Thursday, August 25, 2011
Rhonda Thomas sent this to me when I could not locate a copy I once had.
Closely related to this poem is a hymn I came to love when I heard it at my sister-in-law's ordination as an Episcopal priest. Maybe this doesn't sound related to you, but the end of this beautiful hymn shows how I link the two in my mind.
I've been thinking it is a modern hymn. Perhaps the music of the version I like is more modern than the lyrics written by Isaac Watts.
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy's sake,
In paths of truth and grace. 2. When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.
3. The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.
Listen and watch this inspiring hymn...
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
In my previous blog post entitled HEAVEN, there was a picture of this in black-and-white in the book entitled "Heaven Is For Real." It was included in the book because the little boy who went to heaven was asked many times when he was shown a painting of Jesus if it looked like him and his response was along the lines of "not really." When he was asked the question as to what is wrong with this one (shown above), he replied, "nothing."
I have one more point to make in this blog post. My mind has been working overtime thinking about the book about Colton Burpo's experiences in heaven. And now I have this video about Akiane Kramarik's talent and where she believes her paintings come from.
As I thought about the two put together and also about the brilliant colors both Colton and Akiane refer to, I also thought about how Thomas Kinkade paints and that he is referred to as the "Painter of Light." His colors and way of painting are what I have referred to at times as just "too perfect," but when I think about his many paintings, I think I also see the use of color as well as light in a similar way to the paintings by Akiane Kramarik. Take a look and see if you might agree.
I do believe people have been blessed with many talents and that these talents come from God. At times I have wondered why some people have an unbelievable talent in the arts such as painting, sculpturing, music, etc. To go a bit further, I have the hope that some of my talents will show themselves in heaven.
Thinking further about "light," I recall the scripture in John 8:12 (New International Version)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
So much I have read refers to the experience of moving to heaven as an experience of going toward a gloriously beautiful, radiant light. Doesn't it make you look forward to that experience, indeed!
Monday, August 22, 2011
After listening to a sermon for Sunday, August 21, by The Reverend Keith Tonkel of Wells Church concerning this blog's title, I had my usual reaction to his sermons. I wanted to share it.
There is a way you can hear this sermon and most of his sermons, and I'd like to encourage you to take that opportunity and check the site once a week to listen to the latest one. Let me also tell you that his sermons are short and to the point. Also, I guess I should warn you that I think his sermons are addictive as well.
Before I give you that link, here's the scriptures for last Sunday's sermon as well as what was printed on the back of the church bulletin:
Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him
while he is near.
Matthew 6:5-7, 9
And when you pray don’t be like the hypocrites
for they love to pray standing in the Synagogues or
on street corners to be seen by men. When you
pray, go into your room and close the door, and pray
to your Father who is unseen…and don’t keep on
babbling like pagans who think they will be heard for
their many words….
This then is how you should pray…
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
When My Prayers Are Unanswered: Why?
Prayer changes things. Right prayers in the right
spirit, are both powerful and effective.
When we pray, it’s no longer only human conversation.
Rather it’s the human spirit joined together
with the Holy Spirit.
Prayer should be uttered when one senses God
close, but it is perhaps even more important when
God seems unhearing, remote, and far away.
Our prayers are all answered. Perhaps not in
the way we wanted, but answered indeed.
Prayer is sharing truth with God who already
knows it. However when we come to God in
prayer it becomes our sharing and taking responsibility
for our lives and times.
Prayer is a private thing in one sense -- don’t
pray to be seen or heard by others, but its also okay
in public places, as long as we keep it brief, to the
point, and centered on God’s will, as we understand
Faithful prayer brings joy, hope, patience, and
ways to deal with affliction.
Like the early Disciples, we say,”Lord teach us
In so many words, He would turn to us and say,
“Try. Do your best to be in touch with the Father.
God will take care of all the rest.”
Answered prayer comes in more ways than one.
The practice of prayer puts us in touch with those
Our ‘why?” is moved toward clarity when we
pray. We may not see it all, but we come to feel
that we will eventually see and know if we keep
the conversation going.
GodStuff, Keith Tonkel
*From ideas in Adam Hamilton’s book, "Why?"
being discussed Sunday mornings in the Serendipity Class.
Here's the link if you want to take this opportunity to hear the sermon
When My Prayers Are Unanswered - Why?
If you listened to Keith's sermon, you heard him end the sermon with this:
"I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked God for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything that I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed."
