Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When the Mask is Washed

Screams, sobs and some small tantrums came from the bathroom. The five year old was having a bath. Not any old every day type of dunking. No! It meant the butterfly painted on that morning at the fair was going down the gurgler. The five year old felt it was a catastrophe never to recover from.

How similar to adults. The issue will not be a painted butterfly but some other seemingly important matter. Being older means we may not scream, sob or do a tantrum. We may brood, sulk, and resent God when He drags us off to be washed by His Word. Our masks are not painted but they can be hiding the real self. The Lord isn't interested in the mask. He loves the real you, the real me.

When we enter into God's realm He gives us a spiritual bath. It is internal and it is eternal. His design is a complete make-over. The victory of Christ Jesus at the cross on our behalf deals with the self-righteous camouflage, the stain of sinfulness and the bruises from shame.

After the bath and when the next day came the five year old had moved on from the attachment to the face painting.The same happens to us when the Lord removes the masks and the stains and bruises of our inner being. A new person emerges to face a new day with a new freshness.

Therefore maybe it is time for God to give some of us a new wash through confronting us with the 'water of His word.'

Ray (thankful for the wash) Hawkins

Monday, November 19, 2012

By Whose Authority

On what authority do you stand to make the claims you make?     
Over the years questions like that have arisen when either sharing or debating moral or religious matters. Knowing what you believe and why is important. However is the ground on which you take your stand solid or a quagmire?

Ultimately the foundation on which we build our faith, our hope, our lifestyle will be tested. There are consequences, some not perceived or desired, from believing what we believe. There is a looming debate concerning euthanasia. People want the right to end their own life when, where and how they choose. Sounds reasonable. However I wonder on what authority do they make the decision? What is their authority about life or non life after death?Have they made adequate preparation to meet God? How do they consider Him (or her or it)?
What is the authority of their view?

For me my authority for life, living and dying is the Judeo-Christian Bible. In ever increasing circles the Bible is being ignored or merged with other religious writings and sometimes the secular tomes as well. I would like to say that if the Koran, the Hindu scriptures, Book of mormon and the theories of evolution were put under the same intense scrutiny as the Bible has endured they would crumble.

In every field of investigation the Bible has stood the test and has come through without blemish. This isn't the space to expand on it but there are websites,books and videos upholding the integrity and veracity of the Bible. The main reason people refuse to accept its authority is because it upholds a view of God as holy and the sinfulness of humanity.  To imagine ourselves as acceptable to God either elevates our goodness or sullies God's holiness. To accept the Bible's authority requires us to cry out for a Saviour.

Who can claim to be that Saviour? On what tested and tried authority can such a Saviour be trusted? No one measures up apart from Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, crucified, risen and coming again! What is my authority. The Bible! Is this wishful thinking? No! It is the result of research, historical events, archealogical support, language and culture from the times of writing, and the eye witness accounts of those who wrote about Jesus.

My authority doesn't come from my own conceits or wishful thinking. I stand on solid ground, the Bible. How solid is your ground? 

Ray (standing on solid ground) Hawkins

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Press Release - Bethlehem's Warrior Baby

I would like to share with you the following press release from my publisher.
You can order it direct from 'Even Before Publishing' or your local christian bookshop or contact me.

Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby

Cover of latest 31 Day devotional

The Warrior Child – more than just a baby in a Christmas Nativity Scene
Born with a silver spoon in the mouth denotes privilege. How would you define a babe born with a sword in the mouth? A warrior!  This is true of Jesus. Born at Bethlehem he is no sentimental baby merely surrounded by sheep and donkeys and cows too. Christ is the Warrior of Heaven. He has come on a mission. When we celebrate Christmas we need to see it from His perspective.
Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby does just that, through Biblical accounts, author Ray Hawkins has written a 31 day devotional about Jesus the Warrior born at Bethlehem. Gain new insights or refresh well known ones while reading this book. From Genesis to Revelation you will see the promised One become the One who has come. Then be taken further to see Christmas fulfilled when Jesus comes again.
“This new release from Ray Hawkins is just in time for Christmas for a reason. It’s at this time of year that we once again hear the story of Jesus’ birth,” said Wombat Books Principal, Rochelle Manners, “This story has been told so often, it is refreshing to gain a deeper understanding of what Jesus came to do.”
Ray said, “This book is about the Christ of Christmas and I’ve written it for all who are interested in a deeper understanding of this event.”
Ray retired from fulltime Christian ministry after 40 years. This covered time in NSW and QLD and the UK. In his senior years were three short term mission trips to Africa shared with his wife Mary. A promotional book for an African mission began Ray's writing career. The 31 day Devotional highlighted God's faithfulness in their African village experiences. Being retired he still continues to preach and teach. The main emphasis of his writings is to unfold a life theme and throw light on it from the Bible.
Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby is available in all good bookstores or online at www.evenbeforepublishing.com or www.lightthedark.com.au. 

