Friday, February 24, 2012

She Waited & Prayed Among the SAND, MOSQUITOES, CROCODILES!

When Rita asked me to write about how I met my husband, the first thing that popped into my head was the sitcom 'How I met your mother'. It’s in its eighth season and the guy is still waiting to meet the mother of his children. I guess some relationships are a bit like that. There’s a lot of waiting.  Waiting for the right person, waiting for him to pop the question, waiting to have a family, buy a house – it goes on and on.

 I won’t go into the finer details of how I met my husband. He is shy of the spotlight. Let’s just say it was here in North 
Queensland and included sand, beach, boats, mosquitoes, and 
a few crocodiles. In spite of the tropical setting it wasn’t perfect 
by any means. We had a long wait to happiness.

This year we have been married ten years. In this time I have 
also learned other things you can choose to wait for: 
*   Waiting for your partner to change, (never going to happen)
  Waiting for your lotto win, (not much chance of that ever happening either) 
  Waiting for a better relationship, (possible, but needs work and sacrifice)

I think the big deal in my relationship isn’t how I met my husband; it’s how wonderful it is that we are still together. It shows me that if one is willing to wait, and pray, miracles will happen.

Thanks Rose. This Aussie author writes about the tropical north we'd all love to visit, let alone live there!

                                                 Bay Anders is lost. She enjoys every privilege  a wealthy upbringing     
affords, but the void in her soul refuses to be filled. Her mother's dying
 revelation drives Bay to the brink of self destruction, before a move to  Australia changes everything. She embarks upon a search for her father
that leads her to his island home, into a hazardous melting pot of hostile
locals and a mystery – her father's disappearance. The only person who can  help her is a strong, self-assured and intensely magnetic man. Bay must fight
an overwhelming attraction to stay focused on her goal.

Flynn McKenna is hiding from the world. A past filled with mistakes drove him to withdraw from society and live in seclusion. But the arrival of a woman he cannot avoid shatters his solitary existence. As the search for Bay's father unites them, can he resist his desire for her?
The next book in the series, BEYOND RESOLUTION , will be released April 2012.
(I wonder if Rose ever had a close encounter with a croc?)

Friday, February 17, 2012

A 'Good' Good Friday - Jo-Anne's Story

I was almost nineteen and about to begin my second year at university. During the holidays, I became friends with a girl who took me home to meet her family. She had four brothers, one of whom I vaguely remembered seeing at our Christian group on campus. And when our uni lectures began for the year, there he was in the same Classical Greek class as I was!

We chatted at times, but he did not ask me out until the end of year holidays. And it was only a matter of a few weeks then before we knew we wanted to be together for life. Both of us were very committed Christians, although I belonged to a different denomination from him. That year, however, I had agreed to travel to Lionel’s student church each Sunday to teach Sunday School. And one day, as I was getting out of the car to head into the church, I saw Lionel standing at the door greeting people. In a flash, I felt God say I would end up as Lionel’s wife—that is, as a minister’s wife.

It was gracious of God to let me know in advance, so that when Lionel took me for a drive on Good Friday of that Easter break, parked the car in a pretty spot and asked me to marry him, I had no hesitation whatsoever! I remember I had just said with a sigh, “This is so lovely. I wish I could do this every day instead of going to uni!” At which point, Lionel said something like “Would you like to do this for the rest of your life with me?” When I immediately said yes, he was so taken aback, he wondered if I had understood him correctly, so repeated the question in a different way! Needless to say, I said yes again. We were married the following January, nine days before my twenty-first birthday and nine days before my only sister also married a minister!

And now are about to celebrate our forty-third wedding anniversary. Truly, it was indeed a ‘good’ Good Friday for both of us all those years ago. 

Jo-Anne Berthelsen has published six books with Ark House Press. Most contemporary and some historicals. Her website will inform you of the titles. Visit her weekly blog at  You'll also find her at

Friday, February 10, 2012

"It Was A Dark and Stormy Night"

That was how my husband suggested I begin this story about how we met and I suppose it may have been. You see, we met in Papua New Guinea, in a town called Wewak. The coastal town was very dark at night, and quite often stormy. So let’s run with his suggested beginning and continue...
My family were missionaries with an organisation called MAF. We moved to PNG when I was in Year 10 and, as the town we lived in had no appropriate senor high school, I flew off to an international school in another part of the country. Unbeknown to me, while I was happily boarding and learning how to speak with an American accent, my family were taking pity on the mission’s young, homesick accountant named Richard. They invited him over and feed him up (so he didn’t starve on his single man’s diet of pop-corn and two-minute-noodles!). Then, when my family moved to the above mentioned Wewak during my final year of high school, they decided to invite Richard to stay during the potentially lonely (for him) Easter holidays.

Now I was used to meeting all sorts of people my family had round, but I didn’t expect to find myself laughing over a jigsaw puzzle with the mission accountant after everyone else had gone to bed. I even found myself thinking, ‘He’s quite nice, but he’s way too old!’ Poor Richard was only 24 at the time. The next time he came down for holidays, closer to Christmas this time and after I’d finished school, I decided to give him the cold shoulder. And that was the end of that.  My family uprooted and returned to Sydney, Australia. I began university, tried to lose my accent, and Richard remained in PNG. Single and eating pop-corn.

It’s funny how these things work. If this was a novel the text would now skip to Richard’s side of the story and you’d read how he thought I’d been a really nice girl, but too young, of course. You’d read how he prayed that if anything was supposed to happen between us I’d initiate it. I’d make contact first. But this was real life, not a novel and I had no idea what he was thinking. As for me, I barely thought about Richard at all until almost two years later when I was struck by a sudden guilty conscience. I don’t know what caused it, or why, but one day I recalled just how rude I’d been the last time we’d met. I felt so bad that I decided to write him a letter.  ‘To Richard...’  I wrote. ‘From Penny’.  I used the most unemotional writing possibly (you can’t be too careful with these single guys.) And he wrote back ‘Dearest Penny, I’m so glad you feel the same way!’
Aghhhhh! Not quite what I’d been expecting. But then, if this was a novel, I’d have been privy to Richard’s turmoil at being a single missionary and his anger with God for calling him to such a lonely life.  I’d have read the chapter about how one day he decided to make peace with God. He repented of his anger and decided to trust God no matter what. My letter, of course, arrived the very next day.

So, yes there’s an eight and a half year age difference between Richard and I. Yes one of my high school teachers would laugh at all the ‘nevers’ that came true by our romance, but after that first letter we kept writing and were married about a year and a half later. So you see, dark and stormy night or not, God knew exactly what he was doing and I’m glad I was the heroine who got to fall in love with the hero in this story. 

Thanks Penny. This exciting children's author often speaks at and can organise Play Group programs. You can contact her at or