Notional Connection

I had a thought early, while it was still dark…

chain-link-redIt’s easy to feel disconnected. That feeling should only come once you realize that it means you were at one time connected…. And that’s the rub. The idea that we are connected to another person is strained because we never considered how that connection was defined.

To be connected means that you “bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established.” We all seek real connections, but notice that word notional. Sometimes. Maybe too often. What you think is a “real” connection, is most probably and only a “notional” link: “…existing only in theory or as a suggestion or idea…”

Often, our connections are not as real as we thought, or hoped. There may be a political connection that only lasts during election cycles. They may be tenuous due to some temporary status to either party. Regardless, we often think our connection is as real as one chain link intertwined with the next chain link. Tested. Shined. Strong.

When my bride and I said “I Do”, we created a connection that is stronger today than it was on that day of commitment. When my parents birthed me into the world, there was a connection that cannot be separated by time or distance.

When you make connections in a new part of the world, with people you have barely been introduced to, then that’s easily a single reason why connections break easily. There is no opportunity to bind the temporary connection into a permanent connection. Time. Distance. Politics. Personalities. Challenges… They all create opportunities for a connection to blossom and grow, or wither and die.

In fact, the origin of the word “connect” comes from Latin that means “bind together”. “Con-” equals together, and “nectere” equals bind. Together. Bind. Catch it? It’s a two way street. It’s not a single direction. It starts away from each other, then meets in the middle or some approximation, and that connection equally occurs by the effort by both parties.

I studied the US transcontinental railroad project recently, where the starting points of the railroad that would finally connect the East to the West were 1,776 miles apart. They did not know where they would meet, and certainly could not have planned for each to finish at a preplanned stopping point. No. Each direction carried a different set of issues. From staffing to supply, weather to terrain, and all the hostile elements that kept them on their toes, even the ability of surveyors keeping them pointed in the best direction….

But somewhere, at some point in the future, and at an uncertain distance – they would become connected. 

Each side has barriers to overcome before a serious connection can be established. Just like a battery connector and battery post must be thoroughly cleaned so that a strong connection can be made, it takes  real work to make both sides realize the effort needed to connect in a solid way.

Through the years I’ve been told that I’m too friendly and accepting, and while that may be true, get on my bad side and I can sever the connection like a hot knife through butter. No longer connected together, it’s almost like we are boxers in a ring looking to take the shot that will bring the other down. That’s a disconnection that is as close to war as I would ever want to get… I win. You lose.

Or, is it that we both lose. And we never realize it.

The harder it takes to make a serious connection, the harder it is to plunder either side so that the connection severs. When you are solidly connected, then like the proverbs of old you are a friend that stick closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

So, why do we not work hard on making and keeping solid connections?

That’s a great question. Perhaps it is the nature of men to size others up and determine if we can be in a position of “having one anothers back.” Or, do we have strengths that bolster the weakness that another has. Trust. Personality. Background. Skills. All come into play when determining if we can make a connection, or even if it’s worth the effort.

I’ve learned something about myself through the years. I hate being in crowds. When I walk into a room, I may have many connections and it’s easy to escape to those familiar faces and focus inwardly. Even when talking to others, there is also that feeling of backing into a solid walled corner where, like a gunfighter of old, you want to protect your back and be ready to face any challenger.

But then, walk into a room, like Men’s Conference last night, where there should be safety and peace, I find you must let your guard down. Last night with a lot of familiar faces, it’s easy to shake hands with anyone. Greet as many as possible, or necessary. Introduce your friends that are strangers to others. And gingerly test the waters to see if you can make a new connection that might just last longer than this event. Still. You’ve been burned before. It’s difficult getting over the rawness. You remember getting snubbed by one, glad handed by another, and then, someone slips into your blind spots and grabs you. You don’t know whether to hit first, duck for cover, or freeze.

You see those you had once been connected to, and you feel not one iota of a present connection. Whatever had been there before is severed. Trust is lost, and you are in your game mode – don’t trust the stranger because you can not even trust who was at one time a friend. You wonder if you should even be at the event. Why? There is a trust factor that will never exist again. There are wounds left on the table that have not yet healed over. There are unspoken words that should have been shared, but at this stage of the game they will never be communicated. There is even that feeling of avoidance. You to them, and them to you.

