Posted in Christian living, communication, cross cultural living, grandparenting, Life, Marriage, Parenthood

Love is – Not Arrogant or Rude

20170112_153645Arrogant: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.

Arrogant synonyms: haughtyconceitedhubristicself-importantopinionated, egotistic, full of oneself, superioroverbearingpompoushigh-handed, swaggering, boastfulbumptious, blustering, patronizing, condescendingdisdainfulcontemptuousimperiousproudvainimmodestloftylordlysnobbishsnobbyoverweeningsupercilioussmugpretentiousaffectedscornfulmocking, sneering, scoffing; informalhoity-toity, high and mighty, uppitysnootystuck-uptoffee-nosedfancy-pantssnotty, jumped up, too big for one’s boots, big-headed

Rude: offensively impolite or bad-mannered. “she had been rude to her boss”

Ill-mannered, bad mannered,  impolite,  discourteous,  impertinent,  insolent,  impudent,  cheeky,audaciouspresumptuousuncivildisrespectfulunmannerlyill-bred,  churlish,  crasscurtbrusquebluntungraciousgracelessbrashunpleasantdisagreeableoff-handshortsharpoffensiveinsultingderogatorydisparagingabusivetactlessundiplomaticuncomplimentaryuncharitableunchivalrousungallantungentlemanlyunladylikearchaic malapertcontumeliousrare underbred, mannerless

Love is not arrogant or rude. Hm..On looking at these I wonder at the times I have placed myself above others, with feelings of being of more importance. I also look at the synonyms of rude and see, sharp, short, offhand, unpleasant, disagreeable and see my myself in the mirror of His Word.

I know we are not condemned but the Word is a mirror and as I study the reflection of myself in it, I see the areas I still lack in walking in love!

Love is not arrogant, proud or rude. I am quick to judge others when they are rude to me, slight me, are disparaging, tactless etc, but judge my own self with a far less stringent measure, knowing I don’t intentionally aim to hurt others, yet think they do to me! I need to keep watch over my own self, my feelings and attitudes. It is no easy task and as I study this passage so easily quoted yet so hard to live, I am reminded that it is only by Grace are we able to walk this walk and live in that place of love. Love Him and others.

It is ok to love those who are friendly and loving toward us but when others turn their backs on us, treat us with contempt or hatred, are rude, arrogant, kill, maim, or torture us, how do we responded?

Do we respond in kind? One of my challenging scriptures (of which there are many) is the one that says we don’t trade insult for insult or evil for evil, but overcome evil with good! This is no small feat and again, it can only be done by His love outworking in us. We set the frame work of putting off those things of malice, bitterness, hatred, and putting on His clothing of humility and love.

Oh!!! This so easily flows off the keyboard or out of the mouth but to live this life…well like us all, I struggle to put off those things. Sometimes we continue to pick at the wound received, reciting, rehearsing the hurt, reliving the pain, and wonder why it starts to bleed again! Best to cover it with the soothing oil of love, and bandage it with His Grace and Mercy. Oh again so easily said, but such a challenge to do!

Anyway this is the mirror I stand in front of tonight as I think of Him and how He loved me even when I cursed His name and turned my eyes to the world, constantly looking for love, affirmation and security. His is the only love I can trust in fully and I must walk in that knowledge that I am so loved by Him and stand above reproach in the eyes of my God. So are you!

 

 

Posted in Christian living, communication, cross cultural living, Life, Parenthood, Philippines, Uncategorized

Philippines Journey – Whose Your Daddy?

Philippines Journey – Whose Your Daddy?!!

Again this post was written in 2014 after a nice trip up to Manila having a hot shower and sleeping on a comfortable bed (actually a bed and not a piece of foam on the floor) as well as putting on some glad rags for an amazing evening of celebration of the work accomplished in East Samar.

2014 reflections continue….

This week we had the privilege to meet some amazing world changers. The Alverez Foundation set up Pinoy Relief as their disaster relief foundation.  They have affected change using their influence to raise dollars towards amazing projects including, rebuilding schools, homes, and boats to re-establish the fishing fleets lost to the typhoon.

Appl.D.App was there cheering the family foundation on. Who is Appl.D.App I hear you over 50’s ask? Oh…Oh…(hand raised) I know……A singer from the Black Eyed Peas! You know the ones who sing, “Tonight’s going to be a good night!” I have to admit I didn’t have a clue. I know the song and had heard of Black Eyed Peas but didn’t know who Appl.D.App was. But what a nice guy! His story is amazing. He is a Filipino boy who was sponsored by an American and grew up to see his dreams fulfilled.  It’s a great story and he is now giving back to his homeland through promotions and support.

He was just one of the rich and famous at the “Thank You Gala” we attended on behalf of Pinoy Relief and Operation Blessing. So many influential people and for the two of us from the land down under it could have been just a little intimidating!

Paul and I arrived early (actually the first to arrive) which we didn’t mind. We had met the Alverez family the day before as they came for a tour of the work their support had made possible in the Guiuan area. We met the sons and daughter and other family members from New York- A world away from our “place.”  They were lovely people and keen to make a difference in their worlds.

As we sat on the open roof top of the building, only knowing a few people, everyone rocked up and we were feeling a lot like fish out of water – Then we looked up..

We saw the moon and the stars and the reality hit both of us at the same time! We may not be famous or have worldly wealthy but our Daddy made the heavens and earth that we are all sitting under and on: He measures the UNIVERSE in the palm of His hand!

Is 40:12 asks the question, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, marked off the heavens with a (nine-inch) span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance..?”

Whose my Daddy? The one who does that! How big is He? He marks off the heavens with His hand width. That’s pretty cool!

