A Needed Message

Patience, we all need it. 

When in need God always delivers when we ask Him.

He doesn’t always give us what we want when we want it but as Mick Jagger says, “You just might find you get what you need.”

I needed to be reminded today about waiting. Facebook has that new feature offering to post a memory of a previous post. 

Today’s memory is a brief story I wrote about patience as sung by the one and only Bono. See story Story on Patience….

Once I post a story I tend to not reread unless someone brings it to my attention.

My post about patience 2 years ago is right on with today’s need. I would not change a single word.  

Furthermore as I went to write what I am writing now, a poem came up on my screen that pertains to waiting, this also was written two years ago.  

the untitled writing from my notes reads: 

“The forsythia are in bloom reminding me it is worth the wait,

the forsythia are in bloom reminding me He is never late.

Releasing thoughts of rhyme, 

seasoning all things in His time

Yellow brushing as forth comes the sun,

constantly reminding me His work is already done

Thank you Jesus! ”

So the point of my story is God reaches us and delivers our every need when we reach out in prayer. He is always talking.  Listening is key. 

For me, right now I need to continue my journey in patience if I may be bold enough to ask for my first prayer request publicly, I do ask that you pray for my patience (and that I wait patiently on God) and if you have a prayer request please feel free to post your request in the comment section or email me at justaguyonajourney@yahoo.com

Thanks for the prayer and thanks for reading. 

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“One a Day” 

An “apple a day” keeps the doctor away. I know of something even better than that. I call it “A Proverb a day.” Read just “one a day” and you will wreak of WISDOM.

Imagine taking a shot of wisdom each and every day for free. I say shot because they are less than one page each yet chock-full of instant and powerful wisdom. There are a total of thirty-one chapters. One for each day of the month.

You can find these winning words in the Old Testament of the Bible. The 31 chapters are loaded with God’s wisdom spoken through King Solomon who is considered the wisest King of all time and certainly the wealthiest.

It is no coincidence that there are 31 chapters. By ingesting one chapter a day every day, you complete the whole book of Proverbs each month 12 times a year. You are privileged to have access to such sage advice twelve times a year ensuring this available wisdom sinks in to today’s mind that is more cluttered than the contents of a 3,000 square-foot home being stored in a 100 square foot storage shed. 

Clear your mind for a minute or two each morning and start your day with Godly instructions. You may gain a productive/rewarding, and healthy life when you apply the principles Proverbs suggest. Proverbs teaches us about foolishness, wisdom, pride, fear, wealth, gossip, insecurity and a whole host of pertinent ideologies as well as real-life materialistic concerns.

An example would be Proverbs 12:24 that suggests diligent hands will rule for laziness ends in forced labor. This proverb is probably common sense but applying it is where wisdom comes in. God offers His wisdom freely if you ask Him for it. Sometimes wisdom is just common sense with ardent application.

I encourage you to start today. Pull out your Bible to whatever day you are reading this writing and read the one-page Proverb of the day. Start today. It is a good-read and offers keys to prosperity and a well-balanced life.

What’s your favorite Proverb? Do you have one. Do tell.

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Want it! 

  

What do you want? What do you really want? Do you really want it? I mean not like you have to have it and if you don’t get it you feel like a fish without gills, but you really want and desire it. 

Is your soul guiding you to want it? Are you afraid to want it because you may not get it? Let’s face it, no one likes disappointment. 

What if God wants you to have it too? Do you we really know what God wants us to have? Doesn’t He give us certain desires? 

Yes, I believe He does. The key is to line those desires (wants) up with God’s will for your life.
If the want and His will diametrically oppose each other, they self-destruct and then you will not want it anymore anyway. 

If your deepest want is your biggest dream, bring the power of God to make it come true. In fact, it is true already. You just have to live as if it happened while exercising the wisdom the good Lord endowed upon us. 

Make sure your wants line up with His desires for His children. Commit to it if you know it is right and it creates mutual blessing and watch it unfold in His timing. 

It says in the book of wisdom (Proverbs) the desire of the righteous will be granted, Proverbs 10:24.

Ask God if it is not His will for you to have such a desire or want, ask Him to remove it from your heart and have it wash away faster than a smashed bag of crackers washes away when opened and tossed into the surf. 

If it is good you will have it. If you do not get it you’ll be shown why it would not have been good for you. 

Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid. Be bold. Ask for it. Get ready for it. Embrace it, bury fear. Allow faith to make it happen.  

Be patient. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for. 

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A Diamond!

diamond.jpg

photographed by LPS.

