Friday, May 31, 2013


Susan's mother once told her she'd need to find someone who always had their nose in a book to be understand her! That resonated with me as my mother said the same thing when she'd catch me reading instead of doing my chores.

Susan Basham has been writing and drawing since she could hold a pencil, when she realized that words had power. An avid reader always, she remembers her mom saying “I hope you find a man who loves to have his nose in a book as much as you do!”

She found him and she and Gary have been married and reading for 23 years. They have three children – also readers – who grew up begging to go to a bookstore instead of the park! Three dogs and a guinea pig complete the Basham household!

Susan received her B.A. from Grand Canyon University in Behavioral Science and English Literature, where she wrote for and co-edited Shadows, the campus literary magazine. Continuing her graduate school education at Northern Arizona University, she worked in the mental health industry doing client intake on patients and writing summaries for the psychiatric staff.

“Hearing their amazing stories, I wanted to put them into a story format so they became real people, and not just facts written down on paper.”It served to be a great teaching tool for writing.

Susan shares that she is continually amazed by God’s blessings and redemption in her own life and she hopes her writing will inspire others.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Marriage Covenant

Queenslander, Jo Wanmer shares her story.

Forty-two years! Forty-two years of shared happiness, sorrow, joy, tears, frustration, arguments, devastations, surprises and yes, sometimes even boredom. We have experienced most of what life can dish up and now we embark on our future years with all that experience and commonality.

I was married as a twenty year old. My expectation was for a family with lots of kids, maybe five,  leading normal, always happy life, for ever after. It never occurred to me that one day I'd be old, or that I'd be married to an old man, though I did expect in years to come that I'd have a bald husband. At that time, I thought anyone over forty was ancient!

Once married, we soon discovered we had different expectations. I thought a husband always bought his wife a cuppa first thing in the morning. That's what my Dad did. Didn't that happen in all marriages? He expected long cosy mornings, sleeping in as long as possible and couldn't grasp the concept of a wife who wanted to get up early enough to see the sunrise! By the end of the honeymoon some realities were beginning to set in!Then, despite our plans, children didn't come either. Adoption bought us our two wonderful children, but there was no hope of three, let alone five. (Steve was secretly relieved about that!)
So forty-two years later I look back. Has life been easy? Has marriage been all joy, love and laughter? No, but its been good...very good!
 I'm thankful for an amazing husband who understands everything about me - well the basics anyway! I'm grateful for his steadiness and steadfastness that has been an anchor stabilizing my impulsive and crazy ways. I'm pleased that my impulsive and crazy ways have stretched him to greater adventures and achievements than he ever dreamed possible.
 I'm thankful for the really hard valleys that have trained us, strengthened us and led us into a deeper relationship with God. When I look back over my life together, the stand out memories are those times when we have helped each other get through the seeming impossibilities that life has thrown at us. And I'm thankful for eight wonderful grandchildren! What a privilege it is to be a grandma.
But mostly I'm thankful for a marriage covenant that has melded two people together; the commitment that held us close through the storms and trials. Its the tough places that produced our oneness, a unity that's only possible when two individuals have been tempered by life's fire.
Now, leaning on each other, we can walk into the most exciting years - they are just in front of us. Yes, we are privileged. Not many are as fortunate as we. We count ourselves blessed!
You and Steve have surely been blessed. Thanks for sharing with us, Jo.
Her book, Though the Bud be Bruised, has also been a blessing to its readers.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Member of Parliament's Love Match

Our dear friend, leader of the Christian Democratic Party and Member of Parliament, Rev Fred Nile, has
found his kindred spirit and new love in the vivacious Miss Silvana Nero, a teacher.

We are privileged to attend their engagement luncheon in Parliament House in a couple of weeks.

Part of the Newspaper write-up follows:

It was just four months after Elaine Nile's death that Rev Nile spotted Ms Nero at a CDP meeting. He had been praying that God would send him a wife and looked up to see a beautiful brunette, dressed in white, with what appeared to be a beam of light shining on her head.
He fell instantly in love, despite the 23-year age difference.
But romance was the last thing on Ms Nero's mind. A former Pentecostal church minister, she also had been praying - that Nile would notice she had a "calling" to join the CDP. She approached him and he said: "You are the answer to my prayer."
"I thought that must be what he says to all the candidates," she said.
Two months later he phoned to invite her to a Monarchist League Luncheon with the NSW Governor.
She was sitting on the balcony of her Housing Department flat in Dee Why, hair in rollers and wearing a dressing gown, when the call came. Afterwards: "I ran around the house saying, 'This is just wonderful.' I felt like Eliza Doolittle out of My Fair Lady". She spent four hours on the internet finding the perfect outfit - a demure Table Eight red lace dress.

