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We are like sentient characters in a great book of life and just as in the allegory from the previous post, our Creator would very much like to communicate with us and intervene in our stories, and does so when we ask.

So, how do we purposely ask? Jesus told those whom he had chosen to spread the message he brought into the world the way to ask. Now-a-days, we call it prayer.

WHAT IS PRAYER ANYWAY? Simply put, most of the time when the word is used in the New Testament it simply means to ask, petition, or entreat. Sometime the word “pray” makes me think of books I’ve read or movies I’ve watched where people spoke an older version of English and said such things as, “I pray ye, Sir, canst thou spare me a penny?” In other words, “I’m asking, could you give me a penny?” Our modern word, pray, comes from an Old French term which comes from Latin, but the word used in the New Testament comes from Greek and while the English and French variations imply begging, the Greek means to ask and sometimes it means to worship which means to honor, adore, and appreciate. It is my understanding that praying means to ask with an appreciative, expectant attitude, not a begging attitude.  That means you don’t have to crawl up the steps of an elaborate church on your hands and knees, weeping, flogging yourself and begging God to have mercy on you, a dirty, rotten sinner. Prayer simply means to respectfully ask with appreciation and gratitude as if the answer is already given.

AND HERE’S MY personal view of the way Jesus taught his followers to ask for things.

OUR FATHER— The Greek word Jesus used here “pat-ayr” translates as “parent or father parent.” In Jewish tradition at that time the role of a father was to protect, to provide, and to love as is evidenced in stories such as the one where Joseph’s father lamented the perceived loss of his son so deeply that he never got over it. It was expected that a father not only claim his children but actively love them in words and in actions.

Notice that Jesus didn’t just say, “my Father.” He said OUR Father, OUR parent, OUR source, OUR provider.” Why is this such a big deal? Because Jesus wanted us to know that his father and OUR father are the same Father, so by his saying OUR, he let us each know that we can confidently say MY. So, OUR Creator, is also our parent, because like an author who could give life to his/her characters, Creator loves us, appreciates us, cherishes us and is truly a Father to us.

WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, The Greek word for Heaven here, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, is Ouranos which implies rising, above, a habitation, happiness, eternity—i.e., a higher plane or a place of eternal happiness. Old timers around here used to call it Glory. I remember an old song, “Just over in the Glory Land.” Heaven is as good a term as any, but we could say, “Our Father, you exist in a higher realm, outside the confinements of this “book of life,” and when the covers are closed, you still exist. You can intervene anywhere and at any point. There are no limitations in your reality.”

HALLOWED BE THY NAMEsacred, pure and blameless is your onoma (Greek), which means character, authority.  In other words, you (Father) are sacred, pure, blameless. There is no ill-will toward me, toward any of us. We are, I am, loved without measure and due to nothing I (nor anyone else) have or have not done.


Let your kingdom come in me. Let your peace, which is incomprehensible to those who don’t believe you exist in a reality beyond all that we can imagine, guide my heart, my every step. I want to do things in the way that you say is best for me. I want your directions to be sovereign in my life. I want to walk the perfect pathway that you have laid out for me and trust that you know where all the pieces to my life’s puzzles go and that you know how to help me write the next chapter in my life story. I want to see my journey as you see it.  I want your help in writing my story, because you are the author and editor of all that I believe, and I know that you know what is best for me.


There is no limit in the higher reality. There is no lack. There is only abundance in every area. Whatever I need, it’s already there. So, I petition you, “Give me what I need today,” and I thank you for it. My heart is full of excitement that you will do exceedingly, abundantly above all that I ask or think according to the power, the same power that created the universe, formed the world, that works within me. I will not worry over tomorrow because you are already there.


Debt implies owing. Somewhere Paul said that we owe no one anything except love. Forgiveness implies not holding a wrong done to you against someone. Jesus never said to pray to “Forgive and forget,” only forgive. So, I pray, “Overlook my faults and I overlook the faults of others.” And I also pray, “Let me see through spirit eyes and look at others the way you look at them.”


Help me not to get distracted from the right path.  Guide me away from things, people and circumstances that would divert me and keep me from the values that you have placed inside me: peace, joy, love, hope, faith, creativity, great relationships, kindness, gratefulness, appreciation, mercy, gentleness, health, satisfaction, and abundance in every area of my life. Keep my eyes focused on my purpose and my feet on the path that is right and best for my life. Help me to constantly be aware of the bigger picture.


