where the sky glues us

sky meets leaves
sky meets water
sky meets trees
sky meets people

Where the sky meets us

there is a quiet space

if you will just listen with your heart

you will find it not too hard

to love and not hate

to give what you lack

to resist

loathing

to desist

stifling

this super-bonding love

so thickly glues

us

just as the sky

so magnanimously

lavishly

glues

its

blue

on leaves on water on trees

on you and on me

another attempt: the windows are open

from where we stand, on this street, the windows are open

windows are open
blue screen: windows open

windows of opportunity
open daily
to hearts that tally
and not give up

patiently
perseveringly
waiting for the break

dawns always break
at the first ray of light

come alive
a call
so still and quiet
yet you hear it
high and wide

many years ago
he heard
and passed it by

now the call
again so faint yet vivid
come alive
at this first ray of light

the windows are open
from where you stand

random love, favorites for no reason

All-Time Favorites

favorite 20151030CAmirrored sky in waterMount Fuji20150529 tous les jours
these are some of my favorite memories
though you insist
I must say sorry
to have collated at random
with no momentum

here a story
there a story
too many
if any
perchance you remember too
just as I do

pictures
are good for goodbye
as time goes by
a rhyme you may find

forlorn love
hidden cove
once removed
now restored

so long
farewell
goodbye

Not magic: a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Not Magic.
underwater-lifeunderwater-life-2Underwater life is no magic. It is real in the tangible physical world. Where did such wonder come from? The same where every living and none living things (including planets and the origins of the materials and matters that form planets, stars, gases and forces) and creatures come from.

Bible verses:
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.
God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it.
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth. (Genesis 1:20-22)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
Notes (excerpted from Wikipedia online)
The Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) is a non-profit public aquarium located in Monterey, California, United States. The aquarium was founded in 1984 and is located on the site of a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row. It has an annual attendance of around two million visitors. It holds thousands of plants and animals, representing more than 600 species on display. The aquarium benefits from a high circulation of fresh ocean water which is obtained through pipes which pump it in continuously from Monterey Bay. Sea life on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, sea horses, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline. In January 1996, the aquarium opened the Outer Bay wing to provide exhibits covering the open-water ecology of Monterey’s Outer Bay. The MBA has more than 400 employees and over 1000 volunteers. Operating costs are largely covered by visitor admission, as well as by special events and membership dues. No government money is involved, with the exception of an occasional federal grant given to visiting scientists, for study.

my tiny fruitful acquaintances

Tiny
gospel-bearing-fruitThis picture of tiny berries was taken when I was looking for bright colors in Autumn. It grew by the roadside. The colors are rich and give a feeling of the richness of nature in this season when those who labor can expect a harvest. The birds and squirrels too have waited for this time as they need to prepare for the bareness of Winter. I cannot now remember whether it was the same day I met some squirrels who were busy working and hardly noticed my existence. When I saw them I became careful not to loiter near their workplace. We remained friendly and mutually respectful acquaintances from a distance.

Psalm 72:16 There shall be abundance of grain in the soil upon the top of the mountains [the least fruitful places in the land]; the fruit of it shall wave like [the forests of] Lebanon, and [the inhabitants of] the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. (AMPC)

his quest for light

Quest for light
quest-for-lightHe is a lover of light and high mountains. He took this photo last winter standing on a mountain. The original scene was breathtaking. It was a sunny day, and the clouds were dispersed. There were distant mountains too. He cannot now remember whether the blue and white patches below the sun were mountains or mere sky. Where he stood and took this picture was the limit of his quest then. Given another chance, perhaps he would go further beyond the blue deep space…

a morning’s perspective

morning in FebruaryThis picture was taken two days before I left the country in February this year. It was a cool morning and I walked alone on this familiar road probably one last time for a long time to come. I had stayed for half a year in this neighborhood and it had become my routine to take a morning walk in the cool, fresh air. The photo was taken with a Samsung Galaxy, nothing fancy. Winter was mild and comfortable. I normally do not like heavy clothing unless I travel to the snow countries. I just returned from one before I took this shot. Somehow this ordinary grayish morning with the sun coming out against the silhouette of trees, (as I walked alone on a quiet and still road), gives me a perspective I like best. It is just another easy and breezy morning. People are still sleeping or getting ready to go somewhere. No one seems in a hurry. The noisy and busy world is some distance away. I am traveling home shortly and yet the frantic packing does not deter me from this leisurely unhurried walk. As I meet one or two early birds who are walking solo too, or working in their gardens, we smile briefly and say to each other, “Good morning!” Then each of us carry on walking or doing our morning chores, each to our respective destination. As I write this my heart is filled with thankfulness for another day alive and well in this world.

