Monday, 31 October 2011

GOOD MORNING DEAREST READER, My well planned and fine-tuned intention for this morning was to fill in time, while I waited for the Post Office to open, at the library with a little social networking. However, my slides! Today is the first Tuesday in November!!! Lol, and a lot of you are now probably wondering what that has to do with anything, right? :-) The first Tuesday in November is Melbourne Cup day! The Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race in Australia. It's "the day a nation stands still"...or something like that!! It's annoying, is what it is! When I was penpalling it just meant an extra day without a mail delivery. When I was a bored housewife it meant the race was aired on TV instead of daytime soaps!!! It was a disruptive inconvenience!!! :-( Today it means the library and council buildings are closed and I can't get on a proper computer!! Blast! I sit outside the town hall...on my semi shade...smiling at strangers passing by....exchanging nicities with people I know...listening to construction to the left and the sound of passing traffic to the right...hoping the dog passing by doesn't decide to stop and scare me into an anxiety attack ― yeah, I have an unreasonable fear, so what! ;-)...and I'm waiting for the Post Office to open. :-) What do you do when you're bored...and waiting? This is what I do! :-) I write! :-) Happy Melbourne Cup Day, Dearest Reader! :-)) Hugs ~ Jeanne.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Recently I was asked the following question;
If angels could appear in dreams or in plain sight, and deliver messages in Biblical days, could they still do that today?

The short answer would be YES, if it is God’s will.

However, I am not a person of short answers – ha, ha, ha – so here goes….

I’m not sure whether it is as common today as it was back then, or whether it’s more a case of most people don’t experience angels like that. There are still angel sightings; there have been books written about people’s experiences with angels, or what they believed were angels. But just as in Biblical days, they don’t happen to everyone….or even to most people. It seems as if it happened much more back then than now, because in such a widely read book like the Bible, it’s mentioned repeatedly…it’s fallen into the category of common knowledge. How many people, even with the most limited knowledge of the Bible, still know that an angel appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus? But the Bible, by way of being an account and guide for us of what God wants us to know on order to seek and accept Him, tells us of the events and happenings of only some people…only a handful in comparison to how many people there still would have been in the world at that time. And, like today, not all of them would have encountered angels, or anything supernatural.

I absolutely believe angel sightings still happen today, but I don’t think we’re made aware of it as much now, for whatever reason….too many other modern-day distractions perhaps, or the fear of mocking and disbelief. Think about it, how many people in your own life would even believe you if you tried to tell them you saw an angel? And having said that, I can tell you (whether it is believed or not) I’ve experienced what I believe was angel presence several times. I didn’t see an angel but I was pulled back from stepping off a curb years ago in Sydney just as a car I didn’t even see came around the corner. It would have hit me, but something pulled me back, and I was alone! No one was with me, no one was even nearby. There have been other things, like the sensation of someone sitting on the end of my bed, and the hindsight realisation of protectiveness over different stages of my life.

The Bible tells us that God uses His angels in His service, and they act with the sole function to do His will.

Bruce Marchiano writes in his book THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS; “If anyone believes the Holy Spirit does supernatural things in our natural world, it’s me; but for the most part, for whatever reason, as much as I’d love to be swimming in a sea of experiences, they just don’t seem to come my way.” A lot of people could say the same thing, then and now!

The strongest thinking for me on this is that God wants us - especially when there is more than 2000 years of verbal, visual, and written evidence about Him and His will for us - to believe through free-will and desire, rather than only because something as supernatural and miraculous as an angel’s appearance leaves the truth undeniable. Almost everybody would believe if an angel appeared and said so! For a little while, at least, and if they did would it be for the right reasons??? But how many would believe without that? How many did back then???

The same applies, sadly, for many when it comes to believing in Jesus Christ. I know many in my life and immediate vicinity who are baulking their commitment based on a need for concrete answers and proof, who cannot (or will not!!) surrender to faith alone. Jesus says in John 20:29 – “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

In the Christianity Explained short study, one of the frequently asked questions is along these same lines – it specifically asks about why when Jesus performed a miracle He often said not to tell anyone, and this can apply to queries regarding angel visitations also, I think – and the answer given is this; Jesus did not want to become like a side-show with people coming to see signs and wonders. He rejected such people (Mark 8:11-13, John 4:48). If people would not respond to the preaching of the Kingdom of God calling for repentance and faith (Mark 1:15), miracles alone would not convince them. Miracles (and angels) attract people, and it is possible that Jesus saw that the curious crowd would hamper His ministry, which is just what happened (Mark 1:45).

