Sandcastle Masterpieces

Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico, USA at Valley of Dreams after sunset.
by tkbrown
It looks like a big sandcastle party
to which everyone in town came to play.
All the best artisans wielding form free,
producing masterpieces at the bay.

Come one, come all--bid for your selection--
but leave in place so everyone might see
Sandcastles preserved--a great collection--
made to please our Creator, displayed free.

No earthly artisan has created
such beauty--eloquence--to e're compare
alongside wind-blown displays He vetted
in the blink of an eye and time to spare.

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So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

Genesis 1:27 — Holy Bible: Old Testament — King James Version (KJV)

I am ever amazed at the beauty God created when He formed this earth and our universe. The love with which He has touched so many places has lent itself to the greatest artwork ever molded from a piece of clay, thought into being at the stroke of a pen, or wielded with such perfect hue from the paint upon His fingers.

Then He gifted it to me and to you. Some of us marvel in reverent awe as others take for granted each day and all the beauty it entails. How can anyone view formations like those pictured above and dispute the hand of God?

I am ever blessed to be able to view locations around the world on my computer, and the awe I hold for each could only be increased by being there in person. What a gift God has granted to man whom He created in His own image. Just as He is a Spirit being, so are we–Spirit beings–in His image. From the moment of conception, our bodies churn out cells to fill specific rolls. We do not have to manage or manipulate this process in any way other than to care for it as we would His temple–the most Holy of Holies.

When I first saw the picture of this rock formation–Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico, United States of America–my thoughts drew a scene where families created sandcastles at the beach, then solidified their form for wind and sand to smooth out the rough edges. What a beautiful vision to behold!

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Sources:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Genesis 1:27. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Genesis 1:27 KJV – So God created man in his own image, in – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: © Sean Pavone / iStock / Getty Images Plus.

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II — The Way He Should Go . . .

~~ a multiple stanza quindecim

by tkbrown
I
A parent gives name to a newborn child
hoping for temperament low-key and mild.
Impossible to foresee the path trod,
they--two--prayerfully implore most high God:
Watch over and keep him on the right track;
when in smelting fire, please hold to his back.
Help him to learn the pathway he should choose
with plenty of room and nothing to lose
so long as he looks for the Lighted Path
and seeks to help others avoid God's wrath.
When he grows weary give lift to his wings,
replenish his strength,  give voice as he sings.
Help him tune in to your heavenly voice;
as he ponders  the way, then makes his choice
give mom and dad a vision to rejoice.
(Written: 10 February 2021 by tkbrown.)
II
As he grows: infant to toddler, then child,
as mom and dad pray for guidance compiled,
lead them through the inspired books of your Word--
reading instruction, insuring child heard
and lives what she learned as their lives portrayed
words of scripture and their actions conveyed
the faith, the hope, and the love from above,
relied upon strength when "push comes to shove."
Show them the way to plant inside his heart
those treasures from God--whose way doth impart--
knowledge and wisdom for life upon earth
to circumvent and give Satan wide bearth.
The foundation instilled in early childhood
will help her to know which pathway she should
take and follow toward her eternal good.
(Written: 18 February 2021 by tkbrown.)

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(To be continued: Please tune in again next week for the second quindecim.)

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Photo Above: by Bessi@pixabay.com.

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Charity

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

I Corinthians 13:13: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The word “charity,” in the New King James Version (NKJV), is translated “love.” Thus, in this passage written by Paul to the Corinthians, the two words might be used interchangeably. Apparently, there were many issues concerning the Christians at Corinth. In chapter 13, Paul addresses the need for love to abound. He notes a number of achievements to be worked toward as Christians in Christ’s church; then he cautions that without “charity” or “love” none of these is worth anything in Christ’s church. Though one may attain a high level of honor, without love, that person is nothing in God’s eyes.

How often do we, today, teach the importance of “charity” or “love?” Love, or charity, should be a frequent topic of our Bible lessons. It takes extensive study on the topic to exhibit the love Christ had, and has, for His church.

Love is one character trait deserving of frequent address. Too often we “go through the motions” but they mean nothing to us. Verse 2 says:

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing”–I Corinthians 13:2–NKJV.

Though it is possible to have faith enough to accomplish any feat—with God’s help–if I have not ”charity” or “love,” faith profits me nothing.

Faith, hope, and love are the three most essential characteristics of a Christian. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17–NKJV). “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1—NKJV) Faith is instilled by hearing, reading, and learning the word of God. It is important to follow hearing with study in order to learn the true meaning of the scripture presented. Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15–KJV). When we hear the Word, that hearing must be followed by our own private study to ensure we understand what is being said, when it was said, to whom, and about what. Thus, we learn the true meaning of the scripture uttered in our hearing.

The more we study God’s Word, the more it impresses upon us the need for love in our own character. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-47

43 — “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy,”

44 – “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you;”

45 – “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

46 – “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?”

47 – “And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?”

