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)

a young girl’s anticipation of good

anne-frank-quotean 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:
Romans 5:4
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

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

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

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

my tiny fruitful acquaintances

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

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

On a day when her light returns: a haiku

As she Shines
shine-n-waterOne day he passes
shinning water full of life
transformed in the light

Genesis 1:3-5 The Message (MSG)
God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark Night. It was evening, it was morning— Day One.

free admission, a glimpse, inspiration

Local museum opens today.
local-museum-open-todayThis 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?

Bible verse
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)

color green and blue

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.

a birthday greeting: Love Definition

20151004 白玫瑰
1 Corinthians 13 Indispensable Love 

Indispensable Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

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

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

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

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

behold love: a haiku (and a prose)

tree at sunsetBehold 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.

If I sell you love: a haiku (and a prose)

If I sell you my love
on a fast car looking at the side mirror

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)

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.
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.

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

random Bible picture thoughts for hard times

Jesus is comingBible verses encouragement and uplifting pictures for hard times.

sound mind journal

believe in prayerbible_verse_encouragement_ephesians_1_11_12Bible-Thoughts-on-Angergods-love-Gal2v20Isaiah 40v8Isaiah-53_5-6isaiah-53-5 donephilippians 4v19longsuffering and gentlenessBible-Verses-Road-To-Heaven-Matthew-7-14-HD-Wallpaperbible-verses-wallpaper-25Bible-Verses-for-Hard-TimesBible-Verses-Picture-0602grow-in-grace-2-peter-3-18

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paint’s poetic language: closeness

a snow cherry door

dimension presides

zones realms spaces seem subside

closeness overrides

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Job 10:10-12 New Living Translation (NLT)

10 You guided my conception
    and formed me in the womb.[a]
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and you knit my bones and sinews together.
12 You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.
    My life was preserved by your care.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:10 Hebrew You poured me out like milk / and curdled me like cheese.
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