The book journey

amazon-kindleI’m getting ready to self publish my manuscript about ‘The Kingdom Within’ as an eBook.  I haven’t settled on the title yet.  My plan is to self-publish as I don’t think traditional publishers will be interested.  This book is in a unique genre all by itself.

I’ve been told in my book appraisal that the manuscript is so different that it may struggle to find a market. The blend of memoir/fantasy fiction/devotional theology is extremely unusual. Despite what has been said about publishers looking for fresh vibrant voices, they don’t actually want too unusual a book, since it is too great a risk for them in a marginal market. 

I understand that and look forward to the self publishing adventure.

Cath Dunsford, my publishing consultant, really helped me kick the ball off.  I gave her the first three chapters on paper whilst working on her computer.  Then she asked for the rest, saying “First impressions are always important when considering a text for assessment for publication as well as subsequent readings of the full manuscript.   I have read the text you left me already – so gripped I could not put it down.  Many have written memoirs and about abuse but none, in all my 40 years of work, have ever related the close guidance of the Bible to finding a way forward in quite the way you have.   The writing is utterly beautiful and very moving. It is compact and powerful.”

Her feedback got the book going as I really respect her.  She is a published author and friend of Witi Ihimera, the author of “The Whale Rider.”

I’ve had the manuscript edited.  There’s a bit of a back-story finding Marie Anticich, my editor.   She’s a journalist and editor for some Christian magazines.  I was led to her through learning the sound desk at church!

(The back-story)  Why did I put my hand up for a job best left for the boys?  I’m a computer technician and thought the sound desk would be easy enough to learn.  I also thought the Lord wanted me to volunteer for it!  Well you know what ‘thought thought’.  Sound practise was okay – but I made all sorts of mistakes during the church service the first few times.  Anyway it’s all good because the church has survived my efforts on the sound desk, I’ve learned a new skill, and it led me to the book editor.

Marie is a bit of a sergeant major, but I really appreciate her and the manuscript needed her criticism.  Marie told me about the Caleb award, a book competition that Omega Writers were running in 2013.  The competition fee included a book appraisal.  That was the next piece of the puzzle.

The book appraisal said “the constant reference to ‘the Princess’ actually detaches the readers slightly from the story, instead of allowing them to walk in her shoes.  Instead of the massive emotional punch certain scenes should carry, the real conflict is muted because of this detachment.”

So I’ve changed ‘the Princess’ to ‘Joanna’, keeping the viewpoint in the third person.

I was advised to tell the reader more of who I am and aim for reader sympathy.  Taking Marie’s advice, I changed the first chapters with that in mind.  Then she said I was too sad and no one likes a victim!  So it’s been back to the drawing board; and now (hopefully) I’ve got the mix right.

Here’s the overall comments so far:

Omega Writers: “This is a really awesome story with a fabulous blend of unusual elements. It has the potential to wield a strong and powerful impact if the issues of ‘show don’t tell’ are addressed.”  (I’ve addressed those issues).

Dunsford Publishing: “The quality and beauty of the writing in the preface really draws the reader in and it issues a warm invitation to come ad share this amazing journey. You have really achieved a stunning work of writing, here, Jo.”

The book synopsis is here: Book Synopsis.

The first three chapters are here: The Kingdom Chapters 1-3

The entire book is available to read here:  Kingdom third draft.  Ask me for the password.

If you do want to read the book, I would appreciate a book review or feedback, and a plug for it on your Blog or Facebook when it’s published.

I welcome your comments if you read the draft.

The deaf shall hear

Anna Dassler

Anna Dassler

Anna, a young German woman emigrated to New Zealand with her husband Wilhelm and baby son in 1875.  She went deaf soon after her arrival and was unable to learn English.  After 22 years she was left a widow with half of her eight children under the age of twelve.  There was no social welfare back then, her older sons provided for her.  She didn’t have citizenship because their papers were destroyed in the bush fires that had raged through the province in the 1880’s.

