What’s it all about?

Christmas with meaning

God gave His Son that all the world
Would have the chance to be with Him.
His glorious presence now was curled
Within the confines of a womb.

His gift to Man took history
And pulled its course away from Hell
Unfathomable mystery
A love that has no parallel.

And now we celebrate His gift
With presents under Christmas trees         Tree.jpg
With parties, dinners, Christmas cheer
And reunited families

Yet often in this crazy world
We give our gifts, not knowing why.
We break the bank to buy the best
We worry it won’t satisfy.

We party with our families                       party 2.png
We eat and drink and stay up late
But if in this we exclude Him
There’s nothing left to celebrate.

It all becomes an empty show
That merely gets us deep in debt
And all the feasting and the hype
Can’t heal our pain, nor our regrets.

For though we share our human love
Forget our woes with food and wine
Our loneliness requires a heart
That’s grateful for a love divine.

We need to know a God who cares
Who wants us all to worship Him
To celebrate the way He’s made
To rescue us from all our sin.

If we party,  give our gifts
Ignoring Him who’s paid the way
Then ‘Happy Christmas’ is just words
Whose meaning fades with Boxing Day

For always when we celebrate
A God who came to be with us
The next act hovers in the wings
A Saviour hanging from a Cross.            nativity copy

It’s not His birth that gives us joy
But why He came — what it was for
That’s why we’re grateful, celebrate
The Baby on a bed of straw

So ‘midst the joy and family fun
Remember God with arms stretched wide
It was for us that He was born
It was for us He bled and died.
As Jesus entered Planet Earth
So give Him entrance to your feast
Let all the laughter and the mirth
Be ‘cos you’re from your sins released.

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Your passion comes through

 

passion

Many years ago I heard a sermon which has lived on in me. The preacher’s punchline was something like this: “If you have smallpox and you tell everyone about measles, guess what the audience will catch? — You’re right, they’ll catch smallpox.”

His point was, if you’re eaten up with anger, for example, and you preach about peace, the audience will be impacted by your anger, not what you preach about. You radiate, or impart, what is inside.

I think this applies to writing, too. Our passion for our subject radiates through our pages, touching the hearts of the readers. I find I can feel within the first chapters of a book, who is writing because they are in love with writing, or with their subject or their characters and who is writing to churn out yet another novel for the money.

A couple of weeks ago, I had to write on the subject of “Friend” for a competition for Faithwriters.com.  I chose to write a letter to the love of my life. Here it is. I hope it imparts something of the passion I feel for her, and touches your heart.

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A Song for Eternity

We have fun together. We camp by the river and let the little fish nibble at our legs as we stand in the water. We  swim to the waterfall and feel the tumbling water hammering on our heads and faces. We  dance in the rain, just for the heck of it and zoom down a zipline for a dare. And we laugh and laugh at funny movies or the antics of monkeys at play.

My life is fuller with you around. When we gaze with wonder at blazing clouds, gilt-edged in a fiery sky, our hearts leaping in unity at the glory, the song bursting from my soul is louder and more joyful for the sharing. As we sit together, while the strains of an orchestra fill the concert hall like audible ribbons of coloured light, my rapture is multiplied, for a pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled. When we walk side by side through the forest, beneath muscular branches dripping lichen; when we sniff, together, the dankness of the leaves underfoot, I am deeply content in our togetherness.

Then, in the darkness, when I plunge into the deep cavern of self doubt, the dark clouds of an uncertain future, the knife wounds of betrayal or blame, the look in your eyes and your hand on mine tell me you feel my pain.

When illness reaches from within and pulls me down, blurring my vision and befuddling my prayers, you come beside me, bringing comfort merely by your presence.

I trust you. I know that no confidence will be repeated, no pain I share, used later for leverage or personal gain. I’m safe with you. What is more, if you correct me — and you do — I value it, for I have discovered that your wounds to my ego can be trusted (Prov. 27:6). I respect them more than any flattery, for they tell me that you care, not in a sentimental way, but with genuine concern for my growth and integrity.

