Live from Maine

I’m trying to figure out how best to use social media. I know the different platforms, but I’m not totally sure how to maximize effectiveness. I think I realize it isn’t numbers but interactions that count. The purpose is get people invested in you and your — in this case — words. Followers are nice but comments and feedback mean oh so much more. At least for me!

I do want to interact with my followers, whether here on this platform or on Facebook and Twitter. Those are three different constituencies.

A good chunk of my social media presence starts right here. The posts are publicized on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. So I’m thinking of going “live” periodically so you can see the face behind the fingers and I can get your input first hand.

It would probably be a Facebook Live feed, but that’s the rub right now. I haven’t quite figured out how to do it. I did live feed through my phone for my two book launches, but didn’t receive real time feedback. This time I would like to use my laptop, but so far it’s been asking for links and codes and software well beyond my technological pay grade.

So, that’s my assignment this week. Hopefully, I can connect with the  right people here in town to get the  mechanism in  place so we CAN periodically connect. I’ll keep you informed.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: God has already solved the problems you are going through and knows where you are going to. There is no reason to worry! –Pastor John Hagee

 

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This Day

It started as a way to spend time praying for my family, friends and faith partners and share with them some nugget of encouragement for the week. Sometimes it’s a sentence. Sometimes a paragraph. Sometimes a story. I’ve discovered each one had a special meaning to some one at some time. The message just resonated with them at just the time they needed it most. I never know who until after the fact.

The messages — while typically from Christian sources — have universal appeal. Today, I’ll share some words from Ray Lammie, a four time cancer survivor who spent 40 years of his life as a successful business executive and entrepreneur in a nationwide business. After retiring in 2006, Lammie pursued cancer support, business consulting, co-authored two books, organized numerous charity events and both played and managed amateur baseball. Among Ray’s most notable accomplishments was the launching of two Internet based projects, Thought for Today which targeted the business community with powerful, positive thought provoking thoughts and quotes, which later gave birth to the Faith Thought of the Day, a daily bible based devotional. Both were sent to recipients worldwide and were featured on several faith based websites. His inspirational and uplifting books were Random Thoughts on Life and Thoughts in Color and Black and White which were intended for people around the world in need of emotional encouragement. He died in 2009.

Yes, I read today’s excerpt in Random Thoughts on Life and yes, I did pattern this ministry after Ray’s work. So, here’s this week’s words for the week…

This Day

I was given a most precious gift this morning when I woke up. It’s a gift I never received before. It’s one I can’t keep, can’t return, can’t save, and don’t know how well it will really work. I do know it’s a most wonderful and beautiful gift. I hope I value and appreciate it enough to use it wisely. That gift is “this day!” Enjoy yours and make it a very special one.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: What’s happened in your past is not nearly as important as what is in your future. Where you’re going is much more significant than where you’ve been. — Joel Osteen

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The Voice of the Lord

The sevenfold occurrence of the phrase the voice of the LORD in Psalm 29 intrigues me. Then, when we come to the Matthew reading, the words of Isaiah Jesus quoted arrest our attention, This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. (15:8). The contrast between God’s “voice” and what comes out of human “lips” could not be greater.

What is the nature of the Lord’s “voice”?

The description of that voice given in the psalm reminds me of the human saying actions speak louder than words! The point is God’s “voice” is heard through His actions — except by those with whom He seeks to have a special relationship, then it can be a still small voice (or the sound of a low whisper, 1 Kings 19:12) as Elijah heard in the cave.

To godless men, God “speaks” through His actions. This is the point David is making in Psalm 29. At the time of Noah’s flood the voice of the Lord is over the waters (verse 3). When the fearful people of Israel were at the foot of Mount Sinai, the voice of the Lord is powerful (verse 4). In the ultimate future, the voice of the Lord is full of majesty (verse 4). There was a preview of this when, after Solomon dedicated the Temple, the priest could not enter the house … because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house” (2 Chronicles 7:2,3).

Verse 5 in our Psalm tells us the voice of the Lord breaks the cedars. Great quantities of cedar were brought to Jerusalem to build the Temple. It was a most prized wood, but God brought destruction on that temple because the hearts of those worshiping there had become distant to Him.

This takes our thoughts to Isaiah 2 and its dramatic picture of events before the kingdom is established (verses 2-4). For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud … against all the cedars … against every high tower … and the haughtiness of man shall be humbled … and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day (verses 12, 13, 15, 17).