Then the speaker talks about how God healed him from an experience that left horrible scars, the root of which goes back to when his age was in single digits. The perpetrator is a distant relative. He tells of realizing, finally, that he must forgive. That’s the only way he will grow. When you carry your pain, you nurse your pain, and that pain keeps the event alive. It cannot scar you because you keep picking at the wound.

But when you realize that scars show your victory over a situation, and often reflect what you faced, and what you overcame. You realize you must let the pain go. True, God can heal you of the mental pain you feel, but without feeling pain you will never know again if you are being injured. Pain shows you are alive! Scars are a gentle reminder of your past battles, or it may be an “in your face” badge of honor.

Here’s the truth of scripture. There is nothing in the bible that tells me I must forgive myself. No parable. No father to son conversation. No words of wisdom. No words in red. We buy into the notion we will never heal if we do not forgive ourselves…except we have no substantiated scripture to tell us that’s a true statement!

I watch people constantly put their pain into the conversation and want eveyone to feel sorry for their experience instead of setting the pain down and start reaching out to support others around them. It’s all about “them”…

When the Prodigal came home to his father, all he could ask was for his father’s forgiveness. Not one time does the story tell us he had to forgive himself. It was all in the power of attitude. Recognizing his own sin will be the only way he can find forgiveness for the pain he has caused. In his pain he realizes there is an open path back to a connection that is his only place of safety and peace. He had wronged his father, sullied his family name, and his God. His father could forgive him. Heaven could forgive him.

Why?

This is an important step to reconnecting – Confession of the sin brought the words into the open to help make forgiveness occur. Re-connection only occurs when you confess your sin to yourself.

But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” (Luke 15:17-19 NKJV)

While a disconnection may be a two-way street, the guilty one must plan on making amends…and without a single word being spoken, the receiving party can open the pathway again.

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 NKJV)

Read the remainder of the story… He still spoke the words to his father that he spoke to himself. Healing can only truly happen when one side of the connection speaks the reason for separation. This tells me there must be someone who has felt the hurt that needs to forgive. At the same time, there must be the connection breaker that must be willing to repent. His father responded with a huge sigh of relief, and a joy of the reconnection. Best robe. Family ring. Sandals. Fatted calf. My son was dead, but now alive; lost, and now found…

Facebook has done a lot of good things in reconnecting me to people from my past. There are some particular names that I could share, and they know who they are, that without a social media connection we might have never known the other was still alive.

Take some responsibility for those lost connections. Now. Take a moment and survey the room. Is there someone you need to reconnect to? It’s in your hands to make it happen… What are you going to do about it? Healing is in your hands to start the path of reconnecting…

Fragments and Leftovers

A few years ago I engaged in an auction for some coins…

2017-02-23-08-12-01Nothing valuable, or special, but the left overs that would not be accepted by the banks. Why? They were foreign leftovers. They were worth nothing to the entity that took them as payment. They may say $1, but since the value differences between countries change every day, it may only be worth 2 cents.

Not even the value of it’s metal contents can hold the face value of the coin, unless its a precious metal we hoard. You know. Silver. Gold. Things like that.

Also, their shapes and sizes are very unique and do not fit most counting and sorting machines used by banks. Some coins were too thick, too large or small, or had edges and corners that indicated they were from another country. Sounds like Goldilocks!

Rather than see them melted down and destroyed, I took a chance in the auction and walked away with a few pounds of fragments and leftovers. Maybe a little bit of value, and I may never know. For the time being I simply pick them out, one by one and let my mind run down a pathway of their possible history, and wonder…

What brought them to this point? Someone traveling ended up with some left over coins and they made it into our financial  system. Fragments. Leftovers. Maybe, even, valueless.

Why buy them? Well, I’ve enjoyed collecting coins since I was 5 or 6 years old. You remember those penny books? Mine began with the year 1909 (if I remember correctly) and I was challenged to find every missing coin. It was difficult, but since we were only talking a 50 year span of time, those pennies always had a possibility of showing up… Today, that same book that began with 1909 now ranges over 100 years, and you get them by a subset of the range. I think it takes 3 books to cover the same time period. I’m not sure I still have the books as I transferred the pennies into a better collection system, but I assure you those pennies are not fragments or leftovers in my world.

Over the years I see people tossing pennies, not worth hanging around in their pockets… Fragments of a dollar. Was it not Ben Franklin that said, “A penny saved is a penny earned” and “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.”

