The Consequences Are….

 

The Consequences Are verse


Years pass and memories fade; our skin grows tired and desires wither away. But only one thing rejuvenates life….

Blooming flowers permeate scents, drawing us into heavenly thoughts. We close our eyes and smile, as only one thing rejuvenates this life….

You age, withdrawn as if society closed its eyes on you. You’re not alone for many feel the same pain creeping through the window pain. I pray our Father unsheathes the frowns of miserable days, filling your life with thanksgiving. Only one thing can rejuvenate this life….

Erase your sorrows of past dormant days! Allow yourself to be reborn, and God will fill your enjoyment of life and love. One miraculous morning, the flower petals will commemorate the reflections of your smile. God’s spirit will lift you up and live on inside you, as only one thing rejuvenates life….

Today, I sit in the sun and watch you shine. A blessing to all who meet you, my brightest star – you are the one who lights my up life in the darkest of hours. Frustrations ride off into the sunset. All things were made through and for Christ, including the joy of happiness for only one thing rejuvenates life…..laughter – and it comes with a smile! It keeps us young, and most all the consequences are forever more.


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And The Rains Came

Are you witnessing too?

And The Rains Came cover


Big trees sway, musically orchestrated by the conductor who waives His baton to commence the performance. In the background, percussions give life to the motion. The rains came, and angels with wings call to the heavens, “Let us dance!” A curtain of clouds draw nearer, and the lights dim.

And The Rains Came pic 1

The drums sound from the heavens – God is coming, God is coming! Drumsticks ping on the cymbals resembling rain. Angels spread their wings to protect the innocent from harm. Our Almighty Creator now reigns in the hearts of men. The symphony cries out an overture from the past, for God, once again, makes the rain last forever.

Angels in white robes chant as loud as they can to raise the dead, “Sing with us all ye at rest.” In His mighty voice, God speaks to all the graves, “Release the saved and return them to ME!”

And The Rains Came pic 2

The symphony’s somber notes are no match to the exorbitant trumpets. Purifying the filth, heaven comes to reclaim its world…. and the rains came.
The resilience of the harps are enlightened, and cymbals chime like the rains. God prevails!

A tiny stick, the magical wand, directs the unrehearsed symphony to continue harmoniously onward. Not one soul can predict the magnitude of Christ’s coming!

The sun bursts and its resilient rays pierce the surface of the earth – the chosen will go first. Heavens of ocean blue showers the countryside. All God’s creations grow to magnificent proportions. Life is born again…. as the rains came.

Pragmatically, Christ reclaims His followers. The Lord now reigns upon Satan’s soil – where the big trees sway like an orchestrated wave by a little baton, keeping time in everything God creates.

Amongst the white robes, the percussion dims yet the cymbals still ping. From the heavens, diamonds appear out of the blue, and the streets are gold…. and the rains came.

Are you witnessing too?

And The Rains Came verse




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Jesus, John, and Paul – Amen!

Powerful words linking the past and present!

I told my wife I felt as if I am starting off in the middle of this blog, with no beginning nor an end. It all began with research on questions plaguing my brain about the simple word, amen. For example, do you know what it really means? I read the footnotes of articles which brought me to an inconclusive decision so, I dug deeper. Where I ended up is mind-blowing, especially for those growing up in the era of the sixties. I am from a generation of influential music such as the Beatles, and I even have to contemplate the answers I found to be true.

We all know the biblical story of God’s conception of a special child named Jesus. He was given to us for our salvation and to spiritually guide us in life on earth. But did you know the Lord, himself, never uttered amen? Of the three deities, it was only His son, Jesus, who spoke the word. Many apostles used it in the New Testament including Paul. Translated into our language today though, the underlying meaning of amen means ‘let it be’ or ‘let it be so.’ Well, this information opened a big can of worms!

Let’s fast-forward to the 60s generation. We are all familiar with the song, “Let It Be” written by the infamous Paul McCartney. I inquired how the song originated, and if there was a connection between Paul and Jesus. I wasn’t sure if there were religious ties between them after almost two thousand years, so I dug deeper again.

