Monday, September 3rd, 2018. Labor Day
Sonya, (name changed to protect her identity)
I realize this is a very long letter.
You could read it just one page a day…
And, if you don’t want to read it, you don’t have to…
I hope you will choose to read it.
“In the Wind of My Spirit”
In Remembrance of Frosty and other memories from long ago…
(You don’t have to read this all in one sitting; so, please, take your time…all the time you need…and peace be with you in God our Savior.)
A Study in Dialogue, Imaginings and the Spirit
Life! It’s enough to make you wake up! –as from a nightmare.
“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” -Ephesians 5:14 (NIV).
Stretch your mind, boy! The more it stretches the sheerer it becomes; so you can glimpse right through it and see what lies beyond!
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” -Jesus, Luke 12: 32 KJV.
Sonya, You sent a greeting card to me a long time ago with these words:
“A Man Is What the Wind and the Waves Have Made Him”
If my letter is desultory it might help to think of Don McLean’s “American Pie”
–Now that was desultory; so desultory, it makes my letter seem cogent in comparison. (well, maybe…or maybe not—you be the discerner—but, not the judge, OK?)
A Letter to Sonya, Irene, [ “Irene” is a pseudonym to protect her identity and her privacy] and my doctor (well… only a little to my ex-doctor; She recommended that I go elsewhere for treatment, saying: “You’re paranoid and I don’t want to deal with your paranoia. You should find another psychiatrist and go back to_____. Maybe if I was a better psychiatrist…”–That was 7 months ago; I didn’t go back to____, either. I haven’t been in treatment since that last appointment on July 26, 2016. I’m doing OK, with the Lord God as my Helper.)
Beginning July 2, 2016
A Remarkable Discovery in Oak Hill Cemetery
Irene, Hi, how are you, classmate of 5 years in the 60s and friend for 3-4 months during the summer of ’74, and hopefully still a friend, though I haven’t seen nor written to you in very many years. I originally wrote this letter to Sonya; but, I have not sent it to her. She hasn’t written to me in about 33 years; so, it’s kind of difficult to keep sending my letters to her. I keep writing to her though. Most of the letters just remain on my computer. Then, I thought of sending it to my psychiatrist; but when I brought several pages of my journal to her, she said, “I don’t have time.” So, now I’m thinking of sending it to you, hoping you have time. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that either. By the way, Sonya was born on October 9th just like you and John Lennon. And here is another curious thing: Many years ago, I was walking in Oak Hill Cemetery on Rathbun Street, Woonsocket, and I came upon a tall pillar toward the back of the cemetery on the right side, and I was reading the names of those buried there, and one of the souls was a woman and another, on the opposite side of the same pillar was a man’s name, and one of the two was born on October 9th and the other was born on November 14, which is my birthday; and one of the two was named Livingstone and the other was named Pickering (well, that’s how I remembered the name; but, I was mistaken). I don’t remember their first names nor which one was the man and which was the woman. And, another curious thing: In September of 1968 (junior year of high school) I noticed that you were in my homeroom class at Woonsocket High School, Irene, for about two weeks (unless I imagined it), even though you had not been a WHS student previously, and then you weren’t there anymore. I remember your desk was in the row near the windows and toward the back of the room. I never asked you about this, not even during the summer of ’74, when we were dating from May to August. Were you a student at Woonsocket High School in 1968, Irene? It occurred to me recently that from your desk near the windows in homeroom you might have been able to see the newly-built John F. Kennedy Manor which was completed in 1967. When I sit in the backyard here at Kennedy Manor and look over and beyond the river wall along the Blackstone River, in autumn, after the leaves have fallen, I can just see the windows of the old Woonsocket High School and I remember you were there in September of ’68; and sometimes I recall an old sweet song from about that time: “See You in September.” And Irene, another reason for sending this letter to you is that I found your website several years ago titled: “What’s Your Story?” So, this is my story, Irene. (I believe your website is no longer online.)
Doctor C: I’m taking the medication every day; however, a few months ago I did not take it for about 4 days to see how I felt without it. That experience of going without it for 4 days inspired the observation made in this letter to Sonya and Irene, about Frosty. The following text is my letter to Sonya, which I have not sent to her because she hasn’t written to me in about 33 years.
