Book Review: Fresh Watercolour by Ray Campbell Smith Four Stars


Book Review: Fresh Watercolour: Bring Light to Your Painting by Ray Campbell Smith

Four Stars

Sorry, no quotable quotes. Smith writes well, but it’s a lot like reading assembly directions–they only make sense to one doing the assembling.

The pictures, on the other hand. Should be enjoyable to anyone who likes art, and watercolor in particular. Smith demonstrates how to get luminescent skies and depth with a minimum of busyness in paintings. (I can’t insert illustrations without violating his ownership rights, of course. See cover art.)

God Works in Us

“Satan will seize even our good intentions. We strive to do the will of God. We will it, but God works in us to desire and to do his will. It’s not about me, but him in me.” John Gould

“It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

Our will power seems strong enough when focused on our desires, but when we consider what pleases God we seem made of Jell-O. Rest assured he has equipped you with what you need to please him and he comes along side you to desire and to accomplish his will.

His Will, Not Mine, Be Done

“Even though I’m born again, I have nothing in me to do God’s will. I have the will, but not the doing. Until the Holy Spirit in us overcomes the flesh, he can’t inhabit us and take us over.” Gary Garner

“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)

The fear and trembling comes from pretending we do his will when we’re doing our own. The only will we have naturally is our will. To be all we were designed to be, we must have his will and his power.

Life in the Spirit

The redemption for the body which Christ brings, is not merely healing, but also life. It is not the re-adjustment of our life on the old basis, leaving it thenceforward to go like a machine upon the natural plane, but it is the infusion of a new kind of life and strength. Therefore it is as fully within the reach of persons in health as those who are diseased. It is simply a higher kind of life, the turning of life’s water into His heavenly wine. Gary Garner

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

The Spirit renews more than your mind; everything about you is refreshed–alive for the first time. Let him turn the water of natural life into the wine of life in the spirit.

“Lie Passive in His Hands”

“In order for a soul to be made into a vessel unto God’s honor, ‘sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work’ (2 Timothy 2:21), it must be utterly abandoned to Him, and must lie passive in His hands.” Hannah Whitall Smith

Passive? Not us. We have the urge to help God (or ourselves) without regard for our ignorance or imperfections.

Take our hands off the wheel and let God steer.

Relax; let go; let God.

“God Made Me Stronger”

“God made me stronger, so the pain is not always unbearable, but the weight hasn’t gotten any lighter.” Levi Lusko

“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

The load may not lighten, but he will carry more of it–as much as you’ll allow him to carry it and you.

Book Review: Dragon and Slave by Timothy Zahn (Three Stars)


Book Review: Dragon and Slave (Dragonback #3) by Timothy Zahn

(Three Stars)

“They were slaves, and she was a slave, and the only place to hide from that reality was inside herself.”

I liked it; it’s a good read but the series is becoming formulaic. (See previous reviews here and here for the good news.)

“He wasn’t going off the deep end of the pool like some junior K’da warrior. All he was doing was paying back a debt. He probably would have felt better if he’d believed that.”

Meaning and Darkness

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” C. S. Lewis

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12

We not only see the son, but by his light we see everything else as it really is.

Book Review: Dragon and Soldier by Timothy Zahn (Three Stars)


Book Review: Dragon and Soldier (Dragonback #2) by Timothy Zahn

(Three Stars)

“You’re innocent until they absolutely prove otherwise. And for ten minutes after that, too.”

Good story, consistent with the high tone set in the series opener, Dragon and Thief. Jack makes bone-headed decisions typical of a fourteen year old. Zahn, having saved the reader the apparently-mandatory Hogwarts school experience in the first tale, lays it on us now.

“You know, Darycos, for being such a clever poet-warrior, you’re kind of slow on the uptake sometimes.”

(Sorry I don’t have more quotes: read the ebook version on a trip. Highlighted quotable sentences, but my cell phone has done the u-boat routine since.)