by Jay O'Toole
We live much of life amid unique choices. Joy is anchored in The One beyond our life.
"Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement.
One fails forward toward success."
C. S. Lewis
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen:
not only because I see it,
but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis
“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
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
When truly liked by those we know,
we've favor, and to spare.
When truly blest, in friendship grow
our days are built with care.
When given opportunity
to blossom in our gift
as favored ones we're fully free
by each heart to others lift.
A favored path is blossom-strewn
by those, who give their best
to others, who "just hang the moon,"
and pass each earthly test.
A world of self-willed humans miss
the blessings of the few,
who do their best to greatness kiss.
So favored as they do.
The great are rarely known by all
for favor comes to those,
who serve the small and breathy call.
The masses never know.
by Jay O’Toole
on May 6th, 2021
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder
of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
(Hebrews 4:12, KJV)
Andúril, O, you, gallant blade
in Aragorn's strong hand,
knows victory forevermore
in God's immutable Plan.
The Ten Commands were never chose
to be Salvation's course.
Perfection lived through death and life
by Christ is its blest Source.
O, Narsil, broken ne'er to fight
in blessing, not at all,
until the command, "Restore, again.
The broken places call."
Commandments shards, a gnarly mess,
until the rightful Heir
set foot on David's Terran sod
to wield its meaning there.
The blessed days of the King have come
through one lone rock-carved tomb.
The foe was sliced, Narsil restored,
and sheathed in hearts of whom
the Truth is known and wielded right,
and seeded there to bloom.
This spirit sword must swiftly cut
through all the noisome horde,
until great Victory is known
in the Presence of the Lord.
Andúril e'er Salvation's Joy
throughout the lasting Day.
Its peace none ever can remove
from One our price did pay.
by Jay O’Toole
on May 5th, 2021
The elm tree, soaking, hangs quite low
as streaks of lightning let us know.
Some thunder grumbles through the night,
to say we're small 'neath heavens' might.
God whispers still, "'Tis but the rain,
and 'lectric shock to balance gain."
The stillness reigns 'cause storm has passed.
A hush of peace it's wake has cast.
Some rumblings in the distance peal,
"Salvation in God's Hand is real."
I sit to contemplate my time.
Each day's a gift still in it's prime.
Great sentries stand throughout my yard
to gentle wind, now not so hard.
These pines are friends I've come to love,
like angels, tall, from God Above.
Throughout my years of living here
they've saved from wrath of windish fear.
Now, thank we all this God of Grace,
who grants us homes of earthly place
to demonstrate the lasting Home
we'll see when no more here we roam.
With Him, our storms are in the past.
Fore'er the wondrous Day will last.
by Jay O’Toole
on May 3rd, 2021
Days of life have jobs to do,
some are bliss, and some get through.
When we honor all that's ours,
giftings shine as blooming flow'rs.
At the end of life, we see
Dry as shucks, and dusty hay
when we live and Christ obey?
Hardly. In each waking thought
live we Truth in grace as taught.
Oft it is a sweaty work,
but our duty ne'er we'll shirk.
Stay at Post when storms do rage
Live for God through earthly age.
Give Him praise in all you do,
'til your job is fully through.
"This eternal Day," He said,
"is your Joy when Time is dead."
Lives we've touched, and helped to live
will the lasting Joy He give.
'Sponsibility's a gift.
Serve we God, and others lift.
Hang your head not once at all.
Service is our blessed call.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 30th, 2021
A doodle is quite fun to draw,
but it has meaning still.
The days of life by God's Own Law
conform to His Own Will.
I move, and run, and sleep, and wake
to draw my doodle line,
and when that's done new steps I take
to show God's Gift is kind.
Around, around, and round, again,
I'm running with each breath.
My hope to live without my sin
won't happen, 'til my death,
But daily life marks on the page
with blue lines and some red,
until the canvas and the stage
are fully marked and fed.
I pray my acts and will are blest
so led by God Above,
that when I've faced each daily test
the end result is Love.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 29th, 2021
Easter: Sunday, April 4, 2021
Free Write about Easter."
Christmas comes throughout the year for those with eyes to see it.
Jesus left His stable Home in Heaven to enter a stable home on Earth.
Jesus's Heavenly Father is responsible for everything, that has been created.
Jesus' Earthly father was a carpenter, making many things from wood.
Did Joseph make the manger in which Jesus was laid?
In the Trinity and from Eternity Jesus has always been wrapped in Light.
In the manger, Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Jesus lived away from human eyes in Eternity for many Earth-years
before being laid in a cave as a little Baby.
Jesus lived away from the public eye in Nazareth for many years
before being laid in a tomb, that was a cave, as a punished criminal.
Jesus lived His earthly years as the supposedly illegitimate son of Mary, Joseph's wife.
Jesus was crucified as the supposedly illegitimate messiah of the nation of Israel.
Being born in a nondescript stable was an ignominious beginning, but the lowest strata of human society, the shepherds welcomed Him and brought Him praise.
Being laid in a nondescript tomb was an ignominious ending to the life of a humble, itinerate, homeless rabbi, but a couple of women welcomed His resurrection on the third day with belief.
The leaders of the days of His earthly sojourn hated Him so badly, that they violated many of their own laws to get Him crucified. They didn't care. They were done.
