Sunday

Do you read everything in a Book? - Day 1 in the Book of Acts




Well do you?

Do you read everything in a Book?



I read many books but I have to admit I do not read every single word in each book.

I also do not read every single page in the book.

And I also do not read every single section of the book.






Yes along with many other readers I usually jump right in at the start of the first chapter.
I ignore the acknowledgements, prefaces, table of contents etc. and head in to want I really desire to do which is to read the story.


But do I miss out on something important if I do this?



Well in my son's book (which is just published and sitting on our kitchen table as I write this) I would have missed out on a short, touching message if I had not read the dedication page.
Yes he mentions his mum and dad!!!

Then in a few other books I have had to go back and read the preface because I discovered I needed to have a bit of information from that section to actually know why something was specifically being handled in the books.



"So what about the book of Acts then?"



When I started reading the first chapter today I was tempted to skim over the first few verses - you know that bit where Luke is addressing Theophilus.

I was ready to treat it like it was just a necessary, polite greeting to someone and the important stuff would appear in the next section.

Oh how wrong I was and have been in the past because I have done exactly that before several times.

Today I really didn't get much further than the prologue, preface, greeting or whatever you want to call that first 3 verses because I did read them carefully and I learnt a few things from them.






You see I often plan to take notes and document pictures when I'm on a holiday and I start off well but never have I ever finished the task.

LUKE DID!

The evidence is in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of The Acts of the Apostles

3 years of documenting the ministry of Jesus and then many years of documenting the work of the Apostles and the early church.

We have a lot to learn from Luke.
And we have a lot to be thankful to Luke for.

Luke did not start well and then get bored, tired, lazy and not complete the task but instead he kept on faithfully working on this job God had brought him to.

Oh that we would start well and finish well as Luke did!

Then I have to wonder did he realize how important this recording of events and words and feelings would be down through the centuries for others like us?
He would not live to receive our thanks or acknowledgement of the time, effort and thought he put into this.

Oh that we would be willing to do our tasks without the need of recognition and thanks or any accolade for whatever we do for the Kingdom of God.

So why did I find those 3 verses so interesting?





Luke brings out 2 important points about Jesus in these first 3 verses.

  1. Jesus gave commands before His Ascension.
  2. Jesus revealed Himself after the resurrection to speak of the truths of the Kingdom of God.

Luke is pointing these facts out to his friend at the very start to introduce the importance of them, and of course Luke was there so He knows first-hand how important they were.

"Makes you think even before you start reading the story!"


So whether we call these 3 verses an introduction, a prologue or a preface maybe I / We need to rethink how we approach the things we read if the first 3 verses of Acts 1 is indicative of a good prologue.

Makes you think even before you start reading the story.




I'm trying to read and write about the Book of Acts for 31 Days so please come back and join me for some notes & some thoughts each day. 

As the month goes on each Day's Link will be added in 



















Wednesday

She Burnt Them Again! - A Dose of Encouragement


Do you ever ask your kids for the password?


Do your kids think you are mad?


We had a little password in our family which I would often ask for as any of our kids were coming into the house.   And they all knew what it was - Sausages.  


You may ask:  What does this have to do with Encouragement?

But as often happens here at Sandra's Ark - Let me tell you a little story about us.





So we had this little password in our family and everyone knew what it was - Sausages. 

They would humour me and say it as they were coming into the house

And I would then repeat it in a silly bass voice and kind of draw out the word


A silly little thing that as the kids got older they would frown at.

There was never anyone else around when I would ask for it so why would they be embarrassed by it?


They also frowned and muttered at the fact that whenever I would grill sausages I would burn them.
Well they and their dad would say I had burned them but I would just cut off the really hard bits and eat away quite happily.


But I have to tell the truth - I had burned them!


I burned them because I could never have enough patience to wait for them to cook nicely but always went off to work on the computer or to read a book or even do some housework (ok not too often for that last one) and then - well - the sausages just got burned because I would forget about them.


I tried baking them in the oven too but even then I would forget about them and burn them.







You see I'm always looking for shortcuts to things because I don't have enough patience, or because I get bored doing any one thing for too long.

I love to make nice meals if there is someone else around to help or talk to me while I do it but when I'm preparing & cooking on my own - no!

I want the quickest way to provide the meals.

I have been known to make easier, quicker versions of meals like the 10 Minute Chicken Korma
and sometimes I have even made the desserts so easy that they hardly even really qualify as desserts such as my Ginger & Pineapple Log (Super Short Version) which basically is not a log!

I promise you I really do know that microwaves are not just for reheating coffee  -  oh yes this is another one of my little quirks or one of the "Oh No Mum!" things that the kids would frown at but I see nothing wrong with reheating my mug of coffee two or three times during the day.

I Love Coffee!

I really Love Coffee!

and

I Love my Coffee Mug!



I Love my Other Coffee Mug!

I really Love my Coffee Mugs!