Set me free and steer me clear of everything in my life that brings degeneracy to me, that would hurt me, influence me to go in a direction that is not best for me, steals my wealth, hurts my family, works to stunt my spiritual growth, harms my physical body, emotional state, or mind, from anything that would hinder me, bring calamity upon me, grieve me, or divert me from the best path for my life. (Evil in this passage indicated illness, calamity, degeneracy—hurt: also, I Chronicles 4:10 Jabez prayed something very similar.)


Your way is the best way, the only true way, and the only enduring way. Your reality is the only one that is reality to me, and all that is, exits because of your will, your intent, your imagination, your purpose. Let me have joy in this world and in the world to come. I thank you for eternity. Let these all these things come to be.


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Part 1

I am an author and as such, I view life through the eyes of a creator, a creator of realities, plots, and characters. What you are about to read is an understanding so big that it is difficult to even put it into words, and although I got a glimpse of it years ago, it wasn’t until I sat down to write this blog post that it became so profound as to expand my understanding beyond anything I have previously known.


THE ADVENTURES OF…the mystery of….the tales of….You name it and there is a story about it. So, why do we love stories? Why do we create stories? It’s because we love adventure. We love discovery. We love excitement (albeit, all of us love it on different levels). We love to dream and to imagine, to wonder. That’s why we’re drawn to what we don’t know, what we haven’t experienced. Imagine that you came into life already knowing the entire storyline and there was nothing for you to discover or wonder about or uncover. What if there were no adventures or mysteries? Nothing would excite you because you’d already know everything. It’d be like living in a rerun. Helen Keller once said that life is a grand adventure or nothing at all. She was blind and deaf, yet she could hear and see on a level that many never reach. So, the joy of writing a story is in watching the characters evolve, discover, and explore. What if these characters were more than figments of the author’s imagination? What if they were sentient? What if I could give them life and the ability to make their own choices and to write their own stories? Now THAT would be interesting!


If the characters in one of my novels could talk to you, they would speak only from the perspective of their world, which is held within the confines of the manuscript that I, the omnipotent creator of their reality, have written for them. They would have no idea that they are simply extensions of my imagination, unless of course, I gave them the ability to know me and the freedom to choose whether to trust my judgement as to how to best complete their stories.  

If I could give sentience to my characters, I would love them as if they were my children and there would be nothing I wouldn’t do to help them love their own stories, to enjoy their grand adventure through their book of life. So, why would I do this? For my good pleasure or well, just because I wanted to create something THAT amazing. But what would be the best way to make them aware of my existence and give them the chance to interact with me?


I could just create them with complete understanding and knowledge, but then they would miss out on the experience of knowing what it is like to begin a story as flat characters and then to become aware of the fact that they are more than just computer bites or ink on paper, or figments in a dream, lifeless with no control over what happens to them. They would miss out on the experience of “waking up” and realizing that they are literally sent into the story to play there and discover much like children are when going to a new playground. They would miss out on the discovery of learning that they are co-creators with me and that I am giving them whatever they ask for in their stories. They would miss out on knowing the joy that comes with “waking up,” and discovering who they really are.

I could drop hints that might help them wake up. Maybe, throughout the unfolding of the plot, especially in the early chapters, I would interject myself into the story so that some of the characters got glimpses of me. These characters might try to tell the others what they had seen and heard and understood, but they’d be limited to the language of the story. So, the things they said would often be misunderstood. Of course, some of them would form crazy ideas about me, based on a partial picture, because after all, they are sentient. They might make up all kinds of rules about who gets to receive their special knowledge and the rules might become more important than the adventure of the story itself. They might spend their entire time in the story, making up rules and trying to tell other people how the story is supposed to unfold. Some of them would try to force the other characters to act the way they wanted them to, threaten, guilt, manipulate and control them into doing so. They could even take to writing each other out of the plot (killing one another off). I could intervene, but that takes away the free will that I already chose to give them.


I suppose the best way to communicate who I really am and that I really want to see them create and have fun doing it would be to write a unique and special kind of character, a representative of myself! My special character, because he or she knows exactly who I am and what I really want would do things that defied the laws that other characters had written into the book, because those laws were written with limited understanding.

This character to whom I would give complete knowledge and memory of being with me and a part of me before coming into the world of the story would be a creation the same as all the others and would live in the same confinements of the book. However, this character would understand that he or she and all the other characters existed outside the book within me before they came into the story. This character would know that they came into existence because I wanted to create them and give them life and let them experience the joy of waking up. Even more than that, he or she would know that I not only wanted to give them life, but the ability to choose what kind of life they would live.


