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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/2216091-Divine-Nudges
Rated: E · Book · Inspirational · #2216091
The Lord doesn't always speak in an audible voice, but often in nudges, moving the heart.
The Lord is a gentleman. He is patient. He is longsuffering

He often remains silent, while we are speaking, but He will not remain silent forever.
He can be grieved and quenched when we refuse His message.

When nothing else works to get our attention,
then He may allow "...the pestilence that walketh in darkness;..."
to come into our lives to urge us to "...abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

When He gets our attention, and we begin to cry, "Daddy, save me," (Romans 8:15, KJV)
then "...I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him."

These selections come from Psalm 91. Many times my thoughts return to my childhood
with the reading of this psalm. When I was a little boy, I was wont to hide behind
my earthly daddy when dangerous or unfamiliar situations arose in my life.
My Daddy on earth was much bigger and much stronger than I was.

How much greater, today, as a grown man, that I can look to my Heavenly Father,
Who is infinitely bigger and stronger than my earthly father ever was.

As children, we were very good at "reading" our parents.
They gave us certain looks, which told us how to act without ever speaking words.
"You better not speak right now. I am so angry about what you have done."
"I love you, Dear One. Come here. Let me give you a hug."
Myriad were the looks in between these two extremes on the continuum.

The Lord in like manner says, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.
" (Psalm 32:8, KJV)

Earthly parents would often touch us on the shoulder in public,
especially when we were "acting up." When our eyes met,
they would simply hold up one index finger, waving it back and forth.
This meant, "Stop! Think about what you are doing!
Change your behavior before the hand of judgment falls on the seat of knowledge!
"

Of course, at other times a big, strong, gentle arm would wrap slowly around our chests,
drawing us back to them in a warm embrace, simply meaning, "I love you,...just because."

The Lord in His inimitable ways gives us His Own Divine Nudges.
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... Next
March 9, 2022 at 10:05pm
March 9, 2022 at 10:05pm
#1028659
prompt

"Do you think God cares about minor details? Why or why not?"


Frankly, the entirety of Creation is in the minor details.

As I recall it was a book by Pastor Timothy Keller, (https://timothykeller.com/) that pointed out all of the scientific facts for the existence of life on Earth, being placed on a razor's edge. In other words, were it not for the fact, that God wills us to exist, the scientific rationale for our existence does not hold up under close scrutiny because there are so many minute details, that have to work perfectly in order for life to exist on Earth.

I have a theory, that I cannot possibly prove in this lifetime, working with the limitations of the human body, but I believe it is just as worthy of a theory as any other theory ever purported.

My theory is simply this. "What if human existence is so finely-tuned, that the Lord has created every object in the totality of the Universe to be tied to the maintenance of the existence of humans by some Divine, invisible cord?"

For instance, the tilt of the Earth on its axis in relation to the sun is approximately 23.5 degrees off-perpendicular. It has to be this way in order for us to have seasons. The axis does wobble, but any wobbling, that is wider than 22 to 25 degrees off-perpendicular would inflict extreme seasons such that life on Earth would cease to exist.

The Earth spins on its axis once every approximately 24 hours. Were the spin to speed-up such that a day was only 22 hours, or to slow down such that days became 26 hours long, then the extremes in temperatures, both hot and cold, and/or the increase in the tides to the flooding of additional lands would cause life on Earth to cease.

The journey of the Earth around the sun requires approximately 364.25 days, (which accounts for the leap day every fourth year.) Arguably, if the journey increased its speed to the point in which it only required 362 days to circumvent the sun or slowed down to the point of requiring 366.5 days to go around the sun, just that variation of speed would cause all life on Earth to cease.

Now, to the internal look at the human body. The mitochondria (aka "engine") of every human cell is so perfectly integrated to the maintenance of human life, that it patently disproves the Theory of Evolution to me. The mitochondria could not have evolved, since any evolutionary stage between the nonexistence and the existence of the mitochondria in its present perfect state would cause human life to cease to exist. No mitochondria = no human life. Evolving mitochondria = no human life.

Breathable air on Earth is tailor-made for life to exist. As a child I was under the impression, that we only breathed oxygen. However, any cursory search online will show, that oxygen comprises less than 1/4 of the air we humans breathe. Our breathable air is more than three-fourths nitrogen, and beyond these two major gases are more than half a dozen other trace gases. Breathe too much oxygen, and a human would go insane or die. Change the composition of the air by more than tenths of a percentage point, and arguably, a human would die.

There is an English idiom, "The devil is in the details." Its meaning may be learned at this website, among a myriad of others. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-devil-is-in-the-details.html "The details of a plan, while seeming insignificant, may contain hidden problems that threaten its overall feasibility." However, I would like to offer, that to the contrary, The Creator God of all that exists in this physical Universe is so involved in every "minor detail" of everything, that He made, that failure to recognize His Signature on the entirety of The Creation would necessarily call into question "the feasibility of every plan."

