Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Yada Yada Prayer Group

My favorite classical composer is, Ludwig von Beethoven. Two hundred thirty one years ago today, between the ages of 6 and 8*, he gave his first public performance in Cologne, Germany.** I visited there in 2001. Absolutely lovely! Jon and I will visit there again I imagine when we next go to Europe. Oh Lord, let that be soon! :-) Incidentally, it was one hundred eighty two years ago on March 26, 1827, that this musical wonder passed away. Funny, I really did not start this post with all of that in mind, but there you have it. Beethoven's musical compositions have such emotional energy and movement to them that they cause a soul to soar and plummet, and all within the confines of two scores. They can be as an entire work completely soothing, or inspiring and moving. Why this mention of music and classical composing on a post that clearly indicates written literature, and quite contemporary at that? Because in my opinion, Neta Jackson, author of The Yada Yada Prayer Group, book series is the Beethoven equivalent in the contemporary fiction literature world. Each page has movement and yet some of it is soothing, truly a balm to the soul. Neta Jackson's composition of words and the realness of the story can make you laugh out loud, weep deeply, and cause one to take a more objective look at oneself. Thoughts like Ouch... I did not realize how short I fall of where I need to be, and Oh... I've come farther than I realized, are roused within oneself regularly.

The way the women in this book stumble onto becoming a group, and naming themselves The Yada Yada prayer group is quite like something the average group of women might happen onto. The back door way the simplicity of the name Yada Yada comes about gives complete glory to, God. When one of the members discovers Yada Yada actually has meaning and represents their desire as individuals and as a group, it is very clear that only the Holy Spirit could have inspired that. Here is an excerpt from this book that is part of a conversation the Yada Yada sisters are having.

"Yada: to perceive, understand, acquire knowledge, know, discern." And a whole lot more. Here's one I like: "To be known, make oneself known, to be familiar." And another: "To distinguish (yada) between right and wrong." If we add an "h" it gets even better. "Yadah: to speak out, to confess; to praise; to sing; to give thanks." Later says Yadah "essentially means to acknowledge... the nature and work of God." (Jackson 125)

I am amazed at how this novel weaves scriptural precepts into the fiber of the story. I have had several revelations about the whole of Who God is, a higher place for me to live spiritually and socially, and gained some courage to step out and trust God for the things he has for my life. My eyes have been opened to how some of the cliches and labels I grew up with that churches give even simple things like "quiet time" and "devotions", can set us up for what I call "churchianity" rather than God focused "Christianity".

You can take look at who Neta Jackson is and what she has written here. By scrolling down and looking on the right hand side of that web site, you can see what the Yada Yada books are about. By clicking here, you can go straight to that web site where it displays and discusses her Yada Yada books only.

* It is historically believed and accepted that Ludwig's father falsified his birth certificate to being 6 rather than eight, giving him the appearance of being more of a prodigal. Jeez.... like that was going to be necessary.
** I began this post the Thursday evening the 26th, and am only posting it just now, Saturday the 28th of March. Beethoven's first public performance was March 26, 1778.

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