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The everything board / Sermon for Easter 5C at Wellington this morning
« on: April 24, 2016, 02:54:36 PM »
Readings:
Psalm 148, Acts 11:1-18, Revelation 21:1-6
Gospel John 13:31-35


SERMON:
(Wearing T shirt with Uniting Church logo + ‘Uniting for the Common Good’)
 
Before I start—2 things—
 
Firstly; You may have noticed this shirt I am wearing during the Family talk. —I tried to get a WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) or an ‘Ask me about Jesus’ type T shirt but couldn’t in Orange op shops on Wednesday—in the Christian bookshop I was told that Jesus T shirts are long gone out of fashion. —this one comes close and as we said—This shirt identifies me as a Uniting Church Person.
 
I’ll come back to this later.
 
So the family are driving along in the car—it’s a long journey and somewhere along the way one of the kids asks that fatal eternal question. “Are we there yet?”
 
Of course Dad’s answer is pleasant “it’s a while yet—just be patient”
 
Five whole minutes pass and a voice from the back seat asks again “Are we there yet?”
 
“It’s a long way—you’ll have to wait like the rest of us”
 
Of course you all know where this is going—pretty soon it is a chorus “are we there yet, are we there yet…”
 
Dad looks angrily at mum as if it is her fault.

He slows the car, pulls off the tar and stops.
 
 He turns round in his seat?
 
Who hasn’t heard this reading of the riot act?
 
“Right—I have had it. It is a long way—I am not putting up with you asking ‘Are we there yet’ every ten seconds. We won’t be there till dark. If one more person asks ‘are we there yet’ I will stop the car and put you all out and you can walk. You got that?”
 
They drive along for something like 15 minutes in total awkward silence.
 
Then a thin little voice comes from behind “Is it dark yet?”
 
I’ll come back to this too.
 
I used part of Psalm 148 this morning as our call to worship.
 
God commanded, our Psalmist says in the first half of the Psalm, and the sun, moon, stars, heavens … were created. At God’s Word they were put in their place and they all cry out in praise.
 
The psalm goes on to describe the more earthly parts of creation.
 
Verses 7 to 10
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
    sea monsters and all ocean depths;
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    strong winds that obey his command.
9 Praise him, hills and mountains,
    fruit trees and forests;
10 all animals, tame and wild,
    reptiles and birds.

 
Good and bad, wild and tame—and I note reptiles in there—I’d go so far as to say Unclean and Clean—all things praise him.
 
11 Praise him, kings and all peoples,
    princes and all other rulers;
12 young women and young men,
    old people and children too.

 
All people, from the top to the bottom of the pecking order.
13 Let them all praise the name of the Lord!
 
And then God’s own people unite in praise too.
14 He made his nation strong,
    so that all his people praise him—
    the people of Israel, so dear to him.
Praise the Lord!


The message is there for Peter to see but he doesn’t get it. Well, not right away at least.
 
Peter is so wrapped in tradition that he forgets the words of the Psalm—all these things are God’s and praise God, but when commanded to take and eat; Peter proudly, defiantly, says. ‘No way God! Nothing profane has ever touched my lips.’
 
One, two three times Peter denies the possibility (There seems to be a Peter pattern here with the three times thing)
 
I reckon Peter may have been able to remain stuck there but for God’s intervention.
 
11At that very moment …

11At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were.
 
Of course all this is in the past tense—Right now Peter was trying justify his change of prejudice—from the very same position he had held. Prejudice about food, prejudice about race, Prejudice about who could be God’s disciples… and he’s being seriously questioned, read attacked,  by a group of high minded church folk who accused him pretty much of fraternizing with the enemy—‘I mean these people were the Gentiles and you are not just speaking with them but <shock—horror> you are talking about eating their food’.
 
And guess what: These officious questioners were not the Jewish hierarchy—these were the good New Testament Christian Church people in Jerusalem——seems the church has always had them.
 
So they heard Peter’s story and I’d infer from the reading that he had another six brother witnesses along—They heard his revelation that the Holy Spirit had come upon the Gentiles in exactly the same way as their own experience.
 
We heard his impassioned plea—and for Peter it must have been a great turning point.
17If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?”
 
Now a new relationship of kinship in the family of Christ suddenly becomes possible.
 
18When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”
 
This is a ‘Wow!’ moment in Christendom. I believe it is the same realization of family which started the dismantling and eventual abolition of slavery.
 
That this person is a creation of God just like me, worthy of God’s love,  saved and adopted into Gods kingdom just like me—a Brother or sister follower of Jesus—well it was and it is a world changing revelation.
 