Good morning to you, my friend, who reads this today! I pray you are well!

Morning

details of my life (fiction)

Details
names4 (1)names4 (2)Some years ago while jogging along the lakeside, I looked up and suddenly found that the world had lost its colours. Closing my eyes I then reopened them and found that truly the colours had gone. There was no more differentiation of the living things around me by colours. The trees and grass lost their green. The sky lost its blue. The clouds lost their white. The water lost its turquoise. The ground lost its yellow and brown. The flowers lost their pink. It was like a dream painted with shades of grey. I was transported into a monochrome realm. I continued to walk slowly and looked at the changed world around me. There were no people. Even the birds were gone. Did I lose my own perception of colours or did I accidentally enter a portal to another world? I never knew. I sat down under some trees and closed my eyes again and waited. I could sense colours returning with burst of sunlight and sounds of happy children around. When I opened my eyes again my colorful world had returned.

The experience made me really think about life. My life. How I have taken for granted the things around me. The colours. The beauty. The masterpiece of creation. My eyes. My perception. I shall never forget.
(Note: I took those names of some shops at random. Tried out their combination with a fish taken from an aquarium. Edited.)

“Voilà, Lo, there it is, see here!” a haiku (and a prose)

2014-11-07 11.28.55 copy (1)a fine day unfolds

meeting green friends light refreshed

petal parasols

~~~~~~~~~~~~Nature often brings pleasant surprises. A casual walk under the sun may bring you to another world. Like this picture. We are taken to a tour at the dam to see fishermen fishing and making of fish paste. But the other side of the dam is lined with lush green countryside. Very refreshing walk indeed. It is like a part of our normal ordinary mundane life which is hidden quietly somewhere suddenly emerges and shouts, “Voilà, Lo, there it is, see here!” The beauty of creation unfolds so unassumingly even at a poor outback place like this.

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; 

It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
The excellency of our God.

(Bible verses quoted from Isaiah 35:1-2)

a birthday greeting: Love Definition

20151004 白玫瑰
1 Corinthians 13 Indispensable Love 

Indispensable Love

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 40: MORE WORDS FOR HARD TIMES

MOREMore words for hard times coping, or rather, overcoming, which is a better and stronger action word, with victory in sight. Hard times draw out the best in human, the tough ones who go on and become tougher still. The weak ones too must rise to their best and become tough and free from their bondages. Hard times test for the best in each. What victory-ensured word shall we read today from the book of victories -the Book of God, the Bible?

Yesterday we read from the alphabet L (for Look). Today we read from the alphabet M. MORE. The word is “More”.

The definition of the term “MORE”: “MORE” has something to do with “VALUE” in quantity and in quality. There are plus and minus involved in the matter. The word “More” will generate a further “More”. For that matter, the word “Less” will generate a further “Less”. Like the word “Lack”. Such quantitative terms are like an epidemics. They are reproductive.

For example: I could do with some more clothes: additional, further, added, extra, increased, new, other, supplementary. ANTONYMS less, fewer. he was able to concentrate more on his writing: to a greater extent, further, some more, better.

More of what for hard times combat? This is the crux of the matter. Let us read on from the Holy Bible New Living Translation (NLT). The boldness and the italics are added. My own notes are in bold letters and italics as well.

First, Jesus says what God values. He values your life far more than you can ever imagine. 

Matthew 10:31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

Second, Jesus asks you to value your life too, above all else. 

Matthew 16:26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

Thirdly, Jesus says that you have far more resources and power to do things (even like Jesus does) than you can ever imagine. 

Matthew 21:21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.

Fourthly, when God gives you something He gives you the power to multiply. It is expected that you generate “MORE”. 
Matthew 25:19-21, 2919 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ 21 The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![a]’ 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 39: MORE WORDS FOR HARD TIMES

hard times contrastHard times are the number one concern to every individual, not to mention those with a family to feed. Hard times means a lack. Lack of sufficient resources. Lack of the usual stuff that we consider constituting physical, mental and emotional security and well being. Increasingly we hear of news of certain economic phenomena that gives us this sense of lack and the resultant loss. Loss of assurance. Loss of peace. Loss of comfort. Hard times means moving away from our comfort zone. Is there a way out? Today we read a word that points to a ray of light. A word of encouragement in hard times.

