Are you really anti-abortion, or are you just trying to sell products?

Dear Elevit,

I was surprised the other day, as I was watching TV, to come across your advertisement for Elevit with Iodine.

So much of what we see in the media plays down the value of life in the womb, and it does so because that’s what people want. They want to feel like abortion is okay. They want to feel like it’s not really a person in there, that it is scientifically ‘just tissue’ and that they, therefore, have the right to choose what happens to their body. They want to feel that way, because life is tough, and sometimes things happen, and they want a way out that doesn’t come laden with guilt and shame.

So that’s normally what they give us.

Which is why, Elevit, I was surprised by your ad. This is how it began: “When you’re trying to get pregnant, by the time you find out you are, a little person is already coming to life…”

Hang on. ‘Before you know you’re pregnant.’ So that’s within, what, the first six weeks since conception? And you’re saying it’s already a little person? That’s a big call Elevit, a big call.

And I’d commend you, except I’m wondering this: Do you really believe that, or are you just trying to sell tablets to women who are ‘trying to get pregnant?’

Because sometimes I wonder whether we change the meaning of the word ‘person’ and ‘life’ to suit our agenda. And that’s not cool with me.

When Richard Dawkins admits the possiblity of intelligent design…

882672_81892904Some time ago I watched a fascinating documentary by Ben Stein about the shocking prejudice existent in universities around the world towards scholars and professors who believe in intelligent design. (Here’s the link for part one of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed )

What astonished me more than anything in the entire film, was when Stein interviewed Richard Dawkins, the world’s most prominent atheist.

Dawkins’ answer to one of humanity’s biggest questions regarding the origin of life was both refreshingly and shockingly honest. While ‘science’ allows us to believe they can explain the existence of the universe apart from God, Dawkins brought to light this fundamental truth. THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW LIFE BEGAN!

When questioned, Dawkins had to concede that it is possible that life on earth may have been designed by another life form of very high intelligence, and that evidence for that designer could be found.small

He did go on to qualify that (as he does not believe in any god) this supremely intelligent life form must have somehow evolved (only moving the problem back a step.)

Either way it seems that modern science can offer us these two things about the origins of life: That they have no idea how it actually came about, and that intelligent design is a plausible option that would answer a lot of questions.

What a shame that people who believe in the latter are condemned as un-scholarly, when all that remains for the ‘scholars’ to cling to is the former.

Here is the 2min clip in which Dawkins accepts the option of intelligent design.

Beauty in the Strangest Places

IMG_1272464560519683A friend of mine posted this picture a while back, and I saved it because it captivated me. It’s clever, it’s funny and it’s beautiful.

It reminds me of the last time I was in Germany. I regularly saw huge paintings like this on the side of buildings. In a country in which the skies are often grey, things like this can really lift your spirits.

We live in a world that can so often become monotonous. Sometimes it feels like all we do is eat, sleep, work and commute. The cares of this world can weigh us down, and the never-ending power lines, roads, skyscrapers and reams of paper can prevail in sapping the beauty out of life.

But the beauty is still there.

I encourage you, as you go through your day, to look for something beautiful; it can be found in the strangest of places.

What beauty have you seen today?

Who’s Building Your Life?

This is one of the big questions that I wrestle with often in my life.

A pastor at my church once asked me something that I never forgot, and that has come back to mind many times since: “Sarah, whose kingdom are you building?”

engineer-plans-913660-mSo often, in fact I’d even say on a daily basis, I am consumed with building my own kingdom. I find myself orchestrating things to make my life better, to achieve some kind of greatness of my own.

But you know what? That’s not what I was saved for. I was saved to be a living sacrifice, to be a faithful worker in the building of His kingdom. I was saved to lay down my life and let Him build it as He desires.

I was convicted this morning about laying down my own plans for my life. It is so easy to become reliant on self and to become proud of what we achieve ‘on our own.’ (As if we could do anything on our own!) It’s so difficult to humble ourselves before God, but, as one of my pastor’s said yesterday, when we give everything up for the sake of His kingdom over our own, we discover that He knows how to bless us far beyond anything we ever could have constructed for ourselves.

Let God build your life, He’s guaranteed to do a better job.

When the world gets stifling…

305404_10150342156123143_1587486762_n

I have a lot of things on my mind at the moment. Nothing major, just all together they start to add up. I find my mind spinning with plans, agendas, moral issues and sometimes fears.

My mind is so busy, that it’s time to stop for a minute and think about some things that I love; the simple things; the things that are still there when all the busyness fades away.

Today I’m thinking about the night sky. Living in the city I don’t always get to see it in all it’s glory, but it makes it all the more special when I get out into the country and lie in a field and become captivated by the vastness of the sky. I love to drink in the millions of stars and the complexity of the universe.

Somehow the more complex the natural world appears, the less complex my life seems, because it reminds me that I have a God who holds it all in His hands.

My life and its complications will fade away, but my ability to wonder over and delight in the complexity of God will live on for an eternity.

So, when the world gets stifling, it’s often time to look beyond. Beyond our politics and selfishness and general humanity, beyond time even, beyond this world to the eternity that we are to live for. And if eternity had a face, for me, it would look like the night sky.

Life Begins at … Singleness

1079363_26838634Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty: Life is pretty tough until you grow up and meet your prince charming and live happily ever after.

