Poetry: Ruth, Chapter 4

And so we come to the final chapter of the Book of Ruth which recounts the tale of the romance of great-grandparents of king David of Israel, the ancestors of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, God the Son. In chapter 1 we saw how Naomi brought Ruth, her daughter-in-law, to the Land of Promise after the deaths of both their husbands. The story continued in chapter 2 where we witnessed the meeting of Boaz and Ruth as she and her mother-in-law struggle to make ends-meet. He is kind to her. In chapter 3 Ruth goes to Boaz late at night to ask him to take up their cause and redeem her and her mother-in-law. The story concludes in chapter 4.

The tale of Ruth and Boaz’s love and God’s orchestration was put to verse by John Bunyan (1628-1688), the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress and of many other poems, books and tracts.

RUTH – CHAP. IV.

And Boaz went up to the city gate,

And after a short space, while there he sate,

The kinsman of whom he had spoke, came by,

To whom he said, Ho, [‹1.6›] such a one, draw nigh,

And sit down here. He came and sat him down.

Then he took ten men, elders of the town,

And caused them to sit down. Then to the man

That was of kin, thus he his speech began,

Naomi, said he, who not long since sojourn’d

Among the Moabites, is now return’d;

And doth intend to sell a piece of ground,

The which Elimelech our brother own’d.

And now to give thee notice, I thought fit,

That if thou pleasest, thou may’st purchase it.

In presence of these men assembled here.

Then if thou wilt redeem it, now declare

Thy mind, but if thou wilt not, then let me,

For thou art next of kin, and I next thee.

Then said the kinsman, I will it redeem.

Boaz reply’d, if good to thee it seem,

To buy it of the hand of Naomi,

Thou also art obliged the same to buy

Of Ruth the Moabitess, wife o’ th’ dead;

On his inheritance to raise up seed.

The kinsman said, I cannot do this thing

Myself, lest I an inconvenience bring

Upon mine own inheritance, what’s mine

By right, therefore I now to thee resign.

Now this in Israel did a custom stand,

Concerning changing and redeeming land;

To put all controversy to an end,

A man pluck’d off his shoe, and gave his friend;

And this in Israel was an evidence,

When e’er they changed an inheritance.

Then said the kinsman unto Boaz, do

Thou take my right. And off he pluck’d his shoe.

Then Boaz to the elders thus did say

And to the people, all of you this day

Appear for me as witnesses, that I

Have bought all of the land of Naomi,

That was Elimelech’s or did belong

Either to Mahlon or to Chilion:

And Ruth the Moabitess, who some time

Was Mahlon’s wife, I’ve purchas’d to be mine,

Still to preserve alive the dead man’s name

On his inheritance, lest that the same

Should in the gate where he inhabited,

Or ‘mongst his brethren be extinguished:

Behold, this day, my witnesses you are.

Then all the people that were present there,

And elders said, We are thy witnesses:

May God this woman thou hast taken bless,

That she, like Rachel, and like Leah be,

Which two did build up Israel’s family:

And thou in Ephratah exalt thy name,

And through the town of Bethl’hem spread thy fame;

And may the seed which God shall give to thee

Of this young woman, full as prosperous be,

As was the house of Pharez heretofore,

(Pharez, whom Tamar unto Judah bore.)

So he took Ruth, and as his wife he knew her,

And God was pleased, when he went in to her

To grant the blessing of conception,

And she accordingly bare him a son.

Then said the woman, Blessed be the Lord!

Bless thou him Naomi, who doth afford

To thee this day a kinsman, which shall be

Famous in Israel; and shall be to thee

As the restorer of thy life again,

And in thy drooping age shall thee sustain:

For that thy daughter-in-law, who loves thee well

And in thy sight doth seven sons excel,

Hath born this child. Then Naomi took the boy

To nurse; and did him in her bosom lay.

Her neighbours too, gave him a name, for why,

This son, say they, is born to Naomi:

They called him Obed, from whose loins did spring

Jesse, the sire of David, Israel’s king.

Advertisements

Catching up

This is rather more like filling you in.

I don’t really know what to say. I have such a lot to say, so many things happened but does it matter to you, my readers? No one contacted me to hear how I’m doing during my absence or to hear how far I was with my research or thesis. So, I guess that what I post does not really matter or make a difference to anyone. It nothing more than a curiosity.

