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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

ABC Wednesday, O for Opals

 Historical superstitions( From Wikipedia)

In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal.


It was also said to confer the power of invisibility if wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in the hand. Following the publication of Sir Walter Scott's Anne of Geierstein in 1829, however, opal acquired a less auspicious reputation. In Scott's novel, the Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colorless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter. Due to the popularity of Scott's novel, people began to associate opals with bad luck and death. Within a year of the publishing of Scott's novel in April 1829, the sale of opals in Europe dropped by 50%, and remained low for the next twenty years or so.

Even as recently as the beginning of the 20th century, it was believed that when a Russian saw an opal among other goods offered for sale, he or she should not buy anything more since the opal was believed to embody the evil eye.

Opal is considered the birthstone for people born in October or under the sign of Scorpio and Libra.

Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which produces 97% of the world's supply. This includes the production of the state of South Australia, which accounts for approximately 80% of the world's supply.

Opal is used as a gem in jewelry

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands often wears opals

There are  opals in many colours.

With thanks to Denise Nesbitt,  who created ABC, and Roger, who took over from her. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar. This week we are looking for words beginning with O.






Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter!

May Easter bring you joy and happiness!

Easter, Religion

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
By: Latin carol, 14th cent.

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly king, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured; Alleluia!
Now above the sky he’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as his love; Alleluia!
Praise him, all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!

Hymn # 127 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Lyra Davidica
Tune: Easter Hymn
1st Published in: 1708

Friday, 18 April 2014

Good Friday, Crucifiction of a Man of Peace

Psalm 22
A psalm by David, Suffering

1 My God, my God, why have you

deserted me?

Why are you so far away?

Won't you listen to my groans

and come to my rescue?

2 I cry out day and night,

but you don't answer,

and I can never rest

Jesus on the cross spoke the first verse and when he died he praised God. Amazing!
The song on the video deals with the first two verses and the melody sounds very sad and appeals to me now when I think of Jesus on the cross. It's sung in Dutch.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Maundy Thursday, Religion

In our Dutch churches we observe Maundy Thursday by having Holy Communion together and  a short church service.

Maundy Thursday - also called Holy Thursday, is the beginning of the three day celebration of Easter - the most important time in the year for Christians. This period ('The Triduum') is one big celebration, remembering the last supper, the crucifixion and the death of Jesus, and the Resurrection to new life.
Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.
The Last Supper

The Last Supper was probably a Passover meal – the meal which Jewish people share together to celebrate the time when God delivered Moses and the people from slavery in Egypt.
The night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane.
 cross When is Maundy Thursday?
Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. It is one of the lesser known days of the Christian calendar.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

ABC Wednesday, N for Nicodemus

 In this week, which we call Holy week includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

Saint Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. Nicodemus, according to the Gospel of John, showed favour to Jesus. He appears three times in John. Nicodemus visits Jesus one night to discuss his teachings with him.(John 3:1–21); The second time Nicodemus is mentioned, is when he states the law concerning the arrest of Jesus during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (John 7:45–51). The last time Nicodemus appears in the Bible is Crucifixion, when he assists Joseph of Arimathea in preparing the corpse of Jesus for burial.(John 19:39–42)

                            And there came also Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds in weight.

40 Then took they the body of Jesus and wound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the manner of the Jews for burial.

Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21)

1 Now there came a man of the Pharisees whose name was Nicodemus, a member of the council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could do the miraculous signs that you do unless God were with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?

5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 

With thanks to Denise Nesbitt,  who created ABC, and Roger, who took over from her. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar. This week we are looking for words beginning with N

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Sky Watch, Cyclone in Queensland

This morning I heard that my daughter and family and friends are all safe! I want to thank everybody who was thinking of us, praying for us and comforting me! You are all great friends!

My daughter came home and saw that her house was not much damaged. There were some trees up rooted and one of their little sheds was blown upside down, that was all. The roof was still in tact and there was no water in their house.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sky Watch, Australia, North Queensland II

Cyclone Ita: north Queensland residents told to prepare or evacuate

Cyclone has been upgraded to the highest possible rating and is expected to make landfall about 7pm on Friday

Cyclone Ita
Cyclone Ita approaches the north Queensland coast. Photograph:
More than 9,000 residents of far north Queensland coastal communities in the path of tropical cyclone Ita have been warned to expect “very destructive winds” and possible flash flooding as the giant category-five weather system bears down.
The severe tropical cyclone, which was upgraded to the highest possible rating on Thursday afternoon, is expected to make landfall between Cape Melville and Cooktown about 7pm on Friday.
The mayor of Cook Shir, Peter Scott, has urged residents in the area to secure their properties by noon before gales of 125km/h are expected to hit.
"People should be making their final preparations now," Scott told Australian Associated Press. "The big message is that people need to stay indoors once those strong winds start."
Residents of Cooktown, a town of 2,300 people that was last hit by a cyclone in 1949, said strong gusts had already picked up on Friday morning.

