A Big Thank You!

This is not an exaltation of the internet. Far from it because these never cease from being machines.

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With today’s post, I simply wanted to extend A Big Thank You!!

This is something that I have seen a lot my favorite bloggers do and I’m starting to understand the reasons why.

I recently hit 70+ followers on Wither or Thrive and this blows me away.  Partially because I have only had this blog for about 2 years but it’s only been in the last 60 days that I have let my “Inner Child” roam free with muses and thoughts.  The other half is because I would have never thought that in such a short time frame I would have the privilege of being surrounded and furthermore supported, by brilliant people and writers from all over the globe.  We have to remember that once upon a time if you didn’t catch a railroad or boat to the other side of the world there was no hoping of connecting.  But now, thankfully while we are at it, the conversation can be had at a click of the button; the exchange of humanity and making a good impression and comradery takes but seconds.

We learn faster today; we see further.  We speak many languages at once; we can see through a different set of eyes like never before.  It’s amazing at was is possible and at what opportunities are just around the corner every day.

This is not an exaltation of the internet.  Far from it because these never cease from being machines.  They speak of AI and what not, but for now all I see is a screen that doesn’t show what you don’t ask it to.  I see a mouse that does not engage what you don’t wish it to.  A keyboard that does not speak on its own but awaits your command.

This is why the exaltation is for you – My Reader.  Thank you because you choose to come here.  Thank you because you decide that Wither and Thrive, if only for a second, should show up on your screen.  Thank you because you decide when a post calls your name and you click it.  Thank you for those times that you feel compelled to leave a comment – Wither and Thrive does not take for granted those precious seconds of your time that you choose to invest here!

From the bottom of our hearts – Thank you and happy writing.  Happy writing because to me, every one of you is more than just a hobbyist.  There are the makings of a great writer and wordsmith in you and you are slowly introducing him/her to the world.  I appreciate the courage, can’t wait for more and love your work!  Every single one of you.

JC

God Rewards Faithfulness

This is because he criticizes her, while she is criticizing them, and all they do is talk about him. But who doesn’t have something to point out? Who amongst us walks on a fine line and is clean?

A lot of the times, no matter where you live or what era you were born into, criticism will always find its way to your ears.  This is because he criticizes her, while she is criticizing them, and all they do is talk about him.  But who doesn’t have something to point out?  Who amongst us walks on a fine line and is clean?  Sparkling white Joe does not exist.  The only one that should and can be commended is Jesus.

Returning to our the first sentence, what do you do when criticism catches your ear?  Not only criticism of others but the worst yet – criticism of yourself.  It can be a stranger on the subway, a friend from college, a co-worker, or even a family member at a reunion.  What happens inside you when your short-comings as a person are voiced; brought to light?

  • It’s not easy to hear.

Its probably one of the hardest things to hear.  When someone says to your face what makes you a “Not so perfect” person.  Adding to injury is the fact that most of the times, these conversations happen in a heated moment.  Your palms get sweaty, your cheeks flush red, your forehead perspires, your voice gets shaky, and your blood boils.  Whether we are angry with each other, or getting fired at work, or stressed on a project and the work group is falling apart, these moments hit us like a bunch of bricks in the face.

  • But we do need to hear it.

Not the popular idea or opinion, yes, I know.  Now, aside from the heated debate scenario, criticism can be subjective.  Just because someone says that you don’t know how to shoot a basketball doesn’t make them an expert.  Make sure you take these comments with a grain of salt.  But what if no one ever told us what we were doing wrong?  What if someone never pointed out a way you can do what you do more efficiently?  If we are honest with ourselves, its hard to see what is least useful in our character.  Its difficult at times to say, “No, Im wrong here.  I need to do this a different way.”  You might even say its a blessing to hear this.  Or are we waiting for a voice to come from heaven to let us know that there is a different way?

But all this is just a small example of a test.  The Bible talks about tests or trials where our person is put through fire.  It is, or course, the very minimal of all the of the tests and trials that we can face but then why does it bother us so much?  Why is it that we allow those words to shake our faith?  This is not to say that we couldn’t use a good slapping around once in a while.  Im talking about spiritually even though I know that you are thinking of that one person that could use a slapping around physically too.  It doesn’t hurt to heed words of wisdom that scrape against our personality like stone on stone.  Do you know what happens to gold after it is dug out of the dirt?  It is put through fire so that it can be shinier, more sparkling, more precious, more valuable, more useful gold!  But why all of the hassle?  Gold is Gold is Gold.  Thats because there is a standard and even though you ignore that standard, it doesn’t mean its not there.  We have to be careful to ignore those words of wisdom and lose an opportunity to improve; to grow.  It would be such a waste if we were always the same son or daughter, dad or mother, or friend.  How many times have you promised to react differently, in a better fashion, the next time you are put in “that” situation?  We should be improving everyday!!!  So why don’t we try?

