Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is GOD like a cell-phone?

I have terrible skin. 

I always have, and probably always will.  When I get stressed, I break out in acne, and you can always tell my emotional state by looking at my complexion.  Quite sad really.

One day at church, a few months after I started work, a friend of mine who is also a lawyer commented that my skin was looking good. I discovered that she had prayed that when I started work my skin would clear up, because she said she knew how hard it was to start a new job and be taken seriously, without the added pressure of teenage skin.


Why didn’t I think of that?

I mean I prayed hard over each job interview, and hard over which job offer to choose, and hard that God would sustain me in my chosen career.  It just never occurred to me God might also be interested in my skin.  Talk about small-minded.

cellphoneI think we sometimes do that with God, we treat him like his attention is free minutes on a mobile phone contract.  You know, where you get 120 free minutes to use in the month.  2 whole hours of free time, but you’re afraid to use it to phone your friends, because what if you need to talk to someone urgently on the 29th of the month, and have no minutes left.  Shouldn’t you save it until then, just in case something more important comes up.

Do we think God will refuse to hear our “serious” prayers later if we bug Him with too much of the “petty” stuff now?  Or do we just think he is too important to deal with this?

So next time I’m in need, hopefully I’ll remember to put in a call.  No free minutes on this package - God’s already got the bill covered, and we can talk as much as we like.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lessons from an alien

Have you ever watched E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial?  Of course you have, who hasn’t?

et_behind_bush-rgbNow I know Steven Spielberg has stated that there are no Christian messages in the movie, but something did stick out for me.

At the end, ET is saying goodbye to the family.  He looks at Gertie (the young girl) and says “Be Good.”  Then he turns to Elliot, and they have a tear-jerking moment where he promises that he will always be in Elliot’s heart. 


And all Gertie got was a “Be Good”  That kinda sucks doesn’t it?
But what else can you say to a five year old? 
She’s only a child, and probably already has strong feelings of loss welling up in her, and she is probably going to miss him as much, but all she can cope with at the moment is “Be Good.”

Elliot on the other hand, ET has formed a special bond with, and he needs to explain how that bond will go on, and they will always be together, even though he won’t see him again.

So here’s my thinking.  When we’re young, GOD tells us to be good.  Because that’s how we can show that we love him.  We can sing all the songs about having “Jesus in my heart” and “I love Jesus” and they are probably true.  In our child-like state we show that love by being good.

But we can’t be good forever.  Or at least, we can’t think that being good is going to carry us forever.

I know you’re probably all fine, but I know a young fish who has problems with this sometimes. 

He wakes up in the morning, and prays that God will help him to be a good fish all day.  Then he struggles through the day, fighting temptation all the way, until the end of the day.  They he says his prayers, and apologises for being naughty sometimes, but promises to be better tomorrow.

And GOD says to him “What about me?  Did you spend any time with me today?”

“Uh, not Lord.  I was too busy trying to be good.”

“Do you think that’s what I want from you?  To be good?  No, my fishy friend, I want so much more.  I want YOU.”


“Do you really think you can ever be good?  Without me, you will just burn yourself out everyday trying to be good.  I want you to be good, so that you can be closer to me.  And if you come closer to me,  I will help to make you good.”

Of course I’m sure he’s the only fish in the world with that problem.  Poor guy.
Sometimes he tries so hard to be good, he forgets why he’s doing it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I have said to the LORD, “You are my LORD; all my good depends on you.” – Psalm 16:2 – NIV

A while ago I was on a quiet retreat, and our spiritual director sent us out to meditate on Psalm 16.  The verse I chose to spend time looking at was the one above.  Truly it has a lot to say.

It got me thinking about what it really means to submit, and make HIM Lord of my life.  I looked at it that I need to remind myself all the time that the reason he is LORD of my life is because I asked him to be; because I have chosen it.  I have given Him permission to make his will sovereign in my life, and agreed to submit to it.

Submission.  It’s a funny thing, and I think many of us struggle with it.  What does it mean to submit? 

I think submission carries with it an element of openness that we often lose sight of.  We need to come before HIM, and lay everything at his feet, including what we want.  To be honest and say “This is what I’m thinking, this is what I want, this is what I hope.  Now I give it all to you to do with it what you will.”  Giving our desires over to HIM to use, or not, in his plan is much more honest than trying to deny them.  Saying “Lord, it scares me that you might want me to go to Mongolia as a missionary.  Lord I really feel like I would like to start a teaching group for children.  Lord I don’t know if I can cope with …” Then waiting on HIM, and being prepared to go wherever he calls.  That I think is real submission.

I’d like to think that God uses our wishes as part of his plan.  Not that he follows them, but that they form a part of it. 

Did you ever go out to eat with your parents when you were younger, and they asked you what you wanted to eat?  Did they always listen?


Sometimes they would say, “You can’t have waffles for lunch, have some chicken instead.”
Sometimes they would say, “I think you’ll prefer the chicken to the fish, but you can have either.”
Sometimes they will wish you had chosen salad, but let you have pizza instead, hoping you’ll learn to love salad.

I think God treats our desires like that.  “Tell me what you want, and trust me to decide whether it’s right for you.”

