A Morning’s Joy

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Dear Mr. Taylor

Our Story from Today’s Letters inspired me today. Reflecting on all my deepest gratitude, love, and admiration for the gift I have in my love brought such joy, I just couldn’t contain it! Therefore, I wrote my own letter…

Dear Mr. Taylor,

Some 6032 days ago, one simple act confirmed a love that neither of us looked for, nor expected. Thus, it confounded our minds and sent us on a perpetual roller coaster thrill ride from the moment it began.

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That’s 16 years, 6 months, 6 days…
…198 months…
…861 weeks….
…6032 days…
…144,768 hours…
…8,686,080 minutes…
…521,164,800 seconds…

Ok, so who’s counting? 🙂

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If I could go back to that first day, I would start writing a letter each and every day. But alas, modern day science/technology has not yet perfected time travel, nor the warp speed needed to venture on such a grandiose sci-fi voyage.

Therefore, why put off ’til tomorrow what one can accomplish today!

Love struck,
Your Ever-Smitten Wife

Dear Bean,

Those golden nuggets of, intellectual yet completely random, tidbits of knowledge mixed with the highly sarcastic, slightly (cough, cough) cynical humor absolutely astounds me!

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Each day, I find I am learning more and more, not just from you, but about you! Your interests, desires, thought processes, it just never ends!

Forever lost in Beantopia,
Your Life Long Learner

Dear Jason,

From before the moment of conception, your life was predestined for greatness! The mere obstacle of life itself, continued and brought forth through the tenacity of your praying momma, speaks volumes in terms of destiny. Even at the mention of your name, Jason…it whispers the Healer, the Lord is Salvation! It’s Him, Christ [the Healer, the Healing] that’s in you, the hope of glory!

In the Bible, Jason was a Christian living in Thessalonica. He gave shelter to Paul and Simon at his house.

Jason is a variant of Joshua, attendant, helper to Moses during the Israelites’ 40-year trek through the wilderness. He was appointed by God to lead the Israelites after the death of Moses.

What’s in you, the healing, is to not just manifest in your life, but flows through you to aid and assist others in bringing about the healing in them through Christ Jesus.

I believe in you and your life, just as God ordained it and your mother prayed it into reality!

Your greatness continues on, my love!

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With utmost esteem & expectation,
Your Praying, Believing Helpmate

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A Daily Picturesque Eucharisteo Encounter

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Really, it’s no secret…1000 Gifts, A Holy Experience, Ann Voskamp, quite simply, or shall I say simplistically, rocking my existence beyond imagination.

Words of a life…no, no…Words of LIFE breathing a culture of Eucharisteo into a tangible lifestyle. One seen, touched, heard, smelled, tasted.

Ahhh…TASTE and SEE that the LORD is GOOD indeed!

Hmmmm….How good? Beyond measure, yes, but HOW good? HOW does He show His Goodness?

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The Word, oh the wonderful Word, tells to TASTE and SEE! Look around, taste His goodness in your life, see what He is doing, in every moment, in every day!

“O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8 AMP)

Then write, yes, record these moments, these reminders, that add quickly to 1000 Gifts and more. Some longer, some shorter, many serious, yet others quite hilarious. Just get them down. Once you start, you will know why…

“Then [Ezra] told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” (Nehemiah 8:10 AMP)

Sing it with me now…The joy of the Lord is my strength. Eat the fat and drink the sweet; send portions to them who are weak. The joy of the Lord is my strength!…Love that song!!!

The joy…oh the joy of the Lord is MY strength. No one can take my joy! Oh, say it again…NO ONE can take MY JOY!!!

Life happens, yes it really does, sometimes much to our dismay. It shields, blocks, impairs from seeing. But wait..where’s my list! Yes! I have my list! (Just keeping it real, my friend, keeping it real!) 🙂

And yet before the blink of an eye, the moment is gone, so the memory, and then life…so savor the experience in these moments. Yes, the experience, oft turned to process, the making of life, of memories, of character.

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WORD!!!