And you know what? That’s fine. In the end this blog exists for two reasons and two reasons only: (1) to express myself through writing and (2) for others to learn and grow from Eleazar’s Writing Space’s content whether it be my own work or someone else’s.

I would love to develop friendships in the WordPress community which I realise takes time and effort (to come out of my shell). But we’ll see how it goes. The best friendships are forged over a long period of time. The Lord will guide.

So, I’m back and hope that Eleazar’s Writing Space will inspire you, challenge you to do some introspection and give you some understanding on how and why some people you might know act or react the way they do. I also hope that it will bring a smile to your face and even make you chuckle.

I have a lot going on in my life right now (don’t we all?) so posting will be limited to one post a week and hopefully increase as time passes. I have a lot of writing assignments to submit which I will tell you about later. It does feel good to be back!

¡Hasta la vista!

E

Winds of Change: 316-296 days to go Part 2

This post is a continuation of the previous one and mainly deals with my relationship with my professor and struggle for freedom.

On Thursday, 29 May (313 DTG), I got a panic attack during a conversation I had with my professor. I was completely unprepared for the conversation although I knew it was coming. He had asked me to analyse data in a certain way and perform some experiments. I was still in the process of figuring out how I would go about carrying out his requests and also troubleshooting what I already did. He backed me into a corner. I lied instinctively. I confessed the truth immediately. And panicked. I don’t know to what degree my face contorted as my heart began to race, my breathing became shallow and my mind froze. It was the most horrible and the most humiliating experience ever. I said a quick prayer and God helped me gain control. It wasn’t a full blown panic attack, but it came pretty close in my books. Ever since then I am going about systematically to meet his requests.

It couldn’t have been any clearer how addicted to approval I am. Two fellow students I related the incident to said that they overcame their fear of authority figures by relating to them on other stuff and just realising that they are human. My accountability partner said that Joyce Meyer’s Approval Addiction is a good book. His mother-in-law struggled with approval addiction until God freed her from it. Joyce Meyer’s book was instrumental.

I see the danger of it, but I will share my thoughts on approval addiction in a Ramble which I’ll write once I worked through the book. Maybe the Ramble post will be in the format of a personal essay? We’ll see.

Another realisation I came to during these past three weeks is that I’m stuck in a cycle—a Cycle of Interest. In this cycle I move from reading about writing to nudity & nudism to sculpture to skimpy underwear. This Cycle of Interest is the source of the frustration I described earlier because my life, my interests consist of more than these four subjects.But I guess that because I don’t have the economic strength at this moment I cannot realise the goals connected to those interests.

This Cycle of Interest is another reason why I adopted the I-just-want-to-get-it-over-and-done-with mindset based on the belief that if I give my interests in skimpy underwear and in photographs of nude activities I would like to do one day the attention they want, they will die out eventually. I mean there are only so many things I would like to do nude. So, when I get the photos I want I will have no excuse to look for more photos of those activities. The photos in my Flickr account also serve as a reminder of what I’d like to do one day. So, by having them in my collection I don’t have to actively remember that I want to skinny dip with friends (in a particular place); run in a field of wild flowers; sunbathe on the deck of a yacht; wake up and stand by french doors as morning sunlight enters the room and warms my body as I look out over an open field without any fear of being seen, breaking the law or the gender body taboo; or hike nude in the mountains with some friends.

So that’s where I am in life at this moment.

May it go well with you until next time!

E

Winds of Change: 316-296 days to go Part 1

I don’t even want to count how many days it’s been since my last post! This post has definitely been long overdue. I don’t know what it is with bloggers and thesis or dissertation writing. Despite our best intentions our thesis just seems to take up most of our time. We seem to channel all our energy into the work.

However, I must admit that it’s not only my thesis that’s been keeping me busy. I’ve had to confront a couple of character defects and inclinations during the past few weeks. I tried posting a couple of times but I guess I just wasn’t ready to post yet.

My accountability partner and I spoke for the first time in two weeks last week Wednesday when I had 300 days to go (DTG) to reaching a year of abstinence from pornography. I brought him up to speed and told him what I will share with you in this post.

But first, my dad’s eldest cousin died on Wednesday (300 DTG). We weren’t particularly close but I loved him. I was pretty shocked when my mom shared the news with me although I didn’t show any shock. My heart was quite heavy on Thursday (299 DTG) and Friday (298 DTG) to the point where I didn’t feel like doing anything. That all changed on Friday night.

