Welcome to the erratic musings of a somewhat eccentric writer.
|Posted by donnadawson on July 4, 2014 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
I hunger for a church that follows all of the Biblical principals--not just the ones which are convenient. I hunger for a church which calls the older, wise men of the church to lead in spiritual growth. I don't believe in the term 'younger elders'. I believe Timothy was an exception to the rule. You know who Timothy is? He's the young man the apostle Paul said shouldn't be ruled out as an elder because of his young age. There are exceptions to the rule but they are rare. How do I know? Well, where are all the other 'young elders' that Paul thought qualified for the position? He listed one. There were no other names. Just one young man strong enough in faith and integrity to act as a spiritual leader. Out of all of the churches Paul wrote letters to--of the thousands who came to Christ in one sermon after another, Paul only mentions one 'young elder'. Why? Well, most young men are not seasoned in life. An elder of the older variety has seen much, has experienced much, is not as prone to falling under the temptation of pride, has proven his ability to lead his family, has shown he has a reputation for integrity and strong faith. 1 Peter 5 validates my argument by not using the terms 'elders' and 'young men' as one group.
I hunger for a church that doesn't elevate one person over all the others. According to Matthew 23:8 - 12 we are not to use the names 'Rabbi', 'Father' or 'Teacher' in reference to an elder who teaches the congregation and we are not to elevate one man over the others. It's very clear that 'whoever exalts himself will be humbled...' And then we wonder why those we put in position of 'pastor' fall to temptation. They've taken on a position that was never theirs in the first place.
I hunger for a church which keeps the marriage covenant in tact. Several places in the Bible state 'what God has joined together let no man separate'. Why do we feel that in order to learn the scriptures we must segregate? Why do we feel that there must be men's ministries and women's ministries when clearly God has made it plain that what he has joined together must stay joined together? We live in a world of separation and the church has mimicked that. People are hungry to repair their marriages but the church keeps them apart. Wouldn't it be better to teach couples together? Wouldn't it be better to have those couples learn in a program that also includes singles of both genders? It works in the worship service. Why can't it work in all the other programs? Separated learning is the lazy way for people to learn. Is God not big enough to work on people's hearts while their spouse is in the room? Yet, we continue to separate, unaware or uncaring that God made it a command and he will hold us accountable for separating those marriages.
I hunger for a church that understands that women aren't just an extension of men. Did you know that in God's name 'YHVH' both genders appear? The letter 'H' or 'hey' indicates gender when used in a name. 'Abram' became 'Abraham' and 'Sarai' became 'Sarah'. Both genders are present in the Holy Name of our God yet we have this idea that women are less than men. When we refuse to look at each other as equal shareholders in God's kingdom, we malign God's Holy name. The relationship between male and female is a direct reflection of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. Jesus submits to the Father but he isn't a door mat and the Father doesn't dominate him. That tells me the definition of submission needs to be reassessed.
I hunger for a church which delves into the historical and cultural history of Israel before flogging people with a scriptural principal. Did you know that a woman in ancient Israel who covered her head was a prostitute? Just read the account of Jacob and Tamar. Fast forward a few centuries and you will discover that the practice changed to mean just the opposite. In Jesus' time a woman with her head uncovered was a prostitute. The scriptures were simply telling us not to dress in a way which would give the world the impression that we were something other than what he called us to be. In today's world he would more likely say, "Don't walk around in tight clothes which reveal so much that you are causing men to stumble and you're advertising that you are available for a price." When Jesus said it was better to lose and eye or a hand than to be left out of the kingdom, he wasn't kidding. Still today, in some middle eastern countries a thief has a hand cut off for stealing and a man caught looking at another man's wife gets his eye gouged. My father could validate this because he lived in the middle east and saw it happen. Jesus' point wasn't to permit the practice. He was simply using a daily example of life to illustrate that it is better to submit to a harsh punishment than to allow oneself the luxury of sin. He is referencing the portion of scripture in Matthew 18 where he talks about how much he values little children. This portion is full of innuendo. This verse is a subtle reference to pedophiles and child molesters. Jesus is telling them it is better for them to submit themselves to the harsh punishments of the day than to cause a child suffering. I couldn't agree more. Imagine the world we'd have if every pedophile and child molester submitted himself for treatment.