God really doesn’t have a problem with people being rich. His problem is when they forget who enabled them to get wealth and also warns us not to be consumed with riches. He instructs those with wealth to use it well and not wastefully. But we must all realize how infinitesimal in the scheme of the universe we all are!

Our God is big but also cares for the smallest sparrow that dies and knows the numbers of hairs on our head or lack thereof in some cases.  How can we ever feel intimidated by anyone in this world knowing who we belong to?

Today look up see the sun, see the moon, see the stars, smell the air, watch the waves, and know that Your Daddy is the one who made all that and you are His Heir!

Until next time

Look up and remember He’s your Daddy!

Blessings Narelle

A fun video for a fun night – Appl.D.App working the disco for the night!

 

 

 

Posted in Christian living, cross cultural living, Life, Love, Uncategorized

ANZAC DAY – Memories of Philippines Arena

Today in Australia is ANZAC day. The Day when Australia and New Zealand remember those who fell in wars around the world.

I am re-posting this blog I wrote in the Philippines when we were working not far from where he actually landed, returning after a major defeat!

Philippines Journey – MacArthur landing October 20th 1944

I said, to the people of the Philippines whence I came, I shall return. Tonight, I repeat those words: I shall return!” This famous saying of General Douglas MacArthur spoken in South Australia after fleeing the Philippines in 1942, rang out to comfort the people of the Philippines whom he loved and spoke courage into a flailing war arena.

General MacArthur was an amazing leader on so many levels. I had been watching the movie with Gregory Peck playing the famous character just prior to going to the Philippines. I was interested to learn about this man and his role in bringing victory to the Pacific. I was surprised when I learned that famous quote was spoken in Australia and our troops played a significant role in the emancipation and defense of the Pacific region.

Surprisingly “Red Beach” named for the blood shed there, was also the place where MacArthur and his entourage came ashore at Tacloban not far from where we are currently living. This week there were great celebrations held here to commemorate this landing.

A few weeks ago while they were preparing the pool for the celebrations we were able to stand right next to the statue of the great general.  I was very disappointed when on Monday while we were in Tacloban we were unable to get to the beach to see the President and dignitaries etc, pay respects to that day of victory.

However, I am inspired by his speech and his love he had for the people of the Philippines:

People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil—soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring upon a foundation of indestructible strength, the liberties of your people.

I see similarities to the walk of a believer and follower of Jesus.

Firstly we are assured of His return. What some initially perceived as defeat on the cross was in fact the world’s greatest victory: Triumphing over death and bringing eternal life. He will return to win the final victory over the forces of evil here on earth. His blood shed for us has given us so much: salvation, healing in every area of our lives, eternal life, and an abundant life here on earth.

Secondly we have the certainty that daily we have victory over those areas of our lives that we all struggle with. Sin is a battle that rages on every side of us but we know that our victor overcame it and we are seated with Him in heavenly places. We are and can live in freedom with great joy and peace!

Today as I read the history of this great place I am reminded that earthly wars still rage around the world but we have a promise that we have a foundation of indestructible strength and live in liberty given through that precious blood shed for the world. Be assured – He Shall Return.

Until next time

Blessings Narelle

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General MacArthur Stepping Ashore at Tacloban
Posted in Christian living, communication, cross cultural living, energy, Life, travel, Uncategorized

Philippines Journey – Communication – Non-communication! Dog poop to bowl???

November 2014

From Poop to Bowl!

Ok! I have lived for quite a few years overseas. I have taught on communication. I thought I had learned some lessons on effective communication but still I struggle with communicating effectively.

You think you have the message transposed across the wavelengths. You check and double check. You restate the information or question just to make sure you all understand each other yet somehow those wires just overlap, get tangled, or even get disconnected, creating tension, frustration, aggression and any other word you can find in a Thesaurus that explains anger….just to be sure I have communicated that effectively!

It’s not that you get angry really, you just want to tear your hair out or in Paul’s case tear out what little hair you have left! I think I am just a bit tired and not feeling well this week so it is wearing me out. Paul has been at it for months and his temper has wavered frequently since I arrived – could I be the reason! We have a Jewish girl here we connect with who has grown more grey hairs than a 27 year old would wish to have.

Well what are some keys to effective cross-cultural communication? Don’t know..next blog!

Just kidding..but really I am not sure I have the answers or any answers in fact, but there would have to be a few keys that are universal and do work to some degree.

  1. Feedback – make sure you have understood each other. Just because they say they know English doesn’t necessarily mean they do. Especially Australian accents and idioms. So Paul make sure you keep them to a minimum! Feedback also isn’t parroting. Say it differently in as many ways as you can possibly think so it cannot be misinterpreted and keep it simple.
  2. Patience – Listen to each other. Say it then repeat, then say it again. Wait until you see that light of recognition go on and then check again because it might be the wrong light bulb. Example: While trying to explain what not to put into compost, to the guy making me some signs, the conversation went something like this.

“No dog poop”

“Poop- what is poop”

“You know poo”

“Poo?” Blank look

“Yes a number 2,” Blank look!

Not being a swearer – the s word didn’t help me.

“Yes from your bowel. You know” me signalling which direction it would emanate.

“OH! Bowl!” he says as some light bulb goes off except he reaches for a plastic bowl discarded in the grass…

“No Bowel!” Says I..

Paul over hearing the prolonged conversation has had enough. He scours the yard and finds a dog poop!

“Oh! Poo…..” Finally the light bulb goes on and embarrassment hits as the young guy gets our meaning. Actually he did a great drawing poop on the sign although not sure others will know what it is.

So make sure the light bulb look is the correct light bulb look. So what was the lesson learned – not sure but it keeps us laughing..maybe that is a key..

Until next time

Farewell, goodbye, so long, bye bye,

Blessings Narelle

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Yes that is the picture of the dog poop we ended up with! What do you think?