Thursday, November 15, 2012

Scripture and Writing: Week 8


For those of you who can't join us in person, we offer the next best thing -- a blog version of our lesson, so that you can do it at home. This series is called: Scripture & Writing.

This week's lesson prepared by Dawn M. Hamsher


Prayer: Lord, help us to see the world around us as you would have us see it. Let us use the senses you gave us to record experiences and then share them with others. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Scripture Reading: Revelation 1:19 
Now write down everything you see: things that are, things about to be.


In context, Jesus is telling John to write down everything he sees in his spirit-visit. He is being given an assignment to write down prophecy. Out of context, the message is observe and record everything. 

1. Why would you want to observe and record everything as a writer? How can this help your writing?

2. Give examples of spiritual observations and secular ones.

3. Read these scriptures. Why is description important?
    Revelation 21:10-12, 1 Kings 7:2-3, Ezekiel 27:24
4What senses should be used when observing?
5. How could you incorporate observing and recording into your daily life?

Tips for Observing and Recording – for Writing:

1. Be Prepared – Take a notebook and pen with you wherever you go. You never know when you will see something you want to capture.

2. Sit and Focus – Find a place you can sit comfortably. Focus on the object or situation.

3. Use all your senses - What do you see and hear? Is there a smell*? What does it feel like (touch or emotions)?
*Smell can be a powerful sense that often gets overlooked in writing. See bottom of page for all the memories that came to me from smelling just one smell.

4. Record – Jot down notes quickly because the moment might pass and you want to get as much information as possible. Then add date, location, time of year, scenery, etc.

5. Reflect and Expand – When you have time, reflect on what you’ve observed and expand on it. Does it make you think of something from your past? Could you use it for a current piece of writing? If not, save it. Consider a filing system of observations that you could pull from at a later date.

One Wonderful Smell 
by Dawn M. Hamsher

There was a smell. It was like rotten cheese mixed with garbage. I caught a whiff of it as I walked past an alley in downtown Charleston (S.C.), heading back to my college campus. I backed up so I could continue breathing it in. Memories flooded back from Italy, where I had lived in the fourth grade. 

Trying to eat hard Panini roll hamburgers. Adopting the stray Italian dog, only to find out he already had an Italian family. Laughing to see a goat wander into my friend’s house and then go up their stairs. Being chased by a cow. Living in hotels for months. Eating rum cake every night. Taking the ferry boat to school. Seeing the rocky coast line and scraggy cork trees. Snorkeling in the crystal clear water while watching out for sea urchins. Dipping ants in chocolate and eating them in the school yard. Learning what a Bidet was. Watching my mom carry all the American conveniences in her purse like toilet paper, ketchup, and salad dressing. Having to go to Spain to get my braces and headgear put on. Helping my dad develop photos in his darkroom. Riding in the Riley with its steering wheel on the wrong side. Buying leather and blown glass in the market. Playing Italian Monopoly with my dad every night after the power went off at seven o’clock.
All those memories --from one wonderful smell.

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