Home & Garden

A Teal Velvet Settee

Hi Friends!

Did you know that the word "friend" that we see in the Word of God is not the same as the way we commonly use it today in our society?  The word "friend" is a term that they used for someone they were in covenant with. When the Bible says that Abraham was a friend of God, it means that he was in covenant with God! 

When I say "friend," I am using it to say, "we are in covenant with each other as part of the Body of Christ!"  I just love that!

I wanted to share more details of my entry makeover with you, including the other side of the room. 

My husband and I bought this antique settee when we lived in Winchester, Virginia about 18 years ago. There was a beautiful little antique shop in town owned by the sweetest man. We were in there one day when I spotted this settee and 'oohed and ahhed'  and stared and sighed. lol  Not very subtle, right? Our anniversary was coming up and my husband suggested we buy it for our anniversary gift. We call it the "loooooove seat."
It was originally covered in an emerald green velvet which I'm sure, at one time,was beautiful. But time had caused it to fade and wear and you could tell it was old. I kept it that way for several years, as it went well with our decor in Virginia, but I've recovered it a couple of times in the last 16 years.

I recovered it this winter in this scrumptious teal velvet. (the actual color is a little greener. I couldn't get it to photograph as true as I wanted.)  This kind of settee is easy to reupholster. I just used an electric staple gun to attach the fabric and then covered the staples with double piping that I sewed myself. You could also use premade trim if you wanted, which would mean no sewing at all!

The art piece behind it was also purchased at a Kirkland's in Virginia. I added this fun little gold stump table for a bit of whimsy. I've toyed with the idea of adding some modern pieces to our house lately. 

Funny story about this gold stump...I was shopping online one day for something fun and whimsical to put next to the settee when I found a very similar gold stump.  I marked it to think about, and come back later to purchase, if I decided I wanted it. Just a few days later, I was in HomeGoods in Grand Rapids with our daughter and one of the first things I spotted when we walked into the store was this gold stump! I promptly put it in my cart and it rode around the store with us until we left with it. 
I ordered this teal velvet on line, which is always a risk, but when it arrived it was even more delicious than I had imagined. I had ordered all they had left and had just enough to cover the settee and make a pillow. I love the dramatic pop of color it gives to this room. I found an almost identical teal velvet home decor fabric at our nearby Joann's Fabric and am thinking about using it elsewhere in our house.

When I painted the blue buffet, I bought a sample-sized paint this same teal color and used it to deepen the color in the corners.


I'll be back soon to give you all the details about the walls. I used a fun technique that I've never done before and it was so easy! Hope you're having a great day!

love and blessings~


 "and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God." 
James 2:23


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Home & Garden

The Veil – a book review

I love to read! I would just about rather read than anything else! And I will often read every minute I can and finish a book in a day. 

I'm really terrible at book clubs because I finish the whole book in a couple of days and want to go on to the next one.  I can't talk accurately about the chapter we were supposed to read and discuss it well because I've finished the book and read another one since we got together. 

There's got to be some good to this, right? So, I've decided to start posting reviews on books that I think are wonderful and helpful. You'll find book reviews under 'Faith' at the top.

I recently read a wonderful book by Blake K. Healy called, The Veil.  As early as he can remember, Blake has seen the spirit world. He didn't realize that everyone wasn't seeing what he saw until he was in grade school. He saw demons and angels and spiritual activity. He was raised in a Christian home but it wasn't until he attended Bethel's School of Ministry in Redding, California that he felt comfortable sharing his wonderful gift.

His book is an honest account of his struggle to understand his gift and to be accepted by the people around him. I loved his vulnerability and the beautiful way he describes what he sees and the understanding God has brought over the years.

He says that everyone of us has a 'personal angel.' He calls them this instead of 'guardian angels' because they are so much more than that. They are both a reflection of who we are and what we need. They minister to us from the Father when we are weak and they rejoice in our victories. They are with us from birth to death.

He sees demons and has come to a greater understanding of how they operate and has seen how simple and complete our authority in Christ is over them, if we know it.

I want to share an excerpt of his book with you.  I hung on every word but this part was my favorite because it showed so clearly the love of Jesus.  He is describing what is happening during a worship service, starting with the worship team practicing.

