Building a Strong Family

Building a Strong Family

Building a Strong Family

By Phil Strong

Raising kids while keeping your family relationships strong isn’t easy.

When life throws you challenges, it makes things all the more difficult. Nothing can prepare you for the roller coster of family, but knowing how to intentionally build into all aspects of family life can lay the pathway for a strong future.

In this incredibly honest collection of stories the Strong family share real life learnings of establishing a family culture where everyone wins. The stories are sometimes raw, often funny and shared with meaningful honesty that is easy to relate to.

Lana is a long-term friend who has walked through many seasons with the Strong family. When asked about them, she says;

I admire their intentionality. It is easy for family life to just happen, and we become merely reactive parents as a result. Phil and Kathy’s ability to plan ahead in all aspects of their family, and to intentionally build in to their marriage, their family, and their kids, is inspiring.

Expect to laugh as well as cry when you read this book. You’re likely to see your own family situation in many of the stories. But most importantly, the stories are an inspiration to become intentional in building your own strong family.

The story begins in 2009 when Phil and Kathy took their two kids, Jackson and Grace, overseas for a year. They called this their Strong Family Adventure but it was really about rebuilding their family.

Phil and Kathy have a desire to help others by being open and honest about their journey. As published writers they both regularly inspire others. Phil’s first book, Becoming Money Wise, is a New Zealand best-seller and has helped thousands of families to take control of their money.

PHIL STRONG is a successful published author who loves to share insights based on real-life situations and teach principles that are easy to apply. His stories will impact you deeply as you share his journey. His writing style is honest and straight forward. As you read Phil’s writing it is almost as if he is lying on your couch with a cup of coffee chatting and reading his book to you.

Phil has written for online magazines, blogs, newspapers, columns and co-authored with other writers. He has been a regular guest on TV shows, radio talk- back, webinars and is often asked to speak at business mentoring meetings.

As you read his books you’ll be inspired, you’ll be challenged, you’ll be educated, you’ll be provoked and you’ll be activated!

Writing on the subject of money, property, business, family, faith and personal success, Phil relates his personal successes and failures in a way that empowers others.

Review by Julia Martin – NZ Christian Writers

Phil Strong had it all it seemed. He was an ambitious, highly successful businessman with a lovely family; but when his world crumbled, he was left a broken man.

Prompted by a ‘seed-thought’, he decided to embark on an ‘adventure’ overseas to rebuild a strong and stable family. While few of us can replicate such a journey, his practical, faithbased advice and wisdom are suitable for families everywhere.

Written ten years later and with hindsight, Phil’s book contains family stories and experiences which he uses to show the strategies, principles
and core values he and Kathy learned and put into practice with their two children.

Phil outlines five keys – intentionality, diligence, integrity, faithfulness and commitment as the foundation stones for success. At the end of each
chapter, he gives a wise summary statement such as: ‘Allow your family to learn the consequences of choice’.

Inevitably the journey wasn’t all plain sailing, but I commend Phil and his family for their honesty, transparency and humour.

I thoroughly recommend this practical, down-toearth guidebook. I particularly liked the challenge of his final statement: ‘A legacy is more powerful when who you leave behind trumps what you leave behind’.

NZCW_k

MISSION: Connecting Christian writers in New Zealand.

VISION: To cultivate, encourage and inspire a vibrant community of Christian writers throughout New Zealand.

VALUES: Christian faith, God’s Word, professionalism, quality and social outreach.


NZ CHRISTIAN WRITERS is a nationwide collective of authors, bloggers, editors, lyricists, poets, publishers, songwriters, storytellers and writers throughout New Zealand. Along with our bi-monthly magazines and competitions we offer inspiring seminars and writers retreats to encourage, inspire and upskill people in their writing. NZ Christian Writers’ vision is to cultivate a vibrant community of Christian writers by connecting them to other like-minded writers in New Zealand. We welcome both beginner and experienced writers.

