Category: Bible verses
A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 45: Promises (and Shield)
Today’s words are PROMISES (and SHIELD).
The wise poets in ancient days declared:
About God: He will shield you with his wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. (Psalm 91:4)
To God: You are my refuge and my shield, and your promises are my only source of hope. (Psalm 119:114)
I have thoroughly tested your promises, and that is why I love them so much. (Psalm 119:140)
I stay awake through the night to think about your promises. (Psalm 119:148)
The wise prophets looked into the future and proclaimed:
About What God has promised: “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land sparkling with happiness. These are the promises of the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:12)
Prophet Daniel’s prayer: “O Lord,” I prayed, “you are a great and awesome God; you always fulfill your promises of mercy to those who love you and keep your laws.” (9:4)
God likes those who keep their promises: Proverbs 12:22
God delights in those who keep their promises and abhors those who don’t.
Prophet Isaiah knows all about how God’s promises can come true:
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. (30:18)
Here are some Bible verses from the New Testament on “Promises” for meditation and receiving by faith!
So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
2 Corinthians 1:20
He carries out and fulfills all of God’s promises, no matter how many of them there are; and we have told everyone how faithful he is, giving glory to his name.
And now that we are Christ’s we are the true descendants of Abraham, and all of God’s promises to him belong to us.
2 Timothy 2:13
Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us.
For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn; he will never go back on his promises.
The Power of the Holy Spirit is our shield today!
Galatians 3:5-7Living Bible (TLB)
5 I ask you again, does God give you the power of the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you as a result of your trying to obey the Jewish laws? No, of course not. It is when you believe in Christ and fully trust him.
6 Abraham had the same experience—God declared him fit for heaven only because he believed God’s promises. 7 You can see from this that the real children of Abraham are all the men of faith who truly trust in God.
A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 44: the power of Grace
Today we again read the letter G from the Book. GRACE is today’s word. The spirit-mind man used to think of grace as a weak word and avoided it until one day when he was struck (metaphorically) by it and was caught up into a realm he had never encountered before, like being suck up into a whirlwind or like being hit by an invisible lightning rod as he lifted up his hands to worship. It was just an ordinary Sunday morning but his life was never the same after that supernatural invisible encounter in his spirit.
This is what the spirit-mind man discovered about Grace.
A supernatural power that can only come from the Almighty God.
An inexplicable sense of being immensely loved by Him.
An indescribable perception of being in the presence of His absolute goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and loving kindness, resulting in total peace and great joy.
It opens into the spiritual realm (in the Christians’ experience, an intimate relationship with God just as Jesus has taught His believers).
Some of the resultant feelings, perceptions and actual experiences are listed at random below: security, wholeness, acceptance, being valued and esteemed, favored, lifted up, built up, completely broken down and yet being made re-integrated into a whole new being, complete, honestly and transparency, freedom from fear, freedom from condemnation and judgement, clean and pure, released from heavy burden/oppression/obsession, thoughts of hope and optimism, refreshing, energized, renewed, transformed inside out, made over, re-prioritized, re-focused, re-directed, renewed in youth, rest, peace, love, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, and many more.
The experience is real. It has lasted decades and is still processing and ongoing.
Grace is a power word. It is authoritative, real and strong. And it transforms an individual human life. Here are some random verses quoted from the Bible to illustrate grace:
[ The Word Becomes Flesh ] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
2 Timothy 1:9
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 1:10
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
2 John 1:3
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 43: the victorious Giving
Windows of giving.
Today we open the Book to the word GIVE. This could mean life and death. Without someone giving the right provision at the right time to another person selflessly, the would-be recipient may have perished. For example, giving of direction to the right road, giving of the right type and quantity of food, giving of warm and safe board and lodging in the freezing cold, and even giving of precious blood to save someone in critical need. Human have physical bodies and often the giving we need is in the physical.
There are other forms of giving too. For example, the ancient poet said,
“Your righteous testimonies are everlasting and Your decrees are binding to eternity; give me understanding and I shall live [give me discernment and comprehension and I shall not die].” (Psalm 119:144) This apparently refers to a higher wisdom and counsel which go beyond the human mind. To continue to keep up with the increasingly self-loving, crafty (multiplied exponentially by scientific and technological development), deceptive and unscrupulous physical world, an average human needs far more than what we have been taught by today’s education system or whatever words of wisdom (which often fall on deaf ears of today’s children) our parents have tried to impart to us based on what they had acquired and received. We can never catch up with the fast and ever-changing physical world.
