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Open Doors

This brief writing this evening is more than a bit different from what I usually post here.  But we all have many sides to our personality, don’t we?  Myself, I am an avid fan of the author Stephen King.  I always have been, I suppose.  His books often dance on the edge of madness, of the macabre which has always been a source of fascination for me.  I am not sure how this piece will be received here but I had a desire to post it.  So, just read along the lines here and indulge me once again.  If you do not find this of interest, my apologies to you.

Stephen King said it well.  “There are doors in the mind that shouldn’t be opened.” The question is do those doors sometimes open of their own accord?  Or, perhaps they open with just the slightest bit of prompting or desire, subconscious though it may be, on our part.  I’m not sure quite honestly and don’t remember if I “wished” for a glimpse behind that door.  I would like to think that I did not, that I was more intelligent than to make such a foolish request.  But then again, is it not the more intelligent of us who often lose their grip on reality, who frequent the dark halls of our asylums?  And isn’t it really a matter of perception in the end?

The hinges on the door I speak of, that door of Perception are a bit more than loose at times.  It’s true, you know.  “I’ll bet the farm on that!” or “You can take that one to the bank!”, or any one of a dozen other inane idioms that people use to enhance their sad little lives.  No doubt about that one.  But, I digress.  When thoughts come at you from more than two directions at one time, it’s not only wrong.  It’s downright confusing!!  Which one do you listen to?  I see 3 of em’!  Which one do I pick?   “Pick the one in the middle”, it says. “Or not!”

Many of our thoughts are subversive at best and should be mentally flushed when they surface.  Flushed before they time to get even a finger hold on our psyche, our soul.  But there is a certain attractiveness, (Is that a word?) a quality, if you will that is rather seductive.  Wouldn’t you agree?  We’ve all had thoughts like these at one time or another, so don’t pretend you haven’t.  What’s the meaning behind the thought or the thought behind the meaning?  What’s the thought behind the thought for that matter?  Because there is one, just behind the door.  And how deep does the rabbit hole really go, Alice???  Pretty doggone deep, this much I know to be true.  But how deep is the question of the day?  And do I really want to know the answer to that one??  The knowledge is there for the taking, just waiting to be plucked from that singular tree.  You know the one.  It’s the tree that you see in your deepest dreams, always there but just on the fringes.  We usually see it as slightly blurred, a bit askew if you will.  Perhaps a trick of the mind for our own protection.  But make no mistake about it, friends and neighbors.  It is there! The sweet fruit it bears is accessible and can be freed from its limbs quite easily.  But at what cost to the mind?  The price one pays for this particular fruit is high and there are no refunds, O’ Curious One.  None, zip and nada!  In for a penny, in for a pound as the saying goes.  So, it really comes down to a choice in the end, doesn’t it?  Or does it?

Thank you for reading this just now.  I hope you found it of some interest.  Enjoy your day and be blessed in it abundantly.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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It’s A Brand New Year!!

Friends and neighbors, it is indeed a brand new year!  And I have heard so many say, “Thank God the old year has passed because it was not a good year for me at all!”  And believe me, I can appreciate that statement.  2012 was a rough year for many.  For me, it was rather difficult in many ways.  There were trials and circumstances that I would have preferred not to have gone through.  But in the same breath, I would not trade the tribulations I dealt with for when viewed in the proper context, those situations caused me to grow in ways I could not have otherwise.  In past years, I cheated myself of opportunities to grow because I refused to embrace the problems which beset me.  Growth is often a painful process because it involves change and we tend to avoid pain at all costs.  It is a survival instinct, I suppose. The sad part is that when we turn away from the growth process because of the pain of change, the end result that we receive is that we simply survive.  We do not and cannot live fully the Life that our Creator would have us to live.  I am learning this now and am more apt to reach out and embrace that unfavorable circumstance or difficulty.  Do I do so because I enjoy pain?  Not hardly.  It is just that I know now there is the reward of growth at the end of that troublesome road.  And the feeling one receives from achieving personal growth is a feeling like no other.  Have you ever noticed a flower when it is full bloom, brilliant and beautiful in its color?  Or what of a tree, fully and magnificently clothed in green?  These are everyday miracles of our world. Now, what if that tree or that flower did not go through the process necessary for growth?  The answer is quite obvious, isn’t it?  Without a growth process, all things will die.  My friend, we are no different from the beauty of nature that is round’ about us each day.

