Sunday, December 23, 2012

Watch The Clouds #1.


Watch the Clouds –part 1.

I enjoy watching the clouds as they float or whiz across the skies. They can never be the same, always changing, always appealing. Within the bible clouds tell some important truths.

They surround the very presence of God. In Exodus 19 is the account of the Lord calling the Nation of Israel before Mt. Sinai. It is an awesome sight with lightning, thunder and thick cloud. Was this to create a sense of awe in the Nation? Was it also a way of protecting the Nation from the holiness of God?  To be in His presence unprotected from His holiness would be to self-destruct.

How then can there be any hope for anyone to enjoy the Lord’s company? Only by the Lord God dressing us in His righteousness. This can only be possible by dealing with our sinfulness. In turn we are powerless to achieve any of this. For it to happen the Lord God who dwells among the clouds must come and deal with our sin, inabilities and inadequate ‘clothing’ for His company.

Here is the reason for Christmas. Here is the achievement of Calvary. Here is the message of the Gospel. God has come out of the clouds in Christ Jesus.  He has dealt with our sin, He has dealt with our spiritual inabilities. He has provided garments of righteousness. Now we have the promise, His promise, that one day we will penetrate the clouds surrounding Him. On that day those cleansed and appropriately dressed will see Him face to face.

In Exodus 24:9-18 is an account of a select group with Moses being near God on Mt. Sinai. The cloud of His presence covered them but they saw Him through it. The people at the mountain’s base only saw a devouring fire. Those in the cloud enjoyed the Lord’s fellowship as well as each others. In Revelation 21-22 we see the time when the cloud is lifted. Then we will dwell in His presence unhindered.

Next week. Watch out for the Cloud – part 2.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Strength Renewed by Shirley Corder - Book review.

Strength Renewed by Shirley Corder.
Published by Revell

Why would I agree to review ‘Strength Renewed’? I’m a man and this is about having Breast Cancer and is written by a woman, Shirley Corder, from South Africa. It is in fact a series of 90 meditations which takes us on her journey with this condition. It is an insight into the trial, travail and triumph she experienced.

Cancer casts a dreadful pall over more than the afflicted one. Family, friends, colleagues are all drawn into its gloom. Shirley shares her journey into, through and out of this oppressive dark mist of the soul. She writes honestly, simply and with nice touches of her beloved country of South Africa.

It gave me some insights into the emotional, spiritual and relational roller-coaster the patient endures. It is worth reading by friends of the cancer sufferer to help them handle their own emotions so as to stand with their loved one or colleague. I’m a retired minister and believe this book would be helpful in a pastoral setting. Following a page describing a stage in her journey, three questions are asked. This is for personal reflection. I think they would be very helpful for family members to share in also. Maybe breast cancer support groups could use them to good effect. The time may be rounded off with a short prayer already there and a short, relevant Bible verse.

Life can throw us off balance in so many ways. Then it is easy to lose direction, hope, faith and a sense of personal value. In such times we need some resources and understanding people to help us regain our balance and perspective for living. ‘Strength Renewed’ by Shirley Corder and published by Revell is one such resource especially for breast cancer sufferers. It is out now and available in good book shops. It is also available on an ebook

Reviewed by Ray Hawkins
I was sent this book by the publisher, Revell, to be reviewed.

http://www.shirleycorder.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Justice without Righteousness

"We want Justice!"  "Give us our rights!" are the demands of people across the globe. There are forums on achieving it: riots to demand it: letters to the newspapers to plead for it and late night chat shows debating how to achieve it. All this is well and good except for one thing. What is that? As with a coin so with Justice. There are two sides to it.

The Greek word for justice is also the word for righteousness. Strange don't you think that people are not demanding righteousness or rioting for the right to do the right thing. If you tried to cut a coin in two and remove, as it were, the tail, the head would be debased, worthless. This is what happens when justice is demanded but the right to do the right thing is scorned.

