A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 4: the ingredients for books

“One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.”― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. Racing against time is the crux of my Christian life. Writing several subjects at the same time, I find myself like drawing a brand new map and adding new discoveries of the locations of cities, boundaries, roads, mountains, rivers, and coastlines and many other things we deem interesting and important and relevant as we walk the terrain in the mind and the spirit.

One of my current assignments is to read the Chronicles of Narnia again. In an ironical way I am pleased that I am old enough now to read fairy tales again. I listen to the audio book and read the printed text at the same time so I would not miss anything. I have finished four out of seven books in the series.

Reading Narnia, in all its brilliant splendor with magnificent richness in depth, breadth, width and height, of both contents and language, I felt like giving up my intention to re-write my five children’s books. It was quite hopeless to carry on with mine in the language (the main ingredients) that I find lacking. How to compare with the world class Chef de Cuisine in my humid backwater damp wood burning kitchen shed with a chipped earthen pot and smoke in the eyes? Yes, you are right, a man’s faculty to dream is subject to the constrains/availabilities of the supplies of words in the formation of his thoughts. And thoughts are the ingredients for books. Language feeds the thoughts. Thoughts feed the writing.

Well, just plod on. My spirit says. So I decide to plod on. Here is a conversation from the Dawn Treader encountering pitch darkness spoken by the Lord Reepicheep in reply to Captain Drinian,

“But what manner of use would it be ploughing through that darkness?’ asked Drinian.

Use?’ replied Reepicheep. ‘Use, Captain?’ If you mean by filling our bellies or our purses, I confess it will be no use at all. So far as I know we did not set sail to look for things useful but to seek honour and adventures. And here is as great an adventure as I have ever heard of, and here, if we turn back, no little impeachment of all our honours.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader”

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 4: D for day

Day: A specific time or period. This is the word for today. The word is neutral. But in most cases it comes with other words which bring a sense of foreboding, for example, the terrible day of His, your day of reckoning, in the last day, they will, how terrible that day will be, the great and terrible day of the Lord, watch for the day of the Lord, great and dreadful day of the Lord, that great judgment day of the Lord. However, there are happy and positive ones too:

2 Corinthians 4:16b Our spirits are being renewed everyday.

1 Thessalonians 5:4 My brothers and sisters, it will be different for you. You do not dwell in the darkness, so that day will not surprise you like a thief

Acts 2:16-21

16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
    ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your young men will see visions,
    and your old men will dream dreams.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
    even on my servants—men and women alike—
    and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below—
    blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
    and the moon will turn blood red
    before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
    will be saved.’[c]

One thing about being a human is that we all have the faculty to choose. making choices in life is an inalienable inborn nature and right, starting from the first man and woman on earth. A man’s choice will impact his life, or a process in space and time of life. Similarly, the choice he makes will determine whether the phrase “the Lords’ day” will mean good or bad when that day finally comes to him. Every one has a day of the Lord. Moses said this in his final speech,

Deuteronomy 30:19
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

kainotes, 2021-12-18

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 3: 1 A, 1 B, 2 Cs

All that I am sharing are words I have used and they have worked. To get rid of whatever lies and doubts when sensing the “depressive-oppressive” spirit sneaking anywhere near, I turn and increase the intensity of my focus on who I am in today’s words. Lest we ever forget, this is the triumphant positioning to which we must hold fast.

Alive: animate, having life, active, aware. It is used to describe a physical body or the word of God. A dead body or lifeless word is of no use to anyone. But God’s words are alive. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Jesus says that hIs words are life and spirit. And His Spirit gives life to our mortal body. (John 6:63; Romans 8:11).

Body: one’s physical essence “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (1Corinthians 9:27); or a group of people. 1 Corinthians 12:12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Being alive and disciplining the body are inter-related. Without the alive and fit physical body, there will be no body of Christ (a group of believers). This is essential in advancing the Kingdom of God. Why does God call Himself as “I Am the Healer”? Why did He send Jesus as Savior and Healer? The salvation package actually consists of two gifts: redemption from the consequence of sins, and the healing of all our diseases. (Isaiah 53:4-5) A great psalm by king David confirms this fact clearly: read Psalm 103:1-5. In addition to redemption, David had received the physiological benefits of having all his diseases healed and his youth being renewed like the eagle’s!

Christian: One who professes belief and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. A believer. The name was first given to the worshippers of Jesus by the Gentiles, (Acts 11:26) but from the second century onward accepted by them as a title of honor. 1 Peter 4:16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!

Looking back, I have never thought of myself as having any other identity but a Christian even when I did not attend church or read the Bible or pray. Later I came to know God’s grace (undeserved favor) and His love for me, and was baptized in the Holy Spirit. The term “being a Christian” became really meaningful and purposeful. I read the Bible with a passion, and the words come alive. My life has been totally transformed and renewed, seeing and experiencing supernatural signs, miracles, divine healings. Indeed, to me, Christianity is a call to live supernaturally, walking by the Spirit. Thank God I am a supernatural Christian. So can you be.

Church: Ekklesia (or ecclesia) is the Greek word translated in the New Testament as “church.” It comes from ek, meaning “out from and to” and kaleo, meaning “to call,” and has to do with a group of people called out from one place and to another. It is an assembly or a congregation. The ekklesia in the New Testament is a group of people who have been called out of the world and to God; it is the church. It is not a building or a place. The church universal is made up of all believers in Jesus. Local churches are smaller gatherings of the worldwide church. 

(Acts 11:26, 12:5, 13:1-2, 16:5 church in the house) The early Christians gathered together to worship God, pray, partake Holy Communion, and listen to the teachings about Jesus (through the Scripture written and circulated by the apostles and disciples). Regardless of their circumstances. There was really no physical buildings to which they could call “church”. They became the church just as Jesus has commanded. An invincible spiritual body of Christ. They followed exactly what Jesus has taught. He knew best. They believed. They became what He promised them to be, having a position in the spiritual that cannot be shaken.

