Saturday, 31 March 2012

By the Way . . .

Here is a neat evangelistic website to check out that sends you tracks to use for free. Though based in New Zealand, I believe that they are willing to give send you some if you are outside the country, provided you ask them well in advance! I have included a sample picture of one tract, just to give you an idea of what they’re like. I just thought that it’s a great idea to check this out, as Easter is rapidly approaching – you never know what a difference one tract may make on someone’s life! 

http://www.tracts4u.org/

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Which reminds me . . . what should I do to spread the good news at Easter? Do you have any ideas or suggestions to help me out? Your help would be much appreciated! :-)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Violet: Hymns I Love #1–Who Am I?

I just got sent the link to this beautiful hymn which I'd never heard before, but I loved the lyrics so much I thought it was well worth sharing! 

I know old hymns are not what everybody likes, but I simply love the old hymns, and I personally think that, whether you be going through difficult or good times, it is the best kind of music in the world to be listening to! So that’s why I intend to do occasional posts showcasing my favourite hymns, in the hope that the Lord may use some of the words and beautiful melodies to draw us all closer to Him.

Stand firm in the knowledge that if you are His, the Lord will be with you always; during the good times and the bad, and that, unbelievable as it is, He really did send His Son to die for those of us who trust in Him alone for salvation. Truly, this hymn should inspire us to praise Him all the more, that He should die for sinners such as us!

My prayer is that these lyrics will move you, just as they moved me.

Your sister in Christ,
 Violet


Who Am I? (Hymn Lyrics)
When I think of how He left His home in Glory
Came and dwelt among the lowly such as I
To suffer shame and such disgrace
On Mount Calvary take my place
Then I ask myself a question, Who am I?

Who am I that a King would bleed and die for?
Who am I that He would pray "not my will Thine" for?
The answer I may never know, why He ever loved me so
That to an old rugged cross He'd go, for who am I?
 
For who am I?

Rare old Bible found in New Zealand!

I opened a newspaper today only to find this article in it, which was so fascinating (for me, anyway!) that I couldn’t resist sharing it with you all. We don’t get much history to read about in the papers in this corner of the world, much less history from as far back as the 1600s, so this was truly amazing. Simply follow the link to read more about the discovery of this really old Bible:


And for those who are interested, I’m aware that I haven’t done another history blog post in a fair while so expect one to come up soon!

God bless and have a lovely day!
Violet

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Sunshine of Friendship

So I decided to do another 'sunshine' post! And this one is about the Sunshine of Friendship, because I  have far too many friendship quotes for my own good, because I looove these gorgeous pictures, because friendship is such a good topic and because I couldn't wait to share my quotes and these pictures with you! I hope you like them!!! :)

"When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow." ~Romans 12:15~
 
"Friends pick us up when we fall down, and if they cannot pick us up, they lie down and listen for a while." ~Anon~ 
 
"A friend is someone who know the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words..." ~ D. Roberts~ 
 
"Friendship is borne of the moment when one person says to another, "What!" You too? I thought I was the only one." ~C.S.Lewis~
 
If you can laugh together, sing together, dance together, be crazy together, cry together, dream together and pray together, if you can trust one another, and know that you will be there for each other no matter what, then you are true friends. ~Anon~ 
 
"What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies." ~St Augustine ~ 
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for times of adversity." ~Proverbs 17:17~ 
"I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb'ring my good friends." ~William Shakespeare~
 
If someone is too tired to smile, leave one of your own. Because no one needs a smile as much as someone who has none to give. ~Anon~
 
The best friends are the ones you can lean on! ~Anon~
Me (Daisy) and Hyacinth! :D ♥
"Two are better than one - if one falls down, his friend can help him up!" ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a~
 
What did you think? Like my quotes? And aren't the pictures cute?? :) Just thought I'd finish up with a song from the old Disney movie - Oliver and Company - called You and Me Together. It is sung by a little girl to her kitten and I (personally) think it is one of the sweetest songs ever! ♥ 
 

Don't ever forget to be loyal to your friends, and to treasure them!! If they are like Lily, Violet and Hyacinth are for me, they will most definitely be worth treasuring!! :D 
"As you contiune down life's pathway, may you always know that you are never alone. He will always be with you and He can meet your every need." ~Anon~
Much love, 
Daisy

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A Fantastic Radio Station–True Light FM

True Light FM (87.8), based in the Manawatu Region in New Zealand,  has to be one of the most lovely radio stations to listen to! Specifically aimed at the elderly it airs a combination of classical music and hymns, with a Christian message or passage every half-hour.