"Three angels are pacing up and down the rows of chairs, swirling their arms in wide arching patterns that send little blue pellets of water from their fingertips.  Their long, green robes add to the whimsical quality of their movements and seem to be soaked with the same water they sprinkle throughout the sanctuary.
The worship team practice goes no different than usual. People are discussing which key would be most appropriate for this song and when the best time for the drums to come in on that song is, but for some reason I can feel a growing sense of anticipation. This isn't because of the angels. They, or others like them, prepare the sanctuary every Sunday.
As the service gets closer, people start piling in. A momentum builds during practice, and the presence of God starts to enter the room. Then the first real song starts and it feels like the song hits a brick wall. I used to find this part of worship frustrating. This initial resistance happens almost every time. 
I used to blame this resistance on the members of the congregation-secretly, of course, because that sort of thinking isn't very Christian. Now I tend to think that this resistance is a natural force in and of itself. Climbing a mountain is a strenuous and difficult process that requires much effort, patience and skill. You won't hear a mountain climber complain about this, however. They will be too busy telling you how fantastic the view from the top is.  I think that sometimes an initial struggle makes the result more valuable.
I see three new angels standing at the front of the room-each head and shoulders above anyone on the stage. They struggle to raise their muscular arms as if they are trying to lift something immensely heavy, though I don't see anything in their hands. As they strain against this invisible force, I see that small green plants have sprouted in the places where the swirling angels sprinkled those pellets of water. The plants grow and shrink in sync with the large angels' attempts to lift their arms. I get the impression that they are struggling against the very same resistance that I feel whenever worship starts. It is as if they are trying to pull life from the ground.
One of our worship leaders steps up to the microphone to start the first song. I like this guy. I can see his heart from where I'm sitting; it burns white-hot, glowing in a way that stings my eyes. Will knows about purity. He doesn't care how high or steep the mountain is; he just wants to get to where God is waiting. And he wants to bring everyone with him. Whatever touched that heart would instantly incinerate and go up in smoke, like incense to heaven. A heart like his can turn anything into worship. The presence of God has always come during every worship service I have ever attended, but I am constantly amazed at how significantly the posture of our hearts affects our ability to feel that presence.
I still feel the resistance by the time the first song ends, but the angels' plants have grown to the ceiling and have begun to twist around the fluorescent lights like ivy.
The second song begins, and the second worship leader takes the lead. The moment she opens her mouth, I feel as if I'm being yanked up into the air. The wall behind the worship team begins to take on the texture and color of clouds and sunshine. The plants that had grown earlier begin to release large pieces of pollen that swirl through the air in time with the music.
Near the end of the song, she starts singing a simple prophetic song, "Sons and Daughters." Strength and encouragement appear out of thin air and strap on to people in the congregation like pieces of glowing red armor. It sinks into their skin and melts into their bones.
During the third song there is such  strong sense of being drawn into the loving heart of God that I forget to write for the first half of the song. It's a real face-to-face moment with God. I can't see anything when I look around the room. Most of the angels have gone, but when I focus on one person at a time, I see Jesus standing with him or her.
We humans have a different relationship with God than the angels do. I don't always understand the difference, but sometimes, when His presence takes on a certain quality, all the angels leave. Then it's just God and us.
A woman in the third row is holding her hands over her heart. Jesus stands directly in front of her, taking her hands in His and He whispers in her ear. A man is lying in the aisle with his face planted firmly in the carpet. Jesus kneels over him and rests both hands on his back.
Jesus is visiting each person individually yet all at the same time. Most are interacting with Him in one way or another-dancing, crying, laughing, or simply standing hand in hand. Others are scanning the room with a bored look on their faces or sitting with arms crossed. Jesus is standing near them too, or course, just waiting. He doesn't look frustrated or even disappointed. He's just waiting."

I'm crying as I type this. I had to get up and get a tissue. The love of Christ undoes me. To understand that Jesus stands and waits with love and patience. That He came to everyone in that room.  Even to those that weren't open to Him. 