The word: LOOK. BEHOLD. Look. Jesus said, look.

If we can only see grim pictures, Jesus would not have urged His followers to look. The word “Look” is very pertinent today. Since Jesus Himself has urged us to look, we need to look. But what shall we look at which will counter hard times?

“Behold, a sower went out to sow.” (Matthew 13:3) This is what Jesus talks about when He meets the multitude. The people have come to see what good things He can give them. Free food. Free healing. Free deliverance. Even political and military positions and related material and social benefits. Sure. Jesus is fully capable of feeding thousands of hungry people without charging money. He does not even have to spend money to buy all those food. He just makes them appear out of thin air using fives loaves of ordinary bread and two normal fishes. Jesus is also fully capable of calling down heavenly armies to fight His just war and conquer the evil earthly kingdoms. He has the divine supernatural authority and power to as the Son of God to do what He wants if needed. 

But Jesus does not talk about His power and authority as the Son of God. He does demonstrate them in His healing and deliverance ministry and in His teaching of God’s words about the Kingdom of God. But in general He teaches something else. He talks about everyday living of the ordinary man who encounters hard times as shepherd, fisherman, farmer. He often addresses a common profession: farming. Sowing of seeds for crops. This is the generic profession for all of us today. He speaks of the chances of failure and success in getting a good crop. Some will fail. Some will succeed. Interestingly He does not talk about economic conditions like recessions. He only speaks of one criteria. The soil condition. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:8) Jesus also links economic sowing of seeds with the spiritual sowing of God’s words:But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”” (Matthew 13:23)

Do we need to fear hard times then? The Bible has a classic example of a man who sowed in hard times. Abraham’s son, Isaac reaped harvests of hundred-fold when all others suffered famine. he became very rich because of his sowing in hard times.

This is how the Bible describes his success: (Genesis 26:1-6; 12-14)

There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar.

Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.

12-14 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. 13 The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; 14 for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.

Gold Rush: a haiku

lighttime is set for now

northern-bound train in the know

heed the gold beckon

~~~~~~~~~Words of wisdom from the wisest and richest man in history:

3:14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.

8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choice gold;

8:19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, And my revenue than choice silver.

20:15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies, But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.

(The Proverbs of Solomon, King of Israel)

Dearest love, he began: a haiku (and a prose)

a letter from up

Dearest love, he began,

seeing her at other land,

write to me, she said. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When he travels he likes to write down what he sees, hears and thinks. A picture in his selective perceptive mind often helps him to recall the moment of encounter with colors, sounds, and lives that co-exist: a pleasant surprise, a happy feeling, a tinge of sadness, a glimpse of greatness beyond his comprehension, an act of courage, a light that stands out on the face of someone, eyes that speak kindness, a smile that spells hope, a bowl of hot soup that warms his soul, a word of friendliness like “Good morning” from another jogger, a mother pushing a pram, an old man walking his dog, yes, the general non-hostility of the expressions from nature, creatures, and even human. So he writes.

“A letter makes ordinary things seem important.”
― Marilynne Robinson, Lila

“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.”
― John Donne

“You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve.”
― Jane Austen

“Only write to me, write to me, I love to see the hop and skip and sudden starts of your ink.”
― A.S. Byatt, Possession

random words, definitions, quotes: LIBERAL

Claude_Monet_023sToday we look at the definition of a popular English word that came from France. LIBERTY/LIBERAL/FREE. French libre ‎(free, having liberty, at liberty)

Origin of LIBERAL comes from:Middle English: via Old French from Latin liberalis, from liber ‘free (man)’. The original sense was ‘suitable for a free man’, hence ‘suitable for a gentleman’ (one not tied to a trade), surviving in liberal arts. Another early sense, ‘generous’, gave rise to an obsolete meaning ‘free from restraint’.