The truth of this is unmistakable. People will easily follow what they can see, but not so easily what they cannot. I spoke to two friends a few days ago about the fact that people were created to love, to have a passion for something, and in turn to worship. For most Christians it is understood and believed that the focus of our worship is, and should be, God! But for other non-Christians this inbuilt desire extends even so far as to the creation of new religions and belief networks, possibly driven by an intense human need to stand out and be individual, and to a degree retain their control over their own being. Whether it be God or some other focus, people will seek out something! And when something aside from God is settled upon as their belief system, it is often for two primary reasons; a lack of understanding about Who God truly is, or the free-will choice to reject God.

Before I started listening to God, ten years ago, I was deep into angels. I read every book I could get my hands on, especially those written by Doreen Virtue. I had the angel cards – a form of tarot, if we’re honest about it! I had the figurines – which amounted to a shrine, I am ashamed to admit! In hindsight I can see that the focus of my need to worship something was angels and not God. Praise be to God that He was persistent in His desire for me, and relentless in revealing the error in my ways! But my mistakes of the past mean I can sit here now and ask - knowing that angels do exist, that they are diligently about the will of God, but they are not to be worshipped – Who or what is the focus of our worship, love, devotion, and obedience? Do we believe because we have surrendered to faith, or do we believe based only on what we have seen with our eyes, or had unequivocally proven to us? Do we serve and honour and glorify God because we HAVE TO, or because we WANT TO???

Hugs – Jeanne.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


As this day begins....

May you see beauty all around you,
And feel peace alive within you.

May you receive surprises unexpected,
And share laughter with a friend.

When the day slides into evening,
May night come down to hug you.

And, may you always know and believe
That the Lord Jesus loves you.

(  (c) 2011 Jeanne Francis  )

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Now technically I was ‘away’ for six days, but two of those were travelling to get to where I was going. However, that being said, the travelling time was ripe with ‘experiences’ because - *raising eyebrow in a ‘ya know’ manner* - I was embarking on this mini adventure with my brother Gareth. One poor train passenger on the ‘to Sydney’ leg of the trip did agree (amused) when Gareth asked that he take our picture, possibly left convinced we were mentally challenged. Was it the perfectly reasonable need for photographical evidence that we were actually on the train that cemented his mirth, or was it the idiotic laughter emanating from my brother and I? And it’s not even like neither of us has ever been on a train before…though this was the first time in many years together. Just to set the scene, Dearest Reader, phone calls between Gareth and I usually result in nonsensical conversation and laughing like that of fools! The ‘from Sydney’ leg began with equal joviality when I mistook a complete stranger for the aforementioned brother. The look on this man’s face was priceless and I was left with no choice but to produce my own brother as proof that I was not an asylum escapee! Thankfully the man did have a sense of humour.

In-between all this travelling there was four days packed full to bursting. Now keep in mind that I spent 17 years living in Sydney myself so it was familiar turf for me. Gareth did at one point rein my walking pace back a kilometre or two, reminding me that he was still in country mode. It was surprising how easily I slipped back into city pace, and how quickly everything time-slipped back to a period before I absconded the city to make my childhood country hometown a permanent residence again. There was some apprehension, I admit, upon arrival in Sydney because it had been three years since I lived there, and things do change. But the transition was made beautifully welcoming when, after disembarking from the train, we were met by my son Bobby and future daughter-in-law Natalie.

I could write a very lengthy blog (and this will be lengthy enough!!!) about all the reasons why I love these two within an inch of their lives. Oh, I am mad-crazy in love with all my kids!!! J Any parent will know this feeling, I’m sure – that of, after almost a year without seeing them, looking through the sea of the unfamiliar and finding the unmistakable face of the man my son has become. Ahhh, be still my heart! And his beautiful fiancĂ©e who I love like a daughter. *Contented sigh* God’s blessings are an overwhelming abundance.

I took photos of everything, most especially in an attempt to share this (for me) simple little holiday with a dear and treasured friend, by way of seeing everything so ordinarily recognisable to me through his distant and first sight eyes, and through pictures. Thankfully I am blessed with patient and understanding (albeit bemused) family well used to my idiosyncrasies. Ha, ha, I have one picture of my brother taken month ago, with a look on his face that reads; “You take one more and I will have to hurt you!” His patience this trip was award-winning! Blessings upon Natalie also for not wanting to run for the hills because I was taking pictures of everything she cooked. (Natalie, you are an indescribable addition to our family, honey!)

