First Fridays – A Psalm

Psalm 42: 1-5

As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food day and night,

while men say to me all day long,

“Where is your God?”

These things I remember

as I pour out my soul:

how I used to go with the multitude,

leading the procession to the house of God,

with shouts of joy and thanksgiving

among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

 

Here the Psalmist expresses to us how he is searching for hope. He is going through a very tough time, or did just recently, and he is saying that he first needs to seek some solitude. He realizes, that he needs some light to break through. There is actually a dialogue going on within, as he examines his thoughts. More importantly he recognizes that he is struggling internally, and he acknowledges his pain, and his lack of trusting, the Almighty.

It wasn’t always like that. At one time he was filled with faith, and went to celebrate with everyone else. It seems as though he is remembering, what he used to be like, in order to encourage himself. His mind is saying, “Everything is going to be alright”, and yet his heart is having trouble believing it. This is expressed in the questions he asks. “Why are you downcast, O my soul?”

I’ve been there a time or two! The encouragement here, is don’t let problems in this life get you down. Keep going strong, keep looking up, and trust the Creator. He knows what you are going through.

 

Be blessed, have a great weekend!

Peace.

 

Commentary © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Bible verses from the New International Version

video from youtube

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

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The Good Ground by Rumi

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“Very little grows on jagged rock. Be grounded.

Be crumbled so wildflowers will come up where you are.”

Rumi

 

In this quote, Rumi is sharing about more than just wildflowers. He is using this illustration to point to a truth about our lives, and more specifically, about our internal lives. When our lives, and yes our hearts, are like stone or rocks, not much is going to grow. It is difficult to be fruitful. Another way of saying this is, that there is a blockage between us and potential growth.

Our lives need to be based in ground that can produce, in his words here “crumbled” means easy to plant, or just naturally loose, rich soil, which allows plants to grow. This is why farmers plow their fields, and gardeners like myself, till the soil before we plant. This allows the plants, even wild ones, (and weeds) to grow much easier. In a very real sense, our soils needs to be loose, not hard as a rock.

When our lives are like that, beautiful things will grow from us, even when we don’t expect it. Wildflowers are spontaneous, surprising, and intensely beautiful. We can be like that too, we just need to take care of the soil.

 

Peace.

 

 

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Rumi quote found on google

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Writing Love Stories

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So how does a guy write love stories? Very carefully! As writers we constantly make decisions about what we write, sometimes without realizing it. With love though, I need to evaluate as I go along, and then look back at the work when it is done. This is true of love poetry as well.

With writing love poems, and stories, I often question how much spice to put in the mix. You can’t write about love without something, such as an embrace, a smile, or kissing? Not enough spice and the story becomes naïve and too boring. Too much spice, and at some point we cross the line, even if we are the ones, making the line. But who decides? We each do.

How do I decide? First, I want to be consistent with who I am as a person, which does not mean I think I’m better than anyone. Far from it! This means I might take out a word or change it. Deleting a line is not uncommon.

I also respect the one I married, and I consider what she might say about it. Will she giggle, and give me a warm smile? Or will she be angry? She has not been angry yet, (Yay!) and sometimes writing love poems really is a blessing to her! (and me) I write out of my inspiration, and think about the one the Creator has given me. I call her “My Love”.

My intent is to stay in a certain range. If you compare my writing to movie ratings, I will be staying in the PG range, maybe less, and not much more. Love is very good thing, and another wonderful fountain of life!

If you haven’t guessed I’m writing several books! 

Life is good.

 

Peace.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Fountains of Life

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“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are…….fountains of life.”

“Keep close to Nature’s heart…..and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

John Muir

 

We all have sources of inspiration. When John Muir, sometimes referred to as the mountain prophet, spent time in the mountains, he was not only inspired, but he saw something spiritual about them, perhaps they drew him closer to the Creator. I love the phrase wash your spirit clean. By this, I think he means, find the freedom of nature, let your spirit soar. Don’t let yourself get tangled up in the worries of life. We can experience freedom, when we leave part of the world behind, maybe even turn off our hand held device!

