Mary books

Monday, 27 February 2012

Ray on Monday: DO MEN FEAR WOMEN? (book giveaway)

Enter the draw for "From Eden With Love" (print book) as a giveaway. (Details and announcement at end of post)

Mmm, not quite sure what I think about the following, but Ray would like your views on this as he works out in more detail the ideas in this week's devotion.
Over the past little while I’ve been disturbed by the way women are treated around the globe. The brute force of a man is more than a match for any woman. Why then do I imagine that many men have an unreasonable, inbuilt, systemic loathing or fear of the gentler sex? It goes beyond experiences in upbringing or broken relationships. Something in the heart has been twisted and become manipulated by the powers of darkness.
This irrational and undefined fear is expressed in religions which imprison women behind a burka, refuses them liberty of an education and makes them inferior before the law. There are similar attitudes in any secular society where a woman is a sexual object, someone to assault inside or outside marriage while denying her respect and equal opportunities.
Men may laugh at the suggestion they are exploiting and limiting women out of fear. However I believe this fear is a result of a spiritual state of mind. To restate that – it is the rejection of, or opposition to, the Biblical view of a woman as defined by Christ in his treatment of the Church. Check Ephesians 5: 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22:Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...
In the Bible I believe there is a revealing of the source of the moral and spiritual demeaning of women. God promised Eve in Genesis 3 that through a woman would be born the one who would crush the head of the serpent. In verse 15, God told the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring] and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
It was Adam who fouled things up and made a mess of this World. In verse 17, God said to Adam, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’... “ The curse for his disobedience followed.
Eve was deceived but he had the direct command from God. It was Adam who disobeyed. His male descendents probably have been trying to rid themselves of this shame on their “maleness” ever since. How do some try and cover this shame? By blaming the daughters of Eve and making them suffer.
The devil and his kingdom sought to prevent the promise of God to Eve. A promise repeated in Isaiah 7:14 and fulfilled in Matthew 1 and Luke 2. The devil knew God would choose a pure and holy woman to be the mother of the promised Messiah. So, the devil’s answer? Crush, imprison, defile and abuse. Heaven’s answer was a spiritual and moral code in Israel for the welfare and dignity of the woman!
Satan feared the promised woman who would give birth to the Saviour Jesus. He fears the ‘Woman’ called the Church, the Bride of Christ, for she reveals his doom and failure. Satan fears the ‘woman’ called Israel (Revelation 12) for she has God’s promise of future glory. This spills over into his loathing for all daughters of Eve. Every time a man, nation or religion despoils, destroys or demeans a woman they are siding with Satan’s strategy.
How different is the attitude of Jesus. The Gospel accounts reveal His appreciation and defence of women. He treated them with respect and imparted to them dignity and equality. Those who say they follow Jesus must treat women with Christ-like respect. Why? For to love Christ as Lord and Saviour is to be delivered from such devilish fear!

Ray (without such fear) Hawkins.

I’m very glad about that my darling husband!



Some of Ray’s thoughts about marriage are in his 31 Day devotional book, “From Eden With Love.” Check out Ray's books at :-http://www.evenbeforepublishing.com/rayhawkins.html
This is also available as an eBook, but if we have at least four comments here from anywhere in the world, we will have a draw and send the winner the signed, printed version of "From Eden With Love".

YES! A NEW BOOK OUT SOON!

This is to celebrate in anticipation, Ray's new book "Captured by Calvary" available very soon. And don't forget to return here when we will have another draw for this new book also. 

Please leave a comment to win "From Eden With Love – and don’t forget to add your email address.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Of water, peaches, apples – and books

A certain smallish garden bed with some old roses in it has been sadly neglected by myself during this busy summer season. My long-suffering Ray decided his wife needed some help and got out the digging fork. Result? We discovered the water pipe to the house did NOT follow as close to the neighbour’s fence as we thought and was far too close to the surface. Despite Ray’s efforts to repair the relatively small nick in the pipe, it had to be a plumber’s task. The rose bush over it had to be removed. The hole slowly filled with water and so of course the water had to be turned off at the main.

