2nd Cup PSA for 10/12/17: I REALLY DO PUNCTUATE AND DIVIDE

What you’re seeing published on Facebook is not appearing as I’ve typed it.

 

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Whether something glitchy on WordPress’s writing page, or a FB quirk, the articles I work diligently to make readable are seemingly coming to you crammed together as if I were a fledgling writer.  For that I’m sorry.

 

What I write means more to me than to give a cursory glance and mash PUBLISH.  I spend hours praying over, preparing, and editing anything I send out.  I write in short paragraphs, altering sentence length, and adding color and appropriate pictures.

Image result for coffee and determination

 

This muddling everything together was happening in the past, and suddenly stopped.  This made me wonder if there were other causes, whether intentional or oversight.

 

I will keep doing what I do, and working hard to achieve writing excellence as I do it.  It’s my prayer this all is temporary; that it means enough to you that you’ll overlook whatever, or whoever, is causing this.

 

Thank you.

 

As always, I love you and I believe in you.

 

Dan

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QTMs for 10/11/17: DARE TO DARE; IT’S NOT SO CROWDED

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IF YOU DON’T ASK, THE ANSWER’S ALWAYS NO; IF YOU DON’T GO AFTER WHAT YOU WANT, YOU’LL NEVER HAVE IT; AND IF YOU DON’T STEP FORWARD, YOU’RE ALWAYS GOING TO BE IN THE SAME PLACE.
     “I’ve read that before.”
Me, too.  Plenty of times.  The first 37 it didn’t stick.  It’s the kind of unpleasant, elbow-in-the-rib stuff that grows on you.
And should.
You’re the same way.  You know for every true doer, there are 99 talkers.  They’re like remoras on a Great White.  Saying all the right phrases and buzzwords, they’re devoid of passion.  There’s no fire, yet they’re willing to hang on forever and ever, amen.  They make the testimony of the doers a thousand times tougher to penetrate our cynicism and derision.  Seen and heard it all before.

Show me your string of fish and I’ll change my bait.


Go ahead, ace.  Motivate me.  I want you to.  I’ve seen “Fake-it-’til-you-make-it” splatter until I’m ready to hork on somebody’s Crocs.  We both know you can’t afford to look and act like you’re trying to.  You talk a good line.  I know honesty and class when I see it.  You ain’t it.
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“Show me your string of fish and I’ll change my bait.”  Right?
Okay.  I understand your instinctive mistrust of any fast- and smooth-talking type dressed in a jacket looking like the seat cover of an aging Peugeot–or the ninnies who’ll dress like anything currently popular, act the fool, and yell at you from your device.   I’m with you.  I’ve sat and observed all the remoras I can stomach, both in and out of the Church.  As an Intuitive, I can almost always pick ’em out.  Even the stealth ones.
     “So what’d you do about it?”
I chose to rise from that disillusionment and focus on the few who are authentic doers.  I respond to those who choose to believe in me as I am now, and in who God’s intending me to be becoming.  Those are the doers.  There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re pure gold.
Here’s the thing.
Image result for dream big gifshttp://peng0503.blogspot.com/
If you’re not dreaming BIG, then why bother?  Sit back, shrug and stay where you’ve been.  Hope for something or other to come your way while you play it safe and exist.  Stick within your comfort zone.  Don’t dare to dare.
 
Believe me; I know what it’s like to sit, stunned and huddled, wondering, “What’s happening?  What’s next?  When’s this going to stop?”  I get it.  I’ve been there, and I’m not poking at you if you are.
 
Just don’t expect me to stay there with you.  I’m with Paul, man:  “Forgetting what’s behind, I press on . . .”  Me, too!  Yeah, life’s knocked me down a few times.  Sure, it hurts for a little while.  But sitting and whimpering gets blown out of the saddle by getting back up, looking around for another door slightly open, and heading toward it.
 
As long as there’s life in me, I’ll keep working at what I believe God’s laid before me to be and do.  I’ll walk through any door He leaves open, trusting Him to shut it if that’s not the right path for me.  “But you’re not—  You can’t—  You don’t have—”  All true. 
 
BUT LOOK AT WHAT I DO HAVE.  LOOK AT WHAT’S LEFT!  😎  I’m on the hunt for what I *can* do–and I’m not fretting about how it’s going to happen, where I’ll get the stamina and energy, or how long I can stay at it.  That’s God’s part of this thing.  Mine is to shut up, get up, and show up for duty.  “The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.”  (Paul, 1 Corinthians 4:20
Remember what James said?  “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything?  Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? . . . . Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” (2:14-17)

I’m daring to dare.  I’m trusting God to care for the details.

