Look Alive

07 January 2011

Hearing & Active Listening -- FaithFULLY

With the first week of the new year "2011" almost behind us, a fresh yet mildly seasoned perspective is available to whomever will approach with Kingdom senses. I trust we've all learned something useful so far and hope we'll continue to teach each other per the daily gifts of God's grace. For instance, a local blackout actually turned the lights on my need to constantly place God's will in a priority higher than the heights of any romantic past or pursuit. Ah, the plight of young God-fearing singles in this age! It seems we're blessed if we do [reverence Him and work accordingly at living within our respective, cultural frameworks], damned and maybe a bit bored or misunderstood if we don't. Sometimes I'm led to think I heard wrong when heeding the Lord's instructions for evangelism beyond the comfort zones of the saved. Still, there is such beautiful Truth available to s/he who has the ears and heart to hear humbly, even if it hurts a bit!

Of clearing wax, consider the different intent and usage of a knife in the hands of a vegan chef  and a murderer. In either case, a mere knife is wielded, but I understand how the affected eyes of some passersby might be confused. I've long explained how I'll select an instrumental version of a song I enjoy rhythmically but not lyrically. For those songs that don't have clean versions or thoughtforms such as films, I have included some explicit examples on occasion to display truths otherwise difficult to address only with images of proverbial milk and honey.

At the very least, two playlists were inspired or added to this week and are under construction: the new "Cruise Control" collection of driving tunes and December's ".". No sooner did I discuss a Revelation theme behind the still unexplained phenomenon of Arkansas' dying wildlife (as well as this week's "Hear & Now") with a family member than a random Bible verse from one of many online generators offered a timely warning against associating with works of dark intent without proper exposition. Hmm... I hear you, Lord. I had no idea what to expect when clicking on that joke forward. I admit it was super-funny, but it was tasteless and I won't forward it for all the hilarity in the world.

Elsewhere, a peer was kind enough to constructively suggest I tone down the length of some academic writing. She reminded me of the times we live in -- and that very few of us have any time to read bulk, even if it's good. Her sentiment echoed that of other friends who I'd tried to digitally discuss complex issues with in an effort to respect their personal space and the deficit of time the world keeps talking about. They were all correct in that less can be more and I truly appreciated her helpful, paring use of the 'knife'. Many of us have experienced its sadly more sinister uses before, sometimes even playing host to warring spirits of counterproductivity, as the goal of Satan and all his fallen is to silence any expression of our Sovereign by any means. I rejoice in praise that the score of all such goals was already settled by the sword of the Spirit, which proves more effective than the Excalibur of lore or even Solomon's crude maternity test.

I almost forgot to include a brief testimony. My phone number once belonged to two popular businesses, so I've had my share of odd calls from people seeking a healing appointment or service on a luxury car (!). Close to New Year's Day, the stark contrast of two particular voice messages offered an inside joke that I am more comfortable sharing with you. The first caller, who sounded like an elderly man, was apparently trying to reach a familiar doctor's office. After hearing an outgoing message with my voice and a strong presence of music, he hesitantly left a message of well-wishes, making sure to note the "racket" he heard in the background. Later that evening, the second caller, a young man whom I recognize as a friend, in turn fondly recognized the "old school" soul/jazz classic by name. It may not read with much humor, but you just had to be there. In the privacy of my heart, I gladly received both their tidings as a blessing; different approaches to the same song and all!

In any season, we sometimes look through our glasses darkly, register what blessings we do have as half-empty and test each other with variations of Do you know what I know? Hear what I hear? See what I see? In Isaiah 55, particularly verses 8 and 9, God reminds us that we are all blind, foolish and deaf compared to Him. This is the purpose of faith, "which comes from hearing." As we continue to refresh ourselves  with the Living Water that is (the Word of) God -- especially lubricating the 'throats' with which we communicate Divine breaths of intent to each other, may we maintain a realistic outlook on Life with optimism that God's will reigns supreme. I hear you, too, people... As I learn and grow, my conversations and works will be more streamlined. Just know that I'm content with letting only the Most High have His Way and His content dictate the final say. :)

06 January 2011

PROPER GANDER. :: Hush... Somebody's Calling My Name!

