IMAGINATION

Your imagination can focus on ugliness, distress and failure, or it can picture beauty, success, desired results. You decide how you want your imagination to serve you.

—Philip Conley—

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What I saw in a laminate floor shows imagination at work.

Have you checked your imagination temperature lately? How does it measure up? Is it high from all that negative thinking you have been doing, bringing disease, or should I say dis-ease? Or is it healthy, productive, positive?

Imagination is a strange thing. We tend to have more of it as a child, but I don’t believe that needs to be the case. What you use, you don’t lose. Exercise your imagination and it will continue to work for you all your life.

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A child’s imagination

But you must be careful how you use it. As Philip Conley says, you have a choice, a decision to make. How often do you picture disaster, failure, bad luck, trouble? If it is most of the time, it’s time you made some changes in your life, because what people imagine they often speak, and what you say is often what you get. Speak enough negative words into your circumstances and there is little chance that good will come to you. Think and speak positive words and great things will begin to happen in your life.

Imagination: conception, creativity, inventiveness, vision, idea, image, ingenuity. According to this list of synonyms, imagination involves creativity. Operating in a negativity mode is tantamount to choosing poor quality tools and materials to build with. What can you hope to construct with rotting wood, tools that are falling apart, rusty nails? But a positive attitude can lead to great inventiveness and wonderful creations. Think of Edison’s light bulb, Stephenson’s steam engine (yes, he was evidently one of my ancestors), the unknown pre-historic man who created the wheel. They never said, “I can’t.” They never declared that nothing good would ever happen to them. Their imagination was

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Keep your imagination alive.

channeled in the right direction–beauty, success and desired results.

Where is your imagination focused? How does it serve you? You decide.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope your imagination was stimulated a little as you read this post and viewed the photos. I hope you enjoyed your visit. Please leave a comment below and let me know how you are using your imagination. If you are not already following my blog, please take a moment to click on the “Follow” button at the top and you will receive e-mail updates for new posts. Please browse while you are here to see if there are any other posts that you might find interesting. And do come back soon to see what is new. Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to stop by. Have a glorious day. God bless.

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DREAM OR NIGHTMARE?

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Beautiful peacock

What picture breaks into your mind at the mention of the word dream? Does it bring dread at the thought of nightmares you remember as clearly as if they had really happened? Or perhaps you recall a dream that ended all too soon it was so beautiful. Do you think of your greatest wish in life, your dream home, dream car, etc.? You might also think of daydreams, fairy tales you have woven in your imagination that you know will never come true.

People need dreams to survive in the often harsh circumstances they live in. If there is nothing to hope for, there is nothing to live for. If you’re as old as me, you might remember the line in the song Happy Talk from South Pacific: You’ve gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, then how ya gonna have a dream come true? Good advice! Do you have a dream?

Gage Canadian Thesaurus defines ‘dream’ as a verb: build castles in the air, conjure, daydream,

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Dream-like scene

fantasize. It can also mean think, visualize, imagine. ‘Dream’ as a noun has a number of interesting synonyms: ambition, aspiration, beauty, heart’s desire, goal, hope, vision. This is the dream to which I allude.

What is your heart’s desire? To what do you aspire? Are you working toward a worthy goal? Or one perhaps not so worthy to chase after. More money, perhaps? A better job? Fame? Power? Happiness? Throughout the ages people have followed their dreams, some to a disastrous end, others to marvelous fulfillment. What makes the difference?

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An elusive dream?

Often a person dreams of things far too lofty to be attainable in comparison to his willingness and ability to work towards it. Want to be a famous singer, but not willing to practice for hours every day? The result is predictable. No fame. Is your desire for wealth proportionate to your consistency in putting a plan into action? If not, poverty or mediocrity may continue for the rest of your life.

The difference between winners and losers, those who realize their dreams and those who don’t, usually has nothing to do with ability or circumstances. Losers say, “If only I had…”, or “If only that hadn’t happened”, “If only my parents had…”, “If everything wasn’t always against me.” On the other hand, winners say, “I can and I will”, “No matter if this or that happened in my past. I will overcome those obstacles.” Winners will use those roadblocks as stepping stones to the next level of achievement.

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Stepping stones

It’s a matter of mind.

It’s a matter of discipline.

It’s a matter of persistence.

It’s a matter of passion.

It’s your choice. Will you live your dream?

Thank you so much for dropping by to visit my blog. I hope you enjoyed your time here. Please leave a comment in the box below. I am interested in what you think about this article. If you are not already following, please click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mails with my updates. I do appreciate your taking time to visit. Take a few moments to browse some of my other posts to see if anything might interest you. And I would also love to hear your thoughts of any topics you would like to see posted here. Have a wonderful day. God bless.

ARE YOU A WINNER?

“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can’t do.”

Denis Waitly

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Are you on the positive path of a winner through beauty to a place of possibilities?


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Or are you walking the loser’s drab negative path to nowhere?

Down which path are your thoughts taking you right now? To the winner’s prize or the loser’s slump? Is it time for an attitude check?

