Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A + A // When Does the Library Close?

- Being early for a violin lesson so you decide to go for a walk along some unfamiliar streets. As you walk along a car slows behind you and you are startled by the driver of the car calling to you, "Excuse me!! Do you know where **** Street is?" You are slightly startled and also a bit disappointed because you're a helpful person but you can't help because you don't know the area and have only been walking for like five minutes. So you tell her you can't help and she drives off. A little later you turn around and walk back the way you came... to come across the very street that the lady had been looking for. Of course she's long gone, and you discover the reason neither of you had seen it was because a large tree had been blocking the sign so it was impossible to see from the other direction.
- Missing one step at the top and falling down the rest of the entire flight of stairs.
- Arriving at the library expecting to spend a period of time there working on a project before I was due at work... to discover they were busy closing the library (turns out I neglected to check what time they close on a Saturday) and so I sat outside on a random bench in the wind doing my project with the wind trying to sneakily blow away all my papers until it was eventually time for me to start work.
- Your mind being completely filled with other things and stopping you from hearing what people are saying. Frustrating. To say the least.
- Starting conversations then not being able to finish them for various reasons.
- Discovering that you follow a massive amount of blogs and deciding to trim down your blog reading list to a more manageable 42 blogs (many of which don't post very often, but still...)
- Grabbing the hot part of a curling iron in an extremely magnificent display of stupidity. Like seriously, Bonnie, how many times have you burnt your poor fingers with that thing?!

- The classic movie "Around the World in 80 Days"- so funny. We recently re-watched it as a family.
- Writing a poem and having it all come together nicely.
- This random little mathematical gymnastic operation:
 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
- Having a major spring clean and go-through of all your stuff. Ends up with siblings getting lots of things you don't need/want anymore! Feels soooo good to have things a bit more orderly. It was getting ridiculous. However, let's be real here:

Can anyone relate? :P

- Searching the bookshelves for a particular book and discovering in doing so another book you'd been wanting to read... even going to the extent of looking it up on the Internet longingly... but thought you'd never get to read it! Turns out that even after packing all our books and unpacking them again you don't actually even know the full extent of our book library. (It's 'Mountains of Spices by Hannah Hurnand, in case you were wondering!)
- Great quotes. I love this A.W Tozer quote:
Christianity takes for granted the absence of any self-help and offers a power which is nothing less than the power of God.
and this C.S Lewis one:
I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
- Those late night conversations with your sister when you share a room with her. Literally every night is a sleepover!
- Coming across interesting little peculiarities in the Bible that you have to research. Things like in Habakkuk 3:19, discovering in the ESV version it says "God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places" whereas you'd only known it in the NIV - "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights." And the difference between the 'my heights' and 'the heights' just strikes you. And you wonder about the meaning of those differences for ages. Different translations are so interesting.

Do you share a bedroom?
Which translation of the Bible do you read/is your favourite? Why?
Do you have a favourite quote you'd like to share?
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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday = a time when you can post old photos and guess their dates and get them wildly wrong :P
These are a collection of old photos that I thought might interest you. If you want to compare them with some more recent photos, I recommend you go here.
They are completely random- I just took some old photos off the computer that I thought would be interesting! Not in dated order or anything. Enjoy!

Left: me, Right, Danella
That time we went flying in a really small aeroplane and Ben was up the front and got to steer the plane for a bit

Family picture. Wow, how the family has grown! Left to right: Sophie, Dad, Abbie, Danella, Mum, baby Ben, me. 

The kids (taken at the same time as the previous one) Danella, me, Abbie, Sophie and baby Ben. See our matching dresses? Grandma sewed them for us (I think). We still have two of them (but we've grown out of them).

Who do you think this handsome young man is? That's right! Dad!

Dad with his two brothers. Left to right: Uncle D, Uncle A and Dad.