In a relatively small way, the rest of the time until the plumber arrived the next day reminded us what it would be like not to have water on-tap! No bathroom water, no water to drink or wash with unless we wasted more soaking into the ground. Fortunately that morning the last load in the washing machine only had the rinsing cycle to finish. That was easy – just turned the main supply on again until it had finished. I also filled a clean bucket with water, then busied myself scooping out as much water as I could as it oozed into that hole again. Well, that transplanted rose bush did need watering!
Now it is all fixed, I certainly appreciate more than ever the luxury of simply turning on a tap.

It is the last few days here of our official summer. The last of peaches from our tree and our neighbour’s apples have meant several hours making peach chutney and stewing fruit for the freezer. No jam this year as we liked the chutney the most.

I have to confess not liking housework at all – and “not liking” is a mild word for how I feel about it. Cooking is also something I only do because we need to eat! However, now my last saucepan (I hope!) of apples has finished cooking these is a real sense of achievement as I look at all those filled jars and the containers in the freezer.

Each time I go to try and work on my next book, I sure need the “main” supply of ideas open so they can flow unhindered into my imagination and out through these fingers to this keyboard. But sometimes the “ideas” seep into a hole and it is time to switch off, take a break – and write a blog post?

It takes time, many hours of perseverance and simply hard work to write a book. When the flow is hindered of even cut off, I begin feel dry, frustrated. It means I have to work even harder, spend longer hours doing what should take much less time to finish the manuscript.

My last novel for
Heartsong Presents

And all the preparation and cooking of the fruit? Well, that sense of satisfaction at a task completed I am feeling right now is nothing at all as wonderful for me as having that sweated over manuscript be held in my hands in book form at long last. Then of course, as a cook waits to hear her cooking is “okay”, so also does the writer hope to hear from readers that the book is perhaps far better than just an “okay” read!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ray on Monday - LOVE DEFINED

Where is love first mentioned in the Bible?
Why? Does it make much difference to our understanding? I think so!
Read Genesis 22:1-19.

Where it is placed in Scripture has a divine purpose. Its position reveals God’s estimation and expectation. Placing it in Genesis 22 reveals love’s essential nature. The man of faith, Abraham, is called upon to offer as a sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise, the son he loved.

They go to the appointed mountain with two servants. Abraham leaves the servants at the base camp promising he and Isaac would return. That’s faith on Abraham’s part. What about Isaac? His obedience to his father is the greatest expression of trust displayed.
As we approach Easter (better term is Passover) can you recognize the foreshadowing of Christ and Calvary? There is however a major difference. There was no substitute ram for Jesus. He was, and is, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World (John 1:29).

Love embraces sacrifice. Love is an act of giving: John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The highest form of sacrificial love humanly speaking is what Jesus defined as, “Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) The Lord went beyond that. Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

That is how true love is defined. It is such love which possesses the disciples of Christ to enable them to love the unlovely, serve the ungrateful, be merciful to their enemies, endure hardship and count it a privilege to know Christ Jesus as Lord, Saviour, and Companion on the way to the Father’s house.

Prayer: I’m overwhelmed beloved Lord! I respond in gratitude with a desire to grow in love for and understanding of you. May you give me strength to show such love to others.

“This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
Ray - who loves because HE first loved!
How is YOUR "Love Life?"

Friday, 17 February 2012

Where is God in a Writer's Day?

I’ve been preparing a Bible study on “Where is God in your Day.” As all speakers will know, it is the speaker who seems to be challenged and blessed during the preparation of a talk even more than she would hope the participants and listeners will be!