Natalie calls me Mil – for mother-in-law – and as I grow accustomed to that I love it more and more. She introduced me to the wonder of a spa pedicure, showed me that a pretzel is more than just a salty, saliva absorbing, twisted cracker, and exposed me the pure decadence of churroes and strawberries dipped in melted white chocolate. She coloured my hair, enthusiastically encouraged as I shopped, shared her music with me, and most heart-hugging of all, shared her precious free-time willingly with me…her future mother-in-law. I praise God endlessly for the gift He has given not only me but my son as well in this amazing woman.

Our first full day in Sydney was filled, for Gareth and I, with anticipation. For me it was waiting to see my absolute favourite band in the whole world – Def Leppard – in concert for the second time…for Gareth is was the support act, Heart, he was most eager to see. We were both pleasantly surprised by the notable lead-in act, The Choir Boys. Sleep deprivation was a constant companion to both of us throughout the entire six days, nicely launched on this first night by our arrival home. I don’t know about Gareth but even at that wee hour of the morning I was on too much of a high to even contemplate sleep, so THANK YOU skype for being an outlet, and Navjot for suffering through me gushing about every little detail, and even listening to the distorted sounds of phone recordings claiming to be Def Leppard songs! Navjot’s immense patience continues, I assure you Dearest Reader, when I reveal to you that I emailed 17 concert photos to him YESTERDAY! (I wonder if he is reconsidering this friendship???)

Concert night was followed by a much needed deep tissue massage for both Gareth and I. Kudoes to my way-cool brother for enduring almost an hour and a half of it! I can’t believe either of us actually paid someone to hurt us like that, but WOW, it was sooooo worth it!

Amidst all the concert going, pampering, shopping, eating and socialising, my son had his 22nd birthday. That involved more friends, so much more food, a lot of laughter and another very late night. There were the antics of a very lively and decidedly ostentatious cat named Loki. And on top of all of it, it was discovered that DVD board games are not a good idea when one is tired and too sore (or old) to be crawling around the floor tossing dice. I drank so much soft drink that I forgot to drink coffee. I ate so much delectable home cooking (done by someone else – bless her!) that I can’t find it in me to get excited about my own cooking anymore…it pales in comparison. When I arrived home after this time away dinner was on the way to being cooked, and my mother and daughter were happy to see me.

I can’t believe how fast it all went! After two months of anticipation, like a dissipating puff of smoke, it is all gone. But the memories (and photos – sorry Navjot!) remain. I can daydream and pretend with surprising certainty that when, from a stage so far away it was little more than a chimera, Rick Savage, when he pointed at ten thousand screaming fans, knew I was there! ;-)

Life continues as routine again but in-between domestic duties and normality I can steal moments of happy reflection and be amazed once more how much God loved me, because His blessings come in so many wonderful, surprising and joy-giving ways.

God bless each of you, Dearest Readers,
Hugs – Jeanne.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