My family was out so I had our home completely to myself. After putting on some worship music, I settled down. It was in that moment of resignation that I broke out in tears. The sense of loss could not be contained any more. I knelt down in prayer, thanked God for my cousin’s life and His Son’s life and cried for a while. When I got up from there, I felt so refreshed, so new, so consoled.

It’s amazing how grief affects a person. We’ve had deaths in our family before, but this was the first time I cried so wholeheartedly.

On Thursday and Friday (299 & 298 DTG) there were moments when I longed to look at porn or at least search for it. But thank God I did not seek comfort in the arms of lust. Yet, being in a I-just-want-to-get-it-over-and-done-with mindset and having searched for photos on Flickr about stuff I would like to do naked (no frontal and non-artistic nudes) for said reason, I tried to come up with all sorts of situations (excuses) in which I would like to experiences sin ropa. But after searching for photos with the string “morning+sun”, I quit. I would like to photograph a male nude (actually, I’d like to be the male nude) standing in the door with a cup of coffee as light from the morning sun streams into the room, lace curtains breathing in the wind as sunlight bathes his body in warmth. I didn’t find that photo but I found a similar one. I saw other nudes during my searches to which I just closed my eyes either skipping passed them to get to the photos I wanted to add to my collection of landscapes, cityscapes, nightscapes, and other scapes or exited the search to start another or to work.

The I-just-want-to-get-it-over-and-done-with mindset was brought about by my renewed interest in skimpy underwear—the male c-string, to be exact. I read reviews and comments on the garment to find out how comfortable it was. Is it painful to get an erection in one? And how practical is it really? How does it affect one’s urination routine? But the blogs and website provided no answers. I also checked out local online retailers of the male c-string to keep abreast with the prices and stock availability. I really wanted to buy but couldn’t bring myself to because of my present lack of income. But my frustration about searching for the c-string and not wanting to increased to the point where I decided to use some of the money I have to buy it. The male c-string is on its way.

Shortly after this, I decided to just get the skimpy underwear searches over and done with. After much thought and prayer I realised that there was one particular skimpy underwear I wanted—a strapless leather penis pouch. I saw it during my “men’s locker room” days (you can read about it here). Unfortunately for me, the pouch is so deeply buried in filth that after some censored exposure to extreme erotic underwear I just gave up. I decided that it wasn’t worth my time, effort, purity, and integrity to wade through the sewers of the Internet to find a hidden gem. I’d have dive very deep while its location is unknown. I thought I remembered the website where I saw it many, many years ago, but when I checked it out, it turned out not to be.

But, I wasn’t done. There were other thongs that I liked so I set out to find and add them to a watchlist. During the years, I developed a sense (of sorts) of knowing when a piece of underwear might be too risqué without having previously seen it. Because I wasn’t interested in how the undergarment looked per se as its description sufficed, I covered the photo with my hand. And I knew what I wanted.

So, when I went to the website on which I purchased the male c-string, I looked through the men’s underwear section for the type of underwear I would like to try. I favourited them and bought one. It came on Friday (298 DTG). To keep my mind from wandering I focused on my goal which was to find tight fitting, pouch undewear so that I can test their level of comfort and practicality for day-to-day life.

From this search I learned that I like underwear with form enhancing pouches that are slightly see-through and elastic. I have a few pairs of long johns that do not have pouches. I remembered now that prior to buying them I looked long and hard at the models on the cover of the boxes in which the long johns were packed to see whether the long johns had pouches. None of them had. So, I settled on the pairs I bought. Back then I thought that I was looking for a neurochemical hit, that I was being pervy, but now I think I was just unaware of my preference for underwear with pouches.

At this moment I have one thong among my collection of briefs, boxer briefs, boxers and long johns. I still prefer to “hang loose”. I wonder what a future girl friend or wife would think if I told her that I like wearing thongs. But, that’s for the future.

I will write a review on the thong and the male c-string. Whether I will post them on this blog is another story.

I celebrated my second masturbation abstinence anniversary on Wednesday (300 DTG)! To celebrate it, I hiked a trail close to campus and bought some ice cream the next day (299 DTG).

To be continued . . .

Winds of Change: 355-354 days to go

This post covers events and thoughts that happened yesterday (Good Friday) and the day before. I hope you have a wonderful Easter!