But human nature has not changed. Survival strategies in a normal community are often based on generic inbuilt concepts of good and bad. How to decide what is good or bad? Often decisions are based on a number of generic social economic factors: agreed definition and standard of morality, code of ethics for economic conduct, code of social/relationship interactions with one another in the same community. By mutual adherence to such agreed beliefs and practices the family/community members can continue their peaceful co-existence.
One key success factor is giving. The ability and willingness to give (often more than what is required by legal binding covenant) enhances the quality of living together. It requires a higher belief and value system to give unconditionally and selflessly. One cannot give what one does not have. If a person gives at the expense of another person then it is not giving. The ultimate value behind giving has to be love. A love higher than human love.
Where does such a love come from? This spirit-mind man looks at this from a Christian perspective. Our God has revealed to us that He is love. He has demonstrated love historically by giving to us His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and atone for us so that we can freely and boldly interact with God as children of the righteous God through Jesus (now the resurrected Christ). Our human mind cannot understand this completely but it does not stop us from receiving this love by faith. His kind of love is pure and without selfish agenda. How do we apply to others? We are human. Every born again Christian is also given the Holy Spirit who lives in us and gives us strength to apply God’s love for others. This means we are supernatural and not just human when it comes to applying God’s goodness.
Why do we not see this wonderful powerful supernatural love manifesting in all Christians? As we are human, we can be hindered by our flesh (hampered by un-renewed mind which in turn controls our body and emotion). Some may be subject to the influences of demons. The Bible clearly records instances of demons influencing people’s lives. Persistent seeking an intimate relationship with God through reading and applying His words, prayers and worship, and fellowship with other Christians who similarly seek God and love God are ways to establish a firm foundation in one’s relationship with God. Transformation of our character comes as a process as our minds are being renewed. God’s presence becomes real and clear in our mind. In times of uncertainty we walk by clarity in decisions and not confusion.
Why do we focus on talking about the kind of love Christians can give to others in this world? Christians remained the largest religious group in the world in 2015, making up nearly a third (31%) of Earth’s 7.3 billion people, according to a new Pew Research Center demographic analysis. Just imagine the supernatural power of love manifesting together by a third of the earth’s population!
Yes, giving is required of every Christian. The only force that compels us is the love of our God, who loves us so much and whom we are to love in return. Are lovers fools? Yes, in the eyes of those who have never encountered this love we are fools. We are fools for Christ’s sake. (1 Corinthians 4:10)
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for each other as brothers and sisters.
Matthew 5:42-44 (Jesus says,)
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…”
Isaiah 11:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 41: start afresh in A, B, C
I rested for one year. The last blog in this series was aptly named: “MORE WORDS FOR HARD TIMES”. Today I start afresh and dive into my ocean of God’s words. Be refreshed and spurred to ponder more as you dip into the ocean of God’s treasure chest.
ADAM’s famous quote: Genesis 3:12 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The man said, “You gave this woman to me and she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” The Bible recorded only two sentences that Adam uttered to God and this was the second and last. A rather sad precedent for mankind.
BANISHED: Adam was banished from the Garden of Eden after his fall. His first-born son Cain was banished from the presence of God after murdering his brother Abel. King David banished his son Absalom from Jerusalem after his murder of his brother Amnon. But here is a little known prophetic statement made to David by a nameless woman who had a great reputation for wisdom.
2 Samuel 14:14 “We will all die someday. We’re like water spilled on the ground; no one can ·gather it back [collect it together]. But God doesn’t ·take away [discard] life. Instead, he plans ways that ·those who have been sent away will not have to stay away from him [will bring back/home the banished]!”
COME to his senses, COME home, COME celebrate:
Jesus has given us this story to show the EXTENT OF THE LOVE OF GOD FOR HIS CHILDREN. In this story a son was lost to the world but came to his senses and returned home. His father who waited daily for his change of heart and return was overjoyed and called for a great celebration. The word “COME” is a great word when we turn back to God. Jesus has extended the same call, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest!” (Matthew 11:28)
Excerpts from the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15
Expanded Bible (EXB)
17 When he ·realized what he was doing [came to his senses; L came to himself], he thought, ‘All of my father’s ·servants [hired workers] have ·plenty of [more than enough; abundant] ·food [bread]. But I am here, ·almost dying [perishing] with hunger.
