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Casper, the beautiful blue-eyed cat

I can’t say I’ve encountered an actual angel, but . . .

He was a stray that found himself at my house–brave enough to come on my porch, but not brave enough to let me touch him.

I fed him.

I named him Casper, because the first time I saw him was at dusk, and I thought he looked like a ghost running across the yard. My son gave him another name, Tyberias, because he thought he deserved such a name.

The cat discovered that if he passed a motion sensor in my yard, one of us would look out the window and see that he was there and feed him. He’d ring the bell multiple times to get our attention.

In Hebrews 13 verse 2, we’re told–

13 Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.

히브리서 13:1-2 Korean Living Bible

교훈과 인사

13 여러분은 서로 형제처럼 꾸준히 사랑하고

나그네를 대접하는 일을 잊지 마십시오. 어떤 사람들은 나그네를 대접하다가 자기도 모르는 사이에 천사를 대접하였습니다.

Did I entertain an angel?

No. Probably not.

Eventually, Casper stopped showing up. This week we got confirmation that he died. I wish we could have protected him.

I had a experience that did make me question whether an angel protected me.

As I was walking in the parking lot of my work office building(pre-pandemic) to my car for my trek home, a guy in a white car pulled up beside me and said, “We seem to see each other every day.” I smiled and kept going. I thought it was odd, because I don’t remember seeing him before that day.

Anyway, fast forward to a week or so later, and again I was walking to my car and had almost gotten to it and saw that the white car circled around the parking lot like it was headed back in my direction. I was a little nervous and then looked directly behind me and saw a teenage boy coming my way. There was nothing in that direction except my car. When the boy saw the white car he stopped and stood there. I got in my car and drove away.

I feel that boy had bad intentions, and the guy in the white car saw what was about to happen and circled back to make sure I was safe. I’m convinced of it.

I never saw that guy in the white car again. Not long after that, my office moved because of the recent increase in unsavory incidences in that location, so I was never able to thank him.

He may not have been an actual angel, but I’d like to think so.

Post Script: Now we have an opossum ringing the motion sensor bell. I feed him, too. My son named him Gustav. I think it should be Olaf. Olaf the Opossum has a nice sound to it. I’ll try to get a picture.

BTS’s new album and single came out November 20th.

I told my niece that BTS put out the new song just for her birthday.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

The Korean Boy Band has been known to sing songs that bring solace to the hurting, like their song, Spring Day, and this song is no different.

We could all use a little comfort in this Pandemic and in other situations life brings at us.

At 6AM the day the song was released a friend texted saying she needed prayers, because the fire department had scheduled to burn down the remaining structure after a devastating fire had destroyed her home of many years.

She watched as her home turn to ashes.

Her children spent their whole lives there.

They lost cherished and sentimental items.

All that remained were her memories.

But as the song says, LIFE GOES ON. Please turn on Closed Captions for the English Subtitles.

My friend sent the following video of the scheduled burn.

BUT it is not about the burning house, but about the conversation between her oldest and youngest sons.

Before the the video begins, her oldest son had said how blessed they were that the fire started at the shed and not inside the house where they were. Listen carefully.

I love her youngest son’s responses.

The BTS song asks, Is there way out?

Yes, The Man who was the fourth in the fire.

Daniel 3:24-26New Century Version

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was so surprised that he jumped to his feet. He asked the men who advised him, “Didn’t we tie up only three men and throw them into the fire?”

They answered, “Yes, O king.”

25 The king said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire. They are not tied up, and they are not burned. The fourth man looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went to the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, come out! Servants of the Most High God, come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire.

다니엘 3:24-26Korean Living Bible

24 그런데 바로 그때 느부갓네살왕은 깜짝 놀라 일어서면서 자기 보좌관들에게 물었다. “우리가 묶어서 불에 던진 자는 세 명이 아니었느냐?” “그렇습니다, 폐하.”

25 “그런데 어째서 네 사람이 불 가운데 걸어다니고 있느냐? 저 사람들은 묶여 있지도 않고 상한 흔적도 없으며 더구나 네 번째 사람은 그 모습이 신들의 아들과 같구나.”

