasing it into life.
Thank you.
Thank you for allowing me
To allow myself to hurt,
Crushed, but not destroyed,
To show you who I am.
Carolyn Bramhall

I am one person who would like to thank Carolyn Bramhall for sharing her story - it moved me, and in some ways helped me to understand myself a little better. :) I don't have multiple personality disorder, but do understand uncovering secrets from my past. God has given human mind's an amazing ability to handle painful event's through dissasociation. We do however need to find healing from these event's to become whole people. Thanks God, that you are helping me to become whole - redeemed from my past for you!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Face Reader Bridges Autism Gap

Some new interesting news about something that could help those with high-functioning autism. :)

By Eric Smalley|

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts -- You are a mind reader, whether you know it or not. You can tell just by looking at a human face whether the person is concentrating, confused, interested or in agreement with you.

But people afflicted by autism lack this ability to ascertain emotional status -- it's one of the signature characteristics of the disease. Help could be on the way for autistic individuals, though: A novel computer-vision system developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could do the mind reading for those who can't.

Two MIT researchers wore tiny cameras mounted on wire rods extending from their chests to demonstrate the Emotional Social Intelligence Prosthetic, or ESP, at the Body Sensor Networks 2006 international workshop at MIT's Media Lab last week. The video cameras captured facial expressions and head movements, then fed the information to a desktop computer that analyzed the data and gave real-time estimates of the individuals' mental states, in the form of color-coded graphs.

The system's software goes beyond tracking simple emotions like sadness and anger to estimate complex mental states like agreeing, disagreeing, thinking, confused, concentrating and interested. The goal is to put this mental state inference engine on a wearable platform and use it to augment or enhance social interactions, said Rana el Kaliouby, a postdoctoral researcher at the Media Lab.

"This is only possible now because of the progress made in affective computing, real-time machine perception and wearable technologies," she said.

The researchers are developing an outward-facing version of the ESP system with a cap-mounted camera connected to a wearable computer. People with autism spectrum disorders have a hard time determining others' emotions or even whether someone is paying attention to them. The system is designed to provide that missing information. Feedback could be visual or auditory messages describing the target person's mental state. It could also be tactile, like a vibration that cues the user to ask a question or move on to a new topic of conversation, said el Kaliouby.

Software featuring video clips or animated talking heads has been used for years to help people with autism learn to read faces. The MIT researchers want to go a step further to help people with autism learn about emotions and facial expressions in the context of their daily lives, using faces that are meaningful to them, said el Kaliouby.

The researchers are working with the Groden Center, a nonprofit educational and treatment center in Providence, Rhode Island, to organize a six-month test of the system with a group of adolescent boys with Asperger syndrome, which is similar to autism but milder.

In addition to the psychosocial prosthetic possibilities, the ESP system could help autism researchers collect data in the real world and quantify aspects of social behavior, such as how long a person with autism looks at other people's faces, said Matthew Goodwin, research coordinator at the Groden Center.

Though recent fears of an autism epidemic appear to be overblown, researchers generally hold that the disorder is becoming more prevalent, said Goodwin. The number of people with autism is difficult to pin down, but one in 500 children is a reasonable estimate, he said.

The ESP system also has potential as a personal relationship management tool, said el Kaliouby. "Suddenly you are aware of what faces you make during a conversation with your partner," she said. "Do you do enough eye contact? Are you always frowning or disagreeing?"

Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen

There is a stage in a child's life at which it cannot separate the religious from the merely festal character of Christmas or Easter. I have been told of a very small and very devout boy who was heard murmuring to himself on Easter morning a poem of his own composition which began 'Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen.' This seems to me, for his age, both admirable poetry and admirable piety. But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to distinguish the spiritual from the ritual and festal aspect of Easter; chocolate eggs will no longer seem sacramental. And once he has distinguished he must put one or the other first. If he puts the spiritual first he can still taste something of Easter in the chocolate eggs; if he puts the eggs first they will soon be no more than any other sweetmeat. They will have taken on an independent, and therefore a soon withering, life. - C. S. Lewis

Friday, April 14, 2006

A easter blessing for you!

I was just wandering down the hall when I spied the whiteboard which had a message on it... this is what I discovered - the handiwork of Hope

Pretty spot on for Good Friday - when we consider how Jesus died for us on the cross! Like her, I hope that we can stop and spend some time thinking about this! If a nine year old can do this, I am sure that a 33 year old like myself can too - Stop, think, pray!

Have a blessed easter in every way!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

live by faith

Sometimes life seems scary (living by sight), we look and it seems too hard, but what this verse requires of us is that we live by faith. We know that God will not let us down, that he never changes and that he is always there! He will catch us when we fall. :) What a fantastic promise.

And we can know that he always keeps his promises - Psalm 145:13.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.

How awesome is our God!

faith (f th)
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Pretty Cool - God always provides a way out from temptation. We don't always take it, or look for it... thinking it better to give in to the temptation.

