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Blog - Ruth Chesney
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Letting go of lesser things

A toddler has a penny clenched in his chubby little fist. Kneeling down to his level is a well-dressed gentleman, holding a cheque for a million pounds, made out in the child’s name. It’s clear to see the child is not interested, much happier with the small coin, oblivious to the great riches that are being offered to him. He has no intention of letting go of his little treasure for anything.

As adults, our treasures may be more valuable than a penny, but our struggles to let go are no easier. In fact, sometimes it is what we most value that is the very thing God is asking us to let go. Take Abraham, for example. In Genesis 22, God tells him to take his son Isaac, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him for a burnt offering. If you’re at all familiar with the story, you’ll know how precious Isaac was to Abraham. He was a long-awaited son, the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham, the one through whom God would make of Abraham a great nation. For Abraham to offer up his greatest treasure was going to be costly. It was going to hurt, more than we can imagine.

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Whatsoever things are true

I have an overactive imagination. As an author, you’d think that would be a good thing. And it is – when it comes to writing books. But sometimes my imagination grows legs and gallops off across the hills to places that it was never intended to be. Like the time I was convinced that the middle-aged hotel cleaner on our Cyprus holiday when I was sixteen stole my favourite skirt. The disparity in our fashion sense and clothes size never registered with me! Or when I lay trembling in bed as a six-year-old, sure that the BFG was outside my bedroom window, ready to snatch me away in the dead of the night. I should point out that the story was new to me, and the school day unfortunately ended before I discovered that the ‘F’ in BFG actually stood for ‘friendly’!

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My 5 Favourite Books in 2018

Last year I decided to use the Goodreads website to record all the books I read. There was quite a variety! From health-related books and biographies, to books about Christian living, as well as lots of fiction, it was fascinating to look back and see what I’d been reading in 2018.

This year, I’d like to regularly blog about my favourite books in various categories, so I’m kicking off January with my five favourite books in 2018.READ MORE

I know not, but God knows…

New Year celebrations are usually big, bold and bright. People dress up and gather together with family and friends to welcome the coming year. It’s meant to be an occasion to celebrate, but I do wonder if there’s anyone who, deep down, doesn’t have any misgivings or fears about what may be ahead for them or their loved ones. I know I do.

We’ve all seen what can happen, unexpectedly and out of the blue. A little chorus we used to sing as children in Sunday school begins ‘What know I of the coming year, or what ’twill bring to me? Whether its close will find me here, or in eternity…’READ MORE

What has God promised?

Promise. There’s something very special about the word. We use it often, right throughout our lives, in many situations. Little Peter could be promised a reward for behaving at Great-Aunt Edith’s house, Sally might whisper some secret to her best friend Tessa as long as Tessa promises not to tell anyone, and Jimmy will present a gorgeous diamond ring to Jenny as a promise that he’s going to marry her.

These promises, though, are nothing compared with God’s promises. Tessa might pass Sally’s secret on to Amy, and Jimmy might realise that Jenny isn’t the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with after all, but God will never, ever break a promise. He is totally trustworthy, so it’s impossible.READ MORE

Book review – Frances Ridley Havergal’s Opened Treasures

January 1 – ‘For ye have not passed this way heretofore.’ (Joshua 3:4) We have not passed this way heretofore, but the Lord Jesus has… He knows all about it, and leads us according as we are able to endure… And He does not only know, with that sort of up-on-the-shelf knowledge which is often guilty of want of thought among ourselves, but He remembereth that we are dust.

Thus begins ‘Frances Ridley Havergal’s Opened Treasures – A Daily Devotional Reader’, compiled by William J. Pell. Despite its somewhat wordy title and out-of-date cover, this book really is rightly named. First published in 1962, and reprinted a number of times since, this little volume was given to me by friends when I was fifteen. I like to alternate daily reading books each year, but this one remains a firm favourite – so much so, that the binding is beginning to suffer from overuse!READ MORE

Post for teens: Sharing pictures – preventing regrets

Olivia giggled as she looked at the picture she’d just taken of herself. This was a photo that just had to go on Snapchat. Maybe it was a bit crazy, and she certainly hoped some of the other people at school wouldn’t see it, but sure it would only be there for a little while and then it would disappear. The only ones who would see it would be her friends.

The next morning, a group of boys clustering at the back of the classroom looked up and elbowed each other as she came through the door. As they laughed, she could see they were gathered around a phone which had a picture on the screen. A picture which looked suspiciously like the one she had snapchatted last night. Her heart sunk to her toes. She felt sick. She’d known Zara had taken a screenshot, but she really didn’t think she’d send it to other people. Now everyone would see it! And that photo would be around forever…READ MORE

Immigrants, racism, and our attitude

Racism is a hot topic these days! Never a week goes past that we don’t hear or read of some racially-motivated attack or discrimination. It happens not only across the world, but locally as well.

In recent times, our world has become a smaller place. Advances in aviation mean that we can now travel colossal distances across the world in one 17.5-hour flight. The internet has opened our eyes and introduced us to people, places and cultures that, thirty years ago, we could only observe by reading National Geographic. We know more about each other, cultures have much more in common than they used to have, yet it seems that the cohabitation of different ethnic groups is fraught with as much tension as ever, if not more.READ MORE

Post for teens – Sharing secrets: when people let you down

It was so exciting! Kelsey was just bursting to tell someone – she couldn’t keep it to herself any longer. She turned to her best friend and enthusiastically whispered the secret. At lunch, a girl Kelsey hardly knew walked up to her, a smug smile on her face. “So what’s this interesting news I hear?!” Kelsey’s mouth fell open. There was only one way the girl could have known. Her best friend had actually betrayed her!

Hands up if something like this has ever happened to you. Yes, I thought so! Me too! Maybe you’d found out something and you were dying to share it – some interesting piece of information. Perhaps you were feeling sad or confused and wanted to talk about your problems. Or maybe you just really liked someone and wanted to gush about them. But then you picked the wrong person to confide in.READ MORE

My top 5 tips for storywriting

I didn’t overly enjoy English class at school. Instead, I trudged my way through comprehensions, various books I’d never have chosen to read and everything else in the syllabus that I’ve long since forgotten. But when it came to creative writing, I was in my element. From a story at primary school about riding with Santa in his sleigh, to my all-time favourite piece of GCSE coursework – a story about an Irish girl named Bridget who emigrated to America during the potato famine – writing stories was something I always loved to do, both inside and outside of school.

I’m no expert. The more I write, the more I’m painfully aware of how much improvement there could be. I have, however, learned a few things from experience over the past few years, which I’m happy to share.READ MORE