OF COURSE, the role of this character would be to tell the others about me and how I was gifting each of them with the power to create their own stories. If they choose to create with their limited understanding of what is true by refusing to believe that I exist and thinking that what’s in the book is all that there is; then they are on their own, and their stories might not be what they really want, because they can’t see what’s up ahead and how all the pieces of the plot fit together, but if they ask me for guidance, I will intervene and steer them away from consequences that they want to avoid. I will gladly use my literary expertise and help them write a fantastic life story.

I would have my special character share the message with a few of them and then I’d take him or her out of the book, because they will spread the message in the following chapters. And if they understood what I was telling them through my special character, they would discover that they, too, were extensions of me and that I had given them the ability, the power, to change the plot of their stories and shape them in ways that they really wanted. Once awakened to what they are truly capable of, they would be so happy and joyful in the discovery that they would want to share it with others. There would be some, of course, who weren’t awake but were astonished by those who were, so they would make up more rules and laws and ways of doing things to teach others how to be aware.  


THIS SPECIAL CHARACTER coming into the story with full knowledge would already know how the story was going to play out. He or she might know that many wouldn’t believe the message that I was giving them the power to create themselves. They might be so bent on staying within the confines of the book that they create all kinds of havoc, even to the point of killing off the special character that I sent into the story, but me, being the omnipotent author, could resurrect that special character and re-insert him or her into the story with not only the message that I exist but proof that I can do anything, because in relation to their reality, I have no limits. I would want them to understand through this that “death” is an illusion. It is not an ending. It is only an exit from the story. Death is the beginning of a new kind of existence, one with limitless understanding and because there is limitless understanding, there is no sadness, no fear, no hate. So if one of my characters were to ask me for assistance, no matter how jumbled their story has become, no matter how out of alignment with what they really want for themselves it has gotten, no matter how much of it they’ve let other characters write, if they ask me to help them straighten it out, I will gladly intervene, and it would be so much fun for me to talk to my characters and have them talk to me. What could be more delightful to a creator than to have a living creation to whom you have given sentience, communicate and co-create with you?! The only thing that could even come close to that feeling on earth is doing things with your kids and seeing delight and discovery on their faces. In that way, I, the original creator of the story, would be a parent to all my characters and I would be their source and the answer to every dilemma they might encounter, but I would honor the free-will that I had given them and not force them to do anything. However, if they ask me to help them write the plot, because I see the whole book from cover to cover and I know the best course of action for them, then yes, I will rework the plot on their behalf and work things out for them.


Life is a Jigsaw Puzzle

Original photo by Darlene Franklin-Campbell, 2021

When I was a kid, my mom and I spent hours putting together jigsaw puzzles. I got pretty good at it. This week I put a puzzle together and as I did, I had a Forrest Gump’s Momma kind of moment, but instead of thinking that life is like a box of chocolates, I thought, “Life is like a jigsaw puzzle.”


Except we don’t get to look at the picture on the the box, because we left it somewhere. And we can’t remember where. We are aware that it had an image on it, but we can’t remember exactly what it looked like. The nuances escape us. We may have some idea that it was a garden or a yellow cat or whatever, but we don’t have the exact image to go by, just some vague memory.

So, we look at the pieces in front of us and try to fit them together. Sometimes, the colors, shapes and patterns match up perfectly and sometimes, they don’t. Often, we’re like nine-year-old children, trying to cram pieces together that don’t really go together and then we get mad because our picture isn’t unfolding in a way that makes sense to us.

It’s not impossible to put the puzzle together without the complete picture to guide us. I have done that a time or two. It just takes quite a bit of slowing down the mind and allowing intuition to come into play, paying attention to those subtle variations in colors, sizes, patterns, and shapes of the pieces. I mean you must analyze every piece in relation to the last piece you put down and the surrounding pieces. When we do this, without trying to force the pieces together to create the immediate results that we want, we soon see a true picture unfolding and each time we fit one piece with another that naturally goes with it, we feel a small sense of exhilaration and triumph.