"The devil is in the details"? Au contraire. The Lord of Glory is in the details. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." (Colossians 1:16-17, KJV)


by Jay O’Toole
on March 9th, 2022


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March 7, 2022 at 11:13pm
March 7, 2022 at 11:13pm
#1028542
Prompt

"We often hear people refer to 'true' Christians.
What is a 'true' Christian to you?
"

------------------------


A true Christian is a most sobering term.
It is strongly related to John 6:37,44.
These verses are consistently read in reverse order for fullest effect.

"No man can come to me,
except the Father which hath sent me draw him:
and I will raise him up at the last day.
"
(John 6:44, KJV)

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
"
(John 6:37, KJV)


It is my solemn duty to warn the reader and to encourage him or her, concurrently, that being saved is not a matter of church membership, nor church affiliation of any sort, nor is it a choice, that any fickle human heart can make at a time of his or her own choosing.

Being saved is initiated, wholly and completely, by The Divine EMT, Who is the Eternal First-Responder to the train wreck of a life, jolting the cold, dead heart of a woeful unbeliever with 200 joules of Grace. (Ezekiel 36:26-27, KJV) Once the awakened heart comes to, the only possible response is "Thank you" to One, Who has given vibrant life in the place of deathly cold. (Philippians 2:13)

A false Christian is recognized by the sad ability to live in "practical atheism" between Sundays, doing whatever the "christian" wishes to do with his or her life because "after all, I sacrifice my Sundays for God. I should be allowed to do whatever I want to do with the rest of my time."

A true Christian has been arrested by the Lord for the Lord's Purposes. "19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.". "I am not my own. I am bought with a price" to put it into personal vernacular.

A true Christian cannot come to the Lord for salvation, based on his or her own choice or volition. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." Salvation is initiated by Divine Invitation, not by human goodness, works, deeds, nor choice. However, if a person is really concerned about being saved, then that person can be sure, that such desperation doesn't have a human origin. Such desperation is from the Lord, and stopping to take care of the matter of Salvation at the point of desperation is truly the height of wisdom.

A true Christian is a gift, that God, the Father, gives to Jesus, the Christ, Who is God, the Son. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Allow me to attempt to express this verse in my own words. "All individuals (everyone) that my Father gives to me as a Salvation Gift will come to me without fail, and that person, who comes to me because my Father is bringing him or her to me will be received by me because my Father and I have a 'No Return Policy.'"

I have spent too many of my years on Earth, thus far, wondering if I "did it right," regarding the matter of being saved. However, these verses comfort my heart, that my status as a saved, born-again, true Christian is on the ability of the Divine Obstetrician, bringing me through the birth canal, not my own strength to get through that canal.

I had very little to do with my physical birth into this earthly life. My Mom made the final push. Out I came. The doctor spanked my little bottom, and I screamed my first breath in this new life, outside of my mother's womb.

Spiritually, there was a time in the womb of the Holy Spirit before the day of New Birth. As a small child, my parents taught me the rote memorization of John 3:16, and "Jesus Loves Me," but I was not yet a Christian. Then, there came the Thursday evening of that revival service in 1967 when the Divine Obstetrician "spanked" me with the conviction, that I was not yet a Christian, but on that night my heart was ready, and I cried in recognition of my need, while the Lord was meeting that need in agreement with John 6:37,44; John 3:16; and Philippians 2:13.

Do I know I am a Christian, today? Yes, but not because I remember every moment of that Thursday night in 1967, perfectly. I could debate over the actual moment when I got saved, but that's not nearly as important as seeing the signs of life today, that show me the fact that I am, indeed, alive.

As a human being, I have to breathe regularly, and since it's such a great need, I want to breathe regularly.

As a human being, my heart has to beat regularly, and since it's such a great need, I want my heart to beat regularly.

As a human being, I have to eat regularly and drink water, regularly, and since it's such a great need, I want to eat regularly, and to drink water, regularly.

As a spiritual being, I have to breathe (pray) regularly, and since it's such a great need, I want to breathe (pray) regularly. (Just as I don't have to think much about breathing, physically, I don't have to think much about breathing [praying] spiritually. My heart is prayerful because I need to stay in constant contact with the Lord, Who operates on one level as spiritual lungs.) (I Thessalonians 5:17)

As a spiritual being, my heart has to beat regularly in time with the Lord's heartbeat, and since it's such a great need, I want my heart to beat spiritually and regularly in time with the Lord's heartbeat. (Philippians 2:13)

As a spiritual being, I have to eat regularly spiritual food from God's Word and drink the refreshing water of The Bible, regularly, and since it's such a great need, I want to eat and drink this spiritual nourishment, regularly.

Finally, as I was writing this the Lord reminded me of another important spiritual Truth when my dog asked to "go out" by ringing the metal bell we have on our back door for that very purpose. Just as the physical alimentary canal has input/output features, the spiritual body of the Christian must be washed by the Water of the Word by ingesting the Lord's Truth in order to be able to flush out of the spirit-man, that which comes into contact with our spiritual person every day in the environment of this fallen (unredeemed) world.

There are physical signs of life, that show us we are alive, physically.
There are spiritual signs of life, that show us we are alive, spiritually.

True Christians are alive, spiritually, as shown by these important signs of spiritual life.


by Jay O’Toole
on March 7th, 2022


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March 3, 2022 at 9:44pm
March 3, 2022 at 9:44pm
#1028131
Prompt

How can a Christian handle fear?

