Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Found Poem

One moment's hesitation 
     caused a world to slip and slide
Momentum in regression
     making inner worlds collide
A breath too late
     A thought too still
        A tune unnoticed wanes
Illusions of reality
     crowd fate out of the game
Yet deep inside a centered man
     a power waits to rise
Entwined with faith and confidence
     each dream to realize

[Dated 5/5/03; greenish-suede(like) journal with black spine and button/elastic closure; Photo from 2003 wedding--second one I shot, first for someone I did not know]

Monday, February 03, 2020

Ben Campbell Johnson Paraphrase - Mark 11:24 - 2020 "Receive Quest" Challenge (003)

Mark 11:24 Ben Campbell Johnson (BCJ)*
24 Because of this principle, when you discover your soul's deepest desires, state them in your prayers, and consider them to have occurred—they will!

I loved this heading: Desire and Prayer! Desire is another word quest for me because of some things I saw connecting it to prayer and receiving. I tried to find the source for what sparked the original curiosity and couldn't! I believe it was in the transcripts for a new CD or DVD being put together from some previously unreleased meetings of Brother Hagin.

There is much I can say concerning desire, but a brief mention of a few recent events might be interesting to reflect on. In each case, I was the recipient of something extremely specific that had a desire attached!

    A week ago, my friend and I visited a junk shop full of random objects and thick dust. In the far back corner, a dismantled keyboard was on the bottom shelf of a display case: Ensoniq Mirage DSK. WHAT? I had forgotten about that keyboard! We had used it back in the 80s with "Party Conscious" (primarily for sampling recorded background vocals, if I recall). I had been looking for a sampler (and bought something I never figured out), and this is something I actually knew how to use! I wish I had time to share the whole story and the dear man I met. But the point of sharing this is that I started to daydream about that keyboard. The man said it might be possible out an old computer with a small floppy drive (must be connected to the mother board) and create a boot disk (with a taped half-capacity disk), then try installing that drive from the computer into the keyboard. The guy is game to try it! So I was totally daydreaming about it. Days later, a coworker pops out of the copy room with floppy disks in her hands, ready to throw them away: "We don't ever use these, do we?" OH MY GOODNESS! I piped up, "I can use them!"
    This is a small one, but the same day as the disks, I had brought Christmas leftovers for my lunch and included a snack for the afternoon: the last bit of cream cheese and pepper jelly. But I had forgotten the crackers! That morning when I realized I had forgotten, I almost drove home over lunch to get them because it's SO delicious. All day I was desiring crackers. By mid afternoon, I was daydreaming of when I got home and could eat it! Lo and behold, when I walked into the kitchen to replenish my ice, I saw packets of crackers on the "giveaway table"! Haha! That works! I was thrilled! It would not have been notable in itself, but since "desire" has been a topic of interest, it got my attention: Two things happened in one day where I distinctly desired something and that specific "something" appeared!
    This weekend, my friend and I were at a flea market. As we were driving back, the conversation drifted toward something that made me think of what Danny Elfman used to do ages ago: tuck a miniature mallet behind his ear and "ping" things. He said hardware stores were the best. He would pick up items, tap them with the mallet, and if he liked the sound, he'd put them in the cart, buy them, and then sample them in his studio. I shared the story (this friend knows my desire to collect sounds) and initially the point to me was that I should not shy away from recording sounds that interest me despite what I think it looks like to others.  I was thinking about all the cool stuff we had just seen, and exclaimed how I should have been looking for mini mallets! To my surprise, my friend said he saw some (three, to be exact) at the first booth he bought things at. I went back that afternoon and sure enough they were there! I now have a wooden mallet small enough to fit in my purse. Actually, I had another idea after I bought that and actually found a second much tinier metal mallet at another booth, but it was 7 times as much. I didn't get it. But now I wish I had! In addition, the conversation with the guy at the booth may have connected me to someone who can make a metal "flying saucer" drum! What an adventure! (There's SO much more. I hope I can share the full story sometime.)

*Johnson, Ben Campbell. Matthew and Mark: A Relational Paraphrase. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1978.

Monday, January 27, 2020

The New English Bible - Mark 11:24 - 2020 "Receive Quest" Challenge (002)

Mark 11:24 The New English Bible (NEB)*
24 I tell you, then, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.