By turning our back on the growth process set before us, we die inside.  Not all at once, to be sure.  It is a gradual and almost insidious process which is what makes it a danger.  Each time we back away from a problem or challenge because we know of the potential for pain, our refusal to do so causes yet another small tear in the fabric of our Spirit.  Over time, we allow so many of these to occur that the strength of Spirit we possess initially simply unravels as it slowly but surely gets torn apart.  And I will say this as well since we are on the subject…….Sewing back together the fabric that comprises our Spirit is a very difficult job and it takes a great deal of time and effort to accomplish this.  I know of what I speak.

So in reality, when we choose not to grow and change because we see the potential pain involved and wish to avoid it, what are we really doing in the end?  In the short-term, we cheat ourselves of experiencing the grand feeling of having our hearts and spirits bloom and burst forth into splendid color and fullness.  I should also state that when we grow, change and bloom, those around us benefit and are blessed directly.  And needless to say, in blessing others we are blessed in return and in greater abundance.  It is a universal and scriptural law or as Kermit the Frog would say, “It is the way of it”.  And what are the long-term effects of walking away from growth and change?  Quite simply put, we must work twice as hard to become as we would’ve been.  That is unless we simply allow the death of our Spirit and waste the gift of Life and all that is precious within us.  And there are many in our world who do just that.  You see them everyday as you move through your life.  It’s so sad really.

Oh, I should say as well that not all growth and change has turmoil and pain attached to it.  It is just that with we humans, (myself included!) the only time we become willing to change and therefore grow is when the pain of not changing exceeds the pain of change.  We are really such silly people when you think about it in that light, yes?

In closing, I would say this to myself and to all those reading these words.  It is indeed a brand new year!  Allow yourself to bask in the beauty of  the gift of a new beginning for a few moments so as to truly appreciate it.  Then, keep your eyes open wide and look for ways and opportunities to grow and to change.  Realize going in that there will be undoubtedly some discomfort and yes, even pain involved in the process.  What is the old adage? “Forewarned is forearmed”?  When one is aware of something up front, it is so much easier not to be surprised by it.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Make it a part of you to view growth and all it entails as an adventure, not as something that must be dealt with, a task which must be completed.  This new year, this 2013 we have been given, promises to be an exciting time.  Will it be a time of challenges as well?  Yes, it will and you may count on it.  But it will also be a time for abundant growth and a time when we, individually as well as collectively can blossom and bring vibrant color and a new fullness to our world!  Does this excite you, my friends?  Let us go hence and make this 2013 an excellent year!

Good evening to all those who have taken the time to review these words.  I hope what has been written was worthy of your time.  And as I have said in the past, if what you have read caused you to think a bit, then this is a good thing.  But please, please apply what you have read to your respective lives and be sure to bless those around you as well daily.  Take care and be blessed in your day!

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr

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Where Two Or Three Are Gathered…….

I would suppose that the majority of us know this particular passage.  “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”  Now the meaning within this scripture is fairly obvious.  Our Creator will attend His ear to what we have to say even if there is not a multitude of people collectively requesting His attention.  We are just that important to the One who brought us to be.  And that is a wonderful thing to know, is it not?  Of course it is.  But that is not to be my focus here this evening, as glorious as that information may be.  At least I don’t believe it shall be my focus.  We shall see, I suppose.