A caller didn't hear me correctly
but hung up in my ear
with contempt, he
accused me of seeing someone new
I had
viewed myself as refreshed
and allowed enjoyment again
though only dining
and it wasn't leftover stew
or the way of passing strangers
but a casual, early evening with a colleague and friend
Just before then
I did press "send" on
messages to another
I wanted to understand
and I can
Admittedly, my thoughts, impassioned
yet confined to the alphanumeric sequence of a cell
were cryptic as hell
Oh well...
Lessons: Make it plain
Keep obligations in their lanes
with special attention
to what's really owed
Everyone's got a point
and their peace to uphold
It seemed a Love of clarity fell
upon fraternal twin towers
and a third
designed to transmit, not receive
my reflection
In an instant
mundane powers failed too
A half-hour of dark stillness
illuminated the night with correction
from an energy transfer
I, alone, could see
No outlet is greater than the Source
my Creator, Who truly hears and calls upon me

05 January 2011

KNEWS :: Brief

What have we here, 2011?
The advent of Oprah's OWN
Odd rivers of dead birds and fish
An arguably Photoshopped partial eclipse
and rare finds make a comeback on the ready-yo*
MJB's "Now-Now-Now..." tone is so classic on the remix of this!
Despite last year's challenges and the year's rough start, I still believe...

* Millions of the world's men, women and children are homeless, one check away from that socioeconomic status, affected by substance abuse and/or carrying a "golden" gift within on the ready. Let's acknowledge and assist them to the best of our abilities in action, even without the cameras and lights.

02 January 2011

ON... The Benefit of No Doubt

The English language is considered one of the most difficult to learn. Its fluent readers, speakers and writers know its 26 letters and ten (0-9) numerical figures aren't necessarily rocket science at face value. Ask those on the fringe of the tongue, however, and the multiple options for interpretation using those symbols might pose a problem at some point. Beyond homophones (words that sound alike) and homographs (words that look alike), I admit that certain word groupings have been a bit of an issue, even as a native speaker. For instance, the common phrase "for good" replaces what should represent upstanding integrity with the function of a literary clock, merely measuring a period of time similar to forever. Unfortunately for the applicable subject, someone can choose to be angry, idle or misguided 'for good'. More suitably, however, someone else will have made the choice to love truly even for a moment. This is the manipulation of time and space vs. integrity.

These days, when "the benefit of the doubt" is mentioned, I find the phrase just as cringeworthy. Understandably, the intent of its use is often positive and denotes the act of giving someone or something, like peace, a chance. Still, the line dividing the benefit of that chance and its disbelief (aka doubt) is crystal-clear to me. At what point does the otherwise humanitarian 'beneficiary' make a real decision of commitment to Love or hate? When tried, is the decision sound and in high order or baseless?

Recently, I noticed a 'tweet' that suggested the reader should forgive their enemies, but never forget their names. I understand where the person was coming from, but with the Most High as an example, Divine redemption and wrath are absolute. For the respectively worthy, records of sins and names are both erased from the Book of Life without question. But to doubt is to dilute. Are we still so feeble that we can't stomach solids, much less ones we've cooked? That's OK, as growth is a process, but it won't fly forever. Remember, true nourishment is a must for a healthy body! The Lord will feed us the bread and Water of Life, but will not force us to eat.

I find that personal accountability grows as we mature yet seek to maintain youthful joy in Him. The face of our "enemies" changes from that of puppets for ill will outside of us to the gatekeeper within whose duty it is to be more selective and vigilant finally to any energies that want to oppose the laws of Life in Truth and Love. To Love something or someone (with wisdom, after God and myself enough to do so the right way), however, is to give and receive the benefit thereof with a pure patience and power. As for me and my 'house', we will serve the Lord just like that! It's cold outside in much of the world right now, soul family. Please stay strong and be well! Come warm up, take a load off and let's reason, even in silence before the Most High. Would you like some hot chocolate? Or, if you have the time, would you like stew? I just made some and it seems it was served out almost immediately. I'll see about it and something else for you.

Confusion, doubt, fear and all their hateful vessels are archenemies of the unwavering example and embodiment of Christ, who taught that double-mindedness should expect no good or stable return. Fulfillment, then, is only found in active faith. Is the Creator of all things (un)seen and (un)manifest Who we're believing to best refine and deliver our needs, only our mortal selves or some external entity that can not reproduce All there is, no matter how relatively powerful? Depending upon what we know of that source, will we really like the fullness of its return?

For New Years a while back, two of my favorite people (a sweet, mother-daughter pair) decided to share an outgoing message on their respective cell phones. I don't recall it verbatim, but it went something like this: "Whatever motivates you can either elevate or devastate you. Choose to be ELEVATED in 20XX". If the Word is any indication, I believe both their unity and the message's freedom of choice for a righteous faith continue to be pleasing to the Spirit. I'm hoping and believing that the message of this post's work will do the same, bringing peaceful encouragement for harmless and constructive elevation in the Most High to all who read it along their ways.