Mum in the Hanmer hotpools with little baby Caleb

Abbie, me and another homeschool girl at a homeschool outing which was to do with the fire station... we're sitting on the hose and feeling the pressure I think.

Three little girls, busking.... it was an event in our city where kids could do busking. It's Danella, Abbie and me. We were singing, probably hymns or something similar. (As you can see we weren't singing when the photo was taken!)

Ben and Johnny... still cute :P

Mum with little baby Lydia. I love this photo!

Some family event where we all dressed up and danced with each other. Have fun figuring out who is who.

Heading off for a bike ride. Left to right Dad, Abbie, me, Danella, Sophie, Ben.

And.... another photo of Daddy in his younger days. We don't seem to have any photos of young Mum on our computer so you'll have to content yourselves with those!

Has my family changed much? :P Still recognisable?

Note: I discovered after posting this that I posted it on a Saturday. Lol. Well, it's now officially a Throwback Saturday. :P It was supposed to be a Thursday but I have no idea quite what happened there. 
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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Favourite Comments // Volume I

This is the first time I have done a 'Favourite Comments' post. I guess I like the idea of it because it gives me an opportunity to recognise you, my wonderful readers, by publishing a few of my favourite words of love, edification and encouragement that you bless me with at the bottom of my posts! :)

I appreciate every single comment you post! :) I don't get a lot of comments compared to some bloggers so I try to respond to all of them. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for leaving your thoughts. You are a blessing.

Currently (feat. videos)
Great post!!! I love that song from Lauren daigle :D
- Kiley B

The U Poem
Thank YoU for sharing the awesome poem.
- Susanna Sampson

That's a really cool poem, Bonnie. I like it. :) Thank you for sharing it. :D

Sharing your Faith // Part 2: Strangers (Guest Post by Sophie)
Sophie, thank you so much for sharing!!! Ray Comfort is an incredible evangelist. I love watching how he shares the Gospel without fear of what the listener will think. I have never shared my faith face-to-face with someone...I don't know if I haven't had the opportunity or if I've been too scared. My family has handed out Gospel tracks and left them sitting in obvious places for finders though. =) That is a fun (and easy) way to share Jesus' love! Another blessing of the 21st century is social media! I have been able to encourage, witness, and lift up people around me - people I might otherwise never meet in person. =)
Thank you for sharing your testimony of what God has done in your life. =) I appreciate knowing that you too experience fear, but God helps you overcome it!
- Hosanna Emily

What a wonderful post! I appreciate this so much, as I have been trying to work on sharing the gospel more, and it's even harder with strangers!
- Emily

I really appreciated this post! It had a lot of valuable information for me. :)
You're learning Hebrew? My family and I are, too, only we're doing modern Hebrew. Is there a specific reason you are learning it? A while back my Dad, sister, and I started learning Biblical Greek, but that sort of died out because we didn't have much time and also we weren't using it as much as conversational Hebrew, which we're starting to speak around the house.
- Rachel M

Hi Bonnie,
Great post. Like you, I don't have many non-Christian friends, but I've tried a couple of times to share my faith with them. I agree that it is vitally important to do.
I propose one more principle to your already comprehensive list: as well as praying for your friend, pray for wisdom for yourself as to what opportunities you should take, what to say, how to say it, etcetera, and an able mind to quickly think up the correct answers to their questions in the heat of the moment.
- Philip
Off My Phone
Ha that leaf pile looks fun I have never actually seen a pile like it, all the trees around here are gum trees so very boring when it comes to autumn. 
- Clare

These are lovely, Bonnie! So beautiful and fun - thanks for sharing. :D
- Mary
Happy birthday Bonnie!! This is an amazing prayer...one that I can mirror in my own life. I want everything to be His...but sometime I am the one standing in His way. =( Thank you for being such a good example to us Bonnie, and showing your devotion to God freely!! <3 
- Hosanna Emily

Happy birthday, it is just like that isn't it when I was younger I felt like I got older on my birthday but not it is different and I think about the age I am almost with disbelief.
- Clare