“…and tears more than smiles have comforted me.” -Sonya, early 1980s, in a letter to me.
Sonya, do you know what mental illness feels like if you stop taking your medication? It feels like Frosty the Snowman standing on Sweet Avenue’s sidewalk on a bright sunny day in July at high noon waiting for a cold breath of Arctic air to become his ice-blue-secret-savior; but of course, it doesn’t come. That wasn’t what he truly needed.
May the vision of Frosty’s many tears be a comfort to you, (or perhaps not) as you think of him melting away into a thousand tears, into a puddle of water, like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, when she got baptized by a splash of Dorothy’s inadvertant water, while the music was playing in the background “the wild and windy night that the rain washed away has left a pool of tears crying for the Day.” I know, that song wasn’t in “The Wizard of Oz.” It’s just in my imagination, like the song: “And It Was Just My Imagination” (“running away with me”).
And soon the sun disappeared his puddle
He didn’t need a funeral
Didn’t need a grave
Didn’t need a marker
For he ascended
He was transformed
From the physical
To the immaterial/spiritual
As it is written: “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” -James 4:14b (KJV).
If we look with our heads instead of our hearts, we perceive with judgment and feel judged.
If we understand with our hearts instead of our heads we receive mercy and meekness and lowliness of mind and peace; and if we keep going like that…the sky is the limit as to what we will find…and what we will become…
“Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” -Psalm 138: 6 KJV.
And Frosty met Jonathan Livingston Seagull on his way up and they fast became friends. And Jonathan had much to teach him. And Frosty learned fast; for his emptiness was as a dry sponge ready to be filled.
Most importantly, he learned to take his lessons to heart and not to head; for the head quickly gets weighed down with memories & thoughts and cogitations of aggravations and cognitive dissonances enough to make you dizzy & dumb; and flying becomes burdensome instead of a light-hearted joy.
And this Jonathan introduced Frosty to someone named David.
And David brought Frosty to his Lord
And the Lord fitted Frosty with a new body and regenerated his soul and strengthened his spirit too. And he was given a new name. (And the former things were passed away and all things became new, even a new heavens and a new Earth. -from Revelation 21:1-8 ESV.) And he began to live like he had never lived before. And he was so thankful…all he could do is praise his Lord God and love his new neighbors…and they were many and beautiful…each one.
He no longer saw nor knew what was happening to those who remained in their heads and looked only with the eyes of the same. They would not understand the judgment they reaped; that it was the fruit of their own judging and judgmental state of mind. They could not see with the eyes of their understanding; for they believed not the gospel; so they believed not on Christ; so, they received not of His Holy Spirit; so they were not born again. And so, they had not the spirit of understanding. (See Isaiah 11.)
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,…” -Ephesians 1: 18 and continuing…KJV.
Jesus said: “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: You will indeed hear but never understand, you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn and I would heal them.” -Matthew 13: 13-15 ESV.
Who is there?
Lord, it’s me. May I enter?
Come in, Faith.
Thank you, Lord.
What do you seek?
Lord, I seek to be in the Way.
You’re in Him. And remember, it is the faith of Jesus Christ. He is the author and the finisher of your faith.
And now what, Lord?
Continue in the Way. Study the Scriptures and pray. Try to obey the Word. Ask. Seek. Knock. Wait for the Lord to Return. Beware of the world, the flesh, and the devil. “Be holy for I am holy.” Peace be with you.
Thank You, Lord.
And thank you, Sonya…Silent Sonya…as silent and special as silent night…
What are you thanking me for? What did I do?
Well, Sonya, your not writing to me for nearly 34 years has been humbling. And, it is much better, in Christ, to be humble than to be proud.
Do you believe I’m humbling you, Mark?
Sometimes, I think so; and sometimes I think the Lord is doing it.
I’m hoping that “thank you” will bless your heart with things like peace and good will and forgiveness and mercy and understanding and kindness and friendliness and maybe someday you’ll wake up and want to write me a letter and will do it and send it to me. It would be such a blessing to my heart and soul and spirit to hear from you again, Silent Sonya… I love you.
You think you’re going to get all that just by saying “thank you”?
Yes, I do think it. And now I’m imagining it. And maybe someday I’ll believe it too. Remember John Lennon’s song “Imagine”? You were born on his birthday.
