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 I have not done one of these post in a long time. I wrote this as an article for the Shining Stars Magazine that I often either write for or submit photos too. My sisters have ended up on the front cover of the magazine before, not something they thought would ever happen! And as I am away now (providing this published when it was meant to) and for the rest of this month, I thought I could schedule this to post then, because there is no chance of me posting anything else.

Our family bakes a loaf of bread almost every day (in the bread maker). Occasionally if there is some event coming up or we are having people over we will bake two or three more. Among our church friends and family The Farrelly’s Bread is quite famous, and everyone goes back for more. We eat some of our bread every day; we dribble honey or jam over a nice soft slice with chewy crusts or wrap sausages or steaks in it, toast it and eat it with vegemite and butter, or as a toasted squash sandwich, or whatever we feel like that day. I think that the bible, the word of God, is just like The Farrelly’s Bread. We eat our bread every day, it sustains us. So also we should ‘eat’ the word of God every day. Our bread we eat each day gives us energy to continue on. So also does the word of God.

We really enjoy eating our bread too and eating it in all different ways. Likewise the word of God is something we need to take into ourselves each day. We need to ‘eat’ it to sustain our spiritual life. As it says in Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.”

I would get very hungry if I could only eat bread on Sundays and bible study nights, even if I ate something else instead I would really miss eating a slice of our home baked bread each day. And it may not be a good for me either. So while reading other books is nice I think we should all take a bite of spiritual bread each day. Just as I eat bread each day, I also need to ‘eat’ the word of God. Daily bible reading will help sustain our spiritual life and will strengthen our spirits. 

Often we don’t just eat bread once a day but a few times a day. Often we eat it for morning or afternoon tea, like reading bits of scriptures through the day, listening to bible based preachers talking and teaching on bible passages. Sometimes we will even have bread for tea as well, maybe dipped in soup or with some warm vegetable and meat stew on top. So also we can be ‘eating’ God’s word many times a day. Just like we need to eat food during the day we need to read the word because like bread it is a staple food for living a happy healthy life.

When and how each member of our family eats bread each day looks different and some do more so than others. I does not look the same for everyone in our family and it does not have to, but we all eat the bread. We all feed on the word of God and delight in it, sometimes alone, other times together, because we all belong to God. Often we don’t remember what we ate three days ago, neither do we remember what we read, but what we read in the word helped get us to today, and sustained and strengthened us so that we are where we are now.

Because as it says in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

As the title says, here are a few little bits of beauty I have noticed and photographed in the last few weeks. Sometimes we can get so much from just stopping and enjoying the beautiful things around us instead of always rushing past to wherever we are going. 

Of course I write this to myself just as much as anyone. This though is one good thing about photography, you have to stop and look around and sometimes even seek out the beautiful things God has here for us to enjoy. Look around and make sure you don't miss out the beautiful things he sends you each day, because you forget to look and really see.

 What lovely things have happened in your life recently?
When did you last notice and thank God for the flowers he sends you?

I figured I really must do that tag because I have now been tagged for it twice, once by Jessica and once by Bonnie, thanks both of you. I am not a highly musical person but hopefully my answers will be of some interest. 

Anyway, the rules of the tag:

1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Tag others.
4. Add you own question to the tag for your nominees to answer.
5. Include the rules in your post.

Now, the questions:

Do you play any instruments?

Yes, it is called the Camera, and sounds like "Click" goes the shutter "Click, click, click," "hey every-one, look this way, quick" Which I hope you managed to sing to the tune of Click Go the Shears. If not go back and sing it again, if you don't know the tune, WHAT YOU HAVE GOT TO BE AMERICAN or at least not a true Aussie, so go look it up.

What is your favourite music genre?

As afore mentioned I don't count myself very knowledgeable about music, but I like worship music, hymns, and sound tracks, and though I don't listen to it much every time I do I like Christian rap, and of course good old Aussie songs that my parents knew when they were little, or other Aussie classics. 

Is there a music genre you absolutely cannot stand?

Contemporary mainstream anything, the lyrics.... just no.. do people even pay attention to what they are singing?

What is your favourite way to listen to music? (CD, vinyl, MP3, radio, etc)

I am not fussed on this one, but I really enjoy taking my sister to Band occasionally and listening to the town band practicing, though it can sometimes get overly loud in that closed room! But I also like to put music on on the computer and dance with my little sister, who is two (as long as no one else is watching). Otherwise I listen to it on my tablet usually with headphones so as not to disturb anyone.

What/who are your three favourite bands/singers?

Bel Thomson, she has such beautiful music and songs for personal worship. Our family also listens to a lot of Colin Buchanan. And since you mentioned bands, then I guess I am allowed to say the local Town Band, that my sister Jane is part of.

Now for the extra questions:

Jessica's question: What do you think is the purpose of music?

I think it should be for our enjoyment and to give glory to God with. I think it can also teach us things, because of how it connects with our soul at a deeper level, and sticks around in our minds, which is why lyrics are so important. 

Bonnie's question: What is one piece of music / song that has gotten you through a really tough time?

I don't know that I would ever say I had an overly long tough time in my life, but there are days, and on those days I find myself having to sing things like Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) or Bel Thomson's Bird's Eye View. 

And as for those I shall bestow this tag upon, they shall be my lovely musical sister Jane and my musical friend Sarah

And your extra question is: Do you have a funny story to do with playing music or band, if so please share it?