You see, often times we must look below the surface of the words for the meanings that lie just underneath, perhaps waiting to be discovered.  What has always captured me about the aforementioned verse is mention of “where two or three are gathered”.  I have always been drawn to the idea of numbers and I am not sure as to why.  It certainly has nothing to do with my love of mathematics for I have no love lost there.  I barely passed algebra and dropped out of geometry.  As for trigonometry and calculus?  Exactly.  We were never even introduced.  Still my fascination with simple numbers remains.  Perhaps it is because numbers, like words carry tremendous power and meaning.  And the weight they carry was something not imposed by humankind but rather by our Creator.  Think about it for a moment, if you will.  According to scripture, the world was created in 7 days.  Why not 4 or 5 days?  And the number 7 has longed been hailed as the number of perfection.  Why is that exactly?  And in the process of creation, there was 1 man and 1 woman created.  In the animal kingdom, there were 2 of each animal created, be it mammal, fish or fowl.  I am certain that particular situation was simply to satisfy the requirement for procreation.  But since trees, plants and flowers were also created, I ask myself how many?  Nothing the Creator sets out to do is done in a slipshod fashion but rather His methodology is one of design and precision.  Should it disturb me that there is no mention of the number of trees He planted with a touch of His hand?  No, it should not but it does nonetheless.  What can I say?  So, color me weird or a bit off. I am okay with that.  However, I can see here that once again I have wandered off point.  Let us get back to where we left off.  Or better said, where I left off.

Where two or three are gathered.  Such small numbers these are, yes?  What does this tell us then?  It tells us my friend, that because we have been touched by the Divine we have much power.  We have more power within us than we can even begin to imagine!  Do bear in mind that this power is not of ourselves and it is not created by us so there cannot be any degree of arrogance here. It is a gift from our Creator.  Besides, power that is true and pure lies within the realm of humility.  Where two or three are gathered.  Would you care to break it down to say, the power of one?  So be it.  The effectual fervent prayer of  “a righteous man” availeth much”.  You do notice that this refers to a singular individual, yes?   Hence, the power of one. 

What point am I trying to make here?  Or better said, what is it that I am asking?  I will answer it now as best I can.  What I am asking is why are we not living our lives inside that realm of power that the Almighty has given us so freely?  I sometimes imagine Him looking down, scratching His head and saying,  “Come on now, my people!  I have given you the keys to the kingdom.  Why do you not use those keys and step into the power of the Kingdom I have graciously given unto you?  Why do you insist on living in mediocrity and spiritual poverty?”  I believe it causes God frustration when he observes us at times.  Don’t you?

My friends, think about this now.  It only takes 2 of us to get God’s attention.  In reality, it only takes the power of one based on what was stated a bit earlier here.  And if one has the attention of the Almighty, one has tapped into a fairly strong Power source.  Wouldn’t you be inclined to agree?

Now, I have said all of this to say one thing and one thing only.  The very simple formula of where two or three (or one) are gathered = a high level of God-given power is all that is required to bring about change in this, our world.  All it requires is our diligent application of the formula and the belief that the formula will work.  But belief without diligent effort will not bring results anymore than diligent effort without belief will render positive results.  The two must work together.  And is this formula based in truth?  It has to be so.  Anything less than this would result in our Creator being dishonest in His promises.  And that is simply not a possibility.

And going back to my infatuation with numbers, indulge me I pray thee, just once more.  When Noah built the ark and the animals were bid welcome and made their way in, how is it that they entered?  Was it in a mad frenzy, all clamoring to claim a spot within?  Did the strongest and boldest enter first with the weaker and smaller bringing up the rear?  You know the answer to this.  They entered into the ark in pairs, two at a time in a fashion that would’ve pleased a drill instructor.  And admittedly, I do not know if the elephants and tigers were followed in by the rabbits and squirrels.  But I do know that all are equal in the sight of God so perhaps that says it all.  The point I am trying to make is simply this.  As they entered, two by two, their numbers grew and eventually they occupied the entire ark, so great were they in number.  This is the method to be used to effect change on a global scale.  The 1 becomes 2, the 2 become 4, the 4 become 8 and so on.  And there is unlimited power in just 2 or 3 with our Creator in the midst.  Can you imagine what level of change can be effected when those 2 or 3 multiply themselves into the thousands??  Think of this for it is all too possible, dear reader.  Now, let us take these thoughts and put them into action.  A seed cannot grow and bring forth fruit until it has been placed below the soil.  Then that seed must die in order to bring forth new life.  “Whoa, hold on”,  You may say. “What is this dying business? I didn’t sign on for that!”  Well, I will admit that I failed to mention that part.  But it is a good thing, not a bad thing.  You see, in order to bring about lasting change in others, we must die to self first.  And in doing so, we are actually reborn into a higher level of ourselves as are those whose lives we effect.  It is a concept to be embraced rather than be pushed away.  Trust me on this for it is the simple truth.  Where two or three (or one) are gathered…….  Friends, think about it for it is exciting stuff!

