Anyone who knows anything about Harry Potter and Beth Moore knows the very high unlikelihood of those two names ever occuring together in the same sentence. Harry Potter is... well, who needs to explain Harry Potter? Boy magician-in-training, JK Rowling's phenomena in the publishing world. Beth Moore is just about as famous, in Christian womens' circles, that is. She writes incrediable Bible studies, gives hilarious presentations, and mooches sunchips from innocent bystanders.
So this past week has been noteworthy in that I both started, and finished, the nearly 800 pages of the last Harry Potter book, and Heather invited me to a Bible study that is showing the latest Beth Moore Bible study, on the topic of asher (biblical happiness), and both of these events provided inspiration to my life in different ways.
I've only read the first Harry Potter book, and now the last, and actually I am not really a huge HP fan. It's great fun to read and author is enviably imaginative. The books are certainly worth all the hype. Part of my lack of zeal is because the Harry Potter world is all about witchcraft, which the Bible very clearly states as a sin (Gal 5:20). But then, the children's book I'm writing is full of magic, both good and evil. The good magic I am carefully (and prayerfully) linking to the power of God. I'm trying to make my unicorns, in their highest and best form to be servants of God, like a type of angel, whose powers only work when they are using them to help others. The Harry Potter books also distinguish between good use of magic and the "dark arts", but the author makes no attempt to explain where the power for magic comes from, either good or evil.
Anyway, my point for bringing up Harry Potter isn't to debate whether it's okay stuff for Bible-living Christians to be reading (I'll just plead Romans 14 and leave it at that), but how the last HP book inspired me with some new ideas for my own fantasy world, much in the same way the Twilight series did. The book "stirred the juices", so to speak, so that my journal and my calendar and my purse notebook are all bristling with notes about ideas I need to find time to write into the story, itself.
Ah, finding time to write! I've written nothing in this blog for over two weeks, and in those same two weeks less than 700 words on my novel. My "valley" Word document is open on this computer as I am typing this blog, in the theory that bloggin will start up some writing momentum so that when I'm done here I'll seamlessly switch over to writing fantasy...)
In the same way that Harry Potter has provided inspiration for my writing life, Beth Moore has provided a much more important sort of inpsiration, for my spiritual life. I highly recommend the three hour sessions on this DVD we are watching, A Day With Beth Moore (you can order it on the Women of Faith web site, it's listed under Beth Moore: preconference). Her talk is based on the Hebrew word "asher" which is translated as blessed, or happy. Two Hebrew words are translated to blessed in the Old Testament, "barak" and "asher." Barak means "you are blessed" - it is positional. Asher means when "you feel blessed" - it is emotional. Biblical happiness, like generic happiness, is based on our circumstances... but it is not bound by circumstances. There is no circumstance in our lives that God cannot work in. If you make happiness your life's pursuit, it will become an idol to you (2 Kings 21:7), but if you make God your pursuit, happiness will follow. Happiness cannot be obtained by pursuing it, it is only something you can receive. Biblical happiness comes when we are awakened to a work of God.
Well I haven't been pursuing God very much these days... I guess I've been trying to manufacture my own happiness... and my own writing, too (no wonder why I haven't been very productive!) My goal this week is to spend time with God everyday in his Word and in prayer (I am rediscovering how wonderful it is to pray through a Psalm). I have not set any writing goals. Instead, I want to see where God takes me with my writing this week if I take the time first to pray about my writing. But prayer for my relationship with Him, with my family, my friends and church family will come first.