Considering the fact, that the past two months have been filled with fear over a situation, which was a responsibility, this question is quite timely for me.

I have heard, that exercising courage is not done in the absence of fear, but in the facing of fear, and performing the task, anyway. I have no reason to argue with that definition, therefore, it appears to me, that the Lord has set up the scenario through which I have just passed for the very purpose of training me in the exercise of courage while experiencing some of the most intense fear I can recall in recent history, and maybe for the entirety of my life so far.

During many of these times of fear, I didn't feel like I handled the fear very well. I was left wondering, "Is this how a Christian handles fear if I'm even a Christian in the first place?" That is just how rattled my faith became, during this time of testing, which kept me off Writing.Com for much of February 2022.

Through this experience, I have been reminded once, again, that Jesus is the Master Silver Smelter. He puts His child in the cauldron to remove the dross, and to purify the precious metal. His silences may be experienced as anger, but Romans 8:1 tells me, that The Lord's silences are not anger for His precious child, but are the tender mercies of lovingkindness, which mold you and me into the child He loves for an eternal relationship.

The Lord gave me times of refreshing, during this epoch of testing. I spent time at one of my favorite places on Earth, which is a Methodist conference center, replete with places to sit and listen, like a prayer tower, which played hymns on the chimes. My first night there, I stepped out of the car, locked the door, and immediately heard the hymn, "God Will Take Care of You."

He never leaves us without comfort.
(Philippians 2:13)

How does a Christian handle fear?
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
(Psalm 56:3, KJV)
I have to keep repeating this.
There is no other solution, but the Lord.


by Jay O’Toole
on March 3rd, 2022


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September 30, 2021 at 5:39pm
September 30, 2021 at 5:39pm
#1018424
"22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat
and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
23 And when He had sent the multitudes away,
He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.
Now when evening came, He was alone there.
24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,
tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them,
walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea,
they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!”
And they cried out for fear.

27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying,
“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.

(Matthew 14:22-27, NKJV)


----------------------------------------------------

Since Jesus is omniscient, why does he allow His disciples to get into a boat, that is about to sail into a storm? Couldn't He save them from the grief by either keeping them on shore or by stopping the storm altogether?

Since He is, also, omnipotent,He could, indeed, prevent trouble for His disciples, but trouble seems to have a higher purpose in God's Economy, that we will understand only when we are in His Presence.

For now, He says, "Trust me," and we must do so in childlike faith.

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ,
not only to believe on him,
but also to suffer for his sake;
"
(Philippians 1:29, KJV)


This is something I can't fully understand in the natural. I do get glimpses of the beneficial aspects of suffering when I consider the smelting of silver. The extreme heat, that creates molten metal, draws the impurities to the surface, that they may be skillfully removed by the master silversmith.

However, it seems to be an unequal comparison, since silver is not sentient, and can feel no pain, but we humans do feel pain.

The Lord seems too compassionate to take pleasure in our pain, but maybe the respect for the pain is wrapped up in His Lovingkindness. Lovingkindness is a nuanced word, that I have come to understand means something like, "being too kind in the love one possesses for another to allow something harmful to remain in close proximity to the loved one, even if the process of removing that harmful element feels initially more like hate than like love."

People nowadays seem to consider preaching about Hell to be hateful, and unloving. However, if a someone gets saved because he or she heard a message about Hell, then the end-result would be infinitely more loving than existing forever in HELL because that precious soul was not warned. The emotional pain of the conviction of sin, death, the grave, and HELL is but a pittance compared to the exponential emotional pain of enduring HELL forever.

When Jade Amber Jewel was three or four years old we took her to the doctor for a regular check-up, during this particular visit, it was necessary to have her take a shot to prevent many of the childhood diseases, that she could contract without such aid. However, the look of betrayal in her eyes was almost more than I could bear, even though I knew I was doing the right thing to help her in the long run.

The Lord doesn't require of Himself to explain to us why we have to suffer on Earth, but as the old hymn goes, "It will be worth it all when we see Christ."




by Jay O’Toole
on September 30th, 2021


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September 29, 2021 at 11:53pm
September 29, 2021 at 11:53pm
#1018364
"21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me,
and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass,
while my glory passeth by,
that I will put thee in a clift of the rock,
and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
"
(Exodus 33:21-22, KJV)


------------------------------------

The Lord reserves a place for me
beside Him, very near.
I need just stand within the Rock,
direction's very clear.

He's passing by the place I wait.
He covers with His Hand.
The best he gives to me each day.
It's always by His Plan.

When things don't go the way I'd like,
when Help seems rather slow
my situation He controls,
and helps my mind to know.

The struggles of these earthly days
can weigh upon my heart,
but when this Time becomes my past,
Forever's Lasting Start.

The longest Day I live on Earth,
(my lifetime's ever short,)
the bulk of who I am's ahead
in Yesu's wondrous Port.

We seem to think our life is long.
It's really just a breath. (James 4:14)
A hundred years is not much time,
and then we're faced with death.

