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I know I should be writing further on Creating Significant Learning Experiences but I have been in a course all day so I have not had a chance.

The reason the whoops is in the title?  I fell asleep in class.  We got back late last night from the wedding in Brisbane and were playing catch up on sleep the whole time we were there so the two combined, a comfy seat and listening to a lecture after lunch was a killer.

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This is the last post for this week.  The project I have been working on is just about wrapped up and their is a wedding for me to go to so I will be away from my desk for a few days.

Breaks are good as a time to reconnecting, refreshing and hopefully kicking the cold I have picked up from somewhere.

So do you need a break?

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned but as part of my wonderful wife’s and I pre-marriage counselling we did a course called Engaged Encounter.  We liked it so much we wanted to be involved in doing this sort of thing.  Last week I was told about a similar course that a friend’s church runs so I looked it up last night.  In the process I found a whole heap of resources.  So they will be posted below.

Why do I think relationships are theological?  Partly because they reflect our relationship with God and we always could improve in that area.  Partky because I think God is relational; God did not send a book for us to know him but a living person, Jesus Christ.  Finally I think relationships are theological because God said it is not good for the man to be without a helper.  And to think I almost never use the phrase “God said it, that settles it” which is my thinking in this area.

So the resources I know of you can use to have better relationships are:

Worldwide Marriage Encounter

One for Life, Married for Life, Parents for Life

And feel free to check out your local Christian bookstore while not everything will suit you and your situation heaps will be helpful.

Every so often you have a conversation that is bizarre.  Last night we asked our super son what he had for a late snack at Kindergarten.  He replied “Mermaid on Pikelet.”

A few moments later after thinking of Marmite we realised he had eaten marmalade on his pikelet.

Just a random revelation of our life 🙂

Sydney Bauer has written, so far, three novels based on the character of David Cavanaugh.  I read one and then when I was returning it to the library the next one was available.

Undertow is obviously a first novel.  It explains too much at the beginning rather than let you find out.  I was thinking of giving it up until about 80 pages in when it started to twist and turn and ended up ratehr good.

Gospel did not have the first novel issues, in fact it was a very good second novel and I look forward to reading the third to see how Ms Bauer grows as an author.  I have read all of the Sue Grafton novels to date and see a similar growth in her story telling style.

The problem with this series is the incongruity of it.  Ms Bauer is an Australian who has obviously spent some time in Boston and may have other connections to the US of A.  Unfortunately she is writing a male, US character and seems to have him based more on an Australian and what an Australian would do than an American.  so his sport interests, his beer and his attitudes seem more Australian than American to me.

I am surprised at Ms Bauer’s consistent choice of murderer and admittedly while there is enough sense in the novels that they would commit the crime I am wondering if I see some sort of bias towards a certain type of character.

I will find out I suppose when I read the next novel.

This week has been busy for me as has been obvious by the (lask of) posts.  Today is no lighter just the necessity to keep writing is making me do this.

As part of all the meetings this week one person has confessed that God is convicting them of working in teams and having the other people around them to help and to sharpen them.  This is not a message many of us like to hear from God as it makes us realise our own weaknesses “I am not a team player” and prejudices “I like to only work with organised people”.

The funny thing if I was to say to married people what drives you nuts about your spouse I think it would be the same issue.  We are different and the differences feel so huge how can I work with this person?  I know I have committed to them but how do I work on this?  Funnily enough as i was thinking about this topic this morning there was a discussion on another blog concerning why romantic weekends are overrated and some of it gets down to working with the partners differences.  The post is good enough to read just for the quotes from Alaine de Bottom.

I could say like usual it gets back to commitment but its not just that.  If we have no positive reinforcment that we are connecting with people who are different to us then we will not engage.  Jesus when he left did not say “just be committed to me it will be all ok” he said “When I go another will come”.  We can not follow God out of a one way commited relationship.  God also gives us reinforcement that He is part of our lives.

You see we need one another to be the Body of Christ and we need one another to be conformed to the image of Christ.  Jesus did not leave us alone but left us his Spirit and his (spiritual) brothers and sisters.  Commitment is great but practical strategies are needed as well.

