Hello all

The day has dawned to go away! It is Holy Thursday and we are setting out on our ‘Grand Adventure’ travelling to Grafton with Maria and her girls for Easter. We will be staying in our caravan.

You see, Geoff comes from Grafton (in New South Wales approx 40oks south of Brisbane) and there is a celebration for the Centenary of his High School. He is excited about the prospect of meeting up with some old school chums from the fifties.  It should be good. For this reason, I am publishing my blog early so I can get underway on the five-hour drive.

But first,I want to share a tid bit I heard on ABC radio yesterday whilst driving to the shops. You know just when you think you know a lot of things, you learn you know NOTHING.  This is what I found out:

Professor Lyn Beazley a scientist, was discussing her study of frogs for her doctorate many years ago. In those “good old days” before the advent of packaged pregnancy kits, women only learned they were pregnant by giving a urine sample which was sent to pathology for testing. And the result took time. No instant results then!

Most of us women who did this had no idea what would happen with your sample but it turns out that the pathologist would inject your urine into a frog (is this getting just a little bizarre?) If the woman was pregnant, the hormones in the urine would force the frogs to lay eggs. If not, the frog would lay NO eggs. Facinating eh?

 Lyn told how hospitals and pathology centres had a lot of frogs lined up especially for testing women’s urine. I kid you not! Lyn would visit a particular hospital and collect the frogs eggs every day otherwise the eggs were dumped. The people working on the desk thought she was mad but this enabled the Professor to write her doctorate.

Don’t you just love this great  piece of information? Testing frogs was the only way women of my generation found out we were pregnant. I am sure when they invented the pregnancy kits, the poor frogs sighed with relief as they were now able to retire to the country! You can find out more on this website: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/04/03/3470039.htm?site=conversations&microsite=conversations&section=article&date=(none)

Gandhi leading the Salt March which gained the Indians freedom.

Now, I am sure you will be inspired with the story for April 5th. On this day in 1930 Mahatma Gandhi started out on what is known as “The Gandhi Salt March” – a 240 mile journey that ended at the salt mines. There was a Salt Tax and Indians could not collect their own country’s salt.  In 1930 in order to help free India from British control, Mahatma Gandhi proposed a non-violent march protesting the British Salt Tax.

I read that: The Salt Tax essentially made it illegal to sell or produce salt, allowing a complete British monopoly.  Since salt is necessary in everyone’s daily diet, everyone in India was affected.  The Salt Tax made it illegal for workers to freely collect their own salt from the coasts of India, making them buy salt they couldn’t really afford.”

And so the Salt March led eventually to the Indians gaining their independence – thanks to Gandhi – but not without a lot of heartbreak and killing by the British. The thing about Gandhi is that he maintained his “non-violent” protest and the British had no idea what to do with that and it proved effective … eventually.

So what does this mean for us today? Remember I spoke about Martin Luther King yesterday? It is fitting that he, like Gandhi protested but by peaceful means. This is the example for us today! I watched a TV program once where an old man who had been a disciple of Gandhi when he was a boy, spoke of the influence Gandhi had on his life. Perhaps Gandhi could be such an influence for us today?

Therefore, this is the question I will put to you today:


These are the people we need to stay close to as we creep ever closer to Easter. But, I put out this warning: beware of those friends who only ever agree with us. We need those who, in a loving way, challenge us by their very goodness eg both in what they say and the way they live their life.

Take stock today and write down the names of these people and if necessary let at lest one of them know how much they mean to you. Also find a way to nurture and enrich their life as they have done for you. These are the people who show the face of God to us.

Perhaps you can hum along to the song “You Raise Me Up” for inspiration (sung by so many people these days) and I am sure you know it. If not watch Westlife sing on this link and it will get you ready for Easter I can guarantee it.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1_MydgRFZw              

I will leave you with the words:

When I am down and, oh, my soul’s so weary,
When troubles come and my heart burdened be,
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.”