20 So the son left and went to his father.
“While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt ·sorry [compassion] for his son. So the father ran to him [C an undignified act for a family patriarch; evidence of his unrestrained love] and hugged and kissed him. 21 The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against ·God [L heaven; v. 18] and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[a] 22 But the father said to his ·servants [slaves], ‘Hurry! Bring the ·best clothes [L first/best robe; C either the father’s own, or a ceremonial robe for an honored guest] and put them on him. Also, put a ring on his finger [C probably a signet ring indicating sonship and authority; Gen. 41:42] and sandals on his feet [C slaves went barefoot]. 23 And get our ·fat [fattened; C prepared for slaughter] calf and kill it [C people only occasionally ate meat; such a large animal indicates a major celebration] so we can have a feast and celebrate. 24 My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!’ So they began to celebrate.
a young girl’s anticipation of good
an Anticipation of good from a young idealist. This is the sound minder’s wish too. For a new year of new beginning for many. Be transformed by the renewal of our mind.
Bible verses on hope:
and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Hebrews 6:18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
Hebrews 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 11:1 [ By Faith We Understand ] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Not magic: a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Underwater 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.
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
This 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)
Flowers are not in chaos
Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
The flowers are Not in Chaos !
view from a train on three stations
Shine on Davis, Sacramento, Colfax
As I look at these pictures I took last January from a train, I realize how attractive the color yellow is when the sun shines on it. The buildings with the yellow plastered on them are basked under the sunshine and become beautiful. They are of three distinctly different architecture. The third one is not the station itself. But I use this photo because of the art someone put on it to make it friendly despite its being a mere humble godown or something like that (my apology as I cannot figure out what it is looking at its back). Notwithstanding its lacking in impressive historically or culturally relevant architecture, I like the fact that when the sun shines on it the color stands out just as well as the others. In fact, all three buildings bring out the shine well in each own unique way.
Here are some facts about the three stations quoted from Wikipedia.
The original Sacramento station was the terminal of the Central Pacific Railroad. The present building, designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Bliss and Faville for the Southern Pacific Railroad, was built in 1926 in the Renaissance Revival style. Decorative features include a red tile roof and terracotta trim, as well as large arches on the main facade. It was rebuilt in 2012. Architectural style: Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other.
Davis, formerly known as Davisville, is a train station in Davis, California. It was built by the California Pacific Railroad between August 24 and November 15, 1868, In 1871 the Cal-P (as it later was called) was taken over by the Central Pacific Railroad; a fire later burned down the 19th century-style station. In 1914 the Central Pacific built a second depot, which was remodeled in 1986. The depot was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Architectural style: Mission/Spanish Revival.
Colfax station is an Amtrak train station in Colfax, California. It serves the California Zephyr line. It is unstaffed. The station was built in 1905 by Southern Pacific Railroad and was restored in the early 21st Century; in addition to a waiting room, the building also houses the Colfax Heritage Museum.
free admission, a glimpse, inspiration
a Local museum opens today.
This is a very small museum recording the life of one man in the local community of this little suburb town. Admission is free. Very few travelers come to this town. I happen to be around as a wedding guest. This is the first time I visit a museum that looks like a family home, depicting the story of just one man -he started this little beautiful town. What can I see in perhaps half an hour? I see photos, furniture, utensils, equipment/instrument, weapons, coat of arms, old clothes of that period, brief summary of his life history, old faded documents like his letters, some official and some personal. The man with his people. The man with his family. The man had communicated in his time to his people. The young pupils are brought here to learn something about their past. But what does a traveler want to see? What do I want to see? I see multiple yet uncluttered gentle pastel colors of the past, like a misty romantic scene in an old movie of strangers in another time, another life, speaking in silence, yet loudly and audibly, like a picture framed in time, with its own theme and style, relevant in timeless concept and value of perhaps, characteristics that we admire: courage, integrity, selflessness, charity, wisdom and knowledge etc.
What makes a man important and memorable? This is the question I often ask myself. A local. An otherwise unknown person in the vast ocean of a nation. On the other hand, aren’t national heroes merely small individuals who come from each little local neighborhood?
