Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crystal's new initative for passionate home economists

Crystal Paine of Biblical Womanhood has a new blog devoted to frugality. You can read about it in the Money Saving Mom welcome message. You don't have to be a Mum to appreciate what Crystal has to say there! Since I have become a wife, I've become more interested in frugality than I was as a single at home. Now I am responsible for shopping! On one hand we don't want to be obsessed or worried about finances. We want to enjoy what God has given. On the other hand, we want to save money if that can be done without greatly diminishing life's enjoyment! We also want to ensure that we continue to prioritise hospitality, which inevitably increases our grocery budget. When you are feeding 2 - 10 extra people for one or two meals a week, it is bound to cost something. I am excited that Crystal is so committed to helping women to be frugal. Much of her blog focuses upon couponing, which is not a big thing here in Australia, but I am sure the blog will still offer many tips for those who live here. Crystal is wisely passionate about helping other women to love home and family, and her new blog is one way that she exhibits this passion.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcome to our table!

My favourite time of day in our new home is dinner time. It is fun to have someone to cook for, and to decorate the table. It doesn't look like the picture below every night, but we almost always try to make some effort to have an attractive table and yummy food.

Nearly every night after dinner Dave reads a chapter of the Bible and we pray. Sometimes we even remember to do this when we have guests. We are trying to start a "family tradition" of a devotional time around the dinner table. Spiritual food is just as important as physical food, and combining the two reminds us of that.

We have also enjoyed making a good start at being hospitable, with guests at our table at least once or twice a week so far. Welcoming people into our home is one of the priorities we have for our marriage. I have been delighted to enjoy exercising hospitality with Dave, as he is an excellent host. He is also very encouraging with regard to my efforts at cooking and table decorating! It is wonderful to be able to minister to others as a Christian couple united in Christ. We were delighted last week to be able to act upon the true meaning of hospitality - love of strangers - through having two people we hardly knew for dinner. We had never met one of them before! We look forward to having two more sets of people around for a meal in the coming week. We often thank God for enabling us to be hospitable, and for blessing us so much in the process.

Monday, September 24, 2007

All will be burnt

The last couple of days have provided me with much food for thought about what is truly important. Yesterday I was shocked to hear that a large department store in Hobart, Tasmania's largest city, had burnt down. The store is currently being demolished, as this article reports. I had a gift registry at Myer for my wedding, so I've spent a lot of time there. I recently went back to purchase a present for my brother's wedding soon, as he has a registry there as well. I had ordered and paid for the present, and just had to pick it up. If I had not have gone on Thursday, it would have burnt up and I would have lost a significant amount of money. My first thought when hearing about the fire was "Oh no, imagine all those people who have things on layby or who have registries there".

Soon after, however, I began to think about the way the Myer fire is a reminder of things to come. The beautiful things at Myer could not be protected from the fire. Neither can the many beautiful things that fill my home, gifts from kind friends and relatives. Neither can my quilt that I spent years creating, or my computer with important information on it. Ultimately, the Bible tells us that all things will be burnt up. One day . . .
"the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burnt up" (1 Peter 3:10).
What will last? Thankfully, God does not leave us wondering. Throughout the scriptures God teaches us that loving him and loving others are investments that last for eternity. Since physical things will not last, God tells us to use them in the right way: as tools to love and serve others.

"Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ourght you to be, in holy conduct and godliness" 1 Peter 3:11

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A challenging quote

As a start to my "Great Commission" blog category, I decided to post this challenging quote from William Booth.

“Not called!” did you say? “Not heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. God stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face – whose mercy you have professed to obey – and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.
What do you think of Mr. Booth's challenge? Manipulative? Accurate?

I agree with him to the extent that he is right that we are all called to share God's love. We don't need a special revelation like a vision or a "word from God" to know we are called to this. We know it because we have God's sure word in the Bible.

How we go about that calling, however, will be different for each person. Some people are especially gifted evangelists, while the rest of us muddle along as best we can. The point is though, that we all need to recognise that we have the joy and responsiblity of representing the gospel to the world through words and actions.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

On the way

Our journey on the wedding afternoon began in my Dad's car with my sister and niece. Dad seemed to like the tradition of it all: the fact that I had photos with the bridesmaids on the family driveway and then travelled from my childhood home to my wedding.

