Since my baptism a few years ago, I still wonder about what does voice of God sound like. What would happen if I heard the voice of God, like the prophet Jeremiah, for example. In Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV The prophet says "Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts." Did Jeremiah eat the words like Heavenly Manna or is it simply to say that his inner spirit felt full after reading the words from Heaven? So much of our OT and NT reading is shrouded in mystery and has to be interpreted since largely the world we live in is atheist, agnostic, and cynical christian also.
If He had not loved me and called me to him, how would I know of the Teacher? Only from testimonies of faithful friends, books written about spiritual topics, movies, and artwork. Sometimes seeing a film about a spiritual teacher can be a beginning to developing faith in His existence and salvation. Some believers report that they can hear a Voice from Heaven or guidance of the Spirit periodically.
Even when we are given glimpses of eternity, His Truth can both be simple and yet supernatural in its core. Some of the glimpses that I had of the light showed me the amazing power of the Creator and the power in the invisible dimensions. Psalms state that “the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love” (Psalm 145:8).
(1)Jesus never says : Get away from Me. He says: "Come to Me."
He never withholds saying that what he has is not available to you. He says: "Abide in Me."
He doesn't say: You'll have to make it on your own. He says: "I am your Shepherd."
He doesn't say: You'll have to figure things out for yourself. He says "I am the Truth."
He doesn't say: I never want to see you again. He says: "I am with you always."
He doesn't say: You'll have to turn around and go back. He says: "Follow Me."
He does not say: I will cut you off from My blessings. He says: "Come to Me and drink."
He does not say: Give Me a good reason to love you. He says: "I love you."
He doesn't say: You are of no interest to Me. He says: "I have called you friend."
Life is very much a gift and should be treasured
We can be confident that spending time reading the New Testament can refresh a believing person's faith. Whose eyes are open to the gospel of his time on Earth. It is interesting to learn about a spiritual man and his disciples doing his miracles and healings in Israel thousands of years ago. Although he's largely avoided by mainstream media who focuses on more recent spiritual leaders like Martin Luther King, and Mahatma Gandhi, maybe there's still a place for time with Yeshua too. As far as I can tell those he believes, he tends to choose really carefully. However please be advised that hearing voices is probably not Yeshua, and could be sign of something that might need medical care. However the more I find out about Yeshua, the more I realize that he was not alone in his teachings, and even that some may not be perfect accuracy thus the four testimonies of the disciples in the NT. And possibly others exist as well since he's known for having had at least 12 consistent followers, in addition to his family members.
For further learning and Action Steps
(1) Today is Your Best Day, Devotional Thoughts by Roy Lessin
Huffington Post: Memes About Congratulations to Putin from Trump, and recent news about US Foreign Policy.
Confusing Dire Straits of Recent American Foreign Policy Dilemmas: Russia, UK, North Korea, and Syria
Transcription Summary of MSNBC coverage by Rachel Maddow, with additional reporting by Olga Dvornikova
MSNBC reports that Cambridge Analytica congratulated President elect Donald Trump on his win with Mike Pence stating “We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communications played such an integral part in President-elect Donal Trump’s extraordinary win, “said Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica.
Since then, the company has removed him as CEO amid scandal and began an investigation. This occurred after Britain revealed compromising footage of Nix discuss the company’s dirty tricks and undercover secrets on Channel 4. He admitted meeting Trump and that they ran all his research, data, digital campaign, and all the strategy of the Trump campaign. Federal Trade Commission has begun an investigation into the Cambridge Analyticas involvement in the US election. A whistleblower at the company revealed that 50 million Facebook profiles were breached by the company during the election period. Part of the activity falls on Alexander Kagan, a Cambridge University academic who orchestrated the harvesting of the Facebook data and previously unreported ties to a Russian university, including a teaching position and research grants into the social media network.
Same whistleblower at Cambridge Analytica reported that Energy firm Lukeoil, which is now on the US sanctions list and has been used as a vehicle of the government influence, saw a presentation on the firm’s work in 2014. The company was interested in how to influence American people on social media.
