Through Trials and Triumphs

I was fortunate enough to have my brief testimony included in fantastic compilation.

This is my amazon book review.


Through Trials and Triumphs

Through Trials and Triumphs is a remarkable book: fifty voices testifying, declaring how God’s love met them for the first time, or pulled them through extreme life circumstances.
It is a deeply moving read. Beforehand, I’d presumed I was alone in suffering trials, as my friends, and those at my church seem only to prosper and thrive.
But as I read, I discovered someone else has difficulties in their marriage. Someone else has experienced the grief of losing a loved one. Someone else has survived, no, overcome bullying at school. These writers have not only lived through difficult times, they have embraced God while doing so, and have a stronger faith for it.
The more I read, the more I realised, in this big old world, I am not alone. There are others just like me, living, struggling day to day but overcoming, and praising God through it all.
My hope is that you too will discover a kinship with fellow believers and you will be greatly encouraged that God will meet you, and love you through any circumstance in your life.
Be inspired by His love.


The print copy is now available to buy from amazon here:

If that seems a little expensive,the electronic version will be available soon from

Happy Reading!

Someone Else’s Summer By Abby Kelly

Thanks to our guest blogger this week, Abby Kelly.


Someone Else’s Summer By Abby Kelly


“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

Julie followed her mom, and carefully steered the cart around a tower of Diet Coke narrowly missing a sale sign for fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. Instead she almost bumped into their neighbor, Mrs. Jackson.

“Oh, hi, Linda,” Julie’s mom said. “Good to see you! How was vacation?”

“It was so great,” Linda replied, “It just went way too fast. But that’s okay, the kids and I are headed to Minnesota in two weeks to visit their grandparents. I can’t wait!”

Julie swallowed a jealous frown and turned to inspect a bag of Oreos, hopeful the women wouldn’t see her eyes water with tears.

“Oh, so fun! Do you need anyone to take care of your dog while you’re gone?” Julie’s mom offered kindly. “Julie can me help look after your house, water your plants or anything you need.”

Julie tried not to listen. It’s just not fair, she wanted to scream. I want to take a vacation! I want to go spend time my grandparents!

“No thanks,” Mrs. Jackson answered. “My husband can’t get off work so he’s not going with us this time. He’ll be here to take care of the dog and the house.”

“Well have fun!” Julie’s mom waved goodbye, put her hand on Julie’s shoulder and guided her toward the checkout line. “Let’s go home,” she said.

Julie didn’t say much as they left the store. Slowly she helped her mom put the groceries in the trunk and then silently buckled herself into the backseat. She was glad her mom didn’t ask what was wrong; Julie was deep in thought.

“God,” she prayed, “I know that envy is a sin, but sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. Why does Rebecca’s family get to take all the vacations? Why can’t we do anything fun this summer? I want to travel more, see fun places and visit people.”

When they got home, Julie put the milk in the fridge. Still mopey, she headed toward the stairs. “I’m going to my room for a while,” she said.

“Why don’t you pour us a couple glasses of iced tea and join me on the back porch instead,” her mother suggested.

“My tummy hurts,” Julie said. “I really don’t want to.”

“I think I know something that will make you feel better.” Mom filled two glasses with ice. “Come join me and bring your Bible.”

A few minutes later, Julie sat on the porch swing, dangling her feet in mid-air. She was glad for the screen keeping the lively, summer mosquitoes at bay.

“Open your Bible to Proverbs 14,” her mother instructed. “Then, read verse 30 out loud.”
Julie flipped to the middle of the book of Proverbs and slowly drug her index finger down the page. There was verse 30.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Julie was quiet again.

“What do you think that means?” her mom asked.

“I know that God says jealousy is wrong,” Julie answered slowly. “But this verse seems to say that it can even make me sick.”

“That’s right.” Julie’s mom reached over to squeeze her hand. “One more verse.” She took the Bible and turned to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

“I know you’d like to take a vacation this summer, Julie,” Mom said softly. “Your dad and I would too, but we just can’t afford it this year. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be sad; it’s okay to be disappointed. But jealousy is never right and like you read a few minutes ago, it will make you miserableit can even make you sick.”

“Then what do I do?” Julie asked, a single tear slipping down her cheek.

“The only thing I know to do is just what Paul said in 1 Thessalonians. We pray and we thank God for all that He has given us and for exactly the circumstances we are in. It has to work, because Paul also says in Philippians 4, that he learned to be content in all circumstances.”

Julie’s mom reached out and tucked a stray hair behind Julie’s ear. “So, do you want to pray with me?”

Father, teach us to be content in all circumstances. Your word tells us that every perfect gift comes from you, so we know Lord that this summer is a good gift from you. Help us to see it through your eyes. We want to be joyful so that we are good witnesses for you. Help us also, Lord, to see how we can bring joy to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Airport Encounter

Airport Encounter

I grab the coffee and survey the hundreds of empty seats. Sunday morning in an airport lounge, and I’m all on my own. I force down the drink. It’s not that bad, but it’s got nothing on Martha’s breakfast brew.

10 am. She’ll be organising the kids right now and hurrying them into the car.

The PA announces my flight is delayed by two hours; her tinny voice bounces unheard around the polished corridors.


“Lord, what am I doing here?!”

But I already know the answer. After weeks of prayer, the Lord provided a job for me. What a blessing it is, but … I travel 3 out of 4 Sundays a month. I haven’t heard a sermon or prayed with a brother for too long.

10.45 am. My family are listening to the minister preach now.

I scrunch the empty cup, toss it in the trash, stretch and yawn. Then I take a walk.

As I’m walking, I have a strange sensation: something pulling me in a certain direction. I see a sign for a multi-faith chapel and my heart starts to beat a little faster.

“What’s going on?” I ask myself. Could this be the leading of the Spirit?