Historically, all the Christians who listened carefully to Jesus’ warnings and watched the signs, were able to flee to safety before the AD70 total invasion and destruction of Judea and Jerusalem by the Romans. In this case, history presents a type of what will happen again. (In a vision nearly a decade ago, I was led to see empty halls of former churches richly decorated and furnished like a theatre which became dead, deserted and dusty and forlorn. Then I was led to another place thriving with lives, where believers continue to worship God, pray and gather together in small groups.)

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

kainotes, 2021-12-15

confession and background of this blogger-writer -a spiritual journey

I do not have the intention to write a conventional Bible words dictionary. This is just a personal journey recording what I receive daily for the last 20 days of this last month of this year 2021. As some readers may have noted, I have not followed any fixed pattern of writing in this blog. When you browse through the archives you will find a variety of writings. I started writing at 13 year old, for a local newspaper, daily serialized fiction stories. when I went to high school I joined a poetry club and started writing poems. In my twenties-thirties when I was a corporate executive, a newspaper editor offered me a daily column in their editorial page. Later, someone introduced me to an editor for Christian publications and she invited me to write as their regular writers for weekly Christian publications in secular papers. Those were different training grounds for me to pursue my writing hobby.

This Sound Mind blog was started in December 2012 and I started a series named “A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters” in March 2013. I have written 45 episodes and stopped in September 2017. In the same year I started this blog, I posted an article by Andrew Wommack on spiritual authority and the links to his audio series mp3 (https://freemindconfession.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/know-your-real-spiritual-authority-and-power-use-them/). Three days after, on 2013/08/31 around 8am in the morning, I had a spiritual encounter myself, and witnessed and video recorded the sound and visual of a shower of golden rays inside my sunken kitchen surrounded by high brick walls with no access to direct sunlight!

I believe the spiritual realm is real. I have had many spiritual encounters which I have documented and posted in another blog (https://kzlam36.wordpress.com/). I continue to use the Sound Mind blog as a practice ground for a variety of writings. Lately I have been prompted to do a new series to “commemorate” this year, lest I shall forget the more important matters. Writing and thinking and speaking out what we write can shape our brain and in turn change the reality around us.

What can be better than to use the remains of this year to do this brain and reality refreshing exercise by going through the process of selecting the key words (through hearing in the spirit), pondering on their meanings and purposes, writing them down and even reading out loud? I asked myself. A higher simultaneous goal, if possible, is to heighten the awareness of the spiritual reality of our existence. When we acknowledge the reality of being a being with a spirit, operating a soul (mind and emotion), housed inside a body, we shall find life not that meaningless, hopeless and even desperate.

That is why I have decided to do this last series for 2021 on this rather unusual subject with the spiritual in view right now. In a way I am led in the spirit to return to what I started at the beginning.

kainotes, 2021-12-14

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 1 : effective for ALL

All have been through together, the year of ridicule. What are the words for the remains of the days in 2021? For those who have sailed above the uncharted water, or are still sailing through it, let us plunge into the Bible treasure chest and pick up some word gems to shape and guide as our spiritual compass, and continue to brave the journey ahead. Let us be led by the Holy Spirit, in identifying His words in alphabetical order, during the last 20 days of this year 2021. (This is an entirely new series continuing what I left off in September 2017)

The A word is ALL. When pondering on how to start with the alphabet A, I realize we do have a lot of words to choose from. But when I started typing this journal note, the phrase “the word is ALL” comes into my mind without hesitation. How appropriate! All have been through together the year of ridicule. No exception.

Admittedly this is a crucial word today for possibly the last generation (encompassing ALL existing living generations) will witness together the return of the Lord we are all hoping for.

The word ALL appears 4716 times in the whole 66 books of the Bible according to NLT search (OT 3737 times. NT979 times). First mention is in Genesis 1:12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. (God began this world with creating something that will generate and multiply faithfully to provide ample and rich sustenance for the living world He created.)

Last mention is in Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.! (Last reminder: without exception, the deeds of all men are being recorded in the spiritual realm and will require account. Good news: there will be reward.)

First mention of the word ALL in the last book of the Bible gives a specific blessing with a condition: Revelation 1:3 God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and He blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

Last mention in the first book of the Bible also speaks of God’s good intention for His people. Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

A random verse from the last book of the OT: Malachi 1:11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Another random verse and again it tells of God’s blessing and a condition: Psalm 1:3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. (Who is this blessed man? Read 1-2 for the context.)

A random set of verses declaring where the true security rests: Psalm 146:3-5 3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there; 4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. 5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

Random verses from a major prophet: Daniel 12:7 The man dressed in linen, who was standing above the river, raised both his hands toward heaven and took a solemn oath by the One who lives forever, saying, “It will go on for a time, times, and half a time. When the shattering of the holy people has finally come to an end, all these things will have happened.” (Note: to know what “all these things” are, please read chapter 11 as well as 12)

A verse from a minor prophet: Zephaniah 3:9 “Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the Lord together. (Note: this speaks of our communication, our media of communication, the contents and the intention, the oath we make, the true as against the false, the genuine versus the counterfeit.)

A verse from the first book of the NT: Matthew 1:22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

The perfect witness, John speaks this in the last verse of his Gospel John 21:25: Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.

How the first church began, as initiated and recorded by the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:1-3 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. (Note: meeting together in persons!)

Romans 1:18 God’s Anger at Sin But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. (No exception. That is why Jesus had to come and die for ALL).

This is the God provided way out of God’s anger: 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

God provided His Son as the once for all sacrifice for us in order to save us: 1 John 2:2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

Some warning verses about spiritual war/persecution: Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.

The weapon used by the adversary: 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

The apostle’s charge to all believers: 1 Timothy 6:11 Paul’s Final Instructions: But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

Here is the assurance that we will not lose out by resisting the devil and submitting to God: Philemon 1:6 6 (KJV) That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every (all) good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (Acknowledging all good things are already in us because we are in Christ and receive by faith by pronouncing this!)

