Monday, 31 January 2011

Total Exhilaration!

I remember the first time I fed city pigeons. I was at Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. And, being a teenager, the last thing I wanted to do was something embarrassing, such as feeding city pigeons.

However, curiosity overcame the self-conscious factor, and I entered the world of fascination. There can be nothing more humbling, or more rewarding, than offering food to, let's face it, a wild animal (or bird), and having it feed from your hand. If you haven't tried it, I can guarantee you'll never feel the same again if you do.

But nothing had prepared me for feeding bread to a mixture of city pigeons, ducks, gees and seagulls in St James's Park, London. A piece of bread here, a crumb there; but shortly I found myself flinging scraps of bread into the air to see if the seagulls would swoop and catch them before they landed on the ground ... and giggling like a little schoolgirl all the while. It was total exhilaration!

And for the record, I know that many people regard city pigeons as pests, but I personally regard them as God's creatures. Matthew 6:26 reads,

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Who am I to object if I assist in that task of feeding the birds of the air? And who am I to deny myself the rewards?

Sunday, 30 January 2011

It Really is all About Me!

Last night I came to a blindingly clear revelation: that it's really all about me. Before all my nay-sayers  start jumping up and down, let me explain myself.

Yesterday I read Romans chapter 2, in which Paul challenges the elite of Jewish society - those who should know better - to uphold God's law in themselves. This passage quickly becomes reminiscent of Jesus' injunction in Matthew 7 verses 1-5, where we are cautioned to not look for a "splinter" in our neighbour's eye, but to pay attention to the "plank" in our own.

And this is my point. When it comes down to it, God doesn't care about how we think Joe Bloggs is doing, or what we think of Susie Smith down the road's behaviour. Ultimately, he's concerned with me. Am I prepared to give up my hopes and dreams for his plans? Am I prepared to control my natural urges and desires to work for his instead? Am I prepared to follow the narrow path that leads to salvation - and thereby be a beacon of hope in a dark world?

What I think of those around me is immaterial. Instead of comparing myself to those around me, I must keep my eyes focussed on the goal - on Jesus. As the wonderful hymn says,

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
And look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Words by Helen H Lemmel, 1922

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Six Sentence Sunday #3

Continuing directly on from last week's post, I give you the next snippet from Help in Ages Past.

The commander in chief of the United forces reached up and slowly removed his glasses, placing them on the table gently. He reached into his right hand breast pocket and pulled out a handkerchief, employing it as a mop in the heat of the complex that was Pivot; even the air-con didn’t help anymore. He gradually lowered his other hand – the one holding the missive – to the table, reached behind him for a chair, and sat down on it heavily.

Slowly he looked at those standing around the strategy holo ... all of his top men, waiting for his word. They knew how this would end; had always known. Ever since that fateful day when ... but he would not think of that now.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Six Sentence Sunday #2

For this week's post (and future ones for a while) I'm going to turn to another WIP. Over time, you'll get to know this one. I've called it 'Help in Ages Past'. It is based, as too many of my story images or even plots (as in the case of this one) are, on a dream I had once. I'm not going to say much more, as I would like your thoughts. I will note that, in this section, 'monvir' means 'monster virus'.

The reports coming in were ... well ... bad. Losses of upwards of 500 men a day, casualties by the thousands.... The biological weapons were taking their toll on his troops. Nevermind that they were inoculated against their own monvirs, their immune systems simply couldn’t handle the monvirs that the enemy were creating – and spreading. And this aside from the physical weapons fire, which was wreaking its own havoc. This latest missive was no help.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Six Sentence Sunday #1

Ok, so I'm  just starting out with this six sentence Sunday thing. I'm busy meddling with a pretty major writing project, as yet unnamed - and largely unwritten. This is the draft beginning of the prologue for the first book.

The chill set in as we wandered slowly down the hill road overlooking the town. The cloudless sky afforded a pristine view of the visible stars, while the full moon lit up the countryside. No artificial lights were on in the town. And we waited. We had fifteen minutes left.

Fifteen long minutes until they began to turn the universe off.