But faithful one, your chin now lift
for Death is but a Door.
Our Christ has entered there and lives.
He's victored this before.

The Greatest Door is Christ, the Lord. (John 10:7-9)
He offers Life to you.
Embraced I have this Gift He gives.
His Life is ever new.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 29th, 2021


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September 28, 2021 at 11:54pm
September 28, 2021 at 11:54pm
#1018244
He won the war before the first
shot ever had been fired.
He knew He'd die before He made
the first star He had wired.

He left His stable Home Above
to enter His stable home below.
He lived His perfect life for us,
that we perfection aye could know.

This Jesus, Lord of Heaven and Earth,
is over all, and always wins.
He lived, and died, and rose, again.
He made us first, and saves to mend.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 28th, 2021


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September 27, 2021 at 6:07pm
September 27, 2021 at 6:07pm
#1018152
Every realm of life has a position for leadership. Great leaders can fill such a position, creating amazing success for a corporation, a church, a sports team, a family, a region, and a country, etc. Such a leader can give great hope to a group of people, under that leader's influence.

Michael Jordan filled North Carolina and then Chicago with great pride, hope, success, and confidence for many years, while he was the King of Basketball in those locations.

Moses brought the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, leading this great nation for about 40 years.

Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and now Nick Saban have been the greatest coaches in the history of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. Between the two of them, they have amassed one of the largest numbers of national college football championships in the history of the game.

The top three all-time Home Run Kings of MLB are Babe Ruth, who slammed HR 714, (his final homerun) in 1935; Hank Aaron, who hit HR 715 in 1974 to become the King, moving into first place, finishing his career with HR 755 in 1976; and Barry Bonds, who landed the moniker of Home Run King in 2007 when he knocked HR 756 out of the park.

George Washington is arguably the greatest President the United States of America has ever known, overseeing the founding of this great nation, guiding us through the Revolutionary War, the establishment of the U.S. Constitution, and using his own wealth to establish our first method of exchange in silver coinage.

Coach Bobby Bowden is the best coach ever in the history of the Florida State University Seminoles football program, winning national championships in 1993 & 1999.

What happens to a group when their greatest leader is no longer their leader? Some continue in greatness, though not always at the same level of greatness. Once great groups become "has-beens." The people they represent lose pride in their sports teams.

Sadness ensues, but who can maintain the standard when the bar has been set so high?

Thus is the life of a Florida State Seminole football fan in the fall of 2021. Maybe next year.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 27th, 2021


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September 24, 2021 at 4:50pm
September 24, 2021 at 4:50pm
#1017980
"One thing have I desired of the LORD,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to enquire in his temple.
"
(Psalm 27:4, KJV)


------------------------------------------


Considering the end of one's life can be intimidating, especially if you've enjoyed a relatively good life on Earth, and you are still in above-average health for your age bracket. God being my Helper, I would like to think I could live another two or three decades, here, while laying the foundation for a strong impact on future generations.

However, since tomorrow is never promised to any person, except King Hezekiah, for one, and his additional fifteen years, and since Schnujo is offering beaucoup gift points for doing this as part of her
FORUM
The Whatever Contest -- Now Open  (13+)
This irregular contest will change each round. Nature poem? Horror story? Whatever.
#2232242 by Schnujo
I think I'll finally write this Last Will & Testament, regarding my profile on Writing.Com.

At best my WDC profile is a repository of a small portion of the poems I have written in this life on Earth. My greatest desire is that these poems would be incense lifted up for the Glory of The Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Who is the Creator of All Things.

I'm glad to have attempted prose on many occasions, although it never seems to have been as strong a natural gifting as is my poetry writing.

For this reason, as a man of strong mind, strong spirit, and still strong body, I bequeath one-half of my remaining gift points to Dave's dodging Ian for The Poet's Place, and the other half to Samberine Everose as the dear friend, sister in Christ, and daughter in heart, that she is. I understand, that dividing GPs among multiple WDC members can be a challenge, but I pray, that splitting these two ways is not too much of an inconvenience.

I would further desire, that The StoryMaster directs of my books, that are still unpublished, to my daughter, Jade Amber Jewel , to edit for grammatical errors without changing the content, giving her any assistance he is able to give for the completion of the task or handing off such work to my WDC friends, who are known for their many likes and comments on my Notebook posts. (At the date of this writing, it is still my desire to publish them all, while I still live.)

Please, guarantee, that my poetry remains unedited in my profile since poetry is the nearest representation of who I am as a human.

Most, who have read my writings on WDC know, that my dearest desire is to have all readers to be affected by my writings, drawing every soul on Writing.Com, in specific, and every soul on Earth, at large, into a right relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ, The Lord of Glory. When I write these words, I do not wish to offend anyone, regarding their own heartfelt beliefs. I do simply say, that I have come to regard every person I have met on Writing.Com with great respect, and in love, I pray their forever state will be the best and the most blessed it can possibly be. To that end, I desire for them a right relationship with Jesus Christ because that is the highest prayer I know how to offer.

Finally, "search the Scriptures for in them you believe you have life everlasting." Hebrews 11 is The Hall of Faith. Great Wisdom is herein contained. John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10,13; Philippians 2:13; John 1:1-4, and the entire letter of 1st John are great resources for finding Everlasting HOPE.