Luke 16:10 “One who is faithful in the smallest matters is also faithful in much, and the one unjust in the smallest matters will likewise be unjust in much.
the colors you wear: a haiku (and a prose)
colors green and blue
always your favorite so true
a dress for my heart
~~~~~~~~~~~~~He remembers her in her blue and green dress. She dresses well. The colors of nature: the green grass, green plants, green trees, and the blue sea, blue mountain, blue sky. Often there is white space in between, like a white canvas background on which an artist has gently and richly added splashes of the colors of his heart, the blue and the green. Blue is for spirit. Green is for life. Spirit and Life. His love is so beautiful, filled with life and spirit.
Verses: John 6:63 New Living Translation (NLT)
63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
planting with my heart: a haiku (and a prose)
opening the heart
seeing beauty in plain sight
gold and rare delight
~~~~~~~~Seeing is not longer difficult for a traveler with a heart. He sees things differently. The field. The sky. The plants. The clouds. The water. The light. The colors. Dawn. Noon. Sunset. Rain or shine. Seasons. Structure and organization of matters. Even the unseen wind caught between the twigs and leafy green. The entangled variety of shapes and sounds of nature mingled with manmade work. Although he sits on the upper level with panoramic view through huge glass windows, he does not really have that much of flexibility to move from place to place to capture the various scenes which are swiftly passing both sides of the train. Still, admittedly this train journey is worth the price and time. He now understands why a thirteen year old kid who likes to write poetry prefers to ride an hour on a bus on her way home from school instead of taking the mere eight minutes subway. His friends worry that he may find it too long and too tedious riding a train for two and half days. But he feels as if he is very very young again and in Europe when he traveled alone and on his carefree way to see the world. He was without worry then. This time it is different because he does have a burden in his heart. He is meeting someone at the end of the journey. He enjoys planting. He knows the law of planting. Planting the wind will harvest the whirlwind. Planting good solid seed will harvest good fruit. This is the principle to build the foundation for a relationship. Yes, the condition of the soil matters. The heart is the field with the soil. He feels thankful he has opened his heart and love again. No, it is not someone new. This is an old (not chronologically) love. The one love of his life.
“Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Luke 8:8) “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.” (Luke 6:47-48)
I could have loved you better: a haiku (and a prose)
only when love leaves
silently sunset arrives
heart is filled with tears
~~~~~~~~~the word today starts with “R”. Regret. Remorse. Repent. Repressed. Reversed. In matters of human relationship sometimes the harm done is irrevocable. You just cannot reverse the car and pretend that nothing had happened if you have already run over something. On the other hand, the word today can start afresh in more positive expressions: Refreshed, Restored, Reconciled, Rejoice, Regenerated, Rejuvenated, Re-engineered, Revalued (upward), Renovated and many more. There are neutral words too. Revealed. What is revealed is good or bad depends on the content revealed. But it also depends on the interpretor. Like this picture I took with a shaky hand from a vehicle behind a glass barrier. It turned out poorly. But the actual content (the sunset view on a flat land with still water and weeds) is quite nice to behold. I missed the opportunity of capturing the moment of beauty and grace. But did I really miss it? No, there is a sharp and accurate picture stored in my memory (far more superior than a chip). In relationship too, we may think of the past with some regrets. But when we really recall, we can find more moments of joy and love truly shared and treasured. It is the positive contents of a relationship that matter. Yet, on some lonesome moments when we look at old photos, we still would wish we could have loved the others better. Resolution? Take all the positive Rs and start working on relationships that matter to me.
Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8a)
a tree and her shade: a haiku (and prose)
a tree and her shade label
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Walking in hot sun requires plenty of shady spots to rest. Here is one of my favorite spots. Near Autumn but there is still plenty of green. The sun can get quite unbearable and one has to fortify oneself with a hat/cap, at least a bottle of plain water, and of course a mobile phone (camera). But the shades are very useful. They are not the trees. They reflect what the trees are like. Usually in a stretching and exaggerating way. Shades stretch the truth somewhat depending on the location of the sun. Sometimes some creatures like birds or squirrels may be hiding up the trees and their shadows appear as parts of the shades. Rare but it could happen. Trees and shades are certainly very rewarding to a traveler.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
a birthday greeting: Love Definition
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.