Justice and righteousness  require the acceptance, assurance and application of some absolute standard. Without it what is justice for you may well be tyranny for me. I think such things are happening in the so called 'Arab Spring.' Without a framework for righteousness what I might see as unrighteous and harmful could be seen by others as beneficial and enjoyable.

To my mind we are witnessing an increasing clamor for justice, meaning I want what I think is my due, without a foundation of Absolutes. This justifies violence, lies, selfishness and destruction of property as a means to achieve so called justice. Righteousness without a basis on which it can stands becomes subjective and a person becomes his or her evaluator of what is right at any given moment.

No one has come up with a better foundation on which to define justice or righteousness than the Christian Bible. Since society as a whole has rejected its authority and its absolutes we face growing moral breakdown and increasing anger over injustices. But then one man's justice may simply be causing an injustice to another.

I think I'll will stick to standing on the Absolutes declared by the Lord God within the pages of our Bible. Hosea 10:12 said it well: 'Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.'

Ray (Standing on the Absolutes of Scripture) Hawkins

Monday, December 3, 2012

ACRBA Tour Back To Resolution by Rose Dee




3 - 7 December




is introducing 
(Even  Before Publishing November 2012)

About the Author:

Rose Dee

Rose Dee was born in Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel.



Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, decided to try her hand at writing two years ago. The result of that attempt is her first novel, 'Back to Resolution'. 
Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women.



Rose’s other releases include, 'Beyond Resolution' - the second book in the 'Resolution' series. And ‘A New Resolution’ – the final book in the series.
Rose has also co-written a novel in conjunction with three other outstanding Australian Authors; ‘The Greenfield Legacy’.



Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pup, Noodle.


Book Description:

Back to Resolution


Bay Anders is lost. She enjoys every privilege a wealthy upbringing affords, but the void in her soul refuses to be filled.
Her mother's dying revelation drives Bay to the brink of self destruction, before a move to Australia changes everything. She embarks upon a search for her father that leads her to his island home, into a hazardous melting pot of hostile locals and a mystery – her father's disappearance.
The only person who can help her is a strong, selfassured and intensely magnetic man. Bay must fight an overwhelming attraction to stay focused on her goal.

Flynn McKenna is hiding from the world. A past filled with mistakes drove him to withdraw from society and live in seclusion. But the arrival of a woman he cannot avoid
shatters his solitary existence. As the search for Bay's father unites them, can he resist his desire for her?
It becomes a race against time as developers try to take over the island.

From the glittering streets of LA, to the beautiful
Daintree forest in North Queensland, to the idyllic island `Resolution', Back to Resolution is a romantic mystery that shows how far a little faith can go.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Denying History

Strange don't you think how dictators want to deny history or falsify history for their own evil intent. This has been true in the politcal and religious spheres since Nimrod built Babylon.

The present religious bully boys in the Middle East, the Islamist, are trying to deny history and rewrite themselves into  the vacuum they create. Ancient records engraved in stone and situated in  many archaeological sites by the Assyrian, Babylonian, Medio-Persian and Roman powers bear testimony to Israel's history. These records are outside of the Judeo-Christian Bible's account.

The hatred Islam has towards Israel goes to such depths as denying Israel's history, links with the land and  even its Biblical 'birth.' The tragedy is compounded by the removal and destruction of historical sites in Jerusalem and around the temple mount. Priceless artifacts are made junk and dumped as they try and rewrite hisory.

To me the silence of much of the media and sections of the Christian Church on this is disturbing. To deny and falsify Biblical and Israelitish history ultimately undermines the Christian Faith and the person and work of Jesus Christ.

The Bible however is never caught by surprise. It has included warnings about such warped thinking and action. It also bears testimony to an evil personage who endeavours to change times and seasons.  His coming and his destruction is already recorded in Daniel, 2 Thessalonians and Revelation.

'He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out  the holy ones of the Most High, and shall attempt to change the sacred seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his power for a time, two times, and a half a time.' Daniel 7:25.  Revelation 13:1-18. 19:17-20.