And then we come to the big, big, bad thing that I did to our middle child

Fred & I went to live in Belgium and left him behind in Northern Ireland 

because he had started university there.

I know this is something that people outside the family probably found more strange than the family did.  I felt I could sense people saying:  "What kind of a mother would leave her child on his own?"



So there you have it I am not perfect and never have been a perfect mother.


I would rather read a book than do the ironing.

I would rather do a word puzzle than clean the oven.

I would rather write my blog than hoover the house.

I would rather write a list than actually do the things on the list.



I would rather go sit watch a dvd 
than 
finish up the mess I made because I had started to try to organise the study 

boy can I make a mess while trying to organise things.



I am not perfect and never have been a perfect mother!


But Mostly

I would rather have a coffee and sit & chat with my now grown up kids about how 

He has redeemed us, healed us, kept us safe, 
answered our prayers, never left us alone, helped us in everything


 and 
we are all thankful that He is still doing so 

no matter what country we may have lived in 
or are in at the moment

because 
He is the Perfect One.


You see I can't be perfect because I am human but thankfully with Jesus I have the help to do all the things He has planned for me.





If you like you can visit my about me section and see the poor hubby and kids who had to put up with me not being a perfect mum - oh and the middle child is the tallest one with his arms around us all in the snow.





Tuesday

The Cry - Book Review



Firstly I want to say that I did not receive a free book or ebook of this novel  "The Cry" from the publishers as is sometimes the case for my reviews.


I saw "The Cry"  originally on Amazon and the kindle version was a really good price.







I was intrigued
  • by the cover and 
  • by the title and
  • by the description
and that is something that rarely happens to me.





So from my opinion


            Is it worth reading or not?


Yes it is!  If you like mystery novels and families.



(UPDATE on 18/10/18:
THIS BOOK HAS BEEN MADE INTO A SERIES FOR TV so I am eager to watch it too.)



Happy that ebooks are available almost instantly I downloaded it from the cloud into my kindle and my kindle app for the ipad and was ready to read but of course I didn't get to it straight away because too many other things had been going on in my life so it had to wait a few days.


Well we were getting ready to go on holiday!


But when we did get away on holiday -



I was hooked from the very start of this novel!








Perhaps because of the fact that we have travelled a lot and I'm always so careful about having all my liquids in my checking luggage as opposed to my husband who having travelled for his work for many, many, many years still always has that little clear plastic bag to bring out of his carry on as he goes through security even when he has a bag checked in.



I was actually hooked when I saw this original cover picture on Amazon.






Here you are your first hint to the incident that starts off the narration of this novel.


I just needed to know what had happened and why.



It is always refreshing to read something that is different and to me that is exactly what this book was. There were things I didn't like about the people and the relationships and the events; but without these this book would not have been the different one I so much enjoyed.


Perhaps another reason I was hooked is that we were travelling when I started reading it and also I love babies and mysteries. Normally I am not keen on sad stories because I don't want to waste time on something that will depress me and would much rather be amused, uplifted or challenged to solve a mystery but this time I wanted to read on through the sadness because



I wanted to know the "why?"



I wanted to know the "why?" when I read this novel



The Cry can be found at Amazon at the link below




 Kindle  &  Paperback





Monday

I've got the Coffee! Where's the Conversation? - Coffee & Conversation.


Where do we see a lot of conversation these days?


Mostly on Social Media!





Yes, Blogs, Twitter and Facebook but some of you might like to add in Instagram as well although I don't know it well (having seldom used my account) and perhaps it hasn't gone down the road of connecting people so much in the conversation type way.


We talk about
            our friends on Facebook

and
we talk to 
            our friends on Facebook

and
we talk to
            our Facebook friends on Facebook.


A conversation used to be face to face over a cup of coffee or tea.


Now it's on a Social Media and consists of emojis, photos, memes and videos with a bit of writing but basically not that much or maybe in short bursts if you use Messenger or texts.


Facebook used to be a good way for me to keep in touch with my friends from different parts of the world we have previously lived in but not so much now as we all just don't share as much on it and with the inclusion of so many Facebook Groups and Pages there is now so much in our feed we don't get offered all of our Friends contributions any more.







We end up not having real conversations with our friends and sometimes not even having a Facebook conversation with our real friends but instead it's a Facebook conversation with Facebook Friends.


Let's have some real conversations and get to know each other better.


Photo from BigStock Images


When was the last time we just sat down together with a friend and had a coffee and a chat?


Are we still up-to-date with how our friends are, truly are?


It's easy, let's do it more often, much more often.


I've got the Coffee! Let's have a Conversation!



So let's say to someone  "I've got the coffee!  Let's have a Conversation!" and invite them over.




Tuesday

Parker Pyne Investigates - Book Review



I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Parker Pyne Investigates


1934


Description



A collection of short stories featuring the ‘heart specialist’, Parker Pyne.
Mrs Packington felt alone, helpless and utterly forlorn. But her life changed when she stumbled upon an advertisement in The Times which read: ‘ARE YOU HAPPY? IF NOT, CONSULT MR PARKER PYNE’.
Equally adept at putting together the pieces of a marriage or the fragments of a murder mystery, Mr Parker Pyne was possibly the world’s most unconventional private eye – and certainly its most charming.