Confession time:
As much as I try to be disciplined in spending special time in the scriptures and prayer by myself every morning, there are too many days when the “Tyranny of the Urgent” takes over and those precious moments are either skipped completely or rushed through in a few moments.
So, that is my early morning season with God. What about when pressures of trying to cope with all the demands of that day keep pounding away at me. Where is God in it all?
There are many times when I cannot help comparing my love relationship with God like the one I have with my husband. There are busy days when we are not able to spend much time together. There are hectic days when one of us is away from home altogether, perhaps even away for several nights too. (I have always been so very thankful God has not required that very often of us!) Then there are days when we can enjoy spending all the time together. No matter what kind of “Day” Ray and I share, whether away or together, our love and concern for each other’s welfare is always there in our hearts – even if not always at the forefront of our minds.
Although it is pretty impossible comparing a mere man to Almighty God, in so many ways my relationship with them both has similarities. Okay, so Ray is not God and like me makes mistakes, but I have to confess not always wanting to listen to Ray’s words, wanting to do what he suggests I should do even when I know deep down he is right! There are too many times I behave like that with God. “Trust Me,” God says. Especially during those days in dark valleys of doubt, pain, grief that is often hard to do.
When Ray and I were first getting to know each other forty-nine years ago, there was no way I knew his heart and mind as I do now. Since a child I have been so fortunate getting to know the God who never changes. Now I have experienced His care and love so many innumerable times and in so many varied and wonderful ways, I find trusting Him much, much easier. But still He needs to remind this frail, so often faithless woman, that her faithful God IS in control, that He DOES know what is best for her.
There are hours, perhaps even days, when I have not deliberately gone to spend time talking to Him and listening to what He has to say from the Bible to my curcumstances. How stupid I have been! How many mistakes I have made! But our Faithful God, through His Holy Spirit, tries to bring thoughts to my mind, remind me of God’s words, His ways, and prompts me to do things I would not otherwise do. But how much easier it is to hear and obey when I do spend those quality times alone with Him.
As I look back over my “days” – and there have been a huge number of them now – God has always been there in them in ways no one on this earth ever can be and this does include that wonderful husband of mine God has given me!
And no, afraid I did not spend more than a few moments this morning talking to God, just asked Him to control and direct my day.
Now back to spending more time with the great Lover of my soul before I do more writing – and more preparation on that Bible Study. Sigh! Guess I know I’m going to be challenged and convicted myself first by the Holy Spirit through the Word.
So, where is God in YOUR day?

Monday, 13 February 2012

Ray on Monday -What Noah found

My apologies for no blog from Mary last Thursday. I was busy publishing my rostered post on International Christian Fiction Writers blog It is about promotion - whether pleasure or pain for writers. Click here to have a read of my thoughts a few days ago!

And Ray too has been busy but has made time for these thoughts to share with us today.

Read Genesis 6:1-22
Imagine being on board the ark. Tossed around by the cataclysmic weather outside; feeding the animals; cleaning their stalls for a year and maybe enduring sea-sickness. Noah found grace but not comfort. He knew security but not idleness. God’s call on his life was challenging and often unpleasant.

Christians know they are saved by Grace. They have found peace with God and safety from Judgement. What hasn’t been promised is a smooth journey. Christ’s words to the original group, recorded in John 16:33 still rings true, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”.

The disciples of Jesus are called to be witnesses, spokespersons and co-labourers in the Gospel. All have their gifts and abilities and are placed in various circumstances to be God’s sign-post, helping hand or messenger. His grace is tasted by faithful obedience.

The journey with Jesus may be rough but the destination makes it all worth while.

Prayer: Lord, whether I’m happy or not in my circumstances I need you to impart your Grace to me. Cause me to be confident you will work things out for good and make me your sign-post and stepping stone for others to know you. Amen.

Just a closing thought.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10.

Ray (becalmed) Hawkins.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Ray on Monday - A Teaser about Ray's NEW book arriving soon!

Well, the galley proofs have been edited and back at the publisher EVEN BEFORE PUBLISHING. In several weeks time Ray's 3rd book in his 31 Day Devotional Meditation series will be released.

I thought it would be good to let you read this introduction by Ray to CAPTURED BY CALVARY.

The following 31 Day Devotionals are meant to deepen your understanding and increase your love for the Lord Jesus. As you reflect upon what the Lord achieved for you at Calvary, the horror of the cross is transformed into Christ’s glory. It is also our assurance of salvation. The cross for the Christian is an expression of glory and wonder. Why?
Because it speaks of God’s grace, love and majesty!
The message of the crucified Christ comforts because it deals with the issues between us and the Almighty.
It humbles because it says Jesus alone could solve our sin and condemnation problem.
It compels a man or woman to commit his or her life to Jesus. It calls us to leave the realm of Darkness and take up our crosses and follow Him.
The cross is a stumbling block to many. Their sense of righteousness is offended or the effectiveness of their religion is undermined. For others the cross becomes the stepping stone into a new relationship of grace, a new destiny with the Lord God, a new sense of their worth.
There are two roads the Church can travel as it reaches out into the community. The road most appreciated by any community would be the way the good Samaritan travelled. He cared for the oppressed and vulnerable. When the Church serves this way it doesn’t upset people or create waves of antagonism.
The other road is nowhere near as popular or appealing. It is the way of the Cross. This is no scenic route. It is gruesome. It is threatening. It is uncompromising. And yet this very road is the one which brings people out of spiritual and moral darkness and into the light of God’s grace. It is along this way that the Holy Spirit attracts the hearts of people with the wonder of a new beginning, the hope of a greater destiny.
Why?
Because it shows the way to be transformed, made acceptable to God! The individual is liberated to worship the God of Grace and Glory.
Both roads are important.
However the Faith Community must major on what the Apostle Paul considers the power and wisdom of God. This is the road we enter upon when we are captured by the Christ of Calvary.