When camping out in about 1968 or so (I know it was at least this year because my dad had a 1968 Dodge pickup that was there with us), I found another coin that really captured my attention. It was dated 1910, smaller than the US dime, silver looking, and with foreign writing. It’s uniqueness, and how I found it, makes it a special memory for me. Not a fragment. Nor leftover. Not to me! Even though someone else thought it nothing more than a throw-away…

1913 d Wheat Penny
1913 d Wheat Penny

My dry-cleaner has a little basket on the counter with coins that folks leave behind. If you are short a few pennies then you are welcome to take what you need to complete the transaction. She is such a sweetheart that she allows me to mine through the coins and swap out anything I can find with a replacement coin. I’ve found some collectibles that are worth hanging on to even though they are fragments and someone else’s leftover. It may be worth nothing more than its face value, but it’s over 100 years old and is Nobody’s Fragment or Leftover as long as I’m around! ====>>>>>>>>>>>>>

After one of his miracles of taking a few loaves of bread and a few fish, Jesus showed us that fragments and leftovers are worthy of our attention.

And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. (John 6:11-13 NKJV)

Gather up the fragments of uneaten food. The leftovers that no one wants. Gather them so that nothing is lost. Total them up and you will find a volume of value.

Here’s a personal view of the world I live in.

I watch people rush to discard the fragments and leftovers of their lives. They work hard to promote their minimalist attitude: memories, friends, family, school chums, furniture, autos…they all go to the rubbish bin to be tossed out. Even space planners teach us to record a memory (photo, audio) and get rid of anything we do not touch for a year. “There is nothing worth your energy to hang onto the fragment that takes up space.”

On the other hand, we end-up with a pure abundance of “stuff” and struggle with having enough space to store them all. We hoard them into every nook and cranny, and all the pathways of life, eventually preventing other fragments from being stored. We stockpile the valuable and hope they remain so, while at the same time, not knowing what to do with the next valuable fragment that comes along, we eventually move things into rented storehouses.

Where, when or how do you stop adding value to those fragments and leftovers in your life? Is a human life valuable? Friendship? Family? When we devalue something, we toss it aside. Much like the pennies and foreign coins in our pockets.

Has human life become so valueless that we toss it aside? Your family, even if they are full of problems to deal with? Your friends may come and go, but treasure those that insist on hanging around… They are worth it.

One last thought. I do not believe God devalues anyone as long as there is hope of restoration. Whether they be tossed aside before birth, or they have committed a heinous crime that locks them away for life, each has value, though each may be a fragment, or leftover.

Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins?
And not one of them is forgotten before God.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows….”
(Luke 12:6-7 NKJV)

Morning Pause

It has felt like a L-O-N-G morning, already!

2017-02-22-07-26-38But in the midst of the first couple hours of the day, I pause to think about life, options, tasks lists, goals, family, friends…I greet the morning with a deep thought and devotion to God and his word. I spend some moments of prayer, giving thanks, worship and praise…

All the while wishing there was a fireplace to enjoy the Morning Pause (like a friend of mine shared this week). It’s cold enough. 29 degrees. Frosty. But no place of fire exists. No room on the wall to install one… Guess it’s time to move!

Actually, we are still in the touches of winter. It’s in the 20’s at night. Maybe 40’s in the daytime. Hope of snow in the air, and frosty roof lines dot the scenes all around me. The grass is full of crunch. The sun is slowly peeking through the clouds and over the mountains. All in all, a really great day unfolding.

But there is something about the morning. A pause. Before the day runs away with the schedule.

David said,

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

(Psalms 5:3 NKJV)

My voice. My morning. My focus.

Take a break in your morning routine, give pause before the creator, and spend some quality time with the day before the day tromps all over you!

In This Together

Nearly 43 years ago, we said, “I do”

Mike and Brenda - UK Trip - September 2009
2009 UK Trip

And ever since that faithful day, we have been in our walk together. We struggle through all the portions of life that everyone faces, but we have always felt the other one was right there with us. Notched and linked at the hip. Together.

The times we live in seem to be fraying at the edges. Not between my bride and me. No, we are stronger because we have this lengthy bond. We have grown stronger with each battle, trial, tribulation and heavy load.

No. The fraying comes from living within an environment where you do not feel joined with someone on the other side of the fence. In the framework of our nation we have always known there would be sides, and we would have to choose between them, but it was the hope that once the side was selected then everyone would join forces and march in step together to achieve a common good. For each. For all. For ongoing prosperity.

