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.

 

Free Easter Gift

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Dear friends and followers. To me, this is the most wonderful season in the Christian calendar, where God not only demonstrated His love in the most tangible way possible, but changed the course of our destiny as the veil was torn in two and we all gained free access into the Holy of Holies through the Cross.

As a celebration, I’ve composed an anthology of poetry and verse to try to take us deeper into the heart of Jesus and the Father. If you’d like a copy — it’s completely free, click here

Have a blessed Easter

 

Ever Wondered What Pilate Thought?

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Pontius Pilate, not undeservedly, judging from historical accounts, gets a lot of bad press. He was a cruel tyrant who antagonized the Jews so much that he was eventually removed crom office. Neertheless, I wonder what was going on in the deep recesses of his mind after he had met with Jesus.

Who Was He?

I think I made a mistake. It’s not easy being a governor in a foreign land — especially one with such crazy bigots.

I had the whole pack baying for his life, because he didn’t toe their theological line! How do you keep the balance between order and what you know in your heart is right? Things were heading for a riot as they yapped at my heels like hunting dogs slavering for his blood. I couldn’t let it go on.

So I killed an innocent man.

I don’t usually care. I’ve done it before. Even enjoyed it, watching them writhe and seeing the people cower at the power I can wield — or grow angry, depending on their mood. It’s never affected me this way before. What’s it to me as long as I can keep law and order? That’s the priority.

But there’s something bothering me about this one. He was different. He wouldn’t cower and he wouldn’t talk, but his looks were eloquent enough and I didn’t like it. He seemed to look into my heart, and that’s a private place. I don’t even like going there myself, sometimes. For all the pleasure I get from seeing others squirm under my power — especially those filthy Jews — sometimes the inner door opens a chink and there are longings……..and doubts…….I like to keep that door shut.

There was something else in his eyes, too. What was it? That’s part of what’s bugging me. I’ve spotted fear in eyes a hundred times or more and enjoyed the smell of it. I’ve seen arrogance, too and I like that even more. It spurs me to greater cruelty with no remorse.

His eyes had neither. The closest I can come to describe it is… let me see…pity? No, though there was some of that. Love? Perhaps. Compassion! That’s it. It was as though he was looking at ME with compassion. I had the power of life and death in my hands — his life — and he’s looking at ME with compassion. It was so absurd that it unnerved me.

And that conversation about truth! Everyone knows that truth is relative, changing with our experience. Yet when I looked at him, he seemed so completely integrated, so sure — as if behind the man was a colossus, solid and unmoving —  eternal, almost.  I had the weirdest feeling I was looking at Truth itself. I had to turn away and give a mocking, “What is truth?” But in a sense I was asking myself the question…. and wondering if he could tell me.

That’s when I decided to let him go.

I tried my hardest. I tried to flog and release, and when that didn’t work, I used the Jewish feast to release one prisoner, trying to persuade the Jews to accept him as the one. Nothing worked with those unbending fanatics. Then the crowd started getting ugly and it was order first, as always. I washed my hands of the case and let them have their way.

But no matter how much I wash my hands, they still feel smeared with his blood.

I heard some of the things he said from the cross — strange things to come from a dying man, especially one unjustly tortured. When I heard of them, I had a flashback to those eyes. I thought I saw that same compassionate look that unnerved me when I questioned him. How could a dying man plead for the forgiveness of those killing him? And did that include me?

I heard he even had words of encouragement to that scoundrel crucified next to him. He spoke as if that wasn’t the end of him — that they’d meet again.

And the eclipse that lasted so long (why hadn’t our astronomers predicted that?) at the same time as an earthquake. Was it coincidence that it all happened round about the time of his death?

Yes, I have a feeling that for once I made a mistake. This was one man I should have let free. Claudia thinks so — she told me on the day of the trial, and I’ve never heard the end of it since! But why should I worry? No-one can touch me. I’m Pontius Pilate and I have all the power of Rome behind me.

Yet, this one thought keeps bugging me:

“What if he wasn’t just a man?”

 

Books to help understand healing

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There are a number of books which have influenced me greatly in my understanding of healing:

Stage 4 Cancer Gone by Shirley Mitchell Williams tells the story of a woman who fought back against a cancer which was predicted to kill her in a few months. What impressed me was that she not only clung to God and the promises in His Word, she used every tactic designed to root out the cancer, from conventional medicine, to immune boosting alternative medicine, to raising her core temperature with saunas, to strict diet control, depriving the cancer cells with the sugar they hungrily consume. Of course, her chief weapon was unceasing prayer and aggressive use of the Word of God.

Radical Remission by Kelly Turner is a fascinating book by a cancer counsellor who discovered that there are thousands of cancer sufferers who have either had their cancers disappear or who have survived far, far longer than their prognosis — some for many  decades. She is not a Christian — and some of what she advocates I heartily disagree with, in terms of how it affects our eternal destiny — but she has identified seven common factors which the cancer overcomers (not just survivors) displayed, (Remember we are talking about physical survival, not eternal life, which is only found in Jesus, regardless of your state of health). Attributes like taking control of one’s own life and not passively submitting to the professional opinion, radical diet change, actively thinking positively, developing and enhancing positive emotions and recognizing there is a spiritual component to one’s life, which also needs to be developed.

Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. I have already spoken of her research into the interplay of our minds, our bodies and our spirits, which throws light on much of the content of the books above, and which we’ll talk about in my next post.

and lastly Quantum Glory by Phil Mason, who takes us into the world of quantum physics in a very understandable (and no doubt simplified) way where, like something out of science fiction, but as real as the chair you’re sitting on (maybe even more real) things travel faster than light,  can influence other things irrespective of the distance or obstacles between them and can even exist in more than one place (Jesus lives in us and is at the right hand of the Father). This has helped me to believe that our thoughts can influence our genetic expression, among other things.

I don’t want to make this post too long, so suffice it for me to say that I do believe these books will change your way of understanding how the body works and open your eyes to a whole new world of just how fearfully and wonderfully we are made.

In my next post we can explore some of the content of these books in greater depth.

Blessings

Dave

The Way Jesus Healed

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When we read the accounts of Jesus’ healings, we tend to focus on the physical healing. In fact we do that today, for the most part. Yet it is an interesting exercise to see how Jesus ministered to the whole person in His years of ministry on earth.

The first thing Jesus dealt with in the paralysed man who was lowered to Him by his friends was his spiritual state. He saw his need for forgiveness. We don’t know what he had done, but Jesus perceived it and assured him that God forgave him. The he went on to heal him physically.

I wonder how long it had been since the leper who fell at Jesus’ feet had felt a human touch? Certainly, since he’d contracted his disease, the only touch he would have experienced would have been from other lepers. It would have done nothing for his sense of worth. It’s hard for us to imagine the ignominy and humiliation of having to proclaim wherever you went, “I’m unclean.” and to have people shun you. Jesus dealt with his low self-esteem, brought out in the statement, “Please heal me, if you want to” by responding “Of course I want to!” Then He went on to let him experience a human touch. And I’m sure it wasn’t a light tap on the shoulder. Having ministered to the inner man, He then healed him physically.

The woman who was hemorrhaging was unclean. Anyone who touched her would have been made unclean, but at great risk of incurring wrath had she been discovered she pushed through the crowd, touching people as she went. Then, to her horror and trembling with fear, she had to admit to everyone that she had touched Jesus. He dealt with her shame as well as her physical problem by calling her “Daughter” and commending her for her faith.

Jesus recognized that physical healing is only a part of the picture as He healed the ten lepers. Though they had all been healed physically, only the one who had a heart change that compelled him to run back and worship Jesus, He declared to be ‘well’.

The point of this exercise is to see that there is an interaction between body, mind and spirit and Jesus knows that. Sometimes we hear of someone who is physically healed, but later the affliction returns. I wonder if that is not because their spirits and souls do not receive the same healing and that deficiency affects their bodies down the line.

And when you come to think of it, which is the greater? All bodily healing will eventually fail. We’ll all die; but healing of the heart can carry us right on to eternity.

Next post we’ll see how Scripture confirms what the medical profession is only discovering now.

Meantime, be blessed as you turn your thoughts on Jesus, who is concerned about every part of you. He knows when you sit and when you rise; He perceives your thoughts — even your anxious ones — from afar; He’s familiar with all your ways, just as you get to know the ways of those you love dearly and He hems you in, guarding you from harm behind and before. Stay secure in Him.

 

 

 

 

Prayer, Medicine and Miracles

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When I practiced medicine, especially in the ICU, I realised that there was so much more to healing than what I was giving my patients. In fact, it was precisely that that brought me to God. I had worked for weeks in ICU battling to save the life of a man who had been drinking, took to the freeway after an argument with his wife and smashed into a bridge upright. After pouring weeks of time, effort and expertise into saving him, he went on to divorce his wife and drink even more.

Conventional medicine deals with the body in a purely physical way, but the Bible tells us we are spirit, soul and body. 1Thess. 5:23 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is only recently that science is coming to appreciate how very indivisible these aspects of us are.

I have decided to write a series of articles on this subject which is close to my heart and this is the first introductory one.

Dr Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, tells us that our thoughts, far from being fleeting and immaterial, can actually be observed in the brain. They create little branches that grow on the nerve cells in our brain. Good, positive thoughts of love and wholesomeness in line with the Word of God cause healthy, harmonious branches to grow, while negative thoughts cause chaotic, distorted branches. And now scientists are learning how this can affect us physically.

Our DNA carries genes that control how things are made and how the cells react in our bodies. Did you know that every cell carries the same information in its DNA? So a kidney cell, for example, carries the same information as a lung cell. But they have to function differently, so how does that work? There are modifiers in the cell, but outside the nucleus that switch on the right genes for, say, the kidney in a kidney cell and switch off those that only apply to a lung cell. (the science behind this is called epigenetics). Now, your brain (as well as things like diet and toxins in the air) can affect which genes are switched on or off. If you have good healthy harmonious branches growing in your brain from positive thoughts, all the right genes are switched on.

Prov.14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body”

Prov.15:30 “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”

But if you have ugly, distorted branches from feeding your mind with negative thoughts, watching the wrong kind of movies, indulging in self-pity, holding resentment or envy or unforgiveness etc., this can turn off the genes that should be switched on for a healthy cell, and turn on others that should be switched off.

Prov.14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Prov.17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Prov.18:14 “A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”

The bone marrow is where our immune response cells form. It is common knowledge now that stress diminishes our immune response.

These scriptures are not just metaphors. They describe what actually happens.

Apart from opening a patient’s heart to God and paving the way for a miracle, can you see how praying for a sick person can affect him/her physically in a positive way and promote healing?

I will continue this subject in my next post.

Meantime, I’d truly value any comments, testimonies or opinions.

Bless you

Dave