Although Anna could not hear, she was not deaf when it came to hearing from God.   His became the only voice she could hear.   She heard him by reading his word.  A stranger in a strange land, her consolation came from the great words of the Bible.

Anna was my great-great grandmother.   It was obvious from a couple of very old letters of Anna’s that she’d made contact with the Lord through reading the Bible. Some have described Anna’s letters as ‘religious’. I didn’t see it that way. Even though she was a stranger from another culture writing in German, I felt she was speaking my language. Her letters comforted me.

This is one of the things she wrote;

“Trust the Lord in your ways and free yourself of your troubles. Trust His fatherly care, before him nothing is too hard or too large that He cannot guide and lead you by the glory of His name to greater love and happiness. Of all the people and possessions, my saviour is still nearest to me.  The Lord sees into your heart.”  Anna Dassler.

Her words eventually helped guide me back to the Father. It took me a long time to realise that an ancestor’s legacy of faith was God’s gift to me.

God breathedI came to know the Lord after a gap of three generations.  The reason the faith did not get handed down could have been because of hearing and language difficulties and the loss of Wilhelm, or it could have been the presence of Freemasonry in the family.  Or it could have been a combination of all of those factors.

I had my hearing, but I was deaf to God at first.  It took me 20 years before I could hear him.  I first heard him at the age of 35 while reading from Hosea in the Bible.

Sometimes I’m asked how I am able to hear God’s voice. I look at it like this; he’s an author, and we’re in his story. The Lord is called “the author and finisher of our faith” in Hebrews 12:1-2.

We hear him through faith, by taking him at his word. As I said; faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the word. That word is the Bible. It’s the only book that has the power to reach the spirit.   On its own can be mistaken for a series of stories, wise sayings, and songs. However it is only through the development of a relationship with the author of the Bible, getting to know his thought processes and connecting with his spirit that we come to recognise the power of his word.

So I began to hear the author of the Bible after reading his book.  Jesus calls it having “ears to hear”.  He taught in parables saying “Whoever has ears, let them hear,” Matthew 11:15

What happens when we haven’t read or heard the word?  God will use signs, dreams, coincidences, and songs or movies from those prophets of the world who have been inspired to write things that line up with his word.  But his normal way of speaking personally to us is through the Rhema word; a word from the Bible for personal application.

dusty-bibleI encourage my son and daughter to read the Bible.  I say it’s the most important book they’ll ever read.  I know if they read it, hearing will come.  But it’s up to them.  I hope they will listen to me because the time is late.

I do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for us to wake up from our slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  Romans 13:11.

In my next blog post, I’m going to show you how God is speaking to those who haven’t read the Bible.

The rider on the white horse

Horse-homage

WWI soldiers shown paying homage to their equine partners

In NZ we’ve just observed the centenary of the battle of Gallipoli, where ANZAC troops fought for the British empire.  On Anzac Day I watched the movie “War horse”.   It bought a lump to my throat and made me think of our own horses.  Of the thousands of horses shipped off to war from New Zealand, only a horse called Bess came back.    

There were lots of tears by those men over their horses, and I know the Lord understands.

When Jesus returns as the King, he will be on his own warhorse, at the head of his army.

Perhaps God had the war horses in mind when he inspired Job to write about the horse in the earliest book of the Bible;

“Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
Do you make it leap like a locust, striking terror with its proud snorting?
It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into the fray.
It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; it does not shy away from the sword.
The quiver rattles against its side, along with the flashing spear and lance.
In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground; it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’ It catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry.
Job 39:19-25

Holy to the Lord

There will be horses in the Millennial Kingdom.   You will hear the sound of their bells as they trot, and on their bells will be the inscription “holy to the Lord.” Holy means “whole”.  When Jesus reigns in his kingdom, all will be made whole.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21:3-4

But be aware that before the second coming, we will be hearing the hoof beats of the first horseman of the Apocalypse – the rider on the white horse who is given a bow and told to conquer.  Just remember – that’s not Jesus. It will be Apollyon (the destroyer) imitating him.