The music group, The Beatles, grew up in moderately religious homes. Two singers were Protestants, and two were Roman Catholics in Liverpool, England. But by 1964, engrossed in fame and notoriety, they each abandoned their religion…. or did they??

In 1965, the Beatles were filming the movie, Help! in the Bahamas. It’s here they were introduced to the Indian culture through a book about reincarnation. Within three years, they migrated heavily into Hinduism, but it didn’t last long for three of the artists – John, Paul, and Ringo. John Lennon, in particular, devoutly rejected religion and even wrote and produced the song, Imagine, in ‘68 which became dubbed the theme song ‘atheist anthem.’

Paul McCartney returned home confused, or maybe even a little disillusioned. There were undertones of the band breaking up, and Paul suffered from severe insomnia. But one night, twelve years after his mother’s death, he had a beautiful dream. He saw her face and eyes clearly and do you know what message she gave him? “Let it be.” His mother’s name, oddly enough, was Mary. What a message of peace!

Paul immediately sat at the piano and wrote the song, “Let It Be,” in one sitting. It later turned into the title of an album. Shortly after that, he met his wife, Linda, and it was one of the first songs they performed musically together. It was even sung at her funeral because it was comforting and healing to Paul. A miracle was put in place by God, for it was almost as if his mother sent Linda to help him spread the message – Amen!

Thoroughly confused, I went back to my beginning thoughts of this blog – the Bible. Christ was God’s amen, so that’s why Jesus never ended a prayer but only started prayers with an amen.

If it’s possible to connect the dots, I wonder if Paul McCartney was and/or is spiritually connected to Jesus? I relish the thought of Paul finding this blog. After all, his mother’s name was also Mary, and she came to him in a dream. Then, he was blessed with the miracle of his wife to spread the message, let it be. It’s a great piece of music! Paul will forever live on through this song…. shall we all say Amen?! Could Jesus, two thousand years ago, had a clue the word amen would translate today to let it be (so)?



Let It Be – lyrics by Paul McCartney

 

When I find myself in times of trouble

Mother Mary comes to me

Speaking words of wisdom, “Let it be”



Video by H. Chan


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A Folded Napkin

A Folded Napkin cover


As stories became legendary, customs through the years of the Pharisees and Hebrews became scribed in ink. And the holiest of holy are annual traditions – a commemoration of beliefs we grew up with in life. The rituals and myths may be a bit of a quagmire, but one little-known truth surfaced in the basement of a Southern Gospel Pentecostal church.

It was a beautiful spring day. The sun kissed the blossoming petals, and the winds sailed pollen through the rays of the glistening air. Love was abounding as the fellowship commenced on an Easter Sunday afternoon. A congregation of fifty or so prepared a supper fit for a king. Although I was only passing through, the church made me feel comfortable, and I felt compelled to attend the quaint little service. Afterwards, I was ushered down the steps and into the basement. It was here I discovered true southern hospitality.

The guest’s table was labeled with names in front of each place setting, and flower bouquets stood between platters of food. Crystal, China, and Steiff flatware lined the perimeter. I was so amazed at the beauty of it all! The pastor’s wife instructed me to sit in an empty chair at the far end of the table set for twenty-five attendees. That was fine since being left-handed can cause elbow problems. As everyone found their proper place, one remained empty on the opposite end. I thought little of it as the scrumptious meal made its way around the table – roast, chitlins, not to mention black-eyed peas, succotash, and ham.

Individual plates filled with the colorful spread. As the pastor stood and said a blessing, a vacant seat caught my imagination. I thought someone was probably running late. In the abundance of generosity, conversations easily flowed. Then, the ladies paraded from the kitchen with the pies. Oh, my gosh! Did I say fit for a king – and his court?

I knew not a soul, but they made me feel so welcomed. One by one, folks finished their meal, wadded up their napkins and either tucked them under their plate or set it over the dinner plate. But still, in reverence at the end of the table, remaining poised, was a vacancy place setting with a folded napkin, waiting for another guest.

I could be mounted above a mantel after indulging to the point of being stuffed. The crowd moved outside for a breath of fresh air. I wanted to thank those who particularly made me feel so welcomed. As I reached the doorway to exit into a courtyard, a gentle puff of warm air entered the breezeway.

