God Drops In
God Drops In
Enjoying the Presence of God
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God Drops In: Enjoying the Presence of God gathers together a collection of poems that serves as a guide for individuals seeking to come to know God more intimately. Dale L. Bates, resting upon the experiences and insights gained over a life that spans almost eighty years, including fifty-five years of marriage, offers the lessons he has learned through his varied vocations and his pursuit of spiritual learning.


A prologue sketches out the character of the poet’s search. In particular, its discussion of the writings of Brother Lawrence on the presence of God provides background and context for the collection’s poetry. The collection then speaks to a variety of topics, including love, fear, forgiveness, respect, aging, death, hope, and God. One poem, typifying the collection’s mix of everyday details and spiritual insight, observes, “Hope stands in the middle of chaos and directs / the traffic toward peace and order.” 


If you find your life calling you to seek out the times and places where God may touch you, then God Drops In, with its unpretentious approach to seeking the presence of God in Christ amid the details of daily life, will serve as your guide.

PROLOGUE This book is written to all people who live a life they know is not complete: Anyone who spends time thinking, “I am missing something, but what” Anyone looking around the next corner for something and not knowing what that something is Anyone who has that nagging feeling in the stomach saying, “I am not doing my life correctly” Anyone who is semi-depressed for no reason Anyone who is not happy where he is and always wants to be somewhere else All those people who would never admit it, but know there is a giant hole in their life, and they have no idea how to fill it. When I was younger, everyone I knew lived exactly the same way I did—working all the time with no “quiet time,” no time for anything spiritual, except for two hours on Sunday. The laughter we generated may have been hollow laughter, but it kept us sane and, we thought, happy. Later I learned why I had been so obsessed with God's being beyond time. If God were infinite and eternal to me, He would have to be beyond time. What did that mean? Well, to me, it meant He lived only in the present. The present was what I had feared most. When I first started trying to become one with the presence of God, my mind was almost totally filled with clutter that was getting in my way. I came to realize that most of it was the evil that had moved in there because I was not cleaning my mind as well as I cleaned my house. A broom or mop would not help me here, but what I did find was a command for the clutter to leave in the name of Christ, which worked. Almost immediately it was gone. The clutter would come back at first; therefore, I think we may need to try to search for the Presence over and over again. We have to center ourselves, dear reader, in the present. It is not easy at first, so we must persevere. We must be totally quiet and cull all thoughts except repeating over and over again, “I am in the present moment.” Then we can move on to the present millisecond, and another, closer step commences. Now we wait for a feeling of peace. When it comes, we ask to be one with the Presence and thank the Lord Jesus for being One with us. We do this until the wave of love and peace flows over us. Now we can just enjoy our first time ever with God Himself. All of us search and find our own path to Him. Another thing that needs saying is that at your birth and at my birth, the most excited Being there was God. He created you and me to fill the companion slot you and I alone can fill. He has waited just for you and me. GOD DROPS When I am in the presence of God, I feel that God has dropped ideas into my mind. The Presence never controls or dominates my mind. He appears to me as a cherished guest. These God Drops, if they stay in my own head, are of no value to anyone. Written, they are released to live their own lives. This book contains over four hundred God Drops in thirty-one categories from Spirit to God and the following are examples of them. The spiritual me is very quiet, like God. It is not pushy or loud like the physical me. It does not need or beg for anything, nor will it grow old. Love is the conductor of the eternal symphony of me. My granddaughter's love wrapped around me this morning, carrying me to the most wonderful tea party. This is to be only one day in the eternal life of love. Love builds everything; it then wraps it with itself and gives itself away. Love is the magic pill that brings dead relationships back to life. I do not have to be fearful; I choose to be fearful. When I'm angry, a black curtain drops over my brain, and it sees nothing that is real or correct. Hatred turns the boundaries of a life inward, diminishing life's size. Hurt is the most painful of wounds and has only one remedy: forgiveness. I came here with all I need to build the perfect life of being me. I see in this day what I believe I am. As a child I wanted money and more size. As an adult I want love and a smaller size. Does it make me more human to love my dog, or more “dog” to love other humans? I hate to eat by myself, so I started phoning all my friends that are still alive. He was busy. When my dog, Maddie, comes to me for petting, is it my petting her or her petting me? Darkness stopped my playing as a child and started my playing as an adult. I have not yet learned to see all people as friends. I also don't see all ideas as friends. Quite often a bigger mind creates bigger struggles. The reason no single person can solve all problems is simple; solving problems is why we were all put here. Problems are much smaller in the daylight, and worry seems somehow to go away. Often my fatigue is the product of boredom, not exercise. Reality and freedom give only one thing, opportunity. This day was a complete gift. Even if I worked, I worked with it not for it. I have never been able to get the day to wrap around me as the cold blackness of a moonless night does. But I also have never been able to trust a night as much as I can trust a day. I finally realized how long it took for me to understand that I had been given the wheel to drive my life at birth. This understanding, no matter how long in incubation, revolutionized my life. Control of almost any type goes against the normal life of the controlled. Left alone, most people want and will die for freedom, not control. Lack of responsibility is the fertile soil that produces control and domination. Freedom has no limits, but slavery is nothing but limits. Respect is never given until it is earned. My friends are the padding that protects me from life's hardest blows. I do not feel alone when I choose to be alone. Wrapped in education and comfort I live, but I am a farmer who maybe is not putting enough seed back into the ground. Roads have always stood for freedom. The road, with the wind in our hair will whisk us to somewhere we have never been. I awakened this morning and wrapped myself in the day. That's when I realized I was immensely wealthy. I had no more money than the day before, but I decided what I did have was enough, so I became immensely wealthy. With nothing else to do, I just played with the rest of the day. If I am too good to do some kinds of work, I am too good to prosper. Time holds mankind in a form of slavery. Man, not God, invented time. To me, infinity is more questions of facts than statements of facts. Aging is more than interesting. I did not ask for it; it just happened. It does not seem to apply to anything except my physical body. All people wish they hadn't drawn a hand where birth had only one requirement, death. If I could find someone that could explain eternity to me, wouldn't it take an eternity? When the Divine leads, He leads with hope. Riding horseback at sunrise, on a semi-foggy morning, will always be to me as good as life gets. Each time, I felt God had me in His shirt pocket, allowing me to peer out over the top. God knows who we are and what we will become, but because of our free will, he still grieves or cheers for each of our decisions.

Dale L. Bates, an army veteran and a University of Texas graduate, has been a banker, farmer, rancher, and pilot and works in the oil industry. Approaching eighty, he has sought spiritual learning for forty-five years. He and Kay, his wife, have two grown children and live in West Texas.


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