Above all, I treasure our shared relationship with Jesus. When you pray I hear an intimacy in your conversation that makes me sure you are being led by Him. What better foundation for an earthly relationship?

My song, I know, reaches to the heavens, for it was born there. It is a song of gratitude for all the Lord has done in guiding me to you, my wife, my lover, my companion and my best friend.

 

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Choose Life

 

 

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One of my operating lists at Victoria Hospital in Cape Town followed an abortion list.

The list was often still in progress as I arrived to prepare for my anaesthetics. The atmosphere in the waiting room was always the same, though the faces of the young girls awaiting their turn varied. Some were frankly scared, others had a show of bravado, while still others appeared to be hopeless victims of a degenerate lifestyle that was sucking the life out of them. Such was the impassive, resigned face of a sixteen-year-old who was coming for her fifth abortion in nine months. Yet, like tangible slime dripping from the walls and ceiling was an overriding, unspoken, often denied emotion: GUILT. No-one made eye contact with anyone else. No matter how much they denied it to themselves, deep down, God has placed His laws in our hearts (Romans 2:15) and that law was speaking to their consciences.

Inside the operating room, the atmosphere was aggressive. The abortionist had hardened her heart so that she was no longer moved by the sight of tiny, fragile little arms and legs and a broken head lying dismembered in a kidney dish. Indeed, often she was spared the sight as the little body was suctioned into a jar together with blood and placental tissue. The sister assisting hated the list and, by the end of it, was irritable, snapping at everyone. The floor nurse, who hated the list just as much sometimes snapped back.

It was always a sombre time for me to enter an operating room and start my list knowing that for the past two hours the room had been a killing field. Having been so close, I have to speak out.

I have just taken part in a March for Life in Durban. Among the many placards, one took my attention. It read: “CRIME SCENE: ONE DEAD, ONE WOUNDED”  How true. The mother is always wounded. No-one deliberately disobeys God’s laws and emerges unscathed. There are so many stories of the way the guilt of killing one’s child lives on in the life of a mother. If that is you, may I suggest a healing course of action:

Firstly, admit your guilt. That is the only way forward.

Secondly, contact one of many organisations that will help you through forgiveness. They will help you mourn your child and come to the only One who can give true forgiveness. Jesus has taken your guilt upon Himself. May I suggest this site: Elliot Institute

Before the March for Life, the preacher quoted from a man who had studied the Holocaust:

“Atrocities such as the Holocaust occur when governments try to solve economic and social problems with death.”

What a profound insight. Which takes me to another placard from the march, and which I have emblazoned on a tee-shirt that I wear:

CHOOSE LIFE – so that you and your children may live.

 

 

 

 

Free books and a chance to win an Amazon voucher

Hi everyone

I’m excited to tell you that my book Crisis in the Children’s Ward is one of seventeen books you can download for free as part of a Cozy Mystery promotion (Cozy mysteries are those without graphic violence or bad language for the jargon-challenged like me).

You can download any, or all of the eighteen books and stand a chance to win a $25-00 Amazon gift voucher.

Just click on the link:

What Writers Want

I recently found I was losing the joy of writing. This post puts things back inot perspective.

WordServe Water Cooler

Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt Photo Credit: YesMovies

In December 2000, Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt starred in the movie What Women Want. Like many women, I appreciated the sensitivity displayed by Gibson’s character, Nick Marshall, when he finally connected with the  female lead’s innermost desires. Reflecting on this chick flick, I think we writers share similar longings — in our relationships with readers.

For instance, most of the non-fiction writers I know want the following:Henry Van Dyke

  • To be heard. Non-fiction writers want to know readers are not only listening to what we are saying through the written word, but are finding our content valuable enough to actually apply to their lives.
  • To be accepted and understood. Non-fiction writers want to gather readers who are unified in their search for answers, support, and encouragement.
  • To be desired. Non-fiction writers want readers to want our books, our messages, and the unique way we express ourselves.
  • To…

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Seven Steps to Guaranteed Success as a Writer

This is such a good blog, re-centering on Jesus.