Sitting down, ready to write. Yes, finally ready to write. Months gone by and nothing.Sounds so simple, so easy, yet one of the hardest things lately. Some ask if an expert. Cringing at the mere thought of the grandiose appellation, all the while refuting any claim for fear of life-long-learning ceased.  Prefer it more a desire, a passion, somewhat a talent, maybe even a suggestive calling per say. Matters not which, pure enjoyment fuels the intrigue.

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

Why then, does it become so darn hard!?! A question frequently asked in mere intellectual capacity. Yet, a different response given in this instance. A subtle awakening elucidates. Nothing new, simply yet complexly, something awakened, aroused, stirred, to the point of not just desiring but insatiably craving more.

5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

A mere written word desired…a mere written word asked…a mere spoken word given…What was this word?…The WORD!

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7

Often, so easily, yet subtly, distracted. Caught up in this world of business, more plainly, busy-ness. Certainly not solitudinal in this trap, in fact humoring not the lying tempt to deceit as so. Boldly speaking, one of the worst snares Christ-born humanity encounters, beyond temptation to blatantly sin, yet sin in itself.  A lack of understanding perhaps, excuses surmounting an understanding, logical reasoning justifying excuses, whatever it may be, sin is sin. Therefore, repentance beckons.

Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.  Psalm 119:11

Often spending time praying, worshipping, giving thanks, all as the day progresses.

Wow! Even typing that sounds so insignificant…As the day progresses

Not stopping, not taking time, or stated correctly, taking the right time, to physically stop in what surrounds or even put down what occupies the time, and picking up the Word of God and purposefully laying it within the heart, so as to possibly not sin against Him.

Possibly not sin against Him? 

Even having all the Word within, sin may still occur! Ahhh, yes, still mankind, sinful in nature. Christ born and died for these sins, for sanctification NOT justification. Taking not the identity of the sinner but recognizing a path from which brought and the reality of what may lie ahead if not careful. Therefore, necessitating the need for the Word, living, breathing, and hidden within the deepest depths of the soul. Once again, never professing an expert, yet continually relying upon the Word and its mysteries woven within, growing and deepening the understanding, the need, the desire to know and want more.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Yes! The Word! Receiving it often. Continually listening to renowned anointed preachers, teachers, apostles, prophets, evangelists…even reading a multitude of revelatory books written. Each one God inspired…yes…each one rich in the Word…yes…each one a primary source document…(hear the sound of coming to a screeching halt).

Momentarily switching hats, teacher apparel adorned. Primary source documents, preferred sources of reference in any area of study, first hand, original accounts of historical or personal encounters and events, the most vital evidence of existence or occurrence.  Hmmm… Think telephone game. Hearing something from the originator depletes the likelihood for misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Hence, the general rule when doing research is to find an original source of information that authenticates any secondary sources. Unfounded sources  considered not valid, nor reliable.

Hat swap. Back to the writer and The Word.  Think about the original encounters and occurrences of God…the beginning, creation…and the original source?  THE BIBLE!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

The Word…not just the written oracle of God, but God, Himself. The answer; thepredictor; the prophecy of what was, what is, and what is to come, forever. FOREVER, that’s without ceasing, non-stopping…for ETERNITY, well before and well after a minute humanistic lifetime. Therefore, The WORD of GOD, the BIBLE, must validate any other information!

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 1 Corinthians 4:1

Yes, the Word is a complete MYSTERY, but a mystery to be revealed, unveiled, and found through living in Him! Practiced in daily life and shared among all the nations! Each to the stewardship of His Word will give an account.

Back up a bit and look closer at Psalm 119, addressing the need for God’s Word as a plum line for this stewardship.

9How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it].

According to Your word…Taking heed. Keeping watch. Conforming life to it.

10With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of You and yearning for You; Oh, let me not wander or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments,

Whole heart. Inquire for and yearn. Wandering not, nor stepping aside, knowingly or not, from Your commandments.

YOUR COMMANDMENTS! 

Again…

11Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Continuing…

12Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.