On the porn front

Well, this morning (354 days to go (DTG)) I had a slight mishap in which I accidentally saw a porn pic while browsing through people’s profiles on Twitter. Shocked, I placed my hand over the picture and pressed the back button as quickly as I could while closing my gaping mouth. It was not something I wanted to see neither did I think Twitter would allow such a photo as a profile pic. I’m glad I acted instinctively and did not linger.

Reading pleasure

I wanted to read the novel, A Daughter for Julia in two non-consecutive 30 minute periods yesterday, but I did not. Instead I researched snake anatomy and read a chapter or two of a book on the Celts which I picked up from the post office yesterday. So, I spent some time reading about the druids and their kings and chiefs. The author compares Celtic society to Indian society (from the Indian Peninsula in Asia) drawing a lot of parallels between the two cultures based on the etymology of Celtic words. Surprisingly, the roots of Celtic words have a lot in common with Sanskrit.

The rest of the day I spent reading through articles for my thesis and watching movies on TV.

A word on writing

While studying, i.e. reading articles for my thesis, I asked myself the question I had asked numerous times before: do I see myself doing this (writing) for the next 10 to 20 years? The answer that came from within was an emphatic ‘yes’. There was a self-assurance to the answer that had not been there before. When I began my studies in science I knew that I did not want to be a scientist forever. The image of being cooped up in a lab for 16-20 hours did not appeal to me. With writing I can plan, dream, daydream, feel free to ask for help, set goals and work towards them and, by God’s grace, inspire and encourage others. And that is what life is all about to me–using your talents to give God glory and encourage others in the process. All done with a self-reliance that this is what I’m meant to do.

There is the perspective that I’m lingering in my comfort zone. We hear so much about getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks and whatnot. Then, there are people like Marcus Buckingham who advise you to play to your strengths which in effect is sticking to your comfort zone. And yes, playing to your strengths does offer you a lot of room for growth, but true character is shown in how you manage your weaknesses. This build resilience and fits you for leadership because of the multitude of tools and coping mechanisms that adverse circumstances (e.g. exposure of your weaknesses) adds to your toolbox.

So, yes, writing might be my comfort zone–my strength–but descriptive writing, especially describing action scenes, is a weakness that I am prepared to master. One could also say that the lab or an academic institution is my comfort zone because I’ve been in school for more than 16 years. And to be honest I don’t care whether I’m in my comfort zone or not, as long as I reach the goals I set and help others along the way, ever learning in the school of Christ.

There remains one risk that I have to take. There’s one thing that I’m very afraid of and yet I need to experience it: dating and break ups. To be a writer of good fiction I need experience in the dating scene and break ups. So, when this year of porn recovery is done that will be my goal. I will embark on the dating scene, of romantic interaction with the fairer sex, with the aim of settling down (and gaining experience). But we’ll see how all of this plays out. It’s no use building castles in the air when the reality very different.

Your thoughts

So, what are your goals, wishes, and dreams as writers, musoes and creators? What do you wish to accomplish with your art?

Winds of Change: 360-356 Days To Go

Today (356 DTG (days to go)) I finished an article for next month’s update/edition of the website I write for. It wasn’t one of my best because I tried to find information on the link between two conditions in the scientific literature but found conflicting results. I am also under a lot pressure at work because I’m heading back to the lab next month. But I finished the first draft of the article.

Thought control

I also struggled to keep my thoughts under control as they tried to run off to start a new story about dragons, magic and the human descendants of those dragons who control the elements. My inspiration for this story, or this world I tried to invent, came from the research I did for a sculpture I will make.

The golden thread of truth

I also made the mistake of reading about Greek mythology. As much as I tried to find some coherency, some morality, some semblance of truth, or the golden thread of truth, I just couldn’t find any. Take the story of Arachne and Athena, for example. Arachne, Athena’s best student in her weaving school, became conceited. She boasted that she weaved better than the goddess. So, the gods arranged a contest in which the two could weave a tapestry on any theme. Athena wove about beauty, I think, while Arachne chose the gods’ sexcapades. Infuriated by Arachne’s choice of topic, Athena transformed her into a giant spider. Now my question is, why the double standard? Why be angry at a mortal for showing the rest of the gods what everyone knows to be “true”? Why not hold the gods responsible for their mistakes, if they are mistakes? Why are their gods so petty, envious, short tempered, mischievous, lecherous, debauched, cruel, etc.? Aren’t they supposed to be better than humans?

