Archive for November, 2007

lifeblood

November 27, 2007

I am dead tired!

Yesterday I donated blood. I took a group of Yr 10 students to the Blood Bank in what we affectionately called ‘The Vampire Bus,’ and we all donated 470mls to help save a life or two. It doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice, 470mls is not that much blood, but today I’m really feeling tired. Soooo tired. Like I could just fall-asleep-anywhere tired. And this has got me thinking…

Isn’t it amazing how God says the life is in the blood of every living creature? I love how the Bible shows us that God has life all figured out well before scientists and doctors know much about it. This whole “life is in the blood” idea has really got me thinking about the significance of Christ’s death, the shedding of His blood to give us life, and His words at the Passover meal he shared with his disciples before going to the cross. It’s so significant…but right now I’m way too tired to take my thinking any further. But I’d love to hear what you’re thinking…

Isn’t it incredible that blood saves lives and God uses the blood of His Son to save us spiritually?

Isn’t it amazing the way blood works? It really is the life force! No wonder I feel dead tired with less of it!

Blood is amazing! That Jesus blood brings us real life blows my mind.

Oh! How I could fly on the viewless wings of Poesy!!!

November 20, 2007

I have just been allocated an Extension English class for next year! Wooo!!!
I get to teach solid texts from the canon and I’m very excited about it.

My first task is to choose a theme or a character that has been represented in literature throughout the centuries. I have a few ideas. For example we could study ‘Heroes’ and look at Beowulf, The Odyssey, Ulysses as represented by Joyce in Ulysses and then I would need some contemporary texts including poetry and film. Or a closely related theme we could study could be ideas of ‘Saviours’ in literature throughout history. Or we could study the theme of ‘Redemption’ and look at Cry, the Beloved Country

Ooooh! There are so many good options my mind is all a flutter! What theme would you study – either one of mine or of your own invention – and which film, poetry and fiction texts would you choose?

November 19, 2007

My 9 year old is pretty furious right now. He wants to vote.

“I’m responsible and make good decisions!” he asserts, “So, why can’t I vote?”

In a country where voting is compulsory, I only wish the adult population felt the same way.  I need to find a way for a little man with a big social conscience to make a difference and be heard. Any ideas?

A Thousand Splendid Books

November 4, 2007

Well, that’s how many I hope to be reading anyway.

I have joined a book club! Hoooray!!! I’m very excited about this because the club that I have joined freely acknowledges, nay, embraces the fact that many of its members have children who love to read and be read to as well and has freely included them in the literary leisure. Usually the members of the club will choose two books to read over a two month period and will then meet to discuss them on a Saturday night at some appointed time. This time the book club has decided to choose a book that will interest parents and children as well as a grown-up option. The books they have chosen are Dragonkeeper and A Thousand Splendid Suns. At our next meeting – which will be my first – we plan to discuss Dragonkeeper with our children – who have read it with us- and then send them off to watch the movie version of the book while we discuss A Thousand Splendid Suns. How fantastic is that?!! Discussing books with children and grown-ups!!! I love it!!!

I bought A Thousand Splendid Suns yesterday and am already half way through. It is not becoming one of my favourite books, however, I am drawn to the pathos that pervades the lives of these Afghani women and the beautiful language with which this is communicated. Their pain, although more pronounced because of their terrible circumstances, is tragically universal though not overstated and my heart cries for the characters. Here are a sample of quotes that have left me sighing in woeful recognition:

On losing her best friend and barely acknowledged love Laila feels that one day “she would not miss him as she did now, when the ache of his absence was her unremitting companion.” I love how Hosseini masterfully describes the absence of someone as an “unremitting companion.” Sigh.

And on hearing of yet another death, after having already lost so much, we are told Laila:

could hardly move. She could hardly move a muscle.