Your statutes…

13With my lips have I declared and recounted all the ordinances of Your mouth.

Ordinances of Your mouth…

14I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches.

Your testimonies…

15I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways [the paths of life marked out by Your law].

Your precepts…Your ways…Your law…

16I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Delight in Your statutes…forget not YOUR WORD!!!

This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate upon it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written: for then you shall prosper and have good success. Joshua 1:8

Gleaning and gaining knowledge, wisdom, insight, etc. from another man’s revelatory first-hand personal encounter…yes, profitable.  Receiving revelation directly from God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Himself through His Word, which is He…more VALUABLE.  Encountering God based on personally revealed mysteries sent straight from Heaven above and solely purposed….simply PRICELESS!!!

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehends it not. John 4:4-5

If He is/was the Word, as well as is/was Life, then the Word, too, is LIFE. Likewise, if He’s LIFE, then this LIFE, or the WORD of God, is what will shine in darkness. Without His Word, living and operating to the fullest, sin will prevail! Take a look around the world today! What is the first attack against removing God? Taking out the written and spoken words of God!

Ephesians 6   12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel

God’s armor, founded and rooted, piece-by-piece, on God’s Word!

BELT OF TRUTH– TRUTH is in the Word!

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17

BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS– Who defines integrity, moral rectitude, and right standing with God? GOD, Himself, in the WORD!

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33

FEET SHOD WITH PREPARATION– in the WORD!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. II Timothy 4:2

SHIELD OF FAITH– How do you build your faith? Hearing and hearing by the WORD!

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

HELMET OF SALVATION– Salvation is Jesus, Jesus is God, God is the WORD!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

PRAYER & PREACHING– Through the Mysteries of the Good News…THE WORD!

Mark 16  15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel toevery creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.

The last thing spoken before Jesus entered Heaven to sit at the right hand of God! Commanding the disciples to go and preach the GOSPEL! From those that believe, the signs and miracles will follow, not lead! Then, confirmation through obedience, the disciples acted upon HIS WORDS!!!

The same is true today.  Obedience…had this particular word not been asked, this word wouldn’t have been received, nor the Word sought, neither this word written.

The WORD must come first! Seek Him privately, hide His Word in thy heart, in order to interpret and understand His mysteries being constantly revealed through His Spirit in us and through others, lining everything up with His infallible WORD in order to keep a pure heart and clean hands (Ps 24:4), removing the little foxes that try to spoil the vine (SOS 2:15), all in order to be instant in season and out, preaching the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST. The signs and wonders shall then follow, but the WORD must come forth first, God’s plan, desires, and purposes for all eternity!

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Super Full Moon

Sitting and basking in the warmth of God’s embrace and gazing into His fiery eyes that burn to the depths of the soul, proclaiming simple words of wonder and amazement that seem completely and utterly inadequate.

All the while contemplating the positional and calendaric alignment of the night’s magnificent moon, the closest it will be to orbit’s radius for another year’s span, all within a minute window of opportunity where the lunar reflective white illuminates supreme capacity.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth!” Mere words to the carnal mind, yet creatively and authoritatively spoken, placing this celestial ball supernaturally in the dark vast nothingness of this yet to be seen world, setting it on a grandiose cyclical journey spanning months, even years apart, where its phenomenal attributes are allowed to collide and combine only in rare moments of astonishing beauty and admiration.

Standing in the midst of these seemingly simultaneous parallel universes, the duo subtly merges transcendent in beauty. The two become one, or better said, the One eludes the two. Full moon meets super moon, what a meet cute!

The sun gleaming its glorious glare, while the moon faithfully follows its fulfillment, catching in reality just a slight sight of this bright nightlight and returning merely a repetitive flicker of a glance.  Then finally, after years of waiting redundancy, the sun glares and radiates this rather lackluster, inanimate being, primed in position and posture, now captivating an audience ready and willing to listen.

Suddenly the words pouring forth swell with life, love, and exhortation, reveling and revering the only One worthy and capable of such feats…For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory FOREVER and EVER!