What does that have to do with me writing to you?
Maybe his song will inspire you and bless your heart with kindness.
Some things in life are not readily understood. It takes time, sometimes it takes a lifetime. It’s taking me a life time. This letter may require several readings and also some time for its meaning to dawn on the reader and she gives up thinking, “He’s just a nut.” I know, it’s kind of confusing.
The odyssey is odd, and it isn’t easy.
An as-yet untold/unwritten story of “The Long and Prosperous Lives of U.B. Healthy and I.B. Happy; otherwise known as “You and I.” -With supporting roles by He B. Funny and She B. Lovely and Them B. Strange and Those B. Weird. -The Be Family of Maybe, a Town in the State of Imagine. Their theme song is “Let It Be,” by The Beatles.
Another Unwritten Story: “Missing the Mark: The Story of Mark” -It would be so funny except for the fact that it’ll make you cry. He was always missing the point until finally he turned up missing. Eventually he found himself so lost he cried for help. And, at first no one came, and that’s when he really lost it. So, they placed him in the Cuckoo’s Nest with Randle Patrick “Mac” McMurphy, who kept telling him most strenuously/emphatically, “You can’t handle the truth!!!” Mark finally got so mad at “Mac” he got his Word of Truth, The Holy Bible, and threw it at Mac, just to see if he could handle that Truth. Mac didn’t see it coming; it hit him right in the head and knocked him off his feet. Mark came right over and helped Mac to his feet and apologized to him most strenuously. Mac accepted Mark’s apology and admitted he probably had it coming, The Truth, that is.
I wonder if Doctor C‘s birthday is October 9th too? (Doctor See? Can you see with the eyes of your understanding?)
“Little Is Much When God Is in It” is a gospel hymn worth hearing. Some will just laugh hearing this song; it won’t touch their heart, only their funny bone.
Great oaks have their beginnings in little acorns. The very day an acorn croaks is also the birthday of a mighty oak. (Out of the broken seed comes the little sprout.)
Things that seem very little can sometimes actually be very great, like a star. It seems so tiny from where we are; yet, up-close it is so powerful it would overwhelm us.
The Kingdom of God has a small beginning and grows surprisingly great. -see Matthew 13:31,32.
Sonya, I hope you will forgive me for suggesting that poor Frosty’s melting away might be a source of comfort to you. I used to think that only a mean person would take comfort in someone else’s tears. I have not learned from you, yet, if the “tears more than smiles that comfort you” are only your tears, or also the tears of others. Still waiting to hear from Silent Sonya and Irene and Doctor C . Irene, I remember your younger sister Karolyn (14 years younger than Irene). She was 7 years old and so soft-spoken the last time I saw her and heard her in ’74 on Great Island in Galilee. Galilee…that’s a Biblical name. I’ve often wondered if she retained her soft-spoken voice. Sorry, not sure how she spells her name. I only remember that you said it was spelled differently…so I tried to spell it differently.
A sweet song from the 60s: Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” That title gave me ideas about titles with the name Sonya; like, Sounding Sonya’s Silence; and The Sound of Sonya’s Silence.
Irene, I remember something I happily left with you in ‘74: A music book titled: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel. Sonya, there is a line in the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water” that relates to your quoted words “tears more than smiles have comforted me.” “When evening falls so hard I will comfort you.” It seems to me that it is very common in our human lives to be disappointed and to feel comfortless; and I believe there is a reason for that; it is an opportunity, like the proverbial open door, to begin to seek for a better answer to our needs than anything that is in the world.
And what would that be?
Do you really not know Who that is?
You mean God, I guess. I learned about Him in first grade religion class.
(This writer doesn’t know if Sonya attended a religious school).
Yes, many of us did. But that is only the beginning of learning about Him.
What do you mean?
Remember learning in science class about molecules?
Yeah, so what?
They’re all around us and yet we don’t see them; they’re so subtle! God is also all around us; and yet we often overlook his presence; many have even gone so far as to convince themselves, falsely, that there is no God. See Psalm 14:1.
So, what is your point?