The thing is, that we need to remind ourselves to let him order for us. To remind ourselves that the reason he is LORD, is because we have said to him “You are my LORD.” 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Jeremiah & Lamentations

If I love the book of Isaiah, then I think I love the person of Jeremiah. He is one of my favourite prophets in the Bible, and one I can really relate to. For those of you who don't know, Jeremiah was given the un-enviable job of prophesying to the Kingdom of Judah that they must turn from their sin or they will be destroyed.

We don't know exactly how old Jeremiah was, but it was probably early twenties, or younger. At such a young age, GOD sends him to tell an entire nation it is under Divine Judgement.


I often found comfort in his words as a young(er) man, when I felt like crying "I am too young for this God." Despite his pleas of "I am too young", God reminds him that He chose him for this job before he was even born, and that he would give him the words. No wonder every utterance he makes is preceded by "The Lord said unto me..."

Truly a man in touch with God, and not afraid to be used.

After the fall of Judah, he chose to stay behind in the destroyed Kingdom, rather than live in luxury in the land of their captors. The book of Lamentations is also attributed to him, wherein the writer laments their fall, but reminds them that God still offers hope.

I chose you for this -
Warn them to turn from their sin.
Thus sayeth the Lord.

How lost is Judah,
but great is Thy faithfulness.
Restore us to you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Isaiah.

I think Isaiah is one of my favourite books of the Old Testament. It's almost like a fifth Gospel. It contains so much of what we understand about Jesus, his life, the reason for his coming. Isaiah was preparing us for his coming long before John the Baptist was even born.

Promise of Good News.
For to us a child shall be born,
coming from the Lord.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I've had a bad week...

... and now this.

Is your cat plotting to kill you?


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Poetry

In this Biblios Hokku journey, we have so far looked at the histories, and next we will be looking at the works of the prophets.
But first, a few of the poetic works of the bible, reduced to single-verse Haikus.

Praise ye the Lord.
In our joy, and our sadness,
our help comes from Him

The fear of the Lord
is the heart of all wisdom.
Look to Him and live.

For God, in his time,
has made beautiful all things,
and timeless our hearts.

Love is his banner,
love better than any wine.
“Behold! Thou art fair!”

Monday, October 5, 2009

Biblios Hokku

When I started this insane idea of mine about writing the Bible in Haikus, I really had no idea why I was doing it. I mean I like the Bible, and I like Haiku; but who ever thought they would go together?

Seriously! What was that about?

But something interesting happened as I worked my way through it. It started bringing the Bible to life in a way I had never really seen it before. Particularly the Old Testament. It allowed me to see patterns in the Word that I had never noticed before. Studying the minor prophets as I have never done before, and seeing just how far God goes to try and bring his people back to him. I mean it was almost sad to read, knowing that each warning would be ignored, or forgotten.

It has given me a new perspective on the message of the Old Testament, and how it all fits together so neatly. I think I could spend years just going through one book.

It has been most educational thus far, and I look forward to finishing it soon.

Which brings me to my next point. I am finished the Old Testament now. Over the last few days I had a spurt of inspiration, and write 21 chapters in three sittings. Not a bad piece of work if I do say so myself.

Now I'm going to spend a bit of time polishing, tightening, and above all typing, these works, and then then the will be ready to release. I am thinking I will space them out, and possible release about four a week for the next two months, together with a brief comment about what the book meant to me. This should carry me through October and November without having to think too much, and leave my focus on my novel.

If you're not a fan of the Biblios Hokku programme, then I do apologise. I will be posting other stuff as it comes to me, so keep reading. I just think it will take some of the pressure off me to have to think of something to say, particularly in November, when I will probably be updating my writing blog more often.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Doing the write thing.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have picked up that I have aspirations of being a writer.  I maintain a separate persona as a writer/poet under the name of David Seven

seven-3David Seven is my pen-name, and comes from my middle name, and the street where I was born.  (Seventh Avenue)  This is the name I use for all the poetry I write, as well as some of my other book-related activities.  Some people in the real world only know me as David Seven; which is weird I must say.

Except for my Bible Haiku’s, I try not to let the two worlds intertwine.  I have enough difficulty pretending to be a fish, without also pretending to be a writer. 

But I thought I should give you a warning that you might not be hearing a great deal from me for the next few months, because November is David’s favourite month of the year. 

It’s National Novel Writing Month!


NaNoWriMo as it is known is a time of the year when hundreds of thousands of aspirant writers from around the world lock themselves away from their families and friends, and try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

You heard me right. 50,000 words.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Okay, yes it is.  But its still fun.

n537442018_405376_4515It’s a month of madness, and giving yourself permission to write really badly, and ignore your inner editor.  It’s a time to thrive on the insanity that is writing, and put of thoughts of editing until December.  At the end of the experiment/madness/adventure I hope to have a 50,000 word first draft for editing.  And 50,000 words of nonsense is a lot easier to turn into a novel than 0 words of pure genius.

Has anyone else ever heard of NaNoWriMo?
Has anyone else ever tried it before?
Is anyone else crazy enough to try with me?

“Madness?  This is NANO!!!”