“Your love is like radiance diamonds.”  We just filled up my daughter’s car with gas and 99.1as the car starts, those words come over the air waves.  We both smiled as the song came on and she said now you have to write your diamond story tonight.  I shared this same story with her today verbally and it goes like this…

A friend of mine last week reminded me of one of my canned sayings back in the day when we sold real estate together. “Stick with me and you will be wearing diamonds.”  Yes, I used to say that as a cocky 20 year old kid.  It was all in good fun though and effective salespeople need to feel good about themselves with an air of confidence.

The next day a surprise visit from another friend that I worked with in the mid 80’s, chuckling he asks me, “Swartzteen, do you remember when you used to always say, “Stick with me and you will be wearing diamonds.”  Well of course I do.

Pulling a pack of matches out of my winter coat the same week, a diamond logo is displayed with the word diamond prominently written across it. I think there may be a message centered on diamonds.

A short while later at my Church, I reach in the box of K-Cups and the brand pops out at me….Double Diamond.

The next morning, I see a billboard promoting diamonds.  Later in the day, I receive an email referencing diamonds.  With no fiancé on the horizon I am not in the market for a glitzy rock yet diamonds are coming at me everywhere I turn.

The word diamond radiates in my mind.  Maybe this is the answer to a prayer I have. I have been asking God recently how He sees me.  Does He see me as a colorless piece of carbon, formed and made stone-hard and beautiful under great pressure?   Maybe He is getting me ready for my bride, perhaps I should be saving for that flawless stone.  With no fiancé in sight, I think it is the former thought of how He sees me.

Surely I can be reading into things and simply got focused on diamonds because some old friends brought up my classic one-liner so I take it up in prayer with the Lord.

I ask God if He is speaking to me about a diamond to be clear and let me know.  I want to know God is speaking if it is in fact God surrounding me with diamonds. I specifically request from God, if you are telling me something about diamonds please bring it up at my home-group tonight.

We are studying creation in my Bible Study and the story of Adam and Eve.  How can diamonds come up during a discussion about the Garden of Eden?  Very unlikely so if it does, I will know God is speaking to me with something related to diamonds.

Sure enough, during the lesson, the lady next to me asks the leader a question and asks did you hear the song ……? With an enthused reply a melodic voice sings, “Your love is like radiance diamonds.”  Bingo, there I have it.  I know God is speaking diamonds to me.  God did exactly what I asked Him to do.

I was hoping to get an answer of some sort in my spirit as I waited 10 minutes on a dark cloudy night outside of my car after the meeting. Looking up into the late night sky there is a diamond suspended in the sky.  It is a star.  There is only one visible star in the sky.  Shining bright and brilliant in the Northern sky is a solitaire diamond dispersing light over my path looking over me with a twinkle.

Diamonds are the most precious and valuable gemstones on Earth.  At times I am guilty of selling myself short and although I appear ‘full of myself”, I have questioned my own self-worth when things go wrong.  I will never question my self-worth again, regardless of all the wins and losses along the journey. I now know the answer.  I am a diamond.

I do not say this in a proud or pompous way but in a humble way I confidently assert I am a diamond.  We are all diamonds for we are all beautiful, precious, and extremely valuable.

God sees me as diamond.  Jesus is my rock.  Diamonds are rocks.  Jesus’s love is like a radiant diamond. Diamonds reflect back what is in front of them.  Through God’s radiance I am a bright and brilliant diamond.  Talk about having something worth its weight in gold. We are worth more than that.  I am over 200 pounds in carats cut by the Master Himself.

I hope to reflect all facets of God’s beauty, love, faithfulness and goodness.

The scriptures say in Isaiah 62 “For the Lord delights in you and your land shall be married and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” 

Wow!  God rejoicing over me?  I am just a guy on a journey yet He rejoices over me??  Yes He does.  He shows me I am as precious and as valuable as the most prized of all prized jewels.  I love it.  I believe He sees a diamond when He sees me!

As for the bride, I trust God is working on me to be the unselfish and loving Godly man she deserves.  God will awaken this lovely lady when we are both ready.  In the meantime, I will keep saving for that weighty stone perfect in cut, color, clarity.

Now the double diamond makes sense to me, it just came to me as I close this story for now.  This lovely women sent from heaven gets a double diamond.  She gets a diamond for her hand and she gets the diamond writing this story.

