Tag Archives: God

Daring To Living With Purpose

FAITH NEWSWIRE – It’s not until we realise where contentment comes from that we are able to live the most fulfilled, meaningful, and perhaps even daring life.

As a collection of thoughts and topics, ‘Satisfiction’ is a heartfelt conversation for young women who want to live with purpose and contentment in the season they’re in.

The author, Shelley Ward, believes there are many young women who are living unfulfilled lives. They are searching for contentment and purpose, expecting the world to give them these things. She has written her book to encourage women to be all they are meant to be in Christ. 

“I believe many lives are unfulfilled because people are searching for fulfillment in the wrong things,” Shelley says.  “This world is filled with so many things that give us a false sense of satisfaction or fulfillment. This false sense of satisfaction is what I like to call satisfiction. We believe that these things will fill us but it is only temporary and always leaves us craving something more.”

Fulfillment can only be found in Christ alone. It is the feeling of completeness – knowing that you have all you need. It is the quenching of desires and longings and it brings with it a sense of peace. This is what women are searching for, but not only women – the whole world!

Satisfiction’ talks about love, life and relationships. The author explains in her book that it is possible for women to find fulfillment in each of these areas by trusting God to write their story, aligning themselves with His ways and by understanding, that in all things, Christ is our contentment.

Shelley says, “On the topic of life, I want the readers to dream big, discover their purpose and identity, and to dig deeper into Him, with a focus on living for His Kingdom.

“With the topic of love, there is an emphasis on God’s immense love for us and on the value and righteousness He gives us as His daughters – no matter our shortcomings or weaknesses. He makes us new. And He is our strength.

“The topic of relationships is a major topic that is covered in Satisfiction. I dedicated much of this book to discussing this topic because I believe relationships is more often than not, where young women today are looking for their fulfillment. They believe that once they find and marry the perfect man, they will be satisfied and have a purpose. But the problem with this ideal is that there is no such thing as a perfect man. Only Christ meets the criteria of ‘perfect’. So once these young ladies find themselves in relationships, they become disillusioned. On the flipside, other girls settle into bad relationships because they don’t understand their precious worth as a daughter of the King.”

Satisfiction’ encourages girls to rethink the how and why of dating, encouraging them to shift their thinking to align with God’s Word and not the world.

The book contains many thoughts, questions and lessons conveyed through personal storytelling, biblical stories, and discussions. It covers a variety of topics and issues common to young women in a way that is relevant and light-hearted yet challenging.

The author explains that she believes women are missing out on living a truly fulfilled life because they are putting Christ on the sideline rather than centre-stage of their life. God’s ways are truly the best but sadly, so many young Christian women are falling into the patterns of the world instead.

The book ‘Satisfiction’ is an easy to read, conversational style of writing suited to young women. It’s written like the reader is conversing with their trusted sister or close friend who is sharing her experiences and what she’s learned in life and faith. It’s simply girls doing life together.

“This book lets the reader know that no matter our life’s story – no matter how extravagant, crazy, or simple we might perceive it. No matter our past, present, or future – we each have been made for a purpose. And that purpose is to glorify God with our lives. We each are capable of this and the uniqueness of our story and identity in fact glorifies God that much more.

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Poetry: The Reflection of God 

FAITH NEWSWIRE – The author, Dr Edwin Yip has composed some very meaningful poems in his book ‘Glorifying God Centred in Christ’. The purpose, he maintains, is to glorify God, through meditation on the poetry. Dr Edwin Yip’s goal is to help Christians grow in faith and to understand what it means to be a Christian.

But why poetry? “If you are a Christian, it does not really matter whether you like poetry or not,” the author explains. “For example, even if you do not like the literary styles in the book of Psalms, you can still study and learn from it. Of course, if you enjoy poetry then that’s a bonus. This book is more than a collection of poems. It has reflective questions and my own comments besides each poem. In other words, its main value is as a devotional tool.” 

Why the author decided to write down his inspiration for these poems is because he was sharing a personal poem he had written in front of others. He realised he wanted to share all his poetry and bring joy to his readers.

Dr Yip gives an overview of the time in his life when he felt he wanted to write his poetry. “Although I have written a few poems relating to my faith in the past, it was not enough to form a collection. During my brief missional trip to Tonga in 2016, I had the opportunity to share a personal poem I had written with other believers, and I was encouraged by the responses of those who heard it. 