26 그러고서 느부갓네살왕은 무섭게 타오르는 용광로 앞으로 다가가서 “가장 높으신 하나님의 종, 사드락과 메삭과 아벳느고야! 이리로 나오너라” 하고 외쳤다. 그러자 그들이 불 가운데서 걸어나왔다.

Isaiah 48:17Christian Standard Bible

17 This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:

I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you for your benefit,
who leads you in the way you should go.

이사야 48:17 Korean Living Bible

17 너희 구원자가 되시는 이스라엘의 거룩하신 하나님 여호와께서 말씀하신다. “나는 너희 유익을 위해서 너희를 가르치고 또 너희를 바른 길로 인도하는 너희 하나님 여호와이다.

John 14:5-7Christian Standard Bible

“Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will also know[a] my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

요한복음 14:5-7 Korean Living Bible

그때 도마가 예수님께 “주님, 저희는 주님이 어디로 가시는지도 모르고 있는데 어떻게 그 길을 알겠습니까?” 하였다.

그래서 예수님이 그에게 말씀하셨다. “나는 길이요 진리요 생명이다. 나를 통하지 않고는 아무도 아버지께로 가지 못한다.

너희가 나를 알았더라면 내 아버지도 알았을 것이다. 이제는 너희가 내 아버지를 알고 또 보았다.”

Isaiah 41:13 Christian Standard Bible

13 For I am the Lord your God,
who holds your right hand,
who says to you, “Do not fear,
I will help you.

이사야 41:13 Korean Living Bible

13 나는 너희 하나님 여호와이다. 내가 너희 오른손을 붙들고 ‘두려워하지 말아라. 내가 너희를 도우리라’ 하지 않느냐?

Psalm 30:10-12New International Version

10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
    Lord, be my help.”

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

시편 30:10-12Korean Living Bible

10 여호와여, 들으시고
나를 불쌍히 여기소서.
여호와여, 나를 도와주소서.”
11 그때 주께서는
나의 슬픔이 변하여
[a]기쁨이 되게 하셨으며
내게서 슬픔의 옷을 벗겨 주시고
기쁨의 띠를 띠워 주셨습니다.
12 그래서 내가 침묵을 지키지 않고
주께 찬양합니다.
여호와 나의 하나님이시여,
내가 주께 영원히 감사하겠습니다.

Let me Interrupt this 2020 Pandemic to bring you . . .


Why is a 50+ year old listening to BTS?

Too much time on my hands.

Working from home has freed up time that used to be spent driving to and from work.

Almost 2 hours a day.

Several YEARS ago in a virtual (yeah, virtual as in video conferencing) writing critique group we were challenged to step outside our normal genre comfort zone and experience something new.

One very young and very brilliant writer from a distant part of the country recommended Korean Drama.

And I fell in love.  The South Koreans have captured the essence of what I crave in a story.

Fast Forward to Pandemic.

I ignored the Netflix suggestion of Crash Landing on You(CLOY) at first, because I don’t like to think about North Korea. But when I had exhausted my other choices, I watched the first episode and then the next and the next until I had finished the last episode(not all in one day, mind you). I cried because I already missed the characters. That has never happened to me before. Ever.

I convinced my husband to watch it and I watched it with him. Then he decided to watch it again. So I’ve watched Crash Landing on You 3 times during the Pandemic. I used to like Hallmark movies, but after CLOY I’m not interested in them anymore.

I love Korean Dramas so much that I decided to learn the Korean language and signed up for a class through Coursera and Yonsei University.

I’m pleased that I can now read Hangul at a pre-K slow-laboring level. My vocabulary is so lacking that even though I can read the words, I don’t know what I’m reading. I have a lot of studying to do.

I decided to add more Korean Culture to my learning experience and chose to check out K-Pop— Korean pop music. The only name I had heard was BTS (mentioned in episode 7 of Crash Landing on You), so I typed in BTS in youtube and lo and behold it was the SAME DAY they had released their new single, Dynamite.

I listened.

And listened again.

And again.

It was all in English so no subtitles were needed. I had to make sure that a few of the lines were clean and was happy to find out they were.

There were no boy bands back in my teenage years. The Beatles and Beach Boys (though they had some new songs out during my day) came before those informative years and other boy bands came after my teenage years. I never had the experience of going crazy over a boy band. I had Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Prince, Rod Stewart and I’m sure more that I can’t remember because I’m old.