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Psalm 18: A Daily Prayer- Be Strong in the Lord

Please read Psalm 18 prior to reading the below post. 🙂

Reading various versions and not really being drawn or pulled to any one in particular and realizing that more often than not, this passage is ordinarily referred to either after or while going through times of immense distress, a soul booster, a lifting of one’s mind, will, and emotions in times when seemingly at the lowest of lows. With the reading each version, something begins to stir just within the repetition.

FAITH COMES BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD. Romans 10:17

A gentle whisper follows. Why not read this particular Psalm daily, shaking off every weight and care of the day? Seems plausibly and realistically apropos. After all, life does happen on a daily basis. Then another soft suggestion surfaces, why not commence the day proclaiming the words within, expectant of nonetheless?  Speak it forth in the present/future tense! Build yourself up for the day’s events, putting on the Armor of God (Eph. 6: 10-20) BEFORE walking out the door, not trying to slip it on, a piece here and another there, only when needed or worse yet, running after it at the end of the day, only to find it hanging in the closet, clean, shiny, and unused.

So, here’s my personal challenge in this…to turn this Psalm, along with the Armor of God excerpt into a daily proclamation and affirmation confessed daily, both morning and night, lifting oneself up for the coming and the closing of the day.

LIFE AND DEATH ARE IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE. Prov. 18:21

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This Little Engine CAN!!!

Sitting and daydreaming, basking in the warmth and gaze of sun’s smile, contemplating trying something new. Something fresh. Something fun and fanciful! The mere novelty and wonderment of the intriguing notion seemingly dominate any arousal of angst trying to appear from the questioning of difficulty and the examination of experience and expertise.

The anticipation slowly turned preoccupation, finally divulges the hankering to bid and conquer.  Exhilaration erupts, emancipating this elusive soul.

A smile beams, then suddenly yearns for the quickest, faintest hint of approval from the auditory receptive forces at hand, or shall I say at ear.  An awkward silence settles, pulsating and pulverizing, in mere seconds, any remnant of confidence once existent. Then, the oh, too familiar words resonate, as if on perpetual repeat.

“You can’t do that!”

“Says who?”

“Says ME!”

“What are you talking about, ‘I can’t! do that’?”

“You heard me! You can’t do it”

“Really? Are you seriously saying I can’t do it?”

“Oh, yeah! Just wait; you’ll see! And you’ll even look like a fool just for trying!”

The head heavies, the smile sinks, and the eyelids lower. Another idea eradicated, opportunity oppressed. Words not necessarily spoken, but message clearly and positively, or not so much, perceived.

Who does this? Who, in their right mind, or left for the analytical, crushes whimsical desires like this?  The start of an answer to my own pondering thought begins to flow and fester…then as if truly jotting down names, I literally see and feel myself pick up a pen and notebook and ink one name as big and bold as could possibly fit on the page…ME!!!

Tracing the stick-like lines that carve each definitive letter, the speed and pressure of each intentional stroke infinitely increases, until finally, it hits me.

THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN TELL ME, ‘I CAN’T.’ IS ME!!!

Of course, other people can and very much are guilty as well, cleaving the soul subaqueous, leaving long lasting, wide-open,gaping wounds. However, before the blaming game starts and a list even remotely begins, consider this simplistic, yet complex, suggestion. Wounds, no matter how severe or painful, are designed to heal. That’s God’s ingenuity working in us!

Childlike though, most find it absurdly interesting to run a seemingly innocent little finger back and forth over the peculiar surface, deceivingly nursing what looks and feels like an awful deformity compared to the smooth, soft, once supple skin that actually and quite literally is healing from the inside out. Insistently forcing things along, a flick of the edges, a lifting and pulling away ever so gently and carefully, all the while hoping to come away unscathed, yet knowing the absolute contrary from former experience.

IF YOU CONTINUE TO DO WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU’LL CONTINUE TO GET WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS GOTTEN.