Try it.  What is there to lose?
© D. Dean Boone, October 2017
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2nd Cup for 10/10/17: MAN UP! SOMEBODY’S PRAYING FOR YOU

You can do more after you’ve prayed, but you won’t get much that’s worth anything done until you’ve prayed.
I am praying for my sons, grandson and great-grandson today. 
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My legacy to each of you:  to faithfully pray for those who look to your spiritual leadership.  I don’t expect perfection from you because I haven’t been able to live it before you.  As a recovering perfectionist, I couldn’t do it.  I guarantee you can’t, either.  Your salvation is through Jesus Christ, not your own efforts.
I do expect you to keep short accounts with God.  I do expect and pray for your best efforts in being the overcomer God says you can be.  When you mess up, get it squared away and get back in the fight.  The Bible’s got everything you need to help you do that.
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The day will come when my chair at the table will be vacant.  I expect the next in line to pick up that battle-stained banner of faith, step to the head of the family line, and take up the sacred responsibility of interceding for the boys of this clan who follow you.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can shirk praying until your butt’s in a serious sling, and then with your last bit of strength, discus an emergency prayer in Heaven’s general direction, expecting God to throw the Universe in ‘N’ and fix whatever you just got yourself into.
 
Not all of the men in this family have chosen, or will choose to serve God, for doing so is a choice.  I don’t plan to make it easy for any of you to tell God, “No”, for I pray for every man and boy who’s part of my family.  I don’t want for one of you to be lost.  It’s why I spend time each morning using prayer’s search beam to scan across every male attached to my family.
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I say again:  my ongoing legacy to each of you is the example of a man who knows there’s no greater power than to unleash God’s immense resources – and the Holy Spirit’s convicting power – into the lives of the younger men who are following you. 
 
I read a devotional this morning about a guy who mentors fathers – dads – to think about their families in terms of 200 years. 
All things being equal, you’ll all outlive me here.  Though I plan on not heading Home ANY time soon, I intend for you to know my colors are clear, my faith isn’t faint, my destiny’s Heaven, and I expect to see every one of you there.
The challenge is before you.  It’s up to you what you do with it.
Just be aware:  you’ll never be able to stand before God and say, “I didn’t know . . .”  Because there IS no power, no matter what Hell tries to tell you, that will ever keep your dad’s/granddad’s/great-granddad’s prayers from getting through.
None.
I love you, and I believe in you.
© D. Dean Boone, October 2017
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2nd Cup of Coffee for 10/3/17: GROUSING ABOUT LIFE’S PIGEONS

     “Pigeons rate right down there with mosquituhs an’ houseflahs.”
Image result for coffee and park bench
Startled, my eyes snapped back into focus.  You know how your eyes get when you’re looking in your mind’s rearview mirror, expanded to see wide but not specific?  That’s what I’d been doing.  I’d been walking, carrying a rare commodity for me:  a caramel mocha latte made by a real, live barista.  I usually stopped into the nearest QuikTrip and made my own, twice as large at a third of the price, thankyouverymuch.
Not this morning.  I’d gotten too warm during the night, woke up with a headache, and was in a rare contrary mood.  So I sucked it up and paid for the overpriced hot drink.
     “Nem?”
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Uncomprehending, I stared with right eyebrow raised.  Spock would applaud.
     “Nem foah lawday?”
Oh.  “Dan.”
     “Damn?”
Slowly.  1…2…3 . . .  “DAN.”
     Excited nod.  “Ah!  Dang!”
Fine.  Whatever.  I stepped back, joining the queue comprised of the condescending twit in pink-and-green sweater vest whose obvious importance was tied to the laptop he stood pecking on one-handed; and the Emo Twins who could’ve been identical except for her mustache.  It was thicker than his.
The stainless steel contraption that would’ve befuddled Rube Goldberg beeped, whirred, went “Slooooshhhh” and “Skhurrrrrreeeeesssh” and “KhoooOAaaaaaahhhh!”  I’m pretty sure ‘barista’ means someone who’s taken classes in how to make those noises with their mouth while dumping the stuff in one’s cup.
“DANG?”  Raising my chin and eyebrows, I accepted the treasured libation she unceremoniously plunked down on the silly little display stand, built up where EVERYONE could see “DANG” scrawled on the cup.  As I stalked past the others, I heard Pink ‘n’ Green snicker.  At least I got mine before you did.  Jerk. 

