Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas twist

If you think that I am going to be posting a cute Christmas message or story this year, you would be wrong. I am going to go with a short story I wrote over at my other blog, which won the Friday Fiction contest on One Minute Writer. The mandate was to write a short piece from the perspective of an elf.

I watch the sleigh lift off, as it has every year for two millenia.

It never gets old.

As it gains height, and fades into just another glowing star in the festive sky, I wonder – not for the first time – what He did to deserve this job. I can still remember my own sentencing, all those centuries ago. 500 years of hard labour, and an embarrasing uniform.

I’ll be eligible for parole in 2100, but poor Nick still has a long way to travel.

I don’t know whose toes he trod on with those oversized boots of his, but it must have been someone important.

Oh well, breaks over. Only 32850 days left – but who’s counting.

Ho-Ho-Ho indeed!

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Biblios Hokku - Malachi

Ah, Malachi. The last Old Testament prophet, and the last of our Haiku for the year. Since it is Christmas tomorrow, and the books have all been heading towards this, I thought it was a good time to stop.

Malachi prophesied in about 450BC, and had some harsh words about emplty rituals. He also spent a lot of time passing on GOD's promise of messiah. "But unto you that fear my name, a Sun of Righteousness shall rise, with healing in his wings."

After the prophecies here, GOD was silent until the arrival of John the Baptist.

A final promise of what is to come tomorrow....

You have lost your way.
Your faith you weaken in vain,
I will send my light.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Temple building

There came a time in history, when the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon. At this time, two prophets both encouraged the people to rebuild the temple which had been detroyed in the conquest.

Haggai points out to the people that they should be more concerned with building the temple, before their own comfort, while Zecheriah goes further and says they need to rebuild in preparation for the coming of their messiah, but that some will make their hearts as stone and close their ears.

Look first to my house.
From this day I will bless you.
Show your strength and work

Turn to me I say.
You have made your heart as stone,
All will soon be gone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Habakkuk & Zepheniah

Two minor prophets. Speaking of judgment and salvation.

Habakkuk is one of the most mysterious prophets of the Old Testament; we know little about him. He argued with GOD when he found out that GOD was planning to use the Chaldeans to punish His people. He says that the Chaldeans are even more disobebient that the people of Judah, but GOD reminds him that He has a plan, and it is not our place to understand it. A reminder that GOD know what he is doing, and will redeem his people eventually.

Trust God, and his plan.
The just shall live by his faith.
Just you wait and see.

Zepheniah on the other hand is one of the least mysterious of the prophets. He wrote his prophecy in about 630BC, and he is even identified as being the grandson of King Hezekiah. He also prophesied that "The day of the Lord is near", quite a strong warning to the people about their behaviour. But he also reminds us that the faithful have nothing to fear from this. "the Lord your GOD in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy."

Rejoice, we are saved.
God’s might in our midst.
We need know no fear

Two prophets, one message. GOD has a plan, and he wants us to be on the right side of it when it comes to fruition.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Assyria

For our Biblios Hokku today, I want to talk about Assyria.

Assyria was a violent and Godless nation, and for some reason GOD took it into his head to try and save them. More particularly he sent one of his prophets to preach to their capital city. You may have heard of it - Ninevah.
Jonah was called by GOD to go to Ninevah, and he refused; not because he was afraid, but because he didn't want them to be saved. Eventually Jonah goes, and preaches to them, and they repent and are saved. Of course Jonah sulks, because he wanted GOD to destroy them, not save them.
A cry of warning.
Salvation reaches to all.
Who are we to judge?

So years later, Israel and Judah start falling into bad habits of worshipping false gods and cheating the poor. So GOD sends Micah to warn them that GOD expects greater things from them. They are warned that they will be judged, and GOD does this by sending the Babylonians and Assyrians to destroy them

Do good, love mercy,
and walk humbly with your God.
Or you will be judged.

So after being warned and save donce, powerful Ninevah has fallen back again. It has become a 'city of blood' and GOD's hand will not be stayed a second time. Nahum brings a prophecy of destruction against them, which brings to an end our Assyrian tale.

