Tag Archives: Jesus

Classic Monday: Fishie Update!

Classic Mondays are posts about whatever classic work of literature I happen to be reading at the time. Mostly, this is for my own benefit as a “reading log” of sorts, but those who need a little help through these sometimes-intimidating books or want to know more about them before diving in may find these posts useful. But be warned: full disclosure and lots of spoilers ahead!

FINALLY, right?  I’ve been itching to read The Big Fisherman and to write about it for awhile, but circumstances are a real pain in the patoot.  Anyway, I read chapters eight and nine, so here goes:

In chapter eight, Fara begins work at the palace.  She gets along with others easily, and the work is enjoyable.  Then she learns that John the Baptist is being held prisoner there.  She offers to take him his meals, and they are able to speak openly once again; she is even able to offer him time in the sun, which he has not seen in weeks or more.  She tells him about seeing the Carpenter, that he speaks of peace and love rather than overthrowing the government and wrath as John had expected.  John sends her to see him again, telling her to say that John the Baptist wonders if he is the one or should he look for another (sound familiar?).

Simon also went to see the Carpenter, yet again.  Simon is living on his boat, his head racing.  He is convinced that he will befriend the Carpenter and offer to keep the masses from piling on him so.  The Carpenter has something else in mind: Simon sees him on the beach and joins him there.  The Carpenter tells him to follow and though Simon admits how sinful he is, the Carpenter simply says

“I have come to save sinners, my son” (225).

Goosebumps, no?  Simon follows him along the beach and they collect James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

And then, we go back to Voldi.  Have I mentioned Voldi yet?  I didn’t pay much attention to him in the beginning, and I was ready to dismiss him again.  But he gets into a thrilling battle with a horse thief while searching for Fara, and I couldn’t help but enjoy following his storyline.  You see, Voldi is in love with Fara and knows that she set out to kill her father.  He is determined to find her and is hot on the trail.  Then he meets up with a Roman aristocrat and they strike up a friendship in which Voldi bares all.

But here’s the kicker: the Roman is on his way to pick up Antipas the Tetrarch, Fara’s father.  And Voldi gets to come along.

And so the plot thickens!

P.S. I would love to hear from anybody else reading a classic…whatcha reading?

Classic Monday: Fishie, chapter 7!

Classic Mondays are posts about whatever classic work of literature I happen to be reading at the time. I shoot for reading five chapters a week (one per weekday), then share what I have read here. Mostly, this is for my own benefit as a “reading log” of sorts,but those who need a little help through these sometimes-intimidating books or want to know more about them before diving in may find these posts useful. But be warned: full disclosure and lots of spoilers ahead!

Well, I really didn’t expect to be able to write today: my family was supposed to be in-state to visit a culinary school my little brother is interested in (oh to have a chef in the family–I can hardly wait!), and we were going to join them in that city for a little hotel getaway.

Blizzard of 08

And then they got snowed in.  And our getaway went Poof.  So long.  Sayonara.  No pool time, along-with-the-hubster time, no visit-with-mom time, no dinner out, no free continental breakfast.

Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

Blog instead.

So, chapter seven of The Big Fisherman is all I got through this week, but it was pretty good.

The beginning follows Fara on a visit to the home of David, the Sadducee who suspects who she is.  Alone in the garden, she confesses everything to him–even her plans to kill Antipas the Tetrach, her father.  David advises against it, stating that it is impossible…unless she were to work at the palace.  Later, we find out that she has taken a position there at David’s urging (so it’s obvious he’s not a huge fan of Antipas–though the book shows that nobody is).  Hannah worries about Fara because the palace is such a morally compromised place, and that is all we see of Fara for now.

Simon has once again gone in search of the Carpenter (that is, Jesus), and his heart seems to be changing: when he sees the crippled and lame who are searching for Jesus, Simon hopes that He is the real deal because he pities them.  And doesn’t every follower of Christ know this feeling?  The deep-down heart change that can’t be explained until Jesus grabs hold?