There were so many wonderful stories in this book of what Blake has seen in the spirit realm.  But the most wonderful part is understanding that God wants us all to know Him and see these things too. And Blake shares this in such a way, with prayer, for each of our eyes to be opened to see these things. I have seen many things in my years with God but never to this extent but I now have faith that God is willing and removing the obstacles and wrong thinking that hinder me from seeing more.

I pray that you will too.

love and blessings~


 "I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" 
Job 19:27





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Home & Garden

Godly Boundaries

"Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me." Isaiah 49:16

Thank you again to those who have contacted me in the last year asking if I was doing okay and if I was going to blog again. A thousand thoughts are going through my mind as I sit down to write this. I know this is something God is putting on my heart to write and I've learned and 'established' so much this past year regarding my own personal boundaries. Many scriptures are also coming to mind so I pray that God connects it all together and you will receive what's on my heart.  

When we are rooted and grounded in the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:14-21), the result is healthy boundaries or walls. We know where we stand~ we stand 'in Christ' or in covenant with Christ. We know who we are and we know Whose we are. When are secure in this place, we cannot be shaken. We draw a line in the sand and say, "This is me. This is who I am. These are my boundaries."

*Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.*

We have external boundaries and we have internal boundaries. When our internal boundaries are sound, our external boundaries come naturally. 

Each of us have boundaries or walls. Some are healthy, some are not, and some need to be strengthened and extended. This is something that God has been establishing in me this past year. God wants our boundaries to be established by Him and His Word and for His Holy Spirit to be the One Who draws these boundaries.

It's more than that. 

We are created in His image but we are a finite being, with boundaries drawn by Him. Life, rejection, negative words, etc. want to destroy those boundaries. Sin and not knowing Him and the purpose for which we were created destroy those boundaries from the inside. It tears down our walls. It opens us up to confusion and un-Godly influence. 

When we are secure in who we are in Him, our boundaries become sound and correct. When we do not know who we are in Him we seek approval from others, do things that are not in His plan for us to do, and open ourselves to people and circumstances that are not healthy for us. 

Some people have focused in on the ability to say 'no' to other's requests, but it's more than that. 

It's knowing who you are and not compromising what you're called to do to please others.  

Not so much saying 'no' as saying 'yes' to what He's called us to do. Having a focus and knowing your purpose. I've had to pull back this past year and re-establish my understanding of who I am in Him and what He's called me to do.

We all get impressed with others at times and think they have figured out how to do it and we'll do it that way and we'll succeed but that's not what He wants us to do. We are all so uniquely created by Him and each of our paths are different. And success is not necessarily people's approval. It's His approval. 

So many people that we admire were rejected by their peers. It's only after their death that people recognized the truth in their message and embraced it.  Rejection by people doesn't mean failure. 

Social media is a very dangerous thing. It can cause us to compromise for the approval of others. There's more danger in being 'liked' than being disliked because being 'liked' is like a drug. We've all seen the child star who turned to depression and drugs when their 'stardom' ended. They don't know who they are without the love of crowds. 

The people I admire are those who stand up and say, "This is who I am. This is what I know to be true. This is how I'm going to do it." Even in the face of disapproval, they insist on who they are. In this day and age, social media is a huge influence. And it can be cruel. It shocks me the things people say. But it also shocks me how much people submit themselves to social media for approval. 

The Lord spoke to me one day and said, "The more influence you have, the more you're exposed to disapproval." And I realized I wasn't strong enough. I realized I needed to be more established in Him before I could withstand the pressure. 

I also realized that I need my blog to reflect me. And I am foremost and always a child of God, forgiven, redeemed, and restored by His love. Forever grateful. Every success I have, I owe to Him.

So I have determined to do this thing my way. And it took me a while to figure out what that was.  It's that simple. 

And I'll tell you a secret. The only reason I blog my decorating is because the Lord told me it leads people to this blog and then they encounter His love.  When reading James Maloney's book, The Dancing Hand of God, I saw scripture come floating up out of the book! I have prayed that this blog be so filled with the love of God that it causes you to have an encounter with Him. 

So I may not visit your blog. Please forgive me. My goal is to obey God in all I do~and that takes a concentrated focus at times. And I'm making a new commitment to live a purposeful life. 

love and blessings~

Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.
Proverbs 25:28


ps: If you need help in this area, Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend is a great book. 
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Home & Garden

A Softer Shade of Blue

Hi Friends!