Let’s skip ahead to the Revelation reading—to the time described by John when the New Jerusalem, the New Heaven and the New Earth are created—something else is new—a far closer relationship between God and Us—when God again dwells amongst his people as he did in Jesus—but a whole lot better.
 
4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”
 
Sounds heavenly doesn’t it—We pray for it to be so often, and we will again in our prayers of the people, We pray, perhaps not realizing the magnificence and wonder of what we ask.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

 
And perhaps not realizing the implication (because it isn’t quite spelt out) that working at this is our daily bread as much as the physical food we eat.
 
Jesus said to the disciples after the Last Supper;
34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
 
Well, was it actually a New Commandment at all—In Matthew 22, When a lawyer asked Jesus a question to test Him, 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
I seem to remember Jesus reply;
"'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'
38"This is the great and foremost commandment.

 
39"The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF.'
 
What then was different to make it a NEW commandment?
 
Jesus added something:
34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
 
As we know from this Easter season, this was a great love—not just love as we love ourselves but love beyond self—self sacrificing Love. It was love—not to the Letter of the Law but Love taking the spirit of the Law as far as humanly possible and beyond.
Matthew 5, Jesus speaking:
40"If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41"Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 
 
Jesus love went so much further even than that—all the way to the cross.
 
And now here is the kicker—Jesus says:
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
 
He did not say:
have lots of meetings, by this shall the world know you are my disciples.
Neither did he say: keep records of each other’s wrongs or; focus on the differences you have; or grumble about each other. People will know you follow me if you do these things.
 
He didn’t say we’d be identified as Christians if we wear a T shirt with What Would Jesus Do written on it—or one which has the Uniting Church symbol showing—nor did he say that a church needs a 10 000 watt amplifier system with a 22 channel microphone mixer and a lighting system with a direct connection to Bunnerong Power station to show how properly we worship him.
 
Instead he said to keep his commandments:
Love one another.
Be patient with each other.
Do your best to listen and understand.
Be merciful and work for peace.
 
By this shall everyone know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
 
Paul talked about love as the most important gift God gives—he writes in 1 Corinthians 13 (NRSVA)
The Gift of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 
And he goes on to describe how love works.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
 
And Jesus says:
34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
 
Well I said I’d come back to my initial story— I want to leave you with the same question those kids kept asking in the car:
 
Are we there yet?


Amen

2
This morning at Orana Gardens Aged care and retirement village.
Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24
I Corinthians 15:19-26
Gospel: Luke 24:1-12
and Acts 10:34-43 read during the sermon.
This is their only Easter service.

SERMON: Nothing will ever be the same
In the last few months Kerrie and I have got Netflix—it is way to watch TV on demand by combining Internet and Television—the wonderful thing is that besides being very reasonably priced—it also keeps track of where you are up to—you can watch part of an episode of something and then later on when you have another break you can take up exactly where you left off. (oops – sounds like a free plug for a commercial company but please bear with me)

We have been enjoying some of the series of British murder mysteries. Complex stories which unravel over several seasons—but we could watch the whole thing in one marathon sitting if we wanted. (not that there is time)

I have been amazed at the brilliance of the writers, actors camera teams and directors and the way they capture real life. The crime isn’t just a victim and a perpetrator—nor are their sins isolated—people are complex—there are ripples of hurt and distrust spreading out—whole communities are disrupted and lives turned upside down. It will never be the same again—and, possibly because of what builds to allow someone to do the dreadful—things were never what they seemed in the first place.

On our side of the screen, in real life, the same thing happens—a disaster, a missing child, a traffic accident, a murder, a bushfire or flood … and again the pain ripples out. I am sure you could bring to mind right now some of these things you have watched unfold. Some which have touched you deeply and profoundly and others where you catch the edge as you see the pain in others.

And as the news tries to get the picture, the footage into your TV, tries to grab a different angle—get inside the heads of those involved … and we get more and more of it as they feed off the tragedy. Then suddenly a new  happening and as they say ‘Todays headlines—tomorrows birdcage liner’ The media lions rush on to prey at their next feeding frenzy.

But you and I know the consequences, the anguish, the pain for the survivors don’t go away. Their world is not the same ever again.

In our Corinthians reading Paul talks of the way the sin of one man “Adam” has rippled through time such that all humankind stands condemned. That one act of rebellion had all mankind kicked out of paradise from then on.

Paul also states that if we’d hoped in Christ only in this life then we’d have nothing because …

... well because he died.

But … because of the resurrection of this one man “Jesus Christ” ALL will be made alive.

