Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Power of Giving

As with many around the world, I welcomed yet another Christmas day.  I had a wonderful dinner with my wife and in-laws last night in addition to opening a few presents.  Today, I attended a special Christmas service at my church, then later tonight, more food and presents are awaiting with more family.

Many people have complained about the commercialism of Christmas.  As you are aware, many holiday functions in society have no emphasis whatsoever on the Christ child who was born to redeem the world.  Yet, as I heard a preacher say years ago, there is nothing wrong with society that is obsessed on giving, even for just a season.  As a matter of fact, Forbes Magazine reports that Americans will spend approximately one trillion dollars on holiday shopping this year.  Not too shabby.

The Bible even extols the virtues and rewards of giving.  Luke 6:38 states, "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

In other words, as you give, whether it is in monetary form or in deed, that giving will return to you somehow.  If you assist others who are hurting, then others will also reach out to you in times of distress.  In addition, the return you receive may be exponentially greater than what you give, e.g. "pressed down, shaken together and running over." 

So, if you have the time, money and talents, then give as much as you can.  You'll be amazed at how much of your giving returns back to you in unlimited blessing when you may be in anguish.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Being Forgetful and Fruitful

I love the story of Joseph in the Bible as recorded in Genesis chapters 37-50.  If you recall Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers at age seventeen and ended up in Egypt.  He was falsely accused of rape by his master's wife and was imprisoned.  While in the Egyptian jail, he was given the ability to interpret dreams.  After interpreting some dreams of some fellow prisoners (one who was restored to a prominent position in the Egyptian government as the Pharaoh's cup bearer), Joseph surely felt he would be released.  Yet, he continued to wait to be set free.

Finally,  the Pharaoh had some dreams and needed an interpretation.  Joseph was summoned out of jail, interpreted the dreams and was immediately elevated to a position of power only second to Pharaoh.  Joseph was now thirty years of age.  This was a remarkable turn of events. Joseph went from the prison to the palace, from zero to hero.  I mentioned part of Joseph's story in an earlier blog, "Looking For That 'Joseph' Moment" on February 14, 2015.

Later, Joseph gets married while in Egypt and has two sons.  Genesis 41:50-52 states,
"Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him.  Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”  He named the second Ephraim, “For,” he said “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

The name of his first son, Manasseh, means "making to forget".  What a wonderful name for his child and a reminder of God's current goodness in Joseph's life!  Perhaps, when Manasseh was born, Joseph thought how his previous troubles were now only just a memory.  Life was now "normal" with a great job (second in command only to Pharaoh), a wife and now a child. 

We all need a "Manasseh" in life, that is, those things which make us forget our troubles.  It could be a healing from cancer or other sickness, a great job, a wonderful family, or an unexpected blessing.  It's that point where life is now unbelievably good and the pain of the past is greatly diminished.

His second son's name Ephraim means "fruitful".  In like manner, we need that time of great blessing in the midst of our troubles.  In spite of cancer (or imprisonment in Joseph's case), life somehow becomes amazingly fruitful.  You cannot actually describe it but incredibly, in the midst of affliction, there is extraordinary blessing.  Surely Joseph felt anguish and despair when he was sold into slavery and falsely imprisoned.

But that was then.  This is now.  Joseph has been permitted to forget his troubles and enjoy the fruits of a blessed life.  His two sons are a daily reminder of just how far he has come.    

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Beverage of Choice

My cellphone coverage is so frustrating at the hospital where I work.  Apparently, there is a structural issue which prevents me from getting phone calls or text messages in a timely manner.  I've heard that there is lead in the walls of many areas of the hospital, making such communication difficult.  As a result, the other day I took a tour of the hospital, that is, different buildings, walkways, etc., to see if there is any place, any location where I can have reliable cellphone service.  I think about the only place I found fairly adequate coverage is when  I walk down five flights of stairs to the street and go outside the main building where I work.  Not the best situation.  Of course, it will be even more of a nuisance as the weather turns colder and I have to endure chilly temperatures.  So, in the most simple terms, I long to have one spot, one location, where I know my cellphone will work consistently.  It would make my job so much easier.  Is this too much to ask?

