10 May 2017 Streams in the Desert Daily Devotional message for today, When Gravity Fails (1986 novel by George Alec Effinger) and Wasteland (Billy Idol, Cyberpunk album)

Hello to you, it is morning here as I write to you and EARLY 5:42 am as I begin! I woke up to more allergy related “afflictions” and had to get up. So I figured I would make the extra time useful and type up the very timely message from Grandma’s Streams in the Desert devotional to share with you!

The “sweet word” in this message today, “Be Still and Know that I am God,” has been one I have had come to me during the best and worst of times. Sometimes my own “strength” and “power” has fallen short and I have had to surrender to a power greater than myself in those times.  For me it has meant surrendering to the loving care and wisdom of the God of my understanding – the life force energy that created all that “this” life is.

Surrendering doesn’t mean giving up when it is in the spiritual realm, it means realizing we our truly out of our depths and we don’t have all the answers….admitting we “don’t know.” It means realizing that we need to step back from ourselves, to pray, to meditate, need to ask for help from others…just take a deep breath in the presence of the God of our understanding. It means to allow spiritual forces to go into motion as our earthly motion ceases for the moment.

I hope something will resonate here for you too. We may not all believe in the same God (or Goddess) or believe in the concept of God at all but I think we can agree there is always a force greater than ourselves at work in this world (like Gravity?)….there is always a bigger fish.

* Kyle is the one who inserted the bit about Gravity and I followed the thought and was lead to this which is perfectly resonates to where we are right now!  I don’t think I could read this because I am trying to limit negative forces in my life, but wanted to share how “it works” when you follow a thought sometimes and where it can lead you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Gravity_Fails

When Gravity Fails

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When Gravity Fails
Marid Audran When Gravity Fails.jpg

First Edition
Author George Alec Effinger
Cover artist Craig Mullins
Country United States
Language English
Series Marîd Audran series
Genre Science fiction (cyberpunk) novel
Publisher Arbor House
Publication date
January 1987
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
ISBN 0-87795-851-3
OCLC 13860315
813/.54 19
LC Class PS3555.F4 W5 1987
Followed by A Fire in the Sun, (1989)

When Gravity Fails is a cyberpunk science fiction novel by George Alec Effinger published in 1986.[1] It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1987 and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1988. The title is taken from “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues“, a song by Bob Dylan: “When your gravity fails and negativity don’t pull you through”.

Taking place in a futuristic Middle-Eastern setting, the series reverses some of the usual expectations of a future world order by painting the West in decline while Muslim countries seem to prosper. The book’s other main themes are the effects of drug use and alternate personality technologies, as well as the personal interactions and increasing isolation of a flawed protagonist.

It is the first book in Effinger’s Marîd Audran series, named after the protagonist, and was followed by A Fire in the Sun in 1989 and The Exile Kiss in 1991. Effinger started work on a fourth Audran novel, Word of Night, but died before that work was completed. The existing chapters of Word of Night are now available in the posthumously published Budayeen Nights, along with some other Budayeen and non-Budayeen short stories.

Setting[edit]

Middle-East[edit]

Effinger’s novel, set near the end of the 22nd Century, describes an ascendant Arabic/Muslim world, where the West has been in decline for at least a century. The United States, Europe and the Soviet Union are described as having fractured into many small states, squabbling amongst themselves for remnants of former glory, with their citizens often described as visiting the unnamed city of the novel’s setting as bumbling, naive tourists in awe at the wonders of the Muslim world.

The Islamic World, having grown much in economic and scientific power, still shows much of the elements commonly associated with it, such as strong religious touches, intricate rituals of conduct and relationship, and old tensions between the ethnic groups.

Protagonist[edit]

The novel is told from the perspective of Marîd Audran, a young man from low origins (coming from the Maghreb, and being the son of a prostitute), who is a small-scale operator and hustler in the Budayeen, the entertainment and criminal quarter of an unnamed Middle-Eastern city, probably somewhere in the Levant, based on several geographical references to other countries around the region.

Audran considers himself a freelance operator and is fiercely proud of his independence, both from others (including Friedlander Bey, the shadowy, paternalistic crime figure overseeing most of the Budayeen’s business interests) and from cybernetic modification. Where most others have their brain “wired”, for work or play, Audran’s almost superstitious dread of this modification has prevented him from doing the same, and so he cannot use “daddies” (from “add-ons”, software chips providing skills like languages or accounting) or “moddies” (modules that contain whole new personalities, for example those of movie stars or fictional characters). He covers this shortcoming by personal charm, a certain arrogance, and excessive use of stimulants, anti-depressants and other drugs, to which he is effectively addicted.

Audran’s claims of independence from everyone, often given in wry internal narration, are not fully factual either. He is very fond of many people in the Budayeen, from various prostitutes, barkeepers and other lowlifes of the ghetto to most especially Yasmin, his on-and-off girlfriend. The relationship with Yasmin, a trans woman now working as a (rather successful) prostitute, is especially volatile, with periods of mutual understanding and love being interrupted by vicious fights between the two.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Cover of the 1988 Bantam Spectra paperback edition. Cover art by Jim Burns.

A series of brutal murders soon begins to panic the Budayeen, and Audran is almost executed by Friedlander Bey, who at first considers him to be the killer. He is then forced by the centuries-old Bey to become his investigator, and even worse, is made to subject himself to extensive, partly experimental cybernetic modifications; an advanced form of the brain “wiring” he has dreaded before.