A comforting relationship with God has to be nurtured, like planting a tiny seed and watering it, protecting it, giving it everything it needs to grow. We have to love God in order for the relationship with him to become strong; we have to build a bond with him. Reading his Word helps to inform us about him; it gives us many helpful clues about him; it plants his seed in our heart, if we believe His Word. And private prayer to him also helps us to receive his blessings and help in our daily life. Talk to him reverently as you would talk to your dearest friend whose friendship you cherish and whom you trust so much that you know you can tell him anything and everything; just like a very loving and always understanding and protecting Father of a little child who is very dear to him. On the other hand, Jesus did give clear instructions to His disciples about prayer in chapter 6 of Matthew, telling them not to use vain repetitions nor much speaking, for He knows what we need before we even ask Him. -Matthew 6: 5-15. (Personally, I keep my prayers short. Verbosity seems like such an avalanche to me.)
Hey! Who do you think you are, my first-grade religion teacher?
No, just your fellow-sheep in His pasture.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” -James 4:8a (ESV).
All this teary stuff reminds me of my 7th-grade teacher at St. Charles School, Sister Miriam Ann. She was young and tender-hearted. Do you remember her, Irene? The thing about her that touched my heart like a beautiful guitar chord and a sweet memory was this: She was teaching us a gospel song, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Coming for to carry me home…” And one or two students started to laugh. Their laughter made her start to cry and she walked out of the classroom. At first I may not have understood exactly what all this meant in my naïve/young mind; but I remembered it; her tears must have touched my heart…and seeing her cry…and leave the room…and not get mad at us. It was something special to see someone who had a heart for God, who cared for spiritual things, like a gospel song…and who wanted to be carried home to God; and wanted to share her love for God with her students. I’ll always remember you, Sister Miriam Ann. And thank you for being one of His beautiful children…Your tears and your heart and your memory are a comfort to me. I think I understand now what you meant, Sonya. And yes, other peoples’ tears can comfort us too; not only our own.
Life is wonderfully filled with co-incidences, like acorns and oaks and Oak Hill Cemetery.
A Return Walk in Oak Hill Cemetery
July 22, 2016. It’s 95*F. this afternoon and I braved the heat just like Frosty, and went for a walk to Oak Hill Cemetery, to check on the names on the pillar mentioned earlier in this letter. It had been so long ago since I went there, maybe 20 years, that my memories were frosty. I had the general vicinity of the pillar right; but I had to look around a bit for it. The pillar wasn’t as tall as I remembered it. In my memory it had been a smooth pillar, shaped like the Washington Monument; but certainly not even remotely as tall, only about six feet. In reality, it was not smooth and tapering like a pillar, either. And the name I had remembered as “Pickering” was actually, Pickford. James A. Pickford was born on November 14, 1861 and died in 1883, if my aging memory is serving me correctly. And Jennie B. Livingstone was born on October 9, 1867 (I think) and lived to be 55, if the arithmetic-in-my-head is reliable. On another side of the tombstone were the names of a husband and wife named Pickford. The wife’s name was also Jennie B. I’m guessing she was the mother of James and Jennie already mentioned. She was 29 years older than one of the two, James A. and Jennie B., the younger.
There was a pick-up truck stopped about 75 feet away from me as I was reading the tombstone and trying to memorize the facts and do a little arithmetic in my head. As I was walking away, the pick-up truck was also leaving the area. I gave a Hi sign with my hand as he went past me, and then after he had gone only about 20 feet he stopped. So, we talked for a few minutes. I gathered that he was a caretaker. He talked about the landscaping, the grass, the trees, the fact that the cemetery was modeled after Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown, Massachusetts that is over 300 years old and very large, he said; and that there used to be so many trees in this cemetery in Woonsocket that it was dark, even during the day; and that the hurricane of 1938 removed many great oak trees. I told him my name and asked him if he was a resident of Woonsocket; and did he remember Richer’s Radio & TV Shop on Elm Street, across the street from The House of Brides, where my Dad’s business had been in the 1960s and 1970s. His name is Dennis B.