Because of the resurrection Jesus is now placed in authority over every ruler and power—even Death is destroyed.

Not just a hope but a certainty—remember what the men in dazzling white (I guess we would call them Angels) at the Tomb said “He is not here, but has risen” "Remember that he told you this would happen".

There is a certainty—these people saw it happen—And the world truly was never the same again.

Peter went and looked—He was there.

Now Peter who speaks in our Acts reading, through some divine intervention, is summoned from Joppa where he’d been staying, to the home of Cornelius, a devout believing centurion, in Caesarea. Looking at the map—it’s about a hundred miles or a bit more. Say from here to Orange.

Before he’d left, Peter had had 3 disturbing visions and each time a voice had said  “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

And now here he is, some three days later, meeting with Gentiles in a Gentile house—and this of course was against Jewish Law. But Cornelius was persuasive. He said:
“Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

Acts 10:34-43
34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

That message has rippled through time and to the ends of the earth—even to Australia and to us right here in Orana Gardens in Dubbo

“EVERYONE who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

and nothing will ever be the same again.

AMEN


Then I sang "The Holy City" for them.

3
The everything board / 2 sermons
« on: March 03, 2016, 11:47:46 PM »
The first was for the small congregation in Yeoval on the 21st of February and the second a week later for another small congregation in Molong. They referred to the lectionary readings for Lent 2C and 3C respectively.

4
The everything board / A New Year awaits
« on: January 01, 2016, 08:44:57 AM »
Ian has made sure somehow that this forum remains.
Let us commence 2016 with a challenge to write something.

The topic is broad - "New Year"
A poem, an observation, an essay, a short story or even a novel.
Over to you Fun Writers.

5
Reading OT:1 Kings 17:8-16
8Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9“Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Gospel: Mark 12:38-44
38As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets! 40They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
41He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

SERMON:
We have this afternoon two stories of widows—and this is a subject many of you know first hand.

And yet how much harder would it have been in the days of the Old Testament or in Jesus day:

The was no Centrelink then.

No unemployment relief money.

No social security. 

No pension.

Actually we don’t have to go back  all the way to biblical times—this is a time within living memory—hard times many, or dare I say, most, of you would have known.

In fact—in Old Testament times the Law made provisions for the poor, the handicapped and Widows;

The fields were left every third year for the support of the poor and every seventh year one tenth of income was set aside to look after poor and widows.

It was each persons duty to God to look after those less fortunate than themselves. From the top of society to the poorest and most helpless.

In many ways people in Jewish community who had no way of supporting themselves were probably better off than they would have been in 1930s Australia.

The widow in our 1st Kings 17 scripture was unfortunately not living in any Jewish community—she lived in Phoenician territory and things were harsh. So harsh in fact that as we heard—she was going home to make a last meal for herself and her son and then she expected that there would be no more and they would die.

What she gave to this stranger Elijah was not just everything she had -  it was her life.

It is interesting that the biblical word ‘chera’ we read as widow was a term which meant ‘robbed’ Her husband was gone—her livelihood had been stolen from her.

As I said—this Old Testament woman lived  in Phoenicia but in Jerusalem it should have been different.

Widows should have been looked after.

Jesus came and saw that these pumped up upstarts of scribes were, as he puts it ‘devouring widows homes’, abrogating their responsibilities, treating those who should be honoured so callously and all the while putting on such a show of piety.

He not only gave them a serve—he then went and sat right by the temple treasury where he knew what was going to happen—it wouldn’t have been just one widow but possibly a number of them had this in common—they had been robbed and now the very ones who should help were robbing them again.

So our widow comes and furtively puts in two tiny coins—two mites. Two halfpennys—a total of a penny I guess you could say. It was all the money she had.

Giving into the temple was to support the priests AND the poor and widows. This woman was supporting the very institution which should have been supporting her.

How could they allow such a travesty—those who should be looked after are being robbed over and over and the very ones who should be helping are instead devouring.

Righteousness and justice in the bible are interchangeable terms—it is about setting things in the proper order—putting right what is not right. These scribes strutted their righteousness but didn’t do justice.

This was important stuff—and the lesson was applied by the Christian Church right from its earliest days.

So much so that the early church set up deacons whose job it was to oversee help to widows, the handicapped and the sick.

William Temple said “The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.”

If our church sat an exam, I wonder how our report card would look?

Amen

6
I have brought something for show and tell but I won’t be telling so much as letting the bible reading and the sermon do the work. (Put Toilet Brush in view)

READING: Mark 10:35-45
35James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
41When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”


SERMON: "SHOTGUN!"