Radical Lives

Radical Lives

Radical Lives
Volume 1 & 2

By Janet Balcombe
Published by Wild Side Publishing 2017

RADICAL LIVES is a compilation of true-life stories of radical people making a radical impact in the world today. Stories that will leave you breathless as you read how God is dramatically changing people’s lives.

True life stories you just won’t be able to put down from this posse of addicts, rebels, and gangsters, an IRA bomb-blast survivor, a serial entrepreneur and more. Stories of courage you will never forget.

Volume 1

Adrian Pritchard: armed robber gets a second chance
Anita Mary: hardcore alternative street survivor
Bernadette Soares: serial over-achiever & entrepreneur
Beryl Henwood: from widow to warrior woman
Bill Subritzky: international healing evangelist
Brian France: IRA bomb-blast survivor
Cheyne Hakaraia: drug lord to entrepreneur
David Silver: the reluctant Jew finds his voice
Janet Balcombe: meth survivor to author of The Wild Side
Koebi Hart: abuse & addiction to heaven & restoration
Matthew Needham: suicide survivor to man on a mission
Norm McLeod: sex, drugs & rock’n’roll to Maori leader
Phil Paikea: gang leader to anti-violence campaigner
Ray Curle: pirate to preacher
Tawhiri Littlejohn: session drummer to spiritual leader

Volume 2

Amos (Perese) Ale: Head Hunter founder to servant leader
Andrew Stroud: World Superbike champion finds true riches
Brock Davis: Rebel police detective becomes muso for the Master
David Laumatia: Senior Sergeant, role model and prophetic artist
Daz Chettle: From the gutter to inspiring the next generation
Gini Shepheard: From rejection, abuse and gang life to social worker
Hillary Kieft: Through abuse and abortion to pro-life activist
Jaewyn Major: On a mission to give prostitution the red light
Joshua Calles: Family man, Police Constable and BROKEN rising star
Louise Kapene-Green: Whose heart speaks through her hands
Marina Young: Pro-lifer and author, The Unforgotten Babies
Mark Mitchell: Warrior of Zion leader who danced with the devil
Omri Jaakobovich: Israeli Paratrooper and founder of HIT International
Owen Pomana: Ex-hardman with a heart for the homeless
Rosita Hendry: World-class acrobat and circus superstar
Stephanie Harawira: Leader of the Pacific Pearls movement
Talakimoana Hehepoto: Ex-Mongrel Mobster and hope-bringer
Tania Butler: Widow of Chris Crean from the movie RESOLVE
Trent Membrey: Journey from meth hell to minister
Tuhoe ‘Bruno’ Isaac: Ex-Mongrel Mob leader and author of True Red

JANET BALCOMBE conquered a feral Meth-addiction in another life, and her memoir The Wild Side continues to bring hope to many.

The Ashton Wylie Literary Award finalist lives a supernaturally restored life with her husband and son in Ruawai, Northland. She comes out to forage for food and for speaking engagements, encouraging others with her life experience and humour. She loves seeing people set free from the many bondages they find themselves struggling with, and together with husband Ray Curle, ministers in healing and deliverance.

Janet writes true-life stories and about the things that matter, lifting the truth above the quagmire of deception called ‘enlightenment.’​ She writes for the rebels, the addicts and the broken-hearted.

Review by Julia Martin – NZ Christian Writers

RADICAL LIVES Volume 1

Many of these stories bring hope that many of us can come out of the underworld or gang affiliations, and come out of darkness into the light and have a changed life. This book of true stories inspires change.” Owen Pomana

Radical Lives is a compilation of 15 dramatic true-life stories Janet originally wrote as articles for Christian Life News Magazine. From her own experience of a life without God, she can understand the miraculous and radical transformation that takes place when a person surrenders to God and is freed by the saving grace and power of Jesus Christ.

The stories profile former criminals, drug addicts, dealers, alcoholics, terrorists, gang members, social outcasts, and church dropouts. For some, their conversion was immediate, for others it was gradual.