It is only about a 4-minute walk from Social Corner at Cumberland Street to the entrance of the Cemetery on Rathbun Street. As I was walking along in the Cemetery, I kept coming upon forks in the road and was remembering Yogi Berra’s advice: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” And I kept thinking, I’m taking it, Yogi, I’m taking it. I noticed a shell of an acorn, the little top part, like a roof, on the roadway, as I entered Oak Hill Cemetery. And as I was walking away from the tombstone, later, alone, I imagined that someday in the here-after I just might meet Jennie B. Livingstone and James A. Pickford her brother and Mom & Dad, and another brother I had not mentioned; and I’ll be thinking, “They were dead, and now they are alive once more, and forever more!” And I remembered something Henry David Thoreau wrote about Walden Pond in his book of the same name, after the Winter had passed and the frozen surface of the Pond was liquid again: Walden was dead and is alive again! The rebirth of Spring and all the Life that comes with it. Praise God for the wonderfulness of His Creation and that no one but Him, in His love, could have Created such a thing as he has made; and that there is so much more and grander Creation in store for those who believe in Him and are waiting for Him to return and regenerate/restore all things, as His Scriptures reveal and prophesy.
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? Yes, Lord, she told him, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” -John 11: 25-27 NIV.
Matthew 19:28; Titus 3:5; John 3:3; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Peter 2:4-6; Revelation 21: 1-7; Revelation 22:1-7.
“There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.” -Henry David Thoreau. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/henry_david_thoreau.html
http://mountauburn.org/. The website of Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Sonya, your silence seems to beckon a letter, as a space in a room calls for something special to fill it. I still have in my memory a beautiful/peaceful image of you sitting silently in the booth at McDonald’s on Branch Avenue, Providence as I was coming along with the tray on Thursday, December 4th, 1980. Your quietness is so lovely, like a still mountain lake reflecting the creation all around it. Praise God. Spiritually, it may be that your still mountain lake feeds my brook with letters that come back to you to ponder in your silence and stillness.
If some of my facts in this story are mistaken, it might help to realize that the spirit of the story is more important than the facts, as a person’s heart is more important than their appearance.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7 ESV.
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” -1 Peter 3: 3-4 ESV.
“So we don’t lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 ESV.
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame. So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” -1 Peter 2: 4-10 ESV.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2: 1-10 ESV.
End of Story—if you’re a sheep. If you’re a goat—keep reading; but a warning: it isn’t so sweet if you’re a goat.
July 28, 2016. Visions of white doves flying out of the person’s body and lighting on people’s heads. It’s the Holy Spirit emanating from the Lord Yeshua.
Man, you’re crazy!
I don’t know.
Why’d you say that?
I don’t know.
If you declare anything more like that, I’ll stifle you, man!
I don’t know. It just gives me the beyondoz
What is the beyondoz?
Beyond Oz, I guess. I don’t know. Beyond the imagination, maybe.
Are you afraid to rock and roll?
It has to do with the mind of Christ and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
You’re scaring me, man!
The Israelites were scared too, when Moses was on the holy mountain with the LORD, and they could hear His Voice.
What does that have to do with me, man?
We all have to make a choice.
Do you want God with you; or do you want the devil?
I don’t know.
Well, read your Bible and find out about God; and find out about the devil, so you can make an informed choice.
God is Love, Light, and Spirit. The devil is the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning. Do you want to have God and His attributes in your heart and soul and mind and spirit; or do you want lies and murderous thoughts in your mind and heart and soul and body? Do you want to live among God’s people; or among the devil’s children? Do you want to live in peace; or do you want to live in constant terror and deception and delusions and madness?
The world is becoming polarized, culminating finally, in the Judgement. The sheep will be on His right hand, and the goats on His left. The sheep will be welcomed, while the goats will be sent away into eternal punishment.
Are you a believer; or are you as stubborn as a goat?
Do you believe with your heart; or do you just rationalize with your head?
Are you receiving a heart of flesh; or are you sitting on a heart of stone; like Miss Muffit sitting on her tough-it?
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. -John 3: 1-8 KJV.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” -Zechariah 4: 6b KJV.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” -John 6:63 ESV.
Question: If the lord of glory is himself gentle and lowly in heart, how can we be anything more or higher or greater than He is?
Oh, that’s easy. It is done in the pride and arrogance of delusional thinking about self. It is done in the flesh.
Who do you think you are, King Kong? You’re in the vanity of your imagination. You need to be disillusioned. You can’t see the truth through all that clutter and cobwebs of vain thinking. Clear your mind and clean out your heart.
How do I do that?