Kainotes, 2021-12-12

when two poets meet, lovers of books, & letters

poets, letters, books

A third way to dispel an unwanted feeling is to write a letter. No, not the digital one. Write on a piece of paper and then put it into an unaddressed envelope, seal it and put it into an empty shoe box in the filing cabinet where you keep your IRS returns and other similar kind. You may want to transcribe it into a digital/audio file, just in case you want to use it for the text of a poem or haiku in my case. But this is not my subject today, which is, what happens when two poets meet?

“When our lives meet

I can remember to be strong;” (** I took this at random from a poem of another favorite poet in not so many bygone years. )

The original poem is about a quiet place (like virtual) for two poets (my interpretation), a woman and a man, each with each own separate life/family. Each poet’s voice through their poems unintentionally resonates with that of the other.

Here is a visual: a woman poet in her above quote makes a stance to stand strong for the man on the common ground they share in their poetic ideals. In a way, it makes the poem alive. An elderly (born 1946) woman standing tall and firm waving her poetry work in her hand, to a man (born 1965) standing tall and firm waving his poetry book to her in turn across the vast ocean.

Some of the younger readers may wonder how that can be plausible, or even imaginable, seeing the vast difference in chronological gap? Possible and plausible. In a strange sublime and transcendental behavior, a poem, or rather a creative and unique arrangement of words with the intention to communicate a thought, a feeling, a picture, a sound, a story, or just the mere shape of the poetic formation of characters in visual, it somehow communicates to someone somewhere, especially to another poet.

You may want to call it a seamless connection.

Coming back to the beginning of this post, letters were mentioned as a third way out of the feeling of (fill in your adjectives). I happened to come across 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) movie clips and later listened to the audio book on a sleepless night, questioning the point of writing anything at all in this age. of uncertainty, including the question whether anyone reads anything at all for more than one minute or watch a video clip or listen to an audio recording for more than two minutes. I have not yet read any review of this book about an old book shop at the location where I used to roam, and hunt, to physically browse around, shoveling through the dust, and hopefully make a find of a rare gem of a book.

One of the thoughts that came to mind was what was the intention of the author? The content of the letters had to be restricted to books*, to find, to buy and to sell and deliver. The relationship between the two who penned the letters had to be confined to that between a customer of the bookshop and the employee of the bookshop. How can an author expect to sell her book on such contents? Amazing.

The two correspondents never met in persons. Across the oceans their letters shared their lives around books (papers). An outsider of the circle of book lovers would have imagined the relationship as thin as a sheet of paper, or a line of a poem in the case of the above two poets.

You too, may think so, because you prefer other kinds of books or the modern digital way feelings and thoughts are now communicated. But I know you are not here anyway to read this even if I send you a link.

Meanwhile, I salute fellow readers and enthusiasts for books and poetry and writing letters across oceans. I mean the real books (in paper) of course.

spirit-mind man 2021-11-11

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

*By the way, the list of 36 books mentioned in the letters can be found at this link: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/137518.Books_Mentioned_in_84_Charing_Cross_Road

Note: Helene Hanff (April 15, 1916 – April 9, 1997) was an American writer born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is best known as the author of the book 84, Charing Cross Road, which became the basis for a stage play, television play, and film of the same name.The epistolary work 84, Charing Cross Road was first published in 1970. It chronicles Hanff’s 20 years of correspondence with Frank Doel, the chief buyer for Marks & Co, a London bookshop. She depended on the bookshop—and on Doel—for the obscure classics and British literature titles that fueled her passion for self-education. (Wikipedia)

an audio reading of the above book : [https://youtu.be/UvGsJL8RbaQ]

**from a poem <a quiet space (for Kim Cheng)> by Anne Lee Tzu Pheng (Singapore). Boey Kim Cheng (Asian-Australian) is another poet. Both are renown award winners in their fields.

a confession: secret keys to overcome a universal “pandemic” of ignorance

a future looking man

This is a real life conversation (interview) between the mindman (M.) and a “clever” man we name AJ (not his real name). I would posit a solution to overcome the universal pandemic veil of ignorance —which if allowed to continue, could soon spiral into a state of total entropy of human lives on earth. My motive is obvious. I believe in the goodness of the power and effectiveness of orderliness, self-control, discipline, and advancement in all the positive and worthy aspects of civilization through learning. The following conversation will amplify what I mean and the hope for many of us who share similar value in the meaning in life.

M: Good day, sir. Thank you for your kind participation in this program. As you know, the objective of this conversation is to find out how to become clever. What are the prerequisites? How did you first realize your exceptional ability?

AJ: I never knew that people can be stupid until my first day at school. To me, the texts (in both my first and second languages) are so easy to learn and master. The maths are so simple and logical. There is no stress at all to learn any new thing. I absolve knowledge like a sponge absorbing water. I discovered that the boy sitting next to me was not learning. He could not even stay still and concentrate. I soon discovered to my puzzle that the oldest boy in class failed to pass every exam and kept repeating grade one. In our days the school practiced corporal punishment and that boy was caned regularly for failing in almost every subject and assignment.

M: Was it because you are a naturally bookish person? If not, why are you different from others? What is your secret in learning?

AJ: I like reading but I am not bookish in its strict sense. I play a lot and enjoy outdoor life. I was always the first to volunteer for all sorts of outdoor games and sports, running, playing catch etc. I am an avid reader but I spend very little time learning the text books. In our days we hardly had any story books and I read whatever I found, such as wrappers from recycled old newspapers, magazines, a lot of non-fiction materials, in torn bits. I volunteered to be a librarian in school and read all the books and periodicals. This becomes my lifelong habit, learning new things through reading all the books (arts and science) in the libraries and bookshops, except books on subjects that were really beyond my comprehension, e.g. mechanics.