I do not say that in a cocky or self-inflating tone.  I am thrilled to be who I am and I am a diamond.  I am keeping the diamond matchbook until I strike the perfect match.  My diamond match and I will one day light the unity candle.  Thank you Lord for making us diamonds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A HEaled HEart

 

dormant treeApproaching the small park where my favorite vista of cold water flows smoothly through a bunch of round rocks, I ask God to show me His love today and also to lead me to a picture He wants me to see.

Fully armed with my plastic camera wrapped around my neck, strong faith, and covered in prayer, I am ready to find my spiritually directed photo along this stony nature-trail.  New life pops out of a tall nearly dead tree.  The new growth catches my eye. I see a heart in the bark.  The interior of a heart bleeds through the damaged bark displaying the chambers and the wounded core of the heart.  I know God lives inside my heart so I take a quick photo and continue my journey.new growth 1

The chopped up heart needs healing.  The new life in this branch will heal the cut-open heart from the inside out, creating a healthy branch as spring-time unfolds and abundant life awakens.

 

Peaceful in prayer, step by step, I enjoy every breath in this beautiful landscape crested along a busy double-lined road in the Garden State awaiting quiet discovery.

Taking a few other shots along the river’s edge, an uninitialed heart stands tall carved into a tree.  Usually man-made carvings tend to have lovers’ initials whittled into the tree; I did ask God to show me His love, so I am happy the unsigned artwork is pointed out to me.  The clean happy-looking unadultered heart is healed stitched up, ready for love to be written upon it.

stitched heart

A Healed Heart

Jumping onto the rock where the whittler stood doing his artwork, my focused camera catches a joyful message for me.  God is Love and I trust He is showing me His love as I needed Him to do.  My heart rejoices as God answers my prayer on my novice photography outing.

Upon loading my pictures onto my computer, on a large screen the new branch offers more than just a depiction of an open heart exposing chambers ready for spiritual surgery.  On the upper stem, there appears to be a robed man walking with open arms symbolic of Jesus Christ. Jesus is walking with me overseeing the deception being cut out of my heart.

new growth

Robed Man in Branch

I did not see the resemblance of Jesus when I took the photo, after all, I did ask God to lead me to the photo He wants me to see and now I see it clearly.  Jesus is the great Physician.

Wanting to make sure it was not just my vivid imagination; I send the photo to some friends electronically, asking them what they see… if anything.  Two friends see a bird, a brother sees a face, and a few other friends see nothing.  Without prompting them of what I see, four other friends clearly see what I did not catch the first time when I shot the photo.  They see a Godly image made by nature.

An out of state encouraging friend, shares the photo with her friends and right away ten people see an image of Christ. They actually see the robed man before seeing an open heart.  This picture was taking at the same riverside park where God recently delivered a message of “healing and freedom” to me inspiring my story the River and the Moon. The River and the Moon

I know God loves me.  The Bible tells me He loves me.  God loves us.  He designed us for love.  Time after Time God shows His love, we just need to receive it and be open to His love.

At first we may not see it (as in my picture) but when we open our eyes and listen; walking in faith we will find Him and His love, Time after Time. Time after Time

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The River and The Moon 

  
I am so excited. Last night speaking to a friend discussing the beauty of the moon that gleefully glowed in full force upon the NJ/NY sky, I learn there are other people out there appreciating the big circle in the wide-open sky the same way I do. I do not know many people who appreciate the beauty of the moon as much as I do, so it was a refreshing conversation hearing somebody as intrigued as I am by its stunning beauty when painted perfectly over our heads. 

Several times the moon rose over the ocean with breathtaking harvest moons, blood moons and the moon parallel to the water where I was lucky enough to snap a photo. She goes on to tell me there are certain times of the year when you could see the moon rising over the mountains up this way and it is breathtakingly gorgeous. 

On my way home from work tonight with a deep question in mind, I send out a text or two to a couple friends hoping they would have a potential answer. They too want to know the answer and when I find the answer to let them know, lol.

Stopping at the gravel parking lot near the river where I often go for peaceful, quiet reflection and time alone, I had a specific question that I struggled to find the answer to. For my own peace of mind and restoration of my soul and spirit, I ask God the same question I asked my friends. As soon as I got to the bottom of the hill along my favorite riverbank and grabbed a seat on a giant rock, answers started flowing to me quicker than an unleashed dog can chase a squirrel. 

Typing the words as quickly as my thumbs would allow, 

I instantly capture three or four paragraphs of productive life enhancing notes. While writing them I feel the Holy Spirit moving within my heart. 

The crystal-clear answer I received is not what I wanted or expected to hear, but nonetheless it was the answer that I needed. 

As soon as I took the instruction, (yes the Holy Spirit is also a counselor)immediately I felt freedom and loads of bricks being lifted off my chest. 