'I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away the person's share in the tree of life and the holy city which are described in this book.' Compare also Deuteronomy 4:2. 12:32. Proverbs 30:6.

Trying to write out of history the work of God in, to and through Israel is to also plunder the reality and ministry of the Church of Jesus the Christ. It is also calling the Godhead a liar. That's dangerous and self destructive.

Ray (believing the bible's history) Hawkins.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When the Mask is Washed

Screams, sobs and some small tantrums came from the bathroom. The five year old was having a bath. Not any old every day type of dunking. No! It meant the butterfly painted on that morning at the fair was going down the gurgler. The five year old felt it was a catastrophe never to recover from.

How similar to adults. The issue will not be a painted butterfly but some other seemingly important matter. Being older means we may not scream, sob or do a tantrum. We may brood, sulk, and resent God when He drags us off to be washed by His Word. Our masks are not painted but they can be hiding the real self. The Lord isn't interested in the mask. He loves the real you, the real me.

When we enter into God's realm He gives us a spiritual bath. It is internal and it is eternal. His design is a complete make-over. The victory of Christ Jesus at the cross on our behalf deals with the self-righteous camouflage, the stain of sinfulness and the bruises from shame.

After the bath and when the next day came the five year old had moved on from the attachment to the face painting.The same happens to us when the Lord removes the masks and the stains and bruises of our inner being. A new person emerges to face a new day with a new freshness.

Therefore maybe it is time for God to give some of us a new wash through confronting us with the 'water of His word.'

Ray (thankful for the wash) Hawkins

Monday, November 19, 2012

By Whose Authority

On what authority do you stand to make the claims you make?     
Over the years questions like that have arisen when either sharing or debating moral or religious matters. Knowing what you believe and why is important. However is the ground on which you take your stand solid or a quagmire?

Ultimately the foundation on which we build our faith, our hope, our lifestyle will be tested. There are consequences, some not perceived or desired, from believing what we believe. There is a looming debate concerning euthanasia. People want the right to end their own life when, where and how they choose. Sounds reasonable. However I wonder on what authority do they make the decision? What is their authority about life or non life after death?Have they made adequate preparation to meet God? How do they consider Him (or her or it)?
What is the authority of their view?

For me my authority for life, living and dying is the Judeo-Christian Bible. In ever increasing circles the Bible is being ignored or merged with other religious writings and sometimes the secular tomes as well. I would like to say that if the Koran, the Hindu scriptures, Book of mormon and the theories of evolution were put under the same intense scrutiny as the Bible has endured they would crumble.

In every field of investigation the Bible has stood the test and has come through without blemish. This isn't the space to expand on it but there are websites,books and videos upholding the integrity and veracity of the Bible. The main reason people refuse to accept its authority is because it upholds a view of God as holy and the sinfulness of humanity.  To imagine ourselves as acceptable to God either elevates our goodness or sullies God's holiness. To accept the Bible's authority requires us to cry out for a Saviour.

Who can claim to be that Saviour? On what tested and tried authority can such a Saviour be trusted? No one measures up apart from Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, crucified, risen and coming again! What is my authority. The Bible! Is this wishful thinking? No! It is the result of research, historical events, archealogical support, language and culture from the times of writing, and the eye witness accounts of those who wrote about Jesus.

My authority doesn't come from my own conceits or wishful thinking. I stand on solid ground, the Bible. How solid is your ground? 

Ray (standing on solid ground) Hawkins

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Press Release - Bethlehem's Warrior Baby


I would like to share with you the following press release from my publisher.
You can order it direct from 'Even Before Publishing' or your local christian bookshop or contact me.


