Category Archives: Author’s wisdom

Free Sample – Forty – from Redemption Songs by Mark Laurent

Here’s another sample poem from Mark Laurent’s Redemption Songs.

The book is available in print and in 3 eBook formats – see below for ordering links.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Forty

I’m not good at being patient
but God always hears me when I call

Lifts me up when the time is right
steadies my stumbling feet – I’m still walking

I was pretty depressed there for a while
but now I’ve got a fresh song in my heart

People have been noticing – they seem impressed
some have even started asking about Jesus

There’s not much joy in the idols of culture
but great reward in simply having faith

If I think about my life, it’s full of miracles
things that can’t be explained any other way

God isn’t demanding payment for this blessing
that matter’s already been taken care of
Jesus came, just as predicted in the stories
did everything God said was necessary

Jesus delighted to do what God wanted
heal us – forgive the sad things we’ve done

This is so important we should tell everyone about it
it’s heartless to keep such good news to ourselves

God’s love and constancy anchors our hope
we’d be adrift and lost without mercy like this

When I look at the world – so many problems –
my confidence shrinks and life feels hopeless

Without Heaven’s grace I’m certainly a wreck
my many faults keep catching up with me

But God gets me through – no, more than that
I’m overcoming things that used to bring me down

Let’s pray everyone finds this joy, this help
the poor and weak who need to know they’re loved

Come quick Lord – please don’t wait too long.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Click here for Print or here for eBooks

Free Sample – Thirty – from Redemption Songs by Mark Laurent

Here’s another sample poem from Mark Laurent’s Redemption Songs.

The book is available in print and in 3 eBook formats – see below for ordering links.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thirty

Lord I want to say thanks
I’ve got a passionate song in my heart
your love fills me with joy
I’m throwing off the drab colours I used to wear
I’ve a mind to dance in the street

My life was a real disaster
I was self-destructive, depressed
it was all about me, and I knew that was
    a loser’s game

When I yelled out to you for mercy
I was afraid you wouldn’t notice
but you came over and lifted me up
out of that hole I’d dug myself into

I’m standing on solid ground again
it was a long and lonely night
but morning’s come, and I’m wide awake

Sing to the Lord everybody
tell the world how good God is
there might be anger, but it never lasts
this love, however, goes on and on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Click here for Print or here for eBooks

Sample – Seventy One – from Redemption Songs by Mark Laurent

Here’s another sample poem from Mark Laurent’s Redemption Songs.

The book is available in print and in 3 eBook formats – see below for links.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Seventy-one

Create a quiet place in me, Lord
hush the babble of my mind
the racing of my pulse
then my heart will begin to hear
    your ‘gentle, murmuring voice’

Slow me down, Jesus
I need to take time
to see the beauty of creation
the exquisite intensity of your care
that way I’ll come to appreciate
    and be thankful

Teach me to listen, Abba
to the cries of those in need
the questions of the confused
    so I can learn compassion

In this unquiet world
help me to find a quiet place
    and a quiet time

Lord, I need to hear
the counsel of your spirit
the poetry of your love
then I’ll have something to share
    with those who cannot hear you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Click here for Print or here for eBooks

Sample – Forty Five – from Redemption Songs by Mark Laurent

Here’s a sample poem from Mark Laurent’s Redemption Songs.

The book is available in print and in 3 eBook formats – see below for links.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Forty-five

I never had a song worth singing
until I wrote a song for Jesus

No-one is finer than you, Jesus
you set my voice free, like ink on paper

Your words are grace and power
richness and inspiration spill in your footsteps

I’m in awe of such strength and wisdom
overwhelmed by how impressive you are

Everything you do is amazing
each word rings with the chime of truth
your meekness shows us what justice looks like

The world’s power-brokers are pathetic by contrast
nothing on this planet can stand up to you

When the dust of Armageddon settles
you’ll be the only one left standing
Earth will be as it should be at last

You’re the champion of all that’s good
we, your companions, are bathed in joy

Beauty and romance will return to Earth
songs of celebration ring out after all these years