The exciting part for me was not only reading about lives radically transformed by God, but the evidence given to show that most of these people have since put their faith into action by establishing or being involved in Christian ministries. In some cases they’ve written books to share their testimonies and reach out to others lost in spiritual darkness. Contact details are listed at the end of each profile.

This book is ideal to pass onto people who are struggling with life. Janet suggests concerned Christians could sponsor her book and make copies available free in strategic places such as rehabilitation centres and prisons.

With many more stories to tell, Radical Lives Vol 2 is on its way.

NOTE: Volume 2 is also available from Wild Side Publishing and Amazon/Kindle

NZCW_k

MISSION: Connecting Christian writers in New Zealand.

VISION: To cultivate, encourage and inspire a vibrant community of Christian writers throughout New Zealand.

VALUES: Christian faith, God’s Word, professionalism, quality and social outreach.


NZ CHRISTIAN WRITERS is a nationwide collective of authors, bloggers, editors, lyricists, poets, publishers, songwriters, storytellers and writers throughout New Zealand. Along with our bi-monthly magazines and competitions we offer inspiring seminars and writers retreats to encourage, inspire and upskill people in their writing. NZ Christian Writers’ vision is to cultivate a vibrant community of Christian writers by connecting them to other like-minded writers in New Zealand. We welcome both beginner and experienced writers.

A Skylark Flies

A Skylark Flies

A Skylark Flies

By Robyn Cotton
Published by DayStar Books Ltd 2017

Rose, a young Kiwi, is on a working holiday in the UK, to discover her roots. When in Scotland, she is subjected to a brutal assault by a local man, Tommy.

Their lives will never be the same again, While Rose fights to recover from her emotional trauma, Tommy, a victim of lifetime abuse, struggles with guilt. The choices they make will ultimately determine whether they live life as victims or rise above it.

Inspired by true events A Skylark Flies is a poignant story of forgiveness. It gives the reader a window into the souls of two very different characters whose stories converge at critical points.

The assailant has power over the victim, induced by fear – and the victim has power to release him from his guilt and shame.

Excerpt from Focus Magazine

By Millie Freeman

While on her OE in 1981, Robyn Cotton was enjoying a walk in the hills above the village of Lesmahagow in Scotland when she was brutally attacked from behind and strangled. So tight was the attacker’s grip, Robyn struggled for breath and felt herself drifting into unconsciousness. A rush of adrenalin urged her to fight back and the man let go, giving her a chance to break free. Issuing a threat on her life if she went to the police, the attacker took off, leaving Robyn bewildered and traumatised.

Now living in Tauranga, Robyn recently published her first novel as a way to finally put an end to this episode in her life. She has returned to the town several times and the spot where the incident took place, and while it no longer has any hold on her, she wanted an ending to this unfinished story.

A Skylark Flies tells the story of Rose, a fictional character who shares Robyn’s experiences. It also tells the story of Tommy, a young man who attacks Rose. Robyn knew nothing about her attacker, yet wrote the story to make sense of why he did it, and in doing so has created a novel offering hope, strength and positivity.

“I had the freedom to write the ending I never had,” says Robyn. “Through the book I could say things to my attacker that I never had the opportunity to say face to face, which was a really positive experience.

Review by Julia Martin – NZ Christian Writers

Inspired by true events, A Skylark Flies is the story of two fictitious individuals from totally different worlds. Rose, a single Kiwi on her OE in the UK, travels to Scotland to trace her family roots. On a deserted track outside the village of Lesmahagow, she meets Tommy, a local dropout with multiple problems, who brutally attacks and almost kills her. From this horrific encounter, both Rose and Tommy become victims and the trauma of this incident dogs them for the next 10 years.

The novel is a poignant story concerning the power of true forgiveness. When the two finally meet again in fortuitous circumstances, Rose is prepared to forgive Tommy, and with that act, both are freed from their overwhelming fear, guilt and shame of the past. Like skylarks, they are no longer weighed down by anything and are free to move on.

As Rose concludes: ‘Each life is a story, and we’re constantly colliding and bouncing off others, for good and for bad. These encounters can change the course of our lives, but we can control how we respond to them.’