Consequently, in life, when life is at its worst, it's amazing how just one thing can provide a tremendous amount of relief.  I know when I was going through chemotherapy (and still working, mind you), I found out that Fruit Juicy Red Hawaiian Punch was a great comfort.  Don't really know why.  It was about the only true juice found in the soda machine but I seemed to enjoy it in my discomfort.  Also, "real" lemonade was helpful.  I'm talking about lemonade that is about ten or eleven percent juice, not the lemonade made from a powder or dilute.

There are other simple pleasures in life which make it easier to bear burdens.  Just having an electric blanket gives me great joy.  A chocolate bar, a warm cup of decaffeinated coffee or a homemade cooked meal also lift my spirits.

As the apostle Paul was nearing death, he made a simple request to his co-laborer, Timothy.  In II Timothy 4:13 he said, "When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments."  This doesn't really sound like much in our thinking but to Paul, having such items, would provide a great relief in his circumstances.

Hence, a little comfort when life is most uncomfortable makes a world of difference. What is your beverage or item of choice when life turns sour?


Monday, October 10, 2016

Turn Your Radio On

I had a very busy week at work last week.   Lots of long hours.  Mentally and physically stressful.  After a long day of work, I found my way to car for the ride home and turned to a frequent comfort in my life: music.  I turned on a CD and amazingly, in spite of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from the  work day, I felt more refreshed as I got home.  There is an old saying which I fully believe by playwright William Congreve, "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”   I wholeheartedly agree.

As a matter of fact, music in a variety of forms has always been a great comfort to me.  Being a Christian since 1975, I grew up with the sounds of contemporary Christian music, such artists as the 2nd Chapter of Acts, Keith Green, Ken Medema, Glad, the Pat Terry Group and a host of others.  Thankfully, with the advent of YouTube, I've been able to rediscover these old songs.  I've  also developed a taste for some classical music over the years with deep appreciation for Beethoven and Handel.  Furthermore, my music interests have been complimented by some traditional country music by, dare I say it, Johnny Cash.

So, where do my music tastes lie today?  With the political season in gear, I mostly listen to talk radio.  However, since I have been a part of my church's choir for multiple years, I listen to numerous choir CDs on a fairly regular basis.  I also pull out some of my "old music" from CDs which I purchase on Amazon or eBay.

Yet, music is one of my many comforts in life.  If I'm depressed, I listen to a song.   If I'm tired, then a song perks me up.  If I'm overstimulated by life, a song calms me down. Music is a wonderful cure-all for anything which affects me in life. 

Even when I underwent cancer surgery in 2004, I asked the music therapist at my hospital to come by my room and play a few tunes.  She played her guitar, we sang and the anguish of the hospitalization and lifestyle changes went away, at least for a few glorious moments.

So, having a tough time?  Turn your radio on (or listen to a CD or watch a You Tube music video).  Music certainly has charms to soothe a savage breast.

Consequently, I've enclosed a song of comfort for any situation, whether it be personal failure or overwhelming illness.  Hear the soothing sounds of Chuck Girard's "Lay Your Burden Down."

Thursday, September 15, 2016

God Knows Best

Sadly, we lost our 20 year old Maine Coon cat Silver (pictured below) about a month ago.  Hard saying goodbye to this sweet, sweet kitty.  Nevertheless, I felt it was imperative to find another cat to replace her as soon as possible to lessen our grief.   I looked up Maine Coon breeders on the internet and discovered that  these types of cats can be rather expensive (too much for my paycheck).  As a result, I looked up "Maine Coon" adoption agencies or pet finder sources.  Finding cats on these websites were considerably less costly.  I began searching for Silver's replacement diligently.