The best news is that you don’t have to be in New Zealand to listen to this amazing radio station! Simply follow these instructions:

  1. Visit their website at http://www.truelightfm.co.nz/.
  2. Click on the ‘Listen Now’ icon
  3. If this does not work (it didn’t on my computer!), go to  ‘File’ then ‘Save page as’ and click ‘save’. Then when you find it (I saved it onto my desktop), simply click on it and it should play.

Their motto (which I think is really inspirational!) is: “The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.” -  John 1:19, which is where the name “True Light” originates.

Anyway, I highly recommend that you check it out! God bless and have a good week!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Cinnamon Pinwheel Scones

Well, this is one of my absolute favourite recipes, and it is such an easy one!! :) I made these to share Violet the other day and she asked me to put the recipe up - what more excuse did I need to make them again?? Haha. They are actually fairly similar to another recipe I saw on a different blog, but my family has been making them for years, which is funny :D I highly recommend them - they take about 5 minutes to prepare, and only 10 minutes to bake - a very quick and delicious snack! They are very healthy, and can be make gluten free by using 1 cup of rice flour, 1/2 cup of potato starch and 1/2 tapioca flour instead of normal flour, and dairy free by using rice or soy milk and dairy free margarine! Enjoy!!
♥ Daisy ♥
Ingredients:
2 cups flour                1/2 cup AND 1 tsp margarine
1/2 tsp salt                  1 Tbsp brown sugar
5 tsp baking powder     1/2 - 1 cup milk
1 tsp creme of tartar    Cinammon for filling

Method:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcuis.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and creme of tartar.
3. Add the margarine to the flour. 

4. Add the sugar to the mix, and
combine with fingertips. 
5. Pour in milk - between 1/2 and 1 cup
6. Mix together with a spoon, to form a
scone dough. 






7. Lay dough onto a floured board
and push out into an oblong. I would
recommend using a spoon, as this can
make your hands veeery sticky haha :D 





8. Spread the dough with a little more
margarine, and sprinkle on some
more brown sugar. 








9. Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top.
10. Roll the rectangle up longways
and slice into scone sized rolls. 
11. Put in the oven for 10 minutes, or
until lightly brown. Serve warm! 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A little bit of sunshine...

Okay, so this is a bit of a random post, but I hope you enjoy it anyway! :) I just decided that I have lots of quotes/good sayings I want to share, as well as some pictures I took on a recent family trip to Auckland - New Zealand's biggest city - so I thought I would pair up the quotes with the pictures :D Hope ya like it!! 
Atop Mount Roskill, in Auckland
"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebbles that cause you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path, and you will find that you have crossed the mountain." ~ Anon ~

"All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so." ~Joseph Joubert~ 

"Courage is shown when you go ahead, when you are thinking of turning back instead. Courage is doing what you have come to dread. See it through! God is always with you." 

The cross on Mount Roskill, over-looking the
city of Auckland
"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see." ~ Corrie Ten Boom~

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty will never really grow old." ~Franz Kafka~ 

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. 
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." ~Job 11:13-15~

"Life is not measured by the number of times we take breath, but by the number of moments which take our breath away..." ~Anon~

"Don't lose hope. When it gets darkest, the stars come out..."  

"The heavens declare the glory of God: the skies proclaim the works of His hand." ~Psalm 19:1~ 

♥ Daisy ♥

The Josties - “What Happy Is”

Oh dear, I really do seem to be developing an addiction to YouTube videos! But this one was so lovely, I had to share it. Have a good week everyone – and remember what it is to be truly happy! :)

Violet

Friday, 16 March 2012

The Balzats - Reconciliation Reel

Hi all!
Here is a Christian New Zealand family with exceptional talent for playing music! Daisy and I loved this music video so much that we just had to share it with you all! Enjoy!
Violet


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Time to Cherish...

I happen to have the best grandparents in the world, just sayin'. They have always been there for my family, and they will be for as long as they possibly can. But there was a time when I didn't see it that way. There was a time when I just saw my grandpa as grumpy and controlling, and my grandma as too fussy. But I didn't really know who they were then. But now I do, and I will never stop being glad of that!