WHAT DO YOUR ACTIONS SAY ABOUT WHO YOU ARE? In an article recently written for a friend's (Navjot) blog, I posed the question; "How is a Christian supposed to live and act and speak?", and suggested in answer to that, that a firm foundational beginning was LOVE, as exampled by the life of Jesus Christ. This can be looked at further...Love as an action, as a basis and motivation for all we do. Love for God, love for Jesus, love for others, and for ourselves. It's a beautiful and rewarding place to begin and continues as the perfect fuel source for all our actions. But how detrimental are the situations where the actions fail to measure up to the words? We all know of people who have been turned off church and 'religion' (and sometimes God, sadly) by a Christian not walking the walk. I was speaking to a man today about that very thing. People wear crosses around their necks, have the Jesus fish on their car and ritually attend church every Sunday, and on the surface the first thought is CHRISTIAN. But with mediums like Facebook and Twitter, and any number of other platforms for fraud, all of us are aware, surely, of how easy it is to fabricate a truth in a way so believable it may never be revealed. What is spoken of as truth can be as far from that as possible, limited only by one's creative imagination and another's naivety. For many years I was a Character Writer. For those of you who don't know, it's much like Role Playing, only on paper. Each writer assumes a fictional identity of their own creation and a correspondence is begun. The storyline builds and is reliant on the imaginational input of another writer. I did this form of writing with a girl (Jennifer) from Texas for about three years. For the first six months of this writing journey all I knew her as was a terminally ill French woman from a year somewhere in the 1800's, and Jennifer knew me only as a 25yr old biker who died in 1955. Now, in this case the fiction was evident. But there are many times in real life when it is not! If I was to stand before you wearing a Karate Gi, cinched at the waist by a black belt would you presume I was a martial arts master? If I had a tennis racket and sweat bands would I pass as mixed doubles partner to Rafael Nadal? (I wish!!!) Holding a Gibson guitar, even with Phil Collen or Santana in tow, wouldn't make me a guitar player any more than wielding a machete or crossbow would make me a weaponry expert. A potential maniac perhaps! I think I'd be in a world of trouble if any of these was how I presented myself, and then I had to prove it with actions! Words are all well and good, sweet to the ear even, but they amount to little more than lip-service when they come without the backing of our actions. Often enough in the past I have been told (and fooled by) the things I wanted to hear. Well articulated words that sounded so good at the time, but which fell to nothing when it came time to back them up. How many of us, honestly, have encountered Christians even, who, based on their words and Sunday activities alone have led us to believe wrongly in the depth of their Christian walk? When I was newly returned to the fold of the church, about ten years ago, I encountered a situation where I saw a side of a Christian man outside the walls of the church building that, at the time, was disillusioning to this 'new Christian'. To this day I am thankful I have a mother I can go to for right Spiritual guiding. It can be confusing, even to seasoned Christians, to know what is right and wrong behaviour for Christians. Some things are obviously wrong, like stealing, murder, adultery. What about the fine-lines? I know the well known question 'What Would Jesus Do?' (WWJD) has seen many quandaries more easily answered for me. Would Jesus sit and watch that movie with me? Would Jesus listen to that song? Would Jesus blow off Bible study because the tennis was on? At the 2008 Hillsong Colour Conference in Sydney, Priscilla Shirer used a similar thought process. Would we do things differently if we knew Jesus was right there with us? Well, He is, you know. Would we rethink taking just one bottle of soft drink from work without paying? Or taking ten minutes more on our lunch break than we know we should? If I'm telling people I'm a Christian, they are not going to believe me if I then say it's all right to gossip about someone from church or craft group? It's not all right! And even if we're convincing them and ourselves, we are NOT convincing God! So, in our Christian walk, by way of our desire to be honouring and obedient to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, let's walk as He did. Let's love like He does. Let's be a truthful and unquestionable example to those God places in our path. Because as one statement I recently heard reveals, WE may be the only BIBLE that person ever sees. Hugs ~ Jeanne.

Thursday, 13 October 2011



(AUTHOR NOTE:- Love…a topic very close to my heart, and I’m sure, close to the hearts of many! I think it’s easy to become disillusioned with love, especially when looked at from an earthly point of view. The following is a mix of fiction and fact…I’ll leave up to you, Dearest Reader – if it matters to you at all – to decide which is which.)

There once was a HEART…a beautiful and gentle HEART.

Like any heart, this was a HEART born to be bursting with kindness and compassion, filled with caring and the longing to give. Most of all there was born within this HEART the desire to love (and be loved)…fully and with every resource birthed from its creation.

This HEART had been in existence for a while now…longer than many, the HEART knew, but not as long as some. It also knew it wasn’t the only heart to have experienced the things it had, but at this very moment the HEART also knew it was battered, and bruised, and most of all broken.

As the HEART sat alone, fresh from another rude awakening, thinking over the past years and the others it had encountered, all now a distant and painful memory, a new sorrow flowed. They had been the hearts of family and friends, of lovers and even strangers. The growing years of this HEART had been hindered by torment and fear…things contradictory to its fashioned purpose.

There had come a day, early on, when, mustering an already weak courage, the HEART began to step out in faith…a huge step, and seldom reaping the remuneration the HEART so desperately longed for.

In the 16th year there was the popular one who hadn’t even known of this HEART’S existence. -----Overlooked!

In the 22nd year there came the heart this HEART thought it would be united with for the rest of its time. But the HEART was left. -----Abandoned!

The 37th year brought one who had all the tight things to say, but who turned out to be beyond merely a liar – a deceiver of premeditated malice. -----Betrayed!