M: Why not mechanics? I understand that you have done well in maths, languages, and even fine arts. You are balanced in all three fields: visual, auditory, and kinesthetics.

AJ: It has something to do with my reasoning. I reason things out so that I can memorize them. In my school and college days we were taught rote learning which I refused to comply. Somehow I just couldn’t figure out mechanics. Actually my dad, eldest brother, and a brother-in-law are in mechanical engineering.

M: Do you mean that you figure out math and languages? Have you ever taught others how to figure things out? What is your success rate in that attempt?

AJ: Yes. That is my secret in learning and remembering. I figure things out. I did try to teach this way of learning in my first days at school. I tried with the boy who sat next to me and the oldest boy who was caned for failing to do his homework because he couldn’t do them. I attempted to help my fellow classmates to learn the way I did through out my school and university days. I never found out what my success rate was. However, I once met one woman (a coffee shop entrepreneur) while visiting my hometown after fifty years and she told me she was my classmate in grade 12 and I helped her to pass her Senior Cambridge exam! It was a pleasant surprise and a bonus —helping others to learn effectively and seeing their success.

M: How do you figure things out? Can you briefly summarize the key points? The keys to success in learning?

AJ: I did not realize it in the early school days, but I figured out how to beat the exam system. First: I always prepared ahead of everyone, including the teachers. For example, the night before the next day’s lessons, I read up the text books and did all the workbooks ahead of the lessons. I did researches through reading the dictionary and the encyclopedia. I found books on math puzzles and problems solving from my seniors and practice all the quizzes. I learned logic, rational thinking, deduction and induction and social science research methodology and the science of learning as a kid through practicing the principles until they become my default-auto-pilot, without even studying them until I was in college. I figured out how best to remember a word or a term, often using association method, or method that best suits me. There were cases where I had to use rote learning, because English was my second language at birth. I overcame that hurdle through reading English books and writing journals. I started writing serialized stories and got them published in the national newspapers at thirteen. It eventually becomes my first language, the language I now work and live in (inside and outside my thoughts).

M: Wow, that sound really difficult and requires special talent!

AJ: I disagree. I agree that some individuals may be better endowed with born intelligence. However, in my experience I have found that intelligence can be acquired and developed, like a physical skill. The more essential prerequisites are: willingness and determination. It is a matter of attitude and practice. At thirteen I cycled pass the most prestigious British international bank and saw an English man manager inside. I told my sister, “You know, one day I will sit on that chair.” I did. And went way up beyond that position in fact.

M: Tell us about your running and sports experience. You seem to have developed and focused on academic and commercial advancement instead of physical pursuits.

AJ: I love running. I discovered that I could be a good sprinter if I had more practices and training. I also found that I was a left-handed sharp shooter in basketball, and had good potential in squash and tennis. I still run or jog or brisk walk as I gain in age. I chose not to pursue all the other possibilities professionally once I set all my life goals on a priority scale. I still run daily for fun, fitness, and youthfulness. I enjoy life in all its aspects.

M: Back to the subject of study. What made you do a master of science degree in healthcare (physiological and mental health) after being very well established in the corporate business world? Having left school for decades? I understand that you did very well in the postgraduate study.

AJ: I believe I can always work on things ahead of time and trend. For example, I went into digital communication line way ahead of the market. The same with healthcare. How did I know before the market knows? No magic. As I said before, it is a matter of learning and seeing things before they materialize. The prerequisites are: reading, observing, thinking, and organizing. The truth about the big picture often unfolds itself. It requires putting into practice what I have learned all my life.

When I decided to go into a new field because I knew there would be a big demand there for the future of mankind, I prepared myself to learn new knowledge. I learned all that I could get hold of at various stages of technological advancement and grow and update as the tech and internet industry grows. For example, in terms of computers, I started with prior-computer (NCR class 32) stage, then progressed to IBM Main Frame, then desk top PC and Window, internet and intranet, terminal PCs, then laptop, MacBook Pro, and so on. I have always believed that I would succeed. And that was many decades ago. History has proven that the decisions were right.

M: Are you more an art person or a scientific person? Left or right brained? Does your personality type influence or give you an advantage over others in terms of learning? I understand that you have high IQ as well. Is that not a prerequisite for learning?

AJ: Studies show that the IQ of half of the population is between 90 and 110, while 25% have higher IQ’s, and 25% have lower IQ’s. Education and literacy rate has improved in history in line with civilization advancement. Most school exams are pitched at the majority level of an average IQ individual. I had my first IQ test when I joined an international corporate group after I graduated from the university. I did not know my test result until a decade later when the HR manager told me in a private lunch. She said I scored around 80%, way above and beyond the normal average passing score of 40% among the executives, and it was a stunning record. They never had anyone with that score. The test was conducted by credible reputable independent examiners. I did not tell her my secret of success. I did something which others (my colleagues from all over the world) probably did not do. I prepared. I bought books on IQ quizzes and practiced them. I even practiced doing Mensa quizzes. Solving problems has been my lifelong hobby. Surprised? My personality type as an INTJ has a lot to do with the way I prepared myself for everything that matters. It is a definite advantage in terms of learning. I am ambidextrous and use both my left and right brain together. I must reiterate that it can be learned through constant practice and preparedness. Even personality type. Another corporate test revealed that I was an introvert-introvert, a rare minority on earth. I was a young manger then. And I knew that if I wanted to progress up the branch banking corporate ladder I had to switch to a centric position. So I learned and acquired the centric skills and switched. At certain stages, I managed over two thousands staff and layers of managers and supervisors. Was it a nightmare for an introvert-introvert? Not at all. It was one of the most challenging and yet rewarding phases in my corporate life. How did I train the use of both sides of the brain? I pursue activities and hobbies that exercise both sides of the brain. I actually enjoy them. Make it a lifelong habit. A lifestyle. Remember: Preparedness is a very important key to success.