I wanted to touch on this subject because sooner or later it will happen.  There will come a time where enough eyes are on you and the criticism starts.  You might even already be there.  Not much is needed though.  It could be the person that you sleep next too…every…single…night.  But don’t let that steal the smile from your face because in all of that, God is watching.  He wants to know that you can keep the faith in him regardless of what men can say.  You are a work of his in progress but we have to accept that.  We have to accept that a work in progress is not perfect and occasionally, just once in a while, someones going to put up a mirror.  But you have to find solace in faith, let it Recharge you, go with the flow, keep walking, and show God that you want to be faithful amidst your short-comings.

 

 

 

The Years Go By Like The Waters In Our Lovers Eyes

Its one of the most powerful sentiments and word of wisdom that has ever graced a human ear and blessed the trajectory of a lifetime

Stop.  Click on this song by Needtobreathe.  Wait a few seconds for the music to start playing…..

Now continue reading.

 

Its one of the most powerful sentiments and word of wisdom that has ever graced a human ear and blessed the trajectory of a lifetime:

“You Only Know What You Have, Once You’ve Lost It.”

In order for that wisdom to exist, someone had to go through heart ache.  Someone had to lose.  Someone had to feel foolish.  Eyes had to be open; eyes that were once blind.  Second chances exist and for this we are all grateful.  Nonetheless, they do not exist for all and for some, they have only known eternal short-coming; an inconsolable oust.

So let us learn from those that have come before us and have been kind of enough to lecture our very situation or circumstance.  Hold on to who you have; never let go of what you have and what it could be.  Before you know it, like stones under rushing waters, the years will have past; opportunities will have ceased; hearts will have fluttered for you or become bitter at your blunder.

Just be sure to take a step back every now and then.  Be grateful and appreciate; realize everyday that the love and joy around you is not of your devise, but in spite of it.  This song is by a great band that I will leave you with.  The purpose of including the link is not to name drop or click-bait.  Listen to the song.  The lyrics are included for your consideration.  Take another listen if you fancy, I know it will do some good.

“Why don’t we dance anymore
I’m not okay with that
Why don’t we laugh anymore
I’m not okay with that
The years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it’s gone
Yeah, the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it’s gone
Why don’t we smile anymore
I’m not okay with that
Why don’t we dance slowly
I’m not okay with that
‘Cause the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it’s gone
Yeah, the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it’s gone

Oh the years, go by, like the waters, in our lovers eyes

Oh the years, go by, like the waters, in our lovers eyes”

Needtobreathe

The Featured Image is credited to Jason Friesen.

The Great Feeling of Success!

A true friend identifies the moments in life where these 3 reassurances can be applied. For 99% of us, this is everyday!!

I won’t go too much into detail on what Im excited about, but……!  This post is really just me letting you know that:

  1. You Are Not Alone
  2. Hang In There
  3. Don’t Give Up!

A true friend identifies the moments in life where these 3 reassurances can be applied.  For 99% of us, this is everyday!!  How many times have you thought to yourself, “If only someone could read my mind?  If only someone could tell me what I need to hear to get through this day?”  Well as many times as you have thought that in a single day, I assure you that your closest friend or relative has done the same.  Don’t hesitate to know that you can make a difference in someone’s day by speaking up and reassuring them of the above list.

About a month ago I made a promise to myself that I would be CONSISTENT & PERSEVERE with a few things in life.  Mainly with prayer, reading the Bible, and amongst other things being committed to you – my readers!  I committed myself to writing at least every other day.  At times, I’ve managed to write once a day for almost a week!  But it wasn’t without setting my mind and attitude straight.

Most times in life it feels that everything is a gamble.  You know what you should be doing but you are afraid to commit the energy and time into something that no one can concretely promise you.  I know that its scary and failure is, if not many more things, frustrating.  Im here to tell you that I have seen the promise land!  LOL.  Thats me telling you not to be afraid.  When you see something that you want and you want to commit to it – THEN COMMIT!!  Don’t question the steps or the risks that you have to take.  Remember that everything that is worth fighting for, you have to fight for.

The last month has thrown a lot at my family and keeping the faith has been tough.  Its a refreshing moment when you see the other side and there is a bright sunny day there welcoming you out of the gloom.  At that point you realize that life is still far from perfect and dandy, but success in one area is enough to give you that nudge to continue to push forward.  Its hard to have and to achieve everything that you want in one day.  But one at a time you can have small successes that, one by one, reassure you that you do have what it takes and that CONSISTENCY & PERSEVERANCE pay off.  Before God and the world, they pay off.  By Gholly They Pay Off!!!!

So there it is friends!  Whatever it is that you have on your mind tonight; whatever it is that you are sure is going to keep you up, don’t fear it.  Just be CONSISTENT & PERSEVERE!  Do what you know is good and maintain your integrity in whatever venture you have set forth on.  That is the way to blessing and grace.

World, meet the short story “What He Gave Me.” Short story, meet The World.