While Simon is trying to find Jesus, he has a brush with a prince: Joseph of Arimathea.  The author portrays him as young and arrogant, angry at Simon when he alludes to the fact that the Carpenter pities the rich.  Joseph and his men follow the crowd, too, to listen.

The way the author describes Jesus’ preaching is reason alone to read this book.  If you haven’t already gotten the hint from my previous posts, you must read this book.  Anyway…as the sermon draws to a close, a woman asks Simon to help get her blind daughter to Jesus to be healed.  The crowd is too thick, so Simon takes the girl in his arms and pushes through.  He sees Jesus face-to-face for the first time and the author’s description gave me chills:

“And now–now–at last–he stood face to face with the strange man of Nazareth, close enough to have touched him….He looked down into a pair of tranquil, steady, earnestly inquiring eyes.  They held him fast; they brightened with a friendly smile, almost as if two long-time companions were meeting after a separation….

It was such a gentle gesture that it seemed like a caress when Jesus laid his hand lightly upon the little girl’s eyes….At the touch of Jesus’ hand, she relaxed and drew a babyish sigh of relief and reassurance.  Simon’s eyes suddenly swam blindingly as Jesus’ forearm rested on his own.  It was a strange sensation.  he knew now what it was that had suddenly soothed the child and freed her of her fears.

Jesus was praying.  He had closed his eyes, and was praying in a soft voice barely above a whisper.  His prayer was made to his “Father,” and it was as if they two were closeted together in some secret place.  In a tone of intimate companionship and confidence he asked his Father to give this little one her sight, for it was through no fault of hers that she could not see.  Then–and there was a note of sadness and longing in his voice–he prayed that all men everywhere, groping in the shadows, might be led into the bright sunshine of his Father’s love….

Simon thought he couldn’t bear it–when it happened.  He gasped involuntarily and stifled a sob.  The incredible thing had happened!  It was impossible–but it had actually happened!  Jesus had gently moved his hand from the child’s eyes and…she had slowly raised her wondering eyes to his–and smiled.  Then, turning her head, she gazed bewilderedly into Simon’s face; and, seeing his tears, her own little eyes overflowed.

As I said before, you must read this book.  And even the haughty Joseph of Arimathea was amazed by the things he saw.  As the story gets better and better, you can bet I’ll have more chapters to report on next Monday!

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3 Radical Dates

Let me start by saying that if the weather has made your marital communication a bit stale, Radical is a great way to make the conversation flow again.

Here’s all we did:

  1. Sat down together.
  2. The Professor read the chapter out loud.

Yes, you heard…well, read that correctly: it’s a simple, two step process!  And–wait for it–it can be re-applied to any book you’d like!

Anyway, moving on to our conversation–today we will cover just chapter one.

The author tells stories to contrast churchgoing in America and places where the church is persecuted: it is a far easier decision to make when you are going to somewhere comfortable, socially acceptable, and even fun, but would I still travel to worship with others if it were costly, dirty, crowded, stiflingly hot, or overwhelmingly sad?

The Professor and I love the church we attend, we really do.  But we see now that we need to do more; we need to be willing to get dirty, to get down in the trenches with those who are struggling, suffering, feeling lost and alone.

Jesus says to love your neighbor, and so we started looking for opportunities to love in our community.

Pookie is too little to take to homeless shelters (rules and such), though that is where my heart has always been.  Food pantries are wonderful, but how will we be able to put words to our Gospel-actions there?

Thank the Lord for Google: just up the road from us–within stroller-walking distance when the weather is warmer–is a nursing home.  A nursing home full of people who need to be loved and seen and heard and cared for.   Tomorrow, Pookie and I are meeting with their volunteer liaison, who is going to introduce us to some residents who don’t often get visitors; the Professor will join us for the next visit.

If anyone asks why we are there, I already have my answer:

Jesus said to love your neighbor, and we live just down the street.

Where and how can you love today?

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