My wonderful grandparents, enjoying our beach holiday
in September last year...
As a young person, growing up in a world totally different from the one my grandparents' generation grew up in, it often seems hard to relate to them, or, worse, you can't be bothered to try. "What is the use?" I thought. "Why should I bother if they don't try and relate to me?" I can see now how proud and conceited I was and feel terrible about it all. I must have hurt my grandparents so much!! And I know I hurt my mother, who desperately wanted me to know them as the people they truly are. 
First of all, they do try to relate to me, and second, they are the adults, it is not their responsibility to change for a young girl who is still learning about life. That is most certainly my responsibility. I can see now that it is definitely more beneficial for me to try and relate to them anyway - they are adults and they have seen so much of life that I can learn an awful lot from them! 
Once I finally managed to overcome my pride, I started to realise that my grandpa isn't actually grumpy that often - only when I am rude to him, or when he is in pain from his osteo-parosis - and he isn't controlling, he just likes to see things done correctly, and at the time they should be done! My grandma isn't too fussy, she just likes to make sure that everything is running smoothly and to make things easier for my mum. And as I discovered this, I learnt that they have so much to share with me, about life, the world and about their own histories, if I am just willing to listen.

Now, I am more than willing to do so - indeed, listening to their stories is one of my favourite things to do!! My grandpa is 83 now, and my grandma is 80, so I probably won't have that much longer with them, so, as my mum has been telling me for years, I need to treasure and cherish every moment the Lord allows me to share with them. And treasure and cherish I do! They have years of life experience to share with us, if we are just willing to give up a moment of our own time.

Its not just one's grandparents that one needs to learn to respect and listen to, I have discovered. By taking the time to listen to the elderly in my church and community, I have learnt so much, and it truly blesses them too - it is a real win-win situation!! :D

I thought I would finish up with an amazing story my Grandma told me the other day!! Hope you find it as interesting as I did!! :)

" When I was eleven, World War II was raging all over the world. I lived on a farm in a German area of South Africa, miles away from any fighting, but not far away enough to see the effects of it. 
In 1940, Italy joined the war, on the side of Germany." 
"Their leader, Mussolini, was an absolute war loving fool," puts in my Grandpa. 
"Yes, he was," continues my Grandma. "He loved Hitler, and fighting. However, the Italian people were not war-like - did not wish to fight - and the German soldiers looked down on their Italian comrades. Anyway, once they had been fighting for a while, a lot of Italian prisoners were taken. South Africa, which was a British ally, was where they were sent. Some prisoners lived in a prison camp in my home town of Pietermartizberg, and they could be hired out to work on people's farms. Our neighbors hired two of the Italian POWs (Prisoners of War) to work on their farm. And sometimes, they would come to our farm to play cards with us kids. At first we thought they would be strange, evil foreigners, but they weren't at all. They were just ordinary men, wishing, like us, that the war would end so that they could go home. One of the men was a bit rough, just an ordinary farmer forced into fighting, but the other was a true gentleman. He had been an opera singer in Rome before the war. It just goes to show that people from different cultures aren't actually that different from us! They are just people like you and me. Before the Italian POWs went home after the war, they built a chapel at their prison camp. It is still there today." 
The Italian chapel, built by the Italian POWs in
Pietermaritzberg 


That's right - I have its picture right here!
Phewf, well this post is most definitely long enough so I'll leave it at that!!  Hope you enjoy it!! :)
God bless, 
♥ Daisy ♥

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Courageous

I just watched Sherwood Pictures latest film - Courageous - with Hyacinth and Lily and I LOOOOOOVED it!!!! Released on September 30th 2011, this movie is, I am proud to announce, my new favourite movie! :D Written by Steven and Alex Kendrick, directed by Alex Kendrick, and starring Alex Kendrick (wow, he must have been super busy!!), Ken Bevel, Kevin Downes and Tony Stallings, Courageous is an inspiring story of how four ordinary men made a promise that would change their lives forever.

Flywheel was good, Facing the Giants was great, Fireproof was amazing (what is it with all the names starting with "f" haha?) but Courageous was incredible! Sherwood Pictures, an independent Christian  movie company which was formed by a church in Albany, Georgia. They have come a long way over their four movies, and wow, am I glad the Lord called them to make this film!! Courageous is a fast-paced, cleverly written, morally  sound film - presenting a message which needed presenting. It is 100% clean, having received the Dove Foundation's Family Approved Seal, and is thoroughly enjoyable for people of all ages.Younger children may be scared by some of the high action scenes, but that is all!   It covers serious issues, yet it also has some of the funniest scenes I have seen for a long time in it!

That is all I have to say about it - I don't want to spoil any of the story line for you!! :) Highly recommended - watch it, buy it, share it with your friends and family - this is a movie everyone should see!!
Daisy ♥




Friday, 9 March 2012

Dear Jane Austen . . .