Believe—what a big word! Of course, the context is so important to the final point of receiving. It's not just verse 24. I like how the previous verse says, "has no inward doubts" and takes it even further: "but believes that what he says is happening."

Recently someone suggested I listen to Bruce Lipton. This verse makes me think of the "Biology of Belief" (one of the concepts from his research) and epigenetics. To me, it's the science side of God's design ... where we see the architecture behind the principles and powers God put in place.

*The New English Bible. Cambridge, Great Britain: Oxford University Press; Cambridge University Press, 1961.

Monday, January 13, 2020

King James & Wycliffe Bible Commentary - Mark 11:24 - 2020 "Receive Quest" Challenge (001)

Mark 11:24 King James Version (KJV) 
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Verse 24, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
24. Believe. A present tense imperative, calling for persistent, continuing faith.
Receive. Superior manuscript evidence favors the aorist tense—you did receive. In other words, we are to keep on believing that God has already given us our request.

My white board has Mark 11:24 as one of the branches of receiving. I, too, honed in on "believe" and "receive" like Wycliffe (great minds think alike - LOL)! Actually, just the detail of what to do when is what is so helpful. "When ye pray" is when we do the believing. THEN - in prayer - believe you receive. The shall have is in the future.

BUT ALSO NOTICE: Wycliffe brings out what probably many "Word nerds" have discovered: The receiving mentioned here is a one-time fact. Once it is done, it is complete - sort of like when something happens now in the present tense, then you look back on it yesterday as past tense. But the believing mentioned is different. It is present tense, but it doesn't stop and go into past tense. It stays present tense.

I guess you could say it in two views: Believe that you receive when you pray (present) ... and continue to believe that you received when you prayed (past).

The New Testament and Wycliffe Bible Commentary. 1st ed. New York: The Iversen-Norman Associates, 1971.
The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Translated out of the original Greek and with former translations diligently compared and revised, Set forth in 1611 and commonly known as the King James Version.
Pfeiffer, Charles F., and Everett F. Harrison, eds. The Wycliffe Bible Commentary. 1st ed. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1962.

Monday, December 30, 2019

2020 "Receive Quest" Challenge—Mark 11:24

Last week, I was blessed with three books:

The New Testament and Wycliffe Bible Commentary
The New English Bible
Matthew and Mark—A Relational Paraphrase (Ben Campbell Johnson)

I immediately opened all of them to Mark 11:24, and it gave me an idea: What if I took one verse for one year and looked it up in every translation I could find?

Rather than just scribble in notebooks like I always do, it seemed easy enough to at least document the versions on a blog. I could work ahead and populate the versions, schedule them, and comment along the way. We shall see how that system works!


There are some motivating elements in play which may be of significance. This section will be updated (and hopefully expounded) when I have time.
  • I am on a slow-motion quest with this word: RECEIVE 
  • The quest began after I listened to a recording of my cousin being interviewed about his time in Heaven
  • I have a hunch that receiving is the same as the currently popular topic of manifesting
    • Note: I believe God's design is everywhere, and if something works, it's because of His under-girding design. 
    • Also of note: I believe the same design can work in negative or positive ways and in many cases is subject to our governance of it. (Example: Belief. Too much to say here, but may delve in more later.)


The white board hiding behind my office door holds little quest nuggets. It's very "organic" and not unlike a walk in nature where I might collect fallen leaves, stones, twigs, and photos of textures/colors/whatever captures my attention. These scribbles have already evolved quite a bit, but here's an image to document where they stand when my 2020 Challenge started. We shall see if it changes!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Emailing Jesus

Today I emailed Jesus. I asked for a calendar.

"Hello, Jesus ...
I noticed Janet had her new wall calendar up.
She mentioned that you have them.
Could I get a horizontal one, please?

Jesus is my Columbian coworker, not the Savior! It's pronounced differently, of course, so saying* his name is not odd. But as soon as I put "Jesus" in writing, things get amusing!

Instinctively, I began, "Hey, Jesus." Too casual. But "Dear Jesus," seemed too formal. I cycled through several options that all seemed weird. Ultimately I chose a simple "Hello." It seemed suitable for either a human or deity.