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I then did something else I rarely did.  I’d sat down on a park bench where I could listen to the whispering water, chuckling over the stonework of the artificial falls across the walkway.
So I was sitting there, ruminating about how unfair life sometimes gets.  I groused about unreasonable people who can’t – won’t – get along with anyone who dares to think for themselves, and viciously attack those who dare to pose a valid differing opinion.  I carped about yet another Kirby salesman wanting to clean my mattress.  I even murmured and complained about gas going up again, and these–these stupid pigeons!    That’s what I was doing when I heard the scratchy, wizened voice.
http://waterrockhomes.com/
     “Pigeons rate right down there with mosquituhs an’ houseflahs.” 
Whirling around, the only person I saw was a slightly-hunchbacked old woman, homeless from the looks of her, already receding into the distance in that strange, plodding stolidness they all seem to share.  Must be a thing with them.
I agreed with her, but it also dawned on me how petty and ridiculous I was sounding–even to myself.  I began thinking . . .
It’s deceptively easy to grouse about your lousy circumstances.  Simple to ‘escape’ your boring, no-fun existence with mental fantasy gymnastics of how you’d like things to be.  After all, everyone has dreamy ideas about how wonderful their life would be, “if only . . .”  Right?
 
Truth?  Your circumstances are likely some of your own doing.  Want them different?  Do daily things different.  Reset your values.  Realign your expectations.  Retrain yourself.  Stop looking through ‘Worst-Possible’ filters at those around you while glancing within through ‘I’m-Fine’ ones.
 
The circumstances themselves may never fully change.  You will.  And, suddenly, you’ll realize those whom you spent years blaming and criticizing are just as uniquely created, interesting and important as you are.  They simply have their own preferences that don’t always agree with yours.  And they don’t have to.
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Learn to look around at the circumstances of others.  You’ll quite often find yours aren’t so tedious, after all.
And it’s okay if you’re still trying to make those coffee shop noises I described.  I did, too, while I was trying to figure out how to write them.
© D. Dean Boone, October 2017
Categories: Common Sense, Encouragement, Humor - Lighten Up, Wisdom | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

QTMs for 10/2/17: SHAPED MOMENTS

I grew up singing it:  “Take time to be ho—-ly . . .”   I remember thinking, “Aw, MAN–this is taking forever!”  As an angelic-faced kid, I’d glance down to see how many more verses of this torture would be inflicted.

 black and white coffee window ryan gauges GIFvia GIPHY         

As an irascible adult, I’m painfully aware it’s now necessary to make time to be much of anything.

Life’s onramp seems to grab the soul, hurling us into the day’s whizzing, spinning maelstrom of schedules.  To dare to take time for anything not planned earns resentful, disgusted glares by the milling herd waiting to crowd past.

Yes.  Even during worship.

 

While prepping for the day early this morning, two words were downloaded into my spiritual inbox:

“Shaped moments”

I stopped scrubbing so abruptly I almost got soap in my eyes.  Shaped moments, hunh?

The only time I’d run across ‘shaped’ was in ‘shaped charges’.  A shaped charge is defined as an explosive charge the energy of which is focused in one direction so that it usually achieves an armor-penetrating effect.

Zeroed in on that phrase, ‘focused in one direction’, I did.  There’s so much information of mind and spirit flowing on social media it’s easy to slip imperceptibly into a buffet mentality.  A little of this, some of that . . .

Result:  a mishmash of all sorts of religious thought, folded in with equal doses of assorted philosophies until the Word gets crowded out by designer deities.

Why do I make time first thing each morning to quell my leash-pulling thoughts, eager to get into each day’s reading and writing?

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God does a better job of setting my schedule than I ever could.  We’ve tried it both ways.  His is better.

God knows the Great Messer-Upper of My Life better than I.  He knows how the GMUML loves to mess with my time and energy if I pay any attention to his random thoughts he LOVES to toss in between mine.  That has the same effect as throwing a Dollar Tree crescent wrench under your lawn mower’s spinning blade.

All sorts of interesting, unexpected results and crazy sounds occur.

So.  I’d rather use shaped moments right after I get up — what was that phrase?  Oh, yeah:  “the energy of which is focused in one direction.”

One.  Not several.  Not scads.  One direction.

Yeah.  That works for me.

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Having issues finding time to stuff some devotional quiet time into your day?  You’ll never find it.

You need to make time for it.  And those moments need to be shaped ones, aimed only at God.

Even if there are only 15 or 20 of them, you’ll find those shaped moments making a bigger diff in your day.

