Gone From This World But Still In My Heart

Two years ago today, I lost my very best friend of many years when attorney and civic leader Kent Bartholomew Mann was killed while riding his bicycle. It’s been a very sad two years for me. Kent was much more than just a friend. He was also my best-ever book editor. Although a lawyer by profession, he had a most amazing and creative gift for writing and editing, and many were the times I sat with him, or called him, and said, “Hey, I’ve got this scene that really needs so-and-so, but I’m stuck.” His creativity would go to work on the problem and almost always come up with an idea that was just right. He helped me so very much in my writing, my business, and my ministry.

Without question, Kent was my toughest critic, and my strongest and most faithful champion. He constantly challenged me to my highest and my best in every area of my life. More than once, when a situation just got too hard to deal with and I was ready to throw in the towel, he absolutely refused to let me quit. [And it’s hard to argue with a guy who stands at 6′ 7″ and weighs over 200 pounds. :)]

I was not the only person he touched with his kindness and encouragement. I have realized over this past two years that there is hardly any sector of my home town to which I can go where I am not reminded of how he did something in that place that helped someone – sometimes an individual, and sometimes an entire group of people. Was he perfect? Certainly not. But he was the truest kind of friend.

We spent hours working on one of my inspirational novels on the afternoon of the day he died. When we stopped for the day, I walked out the door with our plans made to pick up the work again the following morning. Three hours later, he was gone from this life.

I’m sharing all of this information simply to make this point: In the world we’re living in right now, true, trustworthy friendships are rare. If you have been blessed with that kind of friendship, value it as gold. Cherish it, nourish it, and guard it with your whole heart. These words offer the most sincere wish I can make for you in honor of my beloved friend.

Kent Bartholomew Mann is gone from this world, and it’s a darker place as a result. But he is still very much alive in my heart, and his legacy of love and friendship still lightens the shadows.

~~~~~

 


 

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Adventure, Here I Come!

MOON & BALOONS -- pIRO4d -- px

I want to step out in adventure,
But each time the first step draws near,
Before I can start to move forward,
I’ve run, face-to-face, into fear.

I long to get out of my humdrum
And into new elements wade,
But just when I find my direction,
I realize I am afraid.

What am I to do with myself then?
I have no solution in mind.
I look at the fear, and I dither,
Which means that I get left behind.

Perhaps, I’m not meant for adventure,
And everyday life it must be.
Oh, that would be such disappointment;
From humdrum I’d never be free.

No, I must be stern with my psyche
When my knees start to tremble and sway.
Courage is not being fearless.
It’s taking the plunge anyway.

~~~~~

 


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The Truly Consecrated Christian

HANDS IN CIRCLE

True consecration and oneness with Jesus is not earmarked by some mystical — other-worldly — experience where the believer ceases to have active participation in the life of the earth. It’s best understood as a believer continuing to have his feet firmly planted on this earth and actively participating in the life being lived on this planet, but whose heart is totally captured by Jesus. He’s so in love with Jesus that the love they share dictates and controls how the believer lives out that life on a day-by-day basis.

The wholly consecrated believer does not hide himself away from the world. He actively involves Jesus in the every-day aspects of his earthly life and his relationships with people — thus bringing the Kingdom of God into the earth.

 

~~~

 

 


 

Since It’s World Bee Day

BEE ON YELLOW
Terry Valley – Visions Seen Photography

Today is “Word Bee Day.” Who knew???  Well, I guess the UN General Assembly did, since they declared it a couple years ago. I didn’t know until this morning, but that’s okay. I have nothing against bees. I usually have a hundred or so spending time in my azalea bushes., and we get along fine. But, frankly, I’m totally fed up with all these causes to “save” all kinds of various creatures and plants while carrying on the wholesale slaughter of human beings in their mother’s wombs. Can anyone say “insanity”?????

Anyway, I decided that if I’m going to have to acknowledge “World Bee Day,” I’m going to do it may own way. I made out a list of things that I’m scheduling myself to do today, and I encourage everyone reading this post to do these same things. As a former grammar teacher, I’ve had to turn off my natural spelling instincts for this one, but it’s worth it:

1.  Bee on the look-out for anyone I can help with his job or a personal problem — and then actively help him.

2.  Bee cheerful and kind to everyone I interact with all day long, whether it’s a business, associate, a family member, a social network friend, a fellow grocery shopper, or a neighbor’s dog choosing my yard for the bathroom — everyone — no exceptions.

3.  Bee diligent to do every task that should be done today and to finish it on time and with excellence.

4.  Bee sure to smile at everyone and at myself in the mirror.

5.  Bee diligent to contemplate and be grateful for all the multitude of blessings in my life.

6.  Bee diligent to openly and generously praise the Lord for giving me so much to make my life good.

7.  Bee Happy!  (It is a choice.)

 

~~~

 

 


 

Think Pink

This poem is part of my “Color Me Happy” series on my poetry site. I thought readers here might enjoy it as well.

 


When you feel your emotions are starting to sink,
Think pink.
When you’re fed up with politics and all the stink,
Think pink.
When you’re so mad your panties are all in a kink,
Think pink.
When losing your sanity’s just on the brink,
Think pink.

And why should you choose such a color, you ask?
Because when we choose in pink’s color to bask,
We’re cuddled and coddled in this pleasant shade.
It pampers and pets us and makes our hearts glad.

God, in His infinite wisdom did choose
Pink as a color important to use
When bringing the dawn of a new day alive
And when setting the sun to usher in night.

There’s something quite primal in pink I have found —
Something so elemental it’s almost profound.
We respond as if there’s an umbilical link.
So whatever the problem — to fix it, think pink.

 

 

 


 

Lenten Poems — week 5

 

JESUS IN GARDEN - NEGATIVE -KAREN'S WHIMSY

 

O, Lamb of God
So pure, so holy, undefiled,
You came so meekly,
Vulnerable, a tiny child.

You took our sin
And took all of its consequence.
You chose the cross,
And on it your lifeblood was spent.

But for what cause,
When tempted in the garden that night,
Did you still choose
To let yourself be crucified?

You told us, Lord;
If we’d just listen, we would know.
You said, “Because
I love the Father, I will go.”

Lord, work in us
That holy and obedient love,
That we, when tried,
Will speak and act only for God.

 

~~~
(Photo courtesy of Karen’s Whimsy)

 

 

 


 

Lenten Poems — week 4

NAZARETH, ISRAEL - EDITED

Nathaniel’s Answer

Nathaniel was a man who knew no guile.
He walked with Jesus, loved Him all the while.
When first he heard His name, a question posed
But waited ’til the answer was disclosed.

“From Nazareth can any good come forth?”
He asked of those who knew that city’s worth.
He asked for meditation, not reply,
Yet found the answer true in Jesus’ eyes.

And although from the garden he did run
With others as they scattered one by one,
As Roman guards led Jesus, bound, away,
There came a reckoning after the third day.

As Mary ran to spread the glorious news,
Nathaniel, hidd’n with others, all confused,
Received her words with doubt, and hope, and fear,
And hungered so His Master’s voice to hear.

Then Jesus stood among them, His work done:
Salvation for the world from Nazareth comes.