We drove to a friend's farm near the wedding venue so that he could drive us the rest of the way (about 5 mins) in his Dad's vintage car. Here we are at Mr. Andy Griggs' farm, geting comfortable in the car. It was a cool winters day, so I borrowed my sister's coat. It would have been too slow to travel in this car all the way from my parents' house.

It was great to have friends involved, rather than professionals. We had not planned to have fancy cars, until Andy offfered them to us. I really enjoyed travelling in the old car, despite the wind ruffling my hair do a lot! As we drove, I felt so happy that I nearly cried!

I had another close-to-tears moment as I stepped in the door of the church. The wonder of the fact that God had brought us to this point and I was really about to marry the man I loved was nearly overwhelming.

On the steps of the church we placed pots of daffodils white tulle around them.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Four weeks ago today

Many times today I've exclaimed "It is our four week anniversary". Dave kindly reminds me that it is actually not an anniversary, because "anni" indicates year! If anything, it is a weekiversary. Whatever it is, it is exciting!

On Saturday four weeks ago, we were surrounded by people who love us . . .

Even people who flew from distant countries to be with us . . .

People who will pray for us . . .

I became Mrs. Drew . . .

A grateful wife of a godly man.

There is only one more thing to say: "Thank you God"!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The happiest of days

The professional wedding photos are still at least a week away. However, friends and relatives have passed many pictures onto us in the last week. Uncle Chrys took these pictures. Dave and I really enjoyed looking at them a couple of nights ago, reliving our day.

The bride and the flower girls . . .

During the service . . .

Outside with the whole family . . .

A clever picture taken through the car window, with us standing outside . . .

I hope to share many more photos in the coming weeks. They will probably not be in any particular order. If I take it from the beginning to the end of the day I may never get to the end!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Being prepared

My recent posts on honeymoon lovin' have resulted in comments that are very helpful to me in understanding some of the problems people can have. I have also received emails privately, one of which has helped me to understand that some women are unaware of basic details about physical intimacy and/or think these things are sinful. I deeply appreciate the time people have taken to email me and/or comment, and the respect they have shown in expressing their disagreements. If anyone else would like to do so, my new email address is I may not reply quickly, as I do not have much time for the Internet.

From my first post, I have never advocated total ignorance. I also do not think this is the norm. My mother, who married over thirty years ago, said that she had no problems and there was no need to analyse physical intimacy or read books about it! To paraphrase her comment: "You just enjoy sex with your husband!". I am grateful to those who have written in to let me know that for many women, it just isn't that easy. This has helped me to understand that some women may need months to think about these things and process new information.

In general, I completely agree with the advice Candice Watters gave in Prep for the Wedding Night. Candice is a wise woman, with many years of marriage behind her and a good understanding of the temptations of human nature.
A candid conversation with an older married woman you trust would be helpful a few weeks before the wedding. You really don't need much time to prepare. And your fiancé will need even less. He should have a similar talk with a man he trusts (ideally you would be taking to married spouses) a few days before the wedding. Any sooner than that will just leave him tempted to fantasize.
Candice explains the value of godly mentors, and goes on to write:
Be careful not to overdo it. A little preparation before the wedding will go a long way. You can anticipate a honeymoon full of the time and privacy you'll need to explore, discover and practice — that's what it's for, or used to be, when bride and groom were virgins. And when the honeymoon's over, you'll have a lifetime together to learn about sex and get good at having it.
So much of what Candice says has me saying "Amen, sister!"
The more you save for the honeymoon, the better it will be! Have fun, enjoy one another and this wonderful gift. And relax, most of what you need to know can be learned together after the wedding.
However, while Candice's advice may be generally applicable, there are situations where it would not be best. If you are a person with very little knowledge of the process of physical intimacy, it may be wise to consult someone months before the wedding. If no one is available, a book would be a good option. Books may also be a good option for those who feel very inhibited or embarassed about this area of God's creation.

In case every single person is about to exit my blog thinking that the only topics it will ever cover are those related to honeymoon lovin', fear not! This is the last post I plan to do on this in the near future.