A city of blood.
My anger is slow, but sure.
No escape this time.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Obadiah

Do you remember Jacob, son of Isaac? A dodgy character of note, but GOD chose to use him anyway, and renamed him Israel. Well, he had a brother, as you may recall. His brother Esau, was also renamed. He was called Edom. Isaac prophesied that Edom's descendants (Edomites) would always be at war with Israel's (Israelites) which in fact happened for hundreds of years.
After Edom took part in the ransacking of Jerusalem in the Babylonian invasion, GOD sent Obadiah to pass judgment on them...

Curse not God’s chosen!
For the Lord will cut you off.
An end for Edom?

Another exciting chapter in the Biblios Hokku saga. Read it all here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Amos

"Prepare to meet thy God, Oh Israel!"

Sounds like something we'd hear Clint Eastwood say if he was starring in The Ten Commandments doesn't it?

In actual fact this was a warning given by lowly shepherd Amos in 760BC (give or take.) Amos sees visions of GOD's displeasure at Israel for falling back into Idol worship again. As always with Biblical prophets, he is given a message of hope; and a warning.
Seek justice for all,
Like a never-ending stream;
and you shall meet God.

You can see the whole Bible here, or learn more about Biblios Hokku here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hokku Biblios - Joel

Next up in the Hokku Biblios series - Joel.

Joel was prophesying on some tough times, comparing GOD's judgment of His people to a plague of locusts. He talks about the coming of a "dark and terrible day of the LORD" However, as with all the Old Testament prophets, he also talks about repentance.

Some of the line from Joel will be familiar to us. "Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved" - Joel 2:32 and of course "I will pour out my Spirit on all men...." (Joel 2:28) is quoted by Peter at Pentecost to explain the workings of the Holy Spirit. (See, he wasn't just making it up as he went along.)

Joel suggested that the Day of the Lord was near for those multitudes in the Valley of Decision.

So what does it tell us?

Vale of Decision.
Call on his name and be saved.
His Spirit will pour.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Hosea

Poor Hosea. He was a good man, in a wicked world, and he faithfully followed GOD's isntructions to him. Unfortunately for him, those instructions included telling him to marry an unfaithful wife. HE uses this as a picture of his marriage to an unfaithful Bride, Israel.

The book is full of warnings about the consequences of their unfaithfullness "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind" - Hosea 8:7.

It also includes some wonderful pictures of redemption if they would return, including "I will heal their backsliding.... I will love them freely"

For my Biblios Hokku project, I wrote this piece.

Harsh is my judgement.
Oh return to my healing.
Free will be my love.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Daniel

I don't have to tell you who Daniel is, do I?
I don't have to tell you what he and his friend did, do I?

Good, then enjoy a Haiku about him, and go visit my other page of you want to read more.
Steadfast and constant.
Through fire and beast they stand -
And God stands with them.

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Branch, old root.

Out of the stump of David's family will grow a shoot--yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him--the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. ~ Isaiah 11:1-2

With the rapid approach of Christmas, I decided to end the year in my Bible-Study group by going through the family tree of Jesus. So for the last two months or so we have been doing a course called "Who's line is it anyway?"

It has been quite interesting, as we examined the line, from Adam to Jesus, and saw how GOD used the same stories of redemption, over and over, to try and prepare use for the ultimate story. Also, there were some pretty interesting stories in there that we sometimes gloss over.

So now we are finished, but it's not too late for you to join us.

My friend Michelle over at ~ Psalm 104:24 ~ is once again doing her annual (every year since last year) Jesse Tree project. So go along to Isaiah 11:1-2 to share in a different devotion every night leading up to Christmas. I'm too lazy to do one myself, so I'll just go watch hers. :-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Biblios Hokku - Ezekiel

Ezekiel was a priest and prophet to the Jewish nation in exile in Babylon. He reminded the people that it was their sin that had brought them to this place, but that GOD was still wanting to restore and rebuild the nation.

Woe unto Israel.
You do not do what is right.
Turn yourself; and live.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Celebration time!

So I see that according to my post log, this is my 100th post.

Woo Hoo and all that.

It is also my first post since finishing my latest novel. (I love that phrase.)
That's right, November National Novel Writing Month is over, and I am emerging victorious with my 50,000 word draft in hand. (A rather cramped hand I might add; did I mention I was writing the whole thing longhand?)

I am sorry I didn't get to pop in here as often as I would have liked, but the writing has been more intense than I imagined. I hope to try and catch up with all of you over the next few days, and see what has been going on behind my back.