Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The days are sweet

The Wee Dot's first cookie. It was a hit!

'Someone' had helped themselves to the camera and left incriminating evidence....

Very incriminating in fact.
It really made me laugh to find these and many more photos on the camera.

The chil'n love blowing bubbles....

And The Dog loves to eat them.
Odd creature!

We have moved some furniture around....
Note the chair in the corner.
My newest fav spot to curl up with a book.

My assistant gardener and I planted out and pulled weeds today.
She needed a bath afterwards, so the Wee Dot went in too.
Two peas in a pod are these two.

Isn't she pretty!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Roast vege and chicken pie

Chop and roast whatever vege you have. 
I used butternut, parsnip, kumera and mushroom.
I sprinkled some dried thyme over before roasting.

Fry some chopped onion in butter and when soft, add the roast vege.

Add 2 Tbspn flour and mix in. 
Pour over about 400ml milk and stir while sauce becomes thick.
Add shredded cooked chicken.

Spoon into a casserole dish.
Put a pastry lid over.
( If you use pastry just for the lid then you can have ice cream for dessert  :)  )
Cook at 180/gas mark 5 for about 40 minutes or till top is golden and inside is bubbling.
Serve with mash and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Just some photo's

The awesome foursome....

There is something lovely about a daddy and his girls

Thomas choo choo....

The hat which The Handsome Honey calls The Helmet of Salvation

Aww so sweet

This is the most common perch for The Dog of late
... on the Union Jack pillow, in front of the fire.
Isn't he lovely!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On writing

(image from wanderingamericantravelblog.com)

I have been asked a lot of late, and over the last couple of years, for tips on writing a book.
I don't consider myself a writer by any stretch - but I love to write and use words to communicate application of God's Word. It's been a hobby which has been enormously satisfying and the thrill of sitting down to a clean sheet of paper and a new pen is something I can't describe :)

So.... I thought I would share some of the things which I think on when beginning a project.
(It goes without saying that there is much prayer and searching of one's own heart behind such projects.... although I've said it now, so maybe it doesn't go without saying..... )
I hope the following thoughts are helpful if writing is your thing too....

1. Have a goal
- Write purposefully and with intention. 
If you have no goal about what you want to communicate, you will communicate nothing.
- Be sure that everything you write communicates towards that goal and doesn't distract away from it.

2. Keep your goal realistic
- Some people are Bible teachers and have years of training, knowledge and experience behind them. Others (like me) just love Truth and desire to share the practical application of the Word for specific purpose and edification. Keep your goal at the level of knowledge etc that you are at.
- Keep the size of the project on the smaller side - otherwise you will find it becomes an overwhelming burden instead of a joy and treat to sit at.

3. Research your subject
- If there are a number of other books on the same subject as yours you need to ask yourself these questions...
"Am I really equipped to write on this subject?"
"Can I add anything to what has already been said?"
"Can I do a better job that any of these other authors?"
"Is it worth the many hours I will need to spend on this to do it?"
"Is there something else which is not as well written about which I could do instead?"

4. Know your subject
- Accept that the study and self learning will be a longer process than the actual writing. Don't be in too much of a hurry to get a manuscript finished. Writing is really the end part of the process which proves that you know what you are talking about.... so make sure you do know!
- If you are wanting to write a book on discipling teenagers but are not discipling teens yourself - then maybe consider that you aren't going to know your intended subject as well as you need to. Allow your project to be an outflow of your life and ministry to others.

5. Know your intended audience
- If you are wanting to write a book to encourage young mothers but have not been a young mother, nor know any young mothers it is unlikely that you will reach out to them in the most effective way. Again, focus your writing on the audience/reader that your life and ministry are reaching already.

6. Plan your project carefully
- Use your goal to make a rough draft of intended content.
- Make sure all of your content moves you towards achieving the goal of what you want to communicate.

7.Write well
- Use your words selectively. Don't use 500 words when 100 would have been better.
- Get grammar wise :)  (or have a husband who is nit picky about such things and hand him the finished manuscript with a red pen)
- Use illustrations that will point to truth and not to any other agenda your heart might have.
- Be happy with your own style of writing - don't try and be someone that you are not.
- Aim to write Truth that honours the Lord by communicating clearly His Word - do regular re-reads with that in mind.

8. Write as unto the Lord
- Use the Word in context 
- Honour the Lord and not yourself in what you write
- Use your writing to serve others for the purpose of edification and building them up in their walk with the Lord
- Remember that our own opinions are the poor cousin to the Word of God which "is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. " 
(2 Tim 3:16-17, ESV)

9. Be cautious who you share your writing ideas or even your manuscript with.
- Not everyone will be as excited as you and that can be needlessly discouraging.
- Get someone who knows Truth and will honestly tell you whether you have hit or missed the mark by what you have written. Don't just ask a friend who you know will tell you how great it is - even if they have no idea if what you written is theologically correct!
- Know that you will receive criticism - all of it will be useful for either assisting you to refine your manuscript or for keeping you humble :)

10. Remember that there are seasons....
- And maybe this season is not the season for you to be writing but instead to be studying and equipping yourself for the future desire to write. If that is the case, don't be discouraged but be motivated so that you will write with excellence to the Glory of God one day soon.

Grace Community Church Bookshack, 2008, Handsome Honey's DMin graduation.
-  Went to do a bit of shopping and came upon my book!
So excited (and trying to subtly pose next to it)!
(This is why I am not a Real Writer - a Real Writer would have been very cool and off hand about seeing their book in The Bookshack. It is worth noting that the Handsome Honey was also not cool and couldn't stop telling the poor lads behind the counter who responded very graciously. I love how uncool he is!!)