Christianity: My Journey & Thoughts

The Parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus

In my second book (GOTD; WIP), Hell features quite prominently, along with death and other similar themes. Even though the book will be fiction, there is a core or underlying structure to it that reflects my Christian beliefs.

While I was reading my daily Bible today, I came across the story of Lazarus. Not the one you’re probably thinking of–this is the Lazarus who was very poor and brought to the city gates of a rich man, not the one raised from the dead. I thought the same at first, too.

The parable is simple in structure, but very jarring and deep. Its simplicity (as Mr. Carson points out below) can be misleading. I listened to the below sermon today while working, and found it absolutely amazing. I’ll be chewing on this for awhile, thinking about this parable as I continue writing my own book. Give it a listen if you’d like; he goes through the layers and presents everything (culture, history, context) in an understandable way.

Hope you’re all well and take care. Happy writing!

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

The People of Excuseville (Five Minute Snarky Humor)

There is a land called Excuseville. A tiny village rather, that’s growing larger all the time. You can visit, you know, but do come with a ready handbag full of excuses. When in Rome, and all that.

“I’m so sorry. I would have been here on time, but you see–I couldn’t find my shoes this morning and a bird landed in my breakfast cereal. Milk all over. Had to change my blouse.”

Or if you’d rather something more colorful:

“My alarm didn’t wake me up. Never mind that I threw it across the room, it still should’ve worked!”

Once you arrive at Excuseville, you’ll come across the various market stalls with sellers advertising their wares of ready made excuses, neatly arrayed on their counters. You may hear such greeting as:

“Come one, come all. No need to take self-responsibility if you come over to my stall. This is the newest model of ready-made excuses, ladies and gentlemen, fresh from the jar. We have everything from “The computer wouldn’t connect to the network, but I did try to plug it into the fax machine” to “I forgot I had to update that software. Is it a problem the servers are going down?”

At every stall, however, you can find a personal favorite of mine. I do highly suggest it, as it’s a local delicacy of Excuseville. It’s called:

“Nobody told me that.”

This excuse is unique, in that it can be used repeatedly, no expiration date. Do try to pass it onto your grandchildren. It’s certainly a unique heirloom.

~Fin~

Awareness & Support

Stop AAPI Hate: Awareness & Support

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

Elie Wiesel

This honestly shouldn’t be that hard of a concept, especially in America. I retrieved these graphics from the first website I listed below; I do not own either of these.

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/community/stop-asian-hate.page

Visit https://stopaapihate.org/ to learn more.

Reposts/Reblog Shares

Victorian Monsters

A concise summary on some Victorian Monster types and archetypes. Recommend it for any horror enthusiast out there. Please remember to give it a thumbs up on the author’s page if you like this read.

Andrew McDowell

I’ve always been a fan of horror fiction, and every October I watch scary movies all month long. During my first semester at St. Mary’s College, I took a Freshman Seminar called Victorian Monsters and Modern Monstrosities. Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black introduced us (we came to be known as “Marvelous Monsters”) to six archetypes. With each we read a corresponding literary classic:

  1. Freak – Frankenstein
  2. Madwoman – Jane Eyre
  3. Schizo – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  4. Horrorscape – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  5. Deviant – Dracula
  6. Animagi – The Island of Dr. Moreau

Here are some of my notes from the start of the seminar regarding core themes:

image

Indeed these archetypes reflect Victorian social fears and limits. Yet there is something about what’s considered monstrous that draws people in. We delight in feeling terrified. We are interested in the unknown. During Victorian times revolutions were underway in science and philosophy. The establishment clashed with…

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Writing: I've Got Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty...

Author: Steering the Writing Ship (Short Read)

  1. Read your writing out loud.
  2. Read other people’s writing often–good writing (and a smidge of bad writing to see why it’s bad–you’ll learn to recognize it overtime).
  3. Listen to feedback; sift through it the best you can. (This process becomes better with experience.)
  4. Practice. (This is polishing your craft–your gems.)
  5. Repeat.

It’s been a particular busy season in my life recently. In an attempt to focus on the cores or main principals of writing, here’s five I’m offering that I tend to focus on. Try not to let your ego/pride get in the way of #3 (we all do this).

My dog would like to add a #6.) Take breaks to take us canines outside and feed us our meals on time. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to your precious drafts now, would you?

Happy writing.

Ponderings

Throwing Covid’s Crown Back at it: My Experience with COVID-19

I read recently that COVID-19 (the present coronavirus the world is dealing with) looks like it has a bunch of crowns on the stems of its protrusions. Corona means crown in Latin, hence the crown virus (or coronavirus). Please see a CDC article here that explains the history of this lingua in much better, nuanced detail than I can currently explain.

The saint was recently diagnosed with what the medical staff assumed is one of the more contagious variants now going around the United States. I, in turn, started showing symptoms of it about a week later, but am still waiting on my lab results to confirm. I am fairly certain I have it though, and am nearing the tail end of my quarantine. For the first time in about a week, I can move my eyes around and not feel pain and I can also think more clearly and breathe a little bit more easily.

One of the most alarming symptoms I had was a possible blood clot in my foot. My right foot was hurting one night while laying in bed; I told the nurse practitioner (np) I saw the next day it had felt like I had worn a bad fitting pair of shoes. The pain went away a few hours later, so thankfully my body took care of it independently. The np said that COVID-19 can cause blood clots, which can in turn lead to strokes. About a week prior to seeing me, the np said she had a female patient around my age who had a stroke from COVID. So yes, it can even happen to us young millennials.

I also had what the np said was “Covid Brain”, or basically not being able to think clearly, reacting slowly, recalling memories slower than usual, etc. So, not only does the beast of COVID-19 affect the blood system and breathing, it can affect the nervous system as well (hence changes in taste, smell, etc.). I call shenanigans.

I’m sharing this as one brief human story of COVID among millions. Please continue to protect yourselves and others by washing your hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing. Even if your neighbors down the street are partying it up and built an extension onto their house to throw said parties (yes, I do speak from experience), do it anyway. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Also, in final closing, I found on Twitter a great channel that promotes the historic preservation and ongoing research and education of the Holocaust, particularly the Auschwitz Memorial. I encourage you to check it out, and add it to your feed. It’s a daily reminder of what can happen when we let hate win. Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet Troops 76 years ago this past January. That isn’t so very long ago now, is it?

Never forget. Speak up against evil; do not let it win.

Ponderings

Holocaust Remembrance Week 🕯️✡️

I’m a bit late, but wanted to do at least a small remembrance on my blog. Never forget.


NEVER SHALL I FORGET – BY ELIE WIESEL

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live
as long as God Himself.
Never.

Never Shall I Forget from Night by Elie Wiesel.
Copyright © 1958 by Les Editions de Minuit.
Translation copyright © 2006 by Marion Wiesel.

https://www.ushmm.org/remember/days-of-remembrance/resources/calendar

Reposts/Reblog Shares

it is troubling (this grief) — Frank Prem Poetry

I am troubled by the rattling of the liquid ambar outside my window at work it is a glorious spreading strongly muscled creature that plays host to wattle birds kookaburras and parrots silver-eyes and pardalotes but the leaves . . . the leaves have been an autumn magnificence through all the years I have know the tree rich reds and yellows and shades of orange piles of them on the groundto […]

it is troubling (this grief) — Frank Prem Poetry