She sat on the chair instead, hands limp in her lap, eyes staring at nothing, and let her mind fly on. She let it fly on until it found the place, the good and safe place, where the barley fields were green, where the water ran clear and the cottonwood seeds danced by the thousands in the air; where Babi was reading a book beneath an acacia and Tariq was napping with his hands laced across his chest, and where she could dip her feet in the stream and dream good dreams.

Sigh.

The novel is not this beautiful all the way through. There are snippets of wonderfully crafted sentences where imagery assaults the reader in powerful ways. It’s enough to draw me in. Gotta go read…

On Consumerism: Don’t Buy It!

November 2, 2007

anticonsumerism.jpg

On Order & the Bible

November 2, 2007

I’m feeling kind of ripped off. Yesterday I discovered that the books of my Bible are in the wrong order!!! Can you believe it?!

Our lecture yesterday touched on the order of scripture and noted that while we, as Westerners, tend to approach things quite chronologically, the Hebrew people historically approached things more thematically. The result of which was that the scriptures were reordered to reflect a chronological rather than thematic focus. This, my lecturer argued, has lead to us failing to make connections that the original audience would have made quite logically. It also means we diminish the unity of the scriptures. He gave numerous examples – at which point my head exploded – one of which was that traditionally Chronicles was the last book of the Jewish Scriptures. This is significant because Chronicles begins with a genealogy that is then continued in Matthew and this is only the beginning!!!

Did you know this?

Do you feel as ripped off as me?

This revelation made me wonder about the role of man in recording and passing on God’s word. It’s such an important thing! How could we get it so wrong at times? And then I wondered, if God is in control of this, why did he allow the books of the scriptures to be rearranged? Especially if it means we are missing out, or at least working very hard to get back, significant connections. If the changes happened way back at the completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts, was the reordering part of God’s plan in reaching those outside the Hebrew communities? Those who think chronologically rather than thematically.

What do you think?

Do you feel as ripped off as I do?

Where can I get my hands on a Jewish Bible? I want to read that Bible cover to cover and see what I find.

The original order of the scriptures:

The Torah

1. Genesis [בראשית / B’reshit]
2. Exodus [שמות / Sh’mot]
3. Leviticus [ויקרא / Vayiqra]
4. Numbers [במדבר / B’midbar]
5. Deuteronomy [דברים / D’varim]

The books of Nevi’im

6. Joshua [יהושע / Y’hoshua]
7. Judges [שופטים / Shophtim]
8. Samuel (I & II) [שמואל / Sh’muel]
9. Kings (I & II) [מלכים / M’lakhim]
10. Isaiah [ישעיה / Y’shayahu]
11. Jeremiah [ירמיה / Yir’mi’yahu]
12. Ezekiel [יחזקאל / Y’khezqel]
13. The Twelve Minor Prophets [תרי עשר]
I. Hosea [הושע / Hoshea]
II. Joel [יואל / Yo’el]
III. Amos [עמוס / Amos]
IV. Obadiah [עובדיה / Ovadyah]
V. Jonah [יונה / Yonah]
VI. Micah [מיכה / Mikhah]
VII. Nahum [נחום / Nakhum]
VIII. Habakkuk [חבקוק /Khavaquq]
IX. Zephaniah [צפניה / Ts’phanyah]
X. Haggai [חגי / Khagai]
XI. Zechariah [זכריה / Z’kharyah]
XII. Malachi [מלאכי / Mal’akhi]

The Ketuvim

14. Psalms [תהלים / T’hilim]
15. Proverbs [משלי / Mishlei]
16. Job [איוב / Iyov]
17. Song of Songs [שיר השירים / Shir Hashirim]
18. Ruth [רות / Rut]
19. Lamentations [איכה / Eikhah]
20. Ecclesiastes [קהלת / Qohelet]
21. Esther [אסתר / Est(h)er]
22. Daniel [דניאל / Dani’el]
23. EzraNehemiah [עזרא ונחמיה / Ezra wuNekhem’ya]
24. Chronicles (I & II) [דברי הימים / Divrey Hayamim]