The Belt of Truth


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We’re all familiar with the spiritual armour passage in Ephesians 6 where Paul’s exhorts us to put on the armour and stand against the enemy’s schemes. As you might expect, as an author of speculative fiction, it is a passage I reflect on often, as I create my stories.

Putting the armour on is a practice that I observe frequently. Perhaps, not frequently enough, but I have it written on one of the notes attached to the base of my Mac desktop that I stare at for many hours each day: “Put the armour on!”

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“A Beautiful Defeat,” Kevin Malarkey


Image courtesy of HarperCollins Australia

My pastor said recently: “the Kingdom of God only prospers through an atmosphere of warfare and violence.” It reminded me of this book that I’ve just finished for the second time in quick succession.

This is an excellent practical and Scripture-based guide on how to ‘take up our cross everyday.’

Malarkey starts out exploring why it is so difficult to live a surrendered life and in so doing has a good look at the nature of sin concluding there are three key influencers to why we sin: the world, the flesh and Satan. He provides useful illustrations clarifying the three.

The rest of the book provides guidance of how to practically surrender on a daily basis. He gives a good airing to acknowledging we are in a battle and how to appropriately prepare to survive and in fact prosper through it. There is a great chapter when he compares the preparation to what a Navy SEAL has to do in their line of work having interviewed one as part of his research for the book.

Each chapter ends with an action to take an honest assessment of yourself and a prayer to commit the key learnings to the Lord.

I took many notes as I read through it and am sure I’ll be referring back to those in the days to come.

If you’re grappling with the state of your walk with the Lord, you may find some super insights in this book that will help give you some sound perspective.

Highly recommended.

Dealing with Discouragement


Photo courtesy of “Grant Cochrane”/

Jenny* was running late. She grabbed the first seat inside the door, and acknowledged the teacher standing on the opposite side of the room. He welcomed her, unfazed by being interrupted.

We were sharing our homework. A 250-word piece on “Daring to Kick the Universe”.

We soon got around to Jenny. She prefaced her work by sharing that she’d experienced her first troll on her blog that afternoon. We invited her to tell us more about how she felt.

Shock, anger, and frustration reflected in Jenny’s response. I could relate having only the day before read a very unflattering review of Angelguard. It didn’t matter that I had a bunch of other really flattering ones; this one review had bugged me for a day or so.

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Let go …


Photo courtesy of ddpavumba/

I’ve started most days this year sitting for ten minutes in silence, as part of my new desire to better experience God. If you missed the background for this, please check out this post on “A Word for the Year.”

It has surprised me how difficult it is, not so much being silent, but stopping my thought life. Try it for yourself after you’ve read this post, and see how random thoughts come at you constantly. For those of you experienced in meditation, I expect it’s not as difficult. But I don’t want to clear my mind. Well, only of my thoughts. I want to fill it with God’s thoughts.

“Be still, and know that I am God!” (Ps 46:10 NLT)

The Hebrew word translated “Be still” literally means “Let go of your grip.” Let go of all that preoccupies your mind so you can open yourself up to a whole new kind of knowing.1 A knowing that can only come from God.

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Be Prepared

Image courtesy of 89studio/

Image courtesy of 89studio/

Two years ago I decided to reduce my sugar intake. Not so much because of the chocolate and lollies that I had a reasonable control over but it was all the fruit and juice I consumed.

May I stress I’m not saying either are bad but I simply ate and drank too much. So I chose to cut back.

I’d been consuming too much for over 20 years so my body was used to getting a lot of fructose each day. And it (my body) wasn’t going to easily give up reminding me.

I needed to prepare myself. I knew I was going to be tempted.

What did I do?

Three things:

  1. Stopped buying a lot of fruit each week and having Fiona make me a week’s long supply of fruit salad.
  2. Changed my breakfast routine from a highly fruit/cereal based one to more protein and grains.
  3. Stocked up on nuts and extra vegetables so I could ward off the temptation when it inevitably struck.

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Suit up


Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/

The four of us were strolling along the beach esplanade. Even though we were in Far North Queensland, it was almost winter, so the mid-morning temperature was relatively mild.

“Have a look at this guy.” My friend nudged me and indicated with his head whom he was referring to. The shirtless disheveled young man was 50 feet ahead walking haphazardly towards us. A shiver crept up my spine, as an overriding sensation to flee struck me.

A quick glance at the intense expressions on my colleagues’ faces revealed a similar foreboding. Our previous casual saunter now became tight and upright.

As he drew closer, his hands were talon-like, his mouth moving as if he was muttering to himself. I was sure he was going to walk straight through us.

Ten feet away his eyes met ours. I gulped.

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