I had been so excited the last couple of weeks. I had been planning for Neil and I to sit and do a little YouTube video to our friends that we met exactly two years ago today, on the Skywatch Tour of 2019. But today, despite that anniversary, this isn’t the time.Continue reading “O, Israel…”
I stopped. Just silent and still. I looked, only moving my eyes. It was perfect, just stunningly perfect. Nothing unusual or outstanding, a scene that has graced our eyes many a time, but today there was just something extraordinary about it.Continue reading “Just One Moment”
I knew walking into the theatre, that I was setting myself up for an abundance of emotion and tears. And I wasn’t wrong. But it turns out, they weren’t mine. Well, not till the last five minutes, and then I felt myself crack.
To my left was a young couple, who found the content too much, and left part way through the movie, utterly sobbing. With all of the best intentions, I wanted to go to that young lady and tell her it was ok, that she wasn’t alone. I wanted to give her a hug and tell her I completely understand; but I actually don’t.
You see, for each of us who are the child of a Dementia sufferer, there are coping mechanisms we have formed; there are emotions we won’t show; there are areas where our experiential expertise don’t cover. And therefore, whilst we should have empathy and compassion for all concerned, we shouldn’t go butting our imposter noses into other’s suffering. We need to be invited into the suffering, then offer ourselves to the one hurting.
The movie, ‘My Father’ is a brilliant portrayal of a Dementia sufferer, through his own eyes. I clicked onto that notion with a couple of scenes at the beginning of the movie. As the storyline unfolded, evidence of my own Dad, came raring to the forefront, and I was left feeling somewhat vindicated.
The non stop comparisons. The nit picking. The angry outbursts of swearing and cursing. The silent treatment. The endless demands. The accusations of being up to no good. These are all things that my Dad heaped on me, time and time again. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband, great brothers and a mother with the patience of a Saint – although since long divorced from my Dad – still a loving friend and a great listening ear for me.
If any of you are either curious, or have a loved one battling Dementia or Alzheimer’s, then I thoroughly encourage you to go and see this movie. It helps tremendously. It gives such a compelling insight into the mind of a former intellect, who now is at the mercy of this dreaded affliction. Anthony Hopkins gives a stellar performance, bringing all the pain, emotion and frustration right towards you.
I walked into Dad’s Dementia unit the other day, and there he was, sitting having a cup of tea and biscuits. His hair sticking up like a scarecrow, runny nose and scruffy jumper aside, the smile that greets you, is immense. He’s like a kid in a candy store, and he knows he’s about to have a lot of candy! Always the question, ‘are we going out now for something to eat then a drive up north?’ Always, a kiss and hug and the words, ‘you’re the best thing in the world.’ Of course I am; I’m the Sugar Fairy and Taxi operator! 🙂
Coming back from our afternoon excursion, I was shocked to see a formerly vibrant and active resident, now needing a carer on both sides, to assist her walking. Colleen, was a gummy bear, who refused to wear her teeth; could swear like a trooper; and propositioned my husband on our first day there, asking him to meet her in the laundry afterwards! She loved dancing, and could flirt up a storm; if only in her own mind. It was nothing for her to stroke my arm and do a little jig with me, then start weeping. On the flipside, she could spot me across the room and start marching towards yelling expletives, and promising to ‘get me!’
My heart is saddened, for I know the day will come when my Dad will need that kind of help too.
In the meantime, when he sits in the café with us, his latest fixation is on the ‘fire exit’ sign, alongside the ‘toilets’ sign. His most recent revelation? Toilets are where you go poos and wees!!
For those of you who are interested, please visit Amazon for a copy of ‘My Way’, where it’s currently on sale. Or pick up a copy of the book from our site http://www.sparklemoonpublishing.net/the-store and for a limited time, receive free shipping.
In the meantime, be blessed and take care.
I remember being so green when it came to being a new author. Even though I had an internationally known Publishing House behind me, there really wasn’t alot of advice or direction given, in order for me to flourish. It was difficult, watching people alongside me, relishing in their new found role as ‘published author’ and yet for me, there seemed to be, a whole lot of…..nothing.
So, after plowing through my contract and seeing what I COULD do, I set about a plan. Or actually, I stumbled through every day, wondering what I could do next?
It seemed to me, that having a Publisher in England, was not actually beneficial to me. There wasn’t phone support, emails were sometimes disregarded, there wasn’t a ‘person’ I could touch base with, but there was something I had, that other’s didn’t necessarily have: an inquisitive nature.
