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They were vegetarians, Adam and Eve, and could pretty much eat off the fruit of the vine without labor. Their only no-no was the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The forbidden is always the most tempting.

But they had it so good–the no labor part–no weeds to pull, worms to eat away the fruit, etc. That appeals to me.

The vegetables must have been more flavorful then. I’m not what you’d call a veggie lover. Yes, I love a good salad, but I don’t crave it. My mama used to make me eat snaps(called that because you snap them in half or thirds). You may call them string beans (because you pull the string off ) or green beans(well, because they’re green). I call them yucky.

As a child, I’d think of all kinds of crazy ways to hide them so Mama would think I’ve eaten them. I hid them in biscuits. I scattered them across the plate so that it looked like I ate most of them. Mama couldn’t be fooled and I was forced to eat those nasty things. This was my worst childhood memory. Well, I suppose it probably comes in at 2nd or 3rd.  You must understand that eating snaps was a traumatic experience.

Today, cooked certain ways, I’ll eat them, but still not the way my mama cooked them.

One day we’ll be vegetarians again and I might like those awful things. Isaiah 11:7 says:

Isaiah 11:7

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.The lion will eat straw like the ox. The king of the jungle–that feared predator– will no longer crave blood. And we will no longer crave it either–in a perfect world.We don’t live in a perfect world today.  So, until then, I’ll continue to eat steak and avoid snaps.

Trivia Question: What designer first used animal skin for clothing?

Answer: God

Genesis 3:21  New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

God wasn’t the first clothing designer, however. If you recall, Adam and Eve used fig leaves.

Coincidence note: I wrote this a few days ago and did not have the chance to transfer it to the computer. Just yesterday, I stumbled across this website: http://www.ihategreenbeans.com/

I don’t know the blogger’s motive for the title, but I would guess she really hates green beans–like me. I am in awe of her writing skills. In truth, I’m jealous of them. That green bean hater can WRITE.

Besides her awesome blog title, I like her content. She makes me laugh out loud and it takes a lot to do that. I’m stingy with my laughs.

Sadly, I became interested in the Bachelorette because my co-worker was watching it. She has been told several times that she should be on the show. She looks the part, but  wants nothing to do with it–smart girl.

Ephesians 6: 17

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

When my Pastor joined the marines, he acquired this  sword.

He now wields a different weapon.

The sword of the Spirit–which is the Word of God.

It is evident to me he spends much time in the sWord. This book has been through many battles.

In these videos, notice he has two swords and he never puts down the one in his hand.

As a young marine (not yet a Christian) Pastor Barry volunteered twice to be sent to Vietnam. And twice his orders were canceled. Could it be that God had other orders waiting for him in the ministry?

Another coincidence? On the day I came prepared to take his picture wielding the word, he preached this message.I did take the picture, but I was in the balcony and it wasn’t  clear. I was able to get the pictures of him wielding his sword–the marine one and the God one, a week later.

And why did I want to write this blog? I have always been in awe of the scripture this man of God has committed to his memory. And then I saw the shape of his New Testament he holds as he preaches. And I had to take a picture of it.

Genesis 2: 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

It is not good for man to be alone.

Yesterday I finished reading two books. I read Havah by Tosca Lee the old-fashioned  way and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley I listened to by audio book in my car.

I couldn’t help seeing the similarities in subject matter.

Havah is the fictionalized story of Eve written in beautiful prose of a lyrical quality.

Beautiful, yet sad.

I could visualize the Garden of Eden and then, after the fall, feel the agony as weeds and sin and death crept in to take over the earth.

The close commune Adam and Eve had with the Creator was severed. And Havah longed for the fellowship to return.

From the Prologue:  I have seen paradise and ruin. I have known bliss and terror. I have walked with God.

And as she dies in the last chapter: Sleep–I can see the earth as it was, the green without the fire, the lightning, the river flooding it.

I once feared death but now consider it a grace not to be trapped in this life or this body forever, with its wrinkles and ravages and this searing pain, with its aging and heartbreak.

And while death was something  she could have avoided by not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, death became something in the end she longed for, because with death, she was able to once again be with her Creator.

The  monster created by Frankenstein wanted companionship. When no one befriended him, not even his creator, he began his reign of terror.

The monster says:

Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding. I was nourished with high thoughts of honour and devotion. But now crime has degraded me beneath the meanest animal. No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine. When I run over the frightful catalogue of my sins, I cannot believe that I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness. But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates  in his desolation; I am alone.

And Frankenstein regretted making this fiend.

And God regretted his creation:

Genesis 6:5-8

5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Mary Shelley, as she wrote Frankenstein,may have felt like her creature. Maybe she felt abandoned and alone by her creator. Maybe she felt her transgressions were so great that nothing could correct them.

Maybe you feel this way.

Here is hope:

Hebrews 2: 14-18

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[k] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

You see, Our Creator came to us–To heal our loneliness. I referenced it in a previous post:

Philippians 2

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

John 3:17

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

And he is still accessible to us today. We are not alone.

John 14

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

He promises not to leave us as orphans–not to leave us alone.

Note: This is not the first time I’ve read a book and at the same time listened to another that correlated in some way. Coincidence? I don’t know. But I know that I am grateful that I was able to “read” these two at the same time.

Why was I reading Frankenstein?

Because my current work-in-progress(novel) is set in 1819 and Frankenstein was published in 1818, so my characters may have read the book. I thought I’d read what they may have.

Update  to this post: I wrote this early in the morning before work. When I got to work I had an email in my inbox with this subject line: Lonely | Encouragement For Today | Proverbs 31 Ministries . Please click the link to read. Is this just another coincidence?

I’ve been reading two books this week: Outliers–the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell and Writing for the Soul by Jerry B Jenkins.

I’m glad I read the two books together, because they complement each other. Seems like an odd combination.

I actually didn’t “read” Outliers–I listened to it on CD to and from work. Otherwise, I would have only gotten through one of the books.

I wanted to read Outliers after hearing others talk about the 10,000 hour rule.  People who have obtained greatness have spent 10,000 plus hours on their passion–whatever it is–music, math, law, technology.

To achieve 10,000 hours in a pursuit, you would need to spend 3 hours a day for ten years on that endeavor.

For Jerry Jenkins, it was writing. I don’t know how many hours he wrote prior to achieving his fame from the Left Behind Series (70 million copies sold), but it was a lot. He made it a rule to not bring home work from the office(which was writing) and not write until the kids went to bed. So he wrote his freelance work between 9 PM and 12 AM —3 hours. He started writing for the local newspaper while in high school and he is in his late fifties now. He has put far more than 10,000 hours in writing. And, I would say, he’s achieved some measure of success (that’s putting it mildly).

Anyway, I’ve not written anywhere close to the required 10,000 hours. I need to start a log of writing related activities–learning the craft, reading, writing, going to writers conferences.

So, it shouldn’t have been any surprise that I would have something to learn from Mr. Jenkins’ critique of the first couple of pages of my book, Eve’s Apple.

There are other factors that contribute to success: your culture, the time frame and opportunity. The only variable we truly have control over is the time–how we use it is up to us.

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