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Prizes, prizes!

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  Yesterday I drew the winners for my ‘Fantastical Pre-order Prize Draw’.  You might have seen one or two posts advertising it on Social Media! I had come up with the idea in a attempt to engender interest in my second novel, The Pilgrim , which will be published 22 nd July, and recently delivered copies of which I now have in boxes ranged around my home. I hoped that by running a prize draw and offering exciting prizes that it might encourage readers to commit to buying a pre- publication copy. A good number of early sales would have been really good for the coffers at chez Joy . It has only been fairly successful, and I think that many of those who did sign up and pre-order would have done so even if there had not been the added incentive of a very nice bottle of Welsh Mead. Would I run a pre-order prize draw again as a marketing aid? Probably not. But you have to try, right? It did get me thinking about prizes, though. I actually was never very good at winning them, especially

Summer frivolity

  A Play. The Clear Teaching of Scripture, or The Two Silent Virgins This is the same scene, from 1 Corinthians 7. 36–38, acted out by four different companies of players. The spoken words are slightly altered from the individual Biblical versions. The Virgins’ thoughts are fictitious. 1. King James’s Company.  Time: 1611. Enter Ron, Tony, The Apostle Paul, and the two Virgins. Ron: Methinketh I behave uncomely towards you. 1st Virgin (thinketh): Perchance. Ron: Thou art past the flower of thine age. 1st Virgin (thinketh): That liketh me not! Ron: Moreover, need so requireth! I shall do what I will. Let us marry. The Apostle Paul: Thou sinnest not. Tony: But I stand steadfast in my heart. 2 Virgin (thinketh): Aha! Tony: I have no necessity: I have power over mine own will. 2 Virgin (thinketh): Oh. Tony: I have thus decreed in my heart: I shall keep my virgin! 2 Virgin  (thinketh): What meaneth that? The Apostle Paul: So then Ron, you that give her in marriage do well, but Tony, that g

Why God Started the World with a Garden by Rebecca Seaton

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  Why God Started the World with a Garden by Rebecca Seaton                                                    Having faith in growth. When God made the world, He didn’t set Adam and Eve up in a palace or give them a city to populate, He gave them a garden to start from. ‘Then the Lord God made the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.’ (Genesis 215)                                                                                                                    Sacrificing windowsill space. But why?   In working the garden, we     …exercise faith. God had faith that Adam and Eve could tend the garden. They were intentionally placed there. But they had to space the plants, water them, harvest them, they couldn’t just sit there looking at them! I have to start writing if I want to finish the chapter. …persevere. These first gardeners wouldn’t have known, like us, how long each plant takes to grow. Imagine their confusion as one thing sprouted quickl

Commanding Love by Emily Owen

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“You can write it for me,” said my nephew, a couple of months ago. Josiah was holding out a book he’d been given by his parents when he was born. He’d brought it specifically to show me. A Little Boy After God’s Own Heart , by Jim and Elizabeth George. Josiah had decided that a book ‘like this but about the ten commandments’ would be a good book to add to his library. “You can write it for me.” Today is Josiah’s birthday. He’s nine, and he will be receiving a book. A book about the ten commandments. A book written for him, by me. (ALT Text: To my nephew, Josi James. Thank you for all our interesting conversations, and for being my book-buddy. I love you.) As I think back to Josiah standing in front of me, saying “you can write it for me”, the overriding thing that strikes me is his confidence. Confidence in me. It didn’t occur to him that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it.  David, a man about whom God said,  ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart.  He will do

Raise an Ebenezer

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                                            " Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen,and                                                 he named it Ebenezer saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”                                                                                                                                                        1 Samuel 7:12    Jacob at Bethel set up a memorial stone saying, “Surely the Lord is in this place". Joshua instructed the Israelites to take stones from the Jordan to mark their entrance into the Promised Land.   Over centuries monuments have been raised up of people who have played an important part in our history.   There are many plaques and monuments of our Queen’s visits over her long reign and one day I am sure there will be a statue in a prominent place to honour her.  Last month in our Life Group each of us were asked to speak about the memorial stones of God’s intervention in our lives.  Salvation