Oxford dictionary Definition of liberal in English: adjective

1Open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values. 1.1Favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms 1.2 (In a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform. 1.5 Theology Regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change. 2 [attributive] (Of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training. 3(Especially of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal or exact: 4Given, used, or occurring in generous amounts: 4.1(Of a person) giving generously: noun 1A person of liberal views.
Synonyms of liberal in English: adjective
1 the values of a liberal society
tolerant, unprejudiced, unbigoted, broad-minded, open-minded, enlightened; permissive, free, free and easy, easygoing, libertarian, indulgent, lenient
2 a liberal social agenda
progressive, advanced, modern, forward-looking, forward-thinking, progressivist, enlightened, reformist, radical
3 a liberal education
wide-ranging, broad-based, general
4 a liberal interpretation of divorce laws
flexible, broad, loose, rough, free, general, nonliteral, nonspecific, imprecise, vague, indefinite
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oxford dictionary Definition of liberty in English: noun (plural liberties)

1The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views 2The power or scope to act as one pleases: individuals should enjoy the liberty to pursue their own interests and preferences 2.1 Philosophy A person’s freedom from control by fate or necessity.
Origin Late Middle English: from Old French liberte, from Latin libertas, from liber ‘free’.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
QUOTES ON “LIBERTY”
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
George Orwell
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Nelson Mandela
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
Mahatma Gandhi
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
[Inaugural Address, January 20 1961]
John F. Kennedy
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
John Philpot Curran
“The most fatal thing a man can do is try to stand alone.”
Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
John Milton, Areopagitica
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
QUOTES FROM THE BIBLE: LIBERTY FROM FEAR
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36
“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” John 10:9
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love”  1 John 4:18 [Full Chapter]

so still is my heart: a haiku

(reaching the waves, he became a rock.)

so still is my heartno more tears to cry

see here my heart bare and dry

so still and so brave

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

(John 14:27; John 16:33)

a seagull at land’s end: a haiku

a seagull at land's endhiking to the sea

reaching an ocean instead

he soared as seagull

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 the flocks and the herds
    and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
    and everything that swims the ocean currents.

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

(Psalm 8:7-9)

a perfect day’s haiku

God is lightNot coincidence

seeing Light in brilliant spray

His perfect presence

“““““““““““““““““

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

(James 1:17)

A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters 37: words for hard times

sea foams in sky

I decided to resume writing this unusual word dictionary for spiritual navigators. Today we look at some positive words to be used in hard times. Unlike many may think, these are not cliches. They are for the believers. Let’s ride this rough waters together! (Note: in summary, the following words are all neutral words which require your input to add value.)

A: Abundance. A very large quantity of something. This is a neutral word. If just gives you a measure of stuff. You need to fill in the blank or a substitute for the stuff. It matters what you fill into your life if you want an abundant life. Jesus actually promised His believers abundant life in goodness (richness and wellness in every aspect of the good life that God has originally designed for man). But many have not received. Two things are required: believe in Jesus. Be careful what you input into your life’s data base. Yes, today is our life’s PC/Mobile phone data base total cleansing and re-formatting day.

B: Behold.Similarly, behold is a neutral word. Its value and outcome depend on the content and object of your beholding. If you apply your vision on evil and enjoys watching it, you will be inputting into your soul evil which outcome will of course be evil. If you behold goodness (matters that please the good Lord) you will of course reap good. What you saw and what you input into your own soul (through the window of your soul –your eyes) is what you will reap.

C. Control. This is a bad word for those out of control. This is not necessarily a good word for those who are obsessed with control. It becomes a good word with the right input from the person who uses it. When used on one-self, it becomes a good word, self-control. This comes with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in a believer. The Holy Spirit in us is a Spirit of power, love (God’s kind), and self-control (or sound-mind). It becomes a bad word when the person (presumably a leader) uses it to Lord over others (in the Christian scenario). Jesus warned the disciples (and apostles) not to exercise their authorities this way.