While I may talk about more practical strategies next week one that works consistently is getting a mutually agreed third party involved.  What I am effectviely saying is go to a counsellor together; don’t just have one of you go as that will breed distrust and resentment.  Or find a third person who can help the two people not getting along to work together in the same room.  That is one approach Jesus has given us – we all have the Spirit and He will help us get along as a body.

So where do you need to work with someone who is different?

I really wanted to write about what sort of good weekend I had except of course everyone was sick, I have had meetings galore and now I have to work on the outcomes of the meeting.

The weekend was nice even if it started on Friday with a trip to Vic Roads.  The last thing to do with the move to Melbourne was completed.  Our car and our licenses are now Victorian.  As JFK once once famously remarked about being a Jam donut “Ich Bin Berliner” I can now say “Ich Bin Victorian”.

From there I picked up my wonderful wife and celebrated her first week at her new job.

Saturday and Sunday was suffering with colds or virii but I am not sure which.  On Sunday friends came around to inform us of their engagement.  Finally!

So while a short post about the weekend at least we had one.  This weekend my good wife flies to Brisbane with our super son and I will join them later in the week after I have got my major projects completed.

When I was younger, there was a saying “Save for a rainy day”.  The idea as I remember it being explained was when something goes wrong you have invested in the right places and can draw on your savings hopefully with interest.

This weekend friends of ours came over to show us the engagement ring which had just been received.  In the process we got out a book, that is still on our lounge, my wife and I read when we were engaged.  A pastor I know used to call this sort of thing investing in your spouse.  It is the idea not so much of putting in to draw out on a rainy day but putting in so that there is a return with interest.

You see I am convinced many relationships stagnate not because whatever that brought them together has stopped, in many cases the common interests: sex, attraction or whatever are still present, it is that there has been no further investment.  To mix the metaphors the initial fuel was put into the relationship, enough to get it off the ground but then when it needed more fuel none was added and it came crashing down.  George Verwer was once asked why Operation Mobilisation did not invest in planes rather than boats.  He said “What happens when you run out of fuel?”  I’ll leave that to your imagination?

So how do you invest?  Well it may be spending time with the person or presents or other ways to show you love them.  It may be making room in your schedule to look after the kids so the spouse can have time ot themselves.  I know for me I regularly (about every year) purchase a new book on communication in marriage and similar areas to make sure I hear again the basics and put them into play.  And with all the people I know getting married – invest in pre-marriage counselling.  If you can start to resolve issues before marriage that will help in the long run.

What is theological about this?  Jesus said you will be known by your love.  Not known by your divorces.  We need as Christians to have strong, healthy relationships to be truly able to love one another.

So where will you invest today?

I should have a post about the weekend and another one reviewing L Dee Fink’s book.  Neither will happen today as I have been in a meeting this morning.

I have decided due to the large number of meetings that I have been in recently and a few more to go this week that meetings give work a new meaning which I am not sure I am familiar with.  That is ok but I get confused as to what is what sometimes and feel meetinged out and not having worked enough.

Oh well that is the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Ok this is not a consideration of a fiction novel, I have a few of those to give, but instead some comments on Prince Caspian.

I enjoyed the movie, the effects and the overall message.  It does intrigue me if The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is analogous to the ministry of Christ and the voyage of the Dawn Treader is analogus to the book of Revelation as the seven kings represent the seven churches is Prince Caspian analogous to the Reformation?  Just a thought.

There was lots of discussion in the family for this movie about the portrayal of the Telmarines.  I had imagined them much like they were portrayed – my wonderful wife and others more like Arabs.  I suppose we now have a model which will be seen and memorised from now on for kids.  I am happy the producers etc. thought closer to what I did than others – of course my imagination was more correct wasn’t it. 🙂

Now this is the second movie my son has seen at a drive-in the first was Cars.  He asked some fun questions like “Where has the train gone” and “Are they cutting up boys” but seemed to enjoy it sort of.  Which raises the other issue that some of my students have expressed concern about, why does this have a M rating?  That I can not answer other than my old addage, “In their movies, Americans hate sex and Australians hate violence”.

So overall I recommend the film and hope you enjoy it too.