Hi Everyone! Just found this super-cool video on YouTube and just HAD to share it with you all! It’s by New Zealand artist Holly Christina (check out her website at http://www.hollychristina.co.nz/) and transports us back to those “good old days”! I find I can really identify with the lyrics, as I love history so much that I often wish I could be transported back in time. So any other history lovers out there are bound to be smiling away as they watch this, just as I was! Anyway, here is the link. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A History Lesson #1

Hi again all! 

I must confess that we’ve all been pretty bad at updating our blog recently for many different reasons – one of us is on a short holiday, I am suffering from a cold, and the rest of us are stuck back into our daily routines for the year, which leaves little time for writing. And collaborating also takes a lot of time and effort! Not that we mind! 

So to fill in the gaps, I thought that perhaps I (Violet) could give you occasional tours on what I am learning throughout the year. An ex-homeschooler, I am now in a secular environment, which poses many problems of its own. Particularly taking the subjects that I do (all social sciences – history, geography, classical studies, social studies - as well as English!), I sometimes find it very difficult to weigh up what I am being taught with what I believe, and with what the Bible says. So whoever you are, your prayers would be much appreciated! Smile And of course comments are welcome and greatly appreciated, particularly if you have any advice for me. Thanks!

And just to warn you in advance – I am a novice at this, and so am likely to get my facts a little muddled up at times, as after all, I am only reporting on what I am learning as I am learning it! What I am trying to say is, if you are a fellow history student, please, please, please do not read this as you would an encyclopaedia or some other academic source. Rather, I hope this will encourage you to look further and investigate more on what I am writing about, as it really is fascinating (at least, I think it is)! I am, of course, aware that some of you would find this mind-numbingly boring – I will attempt to make it as interesting as I can, but history is honestly not for everyone! Feel free to skip these blog posts and look at other things which are of more interest to you (I see that Daisy posted a delicious-looking pizza recipe recently . . . )

This year in history we’ve been looking at New Zealand history in the 19th century (1800 to 1900), so for all of those people outside of New Zealand who look at our blog, you may learn some really interesting new things! Enjoy . . .
~

First encounter (with Tasman) between Maori and Europeans
I guess I’d better start at the beginning of the topic, although I am proud of the fact that we have now finally graduated from chapter 1 in our text book and are now into chapter 2! But to be fair on those of you who have not been learning with me, I will get you to cast your mind way back now, into 1642 AD, when Abel Tasman was making a long sea voyage. In December of that year, they spied land, and cast anchor in a region now known as Golden Bay (New Zealanders will hopefully know where it is, if you don’t, click here).

Captain James Cook
However, Abel Tasman was not the first human to see New Zealand. In fact, some descendants of East Polynesians, who were later to call themselves collectively as “Maori” had already been residing there since around 750-1200 AD. They had quickly adjusted to the dramatic changes New Zealand’s different environment provided (for example, in New Zealand were huge birds known as moa, utterly unknown elsewhere around the world – now extinct for those who may be wondering!), and had developed their own form of social hierarchy and organisation. The immediate problem for Tasman and his crew at this point though, was language barriers! Neither side understood the other, and so this initial encounter ended in some bloodshed and death, enough to scare Europeans away from the country for a further 127 years.

The next European to come to New Zealand was Captain James Cook. I don’t have time to go into much about him now, but he had a Tahitian aboard called Tupaia who was able to do basic translating between Maori and Europeans. There were still some small skirmishes, but this and Captain Cook’s intelligent decision to not stay too long in one area meant that they avoided any major confrontations. The thing I find most amazing about Captain Cook was his ability to draw stunningly accurate maps despite limited technology (obviously they didn’t have satellites back then!). I read or heard somewhere that one map he drew of New Zealand was so accurate that they continued to use it in school textbooks over a century later. I don’t know whether that is true or not, but this map he drew certainly makes me believe that it is likely (click here to see it).

That’s all I have time for now, I’m afraid! Sad smile I look forward to hearing your thoughts on any of this, and if I am inaccurate with anything, please let me know!

~

Sorry that this wasn’t a very informative post on the history side of things, I just did the typical Violet thing, which was to ramble on and on and therefore run out of time! Hope you enjoyed the little I did share and I look forward to writing more soon!

The sources I used were:
  • The notes my teacher gave me (thank you)!
  • Pictures are from wikipedia (just click on them to follow the links!)
  • Olssen, Erik, Stenson, Marsia,  A Century of Change, Auckland, Longman Paul Ltd, second edition, 1989 (pages 1,2)