If I have ever offended anyone, here, on Writing.Com, then I humbly ask you to forgive me.

If you have ever been my friend, here, then you still are.

If you have ever taught me in any capacity on Writing.Com, like Dave's dodging Ian , Carol St. Ann , and Winnie Kay to name a few, then you continue to have my greatest respect, and thanks for a job well done.

My friends at the Christian camp I used to attend in high school had this expression, "Here, there, or in the air." This was our parting blessing. Roughly, it meant, "I look forward to our next meeting being somewhere here on Earth or above the Earth during the Rapture of The Church, The Bride of Christ." At such time, that my suitcase goes white, only the last part can to the reader. Please, embrace Christ Jesus. Please, meet me in the air.

I am now enjoying one of C. S. Lewis' greatest quotes while living it in his presence.
"I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle"

Blessings, All, Now and Forever.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 24th, 2021


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September 23, 2021 at 5:13pm
September 23, 2021 at 5:13pm
#1017936
Prompt:

"Do you give much thought to God and spiritual things?
Tell me about your most memorable spiritual experience.
"


-------------------------------------------------------------


"17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!
how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:
when I awake, I am still with thee.
"
(Psalm 139:17-18, KJV)


--------------------------------------------------------------------


The daily thoughts of Christ, my Lord,
began with His to me.
For so it says, the Living Word,
"I'm the one You see."

"How precious are Thy thoughts to me!
O, God, how great their sum!
When I awake I'm still with Thee,
The One to Whom I come,


"If I should count Your thoughts, again,
they're more than grains of sand
My life's with You, now, past my Sin.
Salvation's Your Lone Plan.
"

To give my thoughts to other things
is clearly a balloon,
that when it's underwater brings
desire to chase the moon.

To try to write of earthly days
without His shining Face
would have no color, be just grays.
My heart would be disgraced.

For Jesus' Face comes into view
when writing poetry each day.
I see His Hand in old and new,
that my own eyes observe displayed.

He saved me when a child of six,
most wondrous day I've ever lived.
He came so gently, without tricks,
embraced me full, His life to give.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 23rd, 2021


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September 22, 2021 at 11:48pm
September 22, 2021 at 11:48pm
#1017901
The autumn of this earthly day
may seem so sad as days grow short.
"No more may we, our works display?
No more may we, our strength still sport?
"

Take heart, Dear One! The best is near.
The harvest comes as days grow dim.
We need our strength, not stronger fear
to gather lasting souls for Him.

What Wisdom from The Savior Blest!
The days, that wane, are greatest, yet!
We've lived through long, hard days of test.
Now, Home is near to wonders get.

We lose in autumn, but we gain
as wheat turns brown to feed the Earth.
The days of youth submit to pain,
forgotten in these souls' new birth.

The empty barns will soon be filled
with harvest joys and lasting grains
for Christ, the Lord, He once was killed,
but rose, again. His Life remains.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 22nd, 2021


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September 21, 2021 at 11:03pm
September 21, 2021 at 11:03pm
#1017845
The need of God, to have a place
is truly of us all.
The orphan soul in its disgrace
is lost beyond a call.

Each day the stress of hiding deep
within the wooded fort
will cause depression full to seep
throughout each hole and port.

The emerald clouds of daily hurts
made rust of armor's nicks
to silence all my worth retorts,
and prideful facial tricks.

He fin'lly came and bested all
my wormy boards and rusty nails,
that kept out life to make a pall
of darkened heart, its life of fails.

"I love you, Son. I died for you,
was buried, and the third day rose.
Just let me do my work all through
the orphan shadows, that you chose.
"

His efforts all then warmed my heart.
I gave Him place to dwell within.
Resistance fled, gave Joy a start,
and fin'lly Hope defeated Sin.

He found me on my darkest day.
He set my feet on His highway.
He gave me colors for my gray.
I'm now His trophy to display.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 21st, 2021


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September 20, 2021 at 11:38pm
September 20, 2021 at 11:38pm
#1017793
This life on Earth is just a booth
of temporary days.
We've hope to live by lasting Truth,
the Lord to ever praise.

The Israelites through forty years
traversed the desert sand.
Their homeland, gift of many tears,
forever it will stand.

The Lord of Glory in His Flesh
was beaten, crucified.
He rose and left His final creche
to seek His only bride.

The days of fronds made us His friends,
His bride to ever join.
His death and resurrection mends
perfection once purloined.




by Jay O’Toole
on September 20th, 2021


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September 17, 2021 at 6:09pm
September 17, 2021 at 6:09pm
#1017611
"And it came to pass,
as the angels were gone away from them into heaven,
the shepherds said one to another,
Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,
and see this thing which is come to pass,
which the Lord hath made known unto us.
"
(Luke 2:15, KJV)


----------------------------------------------------


"It came to pass upon that night
the angels went away from them
into the Heaven filled with Light,
and left the light of Earth quite dim.

"'Let's go to find this little town,
the House of Bread of David, King.
Let's see this thing now to us known
of which the angels did just sing.