~ Admiral Chester Nimitz
This is how I believe prayer works.
The video below refers to some of the same scripture listed above.
Matthew 6:9-13 (King James Version)
After this manner therefore pray ye:
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Thought this subject might get your attention, but this post will not be long. This is a small book one could actually read in one day. A friend loaded me his copy, and I'm glad he did. In other words, I recommend it. You can make your own decision on whether you believe what is written in it, and I will not try to convince you one way or the other.
I will say that surely most people who believe there is a heaven wonder what it is like. If that's not enough for you to read it yourself, then I won't say anymore.
I looked at some videos that are on YouTube about it and selected this one because it is short and was the best I saw there, in my opinion.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Some people will tell you they don't dream, but I'm not one of those people.
Quoting from a Dream Wikipedia Article:
"Scientists believe that everyone dreams, but people will tend to forget them when they naturally pass out of sleep through the traditional sleep cycle. If a person is awoken during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, they are much more likely to remember the dream."
In another Wikipedia Article on REM:
"Vividly recalled dreams mostly occur during rapip eye movement (REM) sleep."
Having set the stage with some facts, let me go on to tell you what I believe about some of the dreams I have had and recall.
At least one dream I had seemed to me to be God letting me know something that was very important to me.
Certain themes seem to run through some of my dreams, particularly dreams I recall. I feel I am inadequate or lacking knowledge to find places or go back to a certain spot in a dream -- in other words, I feel lost.
A similar feeling has to do with my not being able to measure up or do things as I should. For instance, I have a job to go to at a certain time, and I have problems in the dream doing what I really want to do.
Now, let me tell you what I can remember about a dream last night.
I was in a very large, amazing place that was inside. At one point, it seemed a little like a cruise ship, but it was not on the water. I cannot even say for sure if there was an "outside" but it seemed to be all under a covering like possibly a roof. It might also be compared to an enclosed shopping mall. Another comparison could be to an amuzement park that was enclosed.
As I walked around this place, it seemed like museums I have visited that had many sections devoted to different activities.
I did not feel like I was with anyone else that I knew. In fact, it seemed a lot like I was visiting a place that was pretty amazing with many people doing what one might call working but at jobs or duties that made them very happy.
At one point I asked a man what the names of the nearby towns were, and his reply was something along the lines of he didn't know but he was of the opinion that things had been concentrated on building and doing and not concerned with giving a name to the area. My feeling was very strong to know where we were and what it was named, because I wanted to be able to tell people later where it was.
As a little aside, sometimes managing to get from one place to another required more than normal walking. Once, I realized I could lower myself to a lower level by simply controlling my body with a gradual decent. I thought it was amazing and was very proud of the fact that I could do this. It seemed a little like a climber with a rope around him repelling himself, but I had no such device.
The main feeling I had about this place in my dream was that I did not meet a single person who did not seem anything but very happy.
I do not pretend to know what, if anything, my dream meant. I particularly wanted to share it because of the feeling of happiness and contentment I experienced. That was such a good feeling.
If you're feeling like dreaming -- or sleeping, this might do it for you.
Dream (Michael Buble Cover)
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Not sure when I became a James Taylor fan. I don't think I discovered him in his early days when he had long hair, but I've watched plenty of videos on YouTube from those days.
I've only seen him perform live in concert twice. The first time was on Mudd Island with a daughter sitting on each side of me and the Mighty Mississippi flowing by on a gorgeous night in an open-air venue. That night is embedded in my memory forever.
Later, I saw him perform at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Mississippi. Wendell was with me that night and was all antsy to leave when he thought the show was over. Seems like we were going out of town the next day, and, of course, leaving a concert like this one is always an exercise in patience to just get out of the parking lot.
Anyway, I enjoyed both live concerts and have quite a bit of James Taylor's recorded music as well as a VHS tape of a live show on TV and a DVD given me as a gift because everyone in my family knows he's one of my favorites.
The words on this music box given to me by a friend read:
A Friendship filled with joy and laughter blooms and grows forever after.
The "FRIENDS" image at the top of this post has many interesting words I want you to be able to read that were written and composed by Tito Balangue @ Flickr, 16/Feb/2011.
A Flickr member, Tito Balangue, has this image in his [Share the Word]'s photostream and has graciously allowed me to use it in this blog post. To see it in larger view that allows you to read the words, please click on "FRIENDS"