It’s a matter of the mind. As the above quote says, the thought life of a winner differs vastly from that of a loser. The mind is a powerful tool that we can use to create either productivity and prosperity, or we can use it to our own destruction. What good can possibly come by concentrating on what might have been, what we should or should not have done? “If only…” thoughts waste energy. We cannot turn back the clock. We cannot relive past situations. All we have is this moment. We get to choose how that moment will be used. If we do not make a conscious choice, we make one by default. Energy given to negative thinking will wear us down, drain us of all ambition and reason to live, but energy given to positive thoughts will lift us up out of the ordinary into a place of possibilities. It’s all in what we feed our minds.

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December rose in London Ontario

We all have limitations, but why dwell on those when we can concentrate on all the things we can do? However limited we may be, there is something we can do, and if we work at it, we might even become an expert at it. Why self-destruct when we can live out a dream?

The rose in the photo above is proof that even what is limited can burst boundaries and do what seems impossible. I live in London Ontario where we have cold, usually snowy winters. I found this rose bush blooming in the garden of the apartment building where a friend lived at the time. Roses never bloom in December here, but nonetheless here is that rose with a fresh bloom, one now past its prime, and one that was at the end of its life. If that rose could beat all odds and bloom in December, only a couple of days before Christmas, in a winter climate, why can we not overcome obstacles and do what we thought we could ever do? But it will not happen with a mind full of negative thoughts. We may need to change our mental diet from the loser’s junk food to the winner’s healthy menu. Many people are starving for healthy, positive thoughts and are so bogged down by the negative they cannot see beyond the end of their nose. Let us not be like them.

Let’s determine to monitor our thoughts closely. When those “If only”, “I should have”, and “I can’t” phrases pop up, let’s be ready to shoot them down with positive words: “I can”, “I will”, “It is possible”. Guard your mind at all times. Put up an inner shield against the negative–the enemy–and open up a clear channel for the positive–our champion.

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Another brave little December flower defying all odds–with snow on the leaves and petals.

Thought for the Day: You can. You will. It is possible. Life is good. You are a winner. Period.

Prayer: Lord, help us to see beyond those things that have become bondages and barriers to our moving forward in our lives. I pray that we would feed our minds and spirits from Your word on a daily basis so we are not undernourished or even starving for that which will take us on the path to great possibilities. Help us to choose Your way, Lord. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Thank you so much for dropping by to see what is new here. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment in the box below and tell me what you thought about this post, or tell me about yourself. If you are not already following me, please take a moment to click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. Again, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read. Please browse the site to see if there are any other posts that might interest you. And please come again soon. Have a wonderful day. God bless.

THE CASE OF LITTLE FAITH VS GREAT FAITH

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Little faith for babies

In Matthew 16:5-12 we read the story of the disciples’ misinterpretation of a remark Jesus made. They had recently been part of two separate miracles when Jesus fed thousands of people with only a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. They had actually distributed this food among the people, so they had no excuse to miss what had happened. They saw. And, I suppose, they also ate of that same food. They certainly helped to pick up the many baskets of food left over after everyone had eaten their fill. They must have seen that there was a great deal more food after the meal than before. It should have made a great impression on them at the time.

Still they had no conception, only a few hours later, of what Jesus meant when He warned them

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Little faith again

to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were all upset thinking it was because they forgot to take bread with them when they crossed to the other side of the sea. Now, does that seem reasonable? Of course you and I would have never thought in those terms! We would still be talking about the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish, wouldn’t we? We would understand perfectly what Jesus meant. Or would we?

I doubt that today we are much different than the disciples were 2000 years ago. We would probably have jumped to the same wrong conclusion, or one similar. The only advantage we have today over the disciples is that we have the written record of the past. We have history to look to. But many of us are still just as dense as those twelve men seemed to be so long ago. Consider the last major thing the Lord did in our life–last week, last month, last year. How many times since then have we been in some degree of crisis and wondered how in the world it would be solved? Did we think immediately about our last answer to prayer and determine that because the Lord came to the rescue then that He would certainly come through now? Or did we fidget and worry, get all upset and try to solve the problem ourselves? I know many times I have done that very thing.

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Great faith for the mature and strong

How did Jesus respond to their supposition? He called them men of little faith. He did not say they had no faith. They had some, yes, but only a little. Then He reminded them of the miracles in which they had so recently participated. Do you think He might have been just a little frustrated? I know I would be. Can you hear Him now as He asked them, “Don’t you understand what just happened? Don’t you see, this isn’t about bread, about food? It’s all about the religious leaders and their attitudes, actions and motives. It’s all about taking care that You don’t fall into the same trap.”

Verse 8 records Jesus’ words to the disciples. He asked why they were consulting one another about one thing when He was teaching something altogether different. Their little faith led to irrelevant discussion. How often do we get to analyzing things that have no bearing on anything of importance? We talk, we debate, we discuss, we argue over minor points of religion or doctrine or interpretation that mean nothing in the larger scheme of life, and we overlook the really important issues.

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Give me faith deep as the sea, Lord

I don’t know about you, but I want to learn from this account in the scripture. Let us strive to be the people spoken of in Daniel 11:32– “…but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.” (NASB) Yes, little faith leads to useless discussion. Great faith leads to action. Let’s not waste any more time. Let’s become people of great faith, people who do exploits in the name of Jesus.