(copyright 2012) Raymond N. Hawkins.
Hopefully this book will be available by Easter. We will keep you up to date here with news of CAPTURED BY CALVARY so do return to our blog for the Monday and Thursday posts. There will sure be a free giveaway again too!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

WHAT THIS WRITER DOES BESIDES WRITING

I know I seem to too often mention how busy life is here for me in our relatively quiet little village in Tasmania. Well, perhaps I do need to say that very important word, “No” far more often. I thought today I would share some of the things I have been involved in recently that is keeping me busy–perhaps at times too busy!

Published authors involved in writers’ groups may receive manuscripts from other writers to read and comment on. I have certainly had several of those over the years and, while I do very much enjoy trying to help unpublished writers in this way, it has the danger of taking too much time away from my own writing.
And so, what do I do? I lead with my chin and agree to being the presenter/leader of an elective for fiction writers at the Fusion Faith And The Arts week long event. This was held at Fusion’s village of Poatina in January. A beautiful place and do click HERE to check this unusual village out.

While I did come home weary, it was a very exciting and worth while time of fellowship and input into other writer’s efforts as well as getting to know other great folk involved in various other artistic works. This is an annual event and click HERE to find out more about FATA. It was a real privilege to be involved this year.


With Valerie Parv at
RWA National Conference
 Then I came home and straight back into being involved in planning and organising another exciting event. Romance Writers of Australia had contacted their members in Tasmania last year to see if we would consider having a RWA Roadshow here this year. These day seminars have been held successfully in places like Perth, Adelaide and North Queensland to try and give writers a “taste” of our annual National Conferences. However, these are only held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and too many other areas miss out. Since these annual conferences commenced way back in 1991 I have only missed a few. Let me assure you, that while I am looking forward so very much to this one day here in Tasmania, I know it can only be a teaser for the wonderful RWA four day conferences held each year.
I couldn’t go to Melbourne last year and am especially looking forward to this special, yummy “Taster!”

And here is the first announcement, the Teaser for the Taster!

Tasmanian RWA Roadshow
When: Saturday 19th
Where: LINC Tasmania – 8 High Street, Launceston
Time: 9.00am – 5.30pm (with optional dinner afterwards)
Cost: Members $55 (GST incl.) Non-members $66 (GST incl.) – includes lunch
More information about our special guest speakers from Victoria, their exciting elective workshops as well as registration will be available very soon at: http://www.romanceaustralia.com/roadshows_tas.html

Oh, and before I finish this post, I have to also mention my involvement in the Tasmanian Baptist Womens' Ministry committee. Our Conference Day happens on Saturday March 24th . Our theme this year is Where is God in Your Life? Is it obvious to you right now too that I sure need Him with me every moment?
I always enjoy these times of Tassie BWM fellowship. A really great day has been planned this year with a special speaker, Jan Adams, and others doing very important and interesting electives like:- 
Where is God in tough economic times? byAnthony Plisek.
Anthony is Senior Financial Counselor at Anglicare Hobart.
Registration Forms will be available this weekend .

So, once again I’ve lead with that softening chin of mine and am presenting the Bible Study elective, Where Is God In Your Day. And now I’m off to start preparing it! Perhaps God will again try to tell me what to say "No" to and hopefully I'll be listening!

MORE ABOUT THESE EVENTS NEXT WEEK!

And until then I might even be able to write more of my Her Outback Cowboy manuscript? Another perhaps?

Oops! For a moment forgot about the Society Women Writers Tasmania meeting next Monday – and helping to organise their Short Story Contest!