M: Amazing! I understand that you are a Christian and have completed various classes in Bible colleges. Did you also figure out how to learn the Bible?

AJ: Good question. I did. Surprised? I learned three essential keys in studying the Bible. First, reading it. Second, meditating it. Third, practicing it. I practiced everything I practice in learning other knowledge. No double standard and short change in terms of learning the Bible. Above all that, I have one additional key, that is, the empowering of the Holy Spirit. So there is little need for me to “figure” out. The supernatural understanding just appears. Every believer can experience it. (Isaiah 11:2 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 of the fear of the Lord.)

M: What are your favorite subjects in high school? And universities?

AJ: High school: English language and literature, Algebra, European history, and drawing (sketching). Universities: social research methodology, public finance, political science, organizational dynamics, health psychology, management theories and practices, strategic management, and many healthcare subjects. In fact I like them all.

M: Which book(s) of the Bible are your favorites? Your favorite Bible character(s) apart from Jesus?

AJ: Genesis, The Acts of the Apostles, Gospel of Luke, Gospel of John, all writings of Paul, and the book of Revelation. Characters: Paul, Luke, Samuel, and Daniel.

M: Please use one word to summarize what you have said about learning to be clever.

AJ: “Preparedness” (for everything that matters to you and to others in life.)

Kainotes, 2021-1-2

“sometimes we just have to dig deeper” (a treasure hunter)

Digging into my treasure chest I found this today. Alas, my perspective remains unchanged though somewhat challenged. The following is an unabridged version. My task at hand is how may I write a sequel? No, I don’t mean a sequel in mere words which is easy and may be churned out like a budget standard B&B. I mean how can the lives of real people be put into a sequel complete with their realities?

Narrow? What narrow?

Crosslife Spaces, business as missionendtimes solutionInnovative Management Strategyman of faith and intellectperspectivephotographypoliticsthoughtstransformed mindtravel  08/03/2016 2 Minutes

Narrow

narrow face
narrow seat
Tuk Tuk
narrow food

“Sometimes all you can do is go on. One foot in front of the other, wherever the narrow path might lead.” I quoted this from somewhere about a spy’s narrow/precarious life. In some parts of the world, the ordinary life is comparatively narrow as a routine: narrow food as depicted by the thin corns (for men and for beasts), narrow transport (coach driven by a motor bike!), narrow space (with driver seat shared with a passenger with driver maneuvering the steering wheel with one hand!))and, sadly, narrow faces of many rural young ones who are generally undernourished and petite in sizes below their age.

Is there a choice? I ask as a mere traveler bystander. Can people choose? What kind of people will be able to breakout from their squalid environment and poverty? I know of many who really believe that education can get them somewhere. The parents sell off all they have and even incur huge debts so that their children can go to private college and university. But employment opportunity in foreign corporations remains limited and often has little choice in terms of salaries and benefits. I know of well-brought up, goal-focused youth who charge ahead bravely, studying two tertiary degrees and doing two jobs at the same time, hoping to get a better future! They are going to be the future for their currently small nations.

Are they narrow? No. They have a hope and a future. they are internally open and broad, even when on an external narrow path.

The food, the means of transport, and the physical stature do not make a man what he is. People read about the possible impact on many aspects of lives on earth due to the geographical polar shift. I personally believe that the internal ideology that shapes and drives a man can do more impact to the world than the external environment. I can see examples of more and more intelligent hard working and positive principled goals driven men who have emerged to shape the future of the globe which has become increasingly border-less. The contrary is also true. Those driven by personal greed and heartlessness do great harm to the world as well. The invisible polar shift.

Narrow? What narrow?

Profound

alas the waiting is too long for all that jazz…

Alas, the waiting is too long…for all that jazz.

https://freemindconfession.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/alas-the-waiting-was-too-long-for-all-that-jazz/

Sound Mind Economics #1: “equal right”

gold bars: economics principle

Sound Mind Economics and Application Issues #1

Dear Millennials and others: Because I was once your age I know how you currently struggle with many pertinent issues. Why economics? It is the main issue that divides many in this world of “inequality”. I believe when we go deeper in economics we shall find some solutions together.

Today we touch on the issue of “equal right” in the practice of economics.

Economics is neutral. It is a set of principles and concepts that describe the way human “trade” with one another in order to satisfy needs and wants. The ability to make wealth and the integrity to keep and use wealth are inseparable. There is a price to be paid and a value system to be measured. In the final analysis, there is always an account to give, rich and poor. 

The first thing I learned in my school economics is the law of supply and demand. Supply is based on demand. but every supplier has the right to supply to the target customers who are willing to buy his goods according to the supplier-seller’s condition of sales. Similarly, a customer can choose to buy or not to buy based on the same set of condition of sales.

A civil democratic (majority-rule) society normally has sales and purchase agreements with checks and balances based on recognized and legalized laws and practices by the majority of the legitimate legal citizens/residents who have legitimate voting rights of that society. Ideally such a system will ensure that the majority of needs and wants of the majority in the society will be met according to the original social “contract” of gathering together as a legal entity called nation/state.

The issues you may face today come from one predominant source: some individuals want to claim more right than others by demanding exemptions from the set social contract.  

In an economic system without exemption, everyone shall abide with the same terms and conditions of production and sales. You cannot force someone to produce and give/sell their products to you even if you have the required money to buy. The terms of exchange have to be met in full. Your ability to provide the monetary value is only one of the terms of the total sales and purchase agreement.

In a neutral civil economic society, the legitimate owner and seller of the resources, produces, goods and services has a legal upper hand than the person who wants that goods and services. It is therefore a crime to forcibly take what the owner does not want to give or sell to you. You cannot covet another man’s property. For example, I cannot ask you to remove your branded watch or shoes or bag from your possession and hand them to me just because I like to have or need to use them. It will be a robbery subject to punishment.

