Thursday, June 21, 2018

Are You There?

Do you ever look around and find yourself suddenly having nothing to do? That may sound outrageous in this time and age of devices and mechanisms, which can totally occupy your time, but I'm speaking of having something worthy, time-consuming, worthwhile like a project of sorts.
I find myself there sometimes when I become ‘stuck’ in my brain with an on-going event and need something fresh and new. If you’re like me and some others I know, you bore quickly. If you lose interest, you throw it aside like dirty laundry… ready for something fresh, clean NEW! You may have plenty to do in your ‘now’ pile, but you need to begin a ‘then’ basket. Just an inkling, an idea, a burst of excitement to spur yourself on; give you incentive; stir up your creative juices.
Well, unfortunately, I’m there!

I just don’t know what to do with myself
I don’t know just what to do with myself
I piddle and piddle and twiddle my thumbs
Cause I just am not through with myself

Seems I’m more than this
Seems I’m bored with this
And can’t find my comfort zone

Seems my life’s not full
And my plate is half empty
And my actions are foreign and unknown

Seems I possess so much more
Than what’s visible to the eye
Unconceivable, can’t be put into words

Seems people can’t understand
What’s inside me is vast
Its enormity, a magnitude so absurd

You see, we all have
Untapped territories
that are in need
of a little purging
I pray when I’m
finally pricked,
My safe harbor
will dissipate
with urging

I just don’t know what to do with my self
I don’t know just what to do with myself
My day may end, but my mind begins again
As someday I’ll get through to myself
PJ Payne

Thursday, June 14, 2018


It's okay if things don't happen in the order that you think they should. It's okay if you can't check everything off of that checklist... the one that you made 'ten times over' because you kept changing your mind. And it's okay if your priorities became minorities. It's okay if your don'ts became your do's and why becomes why not's. Or even, if IS's are now if only's! Stuff gets turned around-- topsy-turvy, tumultuous, and chaotic. And as unbelievable as it seems, it turns out fine. But, whose orders are you following?
Related image
Life really does not have order, the universe speaks for us.
In No Particular Order --
Order dictates graduate high school before entering College.
Order dictates get married before you have a baby.
Better still, order dictates be a virgin when you get married.
Order dictates that you should not be a grandmother before you're 30.
Order dictates you only eat 'breakfast foods' in the mornings, 'at the table.'
Order dictates a baby should crawl before he walks.
Order dictates a child should do BETTER or become MORE  than his/her parents.
Order dictates a 'Presidential' President!
Order dictates a MAN is the Head of his household.
Order even dictates a chicken 'in real time' comes from an egg.
Order dictates a Minister, ministers!
Order dictates you're GROWN at 21.
Order dictates parents leave this earth, before their children.

Life says differently...

We put too much on ourselves. Our expectations are sooo elevated, WE can't even reach them-- and we expect our kids and even peers to do so... just because we demand order. A never-ending cycle. Pssssh!! But Get over it! Sure we want to just JUMP, have FAITH. We have the audacity to advise others to do the same. God also graced each of us with a little thing called common sense... for women, it's 'intuition.' Use as needed. No over thinking.
I used to be OCD! Yeah me! I guess I still have traces lingering (naturally) but believe me, 'I got over it'. When my sanity was at risk, my peace of mind, my time, my finances, my family - I crashed. Yet, I got up! God allows things that our minute minds can't fathom happening, to happen. Sure, we think stuff should be in order... all prim, proper and a certain way. Usually, they're traditions. Again, it's okay if things don't happen in the order that you think they should.

Because even our mere existence is continuously changing around us, we may not grasp why. Does that matter? In the end, it happens in His order and His way.
Just let it happen! ORDER UPwards!

PJ Payne

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sacred Spaces

Pray and stay. Stay and pray. And listen with an open-heart. Through all the running you’ve done, your accomplishments are none. “If you had only taken the time to hear God.”  This is a precept to what I am about to express.
It seems we are always in a ‘slow hurry’. Whether a lifestyle is slow-paced or you’re in high demand, there are never enough hours in the day. Never enough time! Your life doesn’t feel like you own. No is not in your vocabulary. Does this sound familiar? Are you guilty? I am!

