What If?

I am finally pursuing the novel that is dancing in my head, waiting patiently to be let out. Rather it’s more like the kid doing the pee-pee dance, praying for that locked bathroom door to open!

Two words – what if – are keys to a writer’s imagination. Those two little words start a whole chain of questions that may or may not lead to the creation of an entire universe.

On Sunday evening I dropped my grandson at a church high school youth program. It’s where he feels comfortable. The adults also have a service at that time. As I watched them pour into the church I wondered, “What if every person who calls on the name of Messiah would pray and fast with our Jewish brothers on Yom Kippur?”

Oh, not just ‘get through’ the fast and prayer as some might do, but actively humble ourselves, repent for ourselves and our nations, and press into the presence of God for 25 hours. What would happen in the spiritual realm?

What if every son and daughter of Jacob did the same? Not just the Orthodox or semi-religious, but absolutely every member of the tribe? What would the world look like as we break the fast after sunset?

What if?


4 Responses to What If?

  1. Questor September 23, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

    A fascinating question…all the What If’s.

    It seems that all bloggers have book ideas dancing in their heads…mine come out in spurts, and end in exhaustion, and get filed away with the other spurts…but then, this will be my 4th novel, and having been slowly recovering from a multitude of ailments that added onto my car crash 22 years ago, I try not to mind that Abba has not wanted me to write much fiction these days, but instead stay quiet, study, and write where I can on the web…sometimes my blog, sometimes just a note or a comment, or even FaceBook, where suddenly I get the impulse to say more than a pleasant word.

    The other novels sit waiting for energy for the final draft, having been written and re-written for decades…beginning in my 20’s, as does the Garden Design book await enough physical health to plant and photograph garden beds long designed for the five years it takes to prove theories in garden design…for intermediate gardeners, as there is not and never has been such a book…all else are for beginners and masters, and I am in the middle. I’m not bragging…just showing how long your ideas can rest, and marinate, and still come to make a fine full dish at the end of the day…when time allows. We are not done yet with our day.

    You seem to be caught in the enjoyment of your family, and putting everything aside but the blog. It is worth it…books never love you back. But the itch to wrote…that is always there, but gives little satisfaction, until you get five pages out, and feel that that day was an accomplishment.

    As for all of us turning to repent and fast together for Yom Kippur…that’s a novel thought for a Messianic Gentile like myself, particularly when I am still adding on the feast days, and don’t quite know what to do with them, even in a minimal way, having no one to celebrate with.

    I blew my shofar on Rosh haShanah until I was breathless, and that was most of my feast day, except for apples and honey. Otherwise, to me it is another Shabbat, and not the same as a normal Shabbat, so that confuses me, particularly when they are right next to a Saturday Shabbat.

    But every year it becomes easier…the ideas and habit blending into my life, and one day, I will find I have pulled out my current book, or a past one, and at long last finished it. Whether it see’s other eyes is not relevant…it is knowing that I wrote them. But other people’s eyes would be nice too, and it is easy to self publish these days.

    All blessing to you for the coming days, and for your family.

    I envy you.

    • Ro Pinto September 24, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

      I thought about you this Rosh Hashanah. I was quite alone this year and thought of you, also alone. My granddaughter (now a teenager who lives with me on the weekends) is moving away from the primacy of the faith and seeks to spend time with her friends from school, though not entirely stepping away from Messiah. As you’ve likely noted in some of my other posts, my grandson is none too happy with having to step away from the world for an entire 25 hours, let alone doing it twice in one week! With the rolling of the eyes on Wednesday, I told him he could go ahead and make his own plans for the evening. Better to have a night of celebration than a struggle to get through the night.

      So on Erev Yom Teruah, I sat at my well-dressed table with all the traditional symbolic foods, along with soup, appetizer, and roast chicken for one. I pulled out the booklet I use for the larger gatherings and went through the scripture, prayers, and shofar blowing just me and Hashem. During the main course, I watched Aleph Beta’s course on Yom Teruah and was ‘blown’ away by the teaching of the heavenly shofar being God’s call to us, and my shofar being my answer to His call. Needless to say, the evening went from a little lonely and depressing to a spiritual awakening, and I sang songs of praise with my voice and shofar!