For more information:
Sally Ford
Even Before Publishing
Phone: 07 3245 1938

Sunday, November 11, 2012

African memories.

Africa In Our Hearts

We left something in Africa – part of our hearts. We brought back lots from that country, including precious memories. Mary and I had the privilege of going three times to this continent on short term mission study tours. We were led by Roger Ellem and experienced village life, various slums and gracious hospitality and inspirational church involvement.
Mary and I with Pastor Abel and Family - Zambia

Some mementos sit on our shelves, photos adorn walls and albums. Whenever Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ghana make the news we become transfixed to radio or Television. I only have one real regret, we were not in the position to have done this sooner when younger so we could have gone more often.

Keeping a daily journal keeps the memory fresh when reread. That kept nagging me to make a more disciplined account of some of our discoveries of our Lord’s faithfulness and His church’s experiences in our lives. This became the basis of my first serious attempt at writing. It took the form of a 31 day devotional. Since then I’ve had four other devotional books on different themes published by Even Before Publishing 

The Neurotic Rooster was the African publication. It has been used by others who have considered and then gone on short term mission trips. The title came from a rooster who used the roof of where we stayed for his perch. I think he was worried about snakes or cats or...? Anyway his nocturnal habits kept us awake and nearly made us neurotic. The account is briefly outlined in the devotional.

I would like to offer a couple of these books to interested folk in a giveaway draw opportunity. If you would like one simply make a comment to go into the draw. This would be limited to Australia and New Zealand. However if someone from outside that zone commented who knows what might happen!

This will be open until November 30.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Ray (African daydreamer) Hawkins,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mary's book - Ray's delight.

5 - 9 November
is introducing 
(Ark house March 2008)

by Mary Hawkins

About the Author:

Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author with other 825,000 romance books in print. During the first few years of being published she also had five medical romance novels released by Harlequin Mills & Boon before concentrating on inspirationals for Barbour Publishing (Ohio). Return to Baragula is her first single title and the first released by an Australia publisher.

Mary was a Queensland farmer's daughter, became a registered nurse and has a graduate diploma from a Sydney Bible College where she met her husband. Ray is a retired minister who is also a published author. They enjoyed ministries in Australia, three short term mission trips to Africa and two years at a church in England before settling in beautiful Tasmania. They have three adult children and are now proud grandparents. Mary is a member of several writing organisations including American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers America, their Faith Hope Love chapter and Australian Omega Writers. She enjoys speaking appointments and writing workshops where she can share the journey she has been walking for many years with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Book Description:

Return To Baragula
Over the years Emily Parker's actions as a teenager have impacted not only her own life, but the lives of many different people. Now, six years later, she returns reluctantly to her home town of Baragula only to discover the man at the heart of those actions, Matthew Davidson, is the community's respected doctor. While Emily's faith is now severely weakened by all that has happened, Matthew's life has completely turned around since he committed his life to Christ. His personal relationship with God is tested when he discovers how his behaviour when a non-believer hurt so many, especially Emily, and feels responsible for her hardness of heart towards the Lord. Disease attacks the community while danger from another source threatens Emily and her family. Through it all, will Matthew and Emily's faith be strong enough to forgive each other and put the past behind them?
Ray's Rights
Having lived through the drama of Mary's writing I want to add my bit. She has overcome many obstacles on the way to becoming a best selling author. Self doubts about ability, raising children, supporting me in my ministry (self-supporting church planting for over ten years) selling World books and then Home Nursing plus helping establish CWCI in Gladstone Qld, and of course 4 moves from one ministry to another. She began writing in long hand. Then we bought a typewriten and then she worked as a nurse for 5 years to help purchase a house and buy a computer. 
I read 'Return to Baragula' out of duty.  I found to my amazement it was not only well written, as I knew it would be, but that it was a good story for blokes. Since then it's been my privilege to read and enjoy the follow on stories.
Ray (proud of my wife) Hawkins.