Our lifestyles demand and dictate doing things in a hurry.  I have learned that ‘you live and you learn’. The longer you live, the more you will learn how to live.
My reference is always my mother. She was a smart and very wise woman. When she spoke, you listened, whether you wanted to or not. Her stance was via demand and undeniably stoic, yet forbearing. Her ‘choice of words could be questionable but worthy of acknowledgement. She used to say ‘be anxious for nothing, it will come in due season.’ I didn’t understand that phrase then, but as I grew up and learned to be patient, all I wanted and desired either happened or is still coming to pass. And maybe accomplishments are not in my desired time-frame, but I know they're in the making.

So, I’m learning to ‘pick my battles’ as she would have put it. I’m trying really hard to understand and believe that everything doesn’t revolve around me, or how I do it, Even if I pay an integral part of the situation or finished product. That’s the result of ‘Growth!’ It comes with time and supplication. So, therefore, my calm in the midst of daily storms is being still. Even if it’s for five minutes.  Just stay and pray – then press your ‘reset button.’


PJ Payne

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Messenger and the Chair

Recently, my sister and I visited my brother at a medical facility. In the midst of the visit, an impacting and profound experience occurred.
We were chatting with him about old times and when we were growing up. There was only one chair in the room but about four of us. My brother suggested asking for extra chairs, but we were all comfortably perched either on his bed or leaning. He decided to call for an extra chair anyway, and eventually, an aid brought one in. I pulled the chair up, but no one sat there and we didn’t miss a beat in our reminiscing. We really didn't want to move from our relaxed positions.
About 5 minutes later, a tall gentleman walked through the door. We were all amazed, as none of us knew him, or expected a visitor. He smiled and introduced himself as a Chaplain. We were compliant but puzzled as to why he would be there. Understandably, chaplains usually visit during critical illnesses, which of course didn’t apply to this given situation. He went on to say that he was referred by my brother’s daughter-in-law, whom he counseled during her husband’s demise (my brother’s son). We then understood the connection but instantly felt a hush and sadness in the room.

He asked if he could sit and talk to my brother for a minute - give him some encouragement. Of course, we were all whole-heartedly receptive. He sat in the ‘Empty Chair’. His words were so apropos for the situation; we all gained reassurance and an inspirational outlook. His Spirit was so inviting and refreshing. When he finished, I saw a look in my brother’s eyes that depicted hope, acceptance, but most of all peace. Incidentally, my brother was wearing an ‘initialed’ sports T-shirt that belonged to his son.

As the Chaplain finished speaking with us, he asked if he could pray with us, reiterating the invitation of and the importance of God in our lives.
Just before he left, my brother made an impacting point of observation. He said, “that chair was for you."
Isn’t it amazing how God reveals Himself! He always shows up...

The Chair

We pulled up a chair
but no one would sit
didn't know at the time
whose body it would fit

we talked and talked
and kept on going
still, the chair was empty
us not knowing

And when he walked in
and he sat down
God only knew
it was for him, it was found
that he was the reason
that chair stayed empty
For He filled it with the Word
Not preempted

Thank you, Father,
for that chair, we thought empty
You were there, You filled it
No question, but simply
that we knew not, at the time
how Your Word was Really needed
Then in the midst of it all
our minds conceded

Your plan
Your time
Your way
YOU were Seated
... in The Chair



Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Man

I came across this story one day as I was just perusing the internet. It impacted me so much I had to share it-
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by, and a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping and continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly, he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3-year-old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes, the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. 
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: How do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context? One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: "If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?"
This could have been Jesus and you ‘just’ missed Him because you gauged His message by His presentation… Have you stopped to listen to Jesus lately? “HE IS EVERYWHERE!”

PJ Payne

Thursday, April 12, 2018

It Works!

How can one handle situations or 'states of affairs' that you KNOW won't change... basically there is no sign of change in the forecast - not in your work sector. "Well, someone or something has to give!"
It never ceases to amaze me the things people will do. It never ceases to amaze me, the things you must go through when you try your very best to right a wrong that's imparted unto you. You're shown blatant unfairness as well as partiality. You are singled out. You try to focus on thoughts that are fresh, especially in an atmosphere that has proven to be so unaptly suited for you. The air that surrounds you is so thick; you can cut it with a knife.  What do you do when your work setting disputes work ethics? Run?