So, throughout the past couple of days, I’ve been reading about dragons, Greek/Roman dragons and the myths that surround them as well as their morphology and anatomy. (You now have a clue of one of the components of the sculpture I will make.)

A Daughter for Julia

In desperation to change the kind of stories I think up, I decided to spend 30 minutes every day reading a novel. Everything else I read is non-fiction or research based. So, today I began reading A Daughter for Julia by Netta Muskett.

On the porn front

On the porn front things are going well. The desire to look at pictures of naked people surfaced today and yesterday as I stressed about my work, the upcoming church youth camp, and the mini-campaign/prayer meeting series that follows the camp. To take a break from writing or just to clear my head, I performed some Flickr searches on bodies of water (waterfalls and lakes) and the activities surround them (swimming, jumping, diving, not bathing or showering), saw some dubious pics which I skipped passed them as quickly as I could.

On Sunday (359 DTG) I had a wet dream. (For those of you who have recently discovered my blog, I record the wet dreams I have to see how circumstances (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sexual and environmental) affect their frequency.)

So, things are going well. My relationship with God is good and He is helping me with my career and otherwise. Knowing that Frank (not his real name), my accountability partner, is rooting for me means a lot.

Seeking discipline

Right now, I’m trying to be more disciplined with stuff by making work now, play later my motto. I started today and it was tough! But, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither does discipline. Or as I like to say, “Something that’s ‘worth the effort’ doesn’t come without effort.”

Strange as it may sound, I think I have to win my trust first that there will be “play time” before I’m into a disciplined lifestyle with all my heart and soul. Therefore, I have introduced little “rituals” into my life such as brushing my teeth every night, moisturising my skin, spending time with God at the same time every night, getting a full night’s rest, reading a part of a novel for 30 minutes everyday when I get home, etc. I tried to make myself more disciplined a couple of years ago but failed quite dismally. I even made a chart, laminated it and recorded my faithfulness. Somehow it was easier to be disciplined in school.

So, that sums up the past few days for me. Hope you have a GREAT Easter weekend! Mine starts tomorrow after work.

The Matrix: Reloaded Revisited

Even though this post is not a work of genius (although I wouldn’t mind if it was), I feel compelled to write and share some of the stuff I picked up while watching The Matrix: Reloaded last night.

A few major events

The Matrix: Reloaded is the sequel to The Matrix and the second film of the trilogy. For a summary of the plot, you can read a synopsis here.

In short, in this film, Neo finds out that the Oracle is a program and is part of the Matrix, she helps him find the Architect–an AI program that designs the Matrix. The Architect answers Neo’s questions concerning the Matrix and his purpose. Agent Smith goes viral copying himself into a lot of people with the aim of killing Neo. We also see Neo save Trinity from death in a classic Superman and Lois Lane scenario. Zion is attacked by sentinels and its inhabitants slaughtered. A few ships survive Zion.

Themes

During the course of the film I picked up on the following themes. The film is rich in literary themes and the plot is well worked out.

1. Purpose. The whole trilogy of The Matrix movies centres around purpose specifically Neo’s. What is Neo meant to do?

2. Identity. Closely linked to purpose, the question of identity is one of the main driving forces of the film. In fact, it’s this search for identity that got Neo involved with Morpheus in the first place.

3. Truth. The two preceding themes are only two truths that drive us. In the first film, the reality of the virtual world is called into question. After Neo meets the Architect of the Matrix who explains Neo’s and the Matrix’s purposes to him, he realises that the prophecy is a lie. The Matrix is in its sixth incarnation as is Neo as the Machines grapple with understanding free will. Neo reveals to Morpheus the falseness of the prophecy towards the end of the film.

4. Self-sacrifice. A superhero movie would not be one if the hero impulse was not touched one or exploited. At the end of his meeting with the Architect, Neo is faced with the classic challenge of having to choose between saving the girl and saving the masses. He makes the unconventional choice of saving the girl.

5. Love. This theme is expressed through self-sacrifice. But Neo and Trinity’s love for each other drives and complicates the film too. It serves as good entertainment.