D. Demand. This is neither a good nor a bad word. It depends on who you are and the contents of your demand. Demand is a strong word which is backed by some forms of authority. A superior may be in a position to demand his or her subordinate to complete an assignment within that person’s job description. On the  other hand, a superior may not be empowered to demand an unpaid voluntary worker the same way. The authority may ideally be imbued on or delegated to the person in charge but the ability to exercise that authority is another matter. It takes a lot of factors to exercise an demand effectively. In a Christian organization, one essential key is the true knowledge of God and His word and the practice of being led by the Holy Spirit. There is no short cut. In practice, those who know God and walk in His spiritual great light do not need to use the word ‘demand’ on one another. The assignment still gets done perfectly and on time according to God’s will. How marvelous!

E. Evangelize. This is the only word that says something substantial and of significant value. To preach the gospel. In the Greek New Testament, gospel is the translation of the Greek noun euangelion (occurring 76 times) “good news,” and the verb euangelizo (occurring 54 times), meaning “to bring or announce good news.”

Bible verses:1 Corinthians 15:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV) The Risen Christ, Faith’s Reality

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

spiritual traveler’s confession: walking free

walk in the light of Godspiritual journey

This traveler decided to live with one of the poorest people groups for awhile. One finding is there is relevance in the following words of wisdom today which is the 30th of June. The verse are taken from Proverbs 30:5-9 in two translations. There is a heavenly allotment of this world’s goods for each of us on earth. I find that even though I may have plenty if I had wanted to, I could not possibly use or consume all. I would have wasted the surplus precious resources for no purpose except to gratify my eyes and a false sense of self-esteem. So I have practiced a just-enough lifestyle for years and really enjoyed my liberated life. I have reduced excessive harmful weight and increased sharpness and discernment in my mental faculty. I look at life in a different and much wider and deeper perspective walking this life’s journey in a new freedom. My body and my soul become youthful and ageless. I can pursue spiritual reality more accurately. Living free of excesses is a blessing. It takes self-will and self-control. I could not have done it consistently by myself. thank God I have very good friends who have made the same decisions and we have walked this new life journey together cheering and encouraging each other. It’s a wonderful life!

The following verses reveal that the purpose of everyone’s life is to give glory to God.

Traveler’s observation: Take note the link between richness and pride (to the extent of denying God’s reality in one’s life) and poverty (to the extent that stealing becomes a norm in life). Both cases do not honor or glorify God. Any other explanation or excuse become a lie. A life of lies and deceptions is not worth living for. (Revelation 22:15)

Proverbs 30:5-9 (NLT)

Every word of God proves true.
    He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
Do not add to his words,
    or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.

O God, I beg two favors from you;
    let me have them before I die.
First, help me never to tell a lie.
    Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
    Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
    And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.

Proverbs 30:5-9 (NKJV)

Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Two things I request of You
(Deprive me not before I die):
Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You,
And say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.

Christian Philosophy? Pure Philosophy?

Has anyone heard of Christians having philosophy? what is Christian Philosophy? Is it the same as psychology? Or Greek philosophy? Chinese philosophy? Western philosophy? Eastern philosophy? Here is a good teaching. I quote in full an article from Andrew Wommack.

Every person views their life through a filter. For example, optimists see opportunity in every situation they face, while pessimists can only see defeat and failure. Both could be facing the same circumstances, but their filter determines how they respond. That filter could also be called their philosophy.

A philosophy is simply a way of thinking. And whether you know it or not, the direction that your life is going has been influenced and controlled by your personal philosophy or your dominant way of thinking. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If that is true—and it is—then it makes sense to be sure that you are viewing your life through the right filter.

Colossians 2:8 says, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

In this scripture, Paul was giving the believers in Colosse a warning. The word “beware” is being used in the sense of a sentry on guard duty. It’s a military term talking about being on guard, being on the lookout. And the word “spoil” is not talking about food; it’s talking about the spoils of war that go to the victor—the gold and silver and land.

Paul was saying to be on guard lest you be overcome by an Enemy that will strip you of your treasure, which is the truth that God has placed in your heart. That Enemy, the devil, wants to steal what God has given to you, using the world’s philosophies and the religious traditions of man.