PRESS RELEASE
Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby

Cover of latest 31 Day devotional

The Warrior Child – more than just a baby in a Christmas Nativity Scene
Born with a silver spoon in the mouth denotes privilege. How would you define a babe born with a sword in the mouth? A warrior!  This is true of Jesus. Born at Bethlehem he is no sentimental baby merely surrounded by sheep and donkeys and cows too. Christ is the Warrior of Heaven. He has come on a mission. When we celebrate Christmas we need to see it from His perspective.
Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby does just that, through Biblical accounts, author Ray Hawkins has written a 31 day devotional about Jesus the Warrior born at Bethlehem. Gain new insights or refresh well known ones while reading this book. From Genesis to Revelation you will see the promised One become the One who has come. Then be taken further to see Christmas fulfilled when Jesus comes again.
“This new release from Ray Hawkins is just in time for Christmas for a reason. It’s at this time of year that we once again hear the story of Jesus’ birth,” said Wombat Books Principal, Rochelle Manners, “This story has been told so often, it is refreshing to gain a deeper understanding of what Jesus came to do.”
Ray said, “This book is about the Christ of Christmas and I’ve written it for all who are interested in a deeper understanding of this event.”
Ray retired from fulltime Christian ministry after 40 years. This covered time in NSW and QLD and the UK. In his senior years were three short term mission trips to Africa shared with his wife Mary. A promotional book for an African mission began Ray's writing career. The 31 day Devotional highlighted God's faithfulness in their African village experiences. Being retired he still continues to preach and teach. The main emphasis of his writings is to unfold a life theme and throw light on it from the Bible.
Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby is available in all good bookstores or online at www.evenbeforepublishing.com or www.lightthedark.com.au. 

For more information:
Sally Ford
Even Before Publishing
Phone: 07 3245 1938


Sunday, November 11, 2012

African memories.

Africa In Our Hearts

We left something in Africa – part of our hearts. We brought back lots from that country, including precious memories. Mary and I had the privilege of going three times to this continent on short term mission study tours. We were led by Roger Ellem and experienced village life, various slums and gracious hospitality and inspirational church involvement.
 
Mary and I with Pastor Abel and Family - Zambia

Some mementos sit on our shelves, photos adorn walls and albums. Whenever Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ghana make the news we become transfixed to radio or Television. I only have one real regret, we were not in the position to have done this sooner when younger so we could have gone more often.

Keeping a daily journal keeps the memory fresh when reread. That kept nagging me to make a more disciplined account of some of our discoveries of our Lord’s faithfulness and His church’s experiences in our lives. This became the basis of my first serious attempt at writing. It took the form of a 31 day devotional. Since then I’ve had four other devotional books on different themes published by Even Before Publishing 

The Neurotic Rooster was the African publication. It has been used by others who have considered and then gone on short term mission trips. The title came from a rooster who used the roof of where we stayed for his perch. I think he was worried about snakes or cats or...? Anyway his nocturnal habits kept us awake and nearly made us neurotic. The account is briefly outlined in the devotional.

I would like to offer a couple of these books to interested folk in a giveaway draw opportunity. If you would like one simply make a comment to go into the draw. This would be limited to Australia and New Zealand. However if someone from outside that zone commented who knows what might happen!

This will be open until November 30.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Ray (African daydreamer) Hawkins,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mary's book - Ray's delight.


5 - 9 November
is introducing 
(Ark house March 2008)

by Mary Hawkins

About the Author:

Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author with other 825,000 romance books in print. During the first few years of being published she also had five medical romance novels released by Harlequin Mills & Boon before concentrating on inspirationals for Barbour Publishing (Ohio). Return to Baragula is her first single title and the first released by an Australia publisher.

