The Perrine Journal

A Publication For Music, The Arts, and Theology

Colossians 3:1b

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above”
Seeking things that are not of this world, things that we cannot fully comprehend in this world or in this life. Things which are too wonderful for me, things which I cannot attain here.
Things above “which designates the transcendent heavenly realm at the center of which is the exalted Christ” (O’Brien, 158).
Things
Things
Things I cannot attain to
Things too wonderful for me
Things I can’t imagine
Things one day I’ll clearly see
Sweet Things
(Center of the heavenly realm)

Just a noodle while pondering the wonder and splendor of this awesome text.

Colossians 3:1a

“If then you have been raised with Christ”

If I have been raised. Being raised is something I cannot do on my own. It must be Jesus who raises me. Calvin rightly states on this verse that “Ascension follows resurrection: hence, if we are the members of Christ, we must ascend into heaven, because He, on being raised up from the dead, was received up into heaven (Mark 16:19), that He might draw us up with Him.”

Have I been raised? Why am I questioning this? Do I not love Jesus, the one who died in my place and was raised so that I might have eternal life with Him? What am I basing this upon? My natural bent is that I might base this upon my performance, how I look to the world, whether or not those around my see my piousness, my righteousness. This is not right, in any way. If Jesus has not raised me to walk in newness of life, I am still dead in my sins and bound for an eternity separated from God, aka Hell.
You & I cannot look at my “performance,” whatever that is. All we’ll see is hypocrite. In fact, I cannot look at myself at all. I must keep looking at Jesus, and desire to share in His sufferings. (Phil 3:10).

Happy Hemingway Day!!!

To celebrate Ernest Hemingway on his 116th birthday, I am just now finishing the newest edition of A Moveable Feast, Hemingway’s memoir of his time in Paris during the early 1920s.

In A Moveable Feast, we get to see a glimpse of how Hemingway worked, as well as who and what influenced him. 

One of the habits Hemingway began during this period was that of reading other authors after working on a story. “I learned not to think about anything I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again the next day….To keep my mind off writing sometimes after I had worked I would read writers who were writing then,” he explained. (58) Gertrude Stein acted the part of mentor to Hemingway during visits to her shop at 27 rue de Fleurus. 

A Moveable Feast also introduces us to other authors who were working in Paris   during this same period: 

Ezra Pound, a good friend and one who was “kinder and more Christian about people than I was.” (88)

Ford Madox Ford, “… an ambulatory, well clothed, up-ended hogshead.”(75)

And of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald – 

“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings.” (125)

Hemingway’s style is best summed up by James Salter, in today’s New York Review of Books: “simple declaratives seemed somehow to break through into a new language, a genuine American language that had so far been undiscovered, and with it was a distinct view of the world.” This “new language” was more about Hemingway paring his writing down into what exactly needs to be said, and no more, much like the way Miles Davis would only play the important notes of a melody. 

For example, as he was finishing a story, instead of writing out the ending, it “was omitted on my new theory that you could omit anything if you knew that you omitted and the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood.”(71)

Genius!!!

My main objective in purchasing A Moveable Feast was for a model that I could build my memoir on. But this is not the case. I instead found the inner workings of an author’s author, and a benchmark model for exceptional writing.

July 1st 2015

There’s a lot I have been wanting to write about lately, and just have not had time. Sorry.

Been going through quite a spiritual struggle these past few months, and I haven’t brought it to anybody’s attention, including all those close to me. I’m still in the process of playing Lone Ranger.

I have to come to terms with many sins and other things that are holding me down like weight that needs to be cut and let go. Things like blaming God for my circumstances instead of relying on His grace and peace of getting me through it. I need to finally understand that I am put into situations in order to strengthen my faith and let God show me the lesson He wants me to learn.

We have a plaque in the living room which reads:

“The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.” This is a true statement.

I just need to trust God in EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING.

I keep reverting to the ignorant thinking that God puts me into a situation where I will fail, and after that, the judgment.

And all this while I’m trying to do an in depth study of Colossians 3. Wow.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

I desperately need to seek that which is above. Not on my circumstances whatever they be. Keep me in your prayers.

Setting Our Minds on Things Above

At my church, we are starting a new sermon series on the section of John’s Gospel commonly referred to as the Upper Room Discourse (John 13 – 17).

Our pastor decided to preface the series with a look at Colossians 3:1-4:

          “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

After looking at this passage more than a couple times, I have been drawn to the verbs that Paul uses here. Notice he begins with the word IF. IF you have been raised, etc. We must be sure of our calling and make our election sure (2 Peter 1:10). Then the verbs:

  • Raised – If we are Christ’s, we have been raised from death unto life, from sin unto salvation. We can only glimpse it here while we are yet breathing, but afterwards will raised by Him to enjoy Him forevermore.
  • Seek – look for those things which are eternal. I am so preoccupied with things that are here today and gone tomorrow, that I am not worthy to be called a Christian. I am in terrible need of repentance in this area. Are you?
  • Set your minds – this is how to free ourselves from the point made above. In Romans 12:2, Paul shows us how to proceed – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  • Died – We have died to our former selves and our former ways of life. We can see that everything here on earth is temporal, and that we cannot put our trust in anything here in this life.
  • Hidden – What we will see and be is hidden with Him who places His Holy Spirit within us. But –
  • Appears – When He appears we will also appear with Him in glory. A glory that is beyond time and space, beyond any of the constraints we experience now.

This passage is a humbling education in our position in Christ. Studying it has brought me to repentance and humility, showing that it is Jesus who holds me in the palm of His hand, and will not let me go.