© D. Dean Boone, October 2, 2017

 

 

 

 

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2nd Cup from THE DAILY CHAMPION, 30 September 2017

Be Gallant

PROVERBS 30:12
Don’t imagine yourself to be quite presentable when you haven’t had a bath in weeks.

PRINCIPLE
Don’t be haughty and arrogant in your self-estimation.

Be Gallant 

A FivestarMan is gallant. To be gallant means to be fashionably groomed and appropriate for every occasion. That means that we are to be presentable. We should make an effort to be appropriately dressed.

To be appropriately dressed means that we do not dress for a distraction of the occasion and to draw attention to ourselves – we’re just simply appropriate. As authentic men, we should dress to demonstrate some dignity to represent our manhood.

Another area that we need to be observant is our grooming. Old style barber shops are making a resurgence. There is nothing that compares with a good shave and trim from a real craftsman.

Let’s step up our game in our dress and personal hygiene.

REMEMBER:
Represent yourself — and manhood — with some class. —from today’s FIVESTARMAN, The Daily Champion.

____________

This is a principle by which I’ve lived throughout my life.  I didn’t know it showed until I’d begun reconnecting with old high school classmates and found out I actually turned some of them off because I looked too nice.

Sure, it hurt.  A criticism about something borne of one’s personality, something that comes to them naturally, stings.  Being ignored at that age hurts, anyway.  I guess you’d call my high school years look, “Gallant Lonesome”.

Didn’t change me, though.  I’m grateful I was raised by parents who, though always clean and presentable, never gave a fig for what others thought about them.  They believed in pleasing God first.  They believed if they authentically did that, then in His good time, God would see to it they’d have the kind of friends who liked and loved them for who they were, not how they appeared.

But I still had to wash real good for dinner.

© D. Dean Boone, September 2017

 

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200-Word Stroll for 9/29/17: STEALING Your STEEL

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Dutch Sheets once said, “A lack of endurance is one of the greatest causes of defeat, especially in prayer. We don’t wait well. We’re into microwaving; God, on the other hand, is usually into marinating.”

Exactly.

Wait ten minutes before reading on.

No.  Do it.  Invest 10 precious minutes of your life.  Pray.  Think.  Ponder.  Love.  Dream.  Most of all, wait . . .

See what I mean?  You couldn’t do it without fidgeting.

“Well, I’m gonna be late—!”  Ah.  And you’re blaming whom?

Quiet time this morning included this:  “Be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs.  God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time.  Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” [1 Peter 5:6-7]

Your steel – backbone, resolve, nerve, peace of mind – can all little by little be stolen by your impatience.  You can find yourself irritated and agitated, flying into jagged little shards just sitting at a stoplight or at your desk.

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http://rebloggy.com/post/dog-disney-puppy-up-pixar-disney-pixar-disney-gif-dogs-pixar-gif-dog-gif-nationa/127669963631

 

Why?  Because things and people outside you are moving like molten lava while your insides resemble a Ninja Intelli-Sense on high.

Suggestion:  move over out of the fast lane.  Begin or reestablish the habit of marinating:  every relationship you have, including with God, will improve if you do.

Sauce?

© D. Dean Boone, September 2017

 

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QTMs for 9/20/17: THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF IS

“It is what it isn’t.”

Image result for coffee and mother gifWhen your spirit speaks up in a matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone reminiscent of your mom?  You know–Motherus Prime?  You listen.  Closely.

To listen means to shut it.  I did.  Then I repeated it back.

“It is what it isn’t?”  My spirit’s nod and baleful stare reminded me of a high school typing teacher.  I figured I’d best buckle down and consider the statement.  Here’s what I mined from it.

IT IS WHAT IT ISN’T” means

  • Image result for choices have consequencesLife most often follows your own choices.  Sometimes those choices are not your own but impact your life anyway.  Either way, choices have consequences.  Always.  Choices rashly made when young often don’t reveal their real consequences until later in life, yet they do appear.  Throwing things or punching holes in the wall is a waste of time and energy.  Own your choices, or those of others, that have affected your now.  Decide a plan of action to counteract the negative aspects, and learn and build upon the hard-earned and -learned lessons.
  • Being a Godly person won’t immunize you against this.  Christians face the same trials and life challenges as anyone else.  Thinking that becoming a Christ-follower exempts you from life’s bad stuff – or magically wipes your whiteboard clean of the consequences of your bad choices – only results in you becoming a spiritual snowflake. 