6. Choice. The problem of free will as revealed in Neo’s conversation with the Architect is something the Machines cannot understand. It is something the we humans cannot understand too. Everything in the film is driven by choice. It’s seen that even Mr Smith was given the ability to choose. (He chose to become a rogue program and to copy himself into a human-cyborg hybrid.) That said, predestination is rears its head too since Neo, we see, was designed to be the One. Morpheus was chosen to be Neo’s guide and Trinity our hero’s love interest. Neo was designed to be the anomaly born out of the sum total of all the wrong choices the citizens of the Matrix made. Neo’s existence was inevitable.

7. Belief. The more Neo knows about himself, the stronger he becomes. Everyone in the film believes something. Purpose and truth are only two things in which belief is manifested.

8. Understanding & knowledge. Although not always the same, the desire to know why things are the way they are, why Neo exists, why the Matrix exists, why Mr Smith keeps popping up, why Zion is being destroyed, and so forth, pervades the whole film. The Matrix exists to understand why the human race acted the way they did and to understand free will.

9. Fear. The fears of death and ignorance pervades the whole film. These are the most human of all fears.

10. Struggle for supremacy and freedom. These aren’t necessarily one and the same but in this “outside world” of the film, they are. The human race are subjects of the Machines. Their fight for freedom is limited by their fight for survival although one could say that their fight for survival is a fight to maintain their freedom. But what they do not know is that the Machines are controlling them giving the humans just enough scope to live but not enough to thrive. It is portrayed as if the humans and the Machines are in a war when the reality is the Machines have already won the war. The outside world is a controlled environment. Mr Smith’s obsession with killing Neo is another way in which the theme of supremacy is illustrated in the film.

The altruism test

One thing was clear, you had to listen carefully to what was said and what was not said. You had to listen carefully to Neo’s conversation with the Architect. At the end, Neo choosing to save Trinity should come as no surprise at all since whether he chose to save the masses then and there by his death or not, he was destined to die and so was Zion. His death was inevitable as was Zion’s. At Neo’s death, his body would be carried to the Source where his data would be downloaded and used to refine the seventh incarnation of the Matrix. A few humans would be released into the world driven by the need to build Zion. And the whole thing will start again.

Ties with Christianity

The whole trilogy seen from a theological perspective becomes even more interesting. Since Neo represents a Christ-figure, Morpheus John the Baptist, and Trinity Mary Magdalene (taken from The Da Vinci Code). Neo is the sum total of the bad choices and violence of humanity just like Jesus took the sins of humanity upon Him to die a vicarious death. The names of the people, places and ships hold a lot theological significance too.

The ultimate question

But the fundamental question is: why build the Matrix? Why do the aliens go to such lengths to destroy a society only to build a model to try and understand it? (I don’t know whether these question were ever answered in the trilogy.)

Conclusion

Fear, love, death, faith, freedom, control, choice and truth are the fundamental these the film explored. The Matrix is rich in symbolism and philosophy and superbly combines and explores the most important literary themes and truths. This, I think, is what made it a great success in addition to the media hype about it. The media played an integral role in promoting The Matrix trilogy using a human interest story to draw attention to it. The controversy and consternation the films created in the Christian community added to the films’ popularity.

As I said before, these are just a few observations I made while watching The Matrix: Reloaded last night. They aren’t worth much and only reflect the sense I’m trying to make of the world and of the movie.

What did you think about The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix trilogy as a whole?

Winds of Change: Day 180

The six months mark has come! Yahoooo! Whoopee! Yay! Hooraaa! Awesomeness! ^.^ 😀

Nakedness of purpose

This morning the thrill of the idea of sculpting with clay left me as I stood waiting for the train at the train station. I searched for that thrill internally but could not find it. All that remained was the cold, hard determination to learn the anatomy of things and people while replicating and slightly modifying the anatomy in the sculptures I will make. This state of mind is what I prayed for.

When the veneer of expectant and prospective bliss is stripped away, what is the substance of your passion?

I imagine the passing of the honeymoon stage in a romantic relationship to be the same. It’s this nakedness of purpose, this fundamental resolution to abide by your decision that, in my opinion, counts in life. It is this nakedness of purpose that undergirded my decision to be a writer instead of a scientist, to cut people who did not add any value to my existence and vice versa out of my life, to quit eating chocolates, to cut back on sugar, to quit porn and masturbation, to study Bible prophecy and church history, and many other principled decisions I have made in life. Experiencing this lack lustre, nakedness of purpose to sculpt is a good thing since it solidifies my choice. It sort of pre-empts the disappointments that will follow this course and the opposition I might experience from others.