Wonderfully written Bonnie, Happy Birthday!
- Susanna Sampson

Bonnie, this was lovely! Thank you for speaking such truth. You ministered to my heart. 
- Old Fashion Girl

Thank you for this post which reminds me of how forgiving our great God is!
- Sarah Dufries

Hullo you had such delightful questions I couldn't help it.
1. Would you rather have legs as long as your fingers or fingers as long as your legs?
Errr as a Violist this would be very difficult.. errrr...errr the first one?
2. What is your biggest fear?
My loved ones dying..
3. Have you kept a New Year's resolution? If so, what was it?
Yes, to increase my faith :-)
4. What is a random memory from your childhood?
Tripping over the crash cymbals as I sneaked into band late..
5. Have you ever pranked someone or had someone prank you? What happened?
I tired pranking my brother but laughed so hard he knew something was up
6. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
It's a beautiful day thank you Lord.
7. If you had two hours left on earth what would you do?
Gather all my family and friends around and have a good time and pray.
8. What's something you never leave home without?
My book
9. What was your first job?
Teaching Viola
10. What superpower would you most like to have?
11. What are you terrible at but love to do anyway?
- Miss Evie

About Me
I think I just found a kindred spirit! I'm an Aussie and I play the Viola! Nice to meet you! :-) 
- Miss Evie

Hello Bonnie!!
I just wanted to let you know that I am unfollowing a lot of blogs and trying to keep life super simple because I've been getting a bit stressed and just feeling the pressure of having so many things to do. So I decided to only follow a few blogs and do a bunch of other things to keep life super simple. So I'm sorry I unfollowed your blog, but I wanted to let you know that it's just because I'm trying to keep life super simple and NOT because I don't like your blog!!
I'm sure I'll still read some of your posts in the future and if you'd ever like to tag me for anything I'd be honored! <3
I feel super bad about doing this, but I'm pretty sure this is something God wants me to do so I hope I don't hurt anyone. /:
Have a beautiful day!!! 
- Hannah E

What a neat "guide to New Zealand", Bonnie! It sounds like a neat place to visit. :)
Haha, the biscuit/scone/muffin thing is something that I always confused! Your scones look more like American biscuits than what Americans call scones. Your biscuits are what we would call cookies, and blueberry muffins should be the same everywhere. ;)
- Emily

Yay for the biscuits scones and muffins! That is exactly what they are. I once looked up a few youtube videos on the Australian accent and none of them sounded remotely correct.... I am like dude what part of Australia did you go to! No one I have ever met talks like that!
- Clare

Say, do I have a noticeable accent?
- Michael R

You guys are awesome! ;) Stay that way.

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Sunday, 19 June 2016


When you first saw the title of this post, what came to your mind?

When I see the word 'takeaways' I think of the traditional Kiwi takeaway meals. Fish 'n' chips, pizza, burgers or something similar. Especially fish 'n' chips. That's iconic Kiwi. (If you're interested in what else is iconic Kiwi click here!)

Image from freeimages

Today I'm not talking about the edible kind of takeaways, however. I want to chat about spiritual takeaways. Spiritual food. Not actual physical edible food (as much as I love fish 'n' chips).

So what exactly do I mean? Let me explain.

I spent a week at a Bible camp for Christian homeschooled teens recently (Jumpstart, if you've heard of it). At one point, one of the people running it got up the front and told us how easy it is to listen to a sermon. To a devotion. To an inspirational talk. To anything, really; and to think to ourselves, "Oh, that's so wonderful/awesome/amazing/inspiring!" - and then to completely forget about what we just heard as soon as we leave the room.

I completely agree with him.

Information is constantly coming at us. Great stuff, often! Great blog posts, fantastic sermons, helpful lectures, Bible verses. How often do you see/hear/read any of those? All the time, I'm sure! I come across those all the time.

But what do I do with it?

