Our Stories, edited by Ian Wishart

our storiesI’ve just finished reading Ian Wishart’s book “Our Stories: The Way We Used to Be: The New Zealand Time Forgot,” (published by Howling At the Moon in 2014) and wanted to share it with you.

It’s actually a collection of newspaper articles written in the 1800s and 1900s. Wishart has searched them out from Papers Past(1), and written his commentary in between the articles.

It was a format I’m not used to, and the age of the articles made them a bit heavy-going, so Wishart’s summarising notes helped a lot. I still loved the way it came together as a simple, honest look at what happened in New Zealand and what New Zealanders used to be like. The chapter called “The Telephone Comes to NZ” was especially amusing.

The whole book comes from Wishart’s viewpoint of discussing history they way it happened, no matter what’s politically correct in our day. He includes things that I’d never heard of, like the tsunami in 1868, and the big Christchurch earthquake in 1888 (read the Oamaru Mail article here).

I liked being able to read a book about New Zealand history from a different perspective, and enjoy the fruits of Wishart’s labours chasing down the old newspaper stories.

…the most fascinating forgotten tales of our past, told through the eyes of the people who were there. (quote from back cover)

So if you are interested in hundred-year-old news stories, or in New Zealand history, or you just love to read Ian Wishart, this is a book for you!

~I did not receive any compensation or reward for reviewing this book~

P.S. This book review serves as an introduction to my blog, Rhoda’s Reviews

(1) Papers Past is an amazing resource of searchable historical newspapers which have been digitised by the National Library of New Zealand curators.

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Climate Change – What Shall We Make of it?

Climate change. We hear about it all the time. From pandas on our breakfast cereal cartons to water temperature instructions on clothing labels, the doomsday message of imminent disaster is being drummed into us from every side and through every medium. The headlines are convincing, and there are always plenty of scientific studies and charts showing steady Co2 level increases, temperature increases, and sea level rises. But could this all be wrong? Continue reading

Ask, and You Will Receive

footprints

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,
Rhoda

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

Books, Books, Books

old.booksYesterday Our family was so excited!!! I’d looked out the back of our public library, where the older books are kept, and found a real treasure! Six of Graham Oakley’s Church Mouse books, some of which we hadn’t yet read! We hussled home, and squashed up on the couch. We laughed ourselves to pieces!

Today I’m so excited! I just finished counting our family’s books, and the total is…. 2,190!!! I had problems with freezing cold rooms and the issue of whether or not pamphlets/ magazines etc. are books, but it was well worth it!

Tomorrow Mum is holding a meeting outside our local Post Office. It’s about a book which has very unfortunately been given a New Zealand Post Children’s Book award. This book, which I have not read, is a really filthy novel, and written for young adults. It’s so bad that the authour had to self-publish it. (You get the picture 🙂 ) Please pray that the reward will be withdrawn.

In our family, books are very important. Mum spends up to two hours each day reading to us, individually or all together. Then, we each spend a lot more time reading on our own.

It’s often hard to find books which are really worth reading. Most non-fiction is based on humanistic, evolutionary thinking, which can subtly influence our thinking, without us being aware of it. It’s a lot easier to realize what’s happening with a book titled “Atheistic Worldviews of the Twenty-first Century.” And most fiction is just as bad. So bad, in fact, that I’ve just about given up reading it, and now mostly read Christian non-fiction. I’m not saying that you should do the same, only that we should all be aware of what we, and our families, are actually learning from what we read.

Of course, the most important book is the Bible. And if we aren’t reading, studying, and memorizing it, we won’t be well-equipped to understand what really matters, what’s really going on in the world, and what other books we should be reading to understand other aspects of life in detail.

So, in conclusion:

  • Reading books is important
  • Some books are dangerous
  • All Christians should be reading the most important Book of all.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Hope you all enjoyed this new style of post. It’s not about me. It’s not directly from the Bible. But I wrote it, and it’s for you! (Please note that although this post was published on Saturday, it was written on, and back-dated to, Thursday.)