If you would like to do this tag, please go ahead 
and let me know so I can read your answers.
Or just answer some of the questions in a comment below.
Every year the month of September comes around and it gets busy, I take entry forms and entries to the showground every week, sometimes multiple times a week. As we also help out with the photography and art section you can add in a few extra days of being at the showground, and then at the end of the month of course is the show. So here are a few random photos I took then, if you want to see more check out my photography page on Facebook. But if you just want a quick glance of our show, as far as me and photos are concerned here it is.

One pavilion is full of chooks of all kinds, and sometimes a few other sorts of poultry too.

The night of day one ended with people visiting the sideshow alley and then watching mad people riding bulls. 

All through the day there are events, like showjumping, dog trials, and lots of other horse and cattle events.

And I never can get over how beautiful the heavy horses are.

The Town Band which my sister is part of also performed.

As did some mad motorcycle stunt riders, no one died, which is kinda surprising considering everything. Throughout the day there were different levels of wood chop competitions which were amazing to watch, some of those guys got through logs so fast!

I got a few prizes in the photography section but this boot is my great achievement of the show, it won the best decorated boot. Most other people went with a theme of 'pretty' I want with 'historical', hence the barbed wire, rocks, blood (glue with red food colouring) and on the other side of the boot clay like mud with shrapnel in it.

The little kids all enjoyed the animals you can go and pat. This one is my littlest sister, and brother with the bunnies.

There were many cooking entries and amazing cakes and jam things in jars... I am not sure what most of these are.

One the last night the show finishes with a spectacular firework display. Most people leave then, or shortly after. There are more horse events the next day but for most people the show is done. Except for all the volunteers. 

I helped and directed a bunch of other people take down and sort out all the photography entries, and by the time that was all done and we had got the prize money in with the correct photos it was eleven at night. I left then but some people were still there. A lot of hard work goes into our show! But it does show. 

Does you town have a local show that you attend?
Do you have a favourite photo?
The wait is finally over, for those who like me got ARCs of this book anyway. For everyone else it is almost here! And I am so excited because this book belongs to such a good series/trilogy. Obviously this is my honest review of this amazing book. 

What book am I talking about? A Time To Rise of course by the lovely Nadine Brandes. I am honored to take part in her book tour.

I don't want this post to be spoilery for those who have not read the first books so here is the synopsis of book one. You can find the synopsis for A Time To Rise on Goodreads.

How would you live if you knew the day you'd die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. 

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall -- her people's death sentence. 

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. 
But her Clock is running out.

A Time To Rise was worth the wait, I was expecting this to be as amazing as the other two and it certainly lived up to my expectations. There were many elements of faith in the other books but even more in this one, and by this book in the series I had grown to expect that so it was lovely. It is really refreshing to read a book that is saturated in biblical faith. But it also all applied and was necessary to the story; it has a reason and purpose. It makes this novel so much better and unique. It is an inspiring read.

This story pulled my emotions every way. The characters are all so real Parvin, Tawny, Solomon, Willow and their struggles so relatable and I really liked how some of them changed so much through this series and yet are still the same … Skelley Chase… The theme of forgiveness was powerful too. And many of the side characters were quite intriguing people as well, with their own stories, that we never really heard in this book. (because that would be unnecessary) But it made for good characters. 

There were quite a few surprising twists that I did not see coming, at all. I never even suspected there would be twists in those places. The story had me flicking through pages… e-book pages anyway as fast as I could read. A few bits had me laughing aloud.. and laughing/crying at other times.

Some horrible things happen, in the story. (Realism peoples) Some people do many horrible things; some good people make bad choices. But there are no gruesome detailed descriptions of the violence. So I really can’t say there was anything I did not like about this book, except for everything I loved of course!

I find most romance in books is painful to read, but in A Time To Rise (and the other two books, but particularly in this one where it is there a lot more) the romance is lovely and beautiful and a wonderful example of how a relationship like that should really be. It made for some heart wrenching moments. 

The story is just beautiful and so full of faith and the ending satisfied me. I am just trying not to think about how it is now ended. But Nadine did a wonderful job in making the ending sound like a new beginning for the characters while still being a great series ending.

Look at that photo, I even have a signed copy of the first book! Well, a sticker that is signed and in the front cover, but that is just as good!

Now after reading that review you want to buy the book right? So here are some links to the previous books in the Out of Time Trilogy as well as A Time To Rise!

You can find A Time to Die the one it started with all these places:

As for A Time to Speak, possibly my favourite of the three:

And A Time To Rise the third and final book:

If you Pre-Order A Time To Rise you can sign up to get some cool swag -like mini character magnetic bookmarks and other out of time series bookmarks- on this post on Nadine's blog.

And there is going to be a Facebook Party to celebrate the release too, which you should totally join in on because Facebook parties are, in my experience anyway, always so fun. What could not be fun when there are book giveaways and author chats?

That American time then translates to 9am on Wednesday the 19th, if you are in the same time zone as me (Australian Eastern Time Zone UTC+10:00) And then again I just realised there is that horrible thing called daylight saving so that could make it 8am, or 10am, my poor little brain is so confused now, but we will work it out some time before then.
And in case you do not know Nadine here is a little introduction.

I am an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. I never received my Hogwarts letter, but rest assured I’m no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family-size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. I write about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. My dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged me to pursue shalom, which is now my favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When I’m not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, me and my 
knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”)
 are out pursuing adventures.              

Nadine Stuff: (which you should check out because she is a most lovely person)