However, about four days after Silver's death, my wife made a visit to the local humane society and fell in love with an adorable eight week old tabby kitten named, "Amethyst" (also pictured below).  He perhaps was a Maine coon mix but wasn't the pure Maine coon we had wanted.  Yet, Amethyst was welcomed into our home and continues to grow as an adorable kitty.  We changed his name to "Maverick" ("Amethyst" just didn't seem to fit him plus was difficult to pronounce) and continue to become more in love with this precious pet.  Although he is still growing, climbing on the furniture and other mischief, I have a sense he will be a wonderful kitty in the years to come.  I am daily discovering that Maverick was not necessarily the pet we wanted but the cat God knew we needed.

Isn't that what happens so often in life?  There are things that we want, things we feel are absolutely essential, but God has different plans which ultimately are better for our welfare.  We desire a fatter paycheck, a job with less stress, even a cure for our sickness but God, in His wisdom, thinks otherwise.  In II Corinthians 12, Paul pleaded with God to remove a thorn in his flesh which was causing him great distress.  However, God's response was opposite to Paul's desire and allowed the thorn to remain.  Yet, Paul learned something greater in that "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.." (II Corinthians 12:9).  The hurtful thorn became a witness to God's power.  Dare I say it, but it seems like Paul ultimately was grateful for the thorn.

So, in dealing with any difficulty, some great advice to remember is that God knows best and knows ideally how to respond in any situation.  We want the cancer gone as soon as possible.  We want the job situation to change overnight.  We want our thorns to be removed but God thinks otherwise.  Yet, we must remember that a God of love allows such things to continue or provides a suitable replacement.   

So, we still miss Silver in our home on a daily basis.  But, you know what?  I think Maverick is going to do just fine.     

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Recently my church choir sang a beautiful song entitled, "O Praise the Name (Anastasis)".  Although the word "anastasis" is only listed in the title, I felt led to do a little research on this Greek word.

In my studies, I discovered the depth of meaning of "anastasis.  " It ultimately has multiple meanings which can be applicable for various difficulties in life, including, "recovery from a debilitating condition", "rebirth" or "resurrection". Essentially "anastasis" is a word which inspires hope in the midst of desperate situations.  Needless to say, we all need a little "anastasis" in life.

For example, take the first definition, "recovery from a debilitating condition".  How many people in the world need an "anastasis" from illness, whether it involves an acute or chronic medical condition!   Perhaps you have heard excuses like, "Life would be so much better if  only I didn't have problems with __________ (fill in the blank, e.g. diabetes, arthritis, cancer, back issues, etc.).   Of course, this could also apply to those who are caring for sick family members. 

The second definition of "anastasis" is "rebirth".   How many of us need a rebirth in various aspects of our lives!!  A relationship that has soured, a checkbook balance that has dwindled or a career that has floundered among other things cries out for "anastasis".  This rebirth could be the  revival of a marriage, an unexpected financial blessing (maybe a coin found in a fish's mouth as recorded in Matthew 17:27) or a much better opportunity for employment.  Any blessing, no matter how small, ultimately gives us hope and assurance that everything will be okay.

Finally, the last definition of "anastasis" is "resurrection".  Obviously we should praise our Lord Jesus for His glorious "anastasis".  In addition, there are times when life is utterly and absolutely hopeless, or "dead" if I may use that term and we desperately need an "anastasis".   God, in His wisdom, brings us to this point.  "...Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24).  It reminds me of God's creative power, in that "what is seen was not made out of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3).  God brings to life something which was totally dead.  As a result, we are able to bring forth fruit in ways we never imagined. A new ministry or a new career develops "ex nihilo" or out of nothing.

Experiencing an "anastasis" should subsequently lead to praise.  Perhaps the illness will be removed, the hopeless situation becomes promising or an exciting new journey erupts out of that which was at one time nonexistent.   I've enclosed the song, "O Praise the Name (Anastasis)" which we sang at church last week.  Hopefully you feel led to sing along also, especially if you've experienced an "anastasis".   

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Getting Your Rhythm

It's always hard to start running, especially if I have worked a lot during the week.  I'm  tired, my body is sluggish, I'd much rather stay home and watch TV, but I have to keep pressing forward.  Why?  Because I know its the right thing to do.  I want to stay healthy.  I want to keep my weight down.  I don't want to feel guilty when I eat like a pig. 