 The more we try to emulate Christ, the more love we will extend love to others. It is a tall order to “love our enemies and do good to them.” This tells us, if we have not love we are not emulating Christ—we are but pretenders. This pretense means nothing to God and will not ensure entry into heaven. We must grow as Christians if we are to hold the love for others that Jesus requires.

A new Christian has learned to love him-/herself enough to want to spend eternity with God and Christ. A mature Christian has grown in the emulation of Christ so that love is evident. Christ laid down His life to save us. How many of us would do the same?

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Photo Above: by reenablack @pixabay.com.

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Sources:

Eds. biblegateway.com. (2021). Holy Bible – New King James Version (NKJV). 1975 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. www.biblegateway.com. (26 January 2021). www.biblegateway.com.

Eds. Biblegateway.com (2021). Holy Bible – King James Version (KJV). 1987 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. www.biblegateway.com. (26 January 2021). www.biblegateway.com.

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History in the Making . . .

~~ by tkbrown ~~

20 January 2021 — Today, as the world looked on, we here in the United States of America were writing history books. The recent past has been filled with opinions, opines, differences, similarities, divisions, bridges, peacemakers, rioters, love, hate, sickness, health, and all that is in-between. Each new day brought its own headline: Covid-19, politics, the politics of the virus, mutations, commutations, charges, pardons, verdicts, blame, and forgiveness. Some have learned and gained from the lessons of the past year while others have lost–both literally and figuratively. In the end, it all came down to today. The world saw a whole new view in America: a woman — Kamala Harris — was sworn in as Vice-President.

The concept of seeing a woman positioned as a leader in the upper echelons is new to America. There have been inroads toward this moment for at least a century and a half. While other countries around the world reached this milestone long ago, America — the comparatively new kid on the block — took her time. Many women have attempted to attain the goal of President or Vice-President, but all have fallen short of the achievement–until today. Kamala Harris set her eyes upon this goal some time ago. Today, as an African American, South Asian American, female American — the daughter of immigrants who chose to make America their home — was sworn in as Vice-President of the United States of America. Vice-President Harris achieved her goal.

There are those who say America is made up of bigoted racists. I believe today proved them wrong. As my old mother used to say, “The proof is in the pudding.” Today, the pudding in America’s melting pot rang true, and no victory could be finer. Once again, America has stood to the task and proved her ideals are still “alive and kicking.” When put to the test, Americans are winners, if they choose to be.

As a child, I was taught to never act in a racist manner toward any other person regardless of that person’s color or country of origin. As a teenager, I wrote my first poem about race relations. When my children were young, I began advocating for the underprivileged including children, people with disabilities, and people of color. As my children grew to adulthood, I tried to instill a respect toward all people and I continued my advocacy in the professional realm.

As we turned the page to a new chapter in America’s history, today the world witnessed the true potential for all who choose to make America their home. May God Bless America and all who live within her borders, and may we show the world the true colors of love and acceptance.

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Picture Above: by Gerd Altman @pixabay.com.

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Calendar Quindecims — December 2020

~~ by tkbrown
December is moving in fast,
and Thanksgiving is barely past--
or, is it? Travel, families,
Black Friday fare--those online venues--
shopping with masks, social distance--
greatly reduced deals, now's your chance!
Buy now, pay later--give better
for Christmas than ever before.
Material flare--girls and boys
each year get more expensive toys.
This year will be no different,
I'm sure--packages and love sent
to those afar off. Would I could
be there with you--for now we should
be thankful for the things we have
and for the family to love.
God, please send it o'er air by dove!

My Morning Do . . . “Love”

~~ by tkbrown

21 September 2020 — Do you know the meaning of the word ‘love’?

I have decided to look at the meaning of the word ‘love’ this week. I already knew the Greek language embraces several different words in the expression of ‘love.’ I had thought I would first give the definition of ‘love’ from the Meriam-Webster dictionary and then cover the Greek definitions. However, when I opened Merriam-Webster to the word ‘love,’ I found more definitions for the word than are found in the Ancient Greek language. Ergo, since the New Testament of the Holy Bible was originally written in Aramaic Greek, I decided to cover those definitions first. Then, I will cover the English language definitions of ‘love’ later.

The Ancient Greeks identified six words which defined various definitional approaches of the word ‘love.’ Those words are:

  • Eros, or sexual passion . . .
  • Philia, or deep friendship . . .
  • Ludus, or playful love . . .
  • Agape, or love for everyone . . .
  • Pragma, or longstanding love . . .
  • Philautia, or love of self . . .
    • (Krznaric, 2013).

Throughout my lifetime, I have frequently listened as ministers of God’s Word and various speakers referenced the definitions of ‘love’ as applied by the Ancient Greek civilization. Those definitions have aided me many times over the years, not only in studying the New Testament, but also regarding life issues in general.