How easy it is for all the great information and just all around useful stuff  to go in one ear and out the other.

Hence what I call 'takeaways'.

It can be really helpful to think to yourself, when you hear something really good, "This is my little nugget!" and then hold on to that. Maybe write it on that little pad of paper you carry around with you (oh, you don't carry one? Well, perhaps you could consider changing that). Come back to it several times that day and ponder it. Think about what it means to you. Practically. In your life.

Like I said, there can be a lot of helpful stuff out there. But it's easy to listen to it and let it go in and then come straight back out again.

Change that. Don't let it happen!

In a 40 minute sermon packed full of great things, pick a little nugget and hold onto it. Don't try to hold onto everything you hear - it's humanly impossible!! Besides, what you don't remember immediately may come back to you later on in the week or even later than that. It will still be in your subconcious. Don't despair that you can't remember everything!

Don't let your fear of letting lots of great nuggets slip by undermine your ability to take away one great thing you could otherwise have taken away.

So, what am I trying to get at?

As you listen to something or read it, think to yourself, "What can I learn from this today?"

You'll find that simple question will change the way you take in information. You see, whether it's a fantastic sermon or something rather hopeless that you don't enjoy at all, you can still find something to help you, practically, right here, right now, in your life. So ask yourself that question. And you'll find it.

No matter what you're reading or listening to, you can find something helpful. So find it. And hold on to that nugget. Don't let a great opportunity to find a nugget slip past you!

Be teachable. Constantly look for things you can learn in all sorts of opportunities. And you will find them.

What kind of takeaway will you take away today?
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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Mulga Bill's Bicycle

Today's poem is a something a little lighthearted for you. I came across this and very much enjoyed it so thought you might, too. :) Read the whole thing - you won't be disappointed! ;)

Mulga Bill's Bicycle

Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze; 
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days; 
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen; 
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine; 
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride, 
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?" 

"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea, 
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me. 
I'm good all round at everything as everybody knows, 
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows. 
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight; 
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight. 
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel, 
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel, 
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight: 
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight." 

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode, 
That perched above Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road. 
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray, 
But 'ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away. 
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver steak, 
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek. 

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box: 
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks, 
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground, 
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound. 
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree, 
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be; 
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek 
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dean Man's Creek. 

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore: 
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before; 
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet, 
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet. 
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it's shaken all my nerve 
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve. 
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek, we'll leave it lying still; 
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."

The Sydney Mail, 25 July 1896.

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Monday, 13 June 2016

Currently (feat. videos!)

What I'm up to today....

Watching… this video: (hehee!)

Hearing… the magical sound of silence (it's early in the morning and most of my siblings seem to be asleep still)
Tasting… my positively delectable tea with honey in it
Needing… to stop procrastinating and actually get some work done.
Wanting... tomorrow to come slowly.. what is it about having to work again after a long weekend?!
Regretting… those annoying things you say without meaning to and then kick yourself afterwards.
Feeling… tired but peaceful (I'm writing this at various times during the day - it's now middle afternoon)
Wishing…not really wishing anything
Thinking… about Jana and her antics yesterday - we had friends over who have a little 3 month old baby and she was so cute with him. :) She loved meeting little Aaron!
Laughing… about a joke... You know you've got awesome friends when they put jokes in your birthday card that they know you'll like.
Recovering… from camp
Anticipating… skiing!! The ski season started last week, yay! Hopefully we can make at least one trip up the mountain this year - maybe more! Whoop, whoop! Winter's not all that bad.
Dreaming…of my end-of-year-plans... not sharing them on my blog at the moment but I will eventually, don't worry. Suffice it for now to say that I'm super excited about the end of the year! ;)
Readingthis article. Fascinating. Do you know how to prove to a Jehovah's Witness that Jesus is God? Have a look at it.
Singing… 'Trust in You' by Lauren Daigle