So, I begin my run, leaving the cold beverages and air conditioner behind.  It's tough at first, then something happens, not necessarily every time I run, but on occasion.  Amazingly, I start to develop a running rhythm.  You could say my body turns on "auto pilot".  I no longer have to think about the next step--my body just keeps moving and the steps become more fluent.

Come to think of it, there are some things in life we should do automatically, almost without giving them any thought.  These are actions and attitudes we should do whether we are in good or bad health, rich or poor, happy or sad, you get the picture,  In other words, this is the "auto pilot" of life. 

Micah 6:2 describes what should come naturally to someone who loves the Lord.  This verse proclaims, " He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? "

Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with your God.  As a bare minimum in life, these things  should be our "auto-pilot".  Ready to throw the switch? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Leaving A Legacy

I recently attended the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Conference in San Antonio.  It was my first trip ever to San Antonio.  To my delight, my hotel was only about three blocks away from The Alamo.  Every day I either walked or took a shuttle bus about four or five blocks to the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center.  However, as I walked back to my hotel, I always made an effort to visit The Alamo every day.  Some days I would just sit outside and meditate.  One day I took a brief tour of the facility.  Yet, viewing The Alamo was such a tremendous blessing.  Something about the way the warm Texas sun shines on the building is breathtaking. 

As you may recall from history, Texas was trying to secede from Mexico in the 1800's.  The Alamo, initially a Spanish mission, subsequently became a fort for the Texas Army.  After several weeks of fighting, the powerful army of Santa Anna took The Alamo on March 6, 1836 from some brave soldiers, killing all of the defenders, including William Travis, Samuel Bowie and Davy Crockett.  After this massacre, the cry of "Remember the Alamo" rang throughout the land as the Texans ultimately gained their freedom.

Hence, The Alamo is a somber place, almost like a cemetery, the site of the final days of some brave men.  As a matter of fact, as you enter The Alamo, tourists are encouraged to treat the site in a reverent manner.  No cell phones, no pictures, but to treat the area with the utmost respect.

Within The Alamo is a plaque which lists all of the men who died and their home states.  Some were even from England.  Yet, I got to thinking about these men.  Surely they weren't perfect and had made many mistakes in their lives.  However, they finished strong.  Even though they were overwhelmed by an outnumbered Mexican Army, they fought to the deaths and their legacy remains.

So, what is your legacy?  What will people remember of your time on earth?  I would hope that people would remember me as one who loved the Lord Jesus and one who fought battles (such as cancer) with all of my heart.  I pray that my life, my writings and my influence will forever shine as The Alamo in the Texas sun.

Paul describes dealing with battles in this way, "... we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body"  (II Corinthians 4:8-10). 

Remember the Alamo!!!!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Seeing Life Better

I have been running fairly consistently for about nineteen years now.  One thing I have observed while running is how scenery looks different when you run by it as opposed to driving by it. 

For example, the other day while running on Deerfoot Parkway I became aware of several items along the road.  First of all, there were things I didn't necessarily want to see.  The shoulder of the road was littered with all sorts of soft drink cans, beer bottles, liquor bottles and candy wrappers.  I even saw the remains of a dead possum (which apparently had been dead for quite some time).  I'm not quite sure why some motorists treat the side of the road like a garbage can.  Yet, the possum didn't have a choice for its untimely demise.

On the other hand, I was able to notice some more noble items as I trudged down the road.  For example, I observed the wonder of the many trees and shrubs which lined the parkway, all with various shapes and sizes, diverse leaf patterns and indescribable beauty.  Even the manmade items had a sense of wonder, e.g. the precision at which the road had been constructed, the lines along the parkway, and the tons of gravel which had been placed on the shoulder, things which I take for granted but had a unique glory as I jogged on by.

Hence, what is the lesson for all this?  Basically, when you have to slow down in life, you gain a new perspective on your surroundings.  Some things appear more evil (such as the trash on the road) but other items become more beautiful as you are able to focus on the intricacies of their creation.  Hence, slowing down (such can occur with major illness) can provide unique perspectives that could have easily been missed in the hustle and bustle of life. 