The reason I decided to look at the word ‘love’ is the same as the topic of today’s “My Morning Do . . . “Love”. More specifically, love as it describes God. I want to focus on four verses which just barely scrape the tip of the iceberg when describing ‘love’ as it relates to God. The first of these is Ephesians 5:1, which I present below.

Ephesians 5:1 — “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children, (NKJV).

Ephesians was written to the Christians at Ephesus by the apostle Paul around 62 A.D. while imprisoned at Rome, (Wikipedia, Eds., 2020). The verse says we are to be imitators of God ‘as dear children.’ How often do we see young children imitating ‘Daddy’? As children of God, we are to do the same. Thus, it is necessary to know God pretty well. Searching the scriptures on ‘God’, we find multitudes of descriptors. So, I decided to narrow it down and start with three verses in 1 John 4:7-9:

  • 7 — “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
  • 8 — “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
  • 9 — “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

The authorship of First, Second, and Third John is disputed among Bible Scholars. Therefore, I will not discuss this today. We can look at that later. Suffice it to say, the author saw a need to pen letters admonishing Christians regarding their love for each other. In this light, the verses presented above testify to the love of God. He states, “God is love.” Thus, to be the kind of Christian God wants us to be, it is necessary to understand the various definitions of ‘love’ and how they applied–or did not apply–to Christians to whom the letters were written.

When combined with all the other topics I am addressing in “My Morning Do . . . ” it will take a few weeks to cover all aspects to which I wish to relate my discussion, because I do not want to take away from my other topics. So, I look forward to meeting with you (in blogosphere) regularly to discuss these various topics related to ‘love’ in “My Morning Do. . . . ” With that, I bid you Adieu until the morrow!

Blessings to all!

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Sources:

Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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Photo Above: from pexels.com.

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Enjoy 'This Christmas' Now

by tkbrown

With ‘Christmases Past’
all wrapped up at last,
let us rejoice in this day
and remember to pray!

‘This Christmas’ is now;
so, why all the row
about all that was wrong
with ‘last Christmas’s song?’

The loved ones you know
love for you to show
the love in your heart;
so, give it a start!

Call someone today
just to say “Hey!”
Let them share in your ‘cheer’
throughout the New Year!

We all know ’twas sad,
those gifts that were bad,
but the past is all gone now,
bring glad tidings in tow.

What was done is all done;
I want to hear of it none!
So, when I open my door,
please, don’t be a boar!

Let’s enjoy the time we have
and ne’er need apply the salve;
create Happy Memories that will tear
when we recall again next year!

The ‘time’ that we now share
should be our only care;
’cause it is all we know,
and it may ‘ever be’ so!

Don’t waste the time we have,
or taint the current rave.
Just share your heart with me,
we’ll place New Memory on the tree!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Calendar Quindecims –November

~~ by tkbrown

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November
Thanksgiving vibes flow through our veins,
fill the atmosphere with celebratory strains.
Our hearts overflow with holiday cheer
as carols ring out in the blustery air.
Tinsels, lights and bows are strung
along the streets, in our homes are hung
as shoppers search for gifts far flung.
Christmas carols begin to be sung
by old and young and those in between,
and one can almost see a glistening sheen
as everywhere people cast doubt aside
and swear by His will they do abide.
Thanksgiving Day we'll offer up a prayer
for all the love, food and wealth we share --
the Spirit overcomes all we cannot hold dear.

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Photo above:
The First Thanksgiving -- by Bettman/Corbis @ Smithsonian.org,

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The Two Greatest Commandments

Photo by: aleteia.org
Source: Holy Bible (NKJV)

John 13:34-37 — “Love one another . . .”
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
John 13:35“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
John 13:36 — “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,”
John 13:37 — “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”

John 13:38-40 — Love the Lord they God . . .”
John 13:38 — “Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heaert, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.'”
John 13:39“‘This is the first and great commandment.'”
John 13:40“‘On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'”

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Notes: by tkbrown

First, we are told to “Love the Lord thy God . . . ” above all others. If we do this, then the second – which is like unto the first – will follow. Jesus said, “This is the first and great commandment.

Second, we are to “love one another . . . ” as Jesus loved us. By this, His disciples shall be known. If we strive to emulate Christ in our lives, others can see Him in us by the love that we have one for another.

Finally, He goes on to say that “on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” All else that we as Christians are required to strive toward hinges upon these two commandments. If we strive toward complete obedience of these two commandments, all else will fall into place.

Give of yourself . . .

~~ by tkbrown ~~

I have shown you in every way, “by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.‘”‘ ~~ Acts 20:35 (NKJV)

Give a little of yourself, get something in return . . . 
Love someone in purest form, you may not be loved back
but, by giving of that purest love within
you learn to love yourself -- simply because of the giving.
In learning to love more of yourself
you become more intuitive, to your own needs --
and to those of others.
What greater blessing can He bestow -- but
to mold us into a tool to aid another along the journey . . . ?
Photo by: bingngu93
at pixabay.com