So in accordance with one of my last post, I am trying to do what I can to get my writing, if you will, going.  I had started a short story some time with a premise that can be justified with a few chapters.  I fell upon Wattpad not too long ago and felt that this would be the correct community to introduce this story with.  The feedback will be what I need as they are a community of writers and many of them experienced, which is what I lack.

So here is the link to story that I published on Wattpad.  Its a great site and has a great layout that allows you to interact with beginning writers to seasoned, publish vets alike.  If you have a knack for writing or really want to develop your skill, I would suggest you check it out.  My primary goal or focus is not going to be to write a book per say.  I do have an idea that I think can work, so Im going to take a stab at it.  My attention is going to be on this blog.  Everyday and everywhere we go there is something to learn from.  Life’s purpose is all around us.  God speaks to us through his creation and his Word.  This blog will be a way of me sharing what observations are made.

If you are kind enough to take a second out of your day and visit my story, I appreciate a like and a comment.  Im not used to doing to this kind of propaganda work, so excuse me if Im forward.  Ill be working on that too.  Its very rough draft that jumps perspectives alots – this will be revised with time.

Enjoy.  Fill your day with questions.  Questions about why we do what we do and how.  Then…… Do it different.  Do it BETTER.

http://www.wattpad.com/story/33173774-what-he-gave-me

What a good movie can inspire…

I really didn’t expect to begin my blogging “career” with an idea so gloomy and dark.  I figured I might start out by describing a perfect life full of smiles and joy, rainbows and candy!!  But switching through the channels I fall upon a film that I have much admired for some time – “Meet Joe Black”.  This is when my imagination takes off along with the director’s as I watch but most importantly, this is where I begin to think or meditate, ponder, what have you, on death.

  The night is hot and humid and the sky is filled with voluminous thunder clouds that are pouring a much desired rain.  Thunder and lightening were in the background as I watch the movie and this is not my attempt on creating literary suspense or horror.  I mean it – really.  The night is perfect for a film about death and the different manifestations that death may have.  For those that are not familiar with the film, It begins by introducing a very wealthy and respected media company chairman.  He is in his late 60’s and has everything he could dream of having.  One night he is visited by death who has assumed the identity of a man.  Death lets him know that he has come to “take” him but also has become very interested in his lifestyle and character and would like a tour of “Life”.  In return, death will allow his chauffeur more time just so long as he remains interested.  In the coming days, death involves itself deeply in the life of the wealthy man and creates very complicated situations that only watching the actual film can explain.  I highly recommend the movie if you haven’t seen it.

My interest is sparked at the very beginning of the film when death first appears to the wealthy man.  Death presents itself with an English accent – of course – but more intriguingly with a great knowledge of what makes the wealthy man tick.  Death had obviously been watching him for some time now and had come to take him away.  It made me wonder what would it be like to know your time had come?  I’m sure it depends on the individual experiencing the event – some would live out their wildest dreams selfishly and without regard and yet others would stand still so to speak, take deeper breathes and think about their time and what they did with it.  I’m a devout believer in God and Jesus Christ and everything he came to establish and teach so many centuries ago.  If I knew it was my time to go I would belong to the latter group and appreciate the time I had as well as make the remaining time valuable and legitimate.  You could even argue that there is only one group.  In the face of death, just as this wealthy man found himself, could anybody insist on disputing the existence of eternity; heaven and hell, God and justice?  Most media coverage I’ve seen where someone has gone toward the light only to return to this world at the last minute is forever convinced of an afterlife or life after death.  Those that continue towards the light and never come back…well we’ll never really know.

I’m not dressed in black, locked away in my pitch black room with slipknot posters adorning the walls as I writing this.  I don’t believe that setting or lifestyle is necessary in order to wonder about and appreciate the end.  If someone allowed you a Ferrari for one week – great metaphor hu?  Can you tell I’m a guy? – what would you do with it?  Of course maybe you would want to drive it fast and recklessly, show it off to others and enjoy the time you had.  But what about the danger of damaging the car, wrecking the car, destroying the car and killing yourself in the process…?  Say life is that car.  I feel peace in my heart just driving the speed limit and obeying all traffic laws and regulations.  Sure you want to pedal to the metal and all, but the risks are so great and in my personal experience I have witnessed decisions being made that forever alter lives and there is no going back folks!  One shot is all we got and why not make it a respectable and honorable shot.  I occasionally hear someone attempt to encourage youth to take risks and go crazy in life because you only get one life…  I say nay.  That can be interpreted and realized in the wrong way and all it is then is poison.  You don’t have to be up-tight and over-calculated to be safe, and you don’t have to be neglectful and oblivious to consequences in order to be a free spirit.  

I smile and say, “.. That’s enough!”  It’s late and usually I don’t fall asleep thinking about death and the end because there is substance in between now and then that is so meaningful.  We should dedicate our time to thinking about what we can do better day to day instead of fearing the end.  That is what Jesus came to teach us…a better way to live life.  A life in a different direction, with different principles and goals.  To set our mind and thoughts on righteousness, peace, and humbleness.  When was the last time you thought of such things…