"The Lord hath made it known to us,
so many proofs to fill each heart.
Eternity's a lasting plus
for those receiving Him from the start."


------------------------------------------


It matters not how humble our start
when Jesus comes to find us.
It matters only that the Lord of Glory
has chosen those He wants to be with Him forever.

These dear ones are all gifts from the Father to the Son,
and none will ever be lost nor rejected, according to John 6:37,
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me,
and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.
"


by Jay O’Toole
on September 17th, 2021


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September 16, 2021 at 8:21pm
September 16, 2021 at 8:21pm
#1017577
Sometimes we're tempted to wonder why the Lord allows difficulty in this earthly life.

The simple answer is Original Sin. The Lord warned our first parents not to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. "For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17, KJV)

They disobeyed, eating the fruit, dying spiritually at that moment, and beginning to die physically throughout the rest of their lives on temporal Earth.

The Lord in His Mercy clothed Adam and Eve to cover the shame of their nakedness and using the Promissory Note of the Messiah's Death, Burial, and Resurrection, He covered the debt of Original Sin to return them to right standing with God because The Lord loves to give Mercy the victory of Judgment. "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment." (James 2:13, KJV)

However, Original Sin is still the human propensity, even today. We don't trust God to teach us Truth because He is Truth. (John 14:6) We trust ourselves to find truth in whatever form of esoteric facts we can to explain life, and to explain away God in order to absolve ourselves from any responsibility to obey Him.

The banishment from the Garden of Eden remains. This once-perfect garden and place of human residence has yet to be found by any of Adam's descendants. We search for the Garden through anything, that may give us a few moments of peace with its concurrent feeling of security. For some of us its the enjoyment of a cup of tea or a cup of coffee in an establishment, which is dedicated to that purpose. (That's me.) Some of us enjoy an afternoon on the front porch in the midst of a rainstorm, drawing or writing or both. (That's my wife.)

Some of us search for it throughout the bulk of our earthly existence, rarely finding even a modicum of the peace for which we so desire. Depression is just one aspect of the consequences of Original Sin, but I would like to focus on this heavy burden for a few moments in hopes of helping to lighten someone's load this very day.

Rainy Days always seem to remind me of Karen Carpenter, and her quintessential song, "Rainy Days and Mondays."



What an amazing voice the Lord gave this lady! Though there are great voices on Earth still to this day, I doubt very seriously, that another singing voice will have the same effect on my heart, that Karen Carpenter's voice has always had. (Jodi Benson has sincerely come very close.)

The Karen Carpenter Story deals with her eating disorders as the cause of her death in the 1980s, but I am convinced, that she dealt with depression over body image issues.



Some of us on Writing.Com are starting to deal with body image issues head-on, but it is a challenge, and we fight with depression as a result.

We live in a world in which unhealthy body types are paraded before us as the norm. This means, that many humans, who are underweight or overweight have grown up seeing ourselves as defective, and therefore unworthy of love.

Being a junior high student in the mid-1970s shaped some unhealthy body image issues, that I still have to deal with, even today when fatigue has drained my emotional reserves.

My Physical Education class had a public shower room without dividers. We were expected to change out of our sweaty gym clothes, get a shower, and change into dry street clothes for our next class. This was always a challenge, since my 13-year-old body was not as developed as some of the other boys, and I was overweight. It didn't help, that some of my male peers called me names, like "fatty." They certainly didn't treat me like I was their equal, either.

If I had the ability to lose the excess weight, I could have become one of those few males, who developed the condition of anorexia nervosa (or simply "anorexia,") that Karen Carpenter dealt with.

Today it is still hard to look other humans in the eyes, since there is a feeling of unworthiness, that remains. That's why writing is the perfect mode of communication for me.

How has God created us?

How can imperfect humans, who are physically tainted by Original Sin, live in individually healthy ways to honor the Lord, and to care for our bodies for the full amount of days, that God has given us on Earth?

We can eat what we know to be a healthy diet at least to the degree, that we understand it to be healthy for each of our individually-designed bodies. We can continue to eat this healthy diet, even when the amount of weight we would like to reduce from our overall weight seems to remain, even with our best efforts.

I have had some success over the past couple of years, maintaining a diet of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This means, that even my "milk" is made from almonds. I eat egg whites, that I flavor with shredded cheese, occasionally, and at other times I flavor them with nooch (or nutritional yeast, which adds a sort of "cheesy" flavor.) My "hamburgers" are made from turkey meat. I eat fish upon occasion. Two off-brand Yetis full of coffee, flavored with almond milk and Stevia give me the bulk of my daily caffeine intake, and a large variety of teas, ranging from Black tea to herbal teas, round out my caffeine and pleasure liquids.

My weekly exercise, includes three days of varied weight-lifting reps, which are sessions of about 40-50 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My mileage on the road averages about 2.5 miles on Monday and Wednesday in which I jog, that distance. Then, on Saturdays I average 7 to 7.5 miles on our local rail-to-trails greenway in which I have been consistently walking and running the distance over the past month or two, so far.