winter’s positive statement: a haiku (and a prose)
they burst out living
turning this corner walking
winter spring in all
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Just before he leaves this place he walks round to see if there is any moment of joy and hope he can capture and send to her. Someone says that even in winter some trees will bloom if there is sunshine for a few days. He has prayed and the sun has come out. So he braves the cold and goes out to say goodbye to the wind and trees. He always looks for pictures of moments of beauty and hope. Because he knows it matters. Life matters. Here they are-lives bursting out even behind a fence. A neighbor’s garden of hope.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I shall cross this mountain for you: a haiku (and a prose)
I walk far and wide
my love gives me strength on high
each step a conquest
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~His love for her is a strength. Some say he may be too tired by now after all the years of seemingly endless travel. Some say he needs to settle down for a long rest. But he does not fear the lack of strength, nor he dreads the lack of rest for his physical feet. As long as his love continues he continues to persist on this journey. He gains momentum by hope. The hope and expectation of a meeting in the future. At the end. The destination of meeting. Love is an undying hope. A lasting strength. No mountain is too high he cannot climb. No river is too wide he cannot cross. Because he will love her to the end.
Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that theLord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as theLord said.”
ocean in the sky: a haiku (and a prose)
Ocean shifted house
billowing waves right above
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In the geographical terrain where the traveler now stations on this globe he sees a different sky. Another shade of blue color. Another formation of clouds. Another regiment of trees. Same globe but different. The waves of the ocean sky are different. The foams are different. Often it makes him think of how a tiny globe can have such a rich variety of colors, shades, shapes, forms, textures, tints, tones, patterns, habitat, living creatures, sounds, tastes, smells, tunes, depths, widths, heights, breadths, smiles, laughs, eyes, skins, hair, fingers, feet, babies, wind, breezes, streets, lanes, paths, roads, waysides, hills, rivers, streams, mountains, valleys, cliffs, rocks, pebbles, shores, marshlands, nests, eggs, twigs, branches, buds, flowers, plants, trees, bushes, grass, fishes, dogs and cats, snow and falls, seasons and weather. The list is in-exhaustive. There is no lack of topics for a haiku-writing traveler to record, report, and write. Compared to perhaps another habitable planet somewhere in another remote universe, this earth garden is not doing too bad in the richness in varieties. In a way, this reflects the human soul. There is no lack of the richness in varieties and peculiarities rich display of which he often takes a snapshot and jots down lest he may forget when he next comes this way.
Quotation from the Bible: Psalm 46:2-4 New Living Translation (NLT)
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude
4 A river brings joy to the city of our God,
the sacred home of the Most High.
behold love: a haiku (and a prose)
Behold love so vast
beyond my vision’s ship mast
sailing on with hope
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sometimes he finds it hard to carry on hoping when he has waited quite long. He may feel tired and somewhat lonely when he is sailing alone facing the same tough and trying stormy or impasse situation. Yet in his deepest inner most he knows he is not alone. He has support. There are heavenly support. There are others on earth like him facing the same issue too, and silently sailing on in each respective hope-boat, fearlessly facing the same positive direction. The same goal, a safe harbor of solid rock for their weary anchor. Come what may: wind or rain or both.
Hebrews 6:18-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. 20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
she knows love: a haiku (and prose)
His heart with hope glows
her new song from ocean’s end
never ebbing flow
~~~~~~~~~~~~~“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. Having come to his thirtieth haiku on the theme of LOVE, he discovers this twist, a turn to the positive. She calls. She says, “Never give up hope.” She knows love.
This is the song she sings:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
(From the Holy Bible NLT 1 Corinthians 13)
If I sell you love: a haiku (and a prose)
Will you buy from me
if I sell you my heart ache
bleeding all in blue
~~~~~~~~~~~~~He tries the last resort. He decides to start a healing school -treating cases of heart aches. There is no lack of supplies and demands. He has a theatre full. But he specializes on only one kind of heart ache, a rare kind, the kind called LOVE. Last night he heard love sing this song: “If I sell you love, will you buy from me?” He heard himself crying out loud, “I will. I will.” He is willing to pay any price. Even the full worth of his life. She just has to say, “Sold.” To him. But no, love cannot be sold. Unless love is this little poem.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy[a] as enduring as the grave.[b]
Love flashes like fire,
the brightest kind of flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
with all his wealth,
his offer would be utterly scorned.
A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 40: MORE WORDS FOR HARD TIMES
More 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 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.
2 Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 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. 4 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;5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
6 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.
random Bible picture thoughts for hard times
Bible verses encouragement and uplifting pictures for hard times.