"She looked ravishing," he said. "Wow! I had to get a new collection of words every time I picked her up."
So began a series of dates - to receptions, fundraisers, and the parliamentary Spring Ball last October - where they were spotted doing the "Christian cha cha" on the dance floor. Smitten, Rev Nile even arranged a trip to Canberra so he could get three hours alone in the car with her.
As far as she was concerned, the relationship was platonic. She told him: "Don't call me your girlfriend."
But they had much in common: "We love similar things - music, art, theatre. He's very enthusiastic, like I am. We laugh a lot. We have the same values. We both have an immense love for God and serving him."
Rev Nile added: "It's amazing. We're of one heart."
A week before Valentine's Day she had what she describes as "a healing".
"Fred prayed over me and I felt the hand, the holy spirit of God come upon me, and I changed. I actually felt I loved him completely differently. I said to Fred, 'I love you. I actually love you, from the purity of my heart'."
She described herself as "old fashioned, feminine and not a feminist" so she was pleased when Rev Nile insisted on asking her father for permission to marry her, even though his future father-in-law, Pasquale Nero, an Italian migrant from Calabria, is only two years older than he is. Mr Nero and his wife Maria were delighted. As she saw him to his car that night, Maria told Rev Nile her daughter "needed a man of God".

Ms Nero said she suffered bringing up three children, now aged 24, 19 and 17, alone, after her first marriage broke down 18 years ago. But her Christian faith sustained her and propelled her into politics. She ran as an independent for the Senate in 2007, and is now the CDP candidate for Mackellar.
The relationship remained secret until Thursday when a select group of NSW MPs received invitations to the engagement party (the wedding is set for December). That night Ms Nero dressed in her most va-va-voom red dress, a Flamenco style off-the-shoulder sheath, to accompany Rev Nile to an Israel independence celebration at the Sofitel Wentworth. To her surprise, Premier Barry O'Farrell announced the engagement to the room. Now the secret is out they are happy to declare their marriage is part of God's plan.

And we wish Fred and Silvana God's richest blessings in their new life together.

Friday, May 10, 2013


My family collage
How I miss my mother, my grandmother, and my great grandmother. Each of them were special ladies in their own way.

The older ladies loved crocheting and today I have some lovely hand crocheted tablecloths in elegant ecru coloured cotton. These I use on extra special occasions. And every time I lay them I remember their creators with fond memories.

My mother made most of my clothes even without a pattern. Something I'd never succeeded to do. She was quite an artist and began a small ceramic studio where we produced lovely Australian designs on all sorts of articles.

How I'd love to chat with my mum as we used to. We'd talk about everything under the sun, and still not run out of conversation. Dear mum guided me through my awkward teenage years and right up to my own marriage to my beloved husband.

A few years later she became our favourite babysitter and was adored by our son. She never stayed around long enough to see my first book published and I do regret that. She would have been my own enthusiastic publicist.

When her fine mind became confused with that awful creeping dementia I became like a mother to her and was glad to be able to do all the things she used to do for me. Taking on the power of attorney was a strange feeling at first, but very necessary. I am so happy that I carry her name in mine. I will always love you for the sweet, clever, funny person you were....STELLA.

Friday, May 3, 2013

ATKINS DIET - Romance and a Love for God

Local boy meets local girl at one of the 
nicest places to meet - at church. This happened at one of Sydney's northern 
beach suburbs.

Narelle, who happens to be a fine writer of romance novels, shares in her own words:

'My husband is a public servant and he is incredibly  encouraging and supportive of 
my writing career. He even looks after our children while I travel to attend conferences and disappear to my ‘writing cave’. He has a sports science background. We both enjoy watching sport. In nearly all of my books, 
my characters are involved in some kind of sporting activity.'

I was so happy to meet Narelle face to face a couple of weeks ago when she shared so many helpful hints and sound advice to like-minded writers at a Sydney seminar on one very 
rainy day.

Narelle began her writing journey some years ago. She decided this is what the Lord wanted her to do, but she believed she wasn't ready to approach agents and publishers until she'd gleaned everything she could from attending writers' conferences and reading the books authors need to give the best guidance possible. She and her colleague, Jenny Blake began an Australian blog, ACRBA, where authors can combine in several blog tours each year. 


Look under      30minutebible

 Then her dreams came true. Not only was she contracted by a US publisher, Heartsong Presents, but they asked her for six books in a series. An amazing opportunity for a new author! These books are sure to be both engaging and spiritually uplifting.

Thanks for sharing with us today, Narelle. And keep writing!