Mary was a Queensland farmer's daughter, became a registered nurse and has a graduate diploma from a Sydney Bible College where she met her husband. Ray is a retired minister who is also a published author. They enjoyed ministries in Australia, three short term mission trips to Africa and two years at a church in England before settling in beautiful Tasmania. They have three adult children and are now proud grandparents. Mary is a member of several writing organisations including American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers America, their Faith Hope Love chapter and Australian Omega Writers. She enjoys speaking appointments and writing workshops where she can share the journey she has been walking for many years with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

www.mary-hawkins.com

Book Description:

Return To Baragula
Over the years Emily Parker's actions as a teenager have impacted not only her own life, but the lives of many different people. Now, six years later, she returns reluctantly to her home town of Baragula only to discover the man at the heart of those actions, Matthew Davidson, is the community's respected doctor. While Emily's faith is now severely weakened by all that has happened, Matthew's life has completely turned around since he committed his life to Christ. His personal relationship with God is tested when he discovers how his behaviour when a non-believer hurt so many, especially Emily, and feels responsible for her hardness of heart towards the Lord. Disease attacks the community while danger from another source threatens Emily and her family. Through it all, will Matthew and Emily's faith be strong enough to forgive each other and put the past behind them?
Ray's Rights
Having lived through the drama of Mary's writing I want to add my bit. She has overcome many obstacles on the way to becoming a best selling author. Self doubts about ability, raising children, supporting me in my ministry (self-supporting church planting for over ten years) selling World books and then Home Nursing plus helping establish CWCI in Gladstone Qld, and of course 4 moves from one ministry to another. She began writing in long hand. Then we bought a typewriten and then she worked as a nurse for 5 years to help purchase a house and buy a computer. 
I read 'Return to Baragula' out of duty.  I found to my amazement it was not only well written, as I knew it would be, but that it was a good story for blokes. Since then it's been my privilege to read and enjoy the follow on stories.
Ray (proud of my wife) Hawkins. 



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Love Bytes and Poem.

Should you once again cross my blog and wonder what's new, take heart.
I've added some 'Love Bytes' and a new poem about my Grand daughter Haylee and how I overcame her sleep resistance. Have a read. I'll be adding a new blog and a new devotional in a day or two (maybe three).

Ray (trying to catch up) Hawkins

Friday, October 26, 2012

Whose hat is that?

Since childhood I've enjoyed wearing hats, and caps. not quite sure as to the reason why. Maybe because my dad and grandad wore them. Still when I played baseball and cricket they were a sign of the team to which I belonged.

As you can see in the photo Adam, my youngest grandson has caught the bug. In fact he likes to take mine and claim it for his own. I've had a number of my caps commandeered by him and 'hidden' at his house.

If I don't happen to have a cap/hat on when he comes he asks me where is your hat Grandad? Often he comes with his on and I have to swap mine for his. It is good fun and a part of our routine.

While he will grow out of cap snatching we are forming memories together which will make us smile down the years.

There are other memories I hope we are sharing. The pleasure of games together, the joy of attending church with our families, the stories read and games he plays on my computer. Most of all I pray that he and his brothers and sisters will know that their grandad and grandma love them, pray for them and seek to help them to know about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:6: Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are  the pride of their children'. This expresses the delight of Mary's and my experiences as parents and grandparents.

Ray (rarely hatless) Hawkins

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Keeping an eye on things

At the sea horse business our children own I often do the late night check. This simply means ensuring the water and air are on, there are no leaks and the lights are turned off with doors secured.

Most of the time things are okay. Still the need is there to make sure. There have been times when some little things have needed adjusting or after storms equipment requires checking. The sea horses are indifferent to all this. However should something go wrong they would feel it.

I would apply that to my own spiritual health. I need constant check-ups to see that my spirit is functioning well and my spiritual journey is going in the right direction. To read the bible,worship, pray and put into practice God's word is the way the Lord checks me out.

I'm glad my Lord and Saviour takes the time to cast His eye into and over my life. Across the years His intervention has saved me from some unpleasant failures. The sea horses don't appreciate my care for them. However I certainly appreciate the Lord keeping His eye on me.

Ray (in need of being watched) Hawkins

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Books - Books - Book!

Books-Books-Book!
They were everywhere. Enticing, appealing and very reasonably priced the books at the Word Writers’ Getaway appealed to my pocket  Perhaps I should add, to my wife’s reading tastes and therefore to raiding my wallet again.