But times have shown us that even with choices made there is still a huge disconnect between the various factions. We do not now, and maybe even never, live in a time when we feel we are on this trip together.

Put a common enemy in front of us, or some other national challenge, and we rally together like no other nation and focus to win. Most of the time. Many of those big battle focus times were in the past, before my time, but our history is full of the image of how we come out swinging when the times demand it.

Today, it seems like we are struggling with descent into camps of thought that cry out for autonomy. Control. Rebellious cries that say, “My way, or get out.” Petulant, pesky, protesters that do not want to stand for their view more than they want to force their view. This may be part and parcel of politics since the dawn of time, but we live in an age of instant access and you can immediately witness the ludicrous actions, hear reviling chants, and watch the decent into anarchy.

Our nation has been through many such times.

In the mid 1800’s, one such event divided the North from the South. We were headed down a pathway that was wrong, but through wise leadership, and even a great internal conflict, we stepped out of our past and began forging news paths. Though not an instant success, over time this unity has brought us closer to the level of agreement that “…all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Even if it’s taken an extra 150+ years to realize these truths. Our laws are in a constant state of change to keep headed in the right direction, even reality shows we are not there yet.

Quickly, tell me…. Where did that quote come from? When did you first read it? Do you believe it today as much as we think they must have believed it back then? Do you find it in Plutarch? Blackstone Law Dictionary? The Bible? Was it in the Declaration of Independence? Or the Constitution? If you must look it up, then join the club.

We have lost our ability to stand together on those aged documents that define who we are as an independent nation. With acrimony, we belittle the opposite side for their views, and then receive the complaint that we are not caring about everybody equally, but then all sides cry out that the other side has no right to force their views on anyone.

A snapshot of any time in history will show we fight through these arguments. Time and again we struggle, hoping to reach a promised time of peace and tranquility. But life keeps changing the rules. Not just in areas we are prone to accept, but also in those areas that force us to choose how we will live. It’s not that I want to live in the past, but there are things of my foundation that are my bedrock.

“What one generation a tolerates,
the next generation embraces.”
(John Wesley, 1703-1791)

We slowly accept things as perceived fact, then make them law, and eventually attempt to force everyone to abide by the law. Your personal convictions, based upon whatever foundation you have, is no longer acceptable. Your religious right is no longer tolerated. Every attempt will be made to marginalize who you are by the changes of this modern society.

This draws boundaries. Sets a people at odds with each other. And assures we will reject each other for years to come.  Jesus warned of this nearly 2,000 years ago:

Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.  (Matthew 10:21-22 NKJV)

Closer and closer to these times we are approaching, and if history is any indicator it will be hugely divisive. The nation, culture, and family will be divided into smaller and smaller subsets. We will not get to a place of tranquility, rather, we will sink deeper and deeper into a non-Hollywood version of a vast wasteland. Fractions and factions. Fighting continually until the survivor stands alone and declares victory.

I want to be like that next to last verse of the bible. Right before the closing statement, when John the Revalator agrees that the exit time is here.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20 NKJV)

 

Weep For the Right Reason

I believe there are therapeutic advantages to a good cry…every so often…

2017-02-20-09-44-02Not only the heart breaking sobs that come from bad news, but those solemn moments when something special happens and it causes those eyes to swell up and water pour down your cheeks. Health professionals will tell you weeping is good for you, and they have all the medical reasons to prove it…. I can agree on a different level.

Weeping frees the soul from suffering, clears the heart and mind for growing, and it keeps you connected to the plight of humanity everywhere.

crying-cody-american-indianPerhaps you remember the commercials of old that had an American Indian shedding a tear for all the pollution he found across the land. [Source] That commercial always gave me pause. I made a childhood living from the soda and beer bottles tossed out the windows down the roads of our lives. But it was a messy experience, because returnables were not the only thing along the roadsides. And, we had to clean them up before the stores would give us cash for the trade-in. (Okay, I KNOW he was not an American Indian, just a good actor…[Source])….