This novel is well written and researched and the author has dedicated it to those who have experienced terror at the hands of another. I believe its message is capable of inspiring courage, determination and forgiveness in anyone struggling with fear and guilt from circumstances in the past. An excellent first novel and we look forward to another.

NZCW_k

MISSION: Connecting Christian writers in New Zealand.

VISION: To cultivate, encourage and inspire a vibrant community of Christian writers throughout New Zealand.

VALUES: Christian faith, God’s Word, professionalism, quality and social outreach.


NZ CHRISTIAN WRITERS is a nationwide collective of authors, bloggers, editors, lyricists, poets, publishers, songwriters, storytellers and writers throughout New Zealand. Along with our bi-monthly magazines and competitions we offer inspiring seminars and writers retreats to encourage, inspire and upskill people in their writing. NZ Christian Writers’ vision is to cultivate a vibrant community of Christian writers by connecting them to other like-minded writers in New Zealand. We welcome both beginner and experienced writers.

Two Slices of Bread

Two Slices of Bread

Two Slices of Bread

By Ingrid Coles
Published by Wildside Publishing

Interned in a Japanese concentration camp—then finding peace at last… at the bottom of the world.

You will be moved beyond words, even to tears—a true story of heartaches and triumphs…

As a young child in Holland, Ingrid’s uncle offered her another slice of bread. “Two slices of bread?” she asked, never having been allowed that many before! Her memory jumped to the starvation and cruelty her family had experienced at the hands of extremely cruel captors.

This memoir traces Ingrid’s background and growing-up years, revealing the secret of her successful life in her country of adoption (New Zealand); and how she overcame the hurts and hurdles of the past

INGRID COLES is a survivor. Born in Java, Indonesia, in November 1942 she and her family endured incarceration at the hands of the Japanese invaders in separate prisoner-of-war camps. They were starved and treated abominably. Her father died in prison camp aged 43 and her younger brother died from starvation and pneumonia aged 6.

After liberation from the Japanese in August 1945, she and her family faced the Indonesian War of Independence. In May 1946 it became so dangerous for European civilians they were evacuated to their motherland, the Netherlands.

Life changed drastically for Ingrid and her three siblings, who had to learn how to cope with their mother’s physical and post-traumatic-stress related illness, and their own war-time experiences. However, Ingrid, orphaned when barely 16 years of age, immigrated to New Zealand where she eventually found the peace she longed for.

Review by Julia Martin – NZ Christian Writers

The author was only three months old in 1942 when her Dutch parents and four older siblings were rounded up by the Japanese in Dutch East Indies (Indonesia today) and incarcerated in prison-of-war camps. Ingrid gives a harrowing account of their three years of brutality, starvation, disease and appalling living conditions at the hands of their cruel captors.

Her father, aged 43, died in a prison camp and her disabled little brother died en route to Holland when the rest of the family was evacuated during the Indonesian War of Independence. Back in the Netherlands, the family sought to pick up the pieces of their lives in a different and often unwelcoming environment. They all suffered physically and psychologically from the horrors of the war, especially the mother, and this added a huge burden of care on her children.

Ingrid’s honest but gruelling autobiography gives valuable insights into the enormous disruption and suffering war causes on the lives of innocent people. It also shows their courage and fortitude to battle on and overcome the deprivation and traumas of the past.

In 1958 at age 16, Ingrid immigrated to New Zealand alone to train as a nurse. There she made a new life for herself. With a strong faith in God she testifies: “It seems hard to do, but for our own good and with God’s help, we can rid ourselves of hate and forgive those who treated us badly.”

It’s a captivating and unforgettable story and I recommend it to all readers.

NZCW_k

MISSION: Connecting Christian writers in New Zealand.

VISION: To cultivate, encourage and inspire a vibrant community of Christian writers throughout New Zealand.

VALUES: Christian faith, God’s Word, professionalism, quality and social outreach.


