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Zechariah #AtoZChallenge

This year my A to Z challenge is about Christmas, a major festival in the Christian Church. Another major festival is Easter, which I wrote about for the A to Z Challenge in 2020.

My A to Z challenge began with Advent and angels one of whom appeared to Zechariah. Zechariah became the father of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) ministry.

This Zechariah is not the same one as the prophet, whose name is given to the penultimate book in the Old Testament. The prophet Zechariah foresaw events which occurred in Jesus’ life. Zechariah 9:9-10 is one example. It predicts the events of Palm Sunday.

The New Testament Zechariah also appeared in my post for the letter Q. I rewrote Zechariah’s story in my own words for my A to Z challenge in 2017. Why not click through to read it there?

A Christmas carol which uses the letter Z is the Zither carol. Zither was my post for my A to Z about musical instruments. The link above to the Zither carol is a karaoke version. To listen to the carol being sung, please click here.

While this year’s A to Z badges by Anjela Curtis honour the late Jeremy Hawkins, I hope that my posts about Christmas honour Jesus Christ, ‘who was and is and is to come’. Revelation 1:4

I hope you have enjoyed looking at the Christmas story with me.

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A topical poem

My social life at present is enhanced by the online groups I have joined. One of these is a poetry group, which meets once a month. There is an optional challenge to write a poem on a theme. The poems are read aloud at the next meeting.

The theme for our March meeting, which falls in the Christian season of Lent, is wilderness. Earlier this week I wrote a poem, which I am sharing with you here. My prayer is that the prophecy in Isaiah 2:4 would soon be fulfilled.

The War in Ukraine

Making a wilderness,
Burning and destroying,
Polluting, disrupting,
Soldiers deploying.

Some people are fleeing,
Their settled lives over.
Women and children – how
Will they recover?

Men and youths (all ages)
Bear unfamiliar arms.
An unprovoked foe can
Cause such alarms.

Homes deserted, folk
Shelter beneath the ground.
Noise, dust, black smoke and fumes –
Where can peace be found?

Around the world people pray
In bewilderedness
For a quick, peaceful end
To war-caused wilderness.

The post linked to on the word Lent mentions wilderness as well as Lent. It is one of my posts for the Blogging from A to in April Challenge 2020. I have found that taking part in The Blogging from A to Z Challenge has helped me connect with bloggers in other countries (and continents). Information about the dates for the 2022 Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge may be found here. The theme reveal is later this month.

Another blogger who has written about Lent and Wilderness is Malcolm Guite, an accomplished poet.

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Book review: Write Well compiled by Amy Scott Robinson

Cover of Write Well compiled by Amy Scott Robinson Illustrations are part of a pencil, pencil shavings, part of a pen

The Association of Christian Writers, which I joined in April 2014, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One of the celebrations is a book written by members. Write Well a Handbook for Christian Writers is in three parts between the Introduction and Epilogue. The parts are Digging the Well, Priming the Pump and Filling the Bucket.

All aspects of writing from inspiration to publication are considered. Writers’ experience of being encouraged by other members of ACW and in particular the local groups are woven between advice about writing particular genres and routes to publication.

Over fifty writers have contributed to this work, which was edited by committee members Amy Scott Robinson, Jane Brocklehurst, Jane Walters and Rosemary Johnson. It was published by Instant Apostle. The ACW Bookshop on the website has details about the book and how to obtain a copy. It may be ordered from ACW. There are details above the picture of the cover on the website. Mine came from a friend, whose essay was one of the fifty included in Write Well.

I shall be referring to this book in the future as there is much useful information.
It has been my privilege to meet some of the writers in person and more on social media including online writers’ days and genre groups. Reading their contributions helped me to know them better.

There is an analogy here. Reading the Bible should help us to know God better. Do you find books more interesting when they are written by someone you know?