Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

John 2:5

2010 is almost here.

I don't usually make resolutions; at least, I haven't for the past few years. But I was reading through some of my life journal entries for the last year and the following one resonated with me.

"...His mother said to the servants "whatever He tells you to do, do it.'"

Such a simple statement. Eight words. Three that are the most important.

#1 - Whatever.

The word "whatever" covers a huge area. It could mean that the Lord wants you to go to India for the rest of your life or maybe He just wants you to reach out to your next door neighbor. Or maybe He wants you to stop beating yourself up.

The Lord could ask anything of you.

How do we do it, whatever "it" is? Mary knew that her son was also the son of God. And we know it too. Behind those eight words there is a universe of attributes - who Jesus is, what He can do, what He has done, what He will do.

#2. - Do it.

Like the Nike commercial - "just do it." Don't whine, complain, or feel sorry for yourself. A miracle might be waiting. And even if it's not a miracle - why not obey the One who made you? Who knows you better than you know yourself?

Lord, in 2010, help me to just "do it".

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009


"...in Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

And the light shines in the darkness..."

John 1:4

Wishing all my friends and family a blessed Christmas filled with light.

If you haven't heard of it yet, check out the website below. It might make you want to change a few things next Christmas. http://www.adventconspiracy.org/

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blacksmithing

When I was researching my first book, Ciara's Tale, I learned a tremendous amount about blacksmithing and charcoal making.

Blacksmithing is an ancient art. One of the oldest references to blacksmithing is from the Bible, Genesis 4:22:

"...Tubal Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron..."

The word "blacksmith" comes from 2 sources: black, because iron was the "black" metal. And "smith" comes from smite, which means "to hit".

In ancient times, blacksmiths were regarded almost as gods because of the mysterious way they used earth (iron ore), water, wind and fire to produce iron.

We don't think much about this now but in other times, without a blacksmith to make the swords and knives, the plowshares and hoes, the pots and pans and hooks - there would be none of the instruments people needed to live and produce food and defend themselves.

In the time period of Ciara's Tale, which is early 5th century, the blacksmith would have had his smithy out in the open, away from other buildings. He would have used a leather apron and his clothing would have many singed holes in it. His biceps and forearms would be immense with muscle from swinging a heavy hammer all day. Burns in various stages of healing would cover his hands and arms.

I have a blackmith character in Ciara's Tale. In May of 2005, I corresponded with a blacksmith named PawPaw Wilson, who helped me get the finer points of blacksmithing correct and critiqued some of my writing.

I also corresponded with some of the fellows of an interesting website called AnvilFire. They offered lots of helpful information, even trying to help me figure out what the smell of freshly "quenched" iron was like. (That's when the hot iron is plunged into water to cool it.) Check out their website: www.anvilfire.com.