My Land Beulah

I would like to begin this first posting of my return to MY-040 by welcoming all who remained as subscribers following my closing post back on July 1st, 2019 (Love Is All You Need). I would also like to extend a welcoming to those of you who have visited occasionally, or maybe only once, and are back looking to see what’s new here. Finally, I want to greet and welcome all of you who are here for the first time.

I wrote that posting back in July of 2019 because I believe that at the time I was being told, through the Holy Spirit, that I was in danger of violating the rules covering inmates using social media. I had been shown three things and all said, “time to close.” Yet, I never felt I was being told it was forever though I wasn’t sure what the things shown to me meant in full.

But things change.

So here I am, reengaging with this site and all of you and it feels great. It feels energizing and renewing. It feels like a return to a home I had to leave through no choice of my own.

So, what’s new here? First, those who have been here before may recall the image on the welcome screen was a lone (lonely?) man sitting on a mountaintop overlooking a foggy valley and it appears he is hanging his head in deep thought. The obvious imagery was chosen to represent me being alone in exile while contemplating a hazy future. It is a beautiful photo and I am thankful to whomever took it and felt it in their heart to share it freely with the world. I am also thankful my sister was able to find an image that represented so well what I was seeing in my head and feeling in my heart. When she and I started discussing starting a blog I told her I wanted mountains and a man looking up at them with a look that asked the question, “how will I ever do this?” She then took what was in my words and heart and found what you saw for the three years MY-040 was active. Additionally, we decided that the greeting had to contain a slightly modified version of the motto I had adopted, “Find Joy In The Tribulation”, and a sort of status:

Joy In The Tribulation,

Growing in Exile

But things change.

Now you will find a photo of The Mighty Mac, better known as the Mackinac Bridge (thank you Aaron Burden for sharing this beautiful photo), which connects Michigan’s lower and upper peninsulas spanning the Straights of Mackinac where lakes Michigan and Huron meet. This bridge is a bit of a wonder so check this out: Mackinac Bridge History, Facts and Figures. Anyway, I chose this image for what it represents for me now which I will get to in a few paragraphs, just bear with me. You’ll also see the original motto, to which I still adhere, but there’s a new ‘status’ with it taken from Isaiah 62:

…and thy land Beulah [Is 62:4]

Why the new status? What does it mean? What has changed allowing me to return to this relationship we all share; this passion?

Thankfully, things change.

I am home now. It’s been a journey with stumbles and uncomfortable times but one wherein I was always moving forward and in which I could constantly see God’s hand and feel His love and guidance.

He has given me back to my land Beulah. Home. I am no longer standing across the river. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have bridges to mend and new ones to build. Thus, the Mighty Mac welcoming you  as it connects two parts of a whole – kind of like connecting my life prior to prison and this new life following prison, and like connecting my relationships before and what they will become after, and like connecting the way society saw me then and how it will see me now, and like my being held there and being delivered here, and and and – amazing how many priors and followings, befores and afters, thens and nows, theres and heres there are, isn’t it? And I am sure you can imagine, as can I, that there are many more pairs of olds and news I will face. Or better stated, WE will face as I move forward with my wife, family and friends and even you, dear readers. For without all of these people, what bridges would there be for me to mend, build or cross? And to what land, what Beulah, would there be to return to?

Over the next few weeks I will write about my journey home and all that transpired. I will devote space to how God intervened and kept me safe and how, in His time, all things have happened for the better. And I will post bits of my new life and the struggles and victories I will suffer and achieve. And sometimes, I will post songs that inspire and the writings of others who want to share. Perhaps that might be you? If you’d like to participate in that way, please contact us (sis and me) through the “Contact and How This Works” menu item at the top of the page. I’d love to have a more intimate relationship with those who stop by because I feel we are partners of a sort on this journey.

I am including a song in this posting. To understand its importance to me I have to explain its role in my life while in exile. I discovered the song not long after I’d arrived at the prison where I was held. I was looking for another song by Casting Crowns and I was sampling each of their songs listed on the provided music service (we were allowed to purchase MP3 players). As I sampled each song, I came across this one and it stopped me. It hit me really hard. So, I downloaded it and I listened to it every single day I was there, in exile, captivity – in all of the prisons into which I placed myself or worked to free myself from.

Every.

Single.

Day.

It was the perfect representation of the pain and hope I felt laid bare in the lyrics. It made me cry daily. After finding it I then searched the music service for other songs that would describe, in Biblical expressions, what I felt but none quite met the completeness and intimacy of this song. Once you read the lyrics and listen to the melody, you will see why my new status is the portion of Is 62:4 I have on the opening page.

Enjoy the song here: Beulah Land by Casting Crowns.

God bless you all. Thank you for waiting and for coming back and for seeking me out. I look forward to spending time with you again.

~jdoe

P.S. Today, May 28, is my Mother’s birthday. Happy birthday Mom. Who can claim a more loving and supportive Mother than me? No one. How blessed I am that God brought me to you. I chose Lily of the Valley as the image for this posting because it is your favorite flower. It also symbolizes many things that are, like the peninsulas of Michigan, two parts of a whole. Love you Mom!

Beulah Land by Casting Crowns

Beulah Land, I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
Where my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land — Sweet Beulah Land

I’m kind of homesick for a country
Where I’ve never been before
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won’t matter anymore

()
Beulah Land, I am longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land — Sweet Beulah Land

I’m looking now across the river
Where my faith is gonna end in sight
There’s just a few more days to labor
And then I’ll take my heavenly flight

Beulah Land, I am longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
Where my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land — Sweet Beulah Land

Beulah Land, I am longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
Where my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land — Sweet Beulah Land

Where my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land — Sweet Beulah Land

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