God In The Soap Opera

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Proclaiming Christ from all the Scriptures, in order to Make Disciples from all the Nations

If God blesses everyone, why does it feel like his life is cursed? God promises to save, but Paul feels burdened.

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Can he really trust God's word of blessing and rescue, or must he work his own way out of the curse? Paul's two friends, Samson and David, are reading through the Bible together and give him very different advise — about life and God. Who will Paul listen to?

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What will he learn from the consequences? An interactive audio drama using mobile phones. The catalogues began arriving weeks ago. Christmas music began playing around the clock on the radio, on multiple stations now in mid-November. The commercials for holiday gifts and sales increasingly dominate our televisions.

When Your Life Becomes A Soap Opera

We have barely pushed back from the Thanksgiving table when we are thrown forwards into Christmas preparations. Motivated to make our lists and check them twice, three, four times. To make sure we have our lists together of gifts we want and those we want to give. To make certain we have our Christmas cards ready.

To plan our schedules. We focus on getting the baby sitters lined up and invitations in order for holiday parties. And we should. This is a great, fun, exciting time of year. Perhaps Christmas at last means a lot bit more. How often have we jumped on the Christmas sleigh at Thanksgiving and find that we have ridden it through December and if you are like me, before we know it we find ourselves working through those responsibilities and the season is over and we find ourselves in our in laws kitchen getting ready for the New Year.

Instead perhaps focus on simplicity.

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Or economy. We have the angel gift tree and alternative giving as antidotes. Or unity. At this time of great global division, the Thanksgiving holiday is one chance to celebrate those things which unite us. And give thanks to God for the blessings God has given us.

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As we see the hungry in our streets, read of exiled people trying to escape oppression throughout our world and are anxious about safety and concerned about peace, we lift our prayers for peace, our time helping feed the hungry on Thanksgiving, our interest in helping those fleeing for safety and our pride that in a world of too much intolerance, this weekend we were open to helping both our Jewish partners and also a Muslim congregation as they looked for worship space.

Several of these were situations that one cannot foresee, where one just has to be open to the unexpected opportunities to make a difference.

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Or mystery. As the quote on the front of bulletin suggests, suspend some of our expectation and our plans at some level and appreciate the mystery of the season. Twenty years ago I worked at Procter and Gamble, the big soap company. I worked marketing cough cold product, and I can remember my first project was on Vicks cough drops sticks. We had focused grouped, and market researched and planned our product to a T. We had the packaging and all the outside stuff on the product just right. However, because of the active ingredient the FDA said we could only keep them on the shelves until the end of the year.

What was on the inside of the product trumped what was on the outside. So my Advent project that year became getting rid of cough drop sticks. I had a number of what I thought were creative ideas like focusing on church narthexes where so many cough drops are kept. The one I liked the best, was I attached paper clips to hundreds of them can we gave them away as Christmas ornaments. So still today when we decorate the tree I love putting up my Vicks menthol cough drop stick ornaments.

Sometimes one has to ultimately stop trying to prepare everything around us, and start focusing on what is on the inside. So stop and let the mystery of this season wash over you. We cannot make all the uneven ground level. Still, he amasses enough wealth that the last Menenhetet can again be of service to pharaohs. Mailer leavens the lives of Menenhetet with set pieces spun out of his re search: scenes of embalm ing and funeral rituals, the annual flood of the Nile, tales of the gods and god desses, magic and festivals, banquets and battles.

But sex, as recurrent and dead ening as pornography, is the matrix of the book.

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Power, for Menenhetet and his pharaohs, is to be found in violating sexual taboos and dominance in the literal sway of one body over an other. By the end of his last life Menenhetet has com mitted incest with many of his close relatives. With the rather puerile logic of this sexual soap opera, it is the loose tongue of a vengeful granddaughter that wrests the double crown of the pharaoh out of his reach. Like the plucking of a heavy string came a first intimation of sorrow. We plow through fields of magnetism.

Past and future come together on thunderheads and our dead hearts live with the lightning in the wounds of the Gods. Browse Issues Search Subscribe Now. Click to View Article Pages. Mailer has worked on the book for 10 years and has researched the religion and culture of Egypt circa BC so thoroughly that he can even pun comfortably with Egyptian words. Is pain the funda- ment? All the rivers veins of pain?

Carmen "The Soap Opera Song"

The oceans my mind awash? Though framed by the after-death travails of Meni II, Ancient Evenings is mainly the life history of his great-grandfather, who successfully reincarnated himself three times before his bitter ghost was forced to take up permanent residence in the afterlife. His first life ends in the act of revenging himself on Ramses II by making Nefertiri pregnant with a child inhabited by his own soul. May More From This Issue.

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