Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Holidays

So having just managed to get back into my blogging routine, I'm now off on holiday. Be back in a couple of weeks when life may return to "normal"!

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Saturday, March 07, 2015

Devotional Thought : Joshua 18:3

So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you? Joshua 18:3

Following Joshua's removal of all the significant military threats to the Israelites, the tribes were to possess all the land. However the tribes were slow in taking up this responsibility. In fact "there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance" (v.2). So Joshua brings them altogether (v.1), exhorts them and organizes a plan. He sent out men to survey the land and on their return cast lots. In this way the land divisions were completed.

Joshua was not only a good military leader but also a good administrator. Sometimes in our churches the gift of administration is underrated. The more upfront gifts of preaching, teaching and worship leading are given greater prominence. People who ensure bills are paid, the building maintained and service preparations are completed, generally aren't held in high esteem. Yet these roles are important. The church is a body where everyone has a part to play.

Joshua actually empowers these tribes by getting them organised and when the gift of administration is used well, this is what happens. People are equipped because they are clear on what their tasks are and how this fits into the greater plan.

Some prefer a more spontaneous or relaxed approach to church activities and while this is good on occasions it doesn't work in the long term. We wouldn't like a boss who paid us spontaneously or only when he or she felt like it. Similarly God doesn't allow the sun to rise and set on a whim.

When we take the time to be organized God is able to increase our effectiveness.

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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Book Review : Swallow me, now!

This book is being featured on the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance this week. Information about the author and more details about the book can be found here.

I enjoyed, Swallow me, now! by Melisaa Gijsbers. It is a children's chapter book which explores the issue of bullying from a child's perspective.

Sam returns home to Australia and feels like the 'odd one out' at school. She becomes the object of subtle bullying which becomes more overt as time goes by. Sam tries to overcome her difficulties through her own resourcefulness but finds this actually makes the situation worse. Finally things come to a head and there is a good, but not perfect, resolution, which feel realistic and leaves the reader feeling satisfied.

I thought the bullying issue was well handled and Sam responses and reactions to it were very believable. I liked the way the font changed size and there were illustrations scattered throughout. This gave visual interest to the story and broke up the blocks of print.

My only minor query was that Sam's parents were described as missionaries. This created the expectation of a Christianised solution which wasn't the case. I think it would have been better if Sam's parents were described as community aid workers for a secular organization. However this didn't distract from the story.

Overall, a good read.

Thanks to Melissa for providing a free book for review

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Blog Tour : Swallow me, Now!

This blog tour is for the children’s chapter book: Swallow Me, Now! by Melissa Gijsbers. This book is part of a blog tour organized by Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

My book review will be up soon.


2 - 6 March 2015


is introducing


(Lilly Pilly Press, October 2014)

by

Melissa Gijsbers


About the Book:
All Sam wants to do is to fit in at her new school. Feeling alone, and desperately trying to find her place in the world, she concocts an AMAZING story - BUT it backfires on her, and she becomes known as the 'Evil Genius's Daughter!' Can her life get any worse?


About the Author:
Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

On being AWOL

Unpacking is taking me longer than expected (see here) but I hope to get back to blogging in the not too distant future.

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Devotional Thought : Joshua 12:1, 7

These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan... Here is a list of the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered on the west side of the Jordan. Joshua 12:1,7

These two verses tell us that Joshua removed all the major military threats to Israel's occupation of the land. Joshua achieved the task God called him to do securing the nation's future. However there was more to do.

Each tribe was now responsible for their own area and it was up to them to fully possess the land allotted to them. Unfortunately they were not as successful in this task as Joshua had been in his. The tribes became apathetic in their calling and often allowed the Canaanite and other nations to remain. These other nations believed in many different gods and did not feel the need to worship one god exclusivity. This attitude rubbed off onto the Israelites who also began worshipping other gods while still worshipping Yahweh. Syncretism crept in.

Likewise, Jesus through his death and resurrection, conquered our major threat, Satan. Now it is up to us to enforce God's victory in our lives. However we are often like the Israelites and allow wrong attitudes to remain in our lives. Wrong attitudes grow if we're not convinced the Bible is true, if we're not sure God really loves us, if we don't believe God has ultimate sway in the world. When this is the case it is easy to accept other beliefs and incorporate them into our Christian world view.

The solution is to choose God as our highest priority. We won't fall into syncretism when we believe he is an all good, Sovereign God, who loves us deeply.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Blog Tour : The Land Uncharted

I'm running a little late with this month's blog tour which is for the fiction book: The Land Uncharted by Keely Brooke Keith. This book is part of a blog tour organized by Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance


2 - 6 February 2015


is introducing


Edenbrooke Press

October 2014

by

Keely Brooke Keith


About the Book:
Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land, a landmass in the South Atlantic Ocean undetectable to the outside world. When injured fighter pilot Connor Bradshaw’s parachute carries him from the war engulfing the 2025 world to her hidden land, his presence threatens her plans, her family, and the survival of her preindustrial society.

As Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland, and Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated. Written like a historical, set like a scifi, and filled with romance, The Land Uncharted weaves adventure and love in this suspenseful story of a hidden land.


About the Author:
Keely Brooke Keith, author of the Uncharted series, is a bass guitarist and frequently performs and tours with her husband, singer/songwriter John Martin Keith. When she isn’t writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys dancing, having coffee with friends, and sifting through vintage books at antique stores. Keely resides on a hilltop south of Nashville with her husband and their daughter, Rachel.

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