Thought for the Day: Let us remember past victories the Lord has brought us through and remember that today’s problems are no more difficult to overcome than yesterday’s or last year’s.

Prayer: Lord, help each of us day by day to put our faith in You so we will not be carriers of little faith but of great faith. Help us to put our full trust in you moment by moment, knowing that You are more than able to see us through the most difficult situation. May our faith be deep as the sea and never waver. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

I hope you have enjoyed my little discourse on faith. Thank you for dropping by to visit. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment and let me know what you thought. If you are not following, please click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. I hope you will browse around now you are here, and that you will come back often. Have a wonderful day. God bless.

CREATIVITY IN LIFE KEEPS US HEALTHY

The creative faculty becomes more alert and receptive to factors originating outside the individual’s subconscious mind, the more this faculty is used, and the more the individual relies upon it and makes demands upon it for thought impulses. This faculty can be cultivated and developed only through use. Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich.

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Changes in technology

Have you ever noticed that businesses are always changing their advertising tactics, products, methods of presentation and retailing? Fast food restaurants come up with new menus even though the old ones are still selling well. Why is that? Creativity stirs up consumer interest. Consumer interest produces sales. Sales generate income.

Technology is constantly changing. First came the phonograph cylinder ‘records’ from over 100 years ago. Then came thick 78 rpm flat disc records, also introduced more than 100 years ago. These evolved into 33 1/3 rpms as 45rpms. Then came reel-to-reel tapes followed by 8-tracks. Soon cassettes took over only to be outdated by CDs. Now it’s MP3s, Ipods, MP5s and on and on into the future. Television became more popular than radio. Then videos were the big thing. It didn’t take long for DVDs to appear, then Blue Ray, now HDs. Silent movies became talkies. Black and white movies became full color. Then came IMAX, and 3D. What’s next? Computer technology changes almost monthly. Buy a computer today and in six months it’s been replaced with something better, something that does the job faster, has more options.

This creativity is a power to be harnessed not only by business owners and inventors, but also by homemakers, teachers, parents, children. It is a power that resides within, not something you can purchase or collect from without. But it has to be developed by use.

Mr. Edison tried out more than 10,000 different combinations of ideas through the synthetic faculty

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Very good creative invention

of his imagination before he “tuned in” through the creative faculty, and got the answer which perfected the incandescent light. Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich.

Creativity, as Mr. Hill said, must be put into practice. We start small, then use that to increase our creative ability. Without applying this ability to create, our lives will cease to grow. Whether it is our lives, our marriages, our relationships, our work or our business, we must continue to expand our creativity.

Do you think you do not have this faculty? Listen to what Mr. Hill had to say about that in the same book: I discovered, from the analysis of over 25,000 people, that men who succeed in an outstanding way, seldom do so before the age of forty, and more often they do not stride their real pace until they are well beyond the age of fifty. You’ve still got time.

I love the poetry of Edgar A. Guest. When I was a teenager my father listened to one of the Detroit radio stations at dinner time. I fondly recall listening to Bud Guest reciting his father’s poems. I have since acquired some of his books of poetry and cherish them. One poem always brings a smile: I Ain’t Dead Yet. It portrays the attitude of some people who have given up on the possibility of success. But it also gives hope that things don’t necessarily have to remain as they are now.

I AIN’T DEAD YET

by Edgar A. Guest

Time was I used to worry and I’d sit around an’ sigh,

And think with every ache I got that I was goin’ to die,

I’d see disaster comin’ from a dozen different ways

An’ prophesy calamity an’ dark and dreary days.

But I’ve come to this conclusion, that it’s foolishness to fret;

I’ve had my share o’ sickness, but I

                Ain’t

                    Dead

                         Yet!

Wet springs have come to grieve me an’ I’ve grumbled at the showers,

But I can’t recall a June-time that forgot to bring the flowers.

I’ve had my business troubles, and looked failure in the face,

But the crashes I expected seemed to pass right by the place.

So I’m takin’ life more calmly, pleased with everything I get,

An’ not over-hurt by losses, ’cause I

               Ain’t

                    Dead

                         Yet!

I’ve feared a thousand failures an’ a thousand deaths I’ve died,

I’ve had this world in ruins by the gloom I’ve prophesied.

But the sun shines out this mornin’ an’ the skies above are blue,

An’ with all my griefs an’ trouble, I have somehow lived ’em through.

There may be cares before me, much like those that I have met;

Death will come some day an’ take me, but I

               Ain’t

                    Dead

                         Yet!

Let’s learn a lesson from this gentle poet who looked at life in the slow lane. If we’ve still got life in us, then we have creativity within, because we were created in the image of the Creator Himself. If we have creativity, we have the ability to put it to use. We can be successful in every area of life if we stop moaning about what we don’t have, what hasn’t happened, what we can’t do, how everything seems to be against us, that we will only fail again. Let’s move ahead to create a life of success and prosperity. If you’re reading this, you ain’t dead yet!