President is trying to find new lawyers to join their team. Our closest over-seas ally, Great Britain is also under a difficult situation. In a press interview, Teresa May stated that “Britain will not tolerate a threat to British citizens and others on British soil.” Two people were poisoned by supposed Russian government with a new nerve agent. Boris Johnson, UK Foreign Secretary states that “Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin, and with his decision, and that it was highly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of the nerve agent. May expelled twenty-three diplomats from UK and today they left for Moscow, Russia. The diplomats are undeclared intelligence officers and had one week to leave. Today, March 21, 2018 they left for Moscow from the London Stansted airport. They were expelled as punishment for poisoning of double agents, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia in Salsbury, UK. An attack that Britain and European Union agree was carried out by the Russian government, Novachuks. People are unaware what the nerve agent actually does to people therefore the fear level is extremely high at this point. Sergei and Julia were taken to the hospital and are still alive. (2)
A scientist from The Bell discussed working on the nerve agent “Novichok” where 20 grams to several kilos were applied to victims. He said there is no anti-dote to the poison. He said if Sergei and Julia are taken off life support they will die. They remain in critical condition.
Nikolai Glushkov’s death is also being investigated as a possible murder. His death occurred only 8 days after the Skripal attack.
Also only 5 days ago the US Government treasury finally sanctioned Russian Cyber actions for interference with the 2016 U.S. Elections and Malicious Cyber Attacks. Also five days ago, the US Cert Homeland Security and FBI reported that provided information that Russian government may be hacking into the U.S. Government as well as organizations in the energy, nuclear, communal facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors. Therefore, US should be in alarm mode that hacking is occurring on American organizations. Our president is trying to maintain communication with the Russian president, Putin, as he was the one who won the election in Russia. He stated repeatedly that he will meet with Putin in "Not too distant future." They are in diplomatic discussion about Russian and American relationship and political situations in North Korea and Syria.
President Trump advisers were trying to advise him not to congratulate the Russian president. Yet, the President "went rogue" and congratulated Putin. Simply because the election is deemed undemocratic and a sham. Trump also did not confront him about the nerve agent. He simply congratulated him for the election win. As states during the presidential bid for president, Hillary Clinton said Trump will not be able to stand up to Putin and will almost always back down. Therefore, she was somewhat accurate that the president will not confront the Russian or Chinese world leaders. However, from his campaign "Make America Great Again" (MAGA), President Trump repeatedly said he believes in American democracy and is working really hard to provide a better future for the American families who were left behind during the Obama presidency, such as the rural coal-towns, and all those areas where businesses had closed. Trump won the election on his stronger economic agenda to bring business back to USA and provide work for the middle class Americans and also the veterans who have had a difficulties transitioning back to civilian lives upon their return. However, recent information from Channel 4 reports about Cambridge Analytica's role in the US election, may undermine the President's original election's success. (1)
The president chose not to heed talking points from his aides and advisors instructing him to condemn Putin about the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom with a powerful nerve agent. Trump perhaps has to develop a firmer stance about the attack on British soil, that the British had confirmed was carried out by Russia. The question on everyone's mind is "why is Trump ignoring his staff? Why does he believe his own actions are correct instead of those of his advisors?"
Carol Leonnig, a reported from Washinton Post spoke about Trump's actions with Rachel Maddow. He ignored the aides warnings because he disagreed with his staff. The president chose to disregard some of the warnings such as choosing not to condemn about the nerve agent. And discussed Syria and North Korea. There is a perception that it would not be very good to bring up the Nerve agent because of the current investigation of his campaign. The staffers tried to raise the alarm for him to address our ally's concerns. After the call occurred with the Russian president, the White House Staff experienced, "quite a curfaffle, an omg moment, what are we going to say about the call?" The Russians posted first and said that Trump congratulated their leader.
Ed Mazza of Huffingoton Post reported that John McCain @SenJohnMcCain stated on March 20th, 2018. “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election. Since Russia has not had a democratic process and US government believes we should not interfere in the foreign country’s electoral process." There is nothing that American people can dictate to the Russian people to do, said Trump’s press secretary to the press earlier this week.
Reference 1: Ed Mazza. Donald Trump’s ‘DO NOT CONGRATULATE’ Putin Blunder Is Already a Savage New Meme.Huffington Post.
