Mary books

Sunday, 28 November 2010


After nearly four weeks away from home, I’ve been trying to unpack, sort out books and my book promotion, workshop and talk paraphenalia to file away once more - until the next time. Then of course there has been four weeks of mail to deal with, especially those bills that arrived. On top of all of those “mundane” things there has been a multitude of emails, Facebook friends to check and by no means least of all, this blog and the comments and giveaway from my contribution on the International Christian Fiction writer’s blog.

So, a little this time about our trip to Queensland.

This was the third time we have taken our car to the mainland on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Devonport across to Melbourne. We sailed just on sunset and had a very smooth crossing. I didn’t even need sea-sickness tablets! This is the mouth of the Mersey River as we headed to the open sea of Bass Strait.

This time our car was packed with not only our esky (cooler some of you may call it!), a large case full of clothes for all seasons, my two Baragula books and Ray’s Neurotic Rooster to give away and sell. As well, there was all the paperwork and my “show and tell” things I’d been able to prepare for my speaking appointments and the mentorship programme organised by Omega Writers in Brisbane.

We drove off the ferry in Melbourne about 7am and headed north. We had decided to brave the road trains on the highway up through the mid-west of NSW and so stayed a night at Parkes and then Gooniwindi on the Qld border before arriving at my sister’s home in Brisbane three days after leaving home.

We had one day to recover before the Word Writers Fair where I presented a workshop, was on a panel and thoroughly enjoyed meeting writer friends like Jo-Anne Berthelsen and making new ones. It was a wonderful day and the organisers are to be really congratulated.
The CALEB award dinner was held that same evening. I was so pleased my sister Shirley was able to join us. She is sitting next to Lyn Hurry, one of the Omega Writers members who helped organise the award.

As some of you will already know, my Return to Baragula was a finalist but Amanda Deed won the fiction category for her great book, The Game. L-R - Paula Vince, myself, Meredith Resce and Amanda Deed.
Don't miss out on reading Amanda Deed's The Game, published by Ark House Press and available at good Christian Bookshops.

We had a wonderful few weeks but this is enough for this blog. There was a week tutoring some very good, unpublished authors in a mentorship programme, and other appointments - but it is past time I was in bed tonight.

I do want to congratulate Ruth Ann Bell in South Africa for winning a copy of my Return to Baragula for commenting on my blog on the International Christian Fiction Writers blog  November 16th.

In a future blog here I am planning to offer this book to my readers here also, so do return for Part Two - and perhaps even Part Three of CATCHING UP. And I am hoping soon to have the cover of my next book, Justice at Baragula, to show you. It is scheduled for release next April.
But will I ever do that - catch up?
Do you sometimes wonder if that can ever happen?!
Oh, and don't forget: if you click on the blue words it will take you to that website and clicking on a photo should make it larger.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Mediatation Moment

Well, Ray and I have been a team now for nearly 46 years. And yeah...I'm the one with her mouth open - the talker - and Ray the patient listener! I am so grateful he shares this blog with me from time to time.

He has more of his 31 Daily Meditation books being published by Even Before Publishing next year. These are "extra" meditations he writes for my blog. I do trust you not only "enjoy" them but they draw you into a deeper, loving relationship with God.

The Graffiti Artist’s Plea.

Reading…1 John 4:7-19.

…faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13.

The brick fence had become a billboard. A graffiti artist had vented his anger, or longing, in huge white letters.

‘Where’s the love?’ it shouted.

What drove him to do this? Was it a judgement on world events or a longing of the heart? Was the writer merely asking the question without wanting an answer? Some are like that. There is an answer, and down the road that day it was on another wall. It was a poster.

It read, ‘the passion of the Christ.’

Did the artist ever read it? See the film? Open the Bible and find it?

According to John chapter eight, Jesus did a bit of Graffiti . When some leaders tried to trap Him about a woman taken in adultery He simply wrote in the dirt. The Law required stoning. What did Jesus recommend? We know not what He wrote but He did say the one without sin could cast the first stone. From the wisest to the youngest - and probably the most impetuous, they left. Jesus, who could have thrown stones didn’t. He simply said to go and sin no more. She had experienced forgiveness.

Love is the person of Jesus, not a theory or emotion. His love is expressed in the cry from the cross, “Father, forgive them…” Although its location is specific, such love is unconditional. The love God has for you and me is bound up in the person and work of His Son Jesus. To know love and all it offers on Heaven’s behalf requires a personal response to the invitation of Jesus to go to Him by an act of faith.
The great thing is Jesus will not say “No” to us but will receive us.

Raymond N. Hawkins

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Music and Song Blessings

Last weekend our little church fellowship was challenged, refreshed and blessed by Stephen Atkins . Do click on his name to go to his website and have a taste - mind you it is only a "taste" - of his great voice and songs.
His songs are played on local radio stations at different times and his goes on tour, speaking and singing messages in song with accompanying Power Point images to churches big -and small like us - as well as many other venues. He presents the news of our Christ of the Cross so very, very well.

For some reason, over the years songs have always ministered to me personally in very special ways. Okay, perhaps it is my creative nature that God uses to create stories, perhaps it is the fact when we were growing up we had a piano in our house. The piano had belonged to my grandparents but neither Mum nor Dad could play it. Living on a farm a long way from music teachers in the city, the only way I could learn to play was work out for myself what the notes on the music meant. The first music I ever played was the old hymn, "Throw out the lifeline across the dark sea..." I only realised years later that it sounded "right" when my one finger played it because it had neither sharps nor flats and was all played on those beautiful white ivory keys. But the words of many, many old songs and hymns from those days are still deep within me.

What a feast of music and song we enjoyed first of all at a dinner concert on the Friday evening, then a concert Saturday and a "musical" service with challenging talks on Sunday.

All the songs Stephen Atkins has written himself brought me to praise and prayer. We joined Stephen in singing Amazing Grace - the extra "My chains fell off" version. Perhaps the song that challenged and blessed me the most was the song he sings on his on his Mercy CD, "He Raised Me Up." They both reminded me of all God has done for me in Jesus, and all He continues to do in my life today with my writing efforts. Only HE could have given me this wonderful, wonderful life of joy and love I enjoy. Only HE could have opened the doors for my books to be published - to even be a finalist in the CALEB awards!

I've been so busy these last weeks preparing for speaking appointments at the Word Writers Fair next Saturday in Queensland, reading manuscripts ready to tutor writers of them at a mentorship programme organised by Omega Writers . Then of course, there is my talk too at the Toowoomba Library at 10am on Saturday, November 13th.
This is going to be very much a "working holiday." When my first book was published, little did I dream how God would open doors as He has these past years. With all my "busyness" lately, I really needed to be reminded that God IS in control, and what He has done and continues to do in my life! How thankful I am that from a very young age I started to get to know the God and Father who loves me, who continues to "raise me up, set me on mountains."
Do go to Stephen Atkins website. One of his songs starts playing straight away. He is also on Facebook and I have just become one of his "friends" there.
If you too can share incidents when God blesses you through praise and worship songs, do tell us about it by commenting here.