Not only did I set about finding all the search engines available to me, I learnt the ISBN numbers on my e-book and softcover books, by memory. I went about, spending hours and hours, finding all the databases and websites, where my book eventually ended up on. I found it on over 400 websites! And I marvelled at how little old me, could be all over the world!
I then went on and compiled similar lists for friends who had published books around the same time as me. I wanted to see them succeed, but it seems that wasn’t reciprocated. I was used for my knowledge, and left behind in the dust. The truth is, I wasn’t very good at marketing myself, and I actually found myself in quite a depressed state.
My daughter took it upon herself to take the posters that the Publisher had sent over, and got about our village posting them in several shops. Some shops consented to having the small postcards and bookmarks in their shops as well, which was very generous.
I got to blogging about where I was at, and what it was like being a ‘published author.’ It was the weirdest of times indeed!
My contract said I wasn’t allowed to approach any bookstores, distributors, magazines or newspapers, as my inexperience could jeopardize my chances of having my book supplied with them. Meanwhile I watched a fellow author, market herself until the cows came home! Still, she was self-published, and I wasn’t, so there are different needs and strategies there.
I approached our local and national library, and even though my book wasn’t published in New Zealand, because I was a local author, they took my book on anyways – yay for me! I then found the ‘book request’ section on the Auckland Libraries website, and asked them to order the book in – they ordered in three! And it was booked for eight solid months in a row – that was good!
I sent my books to some of my favourite Ministers etc, and that was rather disheartening. After all, who am I and what is this book that I was sending to them for free? My Publisher hadn’t done me any favours, in terms of the blurb, or the artwork. I look back now, and I cringe! Why didn’t anyone step up and say the original cover wasn’t up to parr? Never mind my feelings being hurt, honesty is the best way.
The former Publisher had a section where people could write their reviews, and 99% were fantastic. I knew I had a story that had been God-inspired, but you just never know how things will be perceived. In the end, I don’t write for others, I write what my Abba Father puts on my heart – that’s it.
Going forward, it all fizzled. Nothing was really happening, sales were dismal. And the Publisher was in breach of contract, several times over. So, I found myself a Literary lawyer, who incidentally had been a journalist for over ten years in England, and she knew her stuff. I got my rights back to the book, and formally ended the contract. It ended on a positive note, and so I could move on.
My husband and I had established a indie Publishing House, two weeks before covid hit, and the first lockdown gave us a chance to re-educate ourselves. Watching endless tutorials on the whole publishing world, alongside the fact that I had been studying publishing/editing in Certification, plus all the knowledge I had garnered from my own experience – we were off!
Our experience lead me to publish a small book on my journey with my Dad into the world of Dementia. Funnily enough, without any advertising here in New Zealand, the book is doing well internationally. I never expected that, and am only now ready to market that story nationwide.
We then felt ready to (not really, but full of faith nonetheless) to bring on some other authors. I would say the rest is history, but there are a few more things to share yet!
It’s one thing to write a book, it’s another thing entirely to find an audience for this book. You may have written the most inspired book of all time, but if you don’t have an audience, you’re finished . An author needs to quit writing, and start investigating, start researching and start learning the world they have now found themselves in. Alongside their Publisher, they need to be thinking about alternative marketing, advertising and sales strategies, within the context of their Contract. They need to OWN the work they have created, and educate themselves continually by watching and reading tutorials, articles etc that will give them a greater edge. They need to avail themselves for interviews, both in person and in print, and they need to be open to advice. If they are constantly making excuses for not maintaining their own blogs, websites or social media, then they are doing themselves a large disservice.
Watch this space – SparkleMoon Publishing is aiming for the sky 😉
The goat track seemed incredibly narrow and full of hoof marks. It didn’t offer the sturdiness of a footpath with any kind of secure railing or steps. No, this track was hewn from many a goat and ensuing animals that had walked carefully up the path towards the peak of the mountain.
Claudine looked at the peak. It beckoned her, called to her in the deepest part of her heart. She pulled her cloak closer, pulled on the hood and took a sip of her water bottle. Her nerves were frayed, tripping and falling all over this track, but in her mind, she focused on the love of The One.
His eyes were flaming fire, his skin as cut diamonds. His face radiated a warmth that could flood the whole universe, and yet He gleaned all that love on her. So broken, so wounded and yet, so whole in His presence.
He looked at her and motioned for Claudine to come closer.
She fell down in front of him, not able to withstand the glory that radiated from him.
