NO. 6: AND TO CONCLUDE: A little less conversation, a little more action please, or so long and thanks for all the fish

So, for the last time, this is why I’m writing this, part 1.

Thanks to everyone who read even part of this, like I said, I just needed to say a few things…

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My verses for life are:  

Psalm 73: 21-26 

     21  Once I was bitter and brokenhearted.

22 I was stupid and ignorant,and I treated you as a wild animal would.

23 But I never really left you, and you hold my right hand.
24 Your advice has been my guide, 
and later you will welcome me in glory.


25 In heaven I have only you, 
and on this earth you are all I want.
26 My body and mind may fail, 
but you are my strength
and my choice forever.

Hebrews 12: 1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The words I hope to live by:

Micah 6:8 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good And what does the Lord require of you? 

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

James 1:27 
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

grace

History is unfolded revelation, thank God, we are in an era of Grace.

Faith comes by hearing. I wondered for a long time why I found it so hard to read my bible. So instead, I downloaded an app and started listening to it. A bit like Shakespeare, you need to hear it first before you can really study it. As he says, “By faith I love you not with mine eyes. For they in thee I thousand errors note. But tis my heart that loves what they despise”. Gotta love Shakepeare. Or whoever. Doesn’t really matter.

The internet is great but we need to have self discipline to use it well.

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Star Wars is pretty much true, but the sides are not equal. It may not seem it, but it is. That’s what makes this whole thing a nail biter. Yoda is right, Do or do not do, there is no try.

I love the Lord of the Rings. And Zoolander. And Strictly Come Dancing. And Top Gear (I’d really, really like to drive a good car very fast on a European mountain). And 30 Rock, RIP. The fact that Alec Balwin narrates Thomas is an everyday joy in our house. 

If you want to see how evil slowly and subtly corrupts, watch The Godfather 1 and 2. Still some of my favourite movies of all time, though I know its a cliche. 

Romeo and Juliet is about us. We bicker over small things and are killing our children cos we can’t get on.

Try to see U-Carmen eKhayelitsha (Carmen in the click language of South Africa), its great. 

Dark comedies are brilliant because they come close to the funny tragedies that are our lives. Anything by the Cohen brothers basically.

Exodus by Julie Bertanga really helped me to see a place that I was familiar with in a different way. Dear Mr God, this is Anna is a great book, the most simple and complex book I’ve read (I’ve still got a lot of reading I’d like to do). Its just like us. Simple and complex at the same time.

I love Les Mis (or Tres Mis, Johnboy), I’ve seen the show 4 or 5 times with my mum and I could see it so many more times. “One day more”– it may be all we have, and “to love another person is to see the face of God” – did anyone say it better?

When I survey the wondrous cross and Amazing Grace are my favourite hymns.  

I just found Paul Simons album, So beautiful or so what. Its wonderful. He says it so much better than I ever could. Pretty much every word he writes in that album resonates deeply for me right now. Even to the point that I made a proper chicken gumbo, something that I had never done before, the evening that I bought the album. I didn’t even know I was going to buy it, it was a spur of the moment thing at half price books.   One of the songs is just like me with my daughter, he sings,  I loved you the I first saw you. And maybe my husband couldn’t say that to me, which hurt for a long time, but, even better, my God says it to me instead. He says it over all of us, we just find it so hard to believe.

And the queen songlove of my life, that’s for me too.

  

And the song He is jealous for me.

Years ago, I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of the culturally important places in Japan, with a group of 30 ‘promising’ other young Europeans. I met an excellent Fin, a few grumpy Spaniards (they couldn’t get their coffee because the Japanese were in such a hurry to take us everywhere), and a horny Dutch fella, amongst others. As is the way, when you are in Japan, we went to karaoke, which I LOVE, and sang this song. 

  

 If you were to have looked in on us, you may have thought it cheesy, but it was fantastic, just like this is. I love the work of so many folks in this video. I’ve no idea what was going on with Micheal Jackson, and we’re not meant to worship men, but I think maybe he was  really special, gentle, talented person, who like all our heroes, we idolised too much. Our modern day prophets that we have persecuted to the point of death. 

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Sometimes my daughter and I find it hard to get to sleep. We are too excited about the world. For us to sleep well, we need darkness, peace and mostly quiet. We also need to breath slower and deeper, and relax. Unlike the hokey cokey, maybe that is what it’s all about?

We’re not meant to have all the answers. In fact we can only handle a day at a time. At most, 7 days. 24/7. Which just happens to be my birthday.

And yes, evil exists, you really need me to tell you that? See The Usual Suspects. But I fear no evil. In the world I will have trouble, but he leaves me his peace, that where he is I may be. He is no match for God, just like in Job, but he uses smoke and dangers to make us think he is bigger than he is because that’s all he can do. It’s like the wizard in the wizard of oz behind the curtain – he doesn’t want us to see how small and silly he is, and doesn’t want us to laugh at him. He corrupts the beautiful with half truths and makes them feel bad about listening to him. Every temptation he tries, and he keeps trying, is the same as what he tried with Jesus.

The women of the bible are wonderful. But I have the biggest respect for Mary (although I think she would be horrified that we thought it was better to pray to her, rather than her son). She says in Luke, ‘All things are possible with God’. Did we ever need to learn any more than that?

I think heaven will look a little bit like this – people we didn’t think we knew welcoming us home from our long journey, to a place of rest, joy, wonder, love and unimaginably cool things.

I love the song at the end of Bugsy Malone, “If you give a little love then it all comes back to you” – we should have more pie throwing fights and then sit around singing. Please play it at my funeral, which should have lots of  good food and wine, especially tiramisu, profiteroles and maybe some sashimi as I love it so much. And balloons and bubbles. And maybe some horses. Are baby orangutans too much? And no black. 

We have made many troubles for ourselves that God never intended us to have. Life has more sorrow than sometimes is bearable but death really isn’t the end. I’m pretty darn sure of that. Romans 8 says it all. 

Money makes the world go round, but love is all you need.

There is more, but I really should shut up now.

fish