The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of the most mesmerizing reads ever. What an amazing story lines and how they come together. The characters are full of depth, the way they relate to God and the plots are simply beautiful! When some men like to think they are the stronger gender: think again as it is not that clear cut actually. One of my favorite books of all times. Other than the Bible, this was the first book that made me cry ever.
More info can be found at the author’s website>>>
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This weekend we celebrated Grace & Glory 2014 at Harmony Church, with speakers Rob Rufus and Chad Mansbridge. What an amazing weekend it was AGAIN: beautiful teachings, a Spirit filled atmosphere in which God grew yet bigger again, the importance of the local church and how not to mix up living under law and under grace, how important the difference between religion and relation. I was carefully reminded that your life doesn’t get changed by who you believe in but by who believes in you and that each walks his or her own journey.
Here I was with my son after the movies last night. Left the lights of the car on and so sure enough we had a flat battery. And while I was trying to get the car going a thought entered my mind: this is sort of like religious Christianity without Christ.
It is very easy to mix up being religious with being a Christian, so many find themselves like my car last night as a result of leaving their personal lights shine too long instead of His everlasting light. Everything in my car was as it should be, all things mechanical were in place, it had fuel, but it lacked power, and without it nothing was going to happen, it was not going to move, it was not even going to start. You may have your mechanics right (belief system), you may have been fueled up (Bible) but without a battery (the Holy Spirit) it is all still a dead thing (a car with a flat battery). We were created such that the presence of God within us is a vital requirement to our humanity. Christ gave His life for us to give Himself to us. His presence puts God back into man, so that we might have life; God’s life! Thanks for the recharge of the batteries.
Next weekend Harmony Church hosts the Grace and Glory Conference again. I am sure it is going to be every bit as amazing as the previous years. If there is one event you do not want to miss out on this year let it be Grace and Glory 2014. Amazing teaching that liberates, encourages and makes the “Good News”, the Best News. If you’re in for a weekend that sees Jesus becoming even more amazing, God even greater, touched by the Holy Spirit, and celebrate the best news you can ever get from the greatest God, I hope you’ll find your way to Harmony on 30, 31 May and 1 June to close it off. More information here >>>
Come and see Rob and Glenda Rufus and Chad and Jay Mansbridge and be amazed by the profound teachings. It’s been a highlight in my year every time!
Along the Waimakariri looking for something to shoot on a warm day in the middle of the day. They are digging there for rocks and this leaves puddles and gaps in the banks that fill up with water. I was actually amazed the play of colors and lines in blue and grey right in front of me.
All it took was taking out distracting colors and for the rest let the remaining colors and lines do the work. Simple!
It has not been the most productive year in terms of blog posts. So instead I will look back at the past year with some favorites, while I have started uploading more extensive collections to my flickr account. Other posts to come will cover flowers plants and trees, and one for objects and buildings.
A trip to Dunedin Peninsula
A trip to Dunedin with the family and stayed in a little batch on the Otago Peninsula. What an amazing environment. On the way there we had the inevitable visit to the Mouraki Boulders. Regardless of the boulders, the beach is a beautiful spot in itself, but the boulders do make it a very special place.
The scenery around the Otago Peninsula can be described as plain spectacular only.
One evening my oldest son and I stayed out to watch the spectacular skies that come with a northwester wind and a sunset. Like here in Christchurch it proves for very colorful skies.
An afternoon to Little River
On the way to Akaroa you pass Little River. On the way back home, the sun was starting to go down and heavy weather was coming in. I ended up in between the sunset and severe clouds around Lake Ellesmere. It resulted in very beautiful strange light scenery.
Visiting our friends near the Nelson Lakes always great times and always spectacular scenery. My favorite old tree on the back paddock and the rainbow over one of the lakes absolutely breathtaking when you are there.
In and around Christchurch
It is easy to forget how much amazing scenery there is in and around Christchurch so here some of my favorite spots.
Is it not amazing that this is all within a half an hours to 45 minutes drive away from home.
Akaroa and Birdlings Flat
No year seems to go by without at least one visit to Akaroa and on the way thereto or from Akaroa: Birdlings Flat.
Guy Fawkes day, here I am ready to shoot fireworks over the bay in Wellington. As it turns out the event was postponed to the next Saturday som more people could come. Still beautiful there at night though.
A walk through Hagley Park today provided (as usual I would almost say) for stunning scenery. The oranges and yellows of Autumn are hard to beat. At the same time the beautiful greens of the Native Garden with all the ferns and was like a green oasis in the middle of the park.
But I guess it was upon passing a bed of poppies in all different colors that I could not help but thinking about the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 6:
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
Matthew 6: 28-30
Hard to beat isn’t it?
It was strange seeing such a colorful, almost spring like display of colors.
11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
Song of Songs 2
The winter has yet to start for real! However snow is predicted for today. It reminded me of a sing from my childhood in the Netherlands:
Het leek opeens een beetje Mei in October
(translated: Al of a sudden it seemed like May in October)
And here we would have to turn that around and say it seemed like October in May.