An elder stood at the door and shook my hand. “It’s so nice to have a bright young man, a new face too, come for our Easter supper.” I smiled and returned the compliment. Then, I leaned over and whispered in his ear, “What happened to the person designated for the place at the opposite end of the dinner table from me?”

He smiled and replied, “You see the folded napkin?”

“Yes,” I said.

He further explained, “If it’s folded, it means they will return.”

“Who?” I asked, “They never showed.”

“Christ,” he said. I was perplexed. He looked at me and smiled again. “We are waiting for His return.”

John 20:6-7
“6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.”

 



EDITOR’S NOTES:

This story alludes to the interpretation of the linen cloth which was wrapped around Jesus’s head at the time of his burial. The disciples Simon Peter and Peter were the first to arrive at the tomb. They saw the wraps of linen cloth lying in the spot where Jesus was placed to rest. However, the “cloth” put over his face and head were lying off to the side.

A Folded Napkin pic 1

Three different versions of the Bible translate this cloth to be a napkin. The NIV version renders it to be a burial cloth, and yet a third interprets it to be a handkerchief. The truth is napkins were not used in the days of Jesus – only a simple piece of fabric.

Though stories run rampant of the validity of this account, it can be noted that it was an unknown custom in Israel. However, some Jewish traditions do support the act of folding a napkin to denote their return to the table.

So, is it conjecture or did this event actually happen? The answer is unknown and requires more research of Jewish customs in the days of Jesus’s life. It certainly makes for an interesting conversation over breakfast!


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Motherhood’s Grace

Happy Mother’s Day to all the precious mothers!

Rose with bug
Photo by Dana Bicks LLC

 

I’m old enough now to visit back in time to four different generations of mothers. Seasons change, but the way of life is different. My great-grandmother was a genuine, simple lady who lived up to her name in Milford Mill. With her silver hair spritzed, a dress down to her ankles, and black two-inch chunky heels, her apron went on at sunrise. She handmade everything – bread, biscuits, cinnamon rolls – you name it. I can remember making orange juice with her for breakfast, and not the kind in a bottle.

Her daughter (my grandmother), on the other hand, never came out of her bedroom until she was letter perfect. Sometimes she moseyed around in a housecoat like she was going out somewhere. She often prepared a lovely, super Sunday meal fit for a family of twenty, even if it was only four of us at home. Grams, I called her, loved to cook. She’d open the pantry closet, grab a box of something, add water or milk, and she stirred away. My old Grams was quite the debonair lady! You could smell her cooking the minute you entered Baltimore city limits. She was a lady of stature, and she enjoyed boyfriends until she was ninety years old.

My mom, on the other hand, was quite a different story. She became a socialite and never looked back. Fast food was a regular meal for us throughout the sixties and seventies. She made a good cooked meal just occasionally as both my parents were committed to different lifestyles.

Yes, Mother’s Day is much different as viewed through the eyes of this old child. The pace of life has a lot to do with it, I’m sure. Years slip by, and people pass, but a mother’s ways are hardly forgettable by their family heritage.

This Sunday’s weather has rain on the horizon once again, but I’ll still celebrate the liturgy of all mothers, past, and present, who transformed our spirit. In all my tiny world of generations, though, God only now shows me the meaning of the pure love of motherhood. Our families are spread hither and yon, but my passion for this particular mother is absolutely like none other. She gives herself to the utmost degree – no matter what day or time. I simply hold this precious love for the one I call my wife, deep within my soul.

Now I am old, and I only wish the mothers of my past knew the love I’ve found today. Blessed by God, hopefully, they’re watching from above. Just maybe they were the angels that brought her to me. No matter, I celebrate motherhood’s grace 365 days a year.

Rose with bug
Photo by Dana Bicks LLC

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My Beloved Brother

My Beloved Brother pic 1


It was the end of World War II, and a marriage was performed quietly at Pensacola Naval Base Chapel. Future in-laws congregated in the vestibule while the bride, dressed in white with a three quarter length skirt, prepared for the ceremonial “I do’s.” A young man in his mid-twenties, dressed in formal blues, stood quietly waiting for his bride. But amid this festive day, a disgruntled undertone lent to the day. Sadly, both sets of parents weren’t impressed with each other.