Jesus referred to this in Matthew 15:8-9, which say, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

The people believed the commandments of men more than the Word of God. They maintained a form of godliness but denied the power of the Gospel of Jesus (2 Tim. 3:5). Jewish leaders were saying that Jesus was not enough, that the people still needed to observe rituals and ceremony, and those requirements were making the Word of God of no effect in their lives: “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Matt. 15:6).

They were operating according to a philosophy, but the wrong one. Many Christians are doing the same thing today. They have bits and pieces of the Word of God filed away in their brains, but they have not meditated on them enough to change their core beliefs. When the pressures of life come, they are able to quote dozens of scriptures claiming God’s promises, but they act according to their heart values.

A good example of this can be seen in the life of one of our recent Bible college students. She’s in her sixties and a really great woman of God. She had listened to my teachings on prosperity and could quote all the related verses. Intellectually, she understood everything I taught. But at the heart level, she still had a poverty mentality, or you could say a poverty philosophy. She had been raised by parents who went through the Depression and had successfully indoctrinated her with the fear of lack. She was so fearful that she stored and hoarded everything, even keeping her money at home, not trusting banks. Although she had accumulated some money with her philosophy, she still saw herself as poor, and it affected all of her decision making. Her philosophy, or way of thinking, was actually holding her captive and limiting what God could do through her life.

If at your core, you have a philosophy—a way of thinking—that is negative, it will manifest in your life. If you see yourself as broke, sick, or a failure, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the other hand, if at your core you see yourself as prosperous, healthy, and successful, that will be what manifests in your life. So, it’s important that your philosophy is based on the truth of God’s Word.

It’s through the subtle deception of human philosophy that Satan tries to deceive us. The first example of that can be found in Genesis 3:1-5.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Now think about this: It says that the serpent was more subtle. The word subtle means crafty, sly, cunning, and deceptive. He wasn’t using a frontal attack to overpower Adam and Eve; he was attempting to change their way of thinking, their philosophy.

Adam and Eve began with a pure philosophy. They were completely dependent upon God and never questioned His wisdom and goodness. Satan first caused them to question God’s word, and then he caused them to question God’s goodness. He beguiled them, which is what Paul was writing about in 2 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

Satan has never changed his tactics. He is at work through our society and culture trying to create a philosophy that is contrary to God’s Word. He is always trying to devalue the finished work of Jesus and His Word. Sad to say, it’s working. Even most Christians today do not have their belief systems firmly in place. They are influenced more by culture, motion pictures, their upbringing, or the opinions of others than by the Word of God.

Many of you reading this letter know what the Scripture says. You have read that God wants you to prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. You have read that by His stripes, you were healed and that Jesus came to give you life and life more abundantly. Yet when you look in the mirror, you see a failure, a loser, or a sick and defeated person. Why is that?

It’s because of your core philosophy. Maybe your parents told you that you would never amount to anything, or a previous mate convinced you that you were worthless. Or perhaps a religious leader told you that you were cursed because of your behavior, and you believed him or her. Whatever the root cause for your belief (philosophy), you are being spoiled, and your treasure is being stolen.

If that is you, then begin changing the way you think. Study and meditate in the Word of God, and change your basic core beliefs. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

In my own life, as I began to change the way I thought, it opened the door to the blessings that God had for me all along. I was actually limiting God by my small thinking; i.e., my philosophy. You may be doing the same thing. If you are, don’t waste any more time—change your mind.

Every believer needs to have a clear biblical philosophy, and it must be based solely on the Word of God. Without it, you will be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.

(the above is quoted from Andrew Wommack at this link: http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/christian_philosophy)

christian philosophyBook Description

Have you ever asked yourself what changed when you were “born again”? You look in the mirror and see the same reflection – your body hasn’t changed. You find yourself acting the same and yielding to those same old temptations – that didn’t seem to change either. So you wonder, Has anything really changed?

The correct answer to that question is foundational for receiving from God. If you lack this basic understanding, you’ll forever ask yourself doubt-filled questions like: “How could God love somebody like me?” and “How can I possibly expect to receive anything from the Lord? I don’t deserve it, I’m not good enough!”