But now, for the first time, I’m listening to the music of a boy band.

And crying.

My husband of almost 32 years says now he knows how it feels to live in a house with a teenage girl.

My son thinks I’ve gone crazy and has threatened to institutionalize me. I think he is jealous because I call BTS my sons. They are my son’s age.

I try to bring others down to my depravity, but they aren’t stooping to my level. I text Youtube videos to my sister and her daughters, but they aren’t impressed. My nieces are dancers, so I was hoping they would enjoy the videos. Sadly, they don’t listen to that kind of music. They’re into Country music. I’ll keep trying though.

This song makes me cry. I’m not sure why. Please turn on the closed captions for the English Subtitles.

This makes me think of the Newsboys song call Shine. I hope you enjoy.

And Lights Shine Bright by TobyMac

This is a special song I dedicate to Bangtan Sonyeondan—Bulletproof Boy Scouts—BTS.

Matthew 4: 16 says:

the people who sat in darkness
    have seen a great light.
And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow,
    a light has shined.”[a]

Matthew 5 says

15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

John 12 says:

45 For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. 47 I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.

Psalm 147 says:

He heals the brokenhearted
    and bandages their wounds.
He counts the stars
    and calls them all by name.
How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!
    His understanding is beyond comprehension!

They were vegetarians, Adam and Eve, and could pretty much eat off the fruit of the vine without labor. Their only no-no was the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The forbidden is always the most tempting.

But they had it so good–the no labor part–no weeds to pull, worms to eat away the fruit, etc. That appeals to me.

The vegetables must have been more flavorful then. I’m not what you’d call a veggie lover. Yes, I love a good salad, but I don’t crave it. My mama used to make me eat snaps(called that because you snap them in half or thirds). You may call them string beans (because you pull the string off ) or green beans(well, because they’re green). I call them yucky.

As a child, I’d think of all kinds of crazy ways to hide them so Mama would think I’ve eaten them. I hid them in biscuits. I scattered them across the plate so that it looked like I ate most of them. Mama couldn’t be fooled and I was forced to eat those nasty things. This was my worst childhood memory. Well, I suppose it probably comes in at 2nd or 3rd.  You must understand that eating snaps was a traumatic experience.

Today, cooked certain ways, I’ll eat them, but still not the way my mama cooked them.

One day we’ll be vegetarians again and I might like those awful things. Isaiah 11:7 says:

Isaiah 11:7

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.The lion will eat straw like the ox. The king of the jungle–that feared predator– will no longer crave blood. And we will no longer crave it either–in a perfect world.We don’t live in a perfect world today.  So, until then, I’ll continue to eat steak and avoid snaps.

Trivia Question: What designer first used animal skin for clothing?

Answer: God

Genesis 3:21  New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

God wasn’t the first clothing designer, however. If you recall, Adam and Eve used fig leaves.

Coincidence note: I wrote this a few days ago and did not have the chance to transfer it to the computer. Just yesterday, I stumbled across this website:

I don’t know the blogger’s motive for the title, but I would guess she really hates green beans–like me. I am in awe of her writing skills. In truth, I’m jealous of them. That green bean hater can WRITE.

Besides her awesome blog title, I like her content. She makes me laugh out loud and it takes a lot to do that. I’m stingy with my laughs.

Sadly, I became interested in the Bachelorette because my co-worker was watching it. She has been told several times that she should be on the show. She looks the part, but  wants nothing to do with it–smart girl.

Ephesians 6: 17

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

When my Pastor joined the marines, he acquired this  sword.

He now wields a different weapon.

The sword of the Spirit–which is the Word of God.

It is evident to me he spends much time in the sWord. This book has been through many battles.

In these videos, notice he has two swords and he never puts down the one in his hand.

As a young marine (not yet a Christian) Pastor Barry volunteered twice to be sent to Vietnam. And twice his orders were canceled. Could it be that God had other orders waiting for him in the ministry?

Another coincidence? On the day I came prepared to take his picture wielding the word, he preached this message.I did take the picture, but I was in the balcony and it wasn’t  clear. I was able to get the pictures of him wielding his sword–the marine one and the God one, a week later.

