December Squares -the time of a poet

December Squares -the time of a poet

A time to move on, Elin, he says, and they set sail to England.

The poet sighs as the two slowly walk,

Down a memory lane hand in hand they talk.

Now I am thirty-five and you not younger,

raising a farm family of a boy and two girls.

Tis time to sell all: Derry farm at New England,

this 30-acre farm with pasture land,

green fields, woodlands, orchard, gentle fall,

hen coops, livestock, apple and pear trees all.

Yes, we seem to have lived here all our lives,

Winter, spring, summer and fall foliage drives.

I always liked to sit up all hours of the night,

Sitting by a bush in broad sunlight,

Planning, crafting, formulating the star-splitter,

Going for water an old man’s winter night.

Bumping into two tramps in mud time,

Near stampede by lone gleeful cow flying in apple time.

Hearing a bird singing in its sleep,

Chirping we must leave and sail across the vast blue deep.

Looking for a sunset bird in winter,

Never again would birds’ song be the same or matter.

In a poem I could give all to time,

To England the old country here we come.

Note: I admit this is a rather primitive and ‘impromptu’ attempt made as I imagine how the poet Robert Frost had contemplated when he decided to leave New Hampshire and sail to England. The decision paid off. His poems were published and given recognition. He left America an unknown writer and returned to be hailed a leader of “the new era in American poetry”.  The discerning fans of the poet may note that the above attempt included some titles of the poet’s poems.

This months photo challenge in square format from Becky is #timesquare

December Squares -the time of a poet

more words to reflect on: identity

i found this at random from the internet. i marvel at the use of words like identity, name, seed and step. The definition is coined for programmer and it reflects a meaning deeper than its intention!

Quote:”Definition (Identity Columns in TSQL*)
An identity column has a name, initial seed and step. When a row is inserted into a table the column will take the value of the current seed incremented by the step.” Unquote.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

When I plant a word (seed) in my heart (mind), I can see an image of me. That image of me will produce an identify of the “me” I see in my own thought image.

what word seed am i planting in my heart today? this moment?

what current seed incremented by my thought step?

Jesus said in Matthew 15:18 “But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.”

a man’s identity can be defiled by what he thinks he is.

Romans 3:22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

Romans 5:9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.

Romans 5:11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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

*Note:Transact-SQL is Microsoft’s and Sybase’s proprietary extension to the SQL used to interact with relational databases.

A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters 38: more words for hard times

time square hilton NYThis traveler continues this journey on spiritual rough waters with a positive word. Not smooth but it’s worth it.

F= FIRST

‘First’ is a word commonly associated with performance superiority. Where an individual considers a thing of positive value to him, he wants to be first, to gain an advantageous position, and it means acting before all others. In a competitive environment he wants to be the winning one when compared to others in the same arena. The competition may be real or imagined on the part of the person who is required to perform, often with a stated corporate goal (with his own personal agenda) within stated corporate parameters. In a modern competitive economy based on scarce and limited resources, there is no way anyone who wants a reasonable and sustainable living without being measured by parameters set for performance in a corporate society.

In summary, often we (earth dwellers) want to be first only when there is a competition for scarce resources. There is a finite limit no matter how advanced we may currently are in ‘creative’ technology and science. The resources of the earth are finite. Parameters set by human and enforced by those with authority and power can restrain mankind from harmful ‘excessive consumption’ within the known and predicted limits of time and space and power. Increasingly the ‘war’ to control resources will intensify in quantity and frequency.

Enough for the discussion of physical natural ‘doom’. How can Christians be hopeful for exemption from this inevitable natural constraint for all earth-bound mankind? For the spiritual (supernatural) Christian, the word ‘first’ could mean quite opposite in the spiritual dictionary. The focus makes a paradigm shift to a set of limitless parameters. Parameters not bound by scarcity of resources. Let us read some positive meanings of ‘first’:

First thing first: Whom we believe (limitless and preeminent -above all)

and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

[ The Last Enemy Destroyed ] But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,”

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
Christian’s strategy in a physical world:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (physical and other things to meet all your needs) shall be added to you.

The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.

So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
Matthew 20:26-28  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
Revelation 2:5

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works,

“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.

1 John 4:19

We love Him because He first loved us.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Hebrews 12:22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
Two role models who scored ‘first’ in faith in action:
[ Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord ] Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.

Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.