      About a year or more ago I joined the Jerry Jenkins Writer’s Guild. Played with it a little, but had not found enough time to dive in. He recently started an online course (Your Novel Blueprint) and I am loving it. The goal of the course is to have your novel finished in a year. There’s a Facebook group that is very active, and Jerry is very involved. I finally feel as though I am going to get this book over the finish line. It’s actually a series. Still in the outlining stages, but I’ve met many of the characters, and am spending time getting to know them.

      I am also facing some financial challenges having another teenager live with me full time. I’ve had to take on another part-time job to get over the hurdle. All this has caused me to step down from ministry (that I love) and away from regular fellowship. The last remaining ministry is our Torah study on Sunday evenings, which has to be set aside for the next couple of weeks – due to heavy work commitments. But God.

      But I trust God will work things out, as long as I am willing to put in the effort.

      Before taking on another job, I had a seminar in the works, as well as a non-fiction book on the Sabbath. In prayer, I felt I was supposed to pursue the fiction. Or maybe it was just easier to work within a made-up world as opposed to reality. Whatever the case, I have to trust Abba that He will bring me along the path He wants me to take, despite myself. Yet, I feel the time is short and could kick myself for wasting over 30 years just dreaming about writing instead of actually doing it. Now, in my late fifties, I’ve finally begun the journey.

      One of the first exercises Jerry took our class through was to discover the reason we write. Mine is: I write in answer to my call to help Gentile Believers understand God and His Torah. It took those 30+ years to get to a place where I understood this call. In the end, I have to admit that God is never late – His timing is perfect.

      My grandson moving in pulled me away from ministry at TAK, though I miss everyone terribly. Yet, if I’m heavily involved with Messianic Believers, how can Abba use me to reach out to those seeking to understand Him and His Torah?

      I, for one, would love to be the eyes to your words, Questor. I always enjoy your input here and on James’ blog.

      May you be inscribed for a sweet new year!

      • Questor September 24, 2017 at 11:35 pm #

        Thank you for thinking of me…oddly I too go to Aleph Beta regularly! Great minds are drawn to the same things, apparently. Often it is all the fellowship with a Jewish flavor that I get for my Shabbats.

        I do not know the reason that I write, although I spend a lot of time attempting to be a G-d explainer as I run into the questions. I started with Poetry at 12, then as the world drew me away, back to science fiction in my mid 20’s, as the solace for my first spinal injury, and all the sleepless nights in which I wrote the first book in my mind.

        When I was at a typewriter a year later, it only took 30 days to set it down, although being a typewriter, each revision was agony. Then, pulled away again by the need to pay attention to work, I only was able to add a bit on the weekends…two more sci-fi/fantasy with a word processor at long last, then the book on Garden Design I needed when I got past the beginning stages of gardening in my 30’s and wondered why my garden didn’t match the vague ideas I had in my mind. It remains to be completed with 5 years of photography of newly planted beds as the show-and-tell portion of the exercise, but with no energy to focus on that endeavour.

        And now the words sit in piles…printed in boxes on a shelf, and in electronic files on my computer, and never enough energy and time together at once to do anything about them. The novels need a great deal of character development, and the garden book much planting, to say the least! But I needed the same development, which is apparently why my books are not done.

        I am far too scattered a person to be successful at much of anything, although my middling efforts, applied regularly, still give forth fruit…it’s just not the fruit I would have preferred! But I can say that my delphiniums bloom beautifully in the greenhouse, and are a deep sapphire blue that Abba must have designed to simply to soothe the heart.

        But always I prefer to be at the computer…just now on Ancestry.Com, searching out the messy details of my family history, and finding verifiable Jewish ancestry peppered in the background, along with the hidden line that got buried with my maternal grandmother’s passage from Graz, Austria…delighting me to be able to connect at a distant level to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It makes me feel a little more connected in the aloneness I have found myself enwrapped in.

        You seem to be enwrapped in teenagers, which cannot be conducive to writing, as they are expensive items to maintain, thus taking your time to provide rather than to write. I enjoyed very much your description of that alien life force sneaking into the pleasant children they must once have been…it did seem very apt.

        I will look forward to you setting out a character or two, and seeing you put them to use to scratch that writing itch we cannot get away from.


  2. Ro Pinto September 28, 2017 at 6:27 am #

    Thanks, Questor. Being a fan of SciFi, I look forward to peeking into your world.

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