The Friday to Sunday convention was held at a nice centre at Alexandria Heads, Qld. Nearly 100 writers attended and enjoyed great seminars, good fellowship and enjoyable food. Rochelle Manners from Wombat books/Even Before Publishing organized this event. She did a top job.

Every generation needs to hear about Jesus, the cross, God’s grace and the need for each to choose to accept or reject God’s offer of forgiveness. This requires the information being dressed in modern stories about modern people facing modern (yet old) problems. So Christian writers constantly need to assess their craft, refresh their thinking, be encouraged and stay focused.

Christian literature in all genres is so important. The stress at the ‘Getaway’ was upon good writing, good production and good marketing about the greatest story ever told. The book on the left was launched at this Word Writers weekend' It is excellent. An absorbing family drama set in south Australia and written by 4 well known authors. Available at www.evenbeforepublishing.com  or soon in Christian bookshops.

The writer of the bible book, Ecclesiastes, centuries ago wrote about the increase in books (to which he added his). I wonder what he would make of today’s output?

If you aspire to write consider attending Word Writers’ Fair in 2013.
Ray (compulsive writer) Hawkins.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dynamic aging


Mary's Mum, our son and three of his children.
Being a member of the grey-haired brigade I began reflecting on what God has in mind for us. Our energy levels are lower, aches and pains more frequent. What Jesus said to His disciples, much younger than us reveals our state of endurance: 'The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak'.

So into the Scriptures I jumped. God has a lot of time for the older people. He has definite areas of service and caring for us to undertake. Even a quick look at the people the Lord called upon to work with Him shows a liking for senior citizens. They come from difference backgrounds, go through various testing times and prove their commitment and dependence upon their Lord.

Out of my rummaging through the scriptures it hit me: Dynamic aging is Christ Jesus' desire for us. Such aging doesn't always mean good health easy circumstances or no list of failures. What it offers us is a sense of ongoing purpose, special areas for service and time to get properly dressed to enter His presence.

This motivated me to begin another book in the 31 Day Series of Biblical Devotional Meditations. The working title 'Dynamic Aging' . Hopefully it will be accepted before I'm too much older.

Ray (being recharged) Hawkins

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Craft Shop.

The Craft Shop.

The robbery of the Beaconsfield bank of its gold was sensational on July 23rd 1884. The amount stolen was 2,600 pounds equal to over $2 million dollars today.

Time has passed. So to has the bank. It is now a craft shop for the West Tamar craft creating people. The skills of the people from the area is wonderful. From wood turning to wool garments. Paintings and miniature dolls to jewellery and books. All and more is on display and sale.

I’m a volunteer there as my books and Mary’s sit begging people to peruse and purchase. Twice a month my days come around. It is interesting as folk from all around the world drop by.

As I look at the variety of the crafts it reminds me of the creative power the Lord has bestowed upon us. More than that I read in Ephesians 2:10 that when we give our lives to Christ Jesus by faith He makes us His unique masterpiece.!

For many of us we remain works in progress. There seems to be some chip to smooth, a few loose threads to mend and maybe a fair bit of polishing to attend too.  None of that detracts from the fact each of us are the Lord’s work. As the shop contains a wide range of creative work, so too does the Church.

When the Lord displays to the world what He has done it  is often through people such as us. People com into the shop looking for something special for themselves or others. When people come to the Church there is a similar attitude. How wonderful it is when they spy what they need in your life or mine. Greater still the thrill to show how Christ Jesus through his word can create in that person also.

Ray (still a work in progress) Hawkins.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hear ye, Hear ye!

New poem and new Bible study added to their respective pages.
Check them out.
Hope you enjoy them

Fancy Fins

Fancy Fins

Saturday September 22nd I was involved with a new venture. I only had a very small part to play in it, as did Mary, but we were there! Craig and Rachelle Hawkins opened a new venture associated with Seahorse Australia This was in their shed on Inspection head Wharf, Beauty Point Tasmania.