I cannot help but see Christ requiring this same lack lustre, nakedness of purpose from us, if not a deeper kind of barrenness; to stand for the right though the heavens fall.

Today I paid for the sculpture and tree anatomy books I ordered yesterday. So I am fully committed to sculpting with clay. I also called a clay supplier and found out that they supply both hard and soft clay. I don’t know how soft the clays are but I have a pretty good idea of the degree of firmness I want. I might have to mix the two varieties. But we will see. The clay is the last thing on the list of materials I will buy last. The supplier sells clay by the kilogram at a very reasonable price. We’ll see how it goes though.

Health vibes

To help my colon pass the fecal matter that had me quivering, shivering, shriveling, and thank God not dribbling, on Tuesday (Day 179) I drank a glass of lemon water and two or three cups of chicory (I don’t drink coffee) throughout the day. These natural remedies in addition to prayer lifted my impedament.

Trail blazing

A couple of days ago, I realised that the kind of leadership book I want to read and learn from is biographical in nature. I learn best by following or not following the examples set by people. That’s how my parents raised me. I do like John Maxwell’s books. They helped me a lot in the past. Basically, he states a principle, explains it and then gives an example from his own life, sport, business, politics or the Bible. I don’t have a problem with that. But what I’ve encountered in my short life here on Earth is that sometimes I’m confronted with situations that I know others have been in, am faced with many conflicting principles and leadership styles and having to choose which sets to apply. Thus having a trailblazer’s example will help guide me in what to do or what not to do.

As I write this I realise that that is exactly what Christ is. He is the Trailblazer of the Christian. And I sense that this is one dimension of what it means to acknowledge Him in all your ways (Proverbs 3:6, paraphrased). But still it would be helpful to reason that such and such thought so, do thus, and this was the outcome therefore it is best to choose this course of action for these other reasons. Anyway, the Lord knows what I need to lead people and He will put me in touch with the right resources. I just pray I have the wisdom and foresight to choose the right course of action and thought.

Winds of Change: Day 74

Born to Blog

I just finished Born to Blog. I skipped about five chapters that are irrelevant at this moment since I’m a personal blogger and not a business blogger.

What I learned from the book was that Eleazar’s Writing Space (EWS) is a mixture of the three main blogging types: accountability, introspective and sharing. It’s an accountability blog because of the Winds of Change thread; introspective because some of the content of the Winds of Change thread is of that nature as is the contents of the Ramble thread. I also shared poetry and videos on here.

I took their Blogging Skills Test and discovered that I’m more of a teacher. When I came to the teacher skill part of the test, I was elated because I could actually answer all the questions with certainty as opposed to the hesitancy I felt when I answered the dreamer, persuader and curator blogging personality types. I scored 5 on the storyteller blogging personality type. I don’t know why because I like telling stories.

Now, I need feed back from you, dear reader. Which blogging personality do you think I have? Am I more of a dreamer, someone who dreams about the future and what could be? A persuader who does his best to win people over to his point of view or to buy his product? A curator who carefully collects information, photographs, videos, quotes, and other art for display and teaching purposes? Or am I a storyteller?

Feedback on Podacst

After posting Dare to Chair this afternoon, I checked my work e-mail account for new e-mails and saw that my boss and the scriptwriter gave feedback on programme 5 of the podcast series. They were satisfied with my acting but not with my colleagues’. They said that my colleagues sounded like they were reading (which they were) and that colleague #2 spoke too fast. The scriptwriter made some other comments which I didn’t read because I was about to leave work. I sent my two colleagues the e-mail which was only read by colleague #1. They were sad about the review. Being as upset as I was I just couldn’t resist saying, “I told you so.” They did not listen to me when told them on every time we recorded to practice together or at least just read through the script before we record. Their attitude shows in the quality of their work.

I was upset the whole evening and in a flat spin of sorts (sorry for the slang). A car goes into a flat spin when it hits an oil slick in the road. The car literally spins uncontrollably. That is how my thoughts were tonight as I read and processed the book I was reading. Simply put, I was looking for a place for poetry in my life and to see where EWS is going. I have to think some more.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Google Image Search has been tempting me to do gender segregated searches like “man+plume” or “hippy+chick”. I resisted the temptation and the moment passed. (Thank God!)