WordServe Water Cooler

Every author seems to have a different idea of what “success” in their field means to him or her. For some, selling at least five thousand (in Canada) or ten thousand (in the States) books, thereby qualifying them to claim the lofty title of “Bestselling Author” is the goal on which they set their sights. For others, maybe it’s a hundred thousand copies, or a million.

For some, it isn’t about the numbers, but about awards. But which award is the one that will make them feel as though they have finally arrived? Is it the Carol? The Christie? The Pulitzer? I’ve noticed several big-name authors who have won awards in the past entering the contests again, so maybe one award isn’t enough. What, then, is the magic number?

Or maybe it’s a certain amount of positive feedback, a sufficient number of glowing reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, recognition at…

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My fiction book is free for a few days

Hi Everyone

I’m happy to tell you that my fiction book Crisis in the Children’s Ward forms part of a group promotion and can be downloaded for free.You can also have a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift voucher.

Crisis in the Children’s Ward is about Jason Langley, MD whose life is constantly in danger as he investigates why children are dying unexpectedly.

Newly qualified Jason Langley MD’s first day on duty starts with drama, as he rushes to resuscitate a dead child. This is not the first child to die unexpectedly. A new sangoma (witchdoctor) has moved into the village and the villagers and nurses fear Black Magic. Is he killing the children?

A missionary’s daughter has organized a prayer initiative around the hospital. One of the prayer warriors senses that the missionary’s autistic son has a clue to the deaths of the children, but how can he? He is mute and cannot communicate.

Jason Langley’s debut into medical mystery and suspense will draw you forcefully into the life of rural South Africa, where fear, superstition and deadly powers abound.

I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Free books

A new site

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Hi loyal followers,

Since I opened this blog quite a few years ago, I have written a couple more books, The title of God in the ICU is no longer really appropriate, so I’m changing the name, although you will still get to it the same way (the WordPress address remains the same.)

My site will now be called Godscribe, so if you get notification of a new post from  Godscribe, read God in the ICU.

The picture above was taken in the beautiful Transkei and is the banner for my new site. Please visit my site and tell me what you think. I’m keeping the title as God in the ICU for this post so that you will get it under that name, but it will be changed to Godscribe in the near future.

Blessings, and thanks very much for following.

Dave

More than a million on our knees

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Imagine being on your knees before God with over a million others, repenting and committing your life anew to serve Him with all your heart.

Imagine being surrounded further than you can see by a crowd of people from all walks of life and of every colour, all with their hands raised, praising and worshiping the only true God.

Imagine over a million people singing the creed: “I believe in God the Father, I believe in God the Son, I believe in the Holy Spirit, our God is three in One…” Irrespective of the other differences in doctrine, we were united in these basics which as one, we could proclaim into the heavenly realm.

Imagine being led in prayer by farmer/evangelist Angus Buchan and at the end of each prayer, the “Amen” echoing through the countryside and into the heavenlies from an estimated 1.7million voices.

Imagine calling on God and experiencing a wind rushing through the crowd, taking umbrellas and large clumps of grass into the air, turning into a little whirlwind before dissipating.

This was not a show. This was people coming together in a prayer meeting to ask God to save our land which has been torn apart for generations by greed, racism, violent crime, corruption and horrendous sexual sin. It is a situation only God can remedy with radical heart change, and there is evidence He is responding to the cry of His people. The gathering of His people was against a background of a new urgency to pray. Throughout the land before the big event, and during it, prayer meetings have been packed. Since the meeting the Chief Justice has called for 50 days of prayer, a billion dollar deal with Russia for nuclear power stations, concluded under highly suspicious circumstances has been ruled unlawful, Christian politicians have been emboldened to stand up for their faith and there is a new sense of optimism and a looking to God in the general population.

Jesus, in Luke 21:28 tells us, when we see disturbing things that will happen at the end of the age, to look up. On the 22nd April, the church of South Africa did just that and the ripples are felt through our nation.