When travelling home from my grandparent’s farm in the Zephyr car—As kid’s we’d yell ’front seat’. We wanted the front seat because the front seat was the best seat.

Riding up front beside the driver in the bus or coach on tours was where I wanted to sit.

Nowdays it is ‘Calling Shotgun’
“The rules of ‘shotgun’ are very simple. The first persons to call ‘shotgun’ when in sight of the vehicle gets to sit in the front seat.”
Michael Scott from “The Office”

Perhaps it harks back to the stagecoach days—I don’t know.

So these two Brothers James and John call shotgun—they want the best seats in heaven.

Don’t you love the way they approach Jesus—
“we want you to do for us whatever we ask”
What parent hasn’t heard that type of question.

Of course Jesus says “Yes boys—sure!”

No! - Jesus quietly asks what the request is.

Then he tells them they do not know what they ask.

They have yet to understand the full extent of who Jesus is or what he has yet to endure - and yet they do have already that Jesus is/will be a heavenly king in glory.

He asks them if they can drink the same cup which he will drink—that is his suffering and death and they say ‘Yes. Yes’.

It is interesting that although we see them as making the promise rashly and in ignorance if you look up their lives you will see that they certainly did follow in Jesus footsteps.

James was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa in around 44AD.

John possibly lived to old age.  It is said that although he did not die a martyr's death, he did live a martyr's life. He was exiled to the Island of Patmos under the Emperor Domitian for his proclamation of the risen Christ.

Finally Jesus tells them gently that such a request in not his to grant—it is for those for whom it is already prepared.

But of course it isn’t finally at all. Now the other disciples start to grumble about James and John’s request.

Are they grumbling because of the audacity of the request?—to our Aussie ears—as people brought up not to put ourselves forward—it seems that way, but it is entirely possible that they wanted the same spots for themselves.

As he often does—Jesus uses their grumbling as a teaching opportunity—about heaven and his work and about their own place.

42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.

As one commentary says: “One wonders if Galilean folk like Jesus saw this description as how Rome operated, with Caesars being killed, Generals vying for the title, Senators asserting themselves, local kings like Herod marrying a brother’s wife, etc. For Jesus’ followers, one of the awful effects of living under the Empire is the temptation to imitate them.”
http://leftbehindandlovingit.blogspot.com.au


Politics aside and without saying it straight out he certainly is alluding to what they are grumbling about.

43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant,

This is greatness—to be a servant—and greater still—to be number one great he says:

44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.

Then in a foretaste of the washing of the disciples feet and his own later complete sacrifice on our behalf he basically says, this is my path—this is God’s way:

45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”




“For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve”

(Hold up Toilet Brush) and I am thinking the person who does this job is just as much God at work in the world as the greatest preacher or missionary who ever lived.

So who is yelling Shotgun for the toilet brush?

Amen

7
The everything board / Passion Poppers
« on: June 17, 2015, 10:51:36 PM »
I was driving today and thought of a couple a romantic moment killers. You may be able to add a few.

1)
She: "This wine has made me come over all romantic honey"
He: ZZZZZZZZZ

2)
He leaned across for more popcorn casually brushing her breast, almost accidentally, with the back of his hand. He noted with pleasure the hardness of her nipple, evident even through her bra and the material of her blouse. He thought of the evening of passion to come.
"I wish they would do something about heating this theatre" she announced abruptly to no-one in particular.

8
The everything board / Careful what you wish for
« on: May 10, 2015, 07:14:45 PM »
I dreamed I could fly -
"Look up here - I can fly" I called as I flew over my classmates in the school playground.
They did look up and laughed at me "He's still in his pyjamas" they pointed and jeered.

9
The everything board / 5 bypasses
« on: March 09, 2015, 01:29:28 PM »
I arrived home last night.
My fingers are tangled and I seem to have to retype each word.
More news later

10
I presented these to video for Project Reconnect last week. The DVDs are sent out to churches who may not have a minister. The readings are based on the Common Lectionary used by many churches worldwide and are accompanied by discussion questions and some hymns to choose from.

Lent 2B 1st March  2015   Project Reconnect
 
Readings:

Genesis 17:1-7, 15 & 16
Psalm 22:23-31
Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:27 to 38 (Lectionary Mark 8:31-38)

Discussion Questions:
 
•   How do you feel about Jesus calling Peter ‘Satan’?
•   Do you feel too old, too young, too busy, too …... for God’s call?
•   What does ‘Take up your Cross’ mean for a 21st century disciple?
•   What scares you most about being a disciple of Jesus the Christ?