———————————–

Warning:
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

(to the church) Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

WHEN THE SKY WEEPS

20150520 morning light
Sometimes we take the sky for granted. We do not look up unless it looks like it’s going to rain. When it rains we pay more attention to the wetness of the water-soaked ground or the forgotten laundry in the backyard. We do not look at the sky or the rain. We look at things affected by the wetness. We also think about the inconvenience like the expected traffic jam on our way home after work or after school when all cars slow down due to the slippery roads or due to other more trivial reasons.
We look at our watches. We think about the possible lateness in appointment, the potential missed opportunity of pleasing someone dear or important to us, the probable mishap that might occur due to the delay, pros and cons of profits and losses in terms of resources spent or not-spent due to the delay in the traffic jam etc.
We think of loved ones waiting with disappointments and perhaps anxieties.
We think of the cold dishes we would have to force ourselves to eat when we eventually reach home. We think of the shower we badly need. We think of the bed…
It could be unpleasant to be caught in a traffic jam in heavy rain.
On the other hand there are a few who feel comforted by the rain. They look at the weeping sky. They see things that others do not see. They see an opening of the storehouses of water. Unseen hands unlocking and pouring. Unseen faces smeared with tears. Unseen eyes swollen with crying…with them as they cry in the cars or at the windows somewhere away from home or having none to return to.
There are also a few who like being in the rain. To them, walking in the rain is like taking a nice, cool, long shower. They enjoy the touch of the water droplets on their faces. They love the music of the wind and rain orchestra. They stroll leisurely and unhurriedly. They watch the others stuck in the cars, anxious and bored faces watching them in return. Sometimes they sing and dance along with the raindrops.
The sky is neutral. We put labels on it whenever it suits us. The sky weeps. The sky smiles. The sky is friendly. The sky is hostile. The sky is foreboding. The sky is welcoming…labels.
Today when you happen to be near the sky look up and see what you want to see.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

traveler’s mirror reflects: backyard home haiku

backyard home

Thriving lush green plants

in someone’s backyard transform

wilderness to home

—————–

Living in Paris in my lone studio many years ago, I used to keep a tiny potted African violet at my kitchen window to remind myself that it was my home.

It was a wonderful year for me, Spring, Summer, and Autumn.  (In Winter I waved goodbye to the flower and moved on to London).

African violet

Certainty in life is important to mental (as well as physical) health and we can overcome uncertainty in our mind by a deliberate change in the paradigm we are in at any particular time and place.

traveler’s mirror reflects: a road of hope (a haiku with explanatory notes)

a road of hope

a road of hope, son

brings us to a bright future

compassion and love

————————–
Hope, compassion and love which are essential healing ingredients may be Clichés to many, for many people these are the heart-felt cries of men, women and children…even the ground and the creatures and plants.

Traveler’s mirror reflects: positive and negative (two haiku )

image

~a study on blues~
Looking through this mist
Snared bird caught in soul despair
Wings clipped visions dimmed

image

~a study on dawn sky ~
Awake, my love, rise
Passion knocking on my shell
A golden life line
~~~
“For He will rescue you from every trap
And protect you from deadly disease.”
(Psalm 91:3)

traveller’s mirror reflects: a haiku on Day One (with notes)

~a haiku on Day One~

ball of light 3

somewhere before time

existence took sight and life

day one began here.

_____________________

Spiritual explanatory notes for the two latest haiku on the subject of ‘royalty’ and ‘day one’. I am a spiritual blogger and write mostly from spiritual perspectives. The royal color does not refer to the colors we normally see and associate with in the physical world. Race and skins mean nothing in the spiritual. God sees spirits (which we refer to as ‘hearts’). When we are born again in our spirit we become royal -as the children of God. We are who we are not because of our external physical presentations. We are created to bear the image of God (our Father in heaven). Our brief journey on earth is a journey home.

Genesis 1:1 New Life Version (NLV)

The Beginning

In the beginning God made from nothing the heavens and the earth.

And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

John 3:5-7 New King James Version (NKJV)Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

traveler’s thoughts: does being real matter?

For a long time, the traveler travels. He (or she) sees life, tastes life, lives life. Sometimes he mirrors life. Sometimes he evades life. Often he sits around at an invisible corner and watches life.

He likes a story named, Velveteen Rabbit. Here are quotes that impact his young life.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit    

Does being real matter? Being hurt. Being worn out. Being very ‘shabby looking’ to those who do not understand the meaning of being real. The traveler once asked (when he was very young and tender).

The traveler traveled for a long time to many foreign lands and sat at the corner of many different events, sights, sounds, colors, purposes, missions, programs, activities, chores, causes, systems, worlds.

He wanted to find being real. Has he found it?

The answer remains his secret.

vevelteen rabbit

http://archive.org/stream/thevelveteenrabb11757gut/11757.txt

Excerpts from the above :

And he found that he actually had hind legs! Instead of dingy velveteen he had brown fur, soft and shiny, his ears twitched by themselves, and his whiskers were so long that they brushed the grass.

He gave one leap and the joy of using those hind legs was so great that he went springing about the turf on them, jumping sideways and whirling round as the others did, and he grew so excited that when at last he did stop to look for the Fairy she had gone.

He was a Real Rabbit at last, at home with the other rabbits.

                          At Last! At Last!

 Autumn passed and Winter, and in the Spring, when the days grew warm and sunny, the Boy went out to play in the wood behind the house. And while he was playing, two rabbits crept out from the bracken and peeped at him. One of them was brown all over, but the other had strange markings under his fur, as though long ago he had been spotted, and the spots still showed through. And about his little soft nose and his round black eyes there was something familiar, so that the Boy thought to himself:

“Why, he looks just like my old Bunny that was lost when I had scarlet fever!”

 But he never knew that it really was his own Bunny, come back to look at the child who had first helped him to be Real.

