Steadfast each and every day

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that he can gather strength from distress,
and grow brave by reflection.
‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink;
but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct,
will pursue his principles unto death.”

Thomas Paine

“Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break;
but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.”

― Marcus Aurelius


(the wild blackberries are just beginning to turn / Julie Cook / 2017)

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is thy faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

Just do. . .

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee
makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season
without thinking of the grapes it has borne.

Marcus Aurelius

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(a muscadine growing in the wild / Troup Co. Ga / Julie Cook / 2015)

Just do. . .it. . .
As in “just do it”
That most famous marketing phrase for NIKE,
you know the one. . .
Where the folks at NIKE extoll the virtue of athleticism by “just doing it”

But I rather like the concept of “just do. . .”
As in simply doing because it’s the thing to do. . .
Not because you have to think about it, not because it focuses on yourself,
not because you were told to do it. . .
but rather doing, because it’s what’s as natural and as simple as a vine bearing a grape. . .
because it’s just what the vine does and it’s just what you do. . .
kind of like breathing but better. . .

As in just doing for others as you would have them do unto you. . .
As in just loving, because it is better than hating
As in just caring because it is better than indifference
As in just helping because it is better than turning one’s back
As in just being because sometimes those who hurt just need you there
As in just smiling because it may be the only smile the other person receives all day
As in just offering a hand because it is better than pulling away
As in just giving of yourself rather than holding on
As in just crying when others hurt because you feel empathy
As in just offering your time because it is often stronger than your money
As in just speaking kindness instead offering deserved hurtfulness because you know kindness
heals where hurtfulness only begets more hurtfulness
As in just listening because it is better than ignoring
As in just giving because it’s better than receiving. . .

So for today, and every day, remember. . .just do. . . .


“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”

Proverbs 19:17

Shifting Sands

Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.
Marcus Aurelius

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(sand castle being dismantled by the tide / Henderson State Park / Julie Cook / 2014)

Time has always proven the master of any and all Empires. As soon as a people grow complacent, change will come. . .Empires, be they realms, kingdoms, countries, states–or be they personal fame and fortune, will all eventually fade from sight. As they are built on the shifting sands of humanity. If you believe otherwise, you are merely deceiving yourself—only one Kingdom will withstand the test of time—

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Rev 1:4-8