Josiah Swanson

August 15, 2020

There Are Only Two Sides

        Good and evil diverge. Don’t get confused! There are no spectators in this game; everybody is on one side or the other, and one day, the consequences of our beliefs will arrive. Based on what we put our trust in, we’ll either be stoked or cower in fear. Sin makes us enemies with God until we accept His forgiveness. In the end-game, there is no hope for anyone who has rejected God’s forgiveness of sin. Yet, it’s a free gift ready for all who want it today!

        Anyone can say goodbye to his life of “khata.” Make Jesus your Master, and find true freedom! This is far from fiction; a little less than two thousand years ago, Jesus’ resurrection sent an inevitable shockwave into history’s landscape that will one day blast away all the distortion and deception that alters every square inch of our current perception. Have you felt it coming? I have. One question I ask: are you ready?

August 3, 2020

Pure Imagination

        The three pound organ inside your skull is quite impressive. The human brain contains about 86 billion nerve cells, connected to one another via trillions of dentrite connectors, each cell capable of transmitting nerve impulses at speeds ranging up to 275 miles per hour. A piece of human brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 nerve cells and one billion connectors. Impressive indeed.

        In this uber computer, we find the remarkable miracle of imagination. Although the thalamus and the neocortex are believed to be responsible for the imaginative faculties, some of the brain’s more mysterious abilities like consciousness and abstract thought seem also to play a part.

        But, what is imagination, anyways? It may be helpful to define this term before we move on. A definition of imagination, as found in the Mariam-Webster dictionary, is the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality.

        Can you imagine yourself standing under a flimsy umbrella on a hot summer day? What do you do when the dusty ground beneath you begins to shake? Thinking it’s an earthquake, you might concern yourself with finding an open space. However, it is not an earthquake. Can you imagine a rapidly growing forest? It may help to close your eyes. Imagine that a full-blown oasis simply shoots up out of the ground. In a fit of joy, you fling your umbrella aside and surround yourself with trickling water-flows and huge colorful flowers.

        When I was young, my imagination was bold, and there was no limit to where I could go and what I could do. I love to tell of the adventures shared by my friends and I. I recall sub-aquatic recreation, sometimes disastrous expeditions to exoplanets, and lots of time spent in strange vehicles of luxury. Although onlooking adults saw nothing more than a few children rummaging a father’s musty study on a given morning, the fate of humanity could have hung in the balance.

        Some people know that it was an imaginary adventure that thrust me into the story-creating world. Indeed, only several episodes completed by my brothers and I sparked what was to become Sub-Marine, my first novel. Only in retrospect do I come to know the gift of imagination. Having realized its worth, I now do the best I can to foster the imaginative faculties heaven has given me, and I encourage others to do the same. I have put together a simple outline that young people can use to transform their favorite stories into imaginative realities. The gist of it is that stories are inspirational, and with a little bit of direction, the inspiration from a story grows to be a new story entirely. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun, aside from the re-tellings of the innate stories within the God-imaged soul. (Some have noted stark similarities between my book and others, and this is not an accident.)

        These days, I foster my imagination in as many ways as I can find. The mastermind meeting is one of my favorite examples of an adult using his imaginative faculties in a way that isn’t altogether silly. Let me tell you about it by giving you an image. Let’s say that you face a crossroad: with only a week to spare, you must come up with a decision between two career opportunities. There are pros and cons to each, of course. Until you sit down and do the work, you will have no sure way of knowing the best path forward. Surely, someone could help you to make the best choice. Surely, there is a way to tap the wisdom of wise individuals in order to make the decision. An imaginary mastermind meeting is a brilliant answer to this situation. By inviting men and women from throughout space and time into a short meeting, you will find for yourself the answers to your questions. First brought to my attention by a book by Napoleon Hill, the imaginary mastermind meeting has been extremely beneficial to me. At this link you can find a template for the meeting. Before long, you may find yourself chatting with Martin Luther King Jr, or asking advice of Galileo, or sharing your story with Joseph. Be careful, though. Without direction from God, the people’s wisdom will not be enough. (God’s plans are always best.)

        I want to leave you with a final example of a practical use of imagination, if you are what people call a Christian, or else, one who has accepted Jesus’ gift of friendship. In a world which was once “very good,” we are tasked with discerning what the apostle Paul referred to in Ephesians as “the struggle.” In other words, we must realize that “the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” are not “present to the senses” or “wholly perceived in reality.” So, in order to “take up the full armor of God” and defend against these forces, we must—are you ready? We must use our imaginations!

        Ever since I was a young grom, I had at least some understanding of the treasure of imagination, the power of perceiving unseen things. And, although my unfortunate insecurities oftentimes hold me back from enjoying imaginary adventures today (can you imagine that?), I have been convinced that there are strange and practical ways that the gift of imagination can be tapped into no matter one's age.

        Join me, if you dare, as I dive into the deep, mysterious waters of imagination!  And, subscribe to my website for period updates from your’s truly.