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Christian book: April
April
Many scientists today have been diverted from other fields into the intensive study of ageing and its causes. There are many interested parties who would like to extend their lives, perhaps indefinitely, so there is a commercial side to this. A few scientists have actually declared publicly that they believe, some time in the future, humans will live forever!

But the hurdles are massive. Cell biology is incredibly complicated, and even if a body's life could be prolonged there is the question of whether the brain would also stay young, or would it become a useless, senile organ in a very old body? Some scientists are trying to grow spare organs, or simply produce small amounts of organ tissue, so replacement parts, or patches, can be provided, not a bad idea in my opinion, but once again we have the problem of humans living far beyond the average simply for their own enjoyment? Is this a worthy reason?

In this story we have an experiment, a child, who lives in an isolated room and is being raised by a team of very old scientists. The story is a metaphor for what is happening in the world today. All who work on extending life are themselves rapidly coming to the end of theirs. Even if Man could regain the 969 years of Methuselah, death would inevitably come, so what would the achievement amount to (?) Very little, when measured against eternity.

I have spoken to a few thoughtful people about the possibility of living a few thousand years and the response has always been much the same, negative. This world is like a very well decorated cage. After even one average lifetime we find a certain sameness creeps into everything, seasons, colours, thrills, sights, wonders, tastes, smells, sounds, entertainments, adventures . . . eventually we find we've 'been there, done that' and there is not much left to see. We'd find ourselves falling asleep in the roller coaster. Sure, we might be a brilliant scientist, and dedicate endless

Christian book: Breath
Breath
A humorous story about a boy who tries to set a new world record in halitosis, or bad breath, but unfortunately his experiments in growing bacteria in his mouth have an unfortunate side effect.

I wrote this story for no other reason than to write a funny story. Laughter is like a medicine, and a dose of humour every day is part of staying well. The Bible says "A merry heart does good like a medicine:" Proverbs 17:22, so it should not surprise us to learn that some hospitals are including funny movies in their service to patients because it has been proven that sick people who laugh release chemicals into their blood which aid in the healing process. I have also wondered, for many years, whether the compulsion to watch humour on TV, or in theatres, is part of a craving deep within humans to be well? Great comedians are not called 'doctors' but they are held in great esteem, and seen as 'people who give us a good feeling inside' because their service of humour is without a doubt therapeutic.

Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God now accepts your works."

Ecclesiastes 9:7

"A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." Proverbs 15:13

All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast." Proverbs 15:15

Christian book: Couch Potato
Couch Potato
I tried to write a story about a mouse from a mouse's perspective. Of course I do not speak 'mousese' so I admit I have failed. It is impossible to see the world from the mouse point of view, but what if a mouse had a limited vocabulary and a simple view of the world, and saw things in a childlike, or simple sort of way? What if a mouse made sense of things in mouse terms, while at the same time the very same things were made sense of by humans in a completely different, and human way?

I've heard people say things like, "I wish I was a cat. I could lie around in the sun all day!" But what they really mean is, "I wish I was me, with all my thoughts and abilities intact, inside a cat." The trouble is, if we became a cat, we would have a cat's brain, and we would not know anything other than cat instincts. Just because animals sometimes do things which copy human behaviour in some way, does not mean that the yawning gulf between human and animal is any less immense.

Below are all the verses in the whole Bible which mention mice:

"These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind." Leviticus 11:29

"They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord." Isaiah 66:17

"Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, (boils, piles or tumours) and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords." 1 Samuel 6:4,5,11,18

Christian book: Fame
Fame
A funny story about a boy who is so unnoticeable his mother has to ask him if he is in the room. The boy 'wishes upon a star' and the situation is reversed completely. He becomes a world-famous celebrity. He then discovers that being famous is not as wonderful as he thought.

I wanted to write a story that showed the downside of being popular or famous. In some ways I think it is better to live a life of obscurity than to be well known. Fame brings many temptations with it and can lead to ruin, take John Lennon and Elvis for example. So many Hollywood and musical celebrities have crashed, either through drugs, booze, violence, disease or depression, not to mention worldliness.

No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:4

"Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." Proverbs 16:19

"Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:4

"Thus says the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 9:23,24

Christian book: Opposites
Opposites
A back-to-front world is quite impossible, but if a few things are reversed it seems like it is back-to-front. The trouble with doing a complete mirror world is the fact that all the physics in that world also need to be reversed. The more one thinks about opposites and reversed copies the worse it becomes. The English language does not have enough words in it to cope with a 100% reverse of everything!

For example, we say the opposite of happy is sad, but what are the opposites of indifference, disinterest and repetition? Up and down are opposites, but what about oblique, and slightly bent? The world of Alice Through the Looking Glass was carefully selective in its opposites.

What does all this have to do with Christianity? The link is that we should be very careful about how we label people. Nobody is completely good or evil. Every life has a myriad of conditions and complications which colour the individual's response to truthm, intellect, moral awareness, upbringing, influence by a sect or religion, etc. Life is not like an old Western movie where the 'goodies' wears white and the 'baddies' wear black. God judges us by an infinitely more complicated standard.

"That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" Romans 11:33

"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." 1 Corinthians 4:5

Christian book: Quorn
Quorn
This story on the surface is about a cute little alien that looks exactly like a teddy bear, but the underlying story is about belonging, and friendship, and the ties of live.

The quorn has become very attached to his 'owner', a dear little girl, who subsequently grows up and abandons him, but he never gives up. He waits and he waits, until one day she returns, and his love for her is just as strong as when she went away.

With this story I wanted to say something about God's never-ending love, and His yearning for our friendship, that is, our hearts given to Him in love in response to His love. He loves us first, but usually, we sinners do not want His love.

He follows us all through life, making overtures of love to us, but we turn our backs. He waits, He watches, He sends us little messages, but we refuse to read them.

In human society one of the most painful experiences anyone can have is unrequited love. This is when we open our hearts to someone, and declare our love for them, but they are cold and indifferent, and reject us. Our love continues, but now it becomes a source of misery, because it cannot find its home in the other person's life.

"I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them." Hosea 11:4

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets, and stones them that are sent to you; how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" Luke 13:34

"The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you." Jeremiah 31:3

(Nothing) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:39

Christian book: Sleeping In
Sleeping In
A humorous story about a very lazy, self-indulgent boy who is lost and forgotten. The serious side to this story is the fact that, unless we make a decision to do something with our lives, we can end up just like this boy.

(Jesus said) "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work." John 9:4

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:13

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16

"Say not, There are yet four months, and then comes harvest? behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35