In the world today, a working environment has so many 'states of mind’. You don't know what you will face from one morning to the next; even what you would find from one 'face’ to the next... See, the humility you so suitably possess is sometimes tried or offset by others people's outward appearance of senility. Their inadequacies, lack of innate abilities, disrespect, and just downright stupidity tries your patience.  I know that may sound harsh, but it is what it is.

Although you may be suffering at the expense of your colleagues' absurdities, you handle adversity and what you're facing daily with poise and dignity. BUT, the human side allows frustration and it can beset you quickly! You look to whence cometh your help aggressively, as you 'need help Lord,' to endure, to secure, to procure, and to retain modesty and meekness. 
You’ve tried at best, to be calm and collect in certain situations, but their unscrupulous behavior is a reality, staring you in the face. You can’t get around the ‘mess’ as it encompasses and infiltrates your space. So…what do you do to regain composure and keep the little couth you still possess? 
You just keep your head up, breathe deep, and ride the waves till the end of your voyage.  Daily you may be tossed to and fro, but hold tight as He moves at His own pace. In Him, you will find that refuge and solace, as He Works It Out! 
Trust Him. It Works!

PJ Payne

Thursday, April 5, 2018

What Are Friends For?

Did you know that people use the word ‘Friend’ so common and conventionally until it has lost some of its significance and true meaning?
Friend- a person who you like and enjoy being with; a person who helps or supports someone or something, such as a cause or charity; someone who is on your side; a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts; an acquaintance; a person whom one is an ally in a struggle or a cause; a comrade.
Hmmm, so, basically instead of a friend, they can be considered an acquaintance?

On the other hand - a Best Friend is a person's closest friend. A person for which you have an even stronger liking and trust. And contrary to popular belief, your best friend doesn't have to be someone of the same sex. A best friend also doesn't have to be with you 24/7 or think and act just like you. Truly, a best friend can be the exact opposite of you. This CAN lead to fights and difficulties getting along, but somehow you still just love them to death anyway. 

Your best friend... is the one person who could not speak to you for any amount of time but you still think of them just the same. Someone who, despite all the changes a person goes through in their life will stick by you and always accept you for who you are. A person who will always tell you what you NEED to hear, even if it’s not necessarily what you WANT to hear. A person who can make you laugh even on your bad days, and who makes all the problems in life seem easy to overcome, as long as you have them by your side. A best friend can be many things, your inspiration, your hero; best friends help each other to become better people by using honest, constructive criticism that sometimes hurts to hear, but is all for the best in the end. Best friends are the ones that bring up touchy topics with you, even if it will risk you being angry w/ them because they care more about your well-being. Your best friend is the one who you could tick-off so badly, but in your time of need, they'll will still be there for you. A best friend is someone who you have shared good AND bad memories with, but you just can't help but cherish each of them.
A TRUE best friend is hard to come by, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.

I used to gripe about
My very best friend
And didn’t realize
My distinction she depended

Thought she was a mimic
Thought she was a mime
Didn’t put it together, then
What she needed was my time

I was that distinguishing part
Representative of her deficiency
Believe it or not, I gave her hope
Added flavor, imparting proficiency

She wouldn’t let on, though
How important to her I was
And wouldn’t give me the benefit
Of bestowing unequivocal love

I began to doubt our friendship
Had qualms about the treatment
I was receiving all but kinship
My importance, I wasn’t believing

So…I became defensive
I began to question the commitment
Was what we had all these years
fake…only a figment?

Later I found a deeper sense
As we went through some things
Some folks just can’t accept their flaws
No matter the pain it brings

See, my friend is one side of me
And I am who she admired
Didn’t really see the big picture then
Time apart was what was required

The frustrations we went thru
Were really admirations
If we had let all the trivial things go
We could accept self-gratification

I love and respect my best friend
Trials bring out the best in us all
It has taught us lessons no book can teach
God first and seek “His” higher call

That’s what Friends are for…

copyright 2015 PJ Payne