We are lucky as christian's in that we can cry out to God and there will be a way out from under the temptation. Thanks God!

temp·ta·tion (tmp-tshn)
n 1: something that seduces or has the quality to seduce [syn: enticement]
2: the desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid; "he felt the temptation and his will power weakened"
3: the act of influencing by exciting hope or desire; "his enticements were shameless" [syn: enticement]

Monday, April 10, 2006

mainly music

I have been involved on the team of the local mainly music group at Manukau New Life for 2 terms now - and it is fun! If you have preschoolers this can be a great way to get out and meet new people and exercise those limbs. :) My children are now all school age (9, 7 & 6) but the 9 and 6 year olds still get a lot out of the group. Hope (9) helps a lot with set up and enjoys playing "mother-hen" to the little ones in the group.

If you click on the pic you will be taken to their website where you can find out more about Mainly Music and see if there is a group meeting near you.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

random acts of encouragement #2

"Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up." Proverbs 12:25

This verse was in my reading for today - I read the One Year Bible, New Living Translation most days. It's funny how God can be speaking to you about something and you get it from every which place. This is another of these occasions. :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

random acts of encouragement

When we encourage each other, we can bring the best out in each other (and in ourselves). When we say kind words, send a funny or thoughtful card, even write a quick email or send an instant message, we can make a person feel happy, hopeful and thankful. Encouraging other people is something we can do that has great power!

A hug, a pat on the back, a high five, a smile, kind words – these don’t cost us anything. They are free. Yet those things can mean more to us than lots of money when we need encouragement. Today, think of a way to obey God’s word and encourage another person – then do it! It’s fun, it’s easy, and you’ll feel great, too!

You’ve heard of random acts of kindness, but let’s do some random acts of encouragement (with less of the random – and more of the thoughtful!).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

You're Real and You're True

I am currently doing a missions course, run by the people who used to do the "Perspectives" course here in NZ - and it wasn't until I did the homework for this week that I realised that I had done this course 12-13 years ago when I was at Faith Bible College in Tauranga. My first thought was, "was it that long ago" and "I can't believe I have forgotten all this great information".

You see, I had forgotten that God has always been interested in the peoples of the earth (not just Israel - and then Christianity). It is woven throughout the whole bible - His love for us all!

Anywho, on another tangent, my good friend had a really neat thing to say to me tonight. She said, from across the other side of the room, "Dione, just a word I wanted to say, You're Real... You're Real and You're True."

So I thought I would find out what the dictionary says about those two words - just out of interest... I mean I know I am real - I am certainly not AI (like the bot I spoke to today igod). I pinched myself and I felt it... I am real, but I didn't realise that I came across as true. How neat and special for my friend to share her thoughts with me on that. Is that how people see me? How wonderful! :)

Anyway, word meanings....
re·al1 (rl, rl)
    1. Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence: real objects; a real illness.
    2. True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal: real people, not ghosts; a film based on real life.
    3. Of or founded on practical matters and concerns: a recent graduate experiencing the real world for the first time.
  1. Genuine and authentic; not artificial or spurious: real mink; real humility.
  2. Being no less than what is stated; worthy of the name: a real friend.
  3. Free of pretense, falsehood, or affectation: tourists hoping for a real experience on the guided tour.
  4. Not to be taken lightly; serious: in real trouble.
  5. Philosophy. Existing objectively in the world regardless of subjectivity or conventions of thought or language.
  6. Relating to, being, or having value reckoned by actual purchasing power: real income; real growth.
  7. Physics. Of, relating to, or being an image formed by light rays that converge in space.
  8. Mathematics. Of, relating to, or being a real number.
  9. Law. Of or relating to stationary or fixed property, such as buildings or land.
adv. Informal
Very: I'm real sorry about that.

  1. A thing or whole having actual existence. Often used with the: theories beyond the realm of the real.
  2. Mathematics. A real number.

for real Slang
Truly so in fact or actuality: “Is this place for real? A wolf in a... leisure suit and a cow in a print dress wait patiently on the couch in the lobby” (Teresa Carson).

