Friday, April 27, 2012

What shall writing be and do?

St Matthew the Evangelist
St Matthew the Evangelist (Lawrence OP)
What precedes the question How Shall We Then Live? (book by Francis Schaeffer)? It goes something like this: Since we have deposited our faith with God through His Son... (then what will our living not only "look like" but be)?

In light of such thoughts, what will our writing be?  

We need to develop muscular thinking, because God's Word is muscular. In Matthew 23:27, for example, Jesus uses the expression whitewashed. Whitewashed means...surface-deep, hypocritical ... anything and anyone that is whitewashed will eventually be washed away by little or big storms or life.

Think about this: Human minds and hearts are meant to go from strength to strength, so real as to burn but not burn up, to be deep in amazing and authentic living that alters everything. For real. Human beings across all demographics have in common an innate desire to seek and to find... what is true, real, and lasting...even beyond death. We are made as flesh to be made as if real gold resistant to corrosion. That's a quick picture of the immensely large picture of how we--no whitewashed people if we abide in Christ--are intended to be.   

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, 
written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, 
not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
(2 Corinthians 3:3 [NIV_UK])

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Ten Minutes to Midnight

great book
(Photo credit: son.delorian)
“...By the cross He offers hope, by the resurrection He assures His triumph."

If midnight were to represent the moment of death and ten minutes represented advance notice of when death would occur, what would be the response of the mind, the heart, the soul?

Some think "there is time enough. I can decide later, when I am more ready. When I have more time...."
Some people cling to nonsensical thinking due to actions or superstitions of religion that have put them off: I read that Salman Rushdie said when he ate ham and did not die he knew that God does not exist.

The most recent news of death that has caused grief and rejoicing: born-again Christian servant of Christ to prisoners and all people he cared about due to Christ--Charles Colson. 

We do not know the time of our midnight; therefore, there is no point in waiting until "10 minutes before our midnight" to be sure we know, with confidence, where our soul will go upon death, as our lifeless body remains behind until that glorious Morning.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
 (Psalm 116: 15)

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Cave Art: Check Your Texting

'Remember seeing photos of cave-drawings and pictures of hieroglyphics carved into stone, when you were a kid? When you were in school?

Maybe you were never exposed to those things. Maybe you were in a school that had chosen to teach you about "popular culture" rather than about history. 

Well, you can at least get a tiny taste of the cave-dwelling past by going to one of your own or a teenager's text messages. Warning: I am not as proficient at this as the average TXTG adolescent, but I know this much: 

r u ok
I M Jn 2 da
i hurts. ?4pane? 
c u (insert Smiley face)
This message was sent by my mobile cave device/tool.

Regarding modern English usage, centuries of development approach atrophy in the general population where modern English speakers spontaneously turn to a new form of hieroglyphics.

Plus, many people say that the Holy Bible translation (published 1611) for King James of England is too difficult to read or to understand today.

And, the same people say that Shakespeare's language (e.g., Romeo and Juliet, circa 1595) should be preserved no matter what, today and always. 

? (insert up arrow) w/that? 
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A New Morning with coffee, toast, conversation, and Mr Chekhov

Lake Pleasant Visitor Center
Lake Pleasant Visitor Center (Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ)
The day started with waking up (of course). Right away I remembered a long dream I'd had that employed facets of the Susannah Gregory novel (1660's) I'm reading, The Westminster Poisoner, featuring the adventures of Chaloner, the Earl of Clarendon's investigator/spy. 

The morning opened more with eyes and taste buds on coffee, strawberry jelly on rye toast. There was also easy conversation with my husband before he took leave to prepare for a conference call

About that time his cell phone, left behind, rang. A rare time when I had to tell our daughter, who lives farther northeast, that I was a bit too groggy for much phone talk. Anyway, she had called her dad's phone, and we agreed we'd talk later.

I located her dad reading the newspaper on the open back deck. Reading the news outside is a good way to prepare for long phone calls. We both get that.

On my own again, I began to read in the Book of Common Prayer, prayers for the sick. I was thinking of special people. Then one prayer especially leaped out at me and I wanted to post it here.

So, up and going downstairs to unplug the laptop, I brought it upstairs to the comfy bed where I am working this a.m., books spread around. But first, I took a quick look at the day's news on my Android phone. That reminded me why I pay the least attention possible to "the news."  

My thoughts went to the short story "The Visitor" that I'm still tweaking and editing. Using Kindle on the laptop, i visited to order a free Kindle version for laptop of Anton Pevlovich Chekhov's The Bishop and Other Stories, translated into English, of course.  

In the title story I notice the author's ways of expressing dark and light, inner thoughts and feelings, observations of nature, life, work, the past, people. What stands out to me are the bishop's deep feelings about what he sees around him, and then, primarily, a growing picture of his isolation. Only a female child, one considered a little pest by others of the bishopric, treats the bishop like a normal person, speaks to him as one human to another, albeit of different ages and experiences. The bishop's sense of being alone comes through strongest as the story moves forward.  

Are these observations what Chekhov intended his readers to notice most?

The day has begun a bit slowly, ploddingly, with odds and ends, my mind somewhat chasing rabbits of thoughts about life and writing. And worth it. A new day is always something to thank God for giving to us. We made it through the night. Many made it through in spite of fears. 

The prayer I read for morning is in the Book of Common Prayer section called "Prayers for use by a Sick Person." I have no sickness that I know of, but maybe the bishop's story led me here, to this theme? I think many of us would find this prayer meaningful in sickness and in health. Here it is.

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, 

Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit

still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am 

to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me

the Spirit of Jesus. 


In the Morning
Book of Common Prayer/"Prayers for use by Sick Persons"
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Monday, April 16, 2012

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