In an interesting turn of events, the notorious criminal, Barabbas (aka "Son of the Father") was pardoned in order for Jesus, the Son of Father God, to take his place in crucifixion. Jesus took Barabbas' place, and Barabbas was pardoned. Jesus took the place of everyone, who has ever been pardoned through eternal Salvation.
Jesus is the Only Human to ever live the life of perfection, but He died at the hands of imperfect humans by the cruelest of all human methods of capital punishment.
Jesus bore our sin because since He had no sin of His own,
He was the Only One, Who could bear our sin.
Jesus provided the garment of perfection to receptive humans,
who had no perfection of their own.
The Lord of Glory, Who is clothed in Light,
had to die the death of shame without clothes.
Almighty God died the death of the cross as the Man,
Who gave other men the power to make Him appear to be powerless.
Some may consider the expression, "rise on the third day" to be indicative of death for 72 hours. I do not subscribe to that view.
1. Jesus died around 3:00 PM on that Friday. He was buried before sundown.
By Jewish number designation, that was "death on the first day."
2. Jesus' body laid in the tomb throughout the Sabbath,
which ended at sundown on that Saturday. That was "death on the second day."
3. Jesus rose from the dead around 6:00 AM (aka sunrise) on Sunday,
the first day of the week. That was resurrection on the third day.
In my humble opinion, Jesus was only dead for approximately 39 hours,
which is roughly half of the expected time.
3:00 PM on Friday to 6:00 AM on Sunday makes 39 hours.
I'm sure that number is significant. I simply need to study and meditate on it more.
Easter Sunday morning is the first day of the first week of Salvation.
Easter Sunday morning designates the New Day of human HIStory.
Easter Sunday morning is Resurrection Day.
Resurrection Day is Secret Christmas because
"The Best Present of Christmas was opened on Resurrection Sunday morning."
May we always remember, that Christmas without Easter would be meaningless,
but Easter without Christmas would be impossible.
Ultimately, Christmas is the first step to the Resurrection of Jesus
and it is the first step to the Salvation of believers.
That makes Christmas, Easter's Foreshadow,
and that makes Easter, Second Christmas (or Secret Christmas.)
Years ago, I started a blog on WordPress with the name, Secret Christmas.
It's no longer a secret to you, but for many humans,
the Greatest Christmas, which is Easter, is still a secret.
Let's tell them the secret, too.
Let's help their hearts to be truly blessed.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 28th, 2021
|Friendships, that will last throughout our earthly days,
are based on mutual love and mutual respect.
We may not look alike, but we most certainly love alike.
Unconditionally. That's what that is.
We may not think alike, but we most certainly dovetail our differences.
It's like walking. When you're ahead, I'm behind. When I'm ahead, you're behind.
It's like standing. We're in one place side-by-side.
Our friendship has different looks for different purposes.
We stand together as equals when it's time to rest, to reflect, to think, to converse,
but we can move from place to place, only when we lead by changing place in rhythm.
Leading in a relationship doesn't make the leader the better, nor the follower the lesser.
Leading and following is a function of getting things done.
The muscles of our arms and legs are set in pairs. One contracts. One relaxes.
Tandem pairs of muscles make us stronger as humans in physical bodies.
Tandem pairs of muscles in friendships make us stronger as friends.
Canadian Geese show us how to use this principle to make us stronger as groups of friends.
These wondrous birds fly in a "V" to increase efficiency, and to allow for periods of rest.
We, humans, talk about "taking point" or leading on a given day.
The goose, who flies at the point of the "V" must be the strongest in leadership.
Headwinds create drag on the leading goose.
The goose to the right or to the left bear nearly as much force, but it is still less.
And so it goes, until the last goose on either extremity bears the least amount of headwind.
This small flock of geese can cover many miles in this formation.
The leading goose flies point, until it can't.
Loud honking alerts the rest of the flock, "It's time for a change. I need to rest."
Then, in a moment as though by military precision. the point "man" falls back
to the position of one of the extremities to rest and to rejuvenate. It's easiest there.
Again, with military precision the next goose, right or left in turn, "takes point,"
and the flock flies on to accomplish its great distance.
Friendships are based on the understanding, that we help each other.
The stronger of the two helps the friend, who is experiencing a time of being weaker.
Woe be us if we are both weak at the same time.
Of course, that may be the time to prepare a cup of coffee or tea,
then we sit down under a fleece blanket, either separately or jointly,
depending on our snuggle-meter, sharing the warmth of body, heart, or both.
Some friendships have to touch, nearly constantly.
Some friendships rarely if ever touch, based on mutual love, respect, and understanding.
Lasting friendships start in the youth of life.
We do so much together.
We drink hot drinks.
We talk, while we run.
We talk, until we sleep, then we talk, again, when we wake.
Lasting friendships share all of the important moments of life.
The reception, and hopefully the spouse is welcomed into the circle of friendship,
even if not all of the long hours of conversation.
Children, pets, life's work, and hobbies.
Lasting friendships age like fine wine.
The bouquet mellows,
even when the taste in the cup fades a little.
Lasting friendships survive the days of Earth,
maintaining Joy forever in the Presence of the Lord.
Open Prompt: Write a poem over 30 lines, Structured or Free Verse, on the topic of your choosing.
Written for "The Whatever Contest." "The Whatever Contest"
Word Count: 583
Line Count: 56
Verses Count: 11
Style: Free Verse
by Jay O’Toole
on April 26th, 2021