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin relis, from Latin rs, thing. See r- in Indo-European Roots.]
realness n.
Synonyms: real, 1actual, true, existent
These adjectives mean not being imaginary but having verifiable existence. Real implies authenticity, genuineness, or factuality: Don't lose the bracelet; it's made of real gold. She showed real sympathy for my predicament. Actual means existing and not merely potential or possible: “rocks, trees... the actual world” (Henry David Thoreau). True implies consistency with fact, reality, or actuality: “It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true” (Bertrand Russell). Existent applies to what has life or being: Much of the beluga caviar existent in the world is found near the Caspian Sea. See also synonyms at authentic
true (tr)
adj. tru·er, tru·est
    1. Consistent with fact or reality; not false or erroneous. See Synonyms at real1. See Usage Note at fact.
    2. Truthful.
  1. Real; genuine. See Synonyms at authentic.
  2. Reliable; accurate: a true prophecy.
  3. Faithful, as to a friend, vow, or cause; loyal. See Synonyms at faithful.
  4. Sincerely felt or expressed; unfeigned: true grief.
  5. Fundamental; essential: his true motive.
  6. Rightful; legitimate: the true heir.
  7. Exactly conforming to a rule, standard, or pattern: trying to sing true B.
  8. Accurately shaped or fitted: a true wheel.
  9. Accurately placed, delivered, or thrown.
  10. Quick and exact in sensing and responding.
  11. Determined with reference to the earth's axis, not the magnetic poles: true north.
  12. Conforming to the definitive criteria of a natural group; typical: The horseshoe crab is not a true crab.
  13. Narrowly particularized; highly specific: spoke of probity in the truest sense of the word.
  14. Computer Science. Indicating one of two possible values taken by a variable in Boolean logic or a binary device.
  1. In accord with reality, fact, or truthfulness.
  2. Unswervingly; exactly: The archer aimed true.
  3. So as to conform to a type, standard, or pattern.
I hope that when people see me, that they do see someone who is real and true (authentic). I am praying that that will be shown through me more and more to others - that I could be "the city on a hill."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


stu·pid (stpd, sty-)
adj. stu·pid·er, stu·pid·est
  1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
  2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
  3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
  4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
  5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.
n. A stupid or foolish person.

[Latin stupidus, from stupre, to be stunned.]
stupid·ly adv.
stupid·ness n.


Interesting that the word stupid is used here. We have banned the word from use in our house - mainly because Aimee learnt it in the playground (when she was bullied last year) and was going around hitting herself on the head and yelling "stupid, stupid - Aimee is STUPID". I feel that words hold power and didn't like her doing or thinking this about herself - especially since it simply is NOT TRUE! So we have removed this "s" word from our family vocabulary.

Hope found this verse to be exceptionally difficult to even read today - I think it's because she is 9 and recieving correction is difficult for her, also she doesn't want to be considered stupid... Briahna, 6, I don't think even understood the verse - so didn't care either way.

It is a verse I have difficulty with too - I hate correction (does this mean I am stupid?!?). It is something I am working on - I am not perfect... :]

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What put Briahna to sleep at Cession on Sunday?

Was it Brett's lulling melodious voice?

Actually, she was sick with a stomach bug that came on suddenly and left just as quickly as it came...


This is the verse that the girls and I are memorising today. As you can see Hope got tired of colouring in the words with multi-colours - tired hand as it's a fairly big verse. ;)

It's a great one about knowledge - written by someone very wise (said to be one of the wisest men ever to walk the earth), King Solomon. I think it is interesting because he didn't say the "head" of the discerning acquires knowledge. He said the "heart". And it's the "ears" that seek it out.

I believe it is saying that if you want knowledge and discernment you need to listen to find it. Also, putting seek and heart in this verse, makes me think that you need to be looking for knowledge too - there needs to be an action on your own part. Wise people seek out knowledge, they listen for it and they want to know more. :D It's okay to want to learn and know more - we don't have to be vegetables (couch potatoes - anyone?!)

We need to put into action our desire to learn - seek knowledge with all your heart, not because you "have" (HEAD) to but because you "want"(HEART) to. Listen (EARS) for knowledge, you can't hear it unless you choose to open up those ear's.

I have been to church at times, wishing for the sermon to end so that I could get home and do my long to-do list waiting for me. I wasn't focussed on listening and never got anything out of what was said - was it the preacher's fault? In this case, I think not, although I suppose if the preacher was boring or lacked knowledge or for many other reason's it could've been his fault - are preacher's responsible for engaging the audience? I don't know about that and I am off on a tangent. :) In the case I am talking about, I believe I was at fault for not switching my ears toward the wisdom and knowledge coming from the pastor's mouth and from the Word of God. I was too busy thinking about other things on my list. We need to make listening a top priority if we want to gain knowledge and wisdom.

Monday, April 03, 2006


mu·ta·tion (my-tshn)
  1. The act or process of being altered or changed.
  2. An alteration or change, as in nature, form, or quality.
  3. Genetics.
    1. A change of the DNA sequence within a gene or chromosome of an organism resulting in the creation of a new character or trait not found in the parental type.
    2. The process by which such a change occurs in a chromosome, either through an alteration in the nucleotide sequence of the DNA coding for a gene or through a change in the physical arrangement of a chromosome.
    3. A mutant.
  4. Linguistics. The change that is caused in a sound by its assimilation to another sound, such as umlaut.

[Middle English mutacioun, from Old French mutacion, from Latin mtti, mttin-, from past participle of mtre, to change. See mutate.]
mu·tation·al adj.
mu·tation·al·ly adv.