Book review: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman


The DovekeepersThe 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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Photo Journal: Blue and Grey


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!

Photo Journal: Some Favorite Landscapes of the Past Year


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.

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The scenery around the Otago Peninsula can be described as plain spectacular only.

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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.

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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.

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Muntanui

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.

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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.

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Is it not amazing that this is all within a half an hours to 45 minutes drive away from home.

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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.

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Wellington

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.

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Iconic Photographer Steve McCurry Talks Blogging and WordPress


A very nice interview with some amazing photographs.

Iconic Photographer Steve McCurry Talks Blogging and WordPress.

Steve McCurry, a professional photographer and author of several photography books, shares his reasons for why he blogs on WordPress.com. His iconic photo, Afghan Girl, graced the cover of National Geographic and was named one of the 100 Best Pictures of the magazine. McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest, to name a few. Read the rest here >>>>

Album Review: The Vespers ‘The Fourth Wall’


And now for something completely different: The Vespers, reviewed by Chris.

In a world full of electronic sounds, remakes and dub-overs, remixes and auto tune it is great to hear a sound that doesn’t manufacture a foot tap with a Phat bass line… but a sound that makes your soul smile with the simplicity of the song… the honesty of the band and the melody and rhythm that mirrors life….

There seems to be a ground swelling of people who are looking for ‘real music’ and bands like ‘Rend Collective Experiment’ New Zealand’s ’Avalanche City’ with their single ‘Love Love Love’ the rawkus ’Mumford and Sons’ and the list goes on…

Now you can add to this list ‘The Vespers’ Indie music’s new secret weapon… armed with ukulele, banjo, love and some really catchy tunes, you can expect hearing some more from this group.

Read the rest at Album Review: The Vespers ‘The Fourth Wall’.

And here a nice documentary video about these lovely artists.

Photo Journal: Autumn

Photo Journal: Autumn


Earlier this weekend a walk with my oldest son in one of the many domains in and around Christchurch. It was beautiful in the forest.

A walk with the whole family from Corsair Bay to Cass Bay came with amazing skies as we started in relatively beautiful weather but it turned around with heavy clouds coming in from the sea. Early Dutch painters would have had a field day here.

So here some highlights, enjoy.

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Book Review: Destined to Reign


Destined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness, and Victorious LivingDestined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness, and Victorious Living by Joseph Prince

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I became a follower of Christ it was after a long journey of exploration and discovery. In that time but more importantly after that time I could not help but reading the Bible and it seemed like the same book that I had been reading (the Bible that is) several times was completely new. Especially the New Testament, Paul’s letters were speaking to me in a way like never before. I saw this image of Christians being completely set free by the blood of Christ, a new covenant of grace similar as in the times prior to the time when Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai.

Yet as a fresh Christian there were still many questions to be answered and looking around me, what I understood to be great Christians, were seemingly not liberated at all. Arched backs walking under a heavy weight of judgment of self and others. But why? Did Jess not say on the cross “it is finished”? While it easy to understand that as the last thing one says before he or she dies, I understood it as the completion of the deal (covenant) between the Father and the Son. The latter would die for our sake so that we could be justified “for and and for all” and be reconciled with God the Father again.

It is pretty tough if, on the basis of what some may want us to believe, have lost your salvation, before you had a decent chance to enjoy it, so as to work your booty off to come under His grace again. It kept going through my mind over and over again? If Jesus came to set the captives free, what have we actually been set free off. Sure I knew in my mind that I understood it differently than let’s say may traditional religious Christian people I was speaking to and had been speaking in the past. But who was I to think that I knew better.

Joseph Prince, in destined to reign, outlines what it means to live under grace, very much the way I understood it initially. I remember so well how I once asked: if Christianity is really all about these works; what is the meaning of Christ death on the cross? Christ said “it is finished” and “”my yoke is light”, is this whole creeds and deeds mentality not a bit arrogant? Is it not implying or in effect saying that Christ’s death on the cross was insufficient, and therefore we need to add some of our own goodies to the mix, so as to really finish it? I remember the look of my conversation partner and we moved on to a different subject. I went back into the Bible to find out what I had misunderstood so much. And I could not find it no matter what I tried.

Joseph Prince’s book has been an incredible encouragement in getting an even better understanding of what it means to live under grace, to live in Christ, and along the way it has helped me strengthen my faith, my hope and much more. It restored so much of the initial joy I felt when becoming a follower of Christ. Moreover, I have so enjoyed the fresh perspectives on reading and understanding our Bible, New AND Old Testament. Thank you so much Joseph for producing a book that does not just affects the mind but changes the heart along in a lasting way by leading us straight back to and in Christ. And I see His unmerited favor showing up in my life again and again and again.

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