I know, I know, many people write incredibly deep stuff on their blogs, spiritual stuff, and the stuff that makes for really good reading, even controversial stuff.

I pride myself on the ordinary! Like the Resurrection of an old sleeping bag.

jan-09-019You may remember that I got a new sleeping bag for my birthday/Christmas due to the fact that my 21 year old bag was torn, stitched, torn, stitched and… torn again. But I could not bring myself to throw it out after getting a new one (sleeping bags are a big deal to me you might have noticed).

jan-09-022So … In order to fully resurrect the old bag, it not only needed stitching but re-filling with down (as in the chest fluff of a small duck) Where would I find such material other than down at the local lake? Haaaa – When I was in Nepal in 1987 I remember buying a massive down jacket that was used in a NZ attempt on Mt Everest and sold to me after the attempt failed. I used this whilst up in the snow in the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal – and not once since! So I dug it out of a box and Christine and I started slicing and transferring fluff from the jacket into the bag.

jan-09-023The bag had 220 grams of fluff added to it taking it from a 1200g bag to a 1520g bag, not too bad. I think I just took it back down to about a -3 degree bag. But in the process Christine and I had some fun filling the house with VERY small feathery stuff!

Well, my bowels are running active! My stomach churns, my brain is fuzzy…it is boxing day.

I ate too much, I drank a bit, I am not a big drinker but 5 beers and a glass of wine over a day exceeds my normal limit by a long shot. And stuff… we seemed to bring more stuff home than we took!

Gifts, now I love stuff. For as much as I protest the consumer ways of our society I am the first one to put up my hand and say “I love stuff”. I have my weaknesses – Books, Outdoor Gear, Hardwear stuff, Comupter Stuff and so on…

Yes, I did manage to receive and give away a few goats, wells and mosquito nets to those with less than me in the third world, but it did feel token. I sometimes wonder what I would feel like if I asked for nothing. Just whatever I was to gain at Christmas defer it all…all elsewhere! My brother played a trick on me last night. We always get a stocking from Mum and Dad, to this day we have gotten ourselves a stocking filled with funny, useful, playful or just plain silly stuff every year. (Deodorant, blue-tack, a bouncy ball, a Tupperware bottle top opener, a stick of sunscreen and so on. Every year my bro and I wait for the other to open everything first and then proceed to open our stocking stash and pretend that there is an extra gift for me, a more expensive one. But it is never the case as Mum makes sure the stockings are identical, this is the case for Scotty our brother in law also. This year something backfired. Clint and Scotty set me up. They had gotten into the stockings and loaded their with extra wrapped gifts. Old watch boxes with some old watches in them and so on. And for me, they had a ‘fake’ stocking filled with crap like a lemon, a wrapped potato and so on. I wasn’t sure what was going on. Even after I guessed they had placed into my bag the lemon etc, I still couldn’t quite work out how they ended up with a watch each and I had a stick of roll-on. They were both playing it up… “Ohhh look at this lovely Seiko under water watch I got in my stocking”. I said,  “Well I did get a nice sleeping bag for my birthday last week, I shouldn’t get a watch too” They were in hysterics watching me squirm and pretend I had not been dealt a dud stocking! Very funny boys! The watches were fake and we all had a laugh.

I got some nice gifts. This nice Apple MAc bluetooth keyboard and matching Mighty Mouse!


I got more books than you can poke a stick at. In fact Youth Vision gave me a voucher as a bye bye gift for $100 which I hated having in my wallet so I zipped straight down to the Bookshop Cafe in Como – THE best cafe Bookshop in Perth and spent it.