And why did I want to write this blog? I have always been in awe of the scripture this man of God has committed to his memory. And then I saw the shape of his New Testament he holds as he preaches. And I had to take a picture of it.

Genesis 2: 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

It is not good for man to be alone.

Yesterday I finished reading two books. I read Havah by Tosca Lee the old-fashioned  way and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley I listened to by audio book in my car.

I couldn’t help seeing the similarities in subject matter.

Havah is the fictionalized story of Eve written in beautiful prose of a lyrical quality.

Beautiful, yet sad.

I could visualize the Garden of Eden and then, after the fall, feel the agony as weeds and sin and death crept in to take over the earth.

The close commune Adam and Eve had with the Creator was severed. And Havah longed for the fellowship to return.

From the Prologue:  I have seen paradise and ruin. I have known bliss and terror. I have walked with God.

And as she dies in the last chapter: Sleep–I can see the earth as it was, the green without the fire, the lightning, the river flooding it.

I once feared death but now consider it a grace not to be trapped in this life or this body forever, with its wrinkles and ravages and this searing pain, with its aging and heartbreak.

And while death was something  she could have avoided by not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, death became something in the end she longed for, because with death, she was able to once again be with her Creator.

The  monster created by Frankenstein wanted companionship. When no one befriended him, not even his creator, he began his reign of terror.

The monster says:

Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding. I was nourished with high thoughts of honour and devotion. But now crime has degraded me beneath the meanest animal. No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine. When I run over the frightful catalogue of my sins, I cannot believe that I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness. But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates  in his desolation; I am alone.

And Frankenstein regretted making this fiend.

And God regretted his creation:

Genesis 6:5-8

5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Mary Shelley, as she wrote Frankenstein,may have felt like her creature. Maybe she felt abandoned and alone by her creator. Maybe she felt her transgressions were so great that nothing could correct them.

Maybe you feel this way.

Here is hope:

Hebrews 2: 14-18

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[k] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

You see, Our Creator came to us–To heal our loneliness. I referenced it in a previous post:

Philippians 2

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

John 3:17

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

And he is still accessible to us today. We are not alone.

John 14

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

He promises not to leave us as orphans–not to leave us alone.

Note: This is not the first time I’ve read a book and at the same time listened to another that correlated in some way. Coincidence? I don’t know. But I know that I am grateful that I was able to “read” these two at the same time.

Why was I reading Frankenstein?

Because my current work-in-progress(novel) is set in 1819 and Frankenstein was published in 1818, so my characters may have read the book. I thought I’d read what they may have.

Update  to this post: I wrote this early in the morning before work. When I got to work I had an email in my inbox with this subject line: Lonely | Encouragement For Today | Proverbs 31 Ministries . Please click the link to read. Is this just another coincidence?

I’ve been reading two books this week: Outliers–the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell and Writing for the Soul by Jerry B Jenkins.

I’m glad I read the two books together, because they complement each other. Seems like an odd combination.

I actually didn’t “read” Outliers–I listened to it on CD to and from work. Otherwise, I would have only gotten through one of the books.

I wanted to read Outliers after hearing others talk about the 10,000 hour rule.  People who have obtained greatness have spent 10,000 plus hours on their passion–whatever it is–music, math, law, technology.

To achieve 10,000 hours in a pursuit, you would need to spend 3 hours a day for ten years on that endeavor.

For Jerry Jenkins, it was writing. I don’t know how many hours he wrote prior to achieving his fame from the Left Behind Series (70 million copies sold), but it was a lot. He made it a rule to not bring home work from the office(which was writing) and not write until the kids went to bed. So he wrote his freelance work between 9 PM and 12 AM —3 hours. He started writing for the local newspaper while in high school and he is in his late fifties now. He has put far more than 10,000 hours in writing. And, I would say, he’s achieved some measure of success (that’s putting it mildly).

Anyway, I’ve not written anywhere close to the required 10,000 hours. I need to start a log of writing related activities–learning the craft, reading, writing, going to writers conferences.

So, it shouldn’t have been any surprise that I would have something to learn from Mr. Jenkins’ critique of the first couple of pages of my book, Eve’s Apple.

There are other factors that contribute to success: your culture, the time frame and opportunity. The only variable we truly have control over is the time–how we use it is up to us.

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