I know it's "just" a name for humans -- like John or Paul. But I really can't think of any other name I would have stumbled over like that.

Recently an inter-department envelope went around with a card for everyone to sign. We always have a sheet with when it is due back and a list of names to check off as it is passed along. Jesus' name was not alphabetized with the rest of us; It was at the top of the list. How funny! So I'm not the only employee who can't treat his name like everyone else's.

Occasionally, I get an email from Jesus. It makes me laugh every time. Sometimes Jesus invites us all downstairs for donuts. I like Jesus. :-)

Isn't that funny how much weight is attached to those five letters?

But on the other hand, seeing "Jesus" in the context of an email request caused me to back up a moment and consider the simplicity of asking: What if I approached Jesus Christ like I did my coworker?

"Hello, Jesus ...
I noticed Janet had her new roof installed.
She mentioned that You arranged it.
Could I get a solar one, please?

Biblical Jesus said, "I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours" (Mark 11:24 NLT). [I know there is more to this passage (verses 22-26 in answer to Peter noticing the fig tree had withered and died) ... but really, not much!]

So do I believe Mark 11:24? My head jumps to, "YES! Of course!" I always assume I believe the Bible because I choose to do so ... but in a moment like this, I wonder where my believing is. It must be limited to my intellect (or "mental assent" as the late Brother Hagin would say) because I don't think I act the same way with the two different Jesuses!

When I emailed coworker Jesus, I didn't wonder if I would get a calendar. Really, the only question was how long until the calendar showed up! (And in his case, it was surprisingly fast. )

When I think of a similar request to Biblical Jesus, suddenly it gets pushed out into the "maybe" zone! I'm tempted to filter it through scriptures and rules or teaching messages to get a solid perspective on whether I could/should ask for any such thing and if I'm properly positioned to do so.

What would happen if I kept everything that simple -- as simple as a "Hello, Jesus" email?

Maybe that will be my New Year's challenge for 2020: K.I.S.S. E.J. (Keep It Simple, Silly. Email Jesus!)

*I find it ironically funny that my coworker's name when spoken sounds like "Hey, Zeus."

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Blank as Black, Bright as Light

Staring at this computer screen is remarkably like flying over the ocean at night . . . eerily blank, just in reverse. Flat, bright, silent white. In the air, one can see the last lights of land, a definite, glimmering line, and then it’s unapologetic black, blank space. Somehow everything seems suddenly hushed. Now in reverse, the light stares at me just as blankly as the darkness of night. No nothing. No blip. No emotions. No toppling opinions. No tears. Nothing.

Like any soul open to the expression of words, I wait.

Time passes.

I realize that my mind is not as quiet as I thought. My soul is silently restless. And even in this subtle commotion, no words or emotion come. In the face of nothing, it feels like I have nothing. And I am surprised! But I have a feeling there is a revelation in it. So I hold it toward the Lord.

I wait—with Him.

Oh, my Jesus. My precious Lord and Savior. Oh how beautiful it is that we can spend our days in communion with You. What a privilege. What an honor. What a joy! Your presence is sweet and powerful—both in one. It’s profound. It’s simple. It’s precious. How little we know! And yet how abundantly much we have and experience and come to know in You! May our eyes and hearts be open to so much more. May we breathe as one and share intimately this place of love. You, dear Father, are good. Your mercy endures forever. We march with Your banner over us, for we know Your love.

These are the things my spirit . . .


A thought came to me a second time with more fullness: forgiveness. The slate is clean. Blank.
I expected an upsurge of emotion after watching the movie Unplanned. I wondered at the cracking open of something shameful from my past. I went—unsure. Would I react to the reactions of others? Would they hate? Would they cheer? Would I react to what the film portrayed? Would it alienate? Would it blame? I did not expect to emerge unshamed.

My wound has healed. It doesn’t hurt to touch it. I don’t flinch at the light of truth. It has been handed to the Lord. The work has been done for some time. Like remembering a scar from childhood, it is a story in the timeline. I may bear the mark in my skin, but the sting of injury is long gone. To the touch it brings no knee-jerk pain. Now the memory can be used with intention and the story can become an example for others.

Found Poem

One moment's hesitation       caused a world to slip and slide Momentum in regression      making inner worlds collide A breath too late...