I felt renewed as if I was 17 years old again and able to do cartwheels across the rocks spread out in the ice cold spring that is flowing rapidly near my feet.  

  
As the sky darkens I send out a text exclaiming I found the answer. I feel like I was stranded on a deserted island and I just spotted a boat. With an heir of joy and tremendous relief I turn around to walk up the hill to head home. Feeling light as a bee, I look up and boldly ascending from behind the trees is a giant white pizza-pie circle in the early evening sky. The glow of gladness in the form of a bright full moon peeks out over the treetops rising behind the mountains.

The moment reminds me of a poem I wrote last year called See the Moon, an excerpt from that writing is: 

“Listen actively, listen for His will, 

Seize this moment monumentally allowing the time to stand still.”

Time stood still for me tonight as I looked at the moon, celebrating the victory I just received. The moment has been seized and I will always remember the night I received my get out of jail card for free in Riverdale NJ. I am free. 

Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord! Thank you for hearing my prayer and the prayers of people that keep me in their prayers. I am free and thank you for the beauty of the river and the moon and your everlasting grace.  

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Spring into Action

slinky

‘Tis the season, as predicted the spring equinox has arrived.  What better time is it than to use the spring to “spring” into action?  Not only does spring mean a fresh new 90 days, think of a spring as in a slinky.  Certainly anyone near my age will remember those springs that we played with as kids.

The next 90 days will come and go with rays of sunshine, riddles of rain, and the guy writing this story turns 50 this quarter.  Those are all good things and they will happen as time passes by and the beauty of a season is its natural measurement of quarterly cycles in a given year.

A question worth pondering is when the calendar hits summer and the days are longer and much hotter, will I be any closer to something I choose to accomplish or learn, whether it is short-term or over the next 50 years.  Ninety days will pass, whether you take action or you do not.

It could be as simple as learning a new language, learning to play chess, learning how to swing a golf club or a particular trait of yours that may needing changing or further developed ensuring you are growing as a human-being.  The key is to start now.

Whatever it is, if it is worth doing, write it down and get started.  Get your thoughts, dreams, desires and goals on paper.  I encourage you to “spring into action” and measure your results on June 21.  Hopefully, you will be closer to a goal you may have been putting off.  If it is worth it and you want it, write it in your journal and make it happen.  When the morning comes spring off that horizontal surface slinky style like a coiled spring in full force after you are recharged and spring into action.  Enjoy the spring and spring into action.

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Time After Time

  

Recording positive voice memos into my iPhone for later recall and encouragement, Cindi Lauper’s song Time after Time is unintentionally playing in the background on satellite radio. My recording picks up Time after Time as I am speaking over the music. 

The excitement of what I just recorded in the early morning while sipping my first cup of joe for the day, I listen to the three minute recording four or five times while getting ready for work. The powerful affirmation programs me for a positive and productive day.

Listening one last time to the recording as I walk my dog before leaving for work and carrying my phone in my shirt pocket, Time after Time is playing as I listen to my affirmations.

Hopping into my car, the second the seatbelt clicks and I am turning the key I hear Time after Time once again. For a split-second I thought the seatbelt turned my phone on as it pressed against my chest and front pocket for my phone was still in my shirt and I thought I pocket dialed the recording.

Time after Time is playing much louder than any iPhone I’ve ever heard, as I’m juggling my phone out of my pocket I instantly realize the song is on the radio coming through my car speakers and not my fresh new recording. 

The timing of the song playing on the radio is amazing as I just finished listening Cindi’s song on my phone a moment or two earlier.

Later that evening I’m telling a friend this story over dinner and she believes there is a message for me perhaps from God himself.  

The words say, “If you are lost and you look for me, you will find me Time after Time. If you fall, I will catch you, time after time.”

I know when there are times and I do feel lost, I look for God and He catches me time after time. Each and every time I will find Him when I look, time after time.

Heading home west of the Hudson River the same night, my Christian radio station was static and not coming in. I press another radio station and wouldn’t you know it? Time after Time is boldly playing for the third time for me today. 

Three times in one day! It was a fun day for me and Time after Time is now anchored into my affirmations. I now end each affirmation with the words time after time. I also am thrilled to find God when I seek Him and I am happy to be in good hands because I know He too will find me time after time and He will catch me time after time. 

I love it! Time after Time. He will find me. Time after Time. 