A lab report

I learned today that our cultures in lab are basically dead because one of the culturing components was of poor quality. So the student who has been feeding our cultures had to start a new one from freezer stocks. This sets us back another month since it takes that long under favourable circumstances to get the needed number of cultures to do an experiment.

All of these disappoints led me to binge on the sweets a little. I over did the sugary treats just a bit today. Tomorrow is another day though.

I pray that God will help me sort things out and show me the way forward. He did promise to do this, didn’t He?

Winds of Change: Days 68-71

This is the entry for Days 68 to 71.

Wow! It’s been four days since I last posted! These four days were insightful, to say the least.

Let me start off by saying that last night I spent some time in prayer and laid down a rudimentary roadmap of all the things I would like to learn (about) and the skills that will be useful to have as a (science) journalist. I also discovered what drives me.

Driving forces

But, let’s start with the driving forces. I am driven by three things and if you’ve been following my journal entries for some time, you would most probably have picked these up.

I am driven by the need to understand. Whether it’s to understand God, society, culture, people, attitudes, perspectives, religion, history, you name it, I’d like to understand it. That’s everything except sports. No matter how hard I try I just don’t understand people’s fascination with sports. My need to understand is driven by two questions, basically, how? and why?

I am also driven by the desire to know how and what others understand and experience and how those experiences compare with my own. People fascinate me. I like reading their stories and I love it when a speaker relates something personal. And I like reading about how people experienced things I experienced or want to experience. This is mainly driven by two questions: what can I expect? and did I act correctly?

The third driving force is to change others’ understanding for the better as far as it is within reason and my power to do so. This is the reason why I started sharing those videos with you and also one of the reasons why I blog. Those concepts and things that changed my perception for the better, I want to share with you, my reader. And I hope that what I write on Eleazar’s Writing Space will inspire someone caught in the grip of pornography and masturbation as well as negative attitudes. All this I aim to do without shoving my views down your throat and writing you off just because you don’t agree with me.

If I could summarise my hartstog, my ultimate desire, I’ll say, “I want to change the world and influence people to love the Lord.” Writing allows me to do this although it’s pretty difficult to be heard with so many voices calling for attention on the World Wide Web. But, I think that those whose ears are able to tune in to my frequency will pick it up. One thing that I should remember is that my words and my deeds must agree if my writings are to have the effect I desire. I must write with integrity.

I’ve been watching some videos on YouTube about science journalism to find out what it is like while searching for the top ten national and international science journalists. I’m a little shy and scared of contacting them because I don’t want to offend them, but you have to put yourself out there if you want to be successful.

An editing gig

Oh yes! It was my boss’ farewell lunch on Friday. We went to a posh buffet restaurant. I ate little but drank juice with my food (which I don’t usually do) and ended feeling bloated. I learned about our unit’s history and had a wonderful time with my colleagues and the people who meant a lot to my boss.

During the conversation at the table, a senior colleague congratulated my colleague on an article she wrote. The article is about an interview I did with one of our countries leading scientists. My job for this interview was to conduct it and edit it to a podcast. Now I usually write the accompanying article but because we’re busy recording a 13 episode health talk show (whose audio editing I do) I didn’t have time to write the article. My colleague did it and I edited it before she sent it to our boss/editor for further editing. The comment made me happy because I basically rewrote the whole article and my boss only made one change to it: she split a paragraph in two.

I thank God for helping me do this because before and while I edited the document, I asked Him to give me the wisdom to do an excellent job and He did.

Survey

I actually wanted to set up an online survey about nudity. But, then I realised that it’s just a ploy to keep me interested in nudity (good or bad). I wanted to know how you, my reader, experience nudity, what your attitude towards it is, and why you have this attitude. But, I thought the better of it. I know enough already.

That said, I would still like to do a survey. So, you can expect a “stock taking” survey in the month.

Conversation with my professor

Last night I had a very satisfying dream after mapping out my thoughts on pursuing a career in science journalism. The dream was about a conversation my professor and I had. In the dream I thanked him for his patience, apologised for not giving 100%, and explained to him why I prefer science writing over lab work. He appreciated it.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow (day 72) I’m going to buy two books on blogging and content creation. I’m also looking forward to learning HTML and maybe some Java.