I hope you enjoyed this little piece on creativity. Thank you so much for taking time to stop by. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment in the box below before you leave. And if you aren’t following, please click on the  “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. God bless. Have a wonderful day.

THANKSGIVING AT PIONEER VILLAGE

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Turkey Dinner at Pioneer Village

This past Monday morning was cool and overcast, so I dressed accordingly. I had tickets for my friend and I to have Thanksgiving dinner at Pioneer Village, Fanshawe Park here in London, Ontario. We were really looking forward to this feast. And feast it was. I had fully intended to take photos of our meal, but forgot completely. The meal began with tomato bisque soup—very tasty. The main course was, of course, turkey, with mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots—real carrots, not the GMO “baby” type—stuffing, cranberries, gravy—the whole works. And it was delicious. For dessert there was pie—pumpkin, apple, cherry. But by the time we were ready for it, apple pie was the only choice left. Coffee, tea, lemonade and water were available, too. We helped ourselves, and it was all very orderly. They even had place cards on the tables for each group, so families were all together. Volunteers and staff were very helpful, especially for those who had difficulty maneuvering about.

By the time we had finished eating, the sun had come out beautifully, and we began our tour of

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Schoolhouse

 

the village. The buildings have been moved from various places, some from London, some from surrounding areas, and are furnished with what would have been used in the 1800s. The Peel house was home to the famous artist, Paul Peel, and his family. There is a tiny school as well as a good-sized schoolhouse. A couple of churches, a brewery, a blacksmith shop, Orange Lodge, the old London Free Press office, and a number of other buildings make up the village. Sheep, pigs and ducks have their place there, too. There was entertainment in the gazebo in the park area. We sat through the final piece after walking all

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Entertainment in the Village Victoria Park

around the village.

Monday was their last day except for Christmas. Throughout the year there are special weekends to celebrate including Canada Day and a harvest weekend when you see just what people in those days did at harvest time. For the Christmas season, they have a dinner and theater with the performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. There is also a General Store where you can buy gift items, old fashioned candy, etc. I will let my photos tell the rest of the story. Some of them I took on Monday, but as I had taken so many at other times, I will use some of them also. I hope you enjoy your tour of Fanshawe Park Pioneer Village

The animals have their dinner, too.

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What it was like before wind turbines.

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Water wheel at the woodworking shop.

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Fall has arrived

As you can see by the photo, fall has arrived, and yet on Thanksgiving Monday the temperature reached 80’F, definitely a summer feel. I was over-dressed and very hot, but happy. All in all, it was a wonderful day with an excellent meal and good fellowship with a good friend. Truly something to be thankful for.

 

 

Well, I hope you have enjoyed your tour. I do appreciate you taking the time to stop by. One more thing for me to be thankful for. Please leave a comment in the box below. I do enjoy hearing from my readers. If you are not already following, please take a moment to click the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notices when I post something new. Have a wonderful day. God bless.

DO YOU HEAR THEM CRYING?

There they cry, but none giveth answer…1

Do you hear them crying?

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Many are crying.

Hear their silent screams?

Do you see them dying,

Passing by in streams?

Men and women hurting;

Children in despair.

Some with evil flirting –

Does no one really care?

Loneliness is eating

At the hearts of men.

Sins they keep repeating,

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Some sleep on park benches

Time and time again.

Satan is their master,

Rebellion is their way.

Life goes faster, faster;

They have no time to pray.

Seeking, always seeking,

Making gods of gold.

Though their hearts are breaking,

God’s hand they will not hold.

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Some have much in earthly goods

Blinded, deaf, unwilling

To receive God’s word.

Life is not fulfilling,

His voice cannot be heard.

Yearning, ever craving

For what, they do not know.

Missing, always missing

The Lord who loves them so.

They live on the street; they sleep under bridges. They live in poverty; they live in wealth. They live in great mansions; they sleep between silk sheets. They are sick; they are healthy. They have nothing; they have everything. Everything, that is, except what is most important in life.

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Many are sad and alone

Are you a people-watcher like me? I love to sit in a public place and watch the faces, actions, interactions and antics of the people who pass by. Some are happy faces, wreathed in smiles; some are sad faces, and give the impression that life holds no pleasure. I see determination; I see despair. Laughter. Loneliness. Heaven. Hell. People of all walks of life display openly, yet often unconsciously, a whole range of emotion. Many have erected walls to hide it. Fear has gripped some; others are afraid of nothing. There are timid souls, brave souls and everything in between. But how often do we see Jesus? How often do we ‘hear’ the silent cries of those in despair who have nowhere to turn? How often do we reach out a helping hand? How often do they see Jesus in us? I am ashamed to admit that most of us seldom hear these desperate, silent cries, and fewer of us do anything to alleviate the despair.

I now am forced to ask myself, “Do I really want to be like Jesus? Do I want this enough to live it

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Some see no end to the long dreary road

out every day of my life?” These are the questions every Christian must ask if they are serious about their walk with the Lord. We are not saved simply to get to heaven, though we will go there. We are not saved in order to have a trouble-free life here on earth; that will not happen. Jesus died on the cross that we might be saved to serve. And we are meant to serve more than just our Christian brothers and sisters. We have been saved so that we might live pure, holy lives filled with the Holy Spirit, so that the unsaved will see Jesus in us.