I hunger for a church where prayer is the focus. We are the bride of Christ but we rarely talk to him. How long would a marriage last if the bride never talked to the groom? Not long, I should think. Perhaps the decay of the North American church is a direct result of our refusal to pray consistently and pointedly for our leadership, our own faith relationships, our ministries etc. I hunger for this kind of church. Will I find it? Probably not. There are too many 'pastors' who wish to remain in the lime light. There are too many 'young elders' who are easily manipulated into places where scriptural truth can be watered down. There are too many apathetic congregants satisfied to fill a pew and are never concerned about their part as prayer warriors. There are too many men who look down at women and too many women who look down at men instead of both working together as equal partners in the faith. I hunger for a real church--a church where Jesus is the Pastor, Father, Teacher and Rabbi and we commune with him together in prayer and worship.
|Posted by donnadawson on June 30, 2014 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
Where It All Began
by Donna Fawcett (c) 2007
I suppose my fascination with farming began back in my single digit years. I remember the day clearly. My uncle had a show horse by the name of Royal. Since I had been bitten by the horse bug in vitro, it was inevitable that I would ask if I could ride said horse. The response–"if you can saddle the old coot you can ride ‘im.”
I’m one for a challenge. Never mind the fact that I was probably closer to four feet tall than five feet. Never mind that I was wearing flip flops and shorts. Never mind that the saddle outweighed me by half again my weight. And so, with much cajoling, I suckered my cousin into helping me lift the heavy contraption of leather and wood up onto the waiting back of the tall animal.
No one told me that a saddle had to fit snug–that it had to be drawn tight around the girth. No one told me that it required a great amount of balance to stay in the saddle at the best of times–never mind the one time that it sat with loose and dangling straps and buckles. And I’m not so sure I would have listened anyway. The call of the wild pulsed through my arteries giving me a high that no narcotic could ever touch.
I pulled the horse over to the fence and scrabbled up onto the top most rail. With a mighty jump, I hurled myself onto that saddle and clutched a handful of mane to keep from sailing over the other side. I’d done it. I’d mounted the great and majestic Royal and my cousin stood on and watched in impressed silence.
The silence gave way to a soft chuckle as I nudged Royal away from the rail. It appeared that from where my cousin stood, the horse moved but the saddle didn’t--as though the equine beast walked out from under it. The cinch strap hit the gelding’s nether parts and that’s when things went south.
Ever wonder why bucking broncos buck so hard? Notice a strap tied around their loin area? There’s a reason for that strap. It kind of tightens around certain parts of the equine anatomy and causes the urge to jump around as though the horse is wearing a diaper full of ants. Well a saddle cinch can have the same kind of effect. And did.
I’m sure I stayed on the full eight seconds before the saddle came unglued. Both I and the leathery contraption found ourselves airborne–but not nearly long enough. If I had my way, I’d still be hovering ever so gently over that paddock; bucking horse cavorting around harmlessly beneath me. But what goes up must come down. We–the saddle and I–landed with a cracking thud. I saw stars–and then hooves. I scrambled to free my feet of the stirrups and rolled under the fence while my uncle’s saddle received a thorough trouncing.
One would think that I would get quite a tongue lashing over such an ordeal. My uncle seemed to think it worth the price of a saddle just to hear my cousin tell the tale. And so my journey into the agri-world began.
|Posted by donnadawson on June 27, 2014 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
Tada! As promised 'Between Heaven and Earth' is officially released to the public. Buy it here and I'll sign it for you. Great for summer reading.
|Posted by donnadawson on March 25, 2014 at 8:10 AM||comments (3)|
All you wonderful readers who have asked me when my next book is coming out--well I can now say--very soon. I thought you might like to have a look at the cover. I'm excited about this one. It's very much unlike my typical suspense novel.
Carmen McGuinty--pastor's daughter--is a rebel of the highest degree. When her joy ride with drug dealer Zach Tarquez ends in a collision, Carmen finds herself in a place somewhere between earth and eternity. Her journey with the angel Malakh reveals much about her life as it is and how she will cope with the scars of her folly.
|Posted by donnadawson on March 10, 2014 at 8:15 AM||comments (4)|
I just finished a novel entitled 'Between Heaven and Earth'. If you are interested in reading a portion of it and voting on it I invite you to go to the authonomy.com website at http://authonomy.com/books/47952/between-heaven-and-earth/
Carmen McGuinty is a pastor's kid with attitude. She hates that her dad is so involved with the church. She connects with the local drug dealer in spite of warnings from her childhood friend Dalton Penner. When the drug dealer causes a car accident, Carmen finds herself in a place between Heaven and earth. In her comatose state she faces who she really is. It isn't pretty.
I hope this has given you enough to make you want to visit the authonomy page.
|Posted by donnadawson on February 24, 2014 at 7:10 AM||comments (1)|
February 24 - Advice I'd give a Newbie Writer
Don't write a thing until you have taken courses! New writers often bulldoze ahead, slapping words and phrases down on paper, calling them stories, like a child slaps fistfuls of mud onto a slab of cardboard and calls it meat pie. Is the pie edible? Possibly. Is it palatable? If you are an earthworm.
New writers are so in love with the idea of writing they often toss aside the foundations of writing just to get their ideas on page. Is it wrong? No but it certainly can be a waste of time.
Learn first! The child who scribbles numbers across a page assuming it is a complex algebraic solution is no less overzealous then the writer who spews streams of words without first learning what holds them together in spell-binding story craft.