The word translated “voice” is the simple Hebrew word qol. Edward Young shows it occurs almost 500 times in the Old Testament, but what intrigued us was its very first occurrence … a situation impossible to picture in our minds! And they heard the sound [KJV has voice] of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and [Adam and Eve] hid themselves (Genesis 3:8).

There will come a time, we read in Revelation 21:3, when the dwelling place of God is with men. He will dwell with them. Those privileged to be there will have no need to hide when they hear the voice of the Lord. All will honor the Lord with their lips – and with all their hearts.

How unbelievably wonderful! Can you imagine it? Can you imagine being there?

Today’s Thought from The Christadelphians.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Pressure can make or break you. The only difference between a piece of black coal and a priceless diamond is the amount of pressure it has endured. — Joel Osteen

 

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Dear Lord

I hope this becomes a Saturday fixture — Prayer-Care-Share.

It’s been a slow transition, but the intent of this category is first and foremost to bring your words of praise and joy and prayer requests and concerns to the foot of the cross. After the public prayer that follows, I invite you to include them in yours as well as you lay down petitions on the Sunday altar.

Dear Lord, we come to You because You are the source for all that happens in our lives. We thank you for the many blessings we have received this week — some we unfortunately didn’t notice. Nonetheless, those blessings are ever-present in our lives. We thank You for healing. We thank You for slowing us down. We thank You for providing us our daily needs — no more and no less. We thank You for being with us, listening to us, walking with us on this journey. We thank You for the support of our family and friends … for seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary — sunrises, sunsets, flowers, kids laughing, adventures. We also know we can come to You with our concerns and they will be heard. We lift up those family members and friends who are battling various physical, emotional, financial, career or spiritual issues and ask not for Your healing (although that would be welcomed) and guidance but to keep reminding us we are not alone in our battles. In Jesus’ name, we pray for obedience to Your Will so Your Light shines through us. Amen.

I also would like to share a nugget to remember as we come into the Lord’s presence. It’s from Scottish-born contemporary Christian vocalist, songwriter, evangelist, author, inspirational speaker, and talk-show host Sheila Walsh. Enjoy. http://www.sheilawalsh.com/my-21-year-old-self/

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.

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Five Minute Friday — Better

Five Minute Friday is back for a new year! And I’m ready … on a Friday.

The weekly exercise calls for the FMF community to take five minutes on a specific word prompt and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing. The format is simple. Set the timer for five minutes and write. Don’t worry about mistakes, grammar, fonts or punctuation … just write from your mind and heart. {Okay, we do clean it up — or at least I do — but we don’t change the message from our heart.} Then, post and encourage others who have braved the exercise by linking up at Kate’s spot on Facebook at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com. That’s the fun part!

To entice you to check us out, I’ve also been sharing some of the experiences my fellow writers have shared as chronicled in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. This week, I’ll include the words contributed by Krysann. I hope the words inspire you to join our writing club.

“While I have not been a religious participant (and haven’t done it in quite a while) I so appreciate Five Minute Friday — the emphasis on NOT editing and on being content with what you have still sticks with me. I’d always feel somewhat behind as I perused other posts so much longer than mine — I am a slow reader, slow writer, slow eater, slow humer-er! But I learned to appreciate even that, to own my five minutes for what they were, not for what anybody else’s were or what I thought they were supposed to be. And I loved that space. I loved that it helps to shut down the internal editing, too. Just get it out! Just put it down! Just let it be what it wants to be! I was often surprised by what came out in my five minutes and felt a little like I’d met with myself after reading them.”

This week’s prompt is BETTER. The timer has been set, so I guess it’s time to GO…

I’m not crazy about the prompt this week. It’s a comparative word whether you use it an noun, verb, adjective or adverb and I’m not a big fan of comparisons.

That being said, being “better” or doing “better” is a goal we should strive for in all we do. We should always be attempting to improve each day, each task. The risk remains, however, is if we don’t live up to our expectations, we are not better. Our health may fail. Our actions may be a step back. The weather may get worse.

But you know what? As long as we’re trying, we’re being blessed. Our Lord doesn’t compare our results … He compares our heart. He has His plan and, although we may not realize what it is, He knows, and with trust in Him always, we not only get better or better ourselves, but … STOP

become the best. It has to be because God created each of us with our faults and foibles and God don’t make no junk.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come. — Tozer

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Jesus, Take the Wheel

It’s always interesting when I dream — especially when they are supper vivid and memorable.