I thank you as always for taking the time from your day to peruse these words I have placed here.  I trust they caused you to explore your mind for exploration is a grand affair and a lot of fun as well.  Be blessed in your day and bless those you meet along the way.  Take care with yourselves.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Where Have You Pitched Your Tent?

Is this an odd question I am presenting here this evening?  Perhaps, perhaps not. You see, I was listening to Joel Osteen and he made mention of a scripture that states “I have pitched my tent in the city of hope”.  The reference does not reference a physical location but rather the location of your heart wherein lies your dreams, your spirit and your beliefs.  So I ask you this question this evening, my friend.  Where have you pitched your tent?  Now bear in mind, back in Biblical times people did not have homes like the ones you and I know today.  Many did have a physical home, one built from the materials of that time.  But for so many people, a tent was where they dwelt, where they lived, loved and raised their families.  In a word, it was home to them.  And since it was their home, I would think that the location of this home, where this tent was pitched would be important, yes?  Those families would consider and ask questions, questions such as “How far away is the stream so that we may have water nearby?” or “Is the land here fertile enough so we may grow vegetables and is there sufficient grass here for our flocks?”  These were things to consider when pitching one’s tent.  By the way, the definition of the word pitch when used in the context of pitching a tent means to erect or establish; set up.  To set firmly; to implant; embed.  When viewed by this definition, pitching a tent seems a more important task than you or I may have thought.

Another consideration would be to perhaps determine what direction the winds might be coming from.  On the side of the tent where the winds would be the strongest, perhaps additional stakes would be used to fortify the strength of the home.  And perhaps those stakes would need to be set more firmly into the ground? This seems logical enough to me.  To be honest, I never dealt with tents a great deal.  But I know enough to know that where a tent is pitched is at least as important as what and whom you wish to protect within that tent.

With all that said, I ask again the question, Where have you pitched your tent, my friend?  Have you pitched your tent in the City of Hope or does it stand sadly in the oh so busy Metropolis of Despair?  When deciding location, did you check the depth and quality of the soil where the stakes would be driven deeply and firmly so your tent would stand strong?  Or did you just assume that dirt was just dirt and that depth was not so important after all?  And now when the winds of Life blow in strong, you feel what you thought was your protection shudder around you and constantly you fear that all you had set in place will collapse down upon you, perhaps even this night?  And the stakes, those stakes that you selected that provide the strength for your shelter, those stakes that were deemed inferior but they were a bargain so they were “good enough”?  Are they sufficient unto the day, unto this dark night where the winds now howl round about you?  Can you here those timbers cracking above your head now?  Do you scream out to any who and all who will hear but your voice is ripped away by the winds of Insecurity and Hopelessness. Did you expect something better than this??  Look where it is you so thoughtlessly pitched your tent!  What you put forth is what you receive back.  And just as the blessings you send out come back to you as a double portion, so do those cursed things you send forth.  A double portion to you, blessings or cursings.  It is a universal law.  The universe only sends to you as a reward what you have sent out.  We make the choice as to which.

My word, this is all so uplifting, isn’t it?   Will you ever want to visit this blog again?  If this was all there was offered here, I would never return.  And it is my own blog!  But there is good news and salvation ahead.  And here it is…..Do know the really great thing about tents?  Unlike houses whose foundations are permanent, tents can be moved much more easily.  Do you desire, truly desire now to move from the darkness of Despair into the glorious Light which is Hope Everlasting?  Then come along, let us take apart this tent of yours!  But let us only keep what is valuable, shall we?  The fabric that provides the walls of your tent, is it good quality?  For some, it would appear much thought was given as to its selection and strength. For others, this fabric is already threadbare, worn, and tired.  But as it is your tent, you must decide.  And what of the stakes which are in reality the foundation of your shelter?  Did you select them for quality or did you lay hold to them simply because the were just “good enough”?  Again I say unto you, it is your tent so you must decide.  I would suggest to you that you do not try to take with you what is inferior or tired from your old home of Despair into your new Life of Hope.  It will become a burden just as surely as the dawn awakens to greet the new day.  Oh I’m sorry, what is that you say?  You have nothing but a worn and tired dwelling to bring to this City of Hope?  Well my dear friend, I have something to share with you here so listen oh so closely now……….You are the very person we are looking for.  It is usually those who feel they have the least to offer whose souls have the greatest gifts to share.  And besides, all things become as new here in the City of Hope.  And if you must know, we have been waiting for you, kind friend.  So, come on in and let us give you the traditional Words of Welcome always offered here in the City of Hope.  You may have heard them before but today, I believe they will have new meaning for you.  Come to Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.  And as we enter this great city together my friend, I have but one question for you.  Where is it that you wish to pitch your tent within the City Of Hope?”