Retreived March 21, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-do-not-congratulate-twitter_us_5ab1feb2e4b0decad0453c58?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004
Reference 2: Further reading by Nina Khrushcheva: Donald Trump's not quite Joseph Stalin. But his 'Fake News Awards' should scare us.
Reference 3: About the nerve agent: http://theconversation.com/novichok-the-deadly-story-behind-the-nerve-agent-in-sergei-skripal-spy-attack-93562scare us.
I apologize that I have been away from my site, because I have recently began exploring my interest in digital art and fine arts. Little known fact about me is that I'm a fairly skilled painter and have spent several years in professional arts college in my formative college days. I had studied at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Univeristy of the Arts, and University of Pennsylvania. As far as formative experiences go, the education was truly a gift and I cannot be any more grateful to my parents for investing me to learn about art and art history during my college days there.
It's been a hard process putting the traditional visual arts away for so many years and focusing on writing and editing. Just in the recent political climate and social media scandals I have felt really uncertain where the line is between freedom of speech of citizens, safety of internet for children and parents, and artists. Certainly some communications recently especially on social media threads and scandals have been in that uncertain territory. I've needed to take a break from the 24-hour news coverage and find time for solitude, reflection, and meditation.
The USA Bill of Rights states that the government will not curtail citizen's freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and to petition the government to redress grievances. I've had to do some soul searching recently and will continue to do so. It was wonderful when I had that inner spark for writing, had a calling for it, and had a sense of purpose towards it. I deeply miss it. Likewise, in recent years with my personal relationship to music and art therapy in recent years, it has been a miracle to find inspiration again to work on visual artwork. TBD.
For further exploration: (Mindfulness Meditation - Guided 10 Min Video ) by the Honest Guys
Thankful for my recent work opportunity where I am writing, editing, and proofreading again. I practiced writing and editing at Delaware County Community College and Temple University previously. I also worked for ETS as a hired proofreader in their production division. I still enjoy the process of creating a good piece of writing and seeing it in print. I still appreciate medical journals a lot, and good health reporting. It gives me great satisfaction when I can learn something new and write about it.
The cobalt blue clouds spread their magic bright
The forest trees are richly finding light
Amid narcissus fields in another time
Having eaten dinner early we away go
Wondering through stone and river bed
I turn to him,
He is a sunshine to behold
He promises to return.
From where he is being sent
Perhaps the clouds will comfort
His weary soul and heart
I know he must depart
And yet I hold on tight, for heaven's sake.
Amid the farm, we grew up together
All livestock bred and fed
The field was plowed, the doorways closed.
Our world was safe, I loved you to the end.
This love of my heart. I hold you in my memory.
Yet not knowing how to remember you well.
Alone. I see you in a chair. A kiss farewell,
Before you go to war.
That takes your life forever from me.
So youthful and joyful, we were back then.
Just ice skating hand-in-hand. Another lifetime.
Other names. And Peter understood.
And maybe I did too. We were the ones.
We made a choice to care and stay.
We didn't want, the war to blind us.
To shred our hearts to pieces, yet
The powers that be were told.
Our peaceful countryside.
The peace preserved.
My sweetheart, maybe this God
of Yours is you. He shines in your eyes
I never met a sweeter time.
When we were children. We were
just daffodils and cherubs to behold.
Without much tragedies or tears.
When the bread was bread
And wine was wine.
Who made us so divine?
He did call out to us!
Yes, we are still his at heart!
And chosen by the Higher One.
A good Teacher, he came to be.
Of Elohim, Yahweh, and Adonai.
Who could we be but ourselves?
The Lord had changed us a lot.
Perhaps my Pushkin text did rot.
Or what did Tolstoy said - to justify
the means to rule with iron like he does.
How is it that he spoke to God? How
did he know of our complexity and faith?
What did Pilatus say to Jesus,
Other than come aboard, and stay.
Be a guest in my house, innocence.
He's compassion. By Him life is saved and
given faith to rise again, or lest be never
heard at all. I breath the confidence of God,
who has together wept, woven, and created
day. Or was it goddess? Was it she?
