Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Duarte Festival of Authors

Duarte Festival of Authors
Saturday, October 2
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Westminster Gardens
1420 Santo Domingo Avenue
Duarte, CA
Join me this Saturday for an entertaining day (fun for the entire family) at Westminster Gardens, Duarte, CA. We are expecting more than 50 authors in talks, book signings, and panels. I will be there too, to sign my books and take part in a panel discussion. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by! For more information go to this website!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Recording new audio book

Working on audiofiles Grace of Giving
Yesterday I spent the whole day at Mountaindog Musicworks Recording Studios in Oak View, California, where I narrated my upcoming book Grace of Giving. Top dog Tim Frantz (owner of the studio and master technician) and I worked hard on reading and recording chapter after chapter. Afterwards we listened to the recordings and corrected little flaws or mispronounciations (haha, they happen sometimes, because of my accent). It turned out to be a very fruitful day, as we worked steadily and undisturbed. I will send the files to Tate Publishing who will make it into a great audiobook on CD, which will also be available as e-book. I will keep you updated on the official release date of Grace of Giving! For the cover of my new 'to be released' book, see the sidebar!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Autumn wreath

A little creativity...
After a hard day's work in the yard I decided to be a little creative and make an autumn wreath. Not that it feels like autumn here in Southern California :) but I had all this material that I picked up in thrift stores over the years; leaves, flowers, little pumpkins, everything very colorful. I just attached all these small pieces to a huge wreath that I found in the barn and... voila! I let my imagination go wild and mixed sunflowers, daisies and christmas ribbons all together into a delightful display of a new season.
Happy autumn!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Does God change His mind?

Our role in the history of mankind
The other day I read something about christian fatalism, as brother Andrew calls it in his book 'And God Changed His Mind'. It is a term used for a way of thinking that goes somewhat like this: "'s really sad, all the terrible things happening in our world, but there is nothing we can do, God's will shall be done, God is in control..."

Well, if God is in control, why is it such a mess?

Something is wrong with that way of reasoning, although it sounds very religious and humble. Yes, it is true that history has already been written by God before it even started. As the eternal God He is not bound by time, so He has ordained events to happen as part of the story of mankind, but I believe He is willing to move on behalf of our prayers and requests. God Himself does not change (Malachi 3:6) but He will certainly act on behalf of the prayers of His children.
His character and nature are unchanging, His decisions are not! Throughout the Bible we can see great examples of God changing His mind as a result of the diligent prayers of the righteous,
  • Exodus 32:14, Moses pleads earnestly with God not to bring disaster on the Israelites and God changes His mind!
  • 2 Kings 20:2-6, King Hezekiah cries out to God because he doesn't want to die yet and God ads another 15 years to his life!

At first sight these stories seem to contradict what is written in Numbers 23:19, God is not a man, that He should change His mind. I read that scripture over and over again, wondering why it says that God doesn't change His mind while at the same time the Bible shows He does! But then I saw the implication of the first part of this verse: God is not a man... in other words, don't compare Him with the way we change our minds. We change our minds because we feel like it, or because it suits us better, or because we are unstable in our thoughts or because.... well, I am sure we can all fill in the reasons why we do what we do and why we are not always faithful to our words.

God however is NOT a man, He does not act based on feelings or emotions (let's face it, if He did, all tears shed would have made Him change the world by now). He is God and He is faithful to His promises, He is trustworthy and reliable. He has, however, decided that prayers of faith are powerful (see for example James 5:14-15) and that He will act on our behalf when we earnestly seek Him. Psalm 34:15 says: The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry!

So, whether you worry about world events unfolding, the political climate in your country or a personal struggle, cry out to Him! He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their plea! (Psalm 102:17)

Monday, September 06, 2010

About trees and people

Prophetic vision
During His life on earth Jesus healed many people from all kinds of diseases and oppression. The book of Acts (10:38) recalls,
He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, for God was with Him.
Quite of few of these healings were written down by eyewitnesses and some of their accounts are actually quite funny when you read them at first. This one for example:

One day the people bring a blind man to Jesus and ask Him to touch the man and heal him. Jesus takes the man by the hand, leads him to the outskirts of the village and spits him in the eyes. "Can you see anything?" Jesus asks curiously. The man's answer is quite comical: "Yes, I can see people, but they look like trees walking around." Jesus touches him again and he saw everything clearly from that moment on. I love this story. It teaches me that it is okay to tell God your prayer wasn't fully answered, that it's okay to ask for healing one more time and that divine healing doesn't always come by a medically approved method, haha!

The thing I like most about this story however, is the fact that the man's spiritual eyes were opened before his natural sight returned. He saw people that looked like trees and I believe that the Lord gave him prophetic vision. In the Bible people are often compared with trees, so what the man saw was not crazy, it was spiritual insight. Let me back that up with a few scriptures:

Blessed is the man...He is like a tree planted by streams of water (Psalm 1:3)
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of the Lord (Psalm 52:8)
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon (Psalm 92:12)
No good tree bears bad fruit... the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart... (Luke 6:43-45)

Trees and men, at first sight we don't have much in common, but the Bible says we do. A few things come to mind:
  1. Life consists of seasons, the dark period will end!
  2. I must stay near the living water!
  3. I need to shed some leaves to make room for something new!
  4. I will bear fruit!