“A Moveable Feast”

Today I will start my vacation to Paris in the 1920s with Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, a posthumous publication (1964). Truth be told, I have never delved fully into Hemingway before, except in high school when I tried a couple of attempts at For Whom The Bell Tolls, mostly because I found war stories quite boring during my teens (I was also assigned All Quiet On The Western Front my junior year, but never made it past chapter one. Tried to fake a book report on it, but Mr. Jackson was way too keen for that). 

Reading this because I am finally starting my own memoir in order to bore the world. I needed a good model, and through another book was introduced to A Moveable Feast. 

Will let you know how it turns out as soon as I can.

New Stuff for 2015 (finally)

Given a swift kick in the rear, finding the muse, becoming inspired, etc. etc. Whatever you’d like to call it, I’m becoming interested again in the art of Writing. Along with the art of Literature.  Seems that I never get too lazy that something (or Someone) will get me back in the swing of things.

Trouble is, for how long will this continue? Take a look at this publishing date and the last one where I promised my blog reading audience that I was coming back with a vengeance. Yeah, right.

In the meantime, however, I will attempt to keep up this blog, The Perrine Journal, as best as I can.

What incredible circumstances have led me to write again? Well, first of all, I’m in that most splendid of life statuses known as UNEMPLOYMENT. This means I’ve more time than I used to have. Second, I long and pray for a certain job where writing would be my main task. Third, my lovely wife letting me tag along for a geneaology conference where the last session was about using non-fiction technique to tell your family’s history through stories.

This latter seminar was presented by a lady who’d been in the business of both authorship and geneology over the past twenty years or so. The first work she read to combine both arts, therefore her first inspiration? In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Guess what will be my next novel purchase?

And yes, reading books have played a major part in my returning to writing. Here’s a few works prompting me at the moment:

  • How To Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster. I suggest reading this one just to get yourself into READING.
  • A newer novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan.
  • An classic memoir, A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
  • Another classic, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. An example of how a great story should be written.
  • On Writing, Stephen King, along with his historical fiction novel, 11/22/63.
  • On Writing Fiction, David Jauss
  • The Art of Nonfiction, Ayn Rand
  • Writing to Find Yourself, Allison Vesterfelt
  • Why I Write and On Keeping a Notebook, Joan Didion
  • On Writing Well, William Zinsser. This one I just picked up tonight at Barnes & Noble. A classic in its own right.

These, and a book on personal application of theology and doctrine by Tim Chester, You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behaviour and Negative Emotions. The title makes it sound like nothing more than a glorified self-help book, but it is very intense and has enough writing prompts at the end of each chapter to warrant its own blog.

So again friends, I intend to keep this blog going for longer than I have in the past. Any ideas, please comment below. Thanks!!!

Writing About Books, Movies, Music: Quick Tips

This is the most useful post. Will keep this on hand to come back to often.

The Daily Post

Looking for ideas on how to write about books and films in a more engaging way, or interested in writing about songs but aren’t sure how to articulate your appreciation to those who haven’t heard them? Let’s talk about how to entice readers into posts on books, movies, and music they haven’t heard of.

Novelist and journalist Jonathan Gibbs at Tiny Camels comes to mind — he blogs about books, and even though I’ve never heard of the books he writes about, his writing about reading engages me. Consider his thoughtful commentary on Peter Stamm’s All Days Are Night, which doesn’t just explore the book, but the experience of reading itself.

Or take author Alec Nevala-Lee’s many posts on television and film, for example. Alec is masterful at penning succinct, focused commentaries on entertainment, often zooming in on an element of storytelling, rather than simply focusing on one production. In “The fifty-minute hour,” he discusses Mad Men and…

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My Mid-September Blog Post.

Today, lots on my mind.

I’ll get right to the first point. I am really being convicted about evangelism, primarily by the book “Gospel Centered Church” by Steve Timmis & Tim Chester. But also by other things and circumstances these past few weeks.

My initial concern is that of initiating conversations. I dearly wish to tell others about the whole Gospel of Jesus, but I don’t want to be rude. Christians’ “rudeness” seems to be the main issue that irritates atheists today. But how will they hear without someone telling them?

Secondly, I absoulutely loathe apologetics. Being asked to physically “prove” what I know by faith alone is rudeness, if you ask me. But I want to “make a defense for the hope that is in me” (1 Peter 3:15).

My second point is that the more atheistic and liberal the world gets, the more they will condemn the arts that God has entrusted to us. There has been a lot of “jazz slamming” going on in liberal publications these last few months; including an article filled with so-called “sayings” of Sonny Rollins. See http://www.jazztimes.com for more.

Point #3. I need to be more creative. Write more stories, more blog posts (this is my first in, like, how long?), more music. Once I finally get an actual project going, I might just be blogging about it on here. Don’t hold your breath, though.
What is convicting me about this is a new article in Relevant Magazine, “5 Ways the Church Can Make Great Art Again” (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/5-ways-church-can-make-great-art-again). The article is very thought provoking, along with its comments, many of which are exceptional pieces in their own right. Please read and enjoy.

By the way, I am writing this post using the new HanxWriter app created by the actor Tom Hanks. The initial typewriter app is free, with other styles for purchase (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hanx-writer/id868326899?mt=8).

So, until I write again, have fun.

Comment below at will.

Hello September!!

Beginning this Fall with reading a Gospel for each remaining month of 2014. This month, I’m embarking on Matthew.

It is amazing how this gospel begins: with a geneology. The style that Matthew empolys is that of three sections of fourteen patriarchs. Greg Gilbert, in “What is the Gospel?” notices that “fourteen, as any good Jew would have known, was the number arrived at by adding up the values of the three Hebrew letters D-V-D
039;David.' Matthew, like all the other Christians, practically screams as he begins his story about Jesus, 'King! King! King!'"

I have known for some time about the splitting up of each set of fourteen generations, but I have never encountered this meaning behind it. Matthew was intent on this, beautifully expounding the majesty of King Jesus.