His hand touched her and slowly moved down her arm to her hand. He gently lifted her, and she smiled at The One. She glanced at his very eyes, which just a moment before had been like a flaming fire, but this time they were human. They were moist, and a single teardrop fell from His eye. She reached over, and ever so tenderly, without fear, wiped the tear from his face.
‘Claudine,’ said The One, His voice breaking, ‘will you sing for me?’
She looked at him, and without thinking, her voice rose to a note she’d never been able to sing on the planet earth. She took both her hands and tried to cup this giant face within them, and looked straight into his eyes. Her heart was bursting and love was emanating from such a deep place within her that she wondered if this did come from her, or elsewhere?
He wept. He wept more and more. Then silence.
‘Many are called, few are chosen. Even few still want to come and be with me. They want my presence, to a degree. They want to hear my heart, hear my secrets, to a degree. But I have been here since time eternal, and not many have wanted to come and BE with me. Many are so terrified of coming through the dark clouds and seeing me for who I am. And yet, I am always here to welcome my children, every single one of them – if only they would come.’
Claudine looked at The One, and with a heart of deep compassion, she looked intently at him. ‘You are terrifying to me. And yet you are my true comfort. You are lost in the world of religion, fighting, factions, denominations, debate and terror. So many don’t come because they have believed the lies of the enemy of our souls, and they seem to believe that there is a formula that must be heeded to enter into your presence.
I know very little of you. I just know I deeply love you and nothing satisfies my heart more than singing your praises and being your daughter. Papa and daughter. Claudine and Yahweh. Is there anything greater? I don’t think so….’
He looked at her. He smiled, and fractals of light shone through into other dimensions. She startled a little at the bouncing of this light show, and then she and The One laughed and laughed.
‘Will you come again?’ The vulnerability and innocence of Him seemed so out of place, and yet she knew, He of ALL creation was deeply emotive and true.
‘It would be both my honour and my pleasure to come and spend more time with you in this way.’ Claudine stroked his cheek again. How she loved Him so. Not in the ways of earthly love and pleasure, but in the way that her whole being was surrendered to her Creator. There was nothing, not even in her brokenness that she wanted more than to lavish her entire soul upon The One who gave her life, and INDEED saved her life.
It was a paradox. The One who created all of life, gave his only son, and has made a way available to all, he longed for her? His vulnerability, his depth, his kindness – and yet this is the one who judges the earth and directs the stars? How could this be? And yet how could it not be?
Claudine opened her eyes. She was back on the single rocky goat track, but this time her heart was elated! She had met with her Redeemer in the most profound way – what in the stratosphere would happen next?
This is a sneak peek of my upcoming sequel to Mirabelle, called Claudine.
Just wanted to let you know, we are running a competition on both our Instagram page, and Facebook page, to win all five books from SMP!
No need to do anything too strenuous – just like our page/s and tag someone else.
Free shipping worldwide to those entrants from outside New Zealand.
Ends 10 March 2021.
Winners notified by either DM or Messenger.
Here’s the links for you:
I remember so well the mornings you would whisper to me and awaken me at 3 am. I loved being woken by you; the sweet aroma of love that enveloped me as you took me through your Word and uttered your divine mysteries into my heart. As I look back at the things I wrote, I am aware of your presence, your calling, the hope I had – that now seems so shaky.
The cares of life, the pressures of the daily routine I fall into, the raising of children, the businesses, marriage and all its woes – where did WE go Yeshua?
I remember walking along the country road and hearing you speak so clearly to me. The dreams you would share with me, the laughter that would easily enrapture my soul. I think of the time you called me by my special name, a name only we know, and how in love I felt with you.
The times I would come and minister to your heart, as you had done to my broken one, and yet you seemed so besotted with me too. It’s a love story that is better than Disney or Hallmark, and yet I’ve settled for those love stories too now.
The worship that would flow from my mouth, emptying my soul into the ether as you showed me a new facet of your being. How I miss you!
I sit on the carpet and weep now, such deep anguish in my soul – without words, they seem utterly meaningless, just guttural noises and tears falling out of me.
I remember those times I would pray and ask you to hold me as I slept, I needed you and your comfort so desperately. And now, I have a physical husband and we watch endless TV series.
What once was a thriving love relationship based on your Word, your Presence and your Worship, has been replaced with many many programmes that fill the mind, scare the soul and leave the heart deeply grief-ridden and empty.
