A History Serial Coming Soon!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

A History Serial Is Coming Soon. 
Uhh.... what is that?

Well, I'll summarize this as briefly as I can because it is at the end of the day and I am rather tired! Lord willing I shall start the school holidays once I finish my Science PACE tomorrow... and then I pray I will get the time to catch up on my slack e-mails, practice my violin and choir songs, do spring clean-up around the house, write lots of letters to pen-pals and friends who haven't heard from me in months, finish sewing a skirt I started, write in my story a good chunk, and do a little posting around here (no pun intended)! Quite a lot, isn't it? I KNOW I won't be able to accomplish most of those goals all in one week and above all that I am hoping to be able to give more time for private devotions and family time!

BUT! In the midst of all that, I'm looking forward to start posting two to three part serial posts about the life of Lady Jane Grey, the 9 day Queen of England who was executed by Queen Mary at the young age of 16 in the year 1554 and has been seen most widely in history as an unfortunate young victim and pawn of ambitious men, men like the Duke of Northumberland and her heartless and ambitious parents who wanted her on the throne to feed their desire for power and control. But to view her as just that, would be missing a big picture of that noble young woman, and perhaps the most vital as well as inspiring and touching. For Lady Jane Grey, even in her youth, was a devout Christian, earnest in her Evangelical faith, courageous in the midst of the trails and turmoils of her time, a humble servant of the Lord and child of God, and ultimately a martyr for Him.

During the last couple of weeks, I've read the book entitled, "Lady Jane Grey Nine Day Queen of England" bu Faith Cook, a really gripping historical account of her life that truly inspired and encouraged me... so... I am hoping to share it to you soon, as the Lord grants me the time. I hope and pray that you will be inspired by her life and maybe get excited to read more about that remarkable young woman of faith!

In His love,
~Joy

In the Father's Embrace

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The reason for this sunset shot,
taken from our front window, being blurred and foggy
is because in Brisbane there have been some fires...
hence the strange effect


"And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off,
his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 
"But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"
Luke 15: 20-24 (NKJV)

This Scripture verse spoke to my heart a few days ago. In the past week or so I've felt more strongly then ever my short-comings and coldness of heart, my spiritual lukewarmness. I've found I was making reading God's Word and prayer, a mere duty... something that ought to be done. I made my daily actives distract me from sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing His Voice and learning from His Word.  You know, when we're in such a state, our hearts cry out inside of us, yearning for that closeness with the Lord again, that desire to be in Communion with Him again. And yet our sins flash before us, our doubts and failings... and the devil tells us, "You have trampled upon the Lord' grace and do not deserve nor may you ask for forgiveness." He tells us that we're too defiled to enter our Beloved Saviour's Presence..."you're a hypocrite while on your knees because soon... you'll for sure sin again." All the while, our Beloved Lord Jesus, with His pierced hands stretched out towards us, continues to call us to Himself. Call us away from the world, its glamour and sin... and all that defiles us... He calls us away from the 'broken cisterns that can hold no water' and beckons us to drink from the living Fountain of Water freely... He wants us to come into His bosom, like the Prodigal Son, and weep at His feet and cry in His arms. He wants us to place all our trusts in Him, lean on Him and put our hands into His and never let go.

Our pride and sin, the sneaky weed growing in our hearts that holds us back from fellowshiping with the Lord and sitting at His feet, chocks and plunges its thorns and thistles into our hearts so that we cannot remove them of ourselves... like the Dragon Eustace (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis), only Aslan could save him and tear the dragonish skin off him... it is the same with us. Without Him we can do nothing! How often we strive in our own flesh, in our own 'good works' but without Him, we can do nothing, and are nothing.

As I read those words from Luke 15, I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me of my lukewarmness and coldness of heart and that I was falling into despair over my sin when Christ is more than a match for the darkest sins of my heart! He has conquered over sin and death! And over my sin. While I... fearful and cold of heart, wasn't running to Him in repentance. As I read, I saw that the Prodigal Son, who had wasted his life and lived in sin, in depravity... couldn't expect more than to be received as a servant... and yet, his Father's love, forgiveness and compassion completely engulfed him. He was forgiven, and clothed in 'the best robe' (the garments of Salvation) and received with many tears and a feast like none that had ever vested his Father's House.... the Father's love is so amazing... and to think... that our Heavenly Father has loved us, forgiven us, and made us His children (1 John 3)! His corrections are for our good, and He will always lead us, and be our Guide. And praise the Lord, for there is victory over the sin and flesh through our Lord Jesus Christ! He has won the victory... and Satan has no power over us. We have been bought with the blood of the Lamb....