Hear/read the gospel of Jesus Christ and believe it. Then, receive Jesus Christ, by faith, as your personal Savior. Then His Holy Spirit will begin a work of salvation in you. Keep going in faith in Him. When you fall, and we all do, get right back up, and continue in faith and in prayer in Him.
How long do I have to do this?
Just one day at a time.
Be prepared. It’s the Boy/Girl Scout motto; but it’s good advice for every one of us.
Be prepared for what?
The coming of the Lord. If you’re not prepared for His Coming, you won’t get raptured; and if you don’t get raptured, you’ll remain on earth for the 7-year tribulation; the second half of which will be so awful it’s called the great tribulation.
Man, do you really believe that stuff?
Yes. Consider how it is already in Syria, Iraq and Libya and Mexico. World-wide terrorism. Gun violence. 19 trillion-dollar debt. Children going to school with guns and shooting dead their fellow classmates, their teachers and themselves. Look who’s running for president?
That don’t mean nothin’.
You can’t see what it means because, as it is written: “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” -2 Corinthians 4: 3-7 ESV.
Man, I just want to watch my Patriots and Sox with my peanuts, popcorn, potato chips, pizza, pretzels and beer. I just can’t think about all this spiritual stuff.
The Lord is able to work with you just as you are. It isn’t His will that any should perish; but that all should come to repentance. See 2 Peter 3:9.
Repentance? What’s that?
It’s a change of mind that agrees with God, instead of opposing Him.
God wants little old me to agree with Him?
About His Word.
Where do I get His Word?
You can go to a retail bookstore, or online to order a Bible. A study Bible has helps to assist your understanding and to help you open the eyes of your understanding to the Gospel and all of His Word. You’ll begin to see everything in the light and understanding of the Scriptures. You’ll begin to appreciate things you don’t even notice yet.
Faith. Hope and Charity. The Kingdom of God. The City of God. The Wisdom of God. The power of God. The goodness and mercy of God. The long-suffering of God. The Messiah of God. The salvation of God. The spirit of understanding. See Isaiah 11. He will change your mind and give you a heart of flesh in place of a heart of stone. You’ll begin to feel a love for His creatures that you never had before. You’ll look back once in a while and be amazed at the newness of life you’re experiencing and how different you’ve become; like an old oak tree that somehow recalls that it was once a little acorn that couldn’t even see the sky or the light of day; that never felt a sparrow perched on its branch; or a squirrel bounding from one of its limbs to another; that couldn’t see or feel anything at all; and that now receives intimations from His Maker that speak to his heart like so: You’ve served me well all these years, showing forth my glory and providing shelter for my little ones; you’ve weathered many winters and the heat of many summers; and suffered through many droughts too. Behold! I have prepared for you something better. Welcome into the joy of your Master. (See Matthew 25: 20-23). Come up here, master oak, and live better and happier than you ever lived before, in My Kingdom. And your weary limbs will rest in peace too. In place of wood I will give you wings. Instead of being rooted down, you will fly like an eagle in the wind of My Spirit.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:31 King James Version (KJV).
Thursday, July 28, 2016, 11:52 PM.
In the Wind of My Spirit
- Even if the singer of Don McLean’s song “American Pie” claimed that “The three men I admire most, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, took the last train for the coast,” I still believe in The Son of God (in Whom is the Father) and I believe in His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter and Counselor, Who leads us into all truth and will be with us forever. And I believe in believing in Him and that it is “the faith of Jesus Christ,” a gift from Him to everyone who is willing to believe and be saved, by the grace of God.
Dear Sonya, Many years ago, I took a real acorn and painted a heart on it in pink, and our initials on it in blue—yours and mine, then varnished it, then made a soft-felt-like little bag, and sewed it together and put that acorn in it and mailed it to you at Lake Hiawatha. I wondered, as I was doing this, whether “he” the acorn would arrive safely to you; or would he get crushed during his journey. Only you can tell what happened to him. Did he reach you safe and sound, Sonya? My only regret about him is that I varnished him. I did that to help preserve what was painted on him. I realize now that the varnish might have smothered him. How could he breathe? And how could God’s rain of water reach his soul to empower him to sprout and live and grow?