Slowly, I open the door. The room is simple: an altar, religious symbols and some wooden chairs. I’m uncomfortable kneeling to pray before a crescent moon, but in spite of myself I’m straight on my knees pouring out my thoughts to God.

“Heavenly Father, thank you for my job, but I can’t go to church, or hear your word because I travel on Sundays. Show me, Lord, if I should give it up, or if I should keep on…”

The noise of typing interrupts me. I turn and see a man wearing headphones, using a laptop in chapel!


“Excuse me, but this is a house of prayer, not an office! You can use that somewhere else.”

The man ignores me. I speak louder.

“Can you turn your music off?” Still, he ignores me!

I’m getting a little mad now so I wave my hands in front of his face. He jumps a little.


“Oh! Hello. I didn’t see you there.” He takes off his headphones and shakes my hand. “I’m Michael Sontag, airport chaplain. Now, what were you saying?”

I take a step back. “Oh! I….Hello chaplain, what a lovely chapel you have here.”

He looks at the empty chairs and shrugs. “It’s quite lonely, especially on Sundays. I rarely see the same face twice.”

I don’t know what to say, so I just nod.

“But then I found this church online: the Set Apart church.” He spins his laptop around: there’s a webpage showing mountains and a clear blue sky. I take a deep breath in.

“I was listening to the weekly online sermon.  Everyday there’s a new devotional, and you can send a prayer request to other church members. They’ll let you know when they’ve prayed for you.”

“Oh. So it’s all online?”  I ask.

“Exactly. It’s called a “church without walls” because it’s virtual, so anyone can join and access it anytime.”

I imagine people all around the world, praying for each other and growing in unity with the Holy Spirit. People who don’t, or can’t go to a regular church being in a community, whenever they log in!

“So…how can I join?” I ask.

“Easy. Just go to to access the sermons and devotionals, and sign up for the monthly newsletter.”

I marvel at this man, sitting in his empty chapel, yet glowing with excitement from connecting with his online church.

I take a deep breath. “You know, the Lord lead me here today. When you came in I was praying for guidance, as this job means I can’t go to church. You were the answer to my prayer: this online church means I can keep my job and connect with God!”

I offer my hand, but the chaplain gives me a warm hug.

“Praise the Lord! When I was praying this morning, the Spirit told me I would lead someone to the mountains, but I had no idea what that meant!”

We say our goodbyes and I leave the chapel.  Walking to my boarding gate, I’m humbled and amazed. What a fantastic God! He hears our prayers, guides us and puts us in the right place at the right time.



Hope Rises Again

I created this short story to promote a christian publishing competition that is running later in the year. Hope you enjoy it!


Hope Rises Again

It’s first thing on Saturday morning. The mail arrives: two unpaid bills and an ominous self-addressed envelope. Yet another rejection letter from a publisher. I turn them over while I make a coffee to calm my desperation.

“Lord, help my finances. Guide me to the right publisher. Amen” As the hot water hits the coffee and the aroma rises, I recall the verse:

“May my pray be set before you like incense…” Ps 141 v 2

I imagine the coffee vapour carrying my prayer heavenward into the Father’s hands, and I am comforted.

“Mom, you’ve got mail.” My son waves the letters right in my face. I try, unsuccessfully to hide my grimace.

“What’s the point of even opening it? I know what is says.”

“Hey, I’ll do it.” He opens the envelope and reads out: “Unfortunately, we are unable to publish this time…How manys that now, Mom?”

“Nine. And it’s always the same response. ‘The book is well written but due to an overwhelming number of quality manuscripts we do not currently have the resources to publish yours.’”

“So why not self-publish? Mrs Simon self-published a recipe book online.” Mrs Simon is an elderly neighbour. My son has been helping her use the internet to publish Christian articles and book a holiday online.

I’m ready for the self-publishing question. “You need time, patience and technical ability to format and upload your book. I don’t know how to market it online.”

“But FaithWriters have a Christian writing contest to win a Xulon publishing packageworth over $4000!”

I rub my eyes and will my brain into action. I may still be half asleep but he seems to be talking a whole different language.

“OK. Please. Slow down and explain for me. What is ‘Zoo-lon?’”

He talks fast and waves his hands around. “Xulon. It’s the biggest Christian publisher of print-on-demand and digital books. They sell publishing packages that include editing, formatting, cover design, ISBN number, listing with major distributers, marketing…”

“Marketing? They’ll market my book too?!” Now I’m excited too.

“So how do I enter?” “If you’re a Christian writer you can sign up to become a platinum member of FaithWriters, and this includes loads of benefits, like advertising and selling your e-book. Then you can enter the Christian fiction publishing contestto win a Xulon Best-seller package later in the year.”

“Wow. OK. So where’s the catch?” “No catch, honestly! Once you’re a FaithWriters member you get also get a discount on Xulon publishing packages and you can enter the Christian testimony publishing contest.”

“I’ll sure have a testimony to write about when my book gets published!”

He reaches into his bag. “Here, Mrs Simon brought these back from the Holy Land for you.”

He hands over a box of incense.

For a moment I catch my breath.

Incense! Not only did God hear my prayer, but he cares for me and is guiding me to the right publisher for my work. How great is our God!

I light an incense stick and explain the answered prayer to my son, who becomes even more excited. And for the first time in months, I feel hope rise again.

The Shy Writer

Welcome to my first blog!

I’m a shy writer. I’ve been writing journals, travel articles, poetry and stories for years but I’ve never had the confidence to share my work with others.

But now, things are changing…

I’ve joined a children’s writers group and an online christian writing community. I’ve entered writing competitions and blog contests, and gradually my confidence is increasing.

But blogging is still a jump into the unknown for me, so I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and launch myself into the air.

Will you come with me on the adventure?