Thought for the day: How is my life impacting the lost with the Christ within me? What can I do to make my life count and pour out life to these needy people who are silently crying out for someone to care, someone to help?

Prayer: Lord, help Your people to really see into the hearts of those who are living desperate lives—desperate for love, for hope, for purpose, for someone to show they care. Help us to be willing to reach out to someone in need. Help us to show Your compassion to the lost, to serve them with Your love, Your heart.

1Job 35:12 KJV

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We can help bring some beauty into their lives.

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We can bring joy into a life

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We can feed them and give them something to drink.

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We can give them the Word.

Thank you so much for taking time to read my post. I hope you have enjoyed my poem, been touched and inspired by it. I hope you have enjoyed the photos. And most of all, I hope I have sparked in you a greater desire to seek, with me, to make your life count just a little more this week and to help someone in need. Even if it is just a genuine smile, it might just be the only smile someone will see today. It’s the little things that often mean much more than the big things we do. So let’s see if we can bless someone today.

Please leave a comment in the box below. If you are not following me, please click on the “Follow” button at the top and you will receive e-mails to let you know when I have posted something new. Please browse around to see if there are any other posts that may interest you. Have a wonderful, God-blessed day.

THE FIRE OF DESIRE

My heart was hot within me, While I was musing the fire burned…1

Sunset 020The flames leaped high into the darkness, illuminated the surrounding night with an eerie glow. Smoke filled the air. The neighbors stood around watching, waiting. Sirens screamed in the distance, then grew piercingly loud as the fire trucks screeched to a sudden halt in front of the house. By then the garage was almost consumed by the fire. A charred shell was all that remained the following morning. Water lay in huge puddles in the yard and on the cement pad that once supported walls and roof. The smell of burnt wood and chemicals hovered on the morning air. What only the day before had been a well-built and useful structure had, in a few moments, been completely destroyed. That’s the power of fire.

Wood is piled high. The match has been struck. The kindling that smoldered at the bottom of the heap ignites into blaze. Before long, huge flames are reaching for the sky. Seated in a circle around the fire are several campers, outdoor enthusiasts taking advantage of one final weekend of fair weather before winter sets in. The blaze gives off a welcome heat. Hotdogs sizzle on long skewers. The tantalizing scent of toasted marshmallows hangs on the air. This fire is a comforting presence on a chilly fall evening. This, too, is the power of fire.

Fire: a rapid, persistent chemical reaction that releases heat and light; especially, the exothermic P1090608combination of a combustible substance with oxygen.2

Desire: to wish or long for; want; crave; passion.3

Passion: any powerful emotion or appetite such as love, joy, hatred, anger, or greed.4

Desire is a fire, an emotional reaction that releases energies for good or evil.

What is your all-consuming passion? Is it a fire that consumes you, or is it, like the bonfire, a controlled blaze that will result in life, that will bring you the desires of your heart? Is it a combustion between a holy passion and the Spirit of God? Or is it an unholy alliance of the appetite of the soul and Satan’s offering of worldly ambitions and rewards?

“I would do anything to get that job!” “I want that car more than anything else in the world!” “I don’t care who I have to walk over to get to the top, I am determined to get there!” Declarations of this sort are daily voiced by people in all walks of life, especially in the area of finance, materialism and business. Yes, desire is a fire, a mighty force for destruction if misplaced, or a tremendous power for good when in line with the Word of God. If you want things, position or power above God, then they have become your god. Though you may eventually get what you want, you will have sacrificed a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ in the getting, and possibly an eternity which could have been heavenly. But if your desire is for God to move in your life and you are willing to sacrifice all else, you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit along with everything you need to walk in the way of life the Lord has purposed for you.

King David knew the fire of desire. He lusted after another man’s wife. After committing P1090708adultery with her and getting her pregnant, he tried to force her husband to lie with her so that it would appear that the child was his. But Uriah was an honorable man and refused to go to his wife when his fellow soldiers were in the middle of a battle. David was desperate. How could he cover up his sin? He threw on more logs, and the fire burned brighter. He sent orders, through the unsuspecting Uriah, to Joab, the leader of Israel’s troops, to have Uriah placed at the battle front, where the most intense fighting was taking place. Murder cannot be covered up. God is not blind, and He does not let sin go unpunished. David eventually took Bathsheba as his wife, but the Lord did not allow the child of their adultery to live.5 Sin always brings consequences.

But David had a repentant heart and returned to his passion for God with his whole heart. The fire of God burned once again in David’s life. “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.”6 His desire was focused and rightly placed once again. I can almost feel the depth of David’s cry to God. His desire was a fire that has burned in the hearts of God’s people throughout history right into the present. Have you been ignited?

