July 2013 – Christmas in July

The month of July is perhaps the most delightful time of the year in Queensland. The catch phrase “Beautiful one Day, Perfect the Next” is never so true as it is in July.

Its no wonder celebrating “Christmas in July” is so popular with Queenslanders. It’s usually the chilliest time of the year that brings out the winter woolies in the evenings. During the day it is magnificent,  normally 23 degree celsius with perfect cloudless sunny days.

I have learned to celebrate with Queenslanders especially after winning the State of Origin Rugby League series for the 8th time in a row. “State of Origin football” is a fanatical obsession with many Queenslanders!

Much has happened on the family front this month, that also has brought much joy.

The visit to Brisbane of the Super Aircraft Carrier USS George Washington gave me a good excuse to check out my boyish intrigue in all things “war games”.

It so happened our grandson Harry was home from America visiting his father, so we took the opportunity to view the great ship on the Brisbane river an educate ourselves of its importance. The American nuclear-powered supercarrier, is the sixth ship in the Nimitz class and the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after George Washington, the first President of the United States. It was built in 1986 and launched on July 21, 1990.

During July, Betty has been putting the finishing touches to her book “Just a Girl”, the life story of a missionary colleague Evelyn Westbrook. It is soon to be published. Interestingly it is being printed by Panther Print which is owed by Greg Beech, the son of Les Beech a former missionary school teacher who served in the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea. 

She has also been busy attending to the needs of our grandchildren, which was highlighted when she used her home grown dressmaking skills to convert a second hand wedding dress from a Salvation Army Op shop, to create a “Mary Poppins” outfit for our oldest granddaughter Rebekah.

Guess what? Becky won the 1st prize in her division of the fancy dress competition at the school camp! One camper’s comment “The most stunning Mary Poppins I’ve ever seen”!

To add to her busyness, I asked Betty to write something for this Post. Lovingly she put pen to paper and in her own creative style wrote the following about “Christmas in July”. 

Looking at the calendar this month, I find myself in the middle of the year.  It is interesting to note that the dictionary defines ‘middle’ as centre, heart, core, or  hub. I think that the middle of the year is all those things; however, ‘middle’ can be a challenge.

The year starts with New Year fireworks, resolutions, goal setting, great plans, with all the good gear on, ready for the run.

The end of the year holds the excitement of the finishing line.

However, it is what happens in the middle that determines the outcome of the race.

Dante Alighieri sums up the middle of his race, Midway through the journey of life I found myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost.

We see the ‘ middle’ being messed up on many fronts.

I remember well the school ‘first day’- the new uniforms, the hat, the school bag and lunchbox – O the excitement of it all.

The middle years may get hard and boring but endurance and perseverance is called upon.

This is where the results and rewards of schooling is determined. Get lazy in the middle and the end will not be a good one. 

Observing our grandchildren through their growing years was always a privilege for us grandparents, as we had the opportunity to guide them through the middle years and show them by example how endurance works.

In my life’s work, I remember those January faith statements, goal setting and the flurry of energy launching into the year. It was such a joy to get the programs started.

However invariably issues arise like logs and ditches on the road, and faint-heartedness will not meet the tensions in the ‘middle’. It requires hard work and steadfastness and faith in the ‘middle’ and the end will be good.

It is evident that marriages are falling by the wayside in the ‘middle’.

It is in the ‘middle’ that work and loving determination show the real grit of the ‘runner’.

My advice would be; do not give up in the intensity of the ‘middle’. Loosing any race is painful, and winning is glorious.

I must mention Fred’s nose which has been a central issue this month. I do believe it is in the middle of his face so it fits in well this month! The cancer has been successfully removed, but the skin graft is proving to be a little problematic.

It is slowly healing and his doctor say that it is healing underneath the scab. It requires patience ‘in the middle” for the healing to take place and hopefully without a scar. haha! 

I notice that Christmas in July has become an Australian feature. I’m glad about that because we sure do need Jesus in the ‘middle’.

Recently there has been a song that has been very popular with church congregations, “Jesus at the centre of it all” by Israel Houghton. Actually here at home we have been singing it too.

It may be strange but I am sharing some Christmas pictures when we as a family were together. It is in celebration of Christmas in July.

Make Jesus the Centre of your life.

May the Blessing of God the Holy Spirit rest upon you and give you Peace!


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