- Daughters and Their Dads, Bruce Robinson (A great local Perth guy)

- Man In The Dark, Paul Auster

- The Tall Man, Chloe Hooper

Then Kathy bought me 2 trashy kinds of novels for Christmas, and these are added to the list I made in the post or 2 below, that is sitting waiting to be read and Gillead which is being enjoyed right now. But I visited my cousin, Renee, just before Christmas, she is a Noongar Aboriginal. And we got to talking about books and movies one should read on indigenous issues, here is what she gave me to read;

- Two Men Dreaming, James Cowan

- An Aboriginal Mother Tells of the Old and The New, Labumore:Else Roughsey

- Voices of Aboriginal Australia, Irene Moores

- The World of the First Australians, R.M. & C.H. Berndt

There should be enough reading here for the next few years!

This year more than ever I heard adults say when asked the questions, :What do you want for Christmas?” - “Nothing really, I have everything I want. I I wanted anything during the year I just went out and bought it, so now it’s Christmas there is nothing I can think of that I need to tell people to get me”

What is behind this statement? This is not a judgement, just a question. What does that statement say about our prosperous times and culture? If I want a kayak, I just either wait for my tax and go and get it, or just put it on the card. No or little delayed gratification, just go and get it. If I want a new x-box, or a new TV and surround sound set up, a new woodwork tool – I just go and buy it.

So Christmas comes around and I want for nothing! Is this a good thing? Should I save up all my wants get them at Christmas? Or should I not? Is that not what Christmas should be about anyway? Should I just ask for socks and jocks and spend my time worrying about other people gifts? I think I would appreciate a gift more if I have thought about getting it all year. Hmm not sure.

Hey. Have yourselves a great post Christmas, have fun playing on the new totem tennis set, riding the new bikes, watching the kids stack it on the rip stick, surfing the new body board, straightening your hair with the new heat thingy, laying on the floor for hours playing with littlest pet shop toys or just curled up in the corner reading the new book.

I am heading to Cambodia with the family next April for 2 weeks, but I am leaving them to fend for themselves from Singapore to Perth as I am heading up to Thailand for 2 weeks with the OnEARTH programme that I run for GMP.

If you like the sound of a 12 week study in the book of Acts in missional living (Ignition) and a weekend with the homeless in Perth as well as 2 weeks in Northern Thailand, Give me a yell!


You may remember a post I made a few weeks ago, it went something like this -

My Grandpa Harold Vawser (95) is in his final stages of life, could be hours, maybe days, weeks if his body holds out that long.
He has recently been moved from his nursing home to Royal Perth Hospital with septicemia, pneumonia and urinary tract infection, that, added to his chronic diabetes, is making life a little uncomfortable for him to say the least.
He has been up and down for a few weeks in there at RPH, but when I visited before Halls Creek he was on an ‘up’ and it was good to be there and chat and pray with him with Mum and Dad for a while… read the rest

Well, it took him a while, he hung on with all he could! But finally today he passed away, just a few minutes ago! It was what we all wanted, he was keen to be out of pain and with his maker! – VERY keen!

I loved him a lot, he was a great man, a man who loved Jesus and loved people, enough said I reckon – that would be enough for me I think.

Goodbye Harold Vawser, you were an inspiration, thanks for loving me!

My Grandpa Harold Vawser (95) is in his final stages of life, could be hours, maybe days, weeks if his body holds out that long.
He has recently been moved from his nursing home to Royal Perth Hospital with septicemia, pneumonia and urinary tract infection, that, added to his chronic diabetes, is making life a little uncomfortable for him to say the least.
He has been up and down for a few weeks in there at RPH, but when I visited before Halls Creek he was on an ‘up’ and it was good to be there and chat and pray with him with Mum and Dad for a while.
Yesterday I got the low down from Mum and Dad (Grandpa’s son) on how he is. Before I tell you this, you need to know my Pop has a deep faith in God and is strongly evangelistic, nothing moves around Pop without hearing something of the good news of the Kingdom of God.
He is very sick, almost delierious with his body fighting all these infections and doing its best to stay alive, in this state it seems like he is making his final stand for his God.
He is endlessly preaching evangelistic sermons and quoting scriptures and calling out the Lord’s Prayer … “OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN HALLOWED BE THY NAME…”
The lady opposite asked my Mum, “Was he a preacher, coz he is sure doing a lot of it!”