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Surrounded By Witnesses

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a reunion of former members of South Avondale Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.  This church, which was established in 1917,  has been a part of my family for years.  My grandparents attended there.  My mother started there as a baby and attended there most of her life.  My father joined the church when he married my mother.  My sister, brother and I all attended South Avondale.  Unfortunately, I had to leave for a different church in 1983 when I moved to a different part of town.  But, I essentially attended the church for about twenty two glorious years. 

Needless to say, it was a big thrill when we gathered in the sanctuary of the church a few weeks ago.  As a matter of fact, I almost started crying as I heard the worship team and band practicing as I entered the facility.  The sights, the sounds of exaltation, and the warm embrace of old friends made it a moment to remember.  In addition, the presence and affection of the new members there (now called Redeemer Community Church) were exhilarating. 

During the service, the pastor mentioned that the original church had buried a time capsule in 1917 and that the new church was going to open the time capsule later this year to reveal its contents.  In the sermon, he even read a letter which was supposedly buried in the time capsule from the first pastor, Reverend Inzer.  It was a sweet, sweet letter from what sounded like a godly shepherd.  Also, if I recall, the letter mentioned "the war" which was occurring at that time (which we now refer to as World War I).  It will be interesting when the time capsule is opened later this year and will give a glimpse of the heart of the congregation at that time.  What were their hopes for future generations?  What was important for them to place in the capsule?   

Finally, after a time of worship, a challenging message and communion, we had lunch outside with the new members and relished the days of old.  

Looking back on this special day brought to mind Hebrews 12:1 which states,  "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.."  How indebted I am to the witnesses who have propelled me along the way!  The friends who helped developed the foundation of my life, whether it were the old friends I saw a few weeks ago at South Avondale or even the first pastor of the church whom I never met, although he was thinking of me when he penned his letter for the time capsule.  Have I made some mistakes in my life journey since the early days of my life at South Avondale?  Absolutely.  Yet, being embraced by those who continue to love me and pray for me in whatever situation give me the strength to carry on in life, no matter what the tribulation.     

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

I'm a little late penning this blog.  Yet, I had some thoughts as I celebrated another birthday last month.  As is my custom, I thoroughly enjoyed the caramel birthday cake so wonderfully constructed by Rickey J.'s bakery down the street.

So even though I am late sharing this particular blog, it really doesn't matter in the broad scheme of things.  Every day in life is precious, especially when being told my chances of living five years after my cancer diagnosis were only 15-20%.  Of course, if you know my story, my cancer reoccurred in my lymph nodes in 2006 and I underwent chemotherapy.  My five year anniversary of treatment officially was around June 15th, 2011.  So, as of today, by God's grace and plan, I am still very much alive, in spite of the odds.

There was an old wine commercial which stated, "We will sell no wine before its time".  In like manner, I know that I am not going to die one second before it's supposed to happen.  Psalms 139:16 states, " Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them."  My length of days are all pre-ordained by God.  

So, not to worry, my death will come at the right moment as God plans.  As a matter of fact, I guess one could say I'm already living on borrowed time.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Read Your Bible

I've been privileged to write two books, "A Place I Didn't Want To Go: My Victory Over Cancer" and "Glorified Sickness: Honoring God Through Illness."  I am always thrilled when I hear from someone who has read one of my books.  Just last week, I got a phone call from an elderly gentleman who had read my first book and absolutely loved it. His wife also called me and was also very complimentary.  Nevertheless, these phone calls made my day.

After all of the research, all of the many hours writing and editing, the time meeting with the publisher, basically the extreme effort it involves in writing a book, it is thrilling to discover that it touches someone in some way.  It's great to write a book or's even better to find out someone has actually read them and were moved in a special way.

Come to think of it, there is even greater book which is probably found in most people's households.  It has a much better author than myself, the topic is much more interesting, and its words are eternal.  I'm talking about the Bible, the greatest book ever written.  Just as I enjoy it when others read my books, how it must please the Heavenly Father when his creation reads His written word.