So while the world is going ooooh and aaaahh marvelling over the fake Messiah, remember the warning Jesus gave us in Matthew 24:5;
Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my Name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.
“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  – Matthew 24:1-26

Jesus will come like a thief in the night for the Church; an event as sudden as lightning.  After that He will return at the end of Tribulation on his white horse, for all to see.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  Revelation 19:11-13

Jesus wins

The ultimate reveal

This is going to wander a bit, but I hope you’ll bear with me.  We’re going to go from clothes, to Chinese characters, to Mount Hermon, and back to clothes.  I promise you it will be interesting.  It’s based on the theme of “light”.

Lately I’ve had to take more of an interest in fashion.  My daughter made me an appointment with a style consultant at the shopping mall where she works.  It was to help me sort out which outfits and colour combinations suit me best.

I’d rather wear clothes that suit me than bow to the current fashion fad, and I hate uncomfortable womens shoes. I grew up on a farm wearing jeans and gumboots.  Now I work in a computer workshop, wearing pants and a monogrammed polo shirt. My daughter on the other hand, works in retail fashion, and has no trouble choosing clothes and shoes.  She was inspired to help women with clothes because of the difficulty I have experienced getting help and advice when shopping.

I was anxious about the consultation beforehand, but I needn’t have worried.  The stylist was really helpful and didn’t judge me.  She was amused at the contrast between me and my girly-girl, fashion-ista daughter.
Me at work - 2014
Here’s a photo of us at work.  My daughter worked for us for three weeks while between jNic at YITSobs.  Here she is with her nail kit, filing her nails at reception!  It was so cliche, but she didn’t care.
While waiting for the stylist I thought about dreams where you are unclothed, or not dressed right.  Have you ever had dreams where you are walking in a public place naked or in pyjamas?  I’ve heard it’s quite common.

It makes me think about Adam and Eve, and their wardrobe malfunction.  Imagine it.  Here’s God walking through the garden, and they’re naked.  Eeek.  The serpent took everything, even the clothes.

chinese character for naked

The Chinese character for naked. Notice the word ‘fruit’ in the character.

Do you think the story is a myth?
Here’s some anthropological proof that the story is based on fact.  Did you know the ancient Chinese script contains the story of Genesis, long before the Bible came to be written?  Here we see the ancient character for fruit.  How on earth did the ancient Chinese associate the word ‘naked’ with fruit?
Here’s a link to a site that shows how the Chinese characters tie in with Genesis:
The Chinese character for LIGHT has MAN in it.  I wonder if Adam and Eve’s garments were garments of light.I know the Lord has a garment of light.  Psalm 104 speaks of his garment, and dimensions.  It is written that the LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent.  Psalm 104:2.
Jesus let three of the disciples see him clothed in light.
Here it is in Matthew 17:Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”
Mount_Hermon

Mount Hermon dwarfs the remains of the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi (located at the bottom center of the photo).

I believe the mountain the Lord took them up was Mount Hermon.  The reason I think so is because in the previous chapter of the Bible, Matthew 16, Jesus was at Caesarea Philippi, a town at the foot of Mount Hermon.

Caesarea Philippi was the place where Jesus stamped his authority over the gates of Hell after Peter confessed Him as the Messiah.  I wrote about this in my blog post: True confessions at the Gates of Hell.

In the Book of Enoch, Mount Hermon is the place where the Watcher class of fallen angels descended to Earth. They swore upon the mountain that they would take wives among the daughters of men (Enoch 6).

The mountain or summit, referred to as Saphon in Ugaritic texts, is the place where the palace of Baal is located in a myth about Attar. Source: Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Hermon.