Similarly, no man can trespass another man’s property. That is what legal boundaries and demarcations are for.

The civil democratic constitution and law of “unadulterated” interpretation and implementation normally protect the right of the majority of the legitimate components of the society.  People in a society can create and/or encounter many social issues because they are ignorant or choose to ignore, misrepresent, misinterpret, misjudge, miss-apply and miss-execute the law.

Does a neutral economic system result in inequality? My question is: “inequality” in what? Don’t you honor patent right for the fruit of the inventor? In the same principle, remember and honor the one who produces a good and service. He has the right to decide to sell or not to sell. To give or not to give. A very simple guide is: do not rob or steal from others when you do not want others to do that to you or your loved ones. What honor and esteem you gain by taking what is not yours?

How then shall individuals who deem themselves as “under-privileged” function in a civil economic society? The group of individuals who form the civil society can come together and agree on some rules and regulations governing the common good in any ethical social system.

Who decides what is common good and what are considered ethical? In a democratic system there are established and tested ways to do this effectively. I believe the common moral and ethical values of a society influence that society’s decision making processes and choices. Normally this is influenced by the worldview of individuals, derived from family culture, education and their religious system. Can experiences and knowledge change our worldview? Yes. Definitely. My advice for the younger individuals is to remain open to views and really go in depth and study and understand economics and ethics. For those who are chronologically young, it is wise to know that the older individuals are learning knowledge and developing wisdom too and many are advancing in an accelerated speed and better focus because of the wider and deeper scope they have already gone through in life.

History has shown that taking without paying the due rewards for any goods and services from one man’s possession to another man has resulted in regression instead of progression of mankind. Such a system results in oppression and depression in which mankind do not feel motivated and challenged to do better for himself and/or the community. Social ills such as corruption, poverty and a general economic depression set in together with crime, abuses, violence, destruction, and brokenness in many aspects of the society. When an economy breaks down, the shortage of funds generated from taxation which otherwise would have maintained, up-kept and even improved the common amenities, facilities and security often results in loss of the general wellbeing of individuals and society.

I would therefore urge you to read economic history in the context of the history of mankind. I would define the history of mankind as a history of economics. The depth and breadth of its knowledge, effective application and faithful unbiased implementation is really the key to maintain, sustain and further advance a civil society.

None of us will be around forever on this earth. We need to know and live with each other through genuine knowledge and cooperation with one another. Many great men and great women had lived before us and left behind tested economic principles, ethics and values which have ensured the effective and well functioning of human community. Their positive contributions have laid a foundation for human to work together peaceably and effectively. The evidence is the sustained and improved general human livelihood despite the exponential increase of the population of the world. Food for thought, don’t you think?

I hope this letter will clarify some thoughts and challenge you to widen your thinking scope. During my writing of this, I too have been challenged and decided to know more and think wider on this subject.

From: a sound-mind-economic being.

Postscript: I will attempt the subject of “ownership” of resources, “wealth” and related “equal right” in my next blog.

What is Wealth?

Wealth measures the value of all the assets of worth owned by a person, community, company or country. Wealth is determined by taking the total market value of all physical and intangible assets owned, then subtracting all debts. Essentially, wealth is the accumulation of resources. Specific people, organizations and nations are said to be wealthy when they are able to accumulate many valuable resources or goods. (Investopedia)

Proverbs 13:11

Proverbs 13:11Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.

a joyous ascent from joy to joy

reflection
a joyous ascent: Nehemiah 12:27-43

A joyous ascent
poetry alone cannot reveal: a poetic study on Nehemiah 12:27-43 our words and pictures and the light

Come
assist
celebrate
Priests singers musicians leaders people
Large choirs all
Ezra the writer for God leads
I follow

Joyous thanksgiving
with cymbals harps and lyres
ready singers all around
All to sing
rise to top
marching south and marching north
to water gate
to guard gate
congregate

At the Temple of our God
take your places
so do I
choir director to direct
play and sing
at full blast

For God has given
His people cause
great joy with many joyous gifts
families old and young women and children none left out
participate celebrate

Filled with pure joy
far and near
shore to shore
heart to heart
be blessed

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

beloved, this day you shall not fly alone (updated)

new life2018-02-17

this day I shall not fly alone
with new hope and not forlorn

living
dreaming
planning
parting

leaving behind
my depressed mind

stepping ahead
as my spirit heard you said

do not fear
for I have wiped away your every tear
go forth
as I have come forth

behold
here is My heart
as always of old
ever
never
leave

beloved
you are loved
so deep

so Sweet
this day you will not fly alone

Note added: a famous Christian man who lived for 99 years and is known to perhaps millions in this world died on 21st February 2018 . This poem was written and posted on the 16th five days before that day while fasting for Lent.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 45: Promises (and Shield)

psalm 18:30
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!
Romans 5:1
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.
Galatians 3:29
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.
Romans 11:29
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

2 Peter 1:2Today 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:

John 1:14
[ 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.
John 1:16
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:33
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Acts 14:3
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.
Acts 20:24
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.
Acts 20:32
“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,
Titus 3:7
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:9
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.
James 4:6
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.

Love textures: O my Luve’s like a red, red rose

Textures of red. texture of red
This picture was taken this morning when I saw a glimpse of red in a little park. Whilst this is not a red rose, I would share a touching sentimental poem about red love.

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
A Red, Red Rose

Poet: Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)
Biography Summary (Quoted from Scottish Poetry Library online)
If ever a poet understood the character of his nation, he was Robert Burns. The language he was most fluent in wasn’t so much Scots or English – it was the language of the heart. All too human in his personal life, he carried that humanity over onto the page. Nothing was too small or too large to escape his notice, from a mouse in the mud to God in his heavens. A poet for all seasons, Burns speaks to all, soul to soul.

