Praying for crop failure?

sowing_seed

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” – Galations 6:7 KJV

I consider myself a man of faith, doing my best to ponder and adhere to the principles taught in the Bible.  Which is why, as I’m sitting here drinking my coffee this morning, I find myself caught-up in thought after reading the verse I’ve listed above.

In the KJV, the word “soweth”could be re-written so say “continues to sow”– meaning that the “eth” at the end indicates that this is action isn’t a one-time event, but rather something that is continuing.  This verse is referring to those who continue to sow…whether those seeds and deeds be good or bad.  Which brings me to the question I’m pondering…

what happens if you stop sowing?

It brings a certain sense of comfort in knowing that I have an opportunity to change what I reap when it comes to my shortcomings and faults…just stop sowing.  If I have a critical attitude and I don’t want to be looked at critically by others…stop sowing.  If I’m quick to judge the fathers who disappoint their kids, yet I don’t want others pointing-out my flaws as a father…stop sowing.

Alternately, it gives me a sense of reprieve to know that I have an opportunity to influence the future of my life in a positive way.  Do I want my friends, neighbors and colleagues to look on me with tolerance and longsuffering?  I’ll sow some patience myself.  If I want others to give my children space when they fail in the future (and they surely will), how do I make that happen?  I’ll go sow sow kindness and mercy today.

Finishing my coffee, I find myself looking in my bag of seeds today. Do I need to change my gardening plans?

I prefer to plan and consider now, rather than praying for a crop failure later.

Advertisements

IF

I know little about poetry, but one need not know much to appreciate this piece. It resonates.

fatherson

 

If you can keep your head when all about you,
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken,
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings,
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew,
To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

– Rudyard Kipling

Chapters

chapter Chapters… Stopping points. Places to pause. Forced divisions between sections. Any given book you read is filled with chapters. Some are short, others longer. Some showcase critical characters, others simply build the storyline. The Bible literally has thousands of examples.

Oftentimes chapters conclude in large-scale action or because of a noteworthy event that has occurred. Mystery novels or thrillers are a great example of this where usually the main character can be found in a cliffhanging situation…a chase, a fight or some other form of drama. Other times, chapters end uneventfully with no fanfare or particular action taking place…almost as if the author just felt it was time to take a breath before continuing.

~

It occurs to me that the story of our life can be segmented into chapters as well.

Sometimes the change between life chapters is obvious–marriages, births, etc. As I reflect on many of these events in my own life, I can see clear lines of change around these events; i.e. things were one way when I was single, then they shifted to something different when I married.  These particular types of divisions in our lives can be anticipated, planned for…expected.

And yet there are other times when planning isn’t possible. Times when circumstances lurch hard to the left in an unexpected way that forces us to stumble, regain our footing, then travel forward on a path that is not quite the same as before. A new chapter was forced.  We didn’t ask for it, we wouldn’t have chosen it for ourselves at that time, but it happened.  Death is one poignant example of this.

Regardless of how the chapters were formed, they all connect to form a tale of just who each of us are and how we became. While not as enjoyable, even the painful, sudden sections of our stories do serve a purpose– they cause us to be more mindful and thankful of the good times.

As 2014 comes to a close, I’m reminded that I must enjoy the express place I am in now while it lasts. Family, friends, relationships that I have…they are all blessings that should not be ignored or taken for granted, but rather appreciated and enjoyed.

Once this particular chapter ends, the next one will be different; how should I spend my time now so that I have no regrets looking back?

I’m grateful that we cannot see the future, and I am certain God had a purpose in designing it this way. Advice to self: the next chapter will build on this one, and it might be harder…be in the moment now…take one chapter at a time…absorb the content…don’t rush…learn what you are supposed to learn.

Not The End

Feeding Chickens in the Land of Dickens (Interview)

Do you ever have one of those days when you just need a pick-me-up?  When I have a day like this, where my coffee just hasn’t been enough to do the trick, I often turn to Mother Hen Diaries. Dorreen Augustine always has that special blend of optimism and wit to catch my attention and perk up my day!

Seriously…she’s funny. It’s what attracted me to her blog initially. With so many blogs that exist to simply be rant sessions, Dorreen’s blog stands out as being a beacon of positivity.

As an American living in the U.K., she has a very interesting perspective on life, one that I find inspirational, and as is the case with many bloggers, Dorreen describes herself much better than I could.  From the About page of Mother Hen Diaries, here is a snippet of what Dorreen has to say about herself:

“First and foremost, I am a Jehovah’s Witness. (Yes, I do knock on doors!) 🙂 I am also a wife, mother, cuddly Nanny, a reader, a thinker, a dreamer and a storyteller, Margarita expert, singer and entertainer, jam maker extraordinaire, serial dieter, and mother to a dozen chickens.”

After following Dorreen’s writing for some time, I was so pleased when she agreed to have a virtual cup of coffee with me to answer my questions for this interview.  Read on for Dorreen’s thoughts and advice around blogging and writing.  It’s good stuff.