Walks that used to be two-way conversations, seem to be replaced with work. Or should I say, plug up the ears and listen to yet another podcast that will invariably dull down my pour neglected heart?
Being misconstrued as something that I am not, and yet being fully unable to be the real person you have created me to be.
Longing for you, and yet when I don’t get the response needed, just plop down and dismiss it all as emotionalism…..hoping it wasn’t, knowing it wasn’t, but in this current climate that I live in, your Presence isn’t necessarily a necessity….
Yeshua, how I need you. I realise how desperate my soul has become. I have all that I ever asked for and yet my soul feels dead. I find wonder in the dance, the hope, the dream and the memory. But I need you more than I ever have!
Looking back into diaries that stretch to twenty-five years, I went through a bad marriage, separation, divorce, rape, being a single mother, various diagnoses, depression, anxiety, poverty, debt, spiritual abuse, fractured relationships, reconciliation, different churches, different doctrines, and so the list keeps growing. But you were the One who was my main staple in all those times. These past ten years, there have been sporadic moments of you and your mystery, but they didn’t last long. It would be easy to blame my husband, children, business and the like. But the truth is, I haven’t needed much of you for the physical necessities like I used to.
Believe it or not, the truth is, I need you more than ever as we approach the end of days here on earth.
You are everything.
It just took having everything on earth to know how desolate I am now.
Please can we reconcile?
Well, this year saw my birthday utterly fizz. Oh don’t get me wrong, there was wine, song and great food, a couple of presents and lots of laughter – afterall this is ME you are talking about, however, there was such a deep forboding feeling within my soul, one that I couldn’t shake….
Why, you say?
Because my birthday is January 20th. A day that my American friends know as ‘Inauguration Day’, well at least, once every four years.
I just knew that this day was going to go badly, and it did. I fell apart. I lost it. Not entirely, but in a sense. I wept, my Beloved held me. We asked the Lord, why? There was no response. Not until the furore settled down and one could take an honest look back at all the unpacking of events.
I wrote something on my birthday, a tribute to President Donald Trump and a salute to all he had accomplished. People who would normally wish me happy birthday, ignored me. I received a few private messages, agreeing with me. I had dismantled the comments, it was definitely on purpose. I just am so tired of people, even ‘Christians’ hating on President Trump. I finally took a stand. It wasn’t easy, it was well thought out, and it was my way of saying; you’re either with me, or against me. There is no gray in between. Oh how I had settled in the roomy composition of ‘compromise’ that we call gray! But we’re either on the side of good and righteousness, or on the side of evil/political correctness, and that just doesn’t wash anymore with me.
I’ve lost friendships now, people whom I have walked with for over twenty years. And so I grieve. My Instagram (even though it’s officially my Business one) has been shadow banned, because it is tied to my private one. I had dared to speak out against the PLANDEMIC, and I have been warned. I’ve watched Social Media* be utterly decimated by the leftist agenda who have nothing better to do than perpetrate their own maniacal rubbish, and I have mourned – deeply and quietly.
Kingdoms rise, kingdoms fall.
Coupled with the effects of all this, I sat in the lounge with my Beloved, and he broke. He wept, as did I. For the heart of the Father, who is NOT impressed at the demonic rise of Socialism and Communism in either the USA or New Zealand, but we wept for the Beacon of Hope – America – and where the enemy of our souls, is trying to drag it to. We prayed, and gave our grief to God, and then we gathered ourselves and looked at WHY we had supported Trump and his policies? Why had people walked away from us? Why we are alone, here in this nation? Alot of why’s.
Clearly, the whole rhetoric of God, Israel and the unborn, are big reasons for us. We were in Jerusalem, on the first Skywatch Tour, when the USA Embassy was moved there from Tel Aviv. We watched people rejoice all over the streets, carrying their drums and flags, and singing their songs, dancing and celebrating! What a joy to behold 🙂
However, there was more to it. For myself, as a mum of three and a stepmum of two, children matter greatly to me. I have received several disturbing dreams about pedophilia circles being infiltrated and busted apart, and Trumps administration was certainly instrumental in bringing many down, these past four years – all over the world. Trump had a massive part to play in Epstein’s arrest, and has indeed been helping towards that for many years. Was he an undercover agent? I don’t know. I just know that he was and IS God’s choice for the USA at this present time.
There was also all the good he did for the nation and for the nations. He is one dude, you don’t mess with. I learnt early on, that every country he went to, he told the leaders to back off their persecutions of Evangelical Christians. He remarked how the EC community are some of the most faithful supporters he had, and how their support can affect countries, in a positive way. But I digress!