Bible verse on the color red and the love of God:

Colossians 1:13-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 42: “Call for Daniel”

daniel-512DANIEL: God is my judge, or judge of God. He was a Jewish prince, probably born in Jerusalem about B.C. 623, and was taken to Babylon as a young captive for training in the court of Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel was distinguished for his proficiency in the “wisdom” of his day, and was brought out into public life. He soon became known for his skill in the interpretation of dreams ( 1:17 ; 2:14 ), and rose to the rank of governor of the province of Babylon, and became “chief of the governors” over all the wise men of Babylon. He made known and also interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream; and many years afterwards, when he was now an old man, amid the alarm and consternation of the terrible night of Belshazzar’s impious feast, he was called in at the instance of the queen-mother to interpret the mysterious handwriting on the wall. His interpretation came to pass and the Babylonian king was killed that night.
During the two years of the new king, Median Darius’ reign Daniel held the office of first of the “three presidents” of the empire, and was thus practically at the head of affairs. His fidelity to God exposed him to persecution, but was miraculously delivered (from the lions’ den); after which Darius issued a decree enjoining reverence for “the God of Daniel” ( 6:26 ). He “prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian,” whom he probably greatly influenced in the matter of the decree which put an end to the Captivity (B.C. 536).

Daniel 5:12 Expanded Bible (EXB) (Daniel as described by the Persian queen mother)
The man I am talking about is named Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar [1:7]. He ·was very wise [L has an excellent spirit] and had knowledge and understanding. He could ·explain [interpret] dreams and ·secrets [riddles] and ·could answer very hard [unravel] problems. Call for Daniel. He will tell you ·what the writing on the wall means [its interpretation].”

Travel review 2014-2016 (15 random points)

The sound mind man’s rather personal three years’ travel in review in fifteen random realms as follows:blue-snow-gold

1. weather experienced: extreme heat (over 40 degrees C to extreme cold (thick snow on the way) but blessed with moderate weather mostly.
2. ocean: Pacific from end to end.
3. work: two medium size books completed.
4. natural hair color: turned mysteriously from dark to medium and now light brown with specks of gold(?) (LOL).
5. eye sight: complete change of lens inside. now 20/20.
6. belief: Christian.
7. computers: one Dell crashed (physically) on arrival in backwater place; now e and q and caps lock on the left side of keyboard refuse to behave. purchased one Samsung as backup for USD100. Finally I received a gift of a 2016 MacBook Pro!
7. cell phone: received a gift of a good-as-new Samsung Note III (?).
8. geography: from drought and flood-prone land-locked flat land at sea level or below (?) to mountains of an altitude of 8000ft.
9. blogs: tried new ways and perspectives in different blogs. not enough time to do better. LOL. Just maintaining from time to time hopefully for various reader-interest groups.
10. photography: second to writing. some monotony sets in. Alas.
11. relationship: nothing to declare.
12. 2017 assignment: continues to be stuck to the computer(s) and various related technological tools now for at least another year doing translation.
13. hobbies: basically i like writing fictions and non-fictions (memoirs) and thinking about life (in different realms). interest in both art and science. a generalist. Multitasks practitioner.
14. travel class: only as appropriate. economy. But not as courageous as backpackers.
15. love: faithfulness and compassion. 

2017 resolution: Be the one who finds the gold. Be Resilient .

find-the-gold

photo credits:
the blue snow picture was taken by the other dear lone traveler using her cell phone.
the other picture was also sent to me by her (uncredited)

sound mind quotes 1: power in me

smith-wigglesworth-quotes“In me is working a power stronger than every other power. The life that is in me is a thousand times bigger than I am outside.”
― Smith Wigglesworth

“The Bible is the Word of God: supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in valor, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, and then pass it on. Truly it is the Word of God. It brings into man the personality of God; it changes the man until he becomes the epistle of God. It transforms his mind, changes his character, takes him on from grace to grace, and gives him an inheritance in the Spirit. God comes in, dwells in, walks in, talks through, and sups with him.”
― Smith Wigglesworth

“The secret of spiritual success is a hunger that persists…It is an awful condition to be satisfied with one’s spiritual attainments…God was and is looking for hungry, thirsty people.”
― Smith Wigglesworth

“It is better to live ready than to get ready!”
― Smith Wigglesworth

“God has privileged us in Christ Jesus to live above the ordinary human plane of life. Those who want to be ordinary and live on a lower plane can do so, but as for me, I will not.”
– Smith Wigglesworth

“There is nothing impossible with God. All the impossibility is with us when we measure God by the limitations of our unbelief.”
― Smith Wigglesworth, Ever Increasing Faith

“The Lord would so cleanse the motive and desires of our hearts that we will seek but one thing only, and that is, His glory.”
― Smith Wigglesworth, Ever Increasing Faith

Narrow? What narrow?

Narrow


“Sometimes all you can do is go on. One foot in front of the other, wherever the narrow path might lead.” I quoted this from somewhere about a spy’s narrow/precarious life. In some parts of the world, the ordinary life is comparatively narrow as a routine: narrow food as depicted by the thin corns (for men and for beasts), narrow transport (coach driven by a motor bike!), narrow space (with driver seat shared with a passenger with driver maneuvering the steering wheel with one hand!))and, sadly, narrow faces of many rural young ones who are generally undernourished and petite in sizes below their age.

Is there a choice? I ask as a mere traveler bystander. Can people choose? What kind of people will be able to breakout from their squalid environment and poverty? I know of many who really believe that education can get them somewhere. The parents sell off all they have and even incur huge debts so that their children can go to private college and university. But employment opportunity in foreign corporations remains limited and often has little choice in terms of salaries and benefits. I know of well-brought up, goal-focused youth who charge ahead bravely, studying two tertiary degrees and doing two jobs at the same time, hoping to get a better future! They are going to be the future for their currently small nations.

Are they narrow? No. They have a hope and a future. they are internally open and broad, even when on an external narrow path.