Back in 1987, my Granddad passed away. He had just turned 87, and was part American Indian. Just saying…. He was born in 1900. They were coming over to our house for dinner that evening. Granddad was going to help me understand the intricacies on how to hang a new front door. But Grandmother called mid-afternoon. “Mike, it’s Grady.” She was weeping. I was out of the house in a flash, and 10 minutes later in their driveway… First to arrive. He’s gone. Passed. But with a good testimony I’ve shared before. Over those next few days I could not find time for tears. They came much later, in private, and standing at his graveside…

When grandmother passed, we were on the return leg of our driving vacation to Alaska. 1993. She was suffering from cancer and needing hospice care at mom’s house. She told us not to worry, but go enjoy our 5 week vacation. We had a map hanging on the wall with our trip marked out. Mom would be able to show her where we were. We checked in somewhere around Whitehorse and all was well, but by the time we got to Fort St John, British Columbia…just 17+ hours of driving later, she was gone. We made a mad dash, 6 hours, to Edmonton, Alberta. Mom had me a ticket on Air Canada to Houston. Arrived just in time for the flight…wrong airport. Like Houston, Edmonton had two airports…

I was mopey for a couple of days hanging out in Edmonton. My cousin, Galen, stood in my place as a pallbearer. But still, no real tears. Again. That would come later. In private. Only now, at their graveside…

When I get in my “operation” mode of handling bad news and dealing with the aftermath, I have found tears do not show up. That’s not healthy. David warns us that tears can last awhile, but there comes a time for putting them away and experiencing the joy of a new day.

“…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5 NKJV)

Why do we feel guilty or embarrassed when tears flow? One scientist views tears in multiple ways of comprehension. Not only are they a lubricant for the eye, there is even this thought: “…tears trigger social bonding and human connection.” [Source] It’s a natural human experience. We bond with others as we share the reason for their tears. This creates human value. Since our bodies were made to express grief and sadness, we should not fail to deliver. We may hide our tears and pain, but as we are reminded over and again, restricted flow to sadness only makes our bodies suffer.

Over the weekend I witnessed a flag ceremony through the wonders of my computer. It gave me a huge pause to thank our founding fathers and those that sacrificed yesterday for today. It was easy to tear up, but hard to let those tears flow. We try to control them, rather than let them out.

There is a song I remember almost in its entirety from the 60’s…I think. Gordon Jensen is the author…again, I think.

Tears are a Language God Understands

Often you wonder why tears come into your eyes
And burdens seem to be much more than you can stand
But God is standing near, He sees your falling tears
Tears are a language God understands.

God sees the tears of a brokenhearted soul
He sees your tears and hears them when they fall
God weeps along with man and takes him by the hand
Tears are a language God understands.

When grief has left you low it causes tears to flow
And things have not turned out the way that you had planned
But God won’t forget you His promises are true
Tears are a language God understands.

God sees the tears of a brokenhearted soul
He sees your tears and hears them when they fall
God weeps along with man and takes him by the hand
Tears are a language God understands.

Why does this song speak volumes to me? It must touch a chord somewhere deep in my soul. God is recorded has having shed tears himself, so for us to shed our own must bring him to tears also. Here’s a thought…It’s a bonding time. He weeps along with you, takes you by the hand, and you bond with each other. This is probably why tears are good in church. You are bonding with God.

The psalmist understood tears. Weeping. All night long. In the midnight hour.

  • You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. (Psalms 56:8-9 NKJV)
  • Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. (Psalms 126:5 NKJV)

And after that night of weeping…refresh yourselves with this thought. This hope.

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in him.
(Lamentations 3:21-24 KJV)

david-tipton-mississippi-matters

Little Is Much When God Is In It

From David Tipton, “Mississippi Matters: Perspective & Insights From David Tipton”

I am reminded of the story of a woman named Kittie. During a trip, Kittie was on a train that became stuck in a heavy snowstorm. Sensing that the passengers were in danger of freezing to death, a man set out to find help. The man pounding on his farmhouse door that cold winter’s night awakened Fred Suffield. Fred dressed, lit a lantern, and went with the man to guide the train passengers to his house. Kittie later wrote Fred a thank you letter in gratitude for his kindness. The correspondence continued, and eventually they were married.

When I was a child, my pastor used to sing this song written by Kittie Suffield in 1924:

“Little Is Much When God Is In It.”

In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.

Refrain
Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown – and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.

Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.

When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child – well done!”

Tipton, David. Mississippi Matters: Perspective & Insights From David Tipton (Kindle Locations 112-132). UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.

You may find his book on Amazon. Click [here] for to link to Amazon for his Kindle book, or [here] for his paperback version.

Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?

Where does your inspiration come from?

cropped-cropped-cmg-in-a-balloon-1.jpgWhere do you find things that give you inspiration? You know, “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” I’m not sure about the creative conclusion, but inspiration for me is found in a variety of sources. Along the same path, I am not interested in how inspired you may be with my inspiration, the fact that I am personally inspired is enough.

This picture was one of the four corners of the hot air balloon we rode in several years back. I took special notice of how the ropes, hooks, tie-on, and metal creations – they all worked together in their own unique way to keep the gondola connected to the envelope of hot air above us. Take away one little rope and I suspect we are in trouble. Remove two or more and we are imperiled. Remove one whole corner and we are doomed.

From this I realize we are not in this race of life alone. We are connected at the corners with so many other wonderful people who are doing the same thing we are doing. Binding and bonding together.

Through the years, my study of words gives me inspiration. The etymology of any word can be a fascinating study of source, roots, intention and purpose and yes, hidden meaning. So, let me give you two words. I am eclectic. I find inspiration from a huge variety of sources. However, I am not eccentric. Two different words. Two different meanings.

  • Eclectic: deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.
  • Eccentric: unconventional and slightly strange.

On second thought, maybe I am eccentric…

  • Fire up any engine and the wondering mind gets to work. All those pieces and parts, processes and actions, working together to produce power for its intended purpose.
  • Look at any cog, pulley or lever and you can see the inter workings of high technology allowing us to accomplish tasks much easier. Don’t forget the fulcrum…
  • What makes a plunger (downward motion) pluck back out (upward motion)? (Vacuum and suction)
  • Ever try to determine what makes ice crush in your refrigerator?
  • Study the weave of cloth, or the printed images of color, or the manufacture of a pencil.
  • Flip a light switch and determine why it works…
  • What exactly makes bread rise? How does yeast live in a jar?

My eccentric list is eclectic…

To be totally honest, there are probably a few areas I have not thought about only because they have not showed up on my radar. Radar… [from ra(dio) d(etection) a(nd) r(anging)]=Radar… (This happens to me all the time! Nearly every word we take for granted gives me pause to consider it’s originality.)

This is probably why any chapter or book of the bible grabs my interest. I look at things differently. I think about things differently. For the most part, those view and thoughts only work within my mind very well and struggle with finding a voice to share my findings.

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Sermon Discourse Location

Yesterday, I was put in thought of studying the beatitudes. You know. Jesus’s discourse on the Mount. A sermon to some, expressive and deep thinking for others. But it gathered a huge crowd on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. One man posted (I know him by name but not by reputation) a thought about the purpose of the beatitudes. From a Jewish perspective, he connected this Christian relation.

The beatitudes are a summary of #Torah: Love God, love one another, move your focus outward. Mat 5:1-16

Yeshua described 3 kinds of behaviors in the Beatitudes:  Inherent, Outward, Inward. Mat 5:3-12

  • 1st 3 are inward conditions.
  • 2nd 3 are outward behaviors.
  • Last 2 are things done to you.

Think about it for a moment. Someone was given a relationship between two things that many of us would never consider. Not necessarily a dichotomy, rather a resemblance from two sources that would not necessarily reach the same audience. He connected some dots that make for a cohesive presentation, and with a few letters of the alphabet, and the imaginative mind we each have, he presented a parallel of thought between these two sources.

This is perhaps why I enjoy reading books that not only see the puzzle of information, but assemble it in such a way that it makes probable sense from basis of knowledge or information.

The early translations of the bible into other languages struggled with the differences between culture and language, spelling and grammar. The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. Greek has 24 letters. English now has 26 letters. But their interconnection has always left us grasping at words and meanings as translators did their job. Now. Take those letters and words and consider the Hawaiian alphabet. 13 letters.

Can the bible be translated into every language? One source says there are over 6,500 known languages on the planet, and the bible has been completely translated into 636 languages, and partially into another 3,223 languages.

What a challenge!

Every language has its struggles and that is why we take so many words from other sources. It makes it difficult for the future person to understand the past. Read any Dan Brown novel and you will understand this!

The problem with inspiration is keeping the image of the thought that inspires you. Here today. Gone tomorrow. Maybe it influences your future. Perhaps not. Regardless, keep your mind working down the trails of possibilities, and you will find something that inspires you to greatness, creativity, and satisfaction that you have learned something new!