Here is a poem from the book, "The Christian Book of Mystical Verse" compiled by A.W. Tozer that reflects this wondrous love of the Lord, to us, and the heart's yearning for purity of heart and communion with our Heavenly Father.


I Thirst, Thou Wounded Lamb of God

I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God,
To wash me in Thy cleansing blood;
To dwell within Thy wounds; then pain
Is sweet, and life or death is gain.

Take my poor heart, and let it be
Forever closed to all but Thee:
Seal Thou my breast, and let me wear
That pledge of love forever there.

How blest are they who still abide
Close shelter'd in Thy bleeding side!
Who thence their life and strength derive,
And by Thee move, and in Thee live.

What are our works but sin and death,
Till Thou thy quick'ning Spirit breathe?
Thou giv'st the power thy grace to move;
O wondrous grace! O boundless love!

How can it be, Thou heavenly King,
That Thou shouldst us to glory bring;
Make slaves the partners of thy throne,
Deck'd with a never-fading crown?

Hence our hearts melt, our eyes o'erflow,
Our words are lost, nor will we know,
Nor will we think of aught beside,-
My Lord, my Love is crucified.

~ Attributed to John Wesley, 1703-1791


Be blessed in the Lord today.
In His love
~Joy

P.S. Sarah has just posted a really lovely post entitled, "He is Alive!" on her blog, "Gems in History". I WON'T tell you what the post is about... you can go and check it out yourself if you like. If you do not have an invitation to view her blog, please either e-mail me or leave a little 'sweet comment' below and Sarah will be sending along an invitation soon :). 

Music to Inspire! (Part 1)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

"Music is an agreeable harmony for the honour of God and the permissible delights of the soul." ~J.S. Bach


Hmmm... here is what I propose to do, friends! I can't promise to stick by it regularly thanks to the business of life, but I'm going to endeavour to to supply you with a frequent series of posts entitled, "Music to Inspire"... where I'll be presenting you with some of my favourite movie soundtracks... sounds fun? I hope you'll as thoroughly enjoy those tracks as I do!

Disclaimer: not all the movie tracks that I'll be posting will come from movies that I've watched. Not having seen some of the movies, I can't generally recommend all the films themselves, but I'm posting them here for the benefit of enjoying the music! Beautiful movie music inspires and awes me...I just LOVE epic music...
Listen to these tracks and see if you don't agree with me!

P.S. I do not own any of the music... all these tracks I've found and posted from the YouTube Channel where you can also find other great soundtracks... Most of the tracks here below are from films I've seen and love! I'll mention if they aren't.)

Narnia soundtracks... (the composer for the first two movies is Harry-Gregson Williams--a brilliant composer!--, and for the 3rd Narnia movie is Dave Arnold, the same one who composed the music for Amazing Grace)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - The Battle
(this track is from the 1st Narnia movie, LLW, when the Narnians led by Peter fought the White Witch after the death of Aslan on the Stone Table...  This track is one of my favourite tracks of all soundtracks from movies!)

Prince Caspian -- The Kings and Queens of Old
(this track is from the 2nd Narnia movie, PC, when the four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy return to Narnia a year later and find the ruins of Car Paravail and discover that 1300 years have passed in their beloved land of Narnia!...)

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader -- The Duel
(this track is from the 3rd Narnia movie, VDT, where Lucy and Edmund and their obnoxious cousin Eustace are drawn into Narnia for a third time through a painting. They find themselves on a Narnian ship, with King Caspian and his men on it, headed for the unknown seas in search of lost lords... but Eustace, is utterly shocked to find a talking mouse... Reepercheep! This is a duel between Eustace and Reep... it is so funny and cute!)

The Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship of the Rings -- Concerning the Hobbits
(this track is from the 1st movie of the Lord of the Rings, LOTR. I have NOT watched the movie nor read the books. However, I was told the music was quite epic, and I really loved many of the tracks I found... it is so Celtic!)


The Fellowship of the Rings --  May it Be
(this track is from the 1st movie of the Lord of the Rings, LOTR. I have NOT watched the movie nor read the books. However, I was told the music was quite epic, and I really loved many of the tracks I found... it is so Celtic! This one is probably the last track on that film, and because I loved the melody so much I searched up the lyrics of the song... here it is...

May it be an evening star shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh how far you are from home

Mornie utulie 
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie utulie
A promise lives within you now

May it be the shadow's call will fly away
May it be you journey on to light their day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to to find the sun



Mornie utulie 
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie utulie
A promise lives within you now
A promise lives within you now
songwriters: Nicholas John Ryan; Enya; Roma Shane Ryan


Ah! And well, that is all for today's "Music to Inspire! (Part 1)" soundtracks... hopefully I won't be too long before I post in "Music to Inspire! (Part 2)". Thanks for listening and have a blessed day in the Lord!

Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield. 
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us,
Just as we hope in you.
Psalm 33: 20-22

Love in Him,
~Joy

September Birthday!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

This post is just to say Happy Birthday to my wonderful, loving, caring and gentle Big Sister...  Sarah!

One of the things we've done this weekend in celebration of Sarah's birthday this Sunday was...
we watched the movie, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and it was just really, really good, particularly doing something together as a family!!!

Today was a day of baking, cleaning and general preparing for our late afternoon family party to celebrate Sarah's birthday. After prayer and a delicious meal, Sarah opened her packages and (it was soooo delightful to see the exclamations of surprise and delight escaping her lips and brightening her eyes every time she tore open the wrappings...). Afterwards... we took photos... Now it is late in the evening...
I'd really have loved to write in my story some, but blogging got in the way again :)....
Well...
I don't have the knack to write poetry whenever I want (that only comes when the inspiration comes... but I wanted to write... so here I go...)

You are my Big Sister
I'll always love and cherish you!
Thank you for always being there,
for being the dear friend that you are to me...
May the Lord bless you, dear sister
and guide you through every step of your life.
He has a plan for You...
Cling to Him
He'll be your Strength!
His love for you, is unchanging... an eternal fountain of love...
He died for you!
You are His beloved daughter, He is your Father! He'll never let you go...

Many big HUGS to my dear sister, SARAH... on your birthday!
~Love
Joy

Spring!!!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

While the rest of the world is turning into the chilly, icy weather of Autumn (fall), and eventually winter, I can't tell you how lovely it is to have it Spring here!!!!! Oh, it is still cold, windy and yesterday we had a really powerful rainfall, but Spring is in the air, and that just makes me want to sing! Thank you Lord, for everything so beautiful! I just want to praise you today!
I thought to share with you some of the beauties I've captured of Spring:





















Be blessed in the Lord this day, and may you sing for joy in His unfailing love and faithfulness!
"Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!"
In His love,
~Joy

So... what is it?

Sunday, 4 September 2011

In the past posts, I have been regularly saying "my story", "the Crown of Life", "writing"... but I am sure many of you are guessing and wondering.... "What are you writing?!" Good question! One that I hope to fully answer one day, when I place directly into your hands the elegantly bound, published volume of my novel, "The Crown of Life", ( ho! I am day-dreaming again!) Lots of people post their stories on their blogs and that's just great that they have the guts to do that! But I seem to have an uncanny reluctance about doing that and am just too cautious I guess to 'let the story out' yet... well, not until it is completed at least. And yet I know how you all are wondering and guessing what this story is really about.... (or am I exaggerating here?) Well, I have decided to do something about it!!!!!! Here is a short blurb, or very brief overview about my story, particularly concentrating on the theme...
I hope you enjoy it, and I'd SO love to get feedback on it, much as I know I'll probably be boring my readers :)... so please bear with me, and.... try to enjoy!!!!!