~~~~~~~~~~~~(Note from the traveler: The real rabbit is not shabby looking. He is beautiful.)

“A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters” chapter 33: ‘conform or transform’

  1. Conform takes human effort. The paradox of ‘conform’: Over recent history, the word ‘conform’ has been associated with ‘prohibitive’ words like, ‘bondage’, ‘oppressive’, ‘totalitarian’, ‘subservient’, and has become a unwelcomed negative behavioral word among the proclaimed ‘individualistic’ young people. Yet unknowingly, while rebelling against their parents’ or grandparents’ moral values, they practice conformation among their global peers in copying the patterns set by popular trends and icons at the period. The adults are just as paradoxical. Whilst claiming under grace (and thereby not under law) and rejecting the solid foundation of the eternally unchangeable moral value of the holy God in the Bible, they practice conformation to the worldly values that point to only one way, the way of eventual destruction (physical, mental and spiritual).
  2. Transform is a supernatural process. The refreshing empowerment of ‘transform’: God has actually given this key word to believers living a successful and wonderful abundant life. Unlike what many people think, and indeed what many human power system practitioners practice, God does not want conformation to dead letters.

Not all believers are equally wise or highly educated or trained and qualified in the world or having the same resources at disposal.

Therefore, when God issues a command He makes sure His believers can apply easily. Otherwise He would not be good and just.

When we are required to do something we need the following prerequisites:

  1. willingness;
  2. ability;
  3. capacity;
  4. all other circumstantial and environmental variables being favorable.

The average believers of Jesus know and are normally willing to please God by applying the Biblical principles in our lives. The problem is often we are stuck at the rest of the prerequisites. God of course knows this very well. He sees what we are and what we actually do (including our thoughts and our spoken words). He knows that when left on own, we cannot practice his words like what He commanded Joshua to do:

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

The answer is how does God do it? Empowering. He empowers us. How does He empower? Empowerment is a transforming process.

  1. He gives every believer His Spirit that gives birth to us as a new creation. A mark that we belong to Him. The spiritual power within to do the impossible that God expects of us.
  2. He gives every believer His words. The truth and spirit that set us free from the bondages and oppressions of sins from the enemy of God. The ingredients for everything we need to live the abundant godly life that Jesus has promised.
  3. He gives us every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. All the richness of God for us to live as His glorious inheritance.
  4. He gives us the faith of God. The key to access the above. The faith to move mountains.
  5. He gives us the resources needed to live a godly life and partake His own holy divine nature.
  6. He gives us the divine life of Jesus Christ (as He is so are we in this world).
  7. He gives us eternal life with Him.

How do we take hold of them? Just believe and by faith take them. This whole list of good gifts are freely given by God to everyone who believes. The words of God are guarantees. The Holy Spirit enables them to come into physical existence in this realm. This changes the physical environment too. We receive God’s favor. It makes the key difference.

How does the word ‘transform’ work? It works with the Holy Spirit and the words of God. It works on our mind as we are being renewed by God’s words and the might of God (the Holy Spirit). The good news is God gives to all who believe and ask by faith. He has no favoritism.

Romans 12:2 New King James Version (NKJV)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

be transformed by the renewing of your mind

“A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters” chapter 23 – don’t worry

Today’s word is “worry”. This word is tied to a lot of negative words and consequences both physical and mental (and emotional). Whether it is spiritual or physical the word worry is not what anyone would like to be with. Why do people still worry? Let us look at the other words that accompany this word and find our answers.

first reason why we worry : a spirit of lack – fear of having not enough of basic materials like food, drink, clothing, mainly external things that make us feel comfortable and secure for survival in this world.

Bible verses: “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ (Matthew 6:24-26; Matthew 6:27-29; Matthew 6:30-32)

second reason: a spirit of uncertainty. we tend to fear the uncertainty of things and events that might impact our surviving and comfortable living in this world. Some fear the uncertainty of the next world if any.

Bible verse “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:33-34

third reason: a spirit of control. We also tend to scrutinize others’ living and want to control their lives too. But the bigger problem of lack of control or rather lack of self control is in us and not in others. The Holy Spirit will give us self control.

Bible verse “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? Matthew 7:2-4

fourth reason: a spirit of fear of man (instead of God). Wrong focus. We tend to look at man as the final judge and authority that will have a final say on our fate on earth or beyond. Actually the deciding authority is in the spiritual realm, God has the final say. He will even lead you to say the right words with His power (the Holy Spirit)!

Bible verses: When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, Matthew 10:18-20; Mark 13:10-12; Luke 12:10-12

fifth reason: a spirit of smallness. we tend to fuss about small matters as if they are our only life issues. Jesus warned His disciples not to do that. We are created for the bigger matters, higher calling. so let us not be distracted by the small things in daily living.

Bible verse: And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? Luke 12:25-27

Conclusion: worrying accomplishes nothing. Apostle Paul has a better way for us when confronted with daily living big and small.

Bible verse: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:5-7

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