Wearing… burgundy polar fleece, dark jeans and hair in plaits. It's a Monday.
Preparing… this blog post
Googling… what the longest word in the English language is. Guys, turns out it's really long. Apparently if you look in any of the major English dictionaries it's pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (a word that refers to a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of very fine silica particles, specifically from a volcano; medically, it is the same as silicosis). Well, you learn something every day. Next challenge: pronouncing it. :P
Working…on unpacking boxes and organising stuff.
Emailing… my sister links to various things
Sewing… nothing! At the moment. I do lots of mending but not much creating new things.
Checking… on the smell in the kitchen... Danella's making chocolate brownies.
Suffering… from that lovely smell
Practicing… self control :P

And that's it for today! :)

What have you been up to?
What is the longest word you can pronounce?
What is your favourite joke?
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Friday, 10 June 2016

The 'U' Poem

Mum was unpacking some boxes today and discovered this poem. She showed it to me and suggested I put it on my blog. So here it is, because Mum thought you guys might like to see it, and because I think it's rather cool, too. :) Enjoy.


Before U were thought of or time had begun,
God even stuck U in the name of His Son.
And each time U pray, you'll see it is true,
You can't spell JesUs and not include U.

You're a pretty big part of His wonderful Name,
For U, He was born, that's why He came.
And His great love for U is the reason He died;
It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand,
He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?
The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,
And this word 'resUrrection' is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension,
He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.
"Go into the world and tell them it's true,
That I love them all - Just like I love U."


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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Sharing your Faith // Part 2: Strangers

Sophie sharing the gospel with a complete stranger 

Hi everyone!

My name is Sophie and I am Bonnie’s little sister. Bonnie asked me to do a guest post here on her blog about how you share the gospel to strangers. Let me start by saying, I am NOT an expert at this! Every time I step out of my comfort zone to speak to someone I am nervous. "Will this person reject it? Will they even listen to me? What if they have questions I can’t answer?’ The questions always fill my head. So if you feel nervous at the thought of sharing your faith, don’t worry - you are not the only one!

There are many ways you can share your faith and different people find different ways that suit them and the person that they are talking to best. I am NOT saying any other ways are wrong, but this is how I have learnt to do it. 

So anyway I believe that you can’t understand why you need a Saviour if you don’t realize that you are a sinner. Imagine someone saying to you ‘someone has just come and paid your $10,000 speeding fine! You are free now!’ That just wouldn’t make sense to you unless they said it this way, ‘you were just caught speeding at 80 km per hour when the speed limit was just 30 km per hour due to road works, and so you have been given a $10,000 speeding fine. But the good news is that someone else is offering to pay your fine for you, all you have to do is accept it.’ 

That would make a lot more sense to you wouldn’t it?

The 'Good Person Test' flip chart and Sophie in action at the Christchurch A and P show

To present the gospel, I use a flip chart created by a chap named Ray Comfort. He was originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, although he now lives in America (have a look at his website where he has a whole lot of great resources!). He has a great autobiography called "Out of the Comfort Zone".

The flipchart is called the Good Person Test and works like this.

The first few pages of the chart are from the Ten Commandments i.e. Do not lie, Do not steal, Do not murder (and did you know that 1 John 3:15 says that even if you just hate someone it is the same as murdering them in your heart) etc… and it shows them that they, like me, have fallen short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23). Then on the next page of the flip chart we explain how on judgement day God will find us guilty and we will have to bear our punishment of eternal separation from God in Hell (and remember that God is good, Psalm 119:68 and Psalm 107:1, so that means that there will be nothing good in Hell). God would love to forgive us and let us into Heaven anyway but he can’t as justice must be done.

Then on the last page, the picture of the cross, I explain that God sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross (and then on the third day Jesus defeated death and rose back to life) for your sins- and all the punishment that you deserved was poured onto him. 