When the 42nd year came, the HEART was hesitantly surprised to find itself daring to trust again, daring to believe this was the reason it had been created. Only, the HEART was wrong…again. -----Used!

There was the crushing devastation of losing a brother; the struggles of friends walking away without reason; the reflections of happiness all too often short-lived; the rebirth of hope too soon deflated. Anger and bitterness now seeped from every vessel as the HEART thought also upon the feelings of abuse, rejection, mocking, humiliation, judgement and diminishment.

Now through today’s resentment, the HEART looked toward the darkening sky, hopelessly defeated.

Then the voice came. “Will you allow sourness to keep you from being what you were created for?”

“I’m never giving myself to anyone again,” the HEART’S reply revealed all it felt. “I will open to no-one!”

“Would you deny all I created you to be?”

The HEART turned toward the voice. Surrounded by intense brightness He stood silhouetted, and everything around the HEART vanished into unimportance.

“Saviour Jesus!” the HEART cadenced.

“Beloved HEART,” the Lord Jesus soothed. “Who do you give yourself to?”

“I give to everyone,” the HEART cried, “and all I get is pain. Why did You leave me??”

“Beloved HEART,” Lord Jesus said again.

“I give myself repeatedly, only to lose again and again. Why was I even created?” The tone used was accusing, and immediately regretted. Filled with sudden shame, the HEART tried to retreat into itself.

A third time Lord Jesus spoke, His words, instead of berating, were adoring and passionate. “Beloved HEART. I have plans for you. You were created by My Father, for Me. Love others as I love, for I am Love. Upon those who would hurt you, love anyway. Upon those it becomes difficult to love, love harder. Give yourself wholly unto Me, and all else will be your reward.”

The HEART became aware of the embrace, even though He did not move.

His voice remained comforting as He said finally, “I have never left you. I will never leave you. My Spirit is within you…Beloved HEART.”

(Dearest Reader, there is none who will tenderly treasure your precious heart like Jesus Christ will. Hugs – Jeanne.)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

AN INTRODUCTION: I've been trying to think of a name for my blog, now that I have been convinced to start one. A name―something striking?...something catchy?...something representing who I am? The answer? "Organised Chaos"! That pretty much sums me up, especially in terms of the condition of my mind. It's chicken soup in there! *laughter* But the chicken soup catch phrase has kinda been done to death, don't you think? So, organised chaos it is. Welcome to the cauldron, Dearest Reader. :-) So, let's begin with the introduction and then see where we go from here. Given that my desire is to hand over to God the reins of my hands and words, only He knows what is to come! :-) That's kinda exciting too, because the second biggest piece of information about who I am is that I'm a writer...a fiction writer...a FANTASY-fiction writer!! You know what that means, yeah? It means firstly, that ordinarily when I write it's all fabricated. Poetic license to the nth degree! Not just the plot...conjured beings, places, worlds, and very little need for historial accuracy, when the worlds I've created don't actually exist! Which leads me to the second thing ― embarking on a writing journey of non-fiction is a massive (and foreboding) leap of not only faith, but of confidence also. Considering that when you make it up, you're in control, you say what goes, and in the long run it doesn't matter what others think. In short, it's a very egotistical way to write! :-) But then given that, in the case of this blog, it is my mind and my words...and my organised chaos...that will be captained by God, I think we're gonna be okay! I'm relinguishing control, and as a writer that is also massive for me. I'm not sailing this ship alone...Ha!!!...I'm NOT sailing it at all. God is! *wipes back of hand across forehead* Phew! And therein lies a segue back to the first and foremost thing about me...I am a Christian! I am the daughter of the King. I am a complete and utter...and chaotic...mess being moulded and refined by the hands of the Master Creator! I am winging it most of the time on prayer and faith alone. And that's okay! I am learning from my mistakes...sometimes painfully slow! I am sooooo thankful I serve a God who is patiently picking me up every time I fall, even when it's the same hurdle I've stumbled over a dozen times before. I'm thankful He's not counting my past against me...and is instead diligently setting my feet back on His path of truth and salvation again. So, Dearest Reader, let this blog journey begin. (I'm nervous!) My desire is to bring glory to God and not myself. Your thoughts and comments are welcome, and encouraged. All praise and glory to God! Blessings upon you, and much love in the name of our Saviour and King, Jesus Christ. Hugs ~ Jeanne.