Hence, in whatever situation which confronts us, perhaps the best advice is to read (and live out ) the Bible, "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2).  


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Putting Life On Hold Temporarily

I was greatly looking forward to this past week.  Why?  Because I was going to have a week long vacation from work.  After not taking off any time since last summer, I was ready to be off and relax. 

The first day off was fun.  I played golf with my father and some golfing buddies.  I didn't shoot too well but it was good to hit the links after a lengthy absence.

Then it happened on the second day off.  Of all things, I started coming down with a cold (which is extremely rare for me).  I didn't really have a sore throat or nasal congestion.  However, I developed a persistent cough.  In addition, I have felt extremely "washed out" during this time period.  So, what should have been some fun vacation days for me have actually turned into your basic sick days.  Any dreams I had of accomplishing great things this week, e.g. cleaning around the house, trying to get caught up on some paperwork, etc., have been put on the back burner.  Each day I have done little more than guzzle cough medicine and lie around the house.  Not the best vacation in the world.

Yet, sometimes that is what happens in life.  Due to illness or other distress, life gets placed "on hold".  There is really nothing to do but wait out the storm.  Hopefully, when the storm dissipates, life will resume as it is supposed to be.  The same place you get off the merry-go-round is where you get back on, ready to resume the ride.

I hope to be back in action soon.  But for now, much to my dismay, life is temporarily on hold.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Getting Firm Footing

I went out shopping for new tires the other day.  I didn't buy any, but was just checking the prices on various brands at different stores. 

One store I visited was advertising some tires which provided "serious traction".  Basically, the ad described tires for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).  In looking at the advertisement, I was amazed at the variety of treads on these tires.  Some were like dimples, some looked like zigzags, some indescribable.  Nevertheless, whatever the tread pattern, the major purpose of the tires was to allow vehicles to ride in rugged terrain without incident.

Come to think of it, just like a car cannot run without wheels, you can't make it in life without some "serious traction" as the ad proclaimed.  This does not necessarily mean tires, but anything to hold on to during times of distress.  It can be your faith, your family, friends or even your finances (good luck with that).   However, I feel that ultimately the best option of stability is to trust in the Lord.

Psalms 55:22 states, "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;  He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."  No matter what the weather or the terrain, clinging to the Lord provides, as the ad proclaims, "serious traction".  Ready to hit the road?  


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Following The King's Example

I felt led to write this "after Christmas" blog, although we typically associate the story of this king with Christmas Day.  Basically, the carol, "Good King Wenceslas" is based on the story of a Czech king, Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, who went out into harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (which is the day after Christmas or December 26th).  A page who was accompanying the king almost gave up the journey but felt the strength to go forward by marching in the king's footsteps.  King Wenceslas reigned from 907-935 A.D.  Later, hymn writer John Mason Neale with assistance from Thomas Helmore forever remembered this gracious king in the carol, "Good King Wenceslas" which was written in 1853.  Consider the richness of these lyrics:

"Good King Wenceslas last looked out on the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shown the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.

Hither, page, and stand by me. If thou know it telling:
Yonder peasant, who is he?  Where and what his dwelling?
Sire, he lives a good league hence,  Underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence by Saint Agnes fountain.

Bring me flesh, and bring me wine.   Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine when we bear the thither.
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament and the bitter weather.

Sire, the night is darker now,  and the wind blows stronger.
Fails my heart, I know not how. I can go no longer.
Ark my footsteps my good page, tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter's rage  freeze thy blood less coldly.

In his master's step he trod, where the snow lay dented.
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,  wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor s
hall yourselves find blessing." 

This is a great story of the generosity displayed by a king to a poor person.  The Bible says, "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap.  For by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you in return. " (Luke 6:38).  Essentially, whatever we give to others, we will receive in return.  If we deal out kindness, we will receive extraordinary kindness in return.  If we assist in meeting the needs of others in their distress, then we may receive the same favor when we are in anguish.  What we give, we get back in some form or another.  Perhaps, as occurred with King Wenceslas, our kindness will be forever mentioned in song or in the annals of heaven.