Share Your World, 2015 — Week # 3

SMILEY -- NO CIRCLEI missed participating in Cee’s Share Your World Challenge last week, so I’m going to get on the ball and try to post my answers on the first day this week.

Question # 1: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

This question was a serious challenge for me — mainly because when you think about the opportunity to invite anyone in the whole world, you naturally turn your mind toward someone you’d never have the chance to invite except in this rare situation. You don’t consider the ordinary, everyday people.  Not that they are not just as important, but because you can invite them anytime — right? — so you don’t want to waste this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on someone you can call on the spur of the moment anyway.

Several people came to mind — people who are my favorites in their various fields of endeavors — but, alas, they all seem to be gone from the earth. My favorite authors, my favorite preachers, my favorite world leaders, my favorite musicians, my favorite artists, and my favorite teachers. They have moved on to greater rewards than having dinner with me.

But the more I thought about the question, I decided that I’d probably most enjoy having the wonderful friends I’ve made through blogging these past three years. Those people who have interacted with me online in a caring, encouraging, loving manner, and whom I have grown to genuinely care about in a very personal way. Every one of those people is bright, creative, interesting, encouraging, and stimulating to me personally — and to my own creativity. So, without further ado, I’d like to issue the invitation. Every single one of you who genuinely considers that you and I have become firm friends and family through the amazing technology made available by WordPress, would you please come to my house for dinner?

Question # 2: When did you last sing to yourself?  To someone else?

Yesterday and yesterday.

 Question # 3: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

The ability to make decisions without looking at the situation from every possible, conceivable direction and without envisioning myriads of scenarios and asking pounds of questions concerning possible outcomes, both positive and negative. Sometimes I stop and chastise myself with words like, “For heaven’s sake, stop thinking so much and just make a decision!!! Yes/no; black/white; do/don’t: Just pick one!”

Question # 4: What, if anything is too serious to be joked about?

People losing their memory and their mental faculties is a deadly serious thing as far as I’m concerned. I cared for two different family members who lost their ability to think and reason and eventually their ability to communicate. I know other people who went through the same experiences. It was a horrifying, humiliating, debasing experience for them, and it is a far too serious and painful thing to be joked about.

I am astounded and angered at all the people in this world who seem to love to make jokes about having what they term “senior moments,” or about how elderly people say and do ridiculous things because of mental failures. I have seen scores and scores of those kinds of jokes on social media throughout the world. I delete every one of them when I see them because they don’t deserve to be left online as far as I can control it. And I’m totally fed up with people in my own personal life who find the subject an excuse for comedy. I can guarantee that if they ever truly had a memory loss or a malfunction of their minds, they would not laugh at all.

Moreover, words have power. Even medical science has proven time and time again that the words we speak affect our physical bodies. People may think they are joking, but the more they say their memory is bad — “I can’t remember things anymore,” or “I have a terrible memory now that I’m older,” or “I have senior moments all the time now.” — the more their memory will deteriorate. And the more people say “I can’t think straight anymore”  — or worse yet — “I’m going crazy” — the more their physical brain will begin to comply with their own words. And pretty soon, they won’t be laughing either.

Mental failures are absolutely nothing to joke about, and people with good minds should appreciate and be so grateful for them that they speak about being blessed with a good mind instead of saying every negative thing they can think of to try to get a laugh out of somebody.

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m very grateful for having the opportunity this last week to spend a little time with some truly great friends whom I had not seen in years.

This next week, my spring term of creative writing classes begins, and I am very excited to meet my new students and help them on their way to a more disciplined and more expanded use of their gifts and talents.



Now My Heart Must Sing

I’ve been going through some troubling situations lately and found myself feeling pretty low as a result. But in a time of prayer this morning, the Lord graciously reminded me of a poem He had given me almost two years ago. That poem was the record of another time in my life – many, many years ago – when things seemed very hard and very dark. But at that time, through means of a dream, the Lord showed me that I had nothing to worry about, and that He had worked everything out for me. So this morning, after being reminded of that poem, I sat down and read it again. It encouraged and cheered me so much that I decided perhaps I should share it on here again in case a few of my readers could use that same kind of encouragement today.

WILLOW TREE - credits



I woke to face another day,
No glad expectancy,
For heavy disappointments were all
Weighing down on me.

The day before had been so filled
With unsupportive words,
With problems piled four levels high
and everywhere closed doors.

The friends I’d counted on were not:
They came and went like rain:
All so enwrapped in their own lives
They couldn’t feel my pain.

It was just like so many days,
All running wearily,
So sad, with disappointments too,
All weighing down on me.

And though I knew I would survive,
That didn’t soothe my heart,
For sorrow deep and troubles too
Brought a longing to depart.

But then to Jesus I did run;
I saw it in a dream:
I stood below a gentle hill,
All carpeted in green.

When I looked up and saw Him there,
He stood beneath a tree,
And waited, smiling patiently;
He’d been expecting me.

I ran but didn’t feel the strain;
He grabbed me in His arms;
He wrapped them hard around me; held me
Strongly, safe and warm.

I’d never felt so light and free;
Engulfed with joy and rest;
No problem lingered to be weighed;
All I could feel was blessed.

And all the disappointments, though
So heavy they had been,
Took flight, and sadness too was gone,
Ev’ry conflict, ev’ry pain.

All threats and fears and torments sore,
All guilt, defeat, and shame –
In love so glowing and so strong,
All were dissolved away.

Then suddenly I saw a truth –
It caught me by surprise –
That Jesus’ joy exceeded mine;
I saw it in His eyes.

I’d known He would accept me, that
He’d made a place for me,
But never had I even guessed
How happy He would be.

He was so thrilled to have me there;
He laughed so loud and strong,
That all things not of joy and life
Just vanished in joy’s song.

And when I woke to this new day,
His laughter still did ring;
His arms still held me close and warm,
And now my heart must sing!