The wedding went off without a hitch for Jean and Jane, despite the family problems. They were issued a weekend pass for a honeymoon and then back to Naval Officer duties on Monday. With influential in-laws, you could only expect eventually, one or the other would be drawn into a situation of ‘blood is thicker than water.’ Marriage wasn’t enough to tame family discord, so maybe a baby would calm the hearts. Grandparents, though, who try to control tempers can sway thought processes.

On May 9th, a Mother’s Day gift from God was born – a baby boy. He laid hopelessly anticipating his destiny in life. This bright little child was occasionally tossed between feuding grandparents while his father was on patrol guarding our country. The little boy grew up in the exploratory era of the sixties. World events such as walking on the moon, Woodstock, and Vietnam persuaded his life’s decisions. After a tour in the Navy himself, his life became a mystery.

Now, in the spring of his beginnings, he had a child to raise, and he matured into manhood overnight. His fragmented father figure died young by his demise, so the young man turned to peers for directional guidance. Some decisions were right, and some were wrong, but somehow, he made it – my big brother.

In His glory days, God saved him. His life now welcomes children who look up to him. It is a characteristic he was deprived of because our father died at an early age. Today, he watches the seasons change as God grants him another birthday. Feeling the aches of age (which hasn’t been his friend), my beloved brother sits alone and relives the days of vigor and vitality.

Seventy-two years strong, he has survived many years of difficulties and created lots of memories. He will lovingly remain impressionable to me – even though we came from the same loaf of bread, we still spread the butter a little differently. Where would I be if it hadn’t been for that little boy born in the turmoil of his loving family? Thank you, my beloved brother, for the best gift I ever had was YOU! Happy Birthday!

My Beloved Brother verse


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Alone

Is this a true story? Scary, isn’t it??

Alone Cover



You never suspected it! For days you watch, yet go about your merry way, ignoring all the signs. The spring weather should be warmer, but a bone-chilling cold signifies God is throwing in the towel. Frost on the ground proves spring isn’t coming anytime soon. You persistently hope for a change of seasons, but there is no reason for a deviation.

Finally, in a glimmering light, you watch the morning come alive. Is there an eclipse of the sun? It’s rising, but it seems blackened by something. You observe this phenomenon and question. Something is wrong and makes little sense! There are no rays of sunshine – just indirect light shading your day. When you gaze into the valley below, the traffic lights aren’t red or green – they’re just flashing yellow, and not a car on the streets are moving!

As you look up into the ominous sky, there isn’t one cloud – only a somber shade of gray. There are no plane contrails in the air or even a bird. How odd! Now very suspicious, you pull out your cellphone to make a call, but there is no service. Suddenly, you realize there isn’t one sound from anything around you – just dead silence. A nearby pond, usually full of fowl, is dead still with just a cold, yellow glow. Every bit of life is gone! The air begins has a stench – an indescribable smell.

You run a marathon, along with others, to the local chapel. At the altar rail, tears flow for the relatives and friends who departed and now gone forever. Separated by fear, Christ came and made his appearance. It’s too late! Beg God for forgiveness! You stare at one another, realizing what happened is written in the Bible.

alone-1.jpg

Is this true? Do you really want to find out or just be safe knowing you love our Lord, the creator of all mankind? The predictions of Revelations in the Bible, speaks of such a coming of our Lord. If you are unprepared, it is written it will be your worst nightmare. What did you do five minutes ago that you could answer to five minutes from now? Scary, isn’t it? In the quiet and dark, without a drop or hint of noise, God will send his Son to gather His chosen in the Rapture. All believers will ascend unbeknownst and leave you standing alone with unbearable suffering.

With nothing left, the cosmic heavens will disrupt the hemisphere, knocking out everything connected to satellites – even electric. A vast few will linger amongst the chapels and churches, praying to be saved, but will they, or will you? Like an Armageddon about to begin, the world will now come to a complete halt. You have arrived at the End Times, alone, and stranded from God…. or will you? It is your decision today to be a follower of God or a hopeless non-believer, but choose wisely! It’s better to be a believer in God than not to believe and wish you had!

 

Alone 2



 

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