Thought for the day: Check your fire power to make sure it is controlled by the Holy Spirit so you can burn brightly and productively for the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that we would check the fire in our hearts daily to make sure it is always kindled and always controlled. I pray for everyone reading this that they would know the warmth of Your fire burning deep within their hearts. I pray that this fire will never get out of control because of sin, but that it will warm the lives of all we come in contact with. I pray also that Your fire will burn up all the dross and purify our hearts day by day. May the glow of Your fire within us motivate us and draw others to the Christ within. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

1 Psalm 39:3

2 The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language © 1969, 1970, 1971

3 Ibid

4 Ibid

5 See 2 Samuel 11 & 12

6Psalm 27:4 KJV

 

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RETURN FLIGHT

Sunset 005Monday August 15 dawns wet and foggy. The plane is half an hour late because of headwinds, but I don’t mind. I enjoy watching people in airports. There is a couple from London sitting on the same bench, and an elderly man from the Toronto area, and we begin to chat. Finally, at 3:20 p.m., we are called to board flight 561. We taxi out onto the runway for what seems a very long way, but we must wait for another plane to take off. Now it is our turn. We take off smoothly and rise into a dense cloud where it seems we are floating in the midst of a silent sea of white mist. I see only the wing of the plane. I know we are still climbing, but there is no touch-point to detect the ascent. We break through above the heaviest cloud and everything suddenly becomes scintillating radiance, even though there is but a small expanse of watery blue, more cloud than clear. The blue ‘window’ through which the sun beams its bright rays is opening wider before us. From my seat, I can only catch a glimpse of it. Below are hills and valleys of dull white with grey shadows. It is like a vast frozen barrenness, snow piled in huge mounds broken by bottomless chasms.

We are traveling at an altitude of 20,582 feet and a speed of 404 mph. Suddenly we emerge into Copy of P1080441a fresh new world. Thick cloud has been replaced by a very thin veil sprinkled with countless cotton balls. A large river winds its way haphazardly over a dark backdrop. Fields and big buildings appear. As I watch the changing landscape I notice large luminous regions that seem to hover in the expanse below us. They are shimmering with rainbow color as if they were alive. Soon they disappear and again I see only a sea of ever- thickening cloud. We come out above it and the horizon of cloud is sharply visible below a clear, deep blue heaven. Again it is an ice-bound arctic fairyland, a solid mass of white-grey with long streaks of deeper grey shadow.

We come to a clearing and I look down on what I assume is a forest set in the middle of hundreds of acres of orderly, geometric fields. Rivers snake along; buildings dot the landscape. Roads straight as a rod cut through the fields. Wisps of mist, like a stream of jet exhaust, trail, not behind some aircraft, but behind small, dense bundles of cloud. In the distance, the terrain takes on the appearance of shadows cast by giant trees, branches leafless and spreading over the landscape in every direction. A series of smaller oblong fields comes into view, and looks unexpectedly similar to the keys on a xylophone. Huge lakes appear. They look like mud puddles from this height. Everything appears uncluttered.

Fields gradually fade into the distance and are eventually hidden by a bumpy sky-scape of little white mounds glistening in the sun. A major river changes shape and size. It looks, in places, like a pair of giant reptiles writhing across the earth. The river ends in a huge lake that, from my viewpoint, is curiously shaped like a bird preparing to take flight. More irregularly-shaped lakes, milky marble and tan, are scattered over the terrain. Some are swirling hues of sombre grey, creamy white and cold steel-blue. Fields, splotched with green pock marks, stretch like disease-riddled flesh across the landscape. Here the heavens are a deeper Prussian blue. It is like being on another planet with no visible life outside the aircraft. Puffs of cloud now mushroom out of a flatter overcast area like huge bubbles surfacing in a boiling vat of soapy water. In the distance are gigantic mountains of whipped cream.

Suspended within the window glass, I discover a tiny metal tube about one-sixteenth of an inchMore pics from Waterworks Park, etc. 145 in diameter, perhaps less. Frost is accumulating on the outside of the window and directly opposite this little tube is a perfectly clear circle surrounded by a dense formation of sparkling crystals creating a half-inch-wide band. Small spikes radiate from the outer edge fashioning a stylized sun of crushed diamonds.

Cities and smaller communities relieve the checker-board monotony. Roads extend unswerving into the indistinct distance. A four-lane highway arcs around what looks like farm buildings and forest, only to straighten again, then form cloverleafs–on and on until it disappears below the aircraft. Another river wildly snakes and loops in a tortuous path for countless miles until it, too, disappears towards the horizon.

Clouds take on peculiar, life-like shapes–a giant with his chin leaning in his hand, a sleeping man, a dog laying on its back with all fours pointing to the heaven above, laughing in ecstasy at the idea of floating so freely above the earth. Another dog, carefree, floats on a sea of nothingness. Volcano-like eruptions of foam boil up from cotton candy cloud. A child in the midst of a back flip hangs upside down, suspended in empty space. Billowing cloud, solid in appearance, bewitches me into imaging myself sinking into the luxurious softness of a feather bed.

P1070819We are climbing higher, though at a slightly slower speed, over another thick blanket of cloud, but I can see farther than ever into the distance ahead. As we glide past it, a vast forest spreads below us. A field in the middle of squares and rectangles, curved at top and bottom, forms an oval with squared-off ends. Other fields are interspersed within virgin land and pristine forest. There are now more lakes than land, too numerous to count. What appears to be a small community of white-roofed buildings on a narrow strip of land spreads out in a long ribbon reminiscent of toothpaste squeezed carelessly from its tube.

