meditations

Alive

I have been reflecting on the Gospel of John. The read has been enjoyable and compelling. This week, I have been reading the chapter on Lazarus and I learnt why Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead. I now share my findings from the gospel itself.

Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, who lived in the village of Bethany, two miles from Jerusalem, in the first century. Jesus at the time was staying on the far side of the Jordan and was told that Lazarus was unwell.

Two days later, Jesus said to his disciples that Lazarus was physically dead. Jesus explained to his disciples, who were with him, that he meant that Lazarus was resting–meaning his disembodied spirit was resting in Hades, the waiting place for judgment of the dead (as David Pawson explains in “The Road to Hell”). Lazarus was not in heaven or hell. He was resting, in a waiting place for the spirits of the dead.

Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters and was going to wake Lazarus up, so his spirit would come back to his body. Lazarus would come back to life. Jesus went to Bethany and met up with Mary and Martha. Lazarus had been in a tomb four days and Jesus prayed and Lazarus came out of the tomb, alive.

Why did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? Love. Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters. They would have been grateful they got their brother back and Jesus delivered on this for them.

I discovered that Jesus’ love in raising Lazarus has a much wider application as well.

Continue reading “Alive”

stories

Myths and facts

I have come across some odd sayings in my day. But more than odd, they were controversial sayings, but delivered palatably, with even with a hint that it should be accepted. Except when I heard it, I may have had the advantage of my knowledge over others in the crowd.

The controversies were told at church, but if one knows their Bible quite literally, as I do, you would think twice about the saying. You would recognize it as controversial and that it did not quite fit the evidence of the Bible. Maybe they were aiming for mass and consumer acceptance, but I sat there dismayed. Waiting for someone to correct. So here it is. The fallacies that appeared from time to time on my journeys. How do I reply…

Continue reading “Myths and facts”
notes--writing

Writing reflections is, well, a reflective exercise

I’ve been working on a book of reflections based on my readings of the Gospel of Mark. The gospel is from the Bible and I am aware of being accurate to the text and not saying something myself in my writings that was not intended by the writer of the gospel. But I am writing reflections and this genre is not explaining or expounding a text academically as one would when deeply examining what the author was saying. Reflections are simply hopefully effectively relaying my thoughts about what I read…meaning it is not a thesis on the text or a critique but a reflection on the text itself. I reflect from a devotional basis so it is not a reflective critique which has a soft edge.

I don’t know if one can do reflections from any kind of text, but I think copyright issues are the barrier to a writer taking any printed text and writing a book of reflections on it, although I don’t know. I know that there is a whole genre of devotional writing that uses the Bible but does not copy it. I know I am not doing anything wrong in using the Bible as a basis for a book of reflections, unless everyone who was writing devotions from the Bible has got it wrong. It is only wrong if copying the Bible exactly as it is for a profit, without permission; and copying it even without wanting to make a profit or commercial gain.

Copying 1000 Bible verses as they are written is okay with some Bible publishers, without seeking permission. It just depends on each Bible publication policy which is at the front of each Bible. Always check copyright notices at the front of each book you may want to copy in some way. There it will explain what one can legally do or not do with that particular book. And get a grasp of copyright law. Books are legally well protected from people trying to illegally copy them, but the copyright notice at the front of the book will inform of any leniencies, if any, and what you can do if you want to use a portion of the book in some capacity.

So far, my reflections have taken up one small exercise book, which I completed this week. For the rest of the week in terms of reflective writing, I just felt to blob, as if I have done enough for a little while in that genre or until I get my reflective writing mojo back.

notes--writing

On the agenda, on a busy day

Writing while doing other things in life as you would normally do can be hectic. Keeping up to date with the stuff a writer does–that is, the writing–sometimes near impossible. If one is going well and the good days outnumber the bad ones, then keeping up to date is a reality. Getting through the writing agenda is not impossible. It is simply writing the ideas up that get turned into short meditations or devotions or what’s also knows as reflections. Short and sweet.

notes--writing

When ideas are too many to handle

The opposite of the problem of writers block is too much writing. There are lots of ideas and written passages on my notebook and computer and I think I am under an obligation to use them all, which feels oppressive. Then comes liberating the notebook/s, by eliminating useless ideas. But, who knows, in years to come, they be viewed better. So, it’s probably a good idea to keep them and not worry about the clutter for a while.

notes--writing

Ideas notebook for all those invasive thoughts

There’s an easy way to file away ideas and thoughts. It’s not by filing ideas and thoughts for different genres into different notebooks, but simply keeping a notebook for everything that comes to mind. I’d been doing that way, but realized the put everything in one place approach is better. I’ve been keeping my Bible reading notes in one exercise book. This was for the purpose of jotting the ideas I get from reading the Bible which could become devotions, meditations and reflections. When other ideas came to mind, say a story idea that jumped into my head, I had to find a different notebook, or piece of paper, to jot the idea down.┬áBut it would be quicker just writing the idea in my devotional notebook because that was handy. I don’t like mixing various ideas around in a notebook intended for one thing, though. It makes much better sense to include everything in one notebook, doesn’t it? So, all one has to do is headline each notebook entry for what kind of idea it is: be it devotional, story, article, poem, etc.

And if one is the run, one may keep a recorder, or something like it, for easy recording when ideas come to mind. Keep the ideas in one place on the recorder and indicate what each idea is, whether story, article, poem, etc. Much better. All in one place and headlined for easy reference. All one needs now is a good notebook and/or a digital recorder. Digital recorders hold more information so spending on one is probably cheaper in the long run than buying notebook after notebook. May be just invest in a simple digital recorder for note-taking, if one likes, if that’s easier when on the run. Or write it down, if that’s preferable.

 

notes--writing

Approaching publishers with the picture book idea

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been writing a children’s short story, originally intended for a picture book. The inspiration was in my garden. I may approach publishers, but on speculation that they may or may not publish it. Of course there are the usual doubts that it won’t work for children, it’s too Watership-downish, although Watership Down was a goldmine in the end.