Continue reading

Words. That’s all.

If you’re reading this post on WordPress, you are most likely a blogger writing your own blog, right? And although we may be inspired by different things, we do have at least one thing in common– we’re actively writing content that we expect (or at least hope) that others will read.

If not, we’d all be writing in our journals or simply keeping a folder filled with Word documents on our laptops.

Additionally, the web is overflowing with thousands of ways to build a great web site, sell a product or build a following on a blog. Even here on WordPress there are so many workshops and classes that at times I wonder when people find the time to simply write words.

It is for these reasons that the letter (web page) below by Justin Jackson resonated so strongly with me when I read it a few days ago nursing by 2nd cup of java.  And, although I’m sure it’s been republished online many times, it’s so good I couldn’t help but post it again. For the sake of preserving the content, I’m not using block quotes. For the original article posted online click here.


This is a web page.

There’s not much here.

Just words.

And you’re reading them.

We’ve become obsessed with fancy designs, responsive layouts, and scripts that do magical things.

But the most powerful tool on the web is still words.

I wrote these words, and you’re reading them: that’s magical.

I’m in a little city in British Columbia; you’re probably somewhere else. I wrote this early in the morning, June 20th, 2013; you’re probably reading it at a different time. I wrote this on my laptop; you could be reading this on your phone, a tablet or a desktop.

You and I have been able to connect because I wrote this and you’re reading it.That’s the web. Despite our different locations, devices, and time-zones we can connect here, on a simple HTML page.

I wrote this in a text editor. It’s 6KB. I didn’t need a Content Management System, a graphic designer, or a software developer. There’s not much code on this page at all, just simple markup for paragraphs, hierarchy, and emphasis.

I remember teaching my daughter to code HTML when she was 8. The first thing she wrote was a story about a squirrel. She wasn’t “writing HTML”; she was sharing something with the world. She couldn’t believe that she could write a story on our home computer, and then publish it for the world to see. She didn’t really care about HTML, she cared about sharing her stories.

You are still reading.

Think about all the things you could communicate with a simple page like this. If you’re a businessperson, you could sell something. If you’re a teacher, you could teach something. If you’re an artist, you could show something you’ve made. And if your words are good, people will read them.

If you’re a web designer, or a client who is working with one, I’d like to challenge you to think about words first. Instead of starting with a style guide or a Photoshop mockup, start with words on a page.

What do you have to say? If you don’t know, there’s not much use in adding all that other cruft. Just start with one page, with a single focus. Write it and publish it, and then iterate on that. Every time you’re about to add something, ask yourself: does this help me communicate better? Will that additional styling, image, or hyperlink give my audience more understanding? If the answer’s “no”, don’t add it.

At its heart, web design should be about words. Words don’t come after the design is done. Words are the beginning, the core, the focus.

Start with words.

Cheers,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin
On Google+


Thank you Justin for allowing me to post this and for reminding us all of the power of pure, unadulterated…words.

Happy Sunday!

IMG_2657

Hello everyone, and a happy Sunday to you all! Here’s to hoping you have a great day. Go find something to be thankful for today if you can. I’m posting two of my reasons in the pic above. (Taken a couple of weeks ago during a family vacation to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.) Focus on the important things today!

Talk to you soon.

Warmest Regards,

DH

Status

Out of Office Thankfulness

Hello everyone. Just a quick update to let you know I’ll be back shortly. We have a couple of great interviews coming up so stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you are in the U.S. be sure to have a great Thanksgiving holiday.

For both those in the U.S. as well as anyplace else across the globe, why miss an opportunity to look at the “glass half full” side of our lives? Please join me this week in choosing to be thankful for the things we’ve been blessed with rather than focusing on what we do not have.

Make it a great week! See you soon.

Sunday in Autumn

IMG_2638

Sipping coffee, watching the snow fall slowly.

Sunday…the first day of the week, an opportunity to wipe the slate clean, a time to push the reset button. Autumn…a season of endings, transitioning away from the lively, vibrant sounds and sensations of summer; a slow inching towards what promises to be a cold, still winter.  Sunday in autumn…a fresh start in a season of quiet closure.

Medieval Penguins and Red Velvet Cake (Interview)

IF

What do you get when you combine someone who likes cross stitching, sewing, baking, reading and penguins?  You get Gemma Feltham, of course! As an avid reader myself, I quickly became interested in Gemma’s writing.  That said, although her basis for blogging is reviewing books, it was her thoughts around blogging itself that intrigued me even further.

With over 11,000 followers, Gemma’s If Books Could Blog site is a great example of how your audience will find you when you choose to blog about something you are passionate about.  As you will see below, she started posting as an outlet, but obviously found common ground with many others sharing her love for reading.  In my conversation with her, she was genuinely surprised at the number of followers she has acquired– she simply doesn’t pay attention to it!  (Imagine that…a blogger who doesn’t spend half their day on their ‘Stats’ page!)
Continue reading