Imagine it this way, you are a murderer and you are standing in court and you know that you can’t pay the punishment but then someone walks into the court room that has never done anything against the judge and they offer to pay your punishment for you. But it is an offer, that person will only pay your punishment if you want them to, so you have to accept their offer. It is just like that with Jesus, you have to accept his offer of eternal life (Acts 16:31). 

But what is interesting about that word, ‘believe’ in this verse is that it actually also means ‘to repent’ or ‘to trust in.’ So we must say sorry (and really mean it) and give our lives (trust in) to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

If you think about the question, ‘does God exist’ you will find it is a very important question. I like to say it this way, “find out for yourself if God is real, and then if he wasn’t real it wouldn’t have done you any harm, but if his is real (which he is) it will completely change your life and I hate to think what would have happened to you if you had waited till judgement day to find that out.”

To start with you may only feel comfortable with handing out tracts, but that is a great start! I have heard of several people’s lives being changed through a gospel tract. Or you may feel more comfortable and sit down beside someone on a park bench or somewhere and get chatting to them.

You will be amazed at how open and willing to talk most people generally are. As I said before there are many ways you can do it, but the key to evangelism is not the impressive words or even what you say, the key is prayer. 

Without the Lord’s help I know that I would never be able to do evangelism, I am too much of a shy person. I have often found though that when I am stuck for something to say, that a phrase or word will pop into my head that was the perfect thing to say to that person right at that time that I would never have thought of myself, I know that it is God who tells me at those moments what to say.

So anyway, a big thanks to Bonnie for asking me to do this guest post and I want to encourage you all to find a friend or someone and together go and find someone to share your faith to! And just think how awesome it will be when one day we get to Heaven we find that there are other people in Heaven that are there because you obeyed the Lord’s prompting, stepped out of your comfort zone and took the time to explain the gospel to them!

About the author // Sophie
I am a 15 year old sister to Bonnie and soon to be 9 other siblings. I am currently studying Biblical Hebrew part-time at Laidlaw College along with being homeschooled. I love evangelism, learning Hebrew, spending time with my family, baking, reading books, board games and card games, Bonnie’s bad jokes and having lots of fun!

Note from Bonnie: Thank you to Sophie for her awesome guest post! :) And by the way, just for clarification, my jokes aren't bad..... :P

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Sharing your Faith // Part 1: Friends

Today marks the beginning of a new two-part series. One of my readers asked me to do a post on sharing your faith with your non-Christian friends. Here it is!!

Today I'm going to be chatting about sharing your faith with your non-Christian friends, then in three days time as the end of the series, a lovely guest poster is going to talk about sharing your faith with strangers. Wahoo! Who's excited? Me!

Evangelism. What do you think of when you hear the word? Many Christians quake in fear when they hear the word. I mean, I think we all know that we're supposed to be sharing Jesus with the people we meet. But it's so hard. And scary. And what will they think of us??

A lot of Christians find it a lot easier (and safer :P) to leave evangelism for the 'gifted' or 'called' ones. I mean, evangelism is a specific spiritual gift, right? And not everyone has the 'knack' for talking about Jesus to random people, be they friends or strangers.

Stop beating around the bush.

Stop making excuses.

I don't care who you are - a shy ten year old, a thirty year old with no social skills - everyone can share the gospel. And should be - I mean, Scripture makes it clear that it is the responsibility of every Christian to share Christ! :)

Mark 16:15
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Romans 10:17
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? ...

So how do you share your faith?

Good question.

Remember, today I'm focusing on sharing your faith with your friends who aren't Christians. In a few days time our guest poster is talking about evangelizing strangers.

Can I make it clear before I sort of get into it that I'm not very experienced in today's topic. All of my close friends are Christians. The only non-Christians I come across are my workmates (an interesting bunch of people) and some slightly more-distant acquaintances. That doesn't stop me from telling you all about how you should be evangelizing your close friends, however! :P

Friendship evangelism, to me, is all about sharing the faith that makes your life worth living, with the friend that doesn't share that common interest.

