“Intimacy with the Almighty”, Charles Swindoll


Photo courtesy of Thomas Nelson.com

Chuck Swindoll wrote this short book during a period where he was on sabbatical to his pastoral responsibilities. It was only in that down time that he sensed his yearning for greater intimacy with the Lord. Sometimes it’s only when we slow down and be still in the Lord’s presence are we able to hear our heart’s cry.

The book is centred around 4 decisions that need to be made daily and the required discipline for enabling greater intimacy with the Lord:

1. To reorder one’s private world -> Simplicity
2. To be still -> Silence
3. To cultivate serenity -> Solitude
4. To trust the Lord completely -> Surrender

I liked this structure particularly the inclusion of simplicity. In this frequently manic world we live in it is very easy to become overwhelmed not just by physical things but our minds can be overtaken by a barrage of unrelenting communications.

This is an easy book to read, only taking an hour, but it’s important to allow the teachings and soundbites time to linger in our hearts so we can start to put the concepts into practice.

Highly recommended.

What’s in a Name?

AGbook3dOver the next few weeks I’m going to share a little more on some of the characters that make up Angelguard. Some of them will be re-appearing in the second installment of the Angelguard Chronicles: Wrestling with Shadows. More of that later down the track.

A question I’m often asked is how do you come up with the names for all your characters? Particularly as Angelguard has so many many of them.

Naming characters is a lot of fun and I can spend a great deal of time on particular names. I especially enjoy finding names for the angels and demons as does my wife, who was invaluable in helping me with the Angelguard cast.

I won’t go through the background of all of them, just a handful. For those of you who’ve read the novel and may be curious about a particular character, feel free to ask me a question in the comments below.

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“Spirit Hunger”, Gari Meacham

9780310309000I thoroughly enjoyed Gari’s book. Too often we can walk through life as mere bystander going about our little quiet life in our own little way. Gari’s book reminds us that God calls us to participate and we can do this by listening to the grumblings in our heart and allowing the Spirit to satisfy our hunger for more.

The book is broken into 3 sections: The heart that longs, the heart that seeks and the heart that moves and illustrates her perspectives with sound Biblical teaching and stories from her own life.

I particularly appreciated the chapters on prayer especially Chapter 9 on the postures for effective hearing from God. Too often prayer can become a monologue of requests, however, God wants to communicate and share what’s on His heart so we need to establish the correct postures to listen.

Filled with practical teaching that challenges and is written with such infectious passion for encouraging all readers to set sail allowing the Spirit to take charge of our hearts.

Highly recommended.

My chat with Jim Rubart plus a special giveaway

James headshot 8 '13 for IanI first stumbled across Jim Rubart’s speculative fiction three years ago when I read Rooms. Jim’s clever use of supernatural allegories woven through fast-paced suspense grabbed my attention.

I soon devoured Book of Days and last year The Chair.

Jim’s novels have become a must read for me. He challenges me to reflect on my walk with Christ as he weaves a story of faith throughout page-turning suspense. Further, I love how Jim describes the ‘everyman’ experience. He has a beautiful gift of being able to share what’s going on in a man’s heart and mind.

Jim released the second in the “Well Spring” series of novels last week: Memory’s Door. I’m currently reading Soul’s Gate, the first in the series, and am struggling to put it down. Great when a story has that effect.

Enough of that, let me hand over to Jim. He was kind enough in his busy launch schedule to answer a few questions I posed him. So without further ado, it’s my absolute pleasure to welcome Jim Rubart:

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One person makes a difference


Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/freedigitalphotos.net

When was the last time you heard a message and thought the speaker was directing it specifically to you? It’s like you’re the only person in the auditorium, an audience of one.

I had that sensation last week at church when a visiting pastor from the UK, Paul Scanlon, spoke. His message didn’t really have a title but it was about encouraging us all to know that we are useful to God.

When God wants to do something He always finds someone who He can use. Whether it was to wipe out all living creatures (he used Noah), to building the temple (Solomon), or to evangelize to the Gentiles (Paul).

David and the Temple

Scanlon anchored his message around David. David was chosen to be king when he was a teenage shepherd boy who wrestled lions and bears if they dared go after his sheep and wrote poetry to God as he tended the flock through the lonely nights.

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