Monday, September 10, 2007

When Ignorance is not Bliss

In response to Blissful Ignorance, Zan bravely shared her traumatic honeymoon experiences. She attributed these to a total lack of knowledge. As a result, I felt the need to write another post on this topic.

Ignorance is not bliss if it involves a total lack of knowledge about the way physical intimacy progresses. It is also not bliss if couples believe that first experience is likely to be one of unmitigated joy and pleasure.

The type of ignorance that can be good in many cases is the absence of the sort of detailed knowledge about physical intimacy that can be found in book like Intended for Pleasure or in the later part of One Flesh. This knowledge can much more happily be gained after marriage, much of it through experience and without the aid of books.

Couples preparing for marriage are wise to discuss their expectations with one another. They are also wise if they seek out godly counsel from people they respect. There needs to be much more open communication amongst people in the church about these matters, so that engaged men and women know whom they can turn to for answers to their questions.

One friend told me that in her former church each engaged couple was paired up with a married couple. The week before the wedding, the men and women met separately to discuss physical intimacy. This sounds like an excellent idea. In a one-on-one situation, knowledge can be catered to individual need. This is also a situation of accountability.

If godly, open people are completely unavailable, carefully choosing certain parts of books like One Flesh to read could be helpful. This should really be a last resort, however, since the option of learning through one-to-one relationship is a much better one. Christians who want to help engaged couples would do best to offer them their time and advice, rather than such books.

I don’t want to contribute to any false ideas about unmitigated honeymoon bliss through sharing how wonderful my honeymoon was. My perception that my honeymoon was fantastic is perhaps partly due to realistic expectations about it. I expected pain. In some ways the pain was worse than I expected, and in some ways it was better. If you are engaged and would like any more details about pain and how to manage it, please ask me personally.

We also probably enjoyed our honeymoon to the max because we were so physically restrained beforehand. When you haven’t even kissed before, it adds a dimension of wonder and delight that wouldn’t exist for couples who had pushed a lot of boundaries and only had one or two left to topple.

Communication was a key for us. Physical intimacy would have been much more difficult and perhaps even traumatic if we had struggled to communicate. We can imagine that without effective communication it would be easy for a honeymoon to turn into a nightmare.

The kinds of problems that crop up on honeymoons cannot be solved through saturating yourself with explicit knowledge that often leads to temptation or worry. They can be helped through godly counsel, realistic expectations, honest and tender communication, and virtues such as patience.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Honeymoon pictures

On the first night of our honeymoon we stayed at a bed and breakfast across the road from the church where we got married! I am glad none of our friends and relatives treated us to gongs or other midnight pranks!

The next day we travelled for over four hours to our next destination . . . Aurora Beach Cottage near Bicheno. This remote cottage is right on secluded beach. We did not see another person on the beach during the four days we were there. It was a delightful place to stay, and one day there was a glorious rainbow reaching right from the cottage to the beach.

This is my favourite honeymoon picture! We took a day trip to Freycinet National Park, about an hour's drive away. We used the self-timer for this photo. No-kissing rules before marriage make kissing an exciting novelty while on honeymoon . . . and perhaps for the first few months of marriage as well!

For the last four nights of our honeymoon we stayed at Lemonthyme Lodge near Cradle Mountain. We stayed in a cabin overlooking the wilderness. We enjoyed going to walks along nearby trails. We went to Cradle Mountain, about 45 mins drive away, and enjoyed walking around Dove Lake.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blissful Ignorance

Recently my friend Christina received the gift of yet another explicit book about physical intimacy. Christina is to be married in December, and apparently some friends feel that she ought to be as knowledgeable as possible about sexuality beforehand. In response, Christina and I have been toying with the idea of writing a book titled “Blissful Ignorance” or “Ignorance is Bliss”. We recognise that people recommend explicit books with the best of intentions. However, we would like to respectfully put forward a different point of view.

These books are unhelpful to unmarried people who are trying to remain emotionally and mentally pure in preparation for the one they love. They are also a product of the world’s obsession with the mechanics of sexuality. God has made a man and his wife to enjoy one another, and we can trust that under ordinary circumstances this will be the case.