There is so much information out there and there are too many Christians who are afraid to look at it. There are too many people in general, who know there are nefarious things going on, and they turn their cheek. And there are some, who like me are deeply moved by what we see, and are asking, ‘Lord, what can I do?’ It’s a tough question to ask, but it is necessary. My only comment is, start with what is in your hands to do. Don’t be like those Christians who say, ‘God is sovereign, He can do what He wants!’ That is a copout, and I hate that mindset!
I am a fighter. I don’t quit. I learnt to protect my children and myself when I was a single mother for thirteen years. I was fiercely independent and whilst I loved the Lord, I also knew that I had to stand up at times and use my voice. Not an easy task when fear of rejection is in embedded into you, and abandonment is your necessary friend! Still, I thank God for those years, because I had to learn to think outside of the square I lived in, I had to learn to be resourceful, and I had to learn to fight in the spirit realm. So, I share this with you today, to say, we ARE seated with Christ in heavenly places. We are ABOVE the circumstances we find ourselves in today. We are MORE than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Greater is he (Our King) who lives in us than he who lives in this world. We are clothed in the armour of God. We put on the garment of praise, and dust off our robes of righteousness! We are not here to be a defeatist bunch of pussy whipped naysayers, we are here to do a job. We are both the Bride of Christ and the Army of God.
I know some of you are offended, and that’s fine. I won’t settle for the narrative that Christians are ‘nice and kind’. Yes, you may even see some unpleasant words appear on these blogs, as I convey my utter disdain for the state of things around the world. I have been complicit in the narrative that ‘one voice won’t make a difference!’ Yes it does; all the difference. I have stayed too quiet, not spoken out on matters that really are on the heart of the Father. But I know why, and I’ve made my peace, been in repentance, and now am ready to stand up for what is right, good, holy and true.
My prayer is that I will have kindness as one of the fruit of the spirit, but that my inner warrior and lioness would be heard and acknowledged. I no longer wish to pander to the ‘nice’ crowd, we just don’t have time for that non-sensical politically correct rubbish any more. It’s time to arise and be the both the Bride of Christ and the Army of God, now more than ever before.
“I pray that the Lord will bless and protect you, and that he will show you mercy and kindness. May the Lord be good to you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26.
Here’s my prophetic word for 2021:
Have a great year peoples!
Oh, and by the way, put away your Rapture Rugs, get into Ephesians 2, take your heavenly place and get to work!
I have quietly sat back and watched happening around me, things that don’t shock me anymore. They don’t worry me like they used to. They don’t make me upset now. Why? Because I am USED to it.
When you live in this little village of a few thousand, which is rapidly growing, you get to understand and DISCERN things at a deeper level. You understand that it’s not personality conflicts or clashes; there are principalities and powers at play, here in this little paradise.
A number of years ago, the Lord told me that I would encounter a particular ‘spirit’. He assured me it wasn’t IN me or operating THROUGH me, but that it would manifest all around me. He would use all of this to firstly; teach me, and then secondly; write about it in an allegorical style. I am currently doing that.
What makes me stop and pause, is the Body of Christ, in this area. I’ve never witnessed such lies, division, deception and dishonour. I watch others build their own little Kingdoms, and I watch further yet, the Hand of the Lord intervene. I see different ones around, wearing instead of armour, a breastplate that is wonky, full of holes and slipping off. I see helmets hanging down people’s backs and blasted with what looks like dynamite. Such mental anguish within these ones. I see many walking around with their swords, dull and unused. I see shoes that are worn out and hanging together by a thread. I see belts of lies instead of truth, and paganism and other gods, tightening their grip around these Saints.
My heart doesn’t break for these – it wars! Like the Warrior Princess, there are times that my Saviour leads me into warring in prayer and declaration; destroying the works of the enemy. Then there are times, when I step back and listen. Times when I stand and watch – oh how I have watched for over a decade and seen beautiful people turning proud and ugly. Beautiful on the outside and glaringly ugly on the inside.
Abba Father has shown me the rotten foundations, the chasing out of the Prophets, from this very village. He has shown me the Religious ones, who harken to a strict set of rules and know nothing about His abundant grace. He has shown me the gems, which society overlooks. He has shown me His heart, and how He grieves over the factions, divisiveness, disunity and pain with the Ekklesia; but oh how He roars!
Will we awaken to His roar, or will we keep on the path of the familiar?
Hmm, it’s worth thinking about.