Well, happy new year!! It is the afternoon of the 2nd of January 2008 and even though I’ve had some time off … I’m weary.
The two weeks leading up to Christmas were frantic in terms of my broadcasting load. As an example, one day in the fortnight prior to Christmas, I covered 7½ hours of radio and voiced 35 commercials in a single day. That’s insane!!
From there, the few days prior to Christmas were equally busy with my wife’s sister, our brother-in-law and our beautiful little niece landing on us from New Zealand to stay for 10 days. They arrived just in time for my wife’s birthday which saw 17 of us gather for dinner. Then a few days later it was the "late night" of Christmas Eve, as last minute preparations needed to be made. On top of our NZ family being with us for Christmas, we also had my Mum and Dad staying for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We had a full house .. and VERY full bellies!
Boxing Day saw us host our first family Christmas season meal at our home. So again, the day after Christmas, we had nearly 20 people gather and I handled most of the cooking for the day. I bake a mean glazed ham on the barbecue, let me tell you!
Remove the skin and excess fat from the ham leg. Score the ham with a knife about 0.5cm deep in a criss-cross fashion. Where the scores meet in a kind of cross, push a whole clove into each score. Then take 1½ cups of bourbon, 3 cups of pineapple juice and ½ cup of maple syrup, all mixed together in a bowl, and regularly baste the ham (like every 10-15 minutes) using a turkey baster (this is waaaaay easier than using a brush .. I found that out the hard way).
Bake it on your hooded barbecue on a wire rack inside a roasting tray, at no more than 150° celcius for about three hours. But here’s the BIG secret. Regularly sprinkle Muscavardo Sugar on it after each time you’ve basted it. This sugar is unrefined and full of natural molasses which aids in adding a dark toffee colour and lovely flavour to the glaze.
Once it’s done, let it rest uncovered for about half an hour to cool a little. Preferably do this inside to protect the ham from bugs that will be attracted to the sweetness. Then carve, serve and eat it. Sensational!
Add to that, I made an early-morning round-trip to the Sydney International Airport this morning to drop our New Zealand family off for their flight home. We’re all feeling tired, but also a little sad today, because it may be another couple of years before we again all get to see these precious people who mean so very much to us.
DANNY NALLIAH UPDATE
I am still working diligently on holding Danny Nalliah accountable for his failed prophecy over the recent Federal Election. I am not interested in trying to "rub Danny’s nose in his own mess", but am deeply convicted that I must help Danny, and others connected to his camp, to see the damage that has been done over his subsequent poor handling of the failed word. I am determined to not let this matter drop until we gain a suitable and appropriate response from Danny for the praying public of Australia. At this stage, I am not yet ready to present a full report to you on the matter .. but I am almost there.
What I can report is, that I have had two very lengthy, but ultimately beneficial discussions with Bob Cotton; an AOG pastor in Maitland, a long-time friend and strong ministry supporter of Danny and Catch the Fire Ministries. The first of these conversations was initiated by Bob at Danny’s request, with Danny apparently concerned over whether we were going to deal with him harshly. Hence, he let Bob do the leg work prior to being willing to personally speak with either Robert Holmes or myself.
However, after many weeks of trying through correspondence sent to Danny’s office, plus communicating through the "Cotton filter" (pardon the pun), I was finally able to speak to Danny himself. We spent about 45 minutes in discussion. It was friendly and worthwhile, but frustrating at the same time, as there is still a long way to go with much more of future importance to Danny that needs to be discussed.
At this stage, I have one more telephone conversation to make with someone connected to Danny and, once that call has been made, I will issue a full report on these discussions, the position Danny verbalised to me personally, and ultimately our ongoing concerns over this matter. I will also be sure to include the reasons why neither Robert nor I are prepared to let this matter be swept under the carpet.
I know you have been waiting patiently for much longer than I’d hoped, and I’d like to thank you for your patience, but I want to assure you that we are indeed still working on it and more information will be available shortly.
In the meantime, the following is my prayer for you in 2008 …
May God bless you with discomfort,
at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger,
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
My God bless you with tears,
to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness,
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
(a Franciscan Benediction)