Using an Autocue is rather different to using a full script or notes and a but daunting too. It enables you to address the viewers without looking down but it also means gestures and arm waving are not picked up. It also is difficult to pause to let a point be considered or change speed depending on the mood - it is possible but would entail looking down at the unfamiliar keypad while you figure out which button to press - subsequently the sermon was only 5 minutes when I expected it would take 7. (Oh well - Congregations probably deserve an early mark when I am preaching)

I'd love to be able to add the picture I refer to in the Children's address but I am not sure how.

11
The everything board / Great advice - copied from Grammarly Blog
« on: January 19, 2015, 11:49:21 AM »
I am not sure if it may be a commercial company but I have been loving their tips and terrible puns for some years now. I most surely have trouble with the final hint here - Facebook is my downfall :)
http://www.grammarly.com/blog/

5 Healthy Writing Habits All Aspiring Writers Should Practice
by Allison VanNest • January 15, 2015

Writers aren’t exactly known as the paragons of physical and mental health. Almost prerequisites for the craft, depression and alcoholism have haunted so many eminent writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, and Sylvia Plath. Although living a stable, healthy lifestyle might be alien to many successful authors, healthy writing habits are not.
Yes, writing is a creative process, but it is also work that demands discipline and routine. As Hemingway said, “Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.” Here are five habits that behoove any aspiring writer to follow.


Read religiously

As Stephen King put it, “You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” Reading the stories of others is how we learn how to shape a narrative and perfect our prose. King recommends reading for four to six hours a day, which might be a little ambitious for writers with day jobs. Nevertheless, remember that making time for reading is just as imperative as making time for writing.


Schedule writing time

A mistake many neophyte writers make is relegating writing to the dregs of the day. Tacking writing on to the end of the day is ill-advised because, assuming life doesn’t get in the way, you’ll probably be too tired to write well anyway. As with any worthwhile endeavor, you should carve out time in your day to devote to writing. Don’t just promise yourself you will, either — actually schedule the time in your calendar and stick with it.


Edit, but not as you write

Remember that drafts are just that; they are, by definition, not perfect. When you’re tempted to edit as you go, remember the wise words of Ally Carter: “Don’t get it right, get it written.” Done is better than perfect as far as drafts go. Let your words flow when working on a draft, channeling your energy into creating rather than revising. Once you have a finished product, you can, and should, edit to your heart’s content.


Set quotas and limits

If a novel is your goal, you might set a daily goal of 1,000 words. You can probably even handle 2,000 words per day if writing is your sole occupation. Some writers force themselves to hit their word quota regardless of how long it takes. While this kind of discipline will serve you well, overdoing it might eventually become counterproductive if you get burned out and find yourself unable to write consistently. Instead, consider setting a firm limit on the number of hours you spend writing per day, in addition to aiming for a daily word quota.


Practice good writing hygiene

The climate in which you write, including your environment and time of day, should be conducive to focus and the creative process. Some of the most prolific writers say they work the best in the morning hours and save the afternoons for reading. Wherever you write, minimize distractions, which might mean keeping the Internet off-limits. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, for example, has a dedicated writing computer that runs DOS, has no spellcheck or auto-correct features, and can’t connect to the Internet. Without these nuisances, he’s found he’s more productive.


Establishing these few simple habits can help you transform your writing and become more prolific than you ever thought possible. For any writing habit to make a difference, though, you must stay consistent. By establishing a set schedule and sticking to it, you will have fought half the battle of creating your literary tour de force.

How many of these tips were you already following?

12
The everything board / Christmas wish
« on: December 25, 2014, 01:15:37 AM »
Best wishes for Christmas and blessings to all.
May it be happy, holy and safe.
Kerrie and Don

13
The everything board / Keeping in touch
« on: December 08, 2014, 11:14:21 AM »

14
The everything board / Too good not to share
« on: December 08, 2014, 11:12:33 AM »
I hope Ian meant us to keep using this site. I feel he would.

I came across this this morning.



It was on a Facebook page 'Grammarly'
https://www.facebook.com/grammarly

15
The everything board / How quickly the time goes
« on: December 01, 2014, 09:32:17 AM »
It seems as only yesterday we were holding, ever so gently, a brand new granddaughter.
This weekend past we attended her first birthday.
As it was when our own were born all our son's friends seem to be having children simultaneously; the party had wall to wall babies drowning in a sea of simulated shutter clicks.
Norah celebrated, laughing and clapping and marinading in banana cake birthday cake.
Four proud grandparents doted on her every smile.

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