While the killer or killers step by step and very brutally begin wiping out witnesses as well as acquaintances of Audran, he tries to uncover clues to their nature and to the link between the seemingly unconnected victims. Meanwhile, he is fighting his fears of inadequacy in the face of a killer who obviously uses “moddies” making him into some of the most feared and bestial serial killers of history.

Most of Audran’s advances are made more by luck or intuition than natural skill or persistence. Yet after being accosted by (and subsequently overpowering) the modified killer — who had begun stalking Audran himself with sadistic glee and patience — he is not convinced that everything is over. In fact, he finds that one of the most important middlemen in the Budayeen was the real figure behind the murders. When he confronts him, he is almost killed himself, and facing death, has to insert a special “daddy” which makes him go into a bestial frenzy, killing the murderer. However, in his rage, he also slaughters a captured policeman and mutilates both bodies horribly.

The gruesome nature of his self-defense disgusts his former acquaintances in the Budayeen. Friedlander Bey, in the final move sealing Audran’s fate, then forces him into becoming one of his lieutenants, to serve as a new middleman between the ghetto and the police. As a result, he is now viewed with suspicion by everyone, and ends the novel with practically no friends, even Yasmin turning away from him.

Themes[edit]

May 10

“I had fainted unless…..!” (Psalm 27:13.)

How great is the temptation at this point! How the soul sinks, the heart grows sick,and the faith staggers under the keen trials and testings which come into our lives in times of special bereavement and suffering.

“I cannot bear up any longer, I am fainting under this providence. What shall I do? God tells me not to faint. But what can one do when he is fainting?

What do you do when you are about to faint physically? You cannot do anything. You cease from your own doings. In your faintness, you fall upon the shoulder of some strong loved one. You lean hard. You rest. You lie still and trust.

It is so when we are tempted to faint under affliction. God’s message to us is not, “Be strong and of courage,” for He knows our strength and courage have fled away. But it is that sweet word, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Hudson Taylor was so feeble in the closing months of his life that he wrote a dear friend: “I am so weak I cannot write; I cannot read my Bible; I cannot even pray. I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child, and trust.”

This wondrous man of God with all his spiritual power came to a place of physical suffering and weakness where he could only lie still and trust.

And that is all God asks of you, His dear child, when you grow faint in the fierce fires of affliction. Do not try to be strong. Just be still and know that He is God, and will sustain you, and bring you through.

“God keeps His choicest cordials for our deepest faintings.”

“Stay firm and let thing heart take courage.” (Psa. 27:14 – After Osterwald.)

Stay firm, He has not failed thee

In all the past,

And will He go and leave thee

To sink at last?

Nay, He said He will hide thee

Beneath His wing;

And sweetly there in safety

Thou mayest sing. — Selected

*in thinking about Cyberpunk I was lead back to one of Kyle and my favorite Billy Idol albums by that same name:

http://www.songlyrics.com/billy-idol/wasteland-lyrics/

Billy Idol – Wasteland Lyrics

Artist: Billy Idol

Album: Cyberpunk

Genre: Rock

Out into the wasteland
Out into the wasteland

No religion
No religion, no religion at all
No religion
No religion, no religion at all
No religion, no religion at all

No religion
No religion, no religion at all
No religion
No religion at all
No religion

Imaginary man amongst the heathen
Can’t you see a modern primitive
I came back, I’m gonna find
I’m gonna give religion
When there was, no religion at all

I’m outta the wasteland
I’m into this head man
I’m outta the wasteland
No religion at all

I’m outta the wasteland
I’m into this head man
I’m outta the wasteland
No religion, no religion at all

There’s a man in need of resurrection
No religion
Can’t you see a modern primitive
No religion
But I’m a man, I need my love and freedom
No religion
When there was no freedom at all

I’m outta the wasteland
I’m into this head man
I’m outta the wasteland
No religion at all

I’m outta the wasteland
I’m into this head man
I’m outta the wasteland
No religion, no religion at all

No religion
No religion at all
No religion
No religion at all

In VR land, the future of fun
Tell me what to do
In VR law, computer crime
So sublime

A fantasy scene in my machine
Give me secret of life
Let me know yeah, what I am
And you know that I could get

Outta the wasteland
I’m into this head man
I’m outta the wasteland
No religion at all

I’m outta the wasteland
I’m into this head man
I’m outta the wasteland
No religion, no religion at all

I’m outta the wasteland
So far from the the dead land
I’m outta the wasteland
No religion, no religion yeah

I’m outta the wasteland
So far from the the dead land
I’m outta the wasteland
No religion, no religion at all

No religion, no religion at all
No religion
No religion, no religion at all
No religion

No religion, no religion at all
No religion
No religion, no religion at all
No religion at all
No religion at all
No religion

No religion, no religion at all
No religion
No religion, no religion at all

I’m outta the wasteland

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3 comments on “10 May 2017 Streams in the Desert Daily Devotional message for today, When Gravity Fails (1986 novel by George Alec Effinger) and Wasteland (Billy Idol, Cyberpunk album)

  1. thanks for a fab reading-idea ;o) a lot of peeps thought billy idol was a maniac, but I think there was something different behind his behavior and he wasn’t totally wrong with his sight of the world ;o)

    • “o) Billy went through a lot and seems to have found his way out through his music much like many artists of his and earlier era’s.

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