Spirit, Soul & Body will help you to eliminate those and other doubt-filled questions that destroy your faith. If you have trouble receiving from God, this is a must-read!


Sample Chapters

Table of Contents Introduction

Chapter 1 God’s Mirror

Chapter 2 Release What You’ve Already Got!

Chapter 3 Renew, Acknowledge & Experience

light and fresh promises

dawn

every new day starts

with light and fresh promises

to feed yearning hearts

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[ Seeing the Invisible ] Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16 [Full Chapter])
Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

it started off well

20150308 sky of March

light without measure

spraying across great beyond

good finish assured

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:11-14)

rain in March

20150305 rain

a hundred days passed

the blessing poured on parched ground

the children laughing

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rain of blessing

11 “The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. 12 The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.

(Deuteronomy 28)

traveler’s delight

20150302 sudden bloom 2

their blooms greet the light

plentiful in land of plight

traveler’s delight

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
    on my holy mountain.
The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive,
    a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide.

(Isaiah 11:9 The Message)

dayspring colors our best youth

dawn is beautiful20150222 sunrise 2

dayspring colors our best youth

joyous and faithful

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2 Samuel 23:3-5 New Living Translation (NLT)

The God of Israel spoke.
    The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The one who rules righteously,
    who rules in the fear of God,
is like the light of morning at sunrise,
    like a morning without clouds,
like the gleaming of the sun
    on new grass after rain.’

“Is it not my family God has chosen?
    Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me.
His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail.
    He will ensure my safety and success.

for the bare but not barren field

a view

bare but not barren

always bountiful for all

is the song we pray

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Generations (The ploughed field and the fallow field)

The ploughed field and the fallow field
They sang a prudent song to me;
We bide all year and take our yield
Or barrenness as case may be.

What time or tide may bring to pass
Is nothing of our reckoning,
Power was before our making was
That had in brooding thought it’s spring.

We bide our fate as best betides
What ends the tale may prove the first.
Stars know as truly of their guides
As we the truth of best or worst.

Ivor Gurney (1890-1937 / England)

“A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters” 35: the paradox of “picture’

paradox of pictureThe word ‘picture’ for a photograph is another word of paradox. When we first see it we would imagine a copy representing a real thing. Yet when we compare the physical with the image, we realize that the copy is not a copy.

How can that be? A ‘photographic picture’ may give the connotation of ‘copy’ or ‘duplicate’ or ‘print’ or ‘reflection’ or whatever you like to call it. But there are lots of variables. Assuming all other variables (including especially the qualities of the camera and the photographer) are perfect and stand at perfect constant, time still change everything. No moment ever stands still or remains the same as the moment just passed.

How shall we call a picture then? A mere print of a momentary impression by the camera and the camera man/woman. The word ‘impression’ may be a more apt substitute for the word ‘picture’. Impression implies the subjective input we infuse into each work of our individual human hand. Aside from the hardware (cameras, computers, mobile phones which double up as cameras, printers etc.), our technique, skills, and technical experiences, our thoughts, attitudes, feelings, emotions, moods, perspectives, values, judgements, morals, religions, beliefs, five senses, likes and dislikes, preferences, priorities, affiliations, social and peer sentiments, relationships, statuses and phases of life, financial means and stability, physiological and psychological factors…(just fill in whatever that influence you) are all subjective but pertinent variable factors that affect our input and output.

What is the use of a picture or impression to an onlooker then? Should a photographer simply keep all the photos in his or her own private albums? But at some points of life everyone wishes to share a bit. The good news is that you don’t have to keep everything in your closets. Why? Because many share subjective variable factors at certain phases of lives. Some can even identify and empathize with you for the impression you have displayed which has also spoken to them.

Hence, it is alright to use the word ‘picture’ to describe a photograph just as you may describe a drawing or a painting. For that matter, a photograph becomes an art because of your subjective input which gives a glimpse of your life that someone somewhere may identify and share.

~~~~~You may be surprised, we (human) are pictures/images too. We are created by God in His likeness, with all His honor and glory intended originally.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
[ From Adam to Noah ] This is the written account of Adam’s family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.
When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
James 3:8-10 New International Version (NIV) but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.