A large body of water with a few inlets and no visible islands comes into view. It arches in a very smooth, gentle curve along much of its northern shore. I spot another plane headed in the opposite direction. It is so far away that it looks like a fly making a beeline towards its next meal. Looking back as I follow its path, I am dazzled by the lakes which have suddenly been magically transformed into exquisite pools of pure gold spilled randomly over the landscape. The sun’s reflection is almost blinding on the smooth, mirrored surfaces.

Thin, wispy haze hovers above a motionless, opaque mass of cloud. We are climbing again. I look down on several layers of varying density through a thinly translucent film of mist. Still we climb. Shadow covers much of the land because of the cloud suspended above it. Where land is visible, geometric shapes appear again, some small, some large, some irregular, some, to the naked eye, perfect. We are flying at an altitude of 42,190 feet. Surprisingly, buildings are still visible, though nothing more than tiny white dots and dashes as though made by a child playing with a piece of chalk. So many layers, shapes, and types of cloud form a fascinating scene. Whimsical little tufts resemble a forest of snow-covered trees observed from above. Still we climb into ever-changing panoramas. The only constant is the wing of the plane sporting the dark blue WestJet.com on the tip.

We are now flying over Wisconsin, south of Lake Superior, and heading for Lake Michigan, Sunset 010north of Green Bay. Earlier we passed over North Dakota and Minnesota. We crossed above the Canada/US border somewhere east of Montana. I can see the main body of Lake Michigan as we fly over it. It has become a little hazy below. Though I cannot see much detail at this height, I am still able to detect the occasional tiny white dot of a roof. A three-quarter moon hangs high up in the blue beyond. We have reached 42,694 feet, about the highest altitude of the flight. Endless snowfields of creamy-gold cloud banks are shadowed with soft grey-blue as the sun shines from behind us. The view through my window suddenly takes on the hue of hazy rainbow colors–a magical moment.

We are beginning to descend. The rainbow returns, filling the window with such fragile transparent color that I wonder if it is real. Or is it merely a fleeting fancy that has insinuated itself on my rather fertile imagination? No, for the rainbow continues to reappear and disappear, a specter playfully teasing me, enticing me. My eyes follow it only to find myself peering out into a tinted, gossamer universe. We are now at an altitude of 21,304 feet. Communities are more densely scattered over the countryside below. Roads are still, for the most part, straight, and mark off huge squares of land. Lake Huron is coming into view. The sun reflecting on the wing of the plane sets it ablaze with iridescent orange highlights. In dramatic contrast, the water below is a deep purplish- blue.

Copy of More pics from Waterworks Park, etc. 003Beautiful emerald fields with contrasting dark green and sand shades are interspersed with dense forested areas. Long, soft sweeps of pale pink, muted orange, and lovely mauves, with an intricate array of soft blue and grey tones gently swirled like marbled icing on a cake fill the evening sky. Areas of trees take on picturesque forms: one is a turkey, another is a deer frolicking in the field. Lights are becoming visible in the distance as dusk begins to fall leisurely on southwestern Ontario. A field, perfect but for small spatters of dull green, lies serenely below. Pink and orange swirls radiate into the evening sky, filling it with a soft dream-like quality. Fingers of color reach out into the bright azure, softening and blending together into one indescribable hue along the horizon. An unseen artist has gone wild tonight with a pastel palette and broad strokes of His paintbrush. He has creatively captivated my imagination. That artist is the God who created this marvelous panorama.

London is sparkling with lights–yellow, white, red, green– a sprawling Christmas tree twinkling in the descending darkness of a summer sky. A huge gravel pit extends over a prominent area on the right. Small, brightly-colored boats line a long stretch of the bank of the Thames River like fringe on the edge of a garment. The sky has become deep orange. Its reflection, soft as a breath, rests on the wing of the aircraft like the hand of God gently bestowing a blessing, reminding us to give thanks to the Lord for yet another safe landing. Sunset 020

Thought for the day: Look for the hidden things in God’s wonderful creation, in His word, and in His people.

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, so often we go about our business day by day and never observe the beauty all around us. We take so much for granted and do not take the time to search out Your secrets. Psalm 25:14 tells us that “the secret of the Lord is with those who fear” You. Solomon believed that if we search for understanding and discernment as if we were searching for buried treasure, we would discover the fear of the Lord.2 Teach us, Lord, to search out the hidden things of God. Teach us to fear You. Open to us the secrets of the Almighty that we might see all the hidden beauty of Your creation. Psalm 91 speaks of the secret place of the Most High. Help us to find that secret place and abide there. Teach us to see with Your eyes. Teach us to hear with Your ears. Make us aware as never before of the little things we so often pass over without a thought. Transform our minds and our hearts, Lord, and make us more like Jesus. We give You praise. Amen.

2 Proverbs 2:3,4

FLIGHTS OF FANCY

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.1

I wrote this, as you will see, back in 2005 while flying to Calgary to first visit my cousin and family then to attend a convention for a business I was then involved in and selling their products. It is fanciful, but it was what I actually imagined as I looked on the view around and below the plane. I have also incorporated some of this in the novel I hope to publish soon. I hope you enjoy the imagery.