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  • You need to deal with the reality of your ‘now’, while working toward your dreams.  Growth – personal and spiritual excellence – is the thing.  Every next level of your life will demand a different you.  Trying to deal with your ‘now’ while mooning about your ‘Then’ has the same effect as texting while walking. 

May I encourage you to say it to yourself?  It is what it isn’t.

Anyone can repeat, “It is what it is,” shrug, and walk away waggling their head back and forth and merely accepting what is.  “Can’t do nuthin’ ’bout it.  It is what it is.”  That’s a ho-hum, miserable way to exist.

I’m encouraging you to live.  Don’t just accept what is.  Narrow your eyes and take a hard look at what it isn’t.  Accept that.  Receive it.  OWN it.

Do it daily.  Once you establish that habit of recognizing the truth of what isn’t, and why it’s not, the easier it will be to begin addressing how to improve your is.  You’ll have clarity of vision and thought.

Refuse to mope around, forever moaning on Facebook about how rough and unfair your life is.  Instead, begin using that same time working on yourself, finding or making ways to change your Isn’t into Is.  So what if you made bad choices back there?  Make some better ones now.

Who knows?  One day, accepting and realistically dealing with all those Isn’ts may help plunk you right down in the middle of The Wonderful World of IS.

© D. Dean Boone, September 2017

 

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QTMs for 9/18/17: THE AWESOME REACH OF WORDS

The wiser you get, the less you speak.

I read it, then reread it.

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Words borne on emotion’s shoulders dart quickly.  Yet because they are reactive, their effects linger in one’s mind and heart long after the words themselves are gone.

Bryant McGill wrote, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

Another is learning to hear the great reservoir of Unsaid, living between the words of what another is saying.

Insight and Wisdom walk along with age and experience.  Like the greened, wind-burnished surface of an old piece of bronze hanging outside on the greying wood of a weathered fence, they give life’s journey a rich patina only Time confers.  They empower us to be attuned to the frequencies of unspoken feelings.

They instruct us in being alert to the “why” of emotions that match neither the event nor subject.  They school us in learning that, even when personally wounded by words heard or said, more is often attained by silence than by adding yet more words.

Image result for in quietness is your strengthTo actively listen–to strive to understand–while remaining quiet is a virtue in a world madly downloading the latest app, going nowhere without earbuds inserted, tuning those nearby out while admitting unknown others thousands of miles away.

Be careful, lest in the pursuit of all others you don’t also crowd God out.  Carefully, I add:  it is possible to collect, “Like”, and send back out spiritually-based memes without ever allowing them beneath the surface of your spirit.

In finding it necessary to compete for another’s attention, it seems to me that attention has already been withdrawn, hasn’t it?  Words may assure otherwise, yet actions speak their own language.

At some point, one’s witness, living and character must speak with an eloquence mere words can’t hope to match, reminding us that, after all, we are not in charge.  In God’s Timelessness, and according to His timeline for you and I, what will happen will; and it is pointless to try to speak over it.  “The wise measure their words.”Proverbs 10:19, The Message~~~

Our mission, then – should we choose to accept it – is to position ourselves as best we know how to align our own heart, mind and spirit with His.

The wiser I get, the more I want to relax my initial rushing thoughts and listen.  And the more I want to walk with God.

© D. Dean Boone, September 2017

If you’re still stuck on Snoopy relaxing in the cup, it’s due to Kazuki Yamamoto, a Japanese barista.  wereblog.com.

 

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QTMs for 9/14/17: SANTA AIN’T THE ONLY ONE WATCHIN’ YOU!

It’s a bad idea to assume because you don’t see Him that God’s not paying attention.

Image result for coffee and godJeremiah 1:12 – “I am watching to see that My word is fulfilled.”  Twice, He asks Jeremiah, “So, what do you see?” and waits for Jer’s response before proceeding.  From the passage it seems clear that

  • God holds me accountable for being accurate and honest in quoting His Word.
  • God holds me accountable for molding, shaping, bending or altogether twisting the Bible to fit this or that pet agenda or support popular religious thought.

As Mark Twain once remarked, “It’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me . . .”

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Roald Dahl said that a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.  There’s been a merry-go-round of nonsense being foisted off on us all, using Bible passages as support.  This galls me.  If the Bible and those who authentically work to live by its teaching are so repugnant, why keep quoting it?

God needs men and women, true Christ-followers, who will champion His cause by writing and speaking His Word into our ‘now’, so don’t stop.  Just be sure what you’re quoting is His Word, not yours.

As he tells Jeremiah, “I’m watching you.”

© D. Dean Boone, September 2017

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