 Lots of people left town this morning, got their family out of here. And everyone who can is up at the evacuation centre.”
 Residents of low-lying areas as far south as Cairns were urged to be ready to evacuate should Ita suddenly change course. They were warned the cyclone could produce storm surges up to two metres high.
Newman told a news conference in Cairns on Friday that cyclone shelters in the two towns in the path of the cyclone, Hope Vale and Cooktown, were still open and had plenty of room.
Residents of these towns should be prepared for cuts in phone services and power outages that could last as long as four weeks, he said. Disaster recovery officials had formulated plans to house people, "assuming a large number of houses are rendered uninhabitable".
He said all the possible preparations had been made. "It's not in our hands. It's in the hands of the gods."
Newman also warned of “very intense rain causing quite severe local flooding”. "We could see hundreds of millimetres of rain in certain catchments. Fast-rising rivers and creeks and also the problems in some suburban areas, potentially as far south as Cairns," he said.

Though the eye of the storm is expected to focus on a remote, sparsely populated stretch of the Queensland coast, the Bureau of Meteorology warned that destructive winds of up to 125km/h, or faster, could extend as far south as Port Douglas on Friday, and onto Cairns and Innisfail on Saturday.
“The cyclone is expected to be weakening over land overnight, however, there remains the possibility that Ita will track southwards close to the coast tonight and maintain cyclone intensity for longer during Saturday,” it said.
“Should this occur destructive winds with wind gusts to 150km/h are possible at Port Douglas and Cairns during Saturday.”
Heavy rain and the risk of flash flooding will persist into the weekend, the bureau said.
A cyclone watch extends to the far inland communities of Laura, Kalinga, Palmerville, Mareeba and Chillagoe.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Australia, Floods, Queensland, Sky Watch

    Evacuations begin as Cyclone Ita bears down on Queensland coast

    Premier Campbell Newman cuts short visit to China to oversee preparations for storm which could bring 240km/h winds

    Cyclone Ita churns off the coast of Australia.
    Cyclone Ita churns off the coast of Australia. Photograph: Cyclone Ita

    It poses a significant threat to sparse communities between Cape Grenville and the Lockhart river, with strong gusts, storm surges and heavy rain beginning on Thursday.
    The storm comes three years after category five Yasi ripped through Queensland, causing $3.5bn worth of damage and lost tourism earnings.
    Yasi unleashed its wrath about 1,000km south of where Ita is forecast to cross.
    "The winds won't be as strong as Yasi, but it will be the worst we've had since," Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Andrew Cameron said.

     I rang my daughter in Australia yesterday ( Wednesday), not knowing that they were busy putting up shutters and securing the things around the house, because they are expecting cyclone Ita. They live near Cooktown. I am praying that they survive and won't lose their house and that they won't be flooded. They will all hide in the smallest room when it arrives on Friday, four pm.I follow the news on Face Book.

    All staff and guests have been evacuated off Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef as a precaution. The last time the resort was evacuated was during Yasi, although the island wasn't affected.
    Premier Campbell Newman has also cut short his Asian trade mission with prime minister Tony Abbott and will fly home on Thursday to oversee preparations for Ita.

    Those in the small Cape York communities likely to be affected spent Wednesday stocking up on supplies and clearing yards.
    Peter Scott, mayor of Cookshire council, which covers 80% of Cape York, says Ita could be one of the worst storms to hit the area in decades.
    "Residents need to be ready and have somewhere safe to shelter," he said.
    He said there was a good supply of food and fuel.

    Meanwhile, local district disaster management groups are holding meetings across the state's far north on Wednesday.Far north district acting chief superintendent Brett Schafferius says there are no plans for evacuations but extra police will be sent to affected areas.
    Staff from Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ), including a swift water rescue team, will head to Cooktown on Thursday.
    Road and electricity resources have also been sent to the state's north.
    Before forming into cyclone Ita, the tropical depression led to 21 deaths in Solomon Islands last week.

    Welcome to Skywatch Friday where people from all over the world post great photographs of the sky in their part of the world. Your Skywatch Friday hosts are Yogi, Sylvia, and Sandy.

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014

    ABC Wednesday, M for Marsupials


    Marsupials are an infraclass of mammals living primarily in Australasia and the New World. A distinctive characteristic, common to most species, is that the young are carried in a pouch

    Well-known marsupials include kangaroos, wallabies, the koalaopossums (colloquially possums) , wombats and the Tasmanian devil. Less well-known species of marsupials include the numbat, bandicoots, bettongs, the bilby, quolls and the quokka.

    They are characterized by giving birth to relatively undeveloped young, often residing in a pouch with the mother for a certain time after birth. 

    The birth of a kangaroo




    Close to 70% of the 334 extant species occur in Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands, with the remaining 100 found in the Americas, primarily in South America, but with 13 in Central America, and one in North America north of Mexico.

    With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC.For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar . This week we are looking for words beginning with M.                                                                              

    Some marsupials, like the wombat and Tasmanian Devil , have pouches  that

    open backwards to avoid getting the pouch contaminated by sand and dirt during digging their burrows.

    Tasmanian Devils.


    Possum feeding by night.