“At the same time, I was inspired by one of the sisters who travelled with me. Her main role during the trip was to impart knowledge and wisdom and encouragement to caregivers and families looking after children with autism. This is made possible through her experience in bringing up her youngest child with autism. She also went on to write a book called ‘Mikey & Me’ which shares her personal journey. Her story has become a source of hope and blessing to others.

“I also wanted to write something that can inspire and help others, to cultivate and strengthen their spiritual growth. As I thought about what my spiritual gift(s) are and what I can do for Christ, the idea of writing and publishing a poetry collection was born.”

So how does the author believe his collection of poems can glorify God? “It’s personal,” he declares. “It’s a reflection of my gratitude to God and what he has done in my life. I hope others can appreciate what I have written even if they are not into poetry. Furthermore, I hope they are inspired to focus on their own gifts and passions to glorify God.” 

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The Ordinary Made Extraordinary

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Rob Hawkes, the author of ‘Peter’s Song’ takes an exclusive look into the life of Peter, the disciple of Jesus. He has examined his humanness and looks at the humanity of the men Jesus chose to be His disciples. The very enlightening book deals with the tragedy and humour of the various situations scripture places them in.

‘Peter’s Song’ is published by Ark House Press.

The book looks at the unique celebration of the very ordinary made extraordinary by the hand of God. It brings some great insights into the life of the Apostle Peter as recorded in scripture. But it is seen through his eyes and those who may have witnessed the events with him.

What makes the author’s book intriguing and interesting to read? Rob explains, “There are a number of unique perspectives on familiar passages in the scriptures…at least I think they’re unique. For example: readers may be familiar with the accounts of the Last Supper in the upper room and when the Holy Spirit fell in power on those gathered there at Pentecost. But have you ever wondered what those events would have sounded like to those in the lower room? ‘Peter’s Song’ looks at that perspective. The book also dares to take a first person viewpoint of the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples gathered in the room.”

The author also looks at the Gospel account of Peter’s reinstatement by Jesus on the shores of Galilee after His resurrection from the dead. It mentions Peter wrapping his outer garments about himself before leaping from the boat into the water to greet his Master on the shoreline. This is a beautiful illustration of the love that Peter had for Jesus.

“I have used this example of Peter and the others to highlight one of the qualities that may have singled out Peter as leadership material,” the author says. “It may be alien to our controlled, ordered western view of the world, but maybe there is something about allowing our love of Jesus freedom of expression that the rest of the world needs to see more. Even if we look a little foolish in the process!”

The book is unique as there is a touch of humor and it is not overly religious nor is it excessively theological in its approach. This may be a little unusual given its subject matter. The author hopes it is all the more accessible for a wider readership because of that.

‘Peter’s Song’ is a little unconventional in its perspective on familiar passages. The author explains, “It emphasizes the humanity of the ordinary men and women who met Jesus. It takes you into their company as they travel together, share meals and wrestle with the horrifying death of their beloved Rabbi, contemplate their future without Him, then share in the wonder of His resurrection. It explores their new relationships that developed now that Jesus was no longer (physically) with them.

“Peripheral figures in the Gospels like Mary, Martha and Lazarus take a more prominent role in the story. The disciples would have previously had a relationship with them because of their association with the renowned Jesus of Nazareth. Would this change following His death? Would they have any association with them in the future or would they have to establish their own relationship with each other, without Jesus in their midst?”

Rob Hawkes describes how he sees Peter as different from the other disciples. “His propensity to make very public mistakes.
The completely inappropriate violence he exhibited in the Garden of Gethsemane at the moment of Jesus’ arrest followed shortly after by his cowardice and rejection of Jesus in the courtyard of the house of Caiaphas, when confronted by a young servant girl. His eagerness to have a go. Jesus’ eagerness for him to succeed!

“To a greater or lesser extent I see these traits in my life and in the lives of some others who I know. I find him endearing because of them, not in spite of them. He’s the one who comes across as the most human and therefore the easiest for me to identify with, because all his failings are my own too. Peter was an ordinary, hardworking man. Someone who was prone to misunderstandings and making mistakes, even after meeting and living alongside Jesus throughout His ministry years.”

The book builds to a crescendo of hope brought about by the transforming work of the Holy Spirit working in and through them as they continue with the ministry Jesus started.

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.