I hope you and your family had a beautiful Resurrection Sunday as we celebrated the life, death and resurrection of Jesus! I was so blessed to see social media filled with proclamations of Jesus. He is our hope, our joy and our life!

We had an extremely harsh winter here in Michigan this year. And one snowy, icy day I decided to redecorate our entry. I genuinely loved this room before but always felt it didn't flow as well with the rest of the house as I'd like. I wanted less Traditional and more French Country.  

The picture below was taken by the photographer from Romantic Homes a couple of years ago. The walls were blue a soft blue with a painted stencil and below the chair rail and trim was all bright white. 

 
I started the redo by painting the trim and closet doors a light wood tone to match the rest of the house. I painted the walls in Sand by Sherwin Williams as a base coat, from top to bottom, including the chair rail. I'll share the paint technique and raised plaster stencil I did in a later post. 

And then I repainted our blue dresser.
The new color is much lighter and more the color that shows up around our house in almost every room. I'm sorry I can't give you a color name. I used the same color that I custom mixed for our family room a few years ago and then added colors to it and layered it on until I got the look I wanted.
I always use a chalk paint additive I bought on Amazon.   It gives your paint that smooth chalky finish but I can add it to any color that I already have. 

For those of you who are new to this site, I bought this dresser second hand several years ago. It was an old, maple bedroom dresser that someone had in storage. It was in great shape and we paid $100 for it. It's definitely one of my favorite pieces of furniture in our home and I love the impact it gives when you walk in our front door.

I added a little of the light blue to our HomeGoods mirror so that it coordinated better. This mirror was on clearance at HomeGoods a couple of years ago. It was all a uniform cream color and I painted it to match the dresser. 


I layered one of our cowhide rugs over another rug. I love the mix of rustic with the feminine furniture.

Our entry is a pass-through with doors on all four sides. Below is the view from the front door. The door on the left goes into the rest of our house. The patio door you see goes out onto the deck and into the back yard and pool. The door you see reflected in the mirror goes into our garage.  
I haven't shown you the other side of the room in a while. I'll share more details about recovering the antique settee on another post. I'd like to change our light fixtures in here to a soft gold, whether I refinish the ones we have or buy new ones.
There are a few other changes in here I'd still like to make and will give you updates in the future. 

Thank you to those that have messaged me this past year. Your kind comments were a blessing to me and I appreciate it so much.

love and blessings~

"The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22

sources: 
dresser, chair - Craigslist
mirror - HomeGoods
wooden bowl, vase and roses - HobbyLobby
lamp and candlesticks - Furniture City Consignment
french shopping basket - World Market
cherry blossoms - Joann's Fabrics
cowhide rug - Twisted Pine, Estes Park, CO
wall color - Sand by Sherwin Williams


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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 22, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RcUN3V9j_4

China faces more scrutiny from its own propaganda while Taiwan searches its own soul. Taiwanese elections are fast approaching. Demagoguery is in full swing. Even the founder of Foxconn says a Chinese god told him to run for president.

We could say that billionaires are the presidential trend, but Terry Gou's (郭台銘) money is largely in China, which is planning to attack Taiwan. Trump's investments were mainly in American companies with satellite projects globally. Gou can't rightly be compared to Trump. While there were proven-to-be-unsubstantiated suspicions of a connection to Russia with Trump, Gou's connection to China is both widely known and undisputed, Foxconn having 12 factories in China. Gou opposes the US selling weapons to Taiwan. I wonder why.

If business tycoon Gou were to take the de facto pro-unification KMT-Nationalist party nomination, he would need to overcome Mayor Han of Kaohsiung, a populist with little political experience who's primary vehicle of campaigning is complaint and demagoguery. Han recently accused Taiwan's military of being "eunuchs" in uniform, which stirred up the voters who don't like compulsory military service, but he failed to provide a solid path to making any improvements.

The controlling party's incumbent president will need to face a primary challenger, former Premier and Mayor William Lai, who has his own past list of non-accomplishments.