We sort of come into this world with spiritual amnesia and the older we get, the longer we go without a view of the “box lid,” the less we remember. We start listening to other people tell us how we’re supposed to be and what the pictures of our lives are supposed to look like. We start trying to fit the pieces into place according to what others say, but here’s the thing. They lost their box lids, too, and most don’t even know what their own puzzles are supposed to look like, let alone yours! So, they try to tell you how to put your puzzle together based on what they think theirs are maybe, possibly, supposed to be. It doesn’t work. It leads to frustration and to anger. Some people get so mad that you’re not putting your puzzle together like they think it ought to be that they try to force you, even hurt you. Some go so far in their need to control as to destroy another person’s puzzle. They may try to control you, trick you, manipulate you, intimidate you, threaten you—all because it unnerves them that they might not actually be the master puzzle solvers they have believed themselves to be. They might get so fearful that somehow it is going to hurt them if they allow you to put your own puzzle together. They might also get afraid someone else is going to damage their puzzles or steal their pieces, so they set up a guard and vehemently guard their puzzles, not allowing anyone in who doesn’t follow their prescribed rules for solving puzzles. Others scream at you and tell you how bad you are because your picture isn’t looking the way they think it’s supposed to look.

Sometimes, we feel horrible about ourselves, and we think that somehow, we’re just not good at putting our puzzles together and that there is something wrong with our brains or our hearts or that we are just not “good people.” We walk around feeling guilty and unworthy because we aren’t putting our puzzles together to please others, or we compared our puzzles to theirs and ours looks smaller or duller or more jumbled. We go to the puzzle “experts”, and they tell us how to put our puzzles together. But guess what? They don’t have the box lid to our puzzles either!

So, what do we do?


Imagine that you know that the original creator of your puzzle and that this creator knows exactly where each piece goes. This puzzle-maker comes and whispers in your ear as you put your puzzle together and tells you which piece to pick up and how to turn it and points to the exact place where it goes. There is no stress on you. Your struggle ceases. The only way you can go back to feeling stressed, guilty, fearful, chaotic, etc. is to resist the help being offered to you, if you ignore the puzzle-maker’s instructions.

I will interject here that sometimes well-meaning people will come along and point out to you that you are in error, because the instructions you’re receiving from the puzzle-maker aren’t the same as what they think is right, so they want to remind you that there’s something wrong with your hearing and they offer their services to translate for you and tell you that you should follow their instructions as they are clearly more qualified to talk to Puzzle-Maker than you, but they’re not, because Puzzle-Maker talks to them about their puzzles and to you about yours.

So, if we trust the puzzle-maker and stop listening to everyone else, we find that we are not only putting our puzzle together almost effortlessly, without relentlessly struggling to jam together pieces that don’t belong together, we’re also having a wonderful time trusting and getting to know the puzzle-maker.

Each person’s life is a unique puzzle that is only finished when we leave our earth bodies. It doesn’t matter if anyone else in the world can see that our picture is unfolding as it should or if they can see the complete picture when we’re done. It’s not their job to see it. It’s not even ours. It’s simply our job to put our puzzle together and we can either do it without guidance, guessing our way through or we can listen to the soft guiding voice of the puzzle-maker.


I believe that everything in my life is working out for my good, for my highest benefit, so long as I don’t get impatient and try to force the pieces together before the Puzzle-Master tells me where to put them. People can say whatever they want, do whatever they want but as for me, I will follow my internal spiritual guidance system. I paraphrase what King David of Israel once said of his puzzle-maker, “What you say, your word, is a lamp that lights my path.”  There are times when I don’t know exactly what I should wish for or ask for or which way to go, but if I wait, the answer comes. The indwelling I Am in me helps me with this weakness, asking for things so wonderful and deep that my natural mind hasn’t caught up just yet and it’s not even possible for me to speak or write those deepest desires with ordinary speech. Still, they are there and if I only follow the gentle guiding of my puzzle-maker, the whole picture unfolds, a piece at a time.

So, each of us has our own life path to walk, our own puzzle to complete. The puzzle-maker is constantly whispering to us “This piece goes here,” or “no, not there. Not yet.” It’s up to us to choose whether to listen and trust enough to follow the puzzle-maker’s guidance or not. There is never any force involved. If there is force, it’s not the puzzle-maker doing the forcing, it’s another person without a box lid, another person who can’t see the big, eternal picture. If we listen to those Spirit whispers and obey them, our life-puzzles go together so much easier.

As for me, I will live my life trusting the puzzle-maker to guide me in putting every piece into its proper place. If that brings people into my life, great. If that causes some people to walk out, it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them, or love them, it just means that my highest call is not to complete their puzzles, it’s to complete mine.