Friday, October 20, 2006

Actions of Faith

What have I been up to? I'm working 50-55 hours a week at a photo editing company that deals primarily with school and sports photos. Because those come during a certain time of year, it's a seasonal job, but the pay is decent.

At our men's bible study on wednesday, our discussion leader talked about how the metaphor of water is used throughout the bible. In the specific instance where Jesus is talking about being lukewarm, the place he is speaking is a place where two rivers come together, one that is cold and one that is hot. Our leader pointed out that either one may not be inherently bad, but that they might even reflect personality traits. The hot river used for soothing pain like the quieter, more laid back person, and the cold river used for rejuvenating and refreshing like the more outgoing person. When Jesus speaks of being either one, just not lukewarm, he could be speaking of who we are in Christ, and what purpose we serve. Our discussion looked at the effects of damming up the river, bringing the temperature of both rivers to lukewarm, and serving no purpose.

This made me think of a section of something I have been reading in Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy. While discussing the purpose and power of the "Sermon on the Mount", Willard makes this observation about the last part (you may all now sing "The wise man built his house upon the rock..."):

"Jesus gives us urgent warnings about failing to actually do what he calls us to do in his teaching and mentions the specific things that are most likely to trip us up in this regard. Dietrich Bonhoeffer forcefully states, "The only proper response to this word which Jesus brings with him from eternity is simply to do it." Remarkably, almost one sixth of the entire Discourse (fifteen of ninety-two verses) is devoted to emphasizing the importance of actually doing what it says. Doing and not just hearing and talking about it is how we know the reality of the kingdom and integrate our life into it. This final section therefore concludes with the well-known images of the wise man who builds his house upon the rock (he is the one doing the words of Jesus), as compared with the other man, who does not."
If I am a follower of Jesus, others should be able to tell by what I do, not by what I say.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

NaNoWriMo Again?

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 ParticipantWill he or won't he this year? It's less than a month away.

November is NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. Last year I unsuccessfully took a stab at the NaNoWriMo competition, finishing with somewhere around 20,000 words, where the ultimate goal in one month is 50,000 words. I have already come up with three or four of what I consider to be pretty good ideas. The big problem is that this year I'll be working over 50 hours a week through the end of December, so making the decision to enter again is very difficult. I know a few of you already gearing up for the challenge. So what do the rest of you say? Are you up for it?