When I started the Fit Father Program on Father's Day Weekend this summer, I weighed in at about 215 lbs. Today, I was just under 207. I have to watch what I eat "like a hawk" because the weight can creep up, again, if I'm not careful.

This is where I have to continue to battle the temptation to be depressed. I ask, internally, the same questions others ask. "Dear Lord, why did you make some people able to eat anything they want to eat without gaining excess weight? Why can some people remain sedentary, and still not gain weight? Why can I do all the right things, like eating healthy foods, eschewing white sugar, white flour, candies, cakes, and ice cream, while exercising regularly, and still not lose down to my desired weight level?"

One Saturday I bore my soul to my runner's group, and one of my dear Christian sisters asked me a pointed question, "Are you healthy?" I had to answer, "To the best of my abilities, I am." "Then, don't worry about the weight."

This all goes back to body image issues.

How does God see me?
Does He want me to be a world-class runner at the age of 61?
Or does He care even more about my spiritual health as I do the best, that I can do with what He has given me to maintain my physical health until He calls me Home to be with Him in the new physical body He has waiting for me?

"For bodily exercise profiteth little:
but godliness is profitable unto all things,
having promise of the life that now is,
and of that which is to come.
"
(I Timothy 4:8, KJV)

The goal of this life is to live wisely with the tools the Lord has given to me to use for His Glory. When I find my completeness in Him, I will stay as healthy as He means me to be in all realms, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.



Be Blessed, Dear Ones. Bring your lives to Jesus. He, and He Alone, can and will do His amazing Will with your life.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 16th, 2021


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September 15, 2021 at 4:53pm
September 15, 2021 at 4:53pm
#1017471
The Lord is Good. He ever lives
to save all souls in need.
The Lord is Blest. New Hope He gives
to those, who bear His seed.

So many souls are never saved,
but still His offer stays.
The ones now changed, though once depraved
in Joy His Word obey.

The days of evermore anon
will rest these hearts in peace.
For Christ, the Ever-living Son
brings Hope and full release.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 15th, 2021


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September 14, 2021 at 10:55pm
September 14, 2021 at 10:55pm
#1017435
Prompt:
"'Do I believe that God wants me to know him?'
(This includes my knowing how He thinks and feels about me.)"


Prompt:
"Do you believe you can be completely truthful with God? Why or Why not?"


----------------------------------------


These two prompts seem very closely connected to me. If God really wants to know me (as believe He does,) then He would ever countenance a relationship with me, that is anything other than completely truthful.

Numbers 23:19 in the King James Version bears this out. "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"

The very fact, that Jesus left Heaven to come to Earth as a little Baby, tells Jesus is "all in," regarding the desire to know me in that deeply personal way He Alone can understand.

Jesus, the Creator of Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-4, desires to know me, personally.

Jesus, The One, Who holds the Universe together with the kind of connectivity, that prevents explosions of unattended compounds, and their volatile interactions, is the very One, Who desires to hold me in His Arms. (Colossians 1:16-17, KJV, "16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.")

According to John 14:6, KJV, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." If Jesus calls Himself the Truth, how can He possibly want a relationship with me, that is less than 100% Truthful.

After all, Jesus is Omniscient, meaning "He knows everything." If I try to be coy, holding back something of myself from Him, then I am actively lying, which creates a barrier between the Lord and myself. Lies cause a breakdown in any relationship.

Jesus's Death, Burial, and Resurrection as well as His personal activity in convicting me of "sin, righteousness, and judgment" (John 16:8-11, KJV) for the purpose of drawing me unto Salvation demonstrate His commitment to me, and His desire to make me His son. His thoughts toward me are Love. His feelings toward me are the loving compassion of Father to son. I can't be anything but completely truthful with Him, and still have a trouble-free relationship with Him.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 14th, 2021


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September 13, 2021 at 9:57pm
September 13, 2021 at 9:57pm
#1017358
The good,
the bad,
the indifferent,
for His Mercy endures forever.

Great Hopes,
great tears,
great times of waiting,
for His Mercy endures forever.

When poetry dances,
when essays are a breeze,
when words jump onto the page,
for His Mercy endures forever.

When I need rest,
when my ideas come slowly,
when I need new grace,
for His Mercy endures forever.


by Jay O’Toole
on September 13th, 2021


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September 10, 2021 at 10:28pm
September 10, 2021 at 10:28pm
#1017218
Rest means finding my place
in Someone stronger than I am,
Who defends my honor,
my name,
my very existence.


-----------------------


9/11

20 years

We will never forget.


God grant Peace and Rest to those, who were lost
as well as to those, who remain.


----------------------------


REST
sheltered
kept from harm

in the baby's crib,
in the friendship lasting,
in the Savior's loving Arms

"Hoping in He, Whose Strength abides."


by Jay O’Toole
on September 10th, 2021


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September 9, 2021 at 12:55pm
September 9, 2021 at 12:55pm
#1017100
"One thing have I desired of the LORD,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to enquire in his temple.
"
(Psalm 27:4, KJV)


--------------------------------------------


This one thing is my great desire.
I ask the Lord and seek Him full,
that I may dwell beneath the spire
of His Dear House, where He doth rule.