Then in a flash of a moment, a flicker of the eye, a piercing pain shoots and a droplet of red bursts forth, starting yet another cycle of healing, prolonging the vanishment of the blemishing ulcer.  If bothered superfluously, opening and reopening, or exiguously, derelict of quintessential care, infection settles, the not-so pleasingly describable oozing forth and risking permanent surface scarring!

These hurts carve directly and deeply into the heart, yet the responsibility and care promoting, not hindering, healing falls immediately and comprehensively upon the ‘victim’, not the ‘perpetrator’.  Ouch! That’s harsh!

LIFT UP THY HEAD, OH YE GATE, AND LET THE KING OF GLORY COME IN! (Ps 24:7)

Not alone in the least! This responsibility is not a solo act.  In fact, it is impossible to do as a solitudinarian. Only by God’s undying and undeniable love and affection, He washes through us with grace and mercies new each and every day, keeping the wound, or shall I say the heart, clean, bringing about perfect conditions for full and complete healing, leaving absolutely no reminding remnant behind.

Think of The Little Engine That Could. This shiny little train had the right idea. Positive attitude and tenaciously repeating, “I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!”  A page-turner for both young and old.  With every chug, every puff, every chant, hoping, crossing fingers, waiting to see if he really could. And he did! Why? Because he didn’t do it alone. He had a force behind him that would not take failure as an option.

IF YOU THINK YOU CAN, YOU ARE RIGHT! IF YOU THINK YOU CAN’T; YOU ARE ALSO RIGHT!

It’s a simple choice.  A no-brainer in God’s eyes, spelled out plain and simple, black and white…

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH GOD WHO STRENGTHENS ME! Phil 4:13

Poor Little Engine! Someone doubted, telling this sweet, little steamer NO.  A contemplating comfort, yet completely contrary.  Some versions tell of the Little Engine trying and trying and just plain falling short. Others describe how the Little Engine simply froze in his tracks, gazed at the mountainous view, and foresaw the impossibility. Either way, defeat sat at the feet of this great, unaccomplished feat. Oh, how the internal voices and thoughts must have pinged.

Filtering the oh so familiar feelings, recognizing the extent self inducing personal injury far surpasses the animadversion of others, and then recognizing the God-given freedoms and powers in choice, self-actualization weaving into being.

WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.

Whether taken from Uncle Ben or from FDR, the nail was hit on the head!

God’s creativity works in mysterious ways, giving seemingly flippant ideas, unheard of to the natural mind.  Time after time, choice upon choice, history will repeat itself.  It’s the confident, God-reliant, innovative thinkers that accept, cultivate, and refute opposition, willing and obedient to say, “Yes, Lord!” that God searches to and fro for.

Even in the difficulty of this writing, taking days turned weeks, the not-so-normal revelation evolution, questioning and contemplating its existence, forcing to completion, failing with each miserable attempt, until finally, coming back to a much needed reliance, looking up and knowing writing brings me joy, He smiled and spoke clarity and confidence, “Writing brings Me joy!”

Some ideas are merely given for pure, unadulterated enjoyment and fulfillment of the heart’s content, a GIFT given to delight and take pleasure in His goodness, the fullness of His beauty…

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD AND HE WILL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART!!! Ps. 37:4

Somehow though, these simple, yet out of one’s league, ideas frequently get tossed to the wayside. Forgotten or just plain disregarded, perhaps due to criticism or disapproval, or worse yet, from the thought of, “I can’t.”  Yet, frequently asking and pleading for more, wanting God to call and bring to greater endeavors in Him.

Truly wonder what the little engine did next…the same old daily menial tasks? Or perhaps trusted with more?

IF YOU ARE FAITHFUL IN THE LITTLE THINGS, YOU WILL BE FAITHFUL IN THE LARGER THINGS. Luke 16:10

Disregard not, any thought, idea, or notion that rings difficult, insane, or just not ‘in me’. Lean on God’s understanding, being obedient, refuting any criticism and rejection, whether from another or from within, and faithfully walk out the small things, so God can do a greater work. After all…

THIS LITTLE ENGINE CAN!!!

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