When the writer learns the importance of phrase sequence, plot, sub-plot, characterization, setting, grammar, ebb and flow of theme—when that is absorbed through the osmosis of education—then the writer can truly offer their gift.
|Posted by donnadawson on February 11, 2014 at 12:20 AM||comments (5)|
Find the rest of the blog tour here.
February 10 - Character Sketch of My Hero
It's difficult to describe my hero because I've never actually seen him but I can give you his attributes. He is stern when needed and gentle the rest of the time. He loves without question even when I hurt him. He doesn't see me as a servant or a female or a Canadian or white. He sees me as a reflection of himself—a tainted reflection. He ignores the taint and loves me as though I am perfect. He forgives me each time I fail him which is sometimes moment by moment. He offers me advice when I need it and gives me comfort when no one else can. He holds my hand in the darkness and guides me into bright sunshine.
I don't know his hair colour or the shade of his irises. I can't tell you how tall he is; whether he strides through a room or saunters. I can't tell you much about his actual being other than his name but I have no doubt that Jesus loves me. He is my hero.
|Posted by donnadawson on January 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM||comments (7)|
My greatest writing tool is my computer. I have the world sitting in a box waiting for me to access it if I need. It allows me to accumulate information—research—so my stories can be accurate. It allows me to fly through thoughts, transferring them to files before they skitter away from me.
Then there is my solitude. People assume that a person who spends much time alone is not healthy. It's pretty hard to write a book when the social calendar is full. I need places where I can go to ponder, to allow my imagination free rein, to sift through plots and subplots.
My final, most important, writing tool is a note pad complete with pen. I'm sure if the average person found my scribblings they would wonder if I had ever learned the English language in the first place. The note pad can contain full sentences but rarely does. Usually it is a word or three—just enough to trigger my memory. The reader of that note page might see a list: nose, flared, bent, bridge like hawk's beak. Just enough stuff there to give me a picture—refresh my initial line of thought.
|Posted by donnadawson on January 15, 2014 at 7:55 AM||comments (2)|
I saw him as a red blur from the corner of my eye. I was supposed to be focusing on the music swelling around me--songs of praise, triumph and love. The cardinal's crimson flash shattered my determination in the single flick of a pinion and I turned my head to marvel. His ruddy plumage contrasted the alabaster crystals dusting the dead and crumbling blooms of the butterfly bush outside the window. A growing wind gripped their spindled arms and waved them in mimicry of the puppeteer's command. The cardinal flitted again hopping from one branch to another. Ebony eyes peered through the glass studying the strange sight of this large room filled with voices lifted in song. As though keen to join in the chorus--to perhaps show us all what true song is--he leapt. The small body thudded against invisible glass sending a ripple of shock and vibration through rumpled feathers. He found his perch again. Cocking his head from side to side he studied the unseen barrier and leapt again. The results were the same.
I watched as the cardinal jumped over and over again and my mind screamed at him to wait! To let me open the window so he could join in the praise! I didn't move. No one would thank me for letting the bird find its freedom in the chaos of noise and bodies. The bird didn't understand that the song would cease upon his entrance, replaced by the scurrying and reaching of hands to shoo this visitor back into the cold.
I thought about how alike we were--are. I come to the edge of what I think I need--what I want. An invisible hand restrains me. I see and hear what I think is beauty--what I should have--and I leap at it--fighting the hand that keeps me from the chaos and the grasping fingers. I don't understand. I get angry. I persist in my stubbornness and I slam against his will again and again--and again. I lose sight of the bruises I cause. I push through the pain of displaced plumage. I persist in spite of a growing awareness that I will never succeed in going to a place He will not allow me to find.
It takes the wisdom of a fellow worshipper to bring resolution. He draws the blind--blocks out the view--opens the bird's eyes to barrier and the stubborn, beautiful cardinal becomes aware of what has kept him from his goal. He takes flight and leaves us--turning his back on that which is harmful to him.
I am grateful for a God who sets the barriers in place and when I persist in my stubbornness, he draws the blinds.
|Posted by donnadawson on January 7, 2014 at 3:20 PM||comments (13)|
Writing has always been easy for me. It should be. Any gift God gives should feel easy to do. Does that mean I shouldn't work at it? Just the opposite. When God gives a gift it is with the intention of using it for his glory.
I like to use the example of the Queen of England. Perhaps she has read one of your stories and has decided she likes your writing. Her personal assistant contacts you and gives you guidelines for a topic about which the Queen would like you to write. Do you slap something together? Probably not. Most likely you would sweat for hours over each word; each punctuation mark; each subtle innuendo.
For 2014 I have decided to set the goal for myself to write best. It's easy to try to write better. I want to write best and not just for those who read what I write. I want to write best for the One who gave me the gift to write. I want every letter to glorify Him who created each one.