I’m Guest Posting on Shining Arrows

Good morning, friends! Today I’m super excited to present to you the first ‘triple guest post’ on Shining Arrows. Rhoda (from Serving With Joy) and her family crashed here last night and we’ve been having a ball ever since.

We thought it would be novel to do a triple guest post – in other words, Rhoda, Sophia and I would do a combined awkward and awesome post… Even though it isn’t quite Thursday yet.DSCF8830









Continue Reading…


Ask, and You Will Receive


I’ll start by giving you something to do: Read Matthew 7:7-12.
Now, I’ve always had this little niggling fear about those verses. I’ve been afraid that I might once pray for something, and never have my prayer answered. But the minister of my home church explained this in a recent sermon…

Today I am guest posting on Danella’s blog, Footprints in the Sand. Click here to read the rest of the post 🙂

Did you watch Ken Ham debating Dr Bill Nye yesterday? You can still watch the debate at debatelive.org. And this afternoon at 2 NZT, Ken Ham and Dr Georgia Purdom will be discussing the debate. (You can see it here.)

One more thing – today it is 174 years since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed! There is a lot of controversy about the signing, translation and meaning of the Treaty. I have read, and can recommend, The Great Divide, by Ian Wishart. I don’t agree with absolutely everything he says, but definitely good reading on the topic of early New Zealand History.

In Christ,

Guest post from Aviel – Trusting God

In all my childhood I dreamed about so many things. I dreamed about being a woman, living an important life, and doing something to lighten the burden of this filthy, dark earth, bringing a little hope in the midst of despair. Right at this moment, on the 7th of December, 2013 at 12:26pm, I’m still dreaming, yet my dreams have strayed from the simple aspirations of childhood. I no longer have that complete and certain confidence in my beliefs, my dreams, my Almighty God.

Father Daughter Dance blog post pic no. 4 (1) final 3

When I was a small child, I thought my father could do anything. He was my inspiration and example in standing up for the Gospel, facing difficulties with the Lord’s strength, and living by the Word of God. My father was able and willing to lead me through life, teaching, guiding, advising, and correcting me.

If only I could trust my Lord Jesus as I did my father. If only I could turn to Him with every problem, lean on Him through every difficulty, have faith in Him to guide my path when I am lost, and trust my every dream and hope to His protection.

In the meantime I am here now, trying to cling to my childhood, striving to trust my Heavenly Father, trying to understand all these new responsibilities. But at the same time I still have to cling to my old innocent hope that has guided me through the time, and given me a purpose and a direction. But even more importantly, I must cling to my everlasting light that truly can never fail – Jesus.

Do you ever struggle with an unknown time, or have doubts? Remember to always cling to the hope we can find in our Saviour.

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.  Psalm 125:1-2

Hello!aviel (1)

This is Aviel Gonen. I am really happy to be on Serving With Joy once more! I used to co-author this blog – I was writing alongside my good friend Rhoda.
To tell you a little about myself, I am 12 years old. I was born in Telaviv, Israel. My family and I moved to New Zealand because my father wanted to study at a Bible College in the North Island. After 2 years of studying, we had to go back to Israel because our Visas expired. 2 Days before our flights, my father was offered a place in Chosen People Ministries – sharing the Gospel with Israeli travelers here in NZ. We moved to Oamaru, on the South Island of NZ, because most of the backpackers go there. We had some great opportunities, and I also talk to them alongside my father.
While in Oamaru, I got to know the Newtons better, and we have been great friends ever since. I also started Serving With Joy with Rhoda, but then continued writing on my own blog – Crowned in Glory. We have moved to Mosgiel now and continue to serve the Lord in the ministry. It’s great to have been working with Rhoda on this post, she is such a good writer, and an inspiration to me as a young woman. 

Blessings and Love,
Aviel Gonen

Not for the amateurs

I wanted to share this with you – the education of our children is not the work of a moment, nor is it to be undertaken by amateurs – read on!

normal education

Continuing in the series for those considering their educational options, I invite you to join me in exploring the question: Is education a job for amateurs?

In the Christchurch Methodist Mission’s guidelines for social workers in interviewing clients, which I had the opportunity to see a number of years ago, I noted a remarkable item which went something like this: “The client is regarded as being expert in self and own life experience.” This sounds remarkably like stating the obvious, until you start to think about it. How many people do you know, for instance, who treat you as a complete non-expert on your own life and insist on telling you what kind of person you really are, what really happened to you, and how you really felt about it? For some of us, the figure would probably be equivalent to about half the people we know!

So let me begin…

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SWJ: The First Year

Okay. It’s time – for me to reflect on my first year of blogging.

January: Starting on New Years’ Day 2013, Aviel and I posted together for eight weeks.
February: Then, tearfully, our blogging ways separated. Aviel and I are still the best of friends, but a shared blog just wasn’t working.
March & April: I continued to post. Then, in
May: I was introduced to linky parties. Weird name, I thought. But I’ve discovered so much through them!
June-August: This was about when I started writing some about myself.
September: After I wrote Dwelling in the Love of God, I mysteriously stopped writing. Just like that. So there was nothing posted in most of that month, nor in October & November, when I started studying with Ligonier.
December: On the 4th, my writer’s brick wall shimmered away, and in its place were Ideas! Ideas for posts not necessarily spiritual in subject matter. And if you have any thoughts on that, please leave me a comment.

And now, the top five posts and top three pages in 2013:

Obedience is Only Instant;Keep Serving With Your Thoughts;
Books, Books, Books;The World We Will InheritTo Go or To Stay

Photos; About RhodaAbout

Here are the acknowledgments that should be woven through every word of mine on this blog:

Firstly, to God. He has kept me and the internet alive. And given me so much inspiration!

Secondly, to my family. To Dad and Mum. And to my four younger brothers.

Then, to the Gonens. Mrs Tehila started blogging in Nov 2012 and was my inspiration and huge encouragement. And of course, Aviel, whose idea this blog first was.

All of these bloggers have been continuously encouraging, challenging, and inspiring me this year! Thank you all!

And thank you to all my readers, who continue to encourage me!

In His service,