First off, here are a couple of verses from the Bible that this story is based upon and describes the ungoing theme of it.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
For when he has been approved,
He will receive the crown of life
Which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
James 1:12


Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. 
Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison,
that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days.
Be faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
Revelation 2:10



And here is just a snippet view of the Prologue of my story (P.S. this may undergo some changes in the future, so this ISN'T the final draft!!!:


           Dusk was descending fast, on the city of the Seven Hills. Daggers of light set on sconces in niches near the city wall stabbed the deep blue sky with an eerie glow.

          In the shadows of a narrow alley, a lone young woman, clutching her precious bundle, had watched as seventy-five thousand Roman citizens flooded the colossal stone structure of the Flavian Amphitheatre.
           The last few stragglers disappeared through one of the arched entrances. The narrow streets and alleys were deserted now, empty. Her heart thudded within her chest, as her mind screamed against the inevitable tragedy that awaited her loved ones inside the stone theatre that loomed with deadly strength in front of her.
          A loud bungle sounded, revibrating throughout the stadium, and sent a shiver of fear in her heart. She stared down at the bundle in her arm and clutched the tiny hand clinging to her finger, realizing that the trumpet call was a signal for the horrors to begin. No!

Enter into the world of Ancient Rome where to follow Christ might cost you everything!

"2000 years ago, when Nero Caesar ruled with a dictate and tyrannical hand as Emperor over the Roman Empire, and when a fledgling group of the Followers of the Way were secretly penetrating the corrupt, immoral force of Rome itself with a weapon more powerful than all the powers of Caesar, a young patrician Tribune, in the household of Caesar, forsakes his former life as the son of a prominent Senator in his quest to find fulfillment in his life, a purpose to live for and to find the truth. This is the story of Marcellus Gallus and his bride- the beautiful young daughter of the Legate of Rome- Claudia, who captures his heart, and who is the only one who understands him enough to follow him in his quest, a quest that would be met by oppositions greater than themselves  and would challenge all they ever stood for. Can Marcellus and Claudia overcome the intrigue of Rome, the betrayal of a childhood friend, the dangers of 1st Century Israel and the horrors that await them in the arena of the Coliseum or will the plots of an insane emperor and the jealousy of a boyhood friend conquer?

Join Marcellus, his bride and others who face the struggle of light and darkness, life and death. Would they deny their new-found faith or would faith triumph in their souls, despite the almost sure fate that awaits them if they choose to follow the path of the cross?"

Hmmm.... sorry, friends, that I won't be saying anything else for now about it! Be patient and please pray for me that the Lord will help me finish this so that you may get to read it if you want!!!!!

In His love,
~Joy

"The Shaping of a Christian Family"

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A title of a book caught my wandering eye, as I fingered my wood-case violin idly, not all too excited about taking on those spiccato drills my teacher had given me. I slid the violin into the box, and  tucked the loosened bow into its little place, careful not to tear any hairs from the bow, before reaching a hand toward the book resting in the shelf among dozens of other treasure books. "Hmm," I thought, "I haven't read that book in a long time!" I recalled Sarah telling me that that was a great book to recommend to a friend, and my eyes sparkled as I held the bound volume in my hand. A little guiltily (I was thinking, "Oh dear, I really must do those painful drills"), I perched myself on the edge of the chair and leafed through the first few pages.

Now, I did do my painful spiccato drills :), but I was blessed by browsing through the book again. The book is by Elisabeth Elliot, "The Shaping of a Christian Family: How my Parents Nurtured my Faith" where she describes her Christian upbringing and reflects on the training her parents gave her and her siblings, bringing her up in the fear of the Lord.
Well, here is just a quote that Elizabeth Eliot quoted in the book that I really loved. I thought I'd like to share it.

"Self-preoccupation, self-broodings, self-interest, self-love--these are the reasons we jar each other. Turn your eyes off yourself; look up and out! There are your brothers and sisters; they have needs that you can aid. Listen for their confidences; keep your heart wide open to their calls, and your hands alert for their service. Learn to give and not to take; to drown your own hungry wants in the happiness of lending yourself to fulfill the interests of those nearest or dearest; Look up and out, from this narrow, cabined self of yours... you will find to your own glad surprise the secret of the meekness and gentleness of Jesus, and the fruits of the Spirit will bud and blossom from out of your life."
Joy and Strength, p. 160