1 Corinthians 2:1-16
I want to apologize to Sonya, if, in this letter, I’ve imaginatively quoted her, so that she sounds nonchalant. In reality, she is not like that at all. In fact, she may be so much more tender-hearted and spiritually wiser than me, and sincere, that she hasn’t written to me lately, because she understands, so much better than me, that my case is, humanly-speaking, hopeless; and that the best thing to do is just to leave me to God’s mercy and our Savior’s salvation.
To Sonya, With Love
A long time ago, Sonya called me, the only time we ever spoke on the phone, and she told me to stop writing to her. I sent all her letters back to her, in a disturbed state of mind about this. And, I did not stop writing to her for a long time. And then, finally, I stopped, for about 25 years. And then, on February 29, 2016, leap day, I sent a card to her again. And, every once-in-a-while since then I’ve sent a letter to her. And her silence continues. And she has a right to make that choice. And I still love her. And I think of her every day. And I write to her every day on my computer; but, only occasionally do I send a letter to her. I really don’t want to upset her by sending a letter too often. In her defense, she was not my girlfriend. We were pen pals for about 2 years or maybe a little longer, between June 1980 and about 1982-83. And we met once during that time, on Thursday, December 4th, 1980 at her college, where we went to the library and then drove to McDonald’s on Branch Avenue in Providence and had lunch and a memorable conversation. And our correspondence continued after that for quite a while. She has some kind of inspirational effect on me, so that I must write letters to her and remember her and wonder about her…And that’s OK with me. Like a grain of sand in an oyster that eventually becomes a pearl.
“Simon & Garfunkel -Barbriallen”
“Joan Baez. Barbara Allen with lyrics”
Sonya, don’t be fooled by “Don’t Be Fooled by Me.” It may be a version of the “damsel in distress” or “the boy who cried wolf.” Isn’t it ironic that the title says “don’t be fooled by me” and then the actual piece, with every word, tries to do just that? It seeks to fool the reader by casting a spell on him, a spell of deception, like the serpent did to Eve in the garden of Eden. (See 1 Timothy 2:14. And Genesis 2:20-3:24) The piece seems to be saying, Oh help me, help me! But when you come to help me I’m going to resist you with every ounce of my being. But keep trying anyway. Don’t give up. Keep trying to help me for the rest of your life. And I will keep resisting your help for the rest of my life.
The light of Christ reveals it for what it is.
Another way to describe that piece is by using the term “pulling the wool over the reader’s eyes.” And isn’t that what “wolves in sheep’s clothing” do?
Or maybe that’s just the paranoia my former psychiatrist spoke of. The world has so much wickedness in it that many have become fearful and suspicious of others.
Jesus spoke of the time of the end of the age in answer to his disciples’ questions, saying many things to them, including: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” -Matthew 24:12-14 NIV.
I confess: my love also is cooling down. And I’m just trying to endure ‘till the end of my human life; and continue to believe in Christ my Saviour. Hoping for His mercy and forgiveness of me a sinner.
a song by The Happenings (1966).
“A popular Christmas song [that we are all familiar with], written by Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson, and first recorded by Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys in 1950,” -Wikipedia.org.
 Letter-Writer “grew up” on Sweet Avenue, Woonsocket, RI in the 1950s and ‘60s. I like to think: It was sweet growing up on Sweet Avenue.
The Long and Winding Road -The Beatles. (I know, The Beatles’ song wasn’t in The Wizard of Oz.—that’s one of the reasons I used the word “desultory” and made reference to “American Pie” by Don Mclean.)
 “…and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.” Matthew 13:10-17.
 The main character in Richard Bach’s fable/novella, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull, -a story” -1970.
 “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” -1Samuel 18:1 (KJV).
 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” -Jesus, Matthew 24:13 KJV.
 Titus 3:4-7 ESV. “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
 “I am the door…” -Jesus Christ, (John 10:9)
 “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” -Jesus Christ, (John 14:6).
 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2; Hebrews 5:9;
 -1Peter 1:15-25 KJV.
 Luke 24: 36-45; John 20:19.
 The main character (played by Jack Nickelson) in “One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
 Jack Nickelson, of course, starred in both “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and in “A Few Good Men” in which he memorably and very emphatically declared, “You can’t handle the truth!”
 “…for In him we live and move and have our being,” -Acts 17:22-34 ESV.
 “Jesus replied, You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” -Matthew 22: 29-32 NIV.
 Christianbook.com. (I’m only an occasional customer; not working for them)