William J. Thompson, Jr.

(To those reading, I am afraid I strayed a bit as to form. It is how it came out from me. I pray your indulgence. Blessings to all.)

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What Is Life?

Here is a question that is not often asked.  There are many questions asked concerning life.  People ask “What is the meaning of Life?” or “Is there Life after death?”  Another common one is “Is there Life on other planets?”  And if you try, I am sure you have heard similar questions yourself.  However, I rarely hear someone ask the question “What is Life?”  I have always found this to be rather interesting.  And since present circumstances have caused me to consider this question anew, I thought would check with Daniel Webster and see what his dictionary would tell me.  Here is the definition I found.  “Life – The sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual; a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings”.  A concise description, to be sure.  But not exactly what I was looking for.  Given that, I will describe here what I feel Life is.  As before, I ask the permission of your indulgence here.

Life is the most precious of gifts.  It is so much more than the act of inhaling and exhaling.  It is so much more than the consuming of food to sustain our bodies.  It is so much more than an exercise regiment practiced daily to keep ourselves fit and able.  These are all vital functions to sustain life in the miraculous bodies we have been blessed with.  Yet so many of us live as if that is all life is and this is reflected by the manner in which they live.  I don’t believe that this is done intentionally because to believe that this was so would be beyond my comprehension.  People just get caught up in the whole routine of things and forget what is to inquire of Life, to boldly say, “Life, what are you about exactly and what am I to do with you?”  This sounds odd, doesn’t it?  But indeed, you can ask this question and if you are tuned in and sincere, Life will indeed answer you.  It will speak to you and converse with you using your heart as an interpreter.  I call it “Spirit-Speak“.  The Spirit of Life will speak to your Spirit and vice-versa.  It is a spiritual process and can be learned by any one of us.  Test me on this and see if I do not speak the truth.  How is this accomplished?  By the falling away of the materialistic mannerisms that  we seem to cocoon ourselves in.  And then by tuning into the true language of our world.  Were you aware of the words spoken by the breezes that gently blow against your skin and through your hair?  The words are there but not words in the sense that we are used to hearing.  Have you ever heard the language of the trees or the words spoken by the leaves it wears?   The language is there and the words are spoken but not in the manner we are familiar with.  We can develop the sense of hearing required to truly “hear” Life as it plays a veritable symphony of words and music for our sensory enjoyment.  It is simply a matter of engaging our “spiritual hearing” and tuning in to what surrounds our hearts always.

And no, I am not telling you that you must mothball your television, your Wii and all the other devices that have taken control of our lives. (Although there is a degree of merit there)  What I am saying we need to bring some balance back into our lives.  Set aside some time to physically and mentally “unplug”, if you will and then “plug-in” to the spirit side of you.  Learn how to indulge yourself in a bit of Spirit-Speak on a regular basis.  You will be pleasantly amazed by the benefits it brings your way as well as the benefits that spill over to those around you.

Now as you may notice, I seem to roam off the subject matter at times.  And just now as I sat, reviewing what has been written here, I wondered at first how I had wandered off yet again.  But perhaps I did not veer very far off course at all.  The question posed here is “What Is Life?”  I believe that is very much what was being discussed here this evening.  Is Life in the “living of it”?  Yes, and very much so.  Is Life  and the appreciation of it being “in the moment” or being “of the moment”?  I would heartedly give a resounding “Yes!” to both.  All of these things are vital to the process of living Life fully.  But Life itself is so much more as I have tried to convey in these few lines.  Life is alive. It is a being, as real and alive as you and I.  In actuality, Life is an entity.  Once we know this and once we also respect this, we will be on our way to being able to tune in to the spiritual world round about us.  We are then in proper position to hear Life as it shows to us its blessings and its best.