The food, the means of transport, and the physical stature do not make a man what he is. People read about the possible impact on many aspects of lives on earth due to the geographical polar shift. I personally believe that the internal ideology that shapes and drives a man can do more impact to the world than the external environment. I can see examples of more and more intelligent hard working and positive principled goals driven men who have emerged to shape the future of the globe which has become increasingly border-less. The contrary is also true. Those driven by personal greed and heartlessness do great harm to the world as well. The invisible polar shift.

Narrow? What narrow?

Profound

Love and pain: a haiku (with prose)

white snow n black rock
Concealed and revealed
interspersed with love and pain
compelling unveiled
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He decides to dedicate today to the subject of LOVE. On waking this morning he observes that the snow has melted and revealed dark foreboding jagged black rock, like he is suddenly going through a lesson on the description of rocks, including their color and surface shape, plus characteristics such as size, shape, and arrangement of the grains or crystals in each rock. The partially melted snow has cleansed the rocks. It is as if a giant painter has walked through this patch of the mountain and used his gigantic brush and drawn a pattern for the snow to turn into liquid and flow away so that the rock may appear and assume its place in time. He think of his own life that it too has been drawn and brushed and patterned by an invisible hand from birth to this dawn of the melting snow. He wonders what each rock had been before it becomes a rock. He wonders why he had not found a love patch in his own heart until he was twenty and met her, a young smart mature precocious girl of ten. He thinks of the eight years they have had mostly on an intellectual and spiritual connection and comradeship, relying mostly on technology to link up. She lives with her very exclusive folks and travels extensively for her study of draught and underground water. He lives with the convention, also traveling extensively round the globe to all premium conventions held and hosted by the Midas hotel chain. His friends deride him, “What kind of love is that? Love in the virtual world?” He has taken her advice and started to study building. The two of them are going to take care of two major concerns of the world’s poorest and most disaster-hit people groups: water and shelter. His boss taunts him by singing the Impossible Dream from Man of La Mancha with daily rendition in full*. Is he taunted? No. Remember? He is a star gazer. He sees and focuses on one star and he is going after it, and he knows it is not unreachable. The name is called LOVE.

~~~~~~~~~~
*Lyrics
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

two minds: To love at all is to be vulnerable

CS Lewis

a haiku for this story of the love of two minds:

a mind who ponders

met a mirrored mind of his

late but not too late.

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

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken…””For Jack the attraction was at first undoubtedly intellectual. Joy was the only woman whom he had met … ”

Thirty great quotes from C.S. Lewis

1. “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” The Four Loves
2. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
3. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” The Four Loves
4. “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
5. “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
6. “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
7. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
8. “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
9. “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” The Four Loves
10. “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”
11. “I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”
12. “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” Mere Christianity
13. “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
14. “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
15. “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
16. “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” The Problem of Pain
17. “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
18. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
19. “God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.”
20. “Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.” The Silver Chair
21. “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” Mere Christianity
22. “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”
23. “It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.”
24. “I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.” The Silver Chair
25. “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
26. “I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”
27. “You can make anything by writing.”
28. “The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career. ”
29. “He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.”
30. “What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.”

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963), son of a solicitor and the daughter of an Anglican priest, was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. When he was four, his dog Jacksie was killed by a car, and he announced that his name was now Jacksie. At first, he would answer to no other name, but later accepted Jack, the name by which he was known to friends and family for the rest of his life.

As a boy, Lewis was fascinated with anthropomorphic animals; he fell in love with Beatrix Potter’s stories and often wrote and illustrated his own animal stories.  He also grew to love nature and its beauty. Lewis was raised in a religious family that attended the Church of Ireland. He became an atheist at age 15, though he later described his young self as being paradoxically “angry with God for not existing.” He eventually returned to Christianity, having been influenced by arguments with his Oxford colleague and friend J. R. R. Tolkien, whom he seems to have met for the first time on 11 May 1926, and by the book The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton. Lewis vigorously resisted conversion, noting that he was brought into Christianity like a prodigal, “kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape.” He described his last struggle in Surprised by Joy:

“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”

From 1941 to 1943, Lewis spoke on religious programs broadcast by the BBC from London while the city was under periodic air raids. These broadcasts were appreciated by civilians and servicemen at that stage. For example, Air Chief Marshal Sir Donald Hardman wrote:

“The war, the whole of life, everything tended to seem pointless. We needed, many of us, a key to the meaning of the universe. Lewis provided just that.”

The broadcasts were anthologized in Mere Christianity. From 1941, he was occupied at his summer holiday weekends visiting R.A.F. stations to speak on his faith, invited by the R.A.F.’s Chaplain-in-Chief Maurice Edwards.

It was also during the same wartime period that Lewis was invited to become first President of the Oxford Socratic Club in January 1942, a position that he enthusiastically held until he resigned on appointment to Cambridge University in 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement.

In later life, Lewis corresponded and fell in love with Joy Davidman Gresham, an American writer of Jewish background, a former Communist, and a convert from atheism to Christianity. Lewis’s brother Warren described Joy:

“For Jack the attraction was at first undoubtedly intellectual. Joy was the only woman whom he had met … who had a brain which matched his own in suppleness, in width of interest, and in analytical grasp, and above all in humor and a sense of fun.”

After complaining of a painful hip, she was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, and the relationship developed to the point that they sought a Christian marriage. Since she was divorced, this was not straightforward in the Church of England at the time, but a friend, the Rev. Peter Bide, performed the ceremony at her bed in the Churchill Hospital on 21 March 1957. Gresham’s cancer soon went into remission, and the couple lived together as a family until 1960, when recurrence of the cancer caused her death.

He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia which is a series of seven fantasy novels for children and is considered a classic of children’s literature. Written between 1949 and 1954, the series is Lewis’s most popular work, having sold over 100 million copies in 41 languages, has been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage and cinema.

(The above is excerpted from various web sources)

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