My Thoughts



This is the 22nd book by Agatha Christie and the 1st Parker Pyne Book 


I love this book.

I know I'm a Christie fan but this is one of my favourite books of hers.

Soft hearted Parker Pyne (but with a strict eye for a business which of course must make a profit) just has to be liked.

Usually we are reading murder mysteries by Miss Christie but this time we are reading mystery adventures which are not really mysteries but 
are the best adventures for the people who turn to Parker Pyne.

He simply solves your problems that are making you unhappy - who could not like that type of person.

An easy book of short stories to enjoy and relax with.




If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.













Why didn't they Ask Evans?


I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Why Didn't they Ask Evans?



1934



Description



When a man plunges down a cliff, two adventurous young friends decide to find his killer…
While playing an erratic round of golf, Bobby Jones slices his ball over the edge of a cliff. His ball is lost, but on the rocks below he finds the crumpled body of a dying man. With his final breath the man opens his eyes and says, ‘Why didn’t they ask Evans?’
Haunted by these words, Bobby and his vivacious companion, Frankie, set out to solve a mystery that will bring them into mortal danger.









My Thoughts



This is the 21st book by Agatha Christie and the 4th Stand Alone Mystery 

I have read this one a few times now and there are things I really like - the two main characters who are not sleuths but are very willing to become amateur sleuths and plunge in headlong to find out everything they can without completely thinking it all through.  

I love to see this different side to Miss Christie's writing where there are silly blunders but also intuition worked into the storyline.  Frankie and bobby may set out as naive friends who are just ready for an adventure but the way they actually care about the person who had died (even though Bobby had only met him briefly) is what really keeps them going through it all to get at the solution. 




If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie



If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.

















The Listerdale Mystery - Book Review


I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








The Listerdale Mystery



1934



Description



A selection of mysteries, some light-hearted, some romantic, some very deadly…
Twelve tantalizing cases… the curious disappearance of Lord Listerdale; a newlywed’s fear of her ex-fiance; a strange encounter on a train; a domestic murder investigation; a wild man’s sudden personality change; a retired inspector’s hunt for a murderess; a young woman’s impersonation of a duchess; a necklace hidden in a basket of cherries; a mystery writer’s arrest for murder; an astonishing marriage proposal; a soprano’s hatred for a baritone; the case of the rajah’s emerald.
All of these short stories have one thing in common: the skilful hand of Agatha Christie.







My Thoughts



This is the 20th book by Agatha Christie and the 3rd Stand Alone Mystery

It has neither Miss Marple nor Hercule Poirot as the sleuth who solves the mystery.

It is another of Miss Christie's Short Story Complilations consisting of 12 mysteries but I do need to say straight away that I enjoyed this one much more than the last one The Hound of Death as this one is a brighter set of stories in which we have some happy endings and some not so happy endings but also with some humour.

Everyone jokes about how "The Butler did it" and in the first of these short stories there is indeed a butler but I'm not going to tell you if he is guilty or not.

Lot of locations involved here also with trains, cars, large houses, small homes, and lots of different levels of society with ladies, maids, butlers, husbands, wives and lawyers.

As is often the case in a Christie story there are twists and some small (and could be easily missed) things that may catch someone's eye and give the flash of inspiration needed to get to the solution.








A good book to start with if you have not read any Agatha Christie books before.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie



If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.





















Monday

Do You Need More Good Kids Resources? - Coffee & Conversation


I have done a lot of children's work for churches over the years and one thing that I always found difficult was to get good resources especially pictures to illustrate the bible stories. 









Some years ago I found  Eikonbibleart  


I was living in Belgium at the time and trying to get more resources for the Sunday School of our church there. 







Finding this site was great as their powerpoint presentations could simply be downloaded instantly and their package deals were very good value. 



Plus the pictures are great.




Once back in Northern Ireland I was downloading again and I was still thrilled with the quality of the pictures and the fact that they were continuing to add more stories on a regular basis.  

If you are involved in children's work or you homeschool your kids then do have a look at this site.

Not only do you get the powerpoint presentations but they also have lesson notes, colouring sheets and puzzle sheets to go along with them.








To me another thing which is so good is that this is a British Company and in fact it is now owned by a guy from Northern Ireland and I think that is great.  


They are also on Facebook  and Twitter so check them out.


A few years ago they brought out a comic book based on the Titanic, it is great quality and very suitable to give to kids in your church, school, neighbourhood or family circle.



They now have other comics too and short films like Becky's Christmas





and not only Bible story visuals but also missionary stories meaning a good variety of illustrative resources to pick from.


For kids work at church or for homeschooling, check out this resource site.






Of course I've left the best to the end 

they even offer some free stuff so make sure you look into it soon.