Fancy Fins is the name of their fresh water aquarium shop and on the day was officially opened. Included were a garage sale and sausage sizzle. Four of our six grandchildren helped out by selling books and videos or cooking and selling sausages.

It was a beautiful sunny day and drew lots and lots of people. There are still facets of the shop still to be finalised, still the people who came gave it the thumbs up, especially the local fish lovers.

God seems to delight in taking His disciples into new and challenging dimensions so as to make Himself known in a deeper way. For Craig, who is a professional forester with many years leadership in the area, the Lord has literally given him a ‘sea-change’. Our son is the first to admit the change-over was hard to adjust to.

Our Lord sometimes requires us to trust Him with new ventures of faith and obedience. Often it requires perseverance and determination, confident in the call of God. That fragrance permeates their whole business and has produced a testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness, especially through demanding days.

Mary and I are thrilled that Jesus Christ allowed us to be part of this new faith venture. It was a small part but a privilege to share in it.
 
Ray (watching the fishes) Hawkins.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Missionary Friends

It has been 30 plus years since they last dropped by. What a delight it was to have them share three days of their holiday with us in Tasmania. Sure we have maintained contact through letters and new email but there is nothing quite as good as a personal visit.

Ken and Helen MacNaughtan are retired missionaries who worked in the Samberigi area of P.N.G. Even in retirement they maintain a close and sometimes hands on relationship with thier missionary organisation. As pioneer workers they experienced the tough times in remote areas of New Guinea. They also knew the faithfulness of God and the value of faithful, supportive co-workers.

On their return to Australia Helen realised  a need. Many missionaries returning after long or short service found it hard to settle down into former routines. Family and friends had developed new areas of interest and churches were unsure as to how to  assist returning workers from the various fields. Out of this came a simple and very practical hand-book called 'Re-Entry'.  It has proven so very, very popular and helpful to missionaries and churches.

You can contact me for information about receiving a copy $4 plus postage.

Adjustments can be hard in any period of life.It is important to realise difficulties even before they arise, have supportive family and friends and be patient with yourself and others through what is a stressful time. Being assured of the grace and over-ruling presence of our Lord does create some relief through a confusing period.

May God use us as 'stress relief' for those going through a 're-entry' experience.

Ray (enjoying stress relief) Hawkins

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Vitamin D for Good health

The Need for Vitamin D.
I went to the doctor’s recently. He gave me a good pass considering my age. However he did write a script for me to purchase some vitamin D. I wasn’t sure if it was because of my being indoors too much or simply Tasmania’s weather through Autumn and Winter.

This vitamin is essential for producing calcium and sound bones which in turn prevents rickets. So a tablet a day keeps rickets and other nasties at bay.

Being a preacher I thought how good it would be if I could prescribe vitamin D in its spiritual form. Too many Christians suffer from a deficiency of being in the Son-light and suffer from a lack of stamina in their faith. Their spiritual strength and motivation suffers from the spiritual equivalent of rickets. Their Christian life, worship and enthusiasm is disjointed and unable to stand the strain of an ungodly society.

The most efficient manner for spending time in the Son-light is by a daily dose of Scripture and prayer. The Bible society has become alarmed at the poor spiritual health of church goers. To assist in their recovery of strength to handle life and motivation to obey the Lord it has produced a great ‘vitamin kit’. It’s called ‘Live Light in 25 words’. The idea is to take the time to read approximately 25 words from the Bible daily. This will bring the Light of God’s grace into your life. In return it will counter the spiritual ailments of living in the shadows of ignorance and unbelief.

Do you want to know where to begin this ‘treatment? Genesis is best. Next I’d recommend Gospel of Mark followed by the Psalms.  Doing this will help you enjoy the promise of the Lord Jesus in John 8:12:’I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life’.

So in the words of the Apostle John in 3 John 2 ‘Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul’.

Ray (vitamin D enthusiast) Hawkins