Misc. shots for blog 002WestJet flight 558, London to Calgary. Departure: 7:50 a.m., Monday August 8, 2005. The day is warm and clear. We have a good take-off and are airborne on schedule. I watch for a few moments as the plane steadily rises, then take out my book to fill the time. Part way through the morning I take a notion to record descriptions of what I see from my window seat.

Amazingly, I love flying, even though throughout my life I have had to grapple with a fear of heights. My heart starts to do flip-flops if I climb past the third rung of a ladder. Getting near the railing on a balcony beyond the third floor is out of the question. If I manage to get through the door at all, I remain all but glued to the wall while my stomach flutters. Looking through the window on the eighteenth floor of a Vancouver hotel years ago was well-nigh an impossibility. I was overcome by a strong sensation of falling. Yet seated by the window in a plane I remain unaffected, even at its highest altitude, and feel no fear. I cannot explain it. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, I have not, until today, had the opportunity to fly for many years. The last time was my flight to Calgary in 1981 when I joined with a small group of travelers for a bus tour through Alberta and British Columbia. My trip this time is partly business, and partly a visit with relatives. I am enjoying this flight and am anticipating the week ahead with great delight.

Copy of P1080525

Beautiful are the heavens

Looking down, I see land divided into well-defined shapes, some perfect rectangles, some squares within squares, others strangely irregular. Deep green contrasts with wheat color and steel blue. Muddy brown rivers snake onward, cutting fields into uneven portions. Roads, some straight as a die, others making softer contours through the landscape, lead to places unseen. The few buildings my eyes encounter appear to be many miles apart. Once in awhile, a city with countless buildings is splashed across the scenery. Roofs reflect the brilliant sunlight. Regions of swirling color appear, breaking up the monotony of geometric shapes. It is like a well-laid-out patchwork quilt made from dull earthy colors, with stains from some dark liquid spilled carelessly over the surface.

One area resembles tree trunks with bare branches, arms outstretched, reaching into the quilt patches and looking much like rivulets of dark-colored ink trickling from a large spill as the quilt is hung up. Inky blots of color over a smooth, very flat surface make a curious sight.

Above, in the distance, a haze of cloud with no definite outline hovers over the quilted land. Like

a glacier-blue lake at winter’s end, mounds of a slushy mixture of bright white snow and ice are

Copy of Copy of P1070585

Unusual shapes and design

scattered randomly over the celestial landscape. The whole panorama sparkles in the sun as it does on ice floes breaking up in the arctic spring. In the distance, the white horizon stands out in striking contrast to the clear, deep blue of the sky above. Closer, the clouds look like wads of the soft white polyester fiber used to fill quilts and craft projects. Other cloud forms become a wide stretch of desert rippled with dunes, the difference being that the sand in the sky is white with blue-grey shadows rather than the golds and tans of a real desert.

Suddenly we are flying over a soft sea of fog. No sharp margins are discernible, except at the horizon, which is a knife-edged line between deep azure sky and the grayish-white blur of mist. As far as the eye can see (how far is it between plane and earth?) stretch the snowfields, solid-looking and flat except where small hills and, here and there, larger mountains of cloud mass protrude above the surface. The ever-present celestial horizon sports a lower band of delicate turquoise with a gradually deepening blue rising high up into the atmosphere. I expect to see polar bears, dog sled teams and igloos scattered over the acres of snowy wilderness until, waking momentarily from my reverie, I realize that we are some 40,000 feet above the earth and this snow is only a vaporous accumulation of minute water droplets Misc. shots for blog 006and ice pellets suspended high above the earth.

Huge puffs of grayish-white clouds now loom up below, broken at intervals by menacing dark grey crevasses, unfathomed voids ready to swallow anything that comes their way. Far below, geometric fields are once again visible between masses of cloud sweeping past the window. Patches of pale yellow light appear scattered over green and brown fields where the sun manages to peek through the cloud, reluctantly illuminating the ground. Here I see brighter greens in the squares and rectangles.

Sky and cloud 004We are beginning to descend. Buildings, though still tiny, are now quite obvious. Several fields are dotted with what, from this perspective, looks amusingly like a meadow full of toadstools. Larger patches of sun light the fields here, and clouds are now above rather than below us as we continue our descent. Now that the toadstools are closer, their identity is revealed–bales of hay. We are quickly descending into Calgary, a city sprawled over miles of gently rolling land. We have now touched down safely on the runway. I turn my watch back two hours to Calgary time and look forward to the coming week.

1 Psalm 19:1

I am sorry I did not think to take photos through the window of the plane. It would have been much easier to understand my descriptions. But I did not, so have to make do with photos I have taken of other skies which are probably not quite as interesting.

I do hope you enjoyed my tour of the skies. Watch for the next part–the Return Flight.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I do appreciate it. And I would love for you to leave a comment in the box below to let me know what you thought. If you are not already following me, please click on the “Follow” button at the top to get e-mails for each new post. I hope you are having a wonderful week. God bless you.