While Taiwan fights with itself, China's new best-friend-forever is Venesuala. The press highlighted China's high-pressure work culture this week with a story about Alibaba founder Jack Ma's defense of 12-hour, 6-day work weeks. Did Ma think that would make the American public more or less likely to support US military action against China? Some in China are starting to see Trump as China's savior.

So, with a seemingly unstable Taiwan and a China with something to prove, we are approaching flashpoint, where "liberators" will get the justification they need to come out of the woodwork and split up China like fire ants on a dead tiger.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, April 22, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=173HMCSZBEw

Thinking about the Russianewsgategate scandal like an addictive drug explains everything. It provides a kind of fix to both sides of divided America. Mueller's report is the latest dose.

To the Right, it proves how fraudulent and one-sided the attacks on Trump were because there has been more justification for the near identical investigations into the Clintons since the 1990s. That energizes the Right to talk, persuade friends, and vote for Trump. And, the fact that Mueller failed to provide an indictment will draw some voters from the Left to the Right. To the persistent Left, the report contains enough "hopes of Easter eggs" that they can wake up yet another day thinking "this will be the day" when someone finds the "silver bullet" to get Trump impeached. And, of course, every Leftist reporter thinks, "I'll be the one to find and break the story."

The whole Mueller investigation, even the report, indicates that there never was any intention to act against Trump—not from Mueller, anyway. Rather, the purpose from the beginning was to toss doggy treats to both packs of the feuding dog pound. Even some fringe politicians will clean up the scraps by running this election. Failing in one election after another can be a well-paying job, if one loses with valor. When the voters get depressed, they always have a dose of Mueller to give them enough of a high to keep them amused and tranquilized while not a single thing changes in Washington.

Tiger Woods made a dramatic comeback that will give inspiration and hope to many people around the world. Life isn't perfect nor are the people who live it. But, that doesn't mean we should give up. Happy Easter!

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Columns

Stake Your Loss

In the early stages of your "thing", customers and clients will flock to you, but half of them might have nothing to do with your vision or your identity. The core strategy is to find the "one thousand" core customer base—your supporters, your audience who loves what you do and wants to pay you to do it.

They're your visionary compass.

As you grow from fifty to one thousand, you will produce more material in line with your core vision, and you will lose those initial fans who liked what you had early, but not your true vision.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 15, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqVXfD2DliA

Events in China are playing out according to the "Pacific Daily Times Symphony Asian Mad Scientist Theorem". The experimental phase in North Korea is finished and methods are being applied throughout China on a much grander scale. This week, we see reports of expensive ghost cities, comparable to Pyongyang. The debt to build those ghost cities could be enough to break China's economy into the deprived status of northern Korea. Now, swelling human rights concern could court the West to support China's unfriendly neighbors to intervene in China as the "grand liberators".

If things continue on track with the theorem, China would end up in an armistice against its own provinces—a standoff between Beijing and fragments of the soon-to-be-formerly united China.

Trump continues to prove that he knows what he's doing with Kim Jong-Un. The DPRK's Great Successor will likely wise up, still venting steam once in a while. He seems to be one of the smartest heads of state in his region—seeking more cooperation with economic policies that work, not less. But even if not, Korea will not be a border for China to ignore. Beijing and its surrounding provinces would be the likely hold-out against a liberated Northwest, Tibet, Southern Canton, and it will need to keep a 24/7 guard in the Northeast. Break-aways could form their own federation, or not. Either way, as history repeats, we look to be headed for a Cold War -style standoff between fractured Chinese regions.

The US Marines are test driving "lightning carriers"—small aircraft carriers with a potently packed punch of F-35s. Their range radius is smaller, but so is their targetable shadow. In a Pacific conflict, a smattering of lightning carriers might prove more formidable than a single, central Nimitz class group. Federated, autonomous, small attack groups tend to be wise in warfare, as the French Revolution proved on land. We'll see at sea.