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Glory Days!

glory days

Reminiscing of the days when he played baseball 50 years ago in High-School, a vendor stopped into my office a couple times this week and both times talk turned to his baseball days  as he gleams a grin on his boyish face.  Hearing his fastball story a second time in one week, the song “Glory Days” flashes through my mind when Bruce sings about bumping into a friend in a local bar who was a big baseball player back in high school and all he kept talking about was “Glory Days” and the conversation kept going back to the glory days.

For me personally, my days of high-school baseball, I was cut from the team before the tryouts even began.  Certainly nothing to be proud of but it is what it is.

There are however, so many Glory Days of those puzzling and fun teenage years, our 20’s, 30’s, early 40’s etc…then life as we know it suddenly changes.  A trying time breaks out, an inner struggle ensues or a break up of a family from divorce comes out of left-field. Things change, sadness happens, not something one is particularly glorious about.

If you currently are in down-cycle, as ludicrous as it may sound, these are the Glory Days.  You may ask how is divorce or life’s trials possibly representative of Glory Days?

The answer is based on a Biblical principle of suggesting we should count it all glory when we are going through a trial because trials create patience via suffering, patience leads to perseverance, perseverance builds character and character to hope.

If you are feeling at the top of the world right now and not going through any trials, count it all joy, for these too are the Glory Days. I wish you continued joy and blessings.  Having been on both ends of the spectrum, I find the truest of Glory Days are the days when we draw close to God.

The time to experience His presence is now!  Call upon His name for the ultimate Glory.  Seek and ye shall find and live abundantly in the Glory Days.  Glory Days!  I am so thankful for the Glory Days. Good and bad, Glory Days. Yes, Glory Days!

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“Hear” the Facts

  
 Free at last, no parents there, the memorable moment offers perfect sunny summer weather, screaming amplifiers, music so loud we thought it was funny at the age of 15 not being able to hear each other talk after our very first concert. High school kids yelling at each other in a local pizza shop trying to communicate and talk about the Jefferson Starship show we just absorbed in an open outdoor field nested in a reservation within the hills of South Orange, NJ. Anything we said literally fell on deaf ears as if one was shouting at a rock and expecting a reply.

Funny at first, three days later sound faintly came back at a pace of a turtle intertwined with the sounds of a high pitched ring. I will never forget standing against the stage under Paul Kantner’s amplifier. It was the first time I saw a rock-star live and he was 6 feet away from me.  

I did not even know who Paul Kantner was at the time. We went there to hear Grace Slick sing “White Rabbit.” My left ear picked up every note of Paul’s guitar as I stood at the stage trying to be cool in my bright white fully unbuttoned Navy Sea Cadet shirt. We thought we were so grown up failing to realize we were just kids.

For 34 years after this event, I could never hear well out of my left ear, or so I thought. My whole adult life I would tell the story of how I did permanent damage to my eardrum getting close up to Paul’s sound system. Recently, a friend that always sits to the left of me grew tired of repeating herself and encouraged me to get a hearing test. I did.

The results after sitting in a glass sound-proof booth as the audiologist delicately shifted keys with both hands on a manual soundboard were……an A+. He reports, my hearing is 100% normal. Shocked by the news, I could not believe it.

Yes, Paul Kantner died this week, and the point of this story is sometimes we are simply wrong despite what our senses pick up. We are what we listen to. The brain will believe what you tell it. You will listen to your thoughts and self-talk and act or react accordingly.  

Things are as we believe them to be. Our belief systems are so real, for two-thirds of my life I would lean in with my right ear when I needed to listen closely as I would say, “Please repeat that, I can’t hear so well in my left ear.” Sometimes I would jokingly say I lost my hearing as a teenager at a rock concert. 

My question to you is, “What are you telling yourself?” I hope it is something that betters you and you do not believe in some nonexistent flaw you perceive you may have because it can become part of your reality.

I responded to my lack of hearing for three days and believed my one ear had damage. Thank the good Lord, it is not true. I hear fine and Paul Kantner’s name is clear in my book, not that he was looking for vindication. I credit Paul for helping me learn and hear the facts.  
Use this knowledge to your advantage and believe and dwell on only good things. Have faith in God and believe in yourself. If you are stuck on a bad thought, test it, it may not be real. Rid your mind of anything negative.
Again, believe in yourself and program yourself for only good and wonderful things. Sometimes we need to hear it from someone else to believe it. If so, I will tell you now, you are powerful. Your brain is powerful, you are loved and you are awesome. Believe it, internalize it. You are created by the Master Himself.

 I learned from the audiologist what the truth is and I believe it. I can hear perfectly now. Be open minded, learn from others and keep your ears open.

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