What Do You See?

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What Do You See?

What scene does this suggest — sunrise or sunset?

Red sky at night or red sky at morning?

We are not sure and have the choice to base how we deal with events either by reacting or responding.

When we react we act upon our feelings quickly, inside us.

When we respond, we pause and consider many options.

If it is “red sky at night,” it is a sailor’s delight — looking forward to something great.

If it is “red sky at morning,” it is sailor take warning — prepare and watch out.  

Only wisdom will translate this.

Loosely defined, the word wisdom refers to applied knowledge.

Sometimes it’s enough simply to know something, but most often it’s essential to know how to use what you know.

As a sage proclaimed centuries ago “As a tree produces fruit, wisdom gives life to those who use it, and everyone who uses it will be happy.” Proverbs 3: 18 ncv

Now May We

O Father, Savior and Spirit

In our time here

We have a time for everything,

We have had many seasons in 2020

Hundreds of thousands have died around our planet

May this New Year be a time to be born

May hope come alive and be born

May calm overcome chaos

We have wept so much

Now let us respond with words and actions of life and love

Let us embrace again

Peace

Forgiveness

May we put a period to 2020

May we see Your commas in this New Year!

May You bless us and keep us!


May Your face shine upon us!


May You be gracious to us!


May You look kindly on us


May You give us Your peace!

New Time

O Father, Savior and Spirit

In our time here

We have a time for everything,

We have had many seasons in 2020

Hundreds of thousands have died around our planet

May this New Year be a time to be born

May hope come alive and be born

May we time plant seeds of life, hope, and justice

May we stop killing

and may we heal

We have wept so much

Now let us laugh and dance,

Let us embrace again

May we put a period to 2020

May we see Your commas in this New Year!

May You bless us and keep us!


May Your face shine upon us!


May You be gracious to us!


May You look kindly on us


May You give us Your peace!

Paraphrase Eccl 3.1-9 and Numbers 6:22-27 Phillip Kapela

I write that

I want to write.

I want to do something that will make a difference.

Yet now, the words do not come.

Sadness clouds the desire to write.

Biblical bluster and platitudes neither inflame nor inspire.

Love slowly dispels the clouds of sadness.

I write that you may know the Life that you already have.

He is with you, beside you, and in you.

Look at the little..

A little baby who embodies hope for the future.

A seed which will produce a luscious tomato.

A morning sunrise which will burn away the fog.

The smile on the face of the face in front of you.

Be the hope which someone else needs.

Breadcrumbs

2020 started like most years with expectations and, possibly, resolutions.

We imagined much and these imaginations were overmatched by the reality of our world with a virulent virus which invaded our world, battered our lives, and smashed the previous “normal.”

How we do live in such a world in which certainty eludes and escapes and uncertainly seemingly reigns?

For me, like many of us, my world while not the same, continues.

While I and many of us have at times reacted, I now choose to live!

One book which I am reading is “Choosing to See” chronicles the journey which one women and her spouse travelled after the death of their child, hence the paradigm “choosing to  see.”

She writes, as a woman of faith:

“In the midst of it all, God really is with us and for us.

I have found that even during those times when the path is darkest, He leaves little bits of evidence all along the way – breadcrumbs of grace – that can give me what I need to take the next step.

But I can only find them if I choose to SEE.” Chapman, Mary Beth; Vaughn, Ellen. Choosing to SEE (p. 26). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

My faith, family, church as it is, form a table on which I feed others and myself.

Our choice and challenge in the upcoming 2021 hinge on that choice to see “breadcrumbs of grace” on the table and tableau of our life.

Food gifts, especially homemade baked cookies, remind me that God and others gift us with many sweet things to accompany the bitter reality of all that invades our world.

As this year comes to a close, let’s make time to both reflect on what God has done and allow him to prepare us for what’s to come.A new year marks a fresh opportunity to center our lives around the goodness of God.As we begin looking toward what is to come let’s make space to gain God’s perspective.Let’s ground our hopes and pursuits on his grace.Let’s celebrate all that God has done, is doing and will continue to do!“My steadfast love never ceases;My mercies never come to an end;they are new every morning;great is My faithfulness.‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,‘therefore I will hope in him.’”LAMENTATIONS 3:22–24

I Want To Hold Your Hand

The Beatles had it right.

“I want to hold your hand.”

Holding hands.

A lot of memories come up.

Couples of all ages holding hands, walking, sitting on a couch.

A child hand is help for safety reasons while walking around the street.

We hold the hand of a sick or dying person.

Hand holding constitutes part of our DNA.

A writer, Isaiah in his book 41.1 that “God holds our hand!”

Really?

Have you ever had a moment when you sensed you were not alone?

God offers to hold our hand. This invitation needs to be accepted.

I am reaching out to you!

JAM

Acronyms, abbreviations, and aphorisms.

These got me through life — in life and in high school, college, and graduate school.

Aphorisms and short quotes from many sources form a framework  upon which I have built my life and live it out.

I read a lot — from many diverse genres and authors.

Aphorisms come from these persons and sources.

The books of Psalms and Proverbs, Shakespeare, O Henry, Mathma Ghandi, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis Carrol — are but a few. 

In Alice in Wonderland the White Queen says to Alice “Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but no jam today.”

This statement could certainly apply to our world now.

We remember the joys of the past.

We look forward to the joys of the future.

As for now —no jam.

I have collected and revised an acronym for JAM.

JAM Joy among Much — see joy in little things today.

JAM Joy among Many — see joy in the smile of another person 

JAM Jesus and Me — depending on your belief — feel the joy of Jesus who said and thus promised “I am with you!”

One of my quotes/an aphorism is “We are what we think.” Proverbs 23:7

We are what we think.

We are what we repeatedly say in our minds.

Hence, for me, the importance of sayings which direct and inspire.

I write notes to myself, place post-it notes around the house.

So,  JAM today.

Look for joy today in people in your own house or neighborhood, nature in the rising sun, in your pets and their attachment to you — especially when the cat or dog wants to sit in you lap.

And, be that joy for someone else today.

Psalm 27:13

“I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.”

You and I will be those “good things of the Lord” for others.

Also — I am starting a podcast — you can hear this and others (the podcast just stated yesterday — http://anchor.fm/phillip-kapela

Jam today

Jam yesterday

Jam tomorrow

No jam today

In our current world the present can be painful when we have family members who have tested positive — our family have four.

Our church has over 36.

Our world —

Seeing good things now?

In Alice In Wonderland the White Queen says to Alice “Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow’s but not jam today.

Nothing sweet but bitter.

HOWEVER

I believe!

“I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:17

Now — not just before and not just later.

Good things coming from God NOW!

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into a lifestyle of living presently. 

Ask him what it looks like to cast off fear over tomorrow and experience the abundant life meant for you in the present.

Take time to rest in the presence of God and discover his patience over you.

“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4

Something New For Me Yet For Others?

Something new for me is to podcast.

A noun and a verb.

My family, friends, and church remind me and tease me that I like to talk.

Stories instruct, delight, inform, and direct.

“Once a time”

I would submit that our current time we all need to hear good news, to share good news, to be good news.

Share your stories with me.

They will be shared.

The podcast can be found at https://open.spotify.com/show/0Rv4KpglbQxYjF5WlGVrVv