Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Forgiveness is the sign of a Christian

For a long time in my life I've wondered, what is the true sign that I am a Christian? How do I know that I really am a Christian?

Is it having had a conversion experience? Is it speaking in tongues? Is it praying to or worshipping Jesus? Is it belonging to a particular church?

During Bible study tonight I realised what it was - the realisation came when John was talking about forgiveness as the most important thing - he made it clear - forgiveness is the sign of a true Christian!

If I can truly forgive people who have wronged me from the heart, then I know experientially that I belong to Jesus, who also forgives.

Forgiveness is wonderful too - it frees us from the past - far better than the 'closure' that seeing vengeance wrought upon the person who has wronged us can do. Having forgiven people who wronged us, the past painful events no longer have power over us - they are simply in the past, and a glorious peace, the peace which passes understanding, is over those events.

For the thing forgiveness does is it brings peace to our hearts - the peace of the knowledge that we are also forgiven by God. No one can truly experience God's peace until they have forgiven everyone who has wronged them.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

A Connection across the Sea

I got one of those fraudulent calls today, from India. The lady said, "I'm from Telstra, and I'm ringing up about your internet connection and your computer." I knew it was fraudulent because I'm not with Telstra.
Before I answered I prayed inwardly that God would give me His words*.
Then I said, "God loves you."
After a long pause she said, "What?"
I said, "God loves you."
She repeated, "What?" I could tell she was completely flabbergasted.
I said, "Jesus died for you on the cross because he loves you, even though you are a lying, thieving fraudster who is just trying to steal people's money. He died for your sins, because He loves you, even though you are a wicked person, just as he died for me, even though I am a wicked person too. Jesus loves you and wants to save you from that lifestyle and out of that situation where you are doing such evil things all the time. All you have to do is give your life to Him and He will save you."
She was silent for a long time. Then I said, "Do you want me to pray for you?"
She said "Yes."
I prayed something like, "Lord God, please save this lady and accept her into your kingdom. You love her. Please rescue her and help her to realise that You died for her sins and love her and Your blood was shed for her, to save her. I'm praying all these things in Jesus' name, Amen."
She said, "Thankyou," then after a long time, "What is your profession?"
I said, "I don't want to give you any information because you might still be trying to defraud me. But I will pray for you."
She said, "Please pray for me."
I said, "Alright. What is your name?"
She told me a Western name.
I said, "Is that just the name you use for these phone calls? Please tell me your real name."
She told me her real nama and she said, "Can I talk to you again?"
I said, "Ring me any Saturday and I'll talk to you. In the meantime I will pray for you."
Please pray for her, readers. I have put her name on my fridge, to remind me to pray for her! I wonder if she will ring me back?

*Added this afterwards to clarify.
**Special Note - some cynical atheists will say religion exploits people's fears. But it's fine for someone who's comfortable, plush existence allows them to dull the voice of their conscience, to allay and push into the background any thought of the sins and wrongs they have done. But for people who are forced into sinful, rotten lives by economic necessity, the gospel is fantastic, wonderful news. For someone who cannot see a way out of the spiderweb, the lies, the sin and selfishness their life is trapped in, the gospel about Jesus' forgiveness is life from death and water to the parched and thirsty soul.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Broken SmartPhone = An Epiphany.

My brother in law accidentally broke my mobile!

It was a blessing. I was playing piano for a rehearsal tonight, and how relaxing it was without the smart-phone. In weeks past I often would read a kindle book in the breaks while the conductor was talking to the choir, so as not to waste time, & to avoid the temptation to fiddle on the keyboard. But now I was just doing one thing, playing the piano, and it reminded me of the old days, without mobile phones.

In that moment I had an epiphany. Long before I even had a mobile phone, my idol had been, "Don't waste time." Or, to fill in the principle more fully, "Don't waste a moment, because life is short, and you don't know how long you have left in this world." A kind of philosophy that had become a sort of desperate Stoic panic for me. (And how wonderful an aid a phone is for following this philosophy! You can use a smart-phone to fill in those 'wasted' moments with reading more books, emails, blogs, news, checking the time, etc etc. ) I don't think I'm exaggerating in saying that it was an idol, a false god. It was the principle that ruled my life, the idea that enslaved me completely.

But the fact is, if I have faith, I can trust God with my time.

If I am in the centre of God's will, trusting in Jesus, I will have time enough for everything that God wants me to do. In other words, there doesn't need to be a panic to fit everything in - God has his own times for things - and for whatever he has planned for me, I will have enough time to do that.

What a blessing! Thank God my brother in law broke my phone!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Chinese character for Wolf 狼.

Chinese characters actually are little pictures, joined together, each part has a meaning.

The chinese character for wolf is quite evocative:

Is is composed of three radicals (parts) 
犭dog or beast
艮 stillness

A wolf is a dog or creature that you see like a dot in the distance, in stillness.

New strategy - Steam Submarine completely free.

I'm trying a new strategy on Smashwords for a little while - giving away the whole Steam Submarine series (which is available as a single book on Amazon) completely for free as ebooks. I don't know how this will go, but I feel that giving away the first book in a series for free and not the others might irritate readers and make them less likely to buy other books. ...whilst giving the whole series for free might be such a positive experience it convinces the readers to spend money on my other books...

It is a decision I've made in response to reading the following post (alright it's 4 years old but still relevant I think...)


 Steam Submarine 

Please note it is likely to take a little while for the price change to filter through to the Apple iBookstore and other vendors...

Up to date.

Currently I'm working on quite a few different projects - several non-fantasy books that I will probably publish under a different name, the genre is thriller, perhaps Christian thriller, actually.

Also, the Chronicles of Marwe, a story about a young homeless girl set in the same world as my first three novels, the Gryphonomicon Histories.

Also, the audiobook of the Henry Lawson books is being edited as well at the moment.

Should have more news soon.

Interesting video

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Paper Genders.

Reading another book by Walt Heyer, the man who went through transgender surgery, then transitioned back and ended up getting married to a woman. This book, Paper Genders, is about the purported research behind the transgender phenomenon.

Walt Heyer recounts the history of research into sexuality (Alfred Kinsey and his successors) and unnecessary psychophysical surgery (starting with lobotomies in the early 20th century) and it is a shocking indictment, a history of unnecessary butchery and perverse ideas. You really have to read the book to believe it, and it is well researched and appropriately footnoted.

What really is shocking is that while transgender surgery is touted as the answer to gender dysphoria, yet what is obvious is that other, underlying problems that cause the gender dysphoria to manifest remain untreated. The suicide rate after surgery is very high, and suicide clearly occurs in cases where there is no bullying and only expressions of support from other people, which indicates that it is not the social stigma or bullying but the operation itself/and/or the underlying, untreated mental illness which causes the suicide.

The shocking facts in the book keep coming. The post-operative fate of over 90% of transgenders is unknown, because they lose touch with their doctors. The post-operative attempted suicide rate is 41%, far greater than the general population.

Anyone interested in where we are heading as a society and the truth about what we are told about transgenderism ought to read this book, Paper Genders, by Walt Heyer. Too often these days we are only exposed to one side of an argument, when the other side of any argument sometimes has merit, and sometimes is actually a devastating critique. Truth is truth, facts are facts, but we live in a post-truth world, where unfortunately the simple fact of which gender someone is, a genetically verifiable fact, is being allowed to be swallowed up in lies and propaganda. (Intersex, a medical condition where someone has aspects of both genders, is a completely different condition, btw.)