workshop rambling

I can’t fault you, you know your Bible well. Sure you quote it to me when you tell me I’m wrong, when you tell me I’m defective. I know my Bible too, I just don’t make it into an arrow and quote it back at you, mate, I live it.

So as you rebuke me, I love you, as you correct me, I love you, as you kicked me out your sacred building, I still loved and love you.

All scripture is God breathed, I agree my friend, but not because you say so and not just the bits you find palatable, and believe it or not I am accepted, not by you obviously but by the true and living God.

I do love you, there is no bitterness or smarting in my words, I love you, my friend, I do.

This is part of a monologue that was presented at a Local Preacher seminar earlier this year. It’s voice is left to the imagination, maybe it is yours. As I wrote it out today I was thinking of Helen Blogs and how church can hurt people.

Jesus came and died so we all could have a personal relationship with the loving Father, so we could bring all our guilt & shame & sin, everything that we have done & everything that has been done to us and can bring it to the Cross and we can lay it down and we can repent of our straying ways and we can accept the beautiful forgiveness that is offered for free. Jesus didn’t come so some people can feel so excluded – look at who he hung around with, look at who he conversed with, look at who he loved.

We are invited to come, we are invited – not just a blanket junk mail invitation…

BUT

a very personal invitation, handcarved/handwritten with our very own names etched in the invite.

So how can we be so exclusive that some people are not only uncomfortable with our comfortableness but we hang necklaces of ‘not welcome’ around their necks. We give them letters of unwelcome. We hide our secret bits in suits of respectability.

If we are following Jesus then maybe we should take a leaf out of his address book and not just visit but sit in uncomfortable places so his gospel can be shared with our words and with our actions…

BUT

most of all with our love.

After all – John 3:16 -18

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

BrainChain

What goes on on our surface quite often isn’t what is really happening inside. Like a pond, calm on the surface but underneath teeming with life. Our minds on the surface, get us through the day, reminding us of directions, time to refuel, time to rest. I was reminded of this last night, I had intended to do some editing and hopefully add the “male” story to the “Tattered Affair” I had an inkling of what I wanted to do with it: Empathetic treatment of the male character. Settling down to write after everyone was in slumberland, I couldn’t focus, all my intentions gone and in it’s place giant yawns that were so tremendous my eyes leaked. So I trotted off to bed and slept for a couple of hours, refreshed I got back to it but didn’t finish what I intended, instead drew BrainChain (above)


The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 (NIV)

 

My brain was reminding me that sometimes it is important to rest. Imagine all the synapses that take place in the head for the yawn to begin. The linking of a nerve to nerve to reflex. A brain is a powerful organ, how many of us prefer to watch the vagarities of situations play out on our television screens about characters that don’t exist rather than vagaries of our own minds.

As Christians our minds and hearts are linked spiritually in a beautiful wonderful way that allows our minds to expand, our thirst to know Christ more, to know but more than know to feel and know. There are no brain synapses and nerve responses to be in this place, no physiological reminders to be with God, to study his word, to burst out singing in praise, to pray, to just be quiet in his presence.

When we have this thirst for Christ, we don’t need the reminders because we just do it, we want to do it, we need to do it, to be immersed in his love. The outside part maybe going through the motions of daily life, travelling to work, getting kids ready, spending time with partners but inside there’s a whole gamut of teeming life. The balance of this, balancing daily chores with spending time with the Lord, what balance. Because that’s the beauty of the Lord. He is with us all the time, he is there when we are jumping for joy and when we face into cleaning the bathroom, he is there when we grieve and he’s there when we are laughing in fellowship. He is there.

If he is there all the time, what a waste to remain like a mill pond, the image I keep getting is that of someone bursting through the water surface and grabbing a huge gulp of air. Let the life that is teeming under the surface burst into the air, show the world the changes God has made in us, when we let ourselves tentatively do this, we can’t stop, the joy we feel is palpable, we can’t hide it, it is obvious and real. I may not have written an empathetically ‘male’ narrative but I learned a bit more about brain activity, links and chains.

Groove– ee Suzie

Yea, thank you Lord, it has been a long time coming and I have tried to be patient in my waiting, scared that it would never happen again. Last night I broke my duck and wrote. I had been thinking about doing it for ages but was scared what kind of voice would come out. The days of “Slasher Suzie” are gone. I can’t get to that point of utter hopelessness in my writing because I can’t feel it in my life.

It was a strange night, I had studied, I had read and got back to my three blogs after being immersed in Nathan and David for three days. It was half past midnight and I was about to switch off and go to bed. A friend had emailed earlier and the content of the email was still ruminating around in my head. The story I wrote was not her story, far from it, but it was the inspiration.

It was a short piece about 1200 words, a third of what I’d done in my exegesis of 2 Samuel 12:5-7 earlier on in the day. However it is complete, the tragic half finished pieces that litter my bedroom do not have a new playmate, and “A Tattered Affair” is posted on blogger.

I am not pressurising myself to keep producing, I’ll be like a hen, laying every day and then stop for a rest before continuing again. I am in a state of awe at our Lord, that he managed to get through my scaredy cat state to help me move on from my block.

I haven’t read much Christian fiction, Joshua and Joshua’s children and a few by some American ladies. I am sure there’s edgy stuff out there but I can’t write wishy washy tales that present themselves as Christian and yet the only Christian thing is they go to church. (not Joshua stories, I found part of those to be lovely narrative, the inter faith  one especially) One of the authors I read started out with Mills & Boon, which I have to admit (if that’s the right word) I have never even read the back cover of one. Maybe they are good literature for their genre, but it’s not me.

My two favourite authors are dead, Douglas Adams and Anne MacCaffrey. I still get great stimulation from Douglas’ “Dirk Gently” books, Hitchhiker is a bit different because it was written just at the beginning of the digital age and so is quite difficult to translate to the technology we have now, even the size of the “Guide” is laughable in today’s context.

I can remember a time when I would scour the charity shops of Cork hunting for a new Anne MacCaffrey, “Killashandra” was my first introduction to her but I was soon swept away to a land where people, dragons and dolphins worked together against a hostile environment. Two years ago re-read a few but I couldn’t ‘get them’ anymore. I was left grieving for the characters because they didn’t know God. I know sad isn’t it feeling sorry for fictional characters but I did.

Talenkynic, not sure what to do with her, I  think I will leave her hanging for a while longer, till I am more mature and can know how to have an alien in a Christian story. Mary, my beautiful queen of the crows, Morrigan. I still love her, she was my first character, totally unloved and unloveable, she had no redeeming features at all, and yet she broke through and was written whilst I was waiting to get on a plane at Kerry Airport.

So I’ve got my groove back, I can write (Yea) and I must be patient for the next inspiration, not scared but excited at the prospect. Lord I wait, thank you