It’s interesting that the “Hermon Hotel”,  the highest permanently manned UN position in the world, sits on top of Mount Hermon in the buffer zone between Syria and Israel. Attar is also known as Ashtar and Ishtar; god of the Morning Star.  So here we have Jesus, the Light of the World, stamping his authority all over Attar, Ashtar or Ishtar as well.  It kind-of puts Jesus’s promise about the Morning Star being given to those who have not learned Satan’s so called deep secrets in a new light, don’t you think?  (Revelation 2:28, Church at Thyatira)

I believe Moses and Elijah may be the two witnesses of Revelation 11, but that’s the subject for another post.  I believe it because of what these two can do.  Elijah was able to bring down fire and cause the rain to stop for 3½ years; and Moses was able to turn water into blood and bring several other plagues upon Egypt. And guess what the two witnesses do?  They will also be able to bring down fire, stop the rain, and cause various plagues for 3½ years,  (Revelation 11:5,6).

Anyway, to get back to clothes – they’re clothed in sackcloth for their earthly mission.  Sackcloth represents debasement, mourning, and/or repentance.

Do you have any white clothes?  Jesus talked about being dressed in white when he wrote to the Church at Sardis in Revelation 3.  This Church has a reputation for being alive, but it’s sound asleep.  Jesus said if it doesn’t wake up, he’ll come upon it like a thief, and they will not know at what time he comes.
(This is not a time to be caught napping.  Jesus expects us to be dressed for work and have our lamps burning.  (Luke 12:35))
Yet he said there are some in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with him dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white.

How bright will the white be?

 Whiter than white

What is the most controversial prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, and why read it at Passover?

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

The Great Isaiah Scroll on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The Great Isaiah Scroll on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The actual Great Isaiah Scroll (source: The Israel Museum). The actual Great Isaiah Scroll (source: The Israel Museum).

(Central Israel) — Have you ever been to the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem? Have you ever seen the Great Isaiah Scroll on display there?

It is absolutely breathtaking. And it contains what many believe is the most controversial prophecy in the entire Hebrew Bible.

“The Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) is one of the original seven Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1947,” notes the Israel Museum on its website. “It is the largest (734 cm) and best preserved of all the biblical scrolls, and the only one that is almost complete. The 54 columns contain all 66 chapters of the Hebrew version of the biblical Book of Isaiah. Dating from ca. 125 BCE, it is also one of the…

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Seeing in the mirror darkly

Cern Collider imageAfter discovering the Higgs Boson particle, the “God particle”, the physicists at Cern want to find dark matter.  Is dark matter mentioned in the Bible?

Here’s a verse that hints of the dark matter;  “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”  Hebrews 11:3 (KJV).

How does that work?  Even through faith, we have a hard time understanding just what God did when He made the universe through Jesus.  We’ve had bad science – for centuries.

When I first started reading the Bible I used to skip over Genesis because it was at odds with science.  I felt I couldn’t take God at His word.  I had doubts about science too.  On the highest hill on our farm, I’d dig sea shells out of an exposed cliff – and they were exactly the same as the ones on the beach.  “How can that be?” I’d ask myself.  Clearly they weren’t 65 million years old.

I approached everything about the world’s beginnings with distrust, until the day I read a book by a couple of scientists explaining Genesis; “The Genesis Flood”.  The authors answered all the nagging questions I’d been left with.  I read Genesis after I finished that book, and then of course I had more questions … like why did God create the vegetation BEFORE the Sun?

Non believers could seize on that alone as a reason not to believe Genesis.  So I asked God why He did it that way, and through various Bible passages, He showed me I could take Him at His Word.

earth

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

It’s all about “THE WORD”.

For the first three days, the Lord provided the light for the world.  When He said “I AM the Light of the World” (John 8:12), He wasn’t kidding.

God created by speaking.  He created using light.  When He said “Let there be light”; the Light appeared – the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1).  And the light was good.  

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.  John 1:1

The Light was with God from Day One.  Can you imagine the glory of the sunset and sunrise of the first three days, when the Son ruled the day and the night?  Can you see the plants and trees created on the third day growing in the light, sustained by the Son who is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being?  Can you see the tree of knowledge and the tree of life grow in the light of the creator and bring forth their fruit?