With a steady diet of classic fantasies, is it any wonder that countless girls grow up believing that life begins with the meeting of that perfect man?

While the Disney princesses may not have been forefront in my mind, it’s certainly the attitude I tended to have during my teen years. Romance, love and marriage were going to be a given for me. If I’d known I was going to be 28 and still single, I’d have died (in a teenage drama type way.)

I lead a fabulously rich single life, and I wouldn’t take any of it back, but isn’t it a shame that it took me until my mid 20s to decide (and yes, it largely had to be a decision) that life didn’t start at marriage?

Before that, my mind was far too consumed with how and where and when I was going to meet that perfect person. I felt like I couldn’t possibly know where my life was headed until I met them. I felt a bit like I was in a holding pattern.

Eventually I woke up to the reality that life begins at singleness. I wasn’t supposed to be hanging around waiting; God had a plan for me.

His plan means my life is going somewhere whether there’s a man involved or not. And it’s a great life.

The Art of Enjoying Normality

Photo Credit: stock.xchng green grass

My year 12 students and I saw a play last week. It was called Random, by Debbie Tucker Green.

Afterwards as we debriefed, (they have to do an assignment on it of course – I know, we’re such killjoys) we discussed the way in which it deals with the supreme value of normality. This, as with many precious things, is not fully realised until it’s taken from us. Joni Mitchell got it right when she sang ‘Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.’

In the last few years I have purposed to try to live in such a way that I appreciate NOW those things that I am likely to appreciate later: being young, being single, freedom, travel, peace…
I am also learning to appreciate the little things. We live in a culture and a generation that seems to have subscribed to the idea that we could, quite possibly, die from boredom. I have learnt that, not only will it not kill me, but that I should find deep contentment in it.

On my overseas travels, I have been faced with countless scary times, way out of my comfort zone, when I longed to be sitting at home on my bed, bored. So when I find myself surrounded by silence and the monotony of normality, I try to remind myself that this is the grass that seems greener from the other side.

Sometimes it’s a baby… sometimes it’s just tissue.

Life at 12 weeks

Life at 12 weeks

I was shocked to read this article about John Andrew Weldon who has been charged this week with first degree murder for allegedly tricking his girlfriend into taking an abortive pill when he found out that she was pregnant.

I am shocked not so much by what he did (which is truly horrifying) but by the blatant inconsistency between what is classified as ‘pre-meditated murder’ and what is classified as ‘abortive removal of embryonic tissue.’

When a woman becomes pregnant and wants to keep it, it becomes, in the eyes of the law, a human being who has the protection of the law against any third party who would do it any harm.

When a woman becomes pregnant and doesn’t want to keep it, it is merely a collection of cells that can be disposed of by a common and legal ‘procedure.’

Since when does the definition of life or humanity depend on whether the woman carrying it wants it to be there or not?

How do you know… if it’s a date?

Photo Credit: april-mo. flickr

I’ve pondered this one. My girlfriends have pondered it. My guy friends have pondered it. And no one seems to have a definitive answer.

Sure, it’s usually not a life or death question, but I have known of a woman who almost choked on her meal when it became abundantly clear to her that she didn’t know the answer to this question in relation to the man sitting across from her.

I have a feeling that the Yanks (is that still a politically okay term to use?) may have this one fairly down pat… in fact, so might every other country… but for us Aussies, it seems to be a vague free-for-all in which everyone has their own opinion and people go out on one-on-one-catch-up-non-date-thingies at their own peril, unsure of whether or not their own personal anatomy-of-a-date matches up with their partner’s (or non partner maybe, because really we don’t know.)

Of course we’re not complete imbeciles. If they make a move, it’s (probably) a date, if they arrive on your doorstep with flowers, it’s (probably) a date, if they talk about another person that they’re interested in, it’s (probably) not a date. But as for everything in between? Well you never can tell.

So, for the Aussies: What constitutes a date for you?

And for the non-Aussies out there: What are the ‘rules’ in your country?

Please comment, it just may save a life.

Octopus, rain and a kitchen table (Or: the work dinner that will happen again)

532035_534912026540235_1661749161_nI admit I was sceptical about my work dinner.  We were from different generations; different walks of life. Outside the teacher-prep room would we have much to talk about?

Our small office group met at a rustic-meets-modern restaurant, just outside town. It was already dark and after a drink at the beautiful redwood bar, we took our seats around a large wooden table, reminiscent of that in a farm kitchen.

The restaurant specialised in tapas, and we gave the chef his head to bring out whatever he chose.

The food was divine. As the night meandered on we feasted on fresh bread, olives, pesto and chorizo, complimented by the most exquisite duck and shitake spring rolls. Our plates were cleared and they brought out squid and lightly crumbed octopus with huge char-grilled prawns, followed by sticky beef ribs and piri piri chicken. We ate slowly, savouring the delicacy of the flavours; the perfection of the combinations.

We laughed and talked about life, and travel and film; and we ate.

521390_555129011185203_352396500_n

Gradually the restaurant cleared and we sat back contented as they brought coffee. The open door brought the fresh smell of new rain from the darkened street. We were the last ones there and chatted to the owner and chef as they stood at the bar.

After four hours we left, knowing that we had been a part of something special: the harmonious meeting of work and life.