The first quote is even more remarkable when you consider that Muir died in 1914. If it was true in 1914, that there were many people tired, nerve-shaken, and over-civilized, then it must be even more true today. Burn out is not fatal –  we can be rejuvenated, and that’s what I think he is saying here, with these two quotes. Maybe we can’t live in the wilderness, but we might be able to spend some time there. When we do, we will reap tremendous benefits. It is certainly, time well spent. We need the fountains of life.

 

 Peace.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Image is of Niagara Falls

quotes via google

Blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Thoughts About Love

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“Good relationships don’t just happen. They take time, patience, and two people who truly want to be together.”

Author Unknown

We all love, love. Love is our lifeblood, and helps us to make sense of this crazy world. It’s no wonder that love is the most talked about, and most written about topic. I believe there is love at first sight, but regardless of the relationship, love takes work as well. We need to invest ourselves, our time, our hearts, into the other person. We need to see them as more important than we are. It’s a matter of giving, the giving of a wonderful gift – ourselves. Hopefully the other person does the same thing, and if not the relationship begins to fall apart.

We know there is the physical part of love. We were designed that way! How boring life would be without it. In addition to the fireworks, we do need to have a sense of commitment to the other person. Life can be tough sometimes. It is during those tough times, that love can come shining through the storm, or like the sun burning away the fog. If we want to walk away, when our love gets sick, then that’s not love. It might be something else instead of love. The two of us need to face the battle together. When we do, love grows even stronger. Difficulties are opportunities, to draw close, and to work as a team. If two people are committed, love can grow even stronger over time. That’s why seeing two old people, still in love, is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Peace. 

 

 

 

Commentary and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

quote from thedailyquotes.com 

Blessings to everyone. 

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

L’Hermione

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At 148 feet long, with a crew of 78 and more than 50 volunteers, the French Frigate L’Hermione made a triumphant entry into Philadelphia recently. L’Hermione was just one of the many ships there that day, for Philadelphia’s Tall Ship Festival.

This ship may look old but it’s actually brand new! It is a replica of the original L’Hermione that brought Lafayette over with help from the French government during the American Revolution. The fact is, if it had not been for France, there probably would be no USA. I think we often forget to thank France for their help – so thank you France!

If you have a chance to see the ship, it is well worth the effort. They are on a tour of the East Coast and I believe they are in Boston right now. They do, from time to time, fire some of their 32 cannon (like in picture above). Once they docked in Philadelphia, the crew sang to the crowd in French.

One nice thing about this festival is that it had a very international flavor. One of the largest ships was from Portugal, others were from Nova Scotia, and Spain. The opening ceremony had the national anthems of four nations sung, they included France, Canada, Portugal, and the US.

Even though we can romanticize history too much, and make it seem glorious, these ships are magnificent. They can inspire both young and old, to dream of adventure, and maybe even write, a story or two.

Peace.

 Ships 173

 

Commentary and Images © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Flag Waving

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I love my country. Most of us do, unless we live under a dictatorship. We have so many freedoms here, including the freedom to worship the way we choose, or to choose not to worship at all. Regardless of where we live, our country is a part of who we are. However, I have two big concerns about the United States.

The first concern I have is prejudice. I am shocked, horrified, and disgusted. Hatred towards any group of people is wrong. I simply can’t believe that in 2015 we have such a horrible problem. Do we really have the right to criticize other nations, when we have such hatred in our own backyard?

Secondly, I am concerned about the lack of compassion here. There is simply not enough, of caring about people. I thank God for government programs to help people. Many people hate the idea of paying more taxes. If it was your mother in the nursing home, or if your wife needed an operation and couldn’t afford it, would you be so concerned about taxes? Of course not. I’m sure that a lack of compassion has happened over a period of time, but we need to reverse this trend. Maybe it’s from focusing on our hand held devices and TV, so often, that we’ve forgotten people are people.

Still, it’s ok to love your country, and to do some flag waving. Maybe we can do so, keeping in mind where we need to change, and work towards making our world a better place.

Peace.

 

 

 

Commentary and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”