Women love you, men revere you
some gladly leave all else to follow

You see the best in us, Lord
inspire us to be more than we are

Though all we have is rags and dust
we bring it to you, and you spin it to gold

We’ll be beautiful, as you said we would
our anxiety and shame all washed in joy

At last we’ll truly be Children of God
it’s what we’d hoped for, but never thought we’d see

We’ll keep on telling this story, Jesus
everywhere, every day, we’ll remember you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Click here for Print or here for eBooks

 

Sample – Eighteen – from Redemption Songs by Mark Laurent

Here’s a sample poem from Mark Laurent’s Redemption Songs.

The book is available in print and in 3 eBook formats – see below for links.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Eighteen
Your love, Lord, makes me strong
I’ve needed safety and you’ve been my shelter
when I’ve had to fight you’ve stood beside me
In the past I’ve played some deadly games
got mixed up in all sorts of unhealthy schemes
I was my own worst enemy much of the time
I finally cried out for help and you heard me
and your answer shook my tree to its roots
everything I held dear was consumed
by the fire that accompanies you wherever you go
You covered me with darkness – a cloud of unknowing
restless winds howled through every crack
till I was broken, defenceless, and couldn’t even pray
naked and exposed, and ready to be saved
When at last I stared into the dry-bottomed pit of myself
and the enemy within could no longer hide his face
that’s when you reached me
that’s when you showed me your love
Lord, you’ve scrubbed me clean – made me well
I’ll not turn my back as I did before
you lit a fire in me that eats away darkness
Now I’m ready to take on the night
run up the hilltop and stand there
meet that old enemy of mine out in the open
blow him away with the words you gave me
sing out your name – ‘Save! Save!’
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Click here for Print or here for eBooks

Kapiti News publishes article about Anne Stephenson and her new book

This informative article about our author Anne Stephenson and her new book – Adult Sexual Abuse in Religious Institutions: Faith seeks understanding – appeared on page 1 of Kapiti News 17 August 2016.

Click the image to see the article as published or read the text below.

Kapiti_News_article_17_Aug_2016_thumbnail


Opening door on taboo topic

by Cloe Willetts

A Paraparaumu woman has opened the doors on a controversial topic by writing her first book, which will be available at libraries and universities around the country. Adult Sexual Abuse in Religious Institutions: Faith seeks understanding, written by Anne Stephenson, is a hard-hitting piece that began in December last year. but had been on her mind for more than 40 years.

She approached a sociologist. a psychologist and an independent organisation to see if they’d help her co-write the book, but none of them wanted to, though they all commended her for doing it. The book, according to Anne, discussed sexual abuse of adults by clergy and spiritual leaders and highlighted procedures that needed to be put in place to deal with offenders and their victims.

Her 86-page book, which stemmed from personal research and understanding, covered a range of areas including characteristics of sexual offenders, suggested procedures for dealing with a complaint, victim support and the potential for victims to go on to have fulfilling lives.

Anne, a retired Methodist minister who worked for many years as a registered nurse in New Zealand and Australia, has had training and experience working with sexual offenders and abuse prevention, as well as support of victims and families. With her own experience of abuse as a young church-going wife and mother of three, and having gone on to have sexual abuse counselling, Ms Stephenson said her book was based on 20 years of education, which she hoped would assist in societal change.

“Positive change can come out of the current chaos regarding the handling of sexual abuse within religious institutions,” she said. “This book doesn’t exist to unsettle the good functions within communities, but to highlight areas where there are cases of sexual misconduct. I hope my confidence in the world l know, to reform and restructure as needed, will give insight to religious institutions, offenders, victims and those who support the people involved with such matters.“

The book is available from Paper Plus Paraparaumu, or through Philip Garside Publishing Ltd. For more information Adult Sexual Abuse in Religious Institutions: Faith seeks understanding visit www.realityrev.co.nz


Click here to order the print edition, and here to order an eBook

Video Celebrates NZ Methodist Theologian Jim Stuart

In this video, David Bell of KiwiConnexion  praises Jim Stuart’s approach to theology.