I think that there are a few principles to keep in mind when you go about sharing your faith.

Firstly, know what you're talking about.
If you and your friend start having a great spiritual conversation and then the opportunity comes up for you to share the gospel... it would be a good idea to first of all know the basics. There are lots of great ways (or 'formulas' if you like) to help you share the gospel. Let's face it - it's easy to struggle to remember things when you are in the moment and the person has lots of questions! I recommend Ray Comfort's material and Two Ways to Live as good places to start!

Secondly, be sensitive.
What you don't want is for your friendship to deteriorate because you are pushy in sharing the gospel or you try and do things your friend isn't ready for. We are all on a journey. Don't try to rush anything! Be sensitive as to where your friend is at.

Thirdly, don't stress!
This leads on from the previous point. It's important not to stress out if your friend isn't interested. We can share the gospel until we are blue in the face... but in the end of day, your friend must make this decision on their own, and we must respect their decision. Of course it's hard because we don't want our friend to miss out on eternity with the Lord! But be patient and trust in God and his perfect timing.

Fourthly, pray for your friend.
It is the Holy Spirit alone who can bring about a conviction of sin. Pray for your friend often. If they volunteer that they are going through a hard time, you can also offer to pray with them!

Fifthly, don't neglect your testimony.
Nobody can argue with personal testimony! Share what the Lord has done in your life and how he has changed you. This is one of the most powerful weapons you have in your arsenal. Your story is so powerful. Share it.

Sixthly, pick the time and place carefully.
Obviously you're not going to want to share the gospel during a five minute phone call. But that sleepover where you're together for a nice length of time? Maybe the opportunity will come up to chat about deeper things during it. Be sensitive about where the conversation is and steer it towards Christianity if you want it to go there. It's surprisingly easy to steer conversations if you need to!

Seventhly, your life is a testimony.
A famous saying is "Preach the gospel every day, and if necessary, use words." I don't agree with the full extent of this but I do think it holds a lot of truth. Your friend, who knows you are a Christian, is watching you and how you live. Do you let out an involuntary swear word if something unexpected happens? Do you secretly cheat on that test? Your friend is watching you all the time. Philippians talks about shining like stars in the world. Your life, how you live, the joy of Jesus in your heart, your example; is shining the light of Jesus. Don't underestimate it! :)

Eighthly, be an awesome friend.
Be that friend who is always there to listen. Be that friend your friend can count on no matter what. Grow your friendship!

And pray for them constantly. I know I said that before but it works. Don't stress if they aren't receptive immediately. Just be an awesome friend and pray that lots of opportunities would come up that you can use to share your faith.

Keep a look out for the second post in this series - sharing your faith with strangers!
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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Off my phone

Today I thought I might share a few photos that I had taken on my phone and were languishing there waiting to be uploaded onto the computer.

I've been making a few bookmarks recently. These are just coloured pencil and Faber Castell Pitt pens.

Also I hadn't done a sketch for ages... until I did one the other day! It was awesome. Had so much fun. You guys, don't pass up on spare moments to play with a pencil and paper.

Look at this little cutie! There was a really lovely light in the sky coming towards dusk... and so Jana, Lydia and I went out and took a few photos together. This is one of the ones we did.

So photogenic!!

So is Lydia, actually

Awww.... now that is ridiculously cute.

I love that light!! It is so pretty coming through the gap between the trees.

Jana and yours truly...

Yours truly

Here's Ben collecting chestnuts

Jana being very helpful and raking up some leaves (we start them young, here :P )

Massive leaf-pile!!

Ben burying Baxter in leaves

Johnny being buried 



I just can't resist showing you these cuties again!

Oh look, here I am again! Selfie-ing with Jana. :)

And my favourite one, to finish with. The view from the end of our driveway.

What have you been up to?
Do you enjoy playing in leaves? 
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PS. I'm away this week so that's why I'm not replying to emails or comments. :)