Christina and I are not, of course, arguing for complete ignorance: some knowledge of human anatomy and reproduction, and of the Bible’s teaching on physical intimacy, is important. It is the pedalling of very detailed material to unmarried people that we consider both unnecessary and harmful. This material can cause unnecessary temptation, and even worry about unpleasant problems that may not occur. It is our opinion that people will be happier if they do not read it.

Dave and I had a fantastic honeymoon without the aid of any shared reading of explicit books. Neither of us could claim to being blissfully ignorant beforehand, but we don’t think that most knowledge we did have was of much use to us. Really, the honeymoon would have been just as blissful if we’d been less knowledgeable.

My advice to unmarried people is this: trust that God has made physical intimacy great, and you don’t need to know much more than that! You can be happily ignorant, trusting that God has an excellent plan for you to know your future partner in a more wonderful and exciting way than you can imagine. After marriage, you have the rest of your lives to explore his plan.

Kitchen Tea

The week before my wedding some of my lovely friends, including two bridesmaids, engineered a fabulous kitchen tea.

The table was spectacular with lots of delightful party food, and plenty of pink.

Guests were asked to come dressed in pink, as a surprise for me. Yvonne and Kerri outdid themselves, as they usually are not pink, frilly girls! I was thrilled that they went to such a lot of effort.

The party organisers made me put together a cake in 5 mins! The expression on my face here is one of concentration, not disgust . . . honestly! Somehow I got the "cake" in the oven, and it even turned out something like a cake . . . just a pity I forgot the butter! You will notice that some guests are not wearing pink: the message did not get to everyone!

The guests also created a magnificent wedding dress for me. The best newspaper creation ever!

Apparently there is a new trend toward destroying the wedding dress after the day, as it will never be worn again. Personally, I prefer the idea of keeping it for a children's dress up box. However, I was instructed to find a way to destroy the newspaper creation. Rolling on the ground seemed like a good option . . . and it pleased the assembled crowd.

A big thanks to Christina and Margaret for their initiative and fantastic ideas, and to Felicity for assisting them with this in a very servantlike manner.

Felicity, Sherrin Ward, and Christina

Monday, September 3, 2007


Welcome to “A deeper love”. This blog aims to be an expression of the Christian faith. Love is essential to the life God has called his people to embrace. This love starts with God himself. Although human beings often sin against God, he continues to extend love toward them. This is expressed in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.

They refused to obey,
And they were not mindful of your wonders
That You did among them.
But they hardened their necks,
And in their rebellion
They appointed a leader
To return to their bondage.
But You are God,
Ready to pardon,
Gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did not forsake them.
Nehemiah 9:17.

God’s love is ultimately expressed in the sending of his son Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, to take the punishment for the sins of all who will trust in him. The sin of every human being is so serious that no one can make up for it through trying to live a good life. God’s standard is perfection, and no one can attain this. The penalty for this is bondage to sin, spiritual death, and ultimately eternal punishment. This meant that the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, was necessary in our place. Through Christ, human beings can be forgiven and have a restored relationship with God.

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9 – 10.

God’s love causes us to respond in love toward him.

We love him because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19.

This love is our greatest duty toward God.

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37 – 38.

God’s love expressed in Christ teaches people how to love one another.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11.

This truth is also expressed in the second part of the Great Commandment.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12 – 13.

The scripture “Above all, love one another deeply” (1 Peter 4:8) was the original inspiration for this blog. The command to love is so integral to Christian life that it should be placed above all else. The cry of our hearts – and the cry of this blog – ought to be for a deeper love for both God and one another.

The command to love encompasses God’s prior mandates to humanity, foremost amongst them the command to humankind at the beginning of creation. This original Creation Mandate, which still applies to humanity today, is to be lived out through the overarching principle of love.

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28.

The Great Commission is another important part of God’s plan of love and dominion. As God’s love transforms his people, they are to seek to spread that love to other peoples and nations. Christians can expect that whole nations will be transformed through the gospel.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19 – 20a.

This blog aims to provide commentary on various aspects of life, from history to homemaking, from the perspective of the Great Commandment, the Creation Mandate, and the Great Commission. May you find that “A deeper love” helps you to fulfil God’s command to “Above all, love”.