Thank you so much and kindly for your attention.  Be blessed in Life daily.

William J. Thompson, Jr.

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The Seed

The young seed had lain dormant, deep within the fertile soil for what seemed an eternity.  Just lately however the rays of the sun had been quite busy, warming the soil and now something was happening.  There was a stirring within the young seed, something that was unfamiliar and very strange! Our youngster felt himself being drawn, almost pulled towards the surface.  It was both frightening and exciting, this feeling!  The warm, oh so warm soil surrounding him was so good!   But he felt a change coming about and that right soon.  The seed knew this because he was ever so close to the surface now.  What was up there, just beyond the soil?  “Oh”, said he. “Perhaps it isn’t really so important.  And this soil all around me is so comfortable, so warm!  It might be just as good to stay right here.  Probably so…..maybe….”.  As he was mulling this over, the pull of the Sun became more intense than ever, urging him to move upward and forward.  He was fearful of what was just beyond and he knew it.  But he also realized in his heart that he needed to know what lay out there and up there.  There really wasn’t any turning back now.  This is not to say that the seed did not look back.  He did, as do we all. And when he did, he said to all who could hear, “I cannot go back nor do I want to go back.  Something is waiting for me, calling to me from a higher place!”  With that said, he cast his vision upward once again and with one mighty push, he broke through the surface!

At the moment of his breakthrough, our young seed became a seedling.  Oh, and the light and the colours of this new world were beautiful!  He was so glad that he had kept pushing forward and upward.  And the Sun, the glorious Sun!  It was magnificent and he could feel Its’ power coursing through him now.  What our young friend was experiencing now was worth all the effort he had put forth.  Every bit of it and more!

As time progressed, the young seedling became a sapling and he continued to grow.  And during these periods of growth, he instinctively followed the Sun, always reaching upward and continually climbing higher.  For you see, he knew the Sun was the Source of his strength and his growth.  In only a few short years, this young maple tree stood an impressive fifty feet tall!  And his branches, full and heavy with leaves now provided comfort and shade to those below.  He further blessed the birds of the air by allowing them to rest and to nest in the security of his arms.

Now you may ask, “Well, what reward does this tree receive in return for all of this? What is in it for him?”  I will tell you in this writing that our mighty friend expects nothing in return.  And because of this, he receives much.  The Creator, the Sun rewards him with abundant strength and helps with his continued growth throughout life. He sends waters from the heavens to renew and refresh our beautiful friend as well.  I ask you, what greater blessing can be bestowed upon any one of us?

Once a tiny seed, this towering maple tree helps to sustain Life and in return, is sustained by Life.  Miraculous, isn’t it?  Oh, and silly me!  In the midst of all this, I failed to mention the name of our young seed, didn’t I?  His name is “Greatness”.  What a fantastic name, don’t you think?

My friend, are you aware that the seeds of Greatness lie dormant, deep within the fertile soil of your own heart?  You were born with them there. They are a gift from the Creator of all Life.  What is that you say?  You do not believe this?  If this is indeed how you feel, then do something for me and for yourself.  Gently place your hand over your heart.  Ever so gently now.  Be kind to yourself for often we have forgotten how to do this.  Now if you would, listen to your heart with your heart.  This is unfamiliar ground for most of us so it may take a few attempts.  Be patient here.  Now……wait!  There, there it is!  Do you hear it now?  What you are hearing, dear friend, are the seeds of your Greatness stirring softly within you.  You must water them now for they are quite thirsty after the long dry spell we have given them.

Now if you will permit me, I have just one more suggestion for you, yes?  If you are wise (and you are wiser than you know), let the Almighty Son warm the rich and fertile soil within your heart.  But you must ask and allow Him to do so.  Our Creator is polite and proper and will only enter an area if invited.  What will happen next is up to you!  And remember this as well…….The experience will undoubtably be frightening at times.  But it will also be very exciting!!  And so my friend, here we grow!  May you be blessed in your journey.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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