How would you like a sneak peek at my next book? The manuscript is basically finished. My agent has it and she is starting to shop it to publishers. I am very excited about this book. I waited nearly ten years to write it and I am trusting it will be a great blessing to many. I am not trying to sell you a book. There are none yet to sell. The book will probably be out in the fall of 2015.
I just thought my faithful blog readers might enjoy seeing a brief snippet of the book, before anyone else gets a chance. The working title is "21 Seconds To Change Earth." Here is a little taste. I hope it piques your interest.
Here Is An Excerpt From My Next Book
There are statements, so obvious in their truth, so obvious that no one will even argue with them, which said aloud, sound strange to the point of shock. Here is one. Mozart never wrote a single note of classical music. Not one. We know this, but it sounds strange to say it. His music is only classical NOW. In his day Mozart was writing contemporary music. He was a rock star with all the concomitant addictions that drove him to an early death, an 18th Century Kurt Cobain. Yet we so often use the word "classical" in connection with Mozart's music, that truth becomes blurred by custom.
Here is a statement that should give no one a flicker of pause. Jesus was not a Christian. Jesus never knew a Christian or knew anyone that became a Christian until after his crucifixion. He was Jewish and all of his companions were Jewish. All of those he taught were Jewish except a very few scattered Gentile tourists and here and there a Roman soldier. The prayer that we call The Lord's Prayer is thoroughly Jewish, taught by Jewish Rabbi to a Jewish audience in Israel. Therefore it is no surprise that the prayer is quite consistent with the main stream of Jewish prayer.
More surprising by far is that Psalm 23, written by King David a thousand years before Jesus was born, is somewhat more similar to Christian prayers, at least in one important way. Most Jewish prayers are corporate in nature, that is they are usually plural in their language. The Lord's Prayer is a perfect example. "Our Father…” "Give us…” "Forgive us…” This is characteristic of most Jewish prayers, especially liturgical prayers, which are commonly about the Jewish people, the Land, the nation or the family.
It was David, a Jewish King a millennium before anyone ever heard the word Christian, who said, " The Lord is MY shepherd." "He anoints MY head." He prepares a table before ME." Famously, David uses a not uncommon Biblical metaphor, that of the interaction between a shepherd and his sheep. In doing so, however, he employs the metaphor in a unique way. Psalm 100 and Psalm 95 both use the same image, but in a plural manner. "WE are His people and the sheep of His pasture." ( Psalm100:3 ) "...WE are His people and the sheep of His hand." (Psalm 95:7 ) David's poetic use of the metaphor is more akin to the language of personal piety more common in Christian prayers.
This exclusively individualistic language in Psalm 23 has been suggested as the reason the poem is seldom if ever used in formal Jewish liturgical settings. It is used instead at the third meal on Shabbat and, as in the Christian community, at funerals.
Jesus' prayer, the The Lord's Prayer or The Our Father, is not a poem. The rich imagery of a Davidic Psalm is missing. Jesus is into the prayer fast, goes directly to the point, or points, and exits stage left just as quickly. The language of The Lord's Prayer is lean, even sparse, and totally plural. It is also a straight shot from the first word of the prayer to the last. There is no subtle shift in direction, no misty-eyed imagery and no nuanced language. Even the issues raised are clear and direct: authority, food, sin, forgiveness, temptation, and evil.
David's Psalm 23, on the other hand, is a restless sea of image-rich language. Metaphors shift, the point of view reverses field right in the middle of the poem and David bounces back and forth between relishing God's comfort and cataloging some of life's harshest realities. David begins the poem talking ABOUT God. He ends speaking directly TO God. He begins by describing God as a shepherd. He ends by making Him sound more like a wealthy Oriental home owner entertaining an honored guest. He first sees himself in a pasture drinking from a calm pool. He ends by seeing himself royally entertained, eating from a table and drinking from a cup. He starts the poem with an existential view of life in one of its most basic forms, a sheep farm. David ends by talking about spending eternity in a house, evidently a prosperous one whose inhabitants eat and drink well. David begins by talking about today, right now, eating and drinking and staying alive in the face of danger. Jesus ends his famous prayer by talking about God's kingdom. This is very Jewish. David ends by talking about being with God forever; heaven and a mansion. This sounds very like the language heard in Christian churches.
That's the snippet. I hope it whetted your appetite for more. Please pray for this book to enjoy the widest possible distribution and that it will be a blessing to many.