These smaller carriers are said to focus on smaller tasks, putting Nimitz class carriers—now being called "super carriers"—in the spotlight against China and Russia. And, we know that the Chinese think the spotlight is an indication of "importance". While Russia knows better, the Chinese probably don't. Just because headlines read that a Nimitz class focuses on China doesn't mean US strategy would fail if China's new "anti-carrier" missiles sunk a Nimitz. Sinking a Nimitz class carrier would only enrage the American public into a war that they couldn't lose. That's how history has always played out, anyway. But, the mistakes from history don't seem to have much impact on Chinese President Xi, who is determined to revive Maoism at any cost. If Maoism is revived, it's results will follow. That won't end the standoff with Taiwan; it will add more uncontrolled lands to the standoff it was never strong enough to resolve.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, April 15, 2018

With the last of Symphony's saboteur suspects being expelled from the Trump administration, establishment Republicans have their undies in a bunch. Their objections indicate two main motives. Toward the surface, they still think Trump's decisions are based on calculation of "election strategery" rather than made by an administrator who wants certain things done a certain way. But, on a deeper level, they don't want their stable, "established" world being unraveled by anyone, outsider or not. But then, there is a third, less apparent layer, more sinister—a question of whether they knew about the saboteurs and wanted them to stay there. Publicized opposition to the president of their own party certainly proves the kind of character that would undermine their own party's president by any means.

Now that Russianewsgategate nonsense is being seen for the yesterday's yesterday's tabloid newspaper it always was, the media machine is gearing up to save face: Goldman Sachs thinks Trump might be re-electable. The Left doesn't get it. The most important two things to understand about Donald Trump is that from the time he announced his candidacy, 1. he was always going to be elected and 2. he was always going to be re-elected. Those two things aren't obvious to people who don't understand Donald Trump.

Democratically-controlled "sanctuary cities" have been working, as they purport, to be a safe haven for immigrants. The kinds of immigrants they seek to protect, as they purport, will be helpful to their communities and to the nation. Now, they have a splendid and long-hoped-for hope of seeing their hard efforts pay off. They will be the beneficiaries of thousands of exactly the kinds of, as they purport, good people they have been standing up to defend. Yet, they found a way to be angry.

If the Trump administration were to send immigrants to the very cities hoping to be sanctuaries for them, wouldn't that be a good thing? One would think so, unless sanctuary city laws were known to be designed to create problems. By objecting to getting what they wanted, Democrats imply that they know something that they purport everyone else doesn't. Is there something wrong about sanctuary city laws that their Democratic leaders aren't telling us?

The rest of America—the "fly-over" counties, the rural areas that the Democratic cosmopolitans turn their noses up at, the Conservatives who grow everyone's food and cling to their "guns and religion"—they were suspicious about sanctuary city laws. They thought it might be a bad idea. If the Conservatives were right, then sending the invited immigrants to the party that invited them could create a breakdown of law, paving the way for the Federal Government to declare martial law and deal with sanctuary city policy makers that way.

Just imagine: Trump-controlled Democratic cities—and it all would have been made possible by Democrats. But, that's assuming that the Conservatives were right. We'll see.

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Columns

Beat Carpet

Holding the floor requires first taking the floor. Hope needs to get attention—to be heard. Few things draw attention like well-drawn art.

Have beauty and skill in whatever you think is important. If your message will help people, get them to read it by drawing them in with the artwork you use to present it.

Practicing art strokes with your paintbrush or calligraphy pen may pave the way to tell the world about your cure for cancer. Captivate your captive audience with artistic diligence. They may not care to hear your words, but people just can't ignore good art.

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Letters

Whose Holiday Is It Anyway?


Whose Holiday Is It Anyway?

Point One: Plunder. When you conquer an enemy, the enemy’s property becomes your property.

Plunder has been defined as “the indiscriminate taking of goods by force as part of a military or political victory.” Foot soldiers viewed plunder as a way to supplement an often meagre income and transferred wealth became part of the celebration of victory.

On higher levels, the proud exhibition of loot formed an integral part of the typical Roman triumph, and Genghis Khan was not unusual in proclaiming that the greatest happiness was “to vanquish your enemies ... to rob them of their wealth”. [Wikipedia]

Point Two: Naming rights. When you conquer a territory, you have the right to rename that territory, and to assign new purpose to that territory.

