About a book: Could it be God?

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Yesterday I received the rather exciting news that a British publishing house, Bible Reading Fellowship, are offering me a contract to publish a collection of my articles from Perth’s Advocate newspaper. I have been producing a monthly article for the Advocate for over 10 years now, and they have selected their 90 favourite columns and will bundle them up into a book entitled Could it be God? The blurb about the book reads: In a series of pithy, poignant and profound readings, this book explores the intersection of faith and life. Spotting parables in the everyday, it equips readers to explore whether they might be bumping into God without realising it. Heartening and often funny, it applies biblical truth in a way that both fascinates and liberates. Well hopefully that gets you lining up to buy it – though you will have to wait until September 2016, when it is due for release.

As I have another book When Faith Turns Ugly: Toxic Faith and how to Avoid It being released by Paternoster in April 2016, it will be a year of publications.

For those of you unfortunate enough never to have read one of my Advocate columns, here is one of the 90 that made the grade – it originally appeared in January 2011.

Our New Garden…

Rosemary and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Now I know it’s hard to believe that I’m old enough to have been married that long, but facts are facts. On the 29th Nov 1980 we said our “I do” to each other, and we’ve never regretted the decision (well at any rate, I haven’t). In trying to decide how to celebrate, we explored various options. Front runner was a cruise, but we concluded that by the time our diaries cleared enough to take one, it would be our 50th anniversary, so that’s on hold ‘til then.

In the end our decision surprised us. We settled on a garden makeover, and contracted some landscapers to do the job for us. I say surprised, because neither of us knows the first thing about gardening. If the opposite of having green fingers is having the pink variety, ours are of a shockingly deep hue! True, some years ago I did manage to grow some rather tasty spring onions, but given that I had thought I was planting carrots, I’m not sure I can claim it as a success story.

The first landscaper consulted was depressingly open-minded as to what should be planted. He kept asking us what we would like – as if we’d know! I repeatedly told him that the brief was to create an indestructible, low maintenance, stunningly beautiful garden on a low budget, but he insisted on more information. It was embarrassing to be forced to confess that we couldn’t differentiate between a hibiscus and a hydrangea, so he didn’t get the job.

Eventually we found someone willing to accept us for who we are in the gardening world – total ignoramuses. He quickly abandoned the “so what do you think would look nice” routine and outlined his view of our garden paradise. He assured us it met all of our stipulated criteria save one (low budget), but by this stage we were sufficiently desperate to forgive that, and work commenced. We are now the proud owners of a garden with 5 magnolia trees (I think), 4 other trees (of some variety), numerous shrubs (with different names), a water feature with mosquito fish (who apparently eat mosquitoes), and a seriously depleted bank balance. It all adds up to a very lovely garden – I now even read outside sometimes.

Some find it hard to believe that I was willing to hand over control of the project to a specialist. I don’t understand their point of view. I think its better in life to admit when your knowledge is limited (OK, nonexistent) – why else have experts?

In my better moments, I’m able to adopt the same attitude with God. I sometimes confuse myself by my tendency to chirp back about His decisions and to second guess His will, but though a slow learner, I’ve come to realise that God really does know a lot more than I do. Indeed, in His will, is my peace…

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