Time didn’t kick in until Day Four when the Sun, Moon and stars were made.  That would explain why the metamorphic rocks appear to be ageless.  I’m not talking about the more recent sedimentary layers that are full of fossils from Noah’s flood.

Why can’t Science at least consider this?  The Bible says unbeliever’s minds have been blinded by the god of this age.  The god of this age would be the horned god of the underworld.  His Celtic name is Cernunnos – Cern for short.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  2 Corinthians 4:4.

Dark matter isn’t ‘dark’, it’s just invisible.  In Isaiah 5:21 it says; “Woe to those who put darkness for light and light for darkness.  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”

It’s the glass or the mirror that we’re looking through that’s dark; “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”  1 Corinthians 13:12.

In all the noise and obfuscation of science, will you hear Him speak?

2 Corinthians 4-4


The year of light?

S.B. Sunrise

Sunrise from the beach at the end of my street.

I go for an early morning walk during the week, along the beach at the end of my street.  It’s getting dark now, but the sunrises are so beautiful.  Did you know that NZ is the first country in the world to get the sunrise?  Here’s a photo from last month at dawn.

While walking I told the Lord I wanted to blog something about Him before Easter, and I asked what He wanted.  I felt He wanted me to blog about Him being “the Light of the World.”  I stopped at the end of the path and stretched out my arms to the sunrise, agreeing that He was indeed the light of the world.

I prayed the word from Isaiah 50:4; “Sovereign LORD, give me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. Waken me morning by morning, waken my ear to listen like one being taught.”

Have you heard that ‘listen’ and ‘silent’ have the same letters?  I listened in the silence.  It was in this beautiful spot that I got something jarring.  The thought came to check out what was happening with the Hadron Collider!  It was a strange thought.  I am not interested in physics, except for the stuff I had to learn for my industry qualifications in Information Technology.  I know they found “the God particle”, but so what?  I already know that all things hold together because of Jesus;

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:17.

The apostle Paul explained to the pagans at Athens that “in him we live and move and have our being”;

 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’  As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.””

Anyway, after doing some research on Cern, I found I’d dismissed the discovery of the God particle too lightly …

1-Hadron-Collider-StargateCERN – blinded by the light.

They’ve just reopened the Hadron Collider after two years.  It’s going to restart today, 22 March 2015 – despite warnings from top scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Neil de Grasse Tyson.

The arrogance of the physicists is breathtaking.  This level of science is the definition of atheism – for some of the physicists like the inventor of the Higgs Boson.  For others, this is where the New Age meets Physics.  Cern is a constituent of Cernunnos—the Celtic horned god of the underworld.  They have a statue of Shiva the destroyer outside the Hadron Collider.  The name for the destroyer in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek it is Apollyon.  See Revelation 9, the fifth trumpet – where a fallen star is given the key to the shaft of the Abyss and demonic beings belonging to the destroyer come out.

Cern is located near the French village of Saint-Genis-Pouilly.  In Roman times it was called Apolliacum.  The town and temple were dedicated to Apollyon.

What a rabbit hole.   If you want to read more, there are many fine blogs that have done the job that the news media hasn’t.  Here’s one with a few YouTube links: https://patinthehat00.wordpress.com/tag/cern/

I don’t want to focus on the devil – and I’m not saying this is the fifth trumpet.  The Tribulation hasn’t started yet, but something’s up.  This may be the technology that the destroyer uses.  If I do have to mention the destroyer, I want it to be in relation to Jesus stamping his authority all over him.  But we need to pay attention, because what they discover at Cern will have as much of an impact as the World Wide Web, which was also created at Cern.

I have found out that the UN have declared this year “the Year of Light”.  So it’s a good time to be blogging about Jesus, who called himself “The Light of the World.”  He will be the subject of my next blog post.