I pray for unity of these spheres.
I pray for elegance each day.
Foe or friend, you know who you are.
If you are the lover of my soul and heart,
remain. But if wickedness and judgement
or scorn do rise, then love you more, but
change your way.
Have faith my darling that this earth is not remorse
It's joy and singing form each day. We just don't hear
them well enough to see.
I know this beauty is another day.
I know this memory gives way.
Yet I faithfully pursue this path.
I see you and I see how this is universe beyond me.
I pray for confidence to be myself and just to be
A faithful heart and to be loved and faithfully love back.
This life is stranger than The Hours, Than whatever else
Is seen and known.
I see this in dimentions and I pray that the Lord keeps me
faithfully and does not harshly change his mind this day.
My learning will be a gradual stairway, yet maybe halls and
There's so much new and so much that I can do.
So much potential to remember this rainy day.
In rain we were conceived, given birth to, and relieved.
I love you.
February 15, 2018.
Copyright, Olga Dvornikova.
Today is Wednesday, January 17th and there is snow outside and on my balcony. The white snowflakes meander and traverse into branches of the trees. The woods become like beautiful paintings from long ago. A forest asleep. Highlighted in white, like rays of light. Covered in a mystical white mist the forest indeed looks enchanted. It's possible that unicorns would be appropriate in these elements since days like today show us the magical aspect of an otherwise mundane world.
It's often so beautiful and calm. It's a peaceful area to observe, but it does not call out to me as much as snow called out to me in childhood. On days like today the neighborhood children do go sledding and it's a joy to see them go. Reminding me that snow will always be a delight for children and a delight to their hearts.
Growing up, I had a great deal to do with snow. Back in my home country, we did not have a car, so I would often walk to and from school (in both cold winter and rain.) For winter we had really warm shoes "valenki" and for rain we had "galoshi." We simply knew how to deal with the various weather elements that nature threw at us. Many generations of surviving in the Russian winters does that were you just grow that understanding.
Most children in United States, myself included, usually did not have to do as much walking to school, but for me it was a vigorous experience. Although I would not want to repeat it now, I remember it with fondness. Sometimes I had even skied to school which was a few miles away. The snow covered the streets so completely that skiing was the only safe method of transportation.
But on a day like today, there is only the question of how to stay warm! There are some ways that I enjoy staying warm:
The Nutcracker story is a classic German fairy tale story about a Christmas evening when magic of Christmas transforms one child's experience into a fairy tale. It's a traditional fairy tale that delights both children and adults.
For more information:
Recently have been following the amazing work that Josh Groban is doing with children in New York City. His organization is called "Find Your Light" foundation. In my own life, music has had a healing aspect. Similarly to the kids, I'm learning to appreciate music for what it is - a beautiful muse for self-expression mostly. I don't have any dreams of acting, broadway or anything to do with acting or singing. But the music itself repeatedly makes itself known to me to the point that I should pay attention. Being a relatively introverted INFJ/INFP I'm rarely desiring to be in front of coworkers or performing on stage. Yet, in my student and professional experience I've often found myself in front of others. Not in the sense of performer, but in the sense of organizational helper. As someone who makes decisions or helps out the person in charge of the organization. In college, I was recruited to help the president of our public speaking organization to promote the public speaking workshops and meetings. Due to my introversion, my process is often working behind the scenes, organizing information, organizing meeting roles, meeting notes and agendas, and mostly I enjoy working on my laptop. I need peace and quiet to get my work done. I'm on the calmer side of life at this point in my life. I relish the sound of the air traveling in my house's air channels and the sound of the keyboard keys as I type. There's no greater pleasure than writing on my computer. The quiet fills me and lets me have some peace and serenity in life. Then, if I need a dose of passion and energy, I turn to Josh Groban's songs, like Happy Xmas (War is over) and his vocals and the beautiful melodies fill my life with beauty and emotion. I truly enjoy his music a lot, and wish him all the confidence and support for his beautiful next album. So if you are in a charitable mood this year and would love to donate to a good cause that benefits children in New York City and across United States and their creativity, perhaps Find Your Light foundation is a good bet.