I'd stay there ev'ry living day,
behold the beauty of the Blest,
inquire to hear what He would say,
find strength for ev'ry daily test.

My wisdom, Lord, is sadly small.
I need Your Hand to help me walk.
For that I lack, I'm taught to call
on Him with Whom I need to talk.

The House of God is pristine made.
Its maintenance is ever sure.
I need just rest there as I'm bade.
The fragrance of His Altar's pure.

To enter in we simply come.
Accepting us is from His Heart.
Each Father's gift in part and sum
receives Salvation from the start.
(John 6:37,44, KJV)


by Jay O’Toole
on September 9th, 2021


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September 8, 2021 at 6:55pm
September 8, 2021 at 6:55pm
#1017048
"26 And God said,
Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness:...

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God created he him;
male and female created he them.
"
(Genesis 1:26-27, KJV)


----------------------------------------


Which gender is better?

Feel that? That is the unease of uncertainty as to how to respond to such a question.

If we are painfully honest with ourselves, and others, then we would have to confess, that on some level, and at some point of lives, we have believed, that the gender we each are is the best because it is all, that we know from the point of personal perspective. Regarding most areas of human experience, we are content with that which is most familiar to each of us, individually.

Continuing in the realm of painful honesty, we have each looked at the other gender, and thought, You've got to be kidding me. Why did you do that task in that way?

Expanding on this concept we could apply this principle to every area of human experience, be that nation of origin, language group, financial status, and religious belief to name a few. Whatever "my" perspective is would be considered insightful, and all other perspectives would be considered lacking in some aspect of vital insights. (Those issues are for another day. Let's focus on the creation of man and woman or male and female in this essay.)

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." This verse of Genesis 1:27 seems to imply, that man, and his essential counterpart, woman, were created at two different moments in time when, arguably, all other living beings were created in pairs. Why was this so?

Could it be, that since humans are the highest form of God's living Creations, God wanted Adam to take some ownership of how vitally important Eve was to his very life? He could observe in other forms of life, that males and females were required for the continuation of that species, but until he felt the need for Eve, he would consider her to be only important in the creation of babies, and nothing more.

Much was made of the Battle of the Sexes during the years of my youth, but I would like to offer a perspective. Could it be, that if two sexes battle for the mastery, both are just as foolish as Adam would have been, during the earliest years of the Creation of humans on Earth, if he had rested in some prevailing viewpoint, that males and females are for procreation, but emotional and mental health is best maintained by being by oneself in The Garden, alone with one's own thoughts?

"And God said, 'Let us make man in our image after our likeness...'" May I offer, that God created man and woman for the purpose of giving the human race its best insight, regarding the Character of God as being uniquely Individual, while at the same time being irrevocably Corporate?

There are other religious belief systems in the world, which accuse Christians of being polytheistic. The accusation would be, "You worship Three Gods rather than One God."

However, I would like to offer, that human logic is a sadly limited perspective. I have been battling the human logic perspective my entire life in pursuit of the Eternal Perspective. It's still difficult for me to grasp the eternal perspective in the way, that I will understand it on the other side of death, but having the belief, that human logic is a tool rather than a suit or an identity to be worn has freed me to comprehend many aspects of The Bible, and the spiritual life, that I couldn't comprehend before becoming a Christian.

Bottom Line: The Character and Identity of God cannot be understood without the free-flowing operations of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, acting Independently (aka Uniquely,) while at the same time operating in Dependence upon Each Other in the Absolute Agreement of Unity. By virtue of the application of Genesis 1:26, the character and the identity of the human Home cannot be understood without the free-flowing operations of husband and wife, acting independently (aka uniquely,) while at the same time operating in dependence upon each other in the absolute agreement of unity.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I am painfully aware, that this is where our essential task of Imagebearers has broken down and continues to break down every day, since The Original Sin. However, our inability to carry out the task, that we were created by God to do throughout the entirety of Time and Eternity, does not detract in any way from God's Ability to operate as Three Unique Individuals in Absolute Corporate Unity throughout all of Eternity: Past, Present, and Future.

Humans can't be perfectly unified (at least not in this life,) but God can be.

Remove One Member of this Tri-Unity, and God would cease to exist as Omniscient because one aspect of knowing would be gone, Omnipresence because One Person of God would no longer be Present. This simply points out two aspects of God, that would be lacking in the absence of one of the Persons of God. Arguably, even Mercy and Grace would become inoperable with Someone lacking in God.

Remove one gender from Humanity, and we would cease to exist almost immediately, without having to wait for the nonreplenishment of generations. There are perspectives, that a woman has, that are not possible for a man. There are perspectives, that a man has, that are not possible for a woman.

We need each other as much as we need all Three Members of the Godhead.

Man and woman act in tandem much like the muscles of the arm. "The trapezius and serratus anterior muscles work in tandem to coordinate rotation and movement of the scapula to accommodate the full range of motion of the arm." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537148/

We do appear to be oppositional all too often, but could it be that the act of pulling against each other when properly balanced is the very thing, that causes the human race to accomplish so much throughout all of HIStory for the Glory of GOD?


by Jay O’Toole
on September 8th, 2021


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