“When the territory of the Danites was lost to them, they went up and attacked Leshem, took it, put it to the sword and occupied it. They settled in Leshem and named it Dan after their ancestor.” [Joshua 19:47]

See also: Constantinople Turkey, Ponce Puerto Rico, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam, Lviv Ukraine, Valdivia Chile, Puerto Cortés Honduras, Al-Sadiyah Iraq,

Point Three: We are “more than conquerors” and we are children and heirs of the One who has conquered the world. [Romans 8:37, John 16:33]. “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” [Revelation 11:15]

As conqueror of the systems of this world, Jesus has – and since we are in him and he is in us, we have – the right to rename and re-purpose conquered territory. This is ours.

Point Four:  There once was a “goddess” named Ēostre, an obscure Old English “diety” of the dawn, and by some records, the source of our dawn-related celebration we call Easter.

Ēostre has been well and truly conquered. So has Ishtar, whose name does not contribute to our holiday, but who has fallen before our conquering King.

We have the right by conquest to rename the conquered earthly holidays, to cancel their earthly origins and publicly display our King’s victory over them.

Yeah, Easter used to be something else to somebody else. But it’s not theirs any more, unless we, as the spokespeople of the Kingdom of God give it back to the conquered demons. Same for Halloween and Christmas and any other holiday you care to name.

They’re ours now. Don’t give ‘em back!




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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 8, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDeNIyUcNV4

America's government has finally cracked the code on China. They know how to get under China's skin. They had an idea before, but the algorithm—the precise frequency of activation—needed fine-tuning. And, of course, China made it all too easy to know that the code had been cracked. The sale of 60 F-16V's to Taiwan—inferior in both number and, supposedly, technology—wasn't even made official. Still, China couldn't wait to announce to the world exactly the kind of insignificance that it found irritating above all previous attempts.

With this new and tested knowledge, we can expect the US to do more, and to do so more subtly. America will stand calmly, smiling. China will fume more every day, seemingly for no reason. At last, the Chinese will be so overwhelmed with rage that they will strike before military wisdom advises.

The sad, but poetic, part is that no warnings, not even reading this article, not even a spy exposing some kind of "provocation plot" or whatnot would be able to deter China from this fate. For, China loves respect above all else. Those who hunger for respect are easy to provoke and anyone provoked is under complete control of the provocateur. And, Chinese culture doesn't know how to change or even listen.

But, there is another factor that blinded China to the American tactics. A nation with a one-child policy won't have as much experience in sibling rivalry. America doesn't have such a policy. Americans learn from childhood how to get under some else's skin—especially when that someone else is the known playground bully who needs to be provoked to a brawl and sent to the principle's office before getting any older, and bigger.

The die has been cast. The fate of the American-Chinese war has already been determined: China strikes; China loses; China loses more. Now, it's just a matter of watching how the specifics play out on our road to the foreseen.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, April 8, 2019

America is on the quiet this week. It's the deep calm before the storm. People are tired. Unsatisfied opponents of Conservatism are getting wary from victory deferred after victory deferred. Now, they are looking to another failed candidate to put their hope in, Sanders.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. The invented Mueller Russianewsgategate scandal scandal is coming to its grand fizzle-and-pop of an ending. The Left is self-destructing with its old playbook tactic. When melodrama isn't enough to get what they want, they respond with more melodrama.

Kirstjen Nielsen is finally gone. Since the "New York Times Essay", the public grew suspicious of insiders trying to sabotage the Trump administration. In the Pacific Daily Times Symphony list of suspects, she was right there at the top with John Kelly. (See Encore articles from September 10, November 19, and December 10 of 2018.) Firing both discretely and far apart was among the best ways to handle saboteurs. Were they? Only Trump knows for sure, and that's the way it should stay.

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Columns

Competence Wins Wars

We say that courage wins victories. It does, at some level. Overcoming fear with a desire for something more important, determination and willpower, resolve—these things are quite formidable. But, they won't win if they wait until the last minute.

Competence comes from diligence. Skill and know-how need practice and experience—they need time. One can't sluff off, reject counsel, not learn, then expect to win at the last minute by sheer will. The one whose courage and resolve lead to daily practice and improved skill is the one who will win. That's why well-earned competence triumphs over last-minute courage.

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