NZ CHRISTIAN WRITERS is a nationwide collective of authors, bloggers, editors, lyricists, poets, publishers, songwriters, storytellers and writers throughout New Zealand. Along with our bi-monthly magazines and competitions we offer inspiring seminars and writers retreats to encourage, inspire and upskill people in their writing. NZ Christian Writers’ vision is to cultivate a vibrant community of Christian writers by connecting them to other like-minded writers in New Zealand. We welcome both beginner and experienced writers.

Enduring the Dream

Enduring the Dream

Enduring the Dream

By Garry Wills
Published by Castle Publishing

This book is about the journey of a young 17-year-old, third generation sheep and cattle man who had a passion to serve God and believed God wanted him to dedicate his farming career to ministry.

With excitement and energy, he pursued that calling – not knowing the extent of the training and preparation that would be required for the work God wanted him to do.

A confirmation of his calling came 11 years later when God gave a now married young man and his wife this word: “God wants you to dream dreams, to get a vision of what you two together in Christ can do.”

After battling a multitude of setbacks and heartache over a number of years, he found himself asking God for a heart to continue to pursue the calling – a prayer that God didn’t hesitate to answer.

God gave this man and his wife the grace, mercy and strength to ‘Endure the Dream’ and see it come to fruition.

This book is the story of their journey. It is not just chapter after chapter of the great things God has done in their lives, but records the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ they have gone through, as well as the many wonderful blessings and answered prayers they have received.

GARRY WILLS was born in Matamata, New Zealand in 1956 and grew up on his parent’s stud sheep and cattle farm at Walton near Matamata.

Even though brought up in a Christian home, he made his own decision to become a Christian at age 17. Eleven months later he sensed God calling him to dedicate his farming career to ministry.

Along with preparing for this ministry Garry served in various leadership positions: youth group leader in his own church and interdenominationally, worship leader and leader of prison ministry teams. He has served on the church board as a finance and property deacon as well as preaching from time to time.

Garry is married to Margie and together they have led children’s church, home groups, young adults groups and Sunday night church services. They have two adult children, Rachel and Amanda, and they live at Te Pahu on the outskirts of Hamilton.

Garry’s passion is to see people coming to know Jesus, to see them grow and develop skills, to see them able to put food on the table and to see them effective in their calling in God.

Review by Julia Martin – NZ Christian Writers

Garry started out on a Waikato farm as a typical young Kiwi bloke involved in rugby, fast cars and drinking. At seventeen, he committed his life to Jesus Christ and that decision set him on a new pathway. With farming in his DNA, he and his wife Margie felt called by God to set up a farming ministry to help the poor. What followed was a journey lasting forty years which involved numerous job changes, family fallouts and
painful emotional setbacks.

As Garry reflects: ‘…We have a choice—we can wallow in our losses or go forward with energy and celebrate future wins.’ The couple kept their faith and their focus, and in 2015 their ‘enduring dream’ was finally coming to fruition.

Garry claims he’s written his autobiography to encourage those people who seem to be doing things right but find life full of disappointments and setbacks; and for those who feel God has called them into a ministry but it has not yet eventuated. In a helpful epilogue called ‘Willsy’s Wisdom’ he outlines lessons learned from his life experiences. This book has wide appeal and I recommend it especially to Christians who need encouragement in their struggles.

NZCW_k

MISSION: Connecting Christian writers in New Zealand.

VISION: To cultivate, encourage and inspire a vibrant community of Christian writers throughout New Zealand.

VALUES: Christian faith, God’s Word, professionalism, quality and social outreach.


NZ CHRISTIAN WRITERS is a nationwide collective of authors, bloggers, editors, lyricists, poets, publishers, songwriters, storytellers and writers throughout New Zealand. Along with our bi-monthly magazines and competitions we offer inspiring seminars and writers retreats to encourage, inspire and upskill people in their writing. NZ Christian Writers’ vision is to cultivate a vibrant community of Christian writers by connecting them to other like-minded writers in New Zealand. We welcome both beginner and experienced writers.