Tag Archives: writing

Jacob: A New Identity (Genesis 32:24-33:4)

[As part of our “Loving the Bible” class at Scoala Biblica Piatra Vie, each student is required to write a paper about some passage in the Bible and then present it to the class.  I decided that since I’m requiring my busy students to do the paper, I should do it as well.  Below is my paper about Jacob and his strange, late-night wrestling competition.]

To every child ever born God has given a destiny and purpose.  He has specific plans for each human being and has not only created each person with such individual and unique personalities, likes and dislikes, even talents, but He has also ordained specific things for him to do during his short lifetime, things that only that particular individual can accomplish.  Regrettably, most Christians are so haunted by their failures that they see only a long list of lost opportunities, resulting in a deep and pervasive sense of disappointment, a fear of having somehow missed God’s plans and purposes for their life.  For many, this sense is great enough that they fail to see by faith the redemptive power of God to bring restoration and renewal.  For those who have felt the weight of such a list of failures, there is much encouragement in the life of Jacob, in particular, in one fateful night when God met him and revealed his new identity.

July 24, 2015 - 'No Longer Jacob'

July 24, 2015 – ‘No Longer Jacob’

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The Third Day

[As part of the Loving the Bible class at Scoala Biblica Piatra Vie, students had to rewrite Genesis 22:1-19, choosing to either write all or just a portion of the story in their own words. The following is my rewrite.]

Three days.

It had been three days of heavy and brooding silence in my spirit, each day heavier and more terrifying than the last as the mountain reared its ugly head and took form, and step by dreadful step grew larger, more defined, and more hideous for what it signified. The end of our journey.

And now, here finally, my boy in my arms at last, how heavy was his weight. Oh, how heavy and terrible the weight!

“My boy…” I mumbled, terror and sorrow mixed in my trembling voice. “My dear Isaac…”

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Help us send Michael and Annie Fisher on a sabbatical!

michael and annie

Michael and Annie are the reason I’m in the ministry today, and I owe them more than words can describe.  They’ve served Jesus faithfully 31 years, through easy times and hard, and it’s about time they take some time off to write, reflect, and get strengthened for the next step God has for them in ministry.

I’m definitely looking forward to getting to help support financially the man who’s supported me in so many ways through the last 15 years I’ve known him.

Check out the link, pray for Michael and Annie, and consider donating to help them pursue this next phase in their walk with God.  (You can read more of their story and donate here.)

Jonah by Ben

[I gave an optional assignment last week in the Communion with God class to take a story from the Bible and re-write it.  It’s an awesome exercise that will help to draw out details from the actual events.  You’ll have to figure out what was really going on, why it happened the way the Bible reports it, what people were thinking and feeling…  I highly recommend it as a way to interact with the Bible!  Just don’t go around thinking you might as well write your own, more interesting version of the Bible and throw out that boring one you bought in the book store.]

Within minutes, the pale blue sky had disappeared entirely, replaced by a rolling mass of thick black and gray storm clouds.  The sun, once shining boldly, struggled now to reach even her fingers around the enveloping clouds.  Beneath the lead casket, the small ship appeared helpless on the blue-green back of a heaving, waking sea monster.  The sea was a giant stirring.

Aboard, every man took notice of the quick change in temperament, from the ancient Philistine captain borne in the womb of the sea to the newly-wed Egyptian couple on their first venture from solid land, and what a venture it will prove to be.

A cold wind brought with it the scent of rain, heavy and hell-bent.

“By Dagon, get ready, men!” the captain shouted and clenched his jaw tightly shut, his eyes challenging the sea and the wind and the rain.

A strike of lightning split the sky, and a blast of thunder shook the timbers of the small ship, the trumpet blast of some great sea god declaring war, announcing the coming of the rain.  The wind blew hard and stiff, and the ropes creaked, screaming under the pressure.  The sailors scrambled about the bridge, from starboard to port, loosening this, tightening that, attempting to anticipate the moves of the storm, most capricious of enemies; while, below decks the remaining sailors urged the vessel forward with herculean effort at the oars.  But for all their pushing and pulling, striving and straining, their most trusted ally had now by all appearances joined herself to the wind and the rain and, as a traitor, refused to obey their orders.

Another crack of lightning ripped the sky in two, and from the gaping hole the rain began to pour.

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Day of War – a short “review” of sorts

dayofwarA few years ago, a friend of mine recommended I check out “Day of War,” a book by Cliff Graham about David and the “mighty men.”  He described it as a crazy mixture of Braveheart, 300, “Wild at Heart”, and the Bible.  I was certainly intrigued but had enough on my plate already, so I didn’t think too much about it.  Plus, I already knew all about David’s mighty men, so I figured there really wasn’t any need for me to read the book anyhow.

Here in Romania, I still have plenty to do, but it seemed like the right time to check out the book.  I had the ebook version, so I “opened” it up and started reading.

I’d like to say the book is awesome.  I really want to be able to say that.  But in all honesty, it’s not.  The story is awesome but the book itself leaves a lot to be wanting.  The hard, honest truth is that Cliff Graham is at best a mediocre, predictable author, but at worst he’s downright confusing, has caricatures for characters, and fails to draw the reader’s heart into the story.  I appreciate Cliff Graham’s attempt, but he would have been wise to co-author this book with someone more gifted in writing.

Still, the story carries the book with or without a gifted author.  And there’s no doubt about it that Cliff Graham knows how to pick a great story.  And he’s not afraid to show the hard, gritty, dirty, bloody story for what it is.  He makes war dirty and warriors even more screwed up, and he blows that cartoonish, Sunday school picture of David out of our minds with a shotgun.

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