Click these links for information about and to order Jim’s book The John Wesley Code: Print edition or eBook editions.

Click here for a free Study Guide to the book.

 

“Tributes can all too easily drift into romanticised eulogising…”

“The obvious location for the tribute(s) is as part of the Remembrance (ANZPB, 829) so that they conclude with the act of remembrance. Placed here, the delivery of a tribute(s) could also be accompanied by the placing of symbols on or near the coffin. It also provides a level of participation early on. The tribute(s) should not take place after the Address, as it would ‘obscure the gospel hope of the resurrection as the wave of sentiment or boisterous good humour engulfs the congregation-become-audience.’ The first part of the service focuses on the mourners’ experience of grief and the recollection of the life of the dead person. The latter part moves the focus to the future and to the hope of resurrection. Placed here it allows the minister to later draw the tributes together into the wider context of what God has done for humanity in Christ.

There are a number of hazards to be avoided in giving tributes and it is appropriate for ministers to offer guidance and help in their preparation. Tributes can all too easily drift into romanticised eulogising, leaving me wondering how soon this person will be canonised. Some speakers will be tedious and long winded, others frivolous or pompous, and yet others say more about themselves than the dead person. Many are the risks, but this should not give us cause to bar tributes being given…”

From Chapter 9 — The Funeral Service, of Earthed in Hope: Dying, Death and Funerals – A Pakeha Anglican Perspective. By Alister G. Hendery.

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“We can’t stop the history of this place – we’re trying to write another story.”

 

‘Mr Ngahe said providing a place for children to safely and efficiently do their homework was something that was desperately needed in the community.

“I love to see kids achieve in themselves and their education – I love to see them coming in to do their homework and achieving their goals,” he said.

“It’s not only preaching the good word, it’s about actions – how can you put that into action? It’s important to preach in a practical way too.”

The church – which is part of the Avondale Union Parish – is continuing to fundraise to help pay for the renovations.

Mr Ngahe said the church was over 100 years old and was a building that had served the Avondale community long and proud.

“Finding ways to continue to use it for the benefit of locals was the priority rather than destroying a building that had long been a part of the community,” he said.

“It’s something for the community, by the community – something that will benefit and help make our community better.”

“We can’t stop the history of this place – we’re trying to write another story.” ‘

From an article ‘New role as community hub saves church from closure,’ by Vaimoana Tapaleao quoted in Weaving, Networking & Taking Flight: Engaged ministry in Avondale Union and Manurewa Methodist parishes 2006–2014. by Rev ‘Alifeleti Vaitu’ulala Ngahe

Order now eBooks or Print book

 Join Rev Ngahe at this Book Launch

3pm Sat. 8 Nov. 2014
Rosebank Peninsula Church
Cnr of Rosebank Road & Orchard Street, Avondale.

“We need to move from an individualistic view – it belongs to me – to a more communal view – it belongs to us.”

“A key to achieving this goal was to become a community centre, by establishing working relationships with the community through pastoral care, outreach programmes and educational opportunities.

 For me, transformation is about breaking through the barriers in our own understanding. We need to move from an individualistic view – it belongs to me – to a more communal view – it belongs to us. This changed view of life that always speaks about we, is one in which stuff belongs to everyone regardless of their culture or faith perspective or economic status. This seems to be a huge challenge for many people in the church. The hard part of transformation is shifting this way of seeing things. We are no longer focused within the church, on the inside/us only. Our focus shifts its position to facing outside, to the community. The wider community also become us. The church has to step up and walk an extra distance in understanding and acceptance of diversity.”

From Chapter 5 — Theological Themes of Weaving, Networking & Taking Flight: Engaged ministry in Avondale Union and Manurewa Methodist parishes 2006–2014. by Rev ‘Alifeleti Vaitu’ulala Ngahe

Order now eBooks or Print book

Join Rev Ngahe at this Book Launch

3pm Sat. 8 Nov. 2014
Rosebank Peninsula Church
Cnr of Rosebank Road & Orchard Street, Avondale.