I dream a lot, in fact, all I have to is close my eyes and those neurons in the grey matter go crazy. Most of the time, the slightly unconscious ramblings are action oriented {probably a compensation for me NOT being action oriented when conscious}. Rarely do I have nightmares.

Last night’s slumber came close — not in a horror sense, but in a pulse-thumping thrill. But enough of the preamble, let’s get into the dream.

I was driving on a mountain road. Driving isn’t unusual; I do it a lot. Someone was with me although I never saw him/her and had no response from my passenger. I was doing all the “talking”.

At any rate, we came to a tunnel cut through the rock. As I approached, I noticed a fog on the other side, so I switched on my fog lights as I entered the tunnel, adding “Glad I did that” as I exited into the thick, misty clearing. It was a short drive to the next tunnel. This one was longer with just a pin-point of light on the other end. I noticed there was no tiling on the tunnel walls — just rough rock with jagged edges. I also noticed my car was picking up speed despite the fact my foot was off the accelerator. As the car sped up, the points on the rocks captured my attention as I tried to maintain control. It was like I was on a rail mere inches from being shredded as the car pitched left going around a right curve. Finally the light at the end  of the tunnel got brighter and larger and I quipped to my passenger, “That was fun … not!”

We exited into an open area complete with a gas station, convenience store, a couple of other shops and a massive parking area overlooking a beautiful vista. The problem was I still didn’t have control of the car. It kept picking up speed as I slammed the brakes. Next thing I knew my wheels started rolling past me and in front of me was a group of pedestrians. As I got closer, the woman jumped out of my way and — vaporized — as I tried to swerve to miss her. I was expecting a thud but instead found myself holding onto a dis-engaged steering wheel  and finally blurted out, “Jesus, take the wheel!”

No, I haven’t been to a theme park or on a roller coasted and I haven’t have any sausage lately. But I woke up with my heart racing and my hands at 10 and 2. It was a thrill ride wit my eyes  closed.

Of course, in retrospect, the dream represented my state of mind. The mountain is just that — a mountain of stress that has been slowly building from a mole hill. Instead of going around, I found myself going through. I’m not sure what the fog was all about, except maybe for dramatic effect. Obviously as the driver, I thought I was in control, but the events in the second tunnel and open space stripped away any control I may have thought I had. And the climax forced me to hand over the steering wheel to my co-pilot, now identified as Jesus. As soon as I did that, the view from the vista was calm, clear and breathtaking.

So, if you’re facing a mountain — be it health, wealth or relationship (or lack of it) — make sure you have Jesus as your co-pilot. At least then you know when the wheels come off, your co-pilot is qualified to bring you through.

Don’t forget, my vision is to use the blogging platform as a clearinghouse for sharing, caring and, most important, prayer.

That’s where you come in. I can’t share your praise nor can other followers if we don’t know your joys and I can’t pray for you nor can other followers if we don’t know your concerns. All it takes is a couple of keystrokes under the “Contact Me” button on the top bar {and I believe to the right if you’re not a follower yet}. I hope it becomes your best friend as you navigate around the site. You can also comment or reach me at wisdomfromafather@gmail.com.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: You face your greatest opposition when you’re closest to your biggest miracle. –T.D. Jakes

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Midweek Mirth

One of the misconceptions about being a Christian is we don’t know how to have fun or have a sense of humor. Trust me, if the Big Guy can have a sense of humor when it comes to dealing with us mere mortals, so can we.

The difference for Christians is we don’t have to debase ourselves or others to generate a smile. Laughter at life or ourselves is a gift from God.

So, let’s smile a little!

Where There’s A Will …

An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor who was able to fit for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%.

The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, “Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.”

The gentleman replied, “Oh, I haven’t told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I’ve changed my will three times!”

And now for the bonus …

Perspective

One semester when Peter attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, an art-student friend of his asked if he could paint his portrait for a class assignment. Peter agreed. The art student painted and submitted the portrait, only to receive a C-.

The art student approached the professor to ask why the grade was so poor. The teacher told him that the proportions in the painting were incorrect. “The head is too big,” the professor explained. “The shoulders are too wide, and the feet are enormous.”

The next day, the art student brought Peter to see the professor. He took one look at him and said, “Okay, A-.”

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Wise are the people who know what path is better as opposed to what is simply faster.

 

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