I guess with his diminishing health and the loss of Grandma some years ago Grandpa was keen to go a long time ago, he has said as much – often.
But now it would seem (from his body at least) that his time has come, and he knows it!

I guessGranpa, like you and I was not perfect. But what I could say was that he loved Jesus with a passion that I have never seen in anyone, he would have given his life for his family, his whole family, son, daughters, their partners and their kids and now their kids too. He has prayed for us, been interested in everything we are doing, helped us in financial ways and with words of encouragement and words of scripture (in EVERY birthday and Christmas card he has ever given!!).

I think when I look at Pop, I see very real life, a very rich life. Not one that has ended with a big bank account (Nope no big cheques heading my way!) but one that seems to be ending with a family that loves him around his bedside, and the words of his deeply beloved God resounding in his mouth (and the ears of everyone on that floor of the hospital!)

On Ya Grandpa – Well done good and faithful servant – enter into your rest now.

We have just returned from a quick zip around the bush. It is the best time of year to go camping out Hyden(Wave Rock) direction. We took in York, Bruce Rock, Hyden, Pingeley, Narrogin and you name every other town out that way. We bush camped and apart from some light rain and a bit of cold wind occassionally we have pretty good weather.  I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for Aussie Orchids and we saw squillions of them, about 5 or so varieties. We saw lots of other sorts of flowers and a few animals and odd looking insects!

Anyway, as Amy is sitting next to me wanting to use this computer, I will post just one snap for now.

Here it is -

Well the shed is a mess, the grass in dying outside it, the garage where we pump the diesel into our cars looks like a petrol station around the diesel pump and the driveway has big oil stains all over it.

But – between the 3 using it at present we have driven about 1000km on our home made juice!

It is midnight and I have just come in from the shed.
I don’t have a good feeling about this 100L for some reason, well, a good reason really. Normally I can see the reaction taking place as it pumps through the tank for 2 hours, but not tonight. I see very little, if any glycerol settling in the view tube. I was going to transfer it over to the new settlement tank and run another batch of 100L through (we have 400L of oil sitting waiting for processing!)
Anyway I have come inside, I will wait for morning and see it has reacted.

Poor Sophie (7) is grunting and groaning as she has a throat infection and is feeling very off indeed! You just want to go in and cuddle her and make her better :(

Christine takes a great photo. I know we all like shots of the kids being cute and all, but this one is on our desktop at home and I love it.

The second part of our holiday was 3 days in the South West camping. We were a bit concerned with weather warnings all over the state, but we managed to miss the worst of it.
We were camping at Hamlin Hollow, Contos Field on Caves Road, not far up from Augusta.

We climbed through Giants cave, a self guided cave that takes about 1.5 hours, the kids loved it as much as it was a bit scary in parts where you have to get through small tunnel like bits.

We drove along the coast track from Contos to Point rd and took Point straight back to Caves Rd. This Point Rd was heaps of fun, a good 4WD track with some big water over the track and lots of ugly rocks! The kids loved every minute…so did Dad, Mum loved it, although I am aware that essentially this is her car and every time we scratched the paint or bottomed out I think she wondered if she would have her car back.

We also took the Kilcarnup track one day, now that was an amazing track – LOTS of fun! Of course I didn’t buy this car because it was a 4WD, just because it was a diesel…a FUN diesel!

The showers seems to move around us mostly. We had a big tarp over the tents, which gave us extra security in case of big rain and we didn’t really get any until the last night – we woke up dry.

We roasted marshmallows and had marshmallow and chocolate burritos on the hotplate on the fire.
We did a night hike looking for possums but didn’t find anything but an appetite
We saw Bandicoots, Possums, Owls, roos, Kookaburras and more.

We had Simmos ice cream…HMMM

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