The Introduction: Modern-Day Psalms
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INTRODUCTION

For several years, I have had the distinct privilege and honor to be allowed to share many of my poems, works, and thoughts with dear friends all over the world. God has been so good to me, and has proven Himself faithful in every way. 

This is the first opportunity to put many of the favorites, most requested, and new works, into a single volume. My prayer is that you will be encouraged, inspired, edified, comforted, and blessed as you read, and allow your very soul to absorb the words.  

I have said so many times that I am not the writer; I just operated the pen, as God spoke through the writing instrument. Many of these works I wrote in just a few minutes, the words being given to me as fast as I could write them. Some have taken over ten years to complete. As with any writer, how often I have been awakened in the middle of the night, as God speaks to me, giving me a new idea. Just as often, just before I fall asleep, I have to go running down the hallway, into the office, to write something new, or to add to something I am working on. I try to always carry a pen and paper “on me,” where ever I go. I have written on bank envelopes, restaurant napkins, brown paper shopping bags, and even on airline “sick bags.” Without a writing surface, I’ve written on the hood of a car, on someone’s back, on windows and walls, and on picnic tables. I never know where I’ll be when God gives me something new. The important thing is that I am always listening. It is important to me for you to be able to “feel” the words, touching your very heart and soul. Often, I have read the words over the telephone, even to a non-believing audience, and been told, “I can’t explain it, but I have this fu00nny feeling deep down … I can feel something I’ve never felt before …”

I can say, without doubt, that God is still inspiring writing, and writers, today. I know where my writing comes from, the Source of my writing inspiration. I feel that the greatest writing gift God has given me is the ability to make someone laugh and cry in the same work. God will use whatever means necessary to reach out to us. He can even use me. And, you. At the heart of my message to young writers, or artists of any type, to whom God has given a particular gift, is to use it. The tragedy, what so often happens, is that we are so busy with “life,” that we are too “busy” to do the work which God has given us the very gift for. We all have gifts, every one of us, which God wants to use. All of us. Even you. 

There are three distinct times when God gives you something specific to write. One is when you are dealing with something which has happened to you, something which brings joy, or heartbreak-either of which can be called indescribable. God gives you something just for you, to help you understand, and just "get through" that time. 

You then realize that what God has given you, can also help others to understand, and "get through" their time of great trial. The second time is when you are called upon, in a particular situation, to write something special, for a specific situation. The third time, which, to me, is perhaps the most awe-inspiring, is when God gives you something completely "out of the blue." When you have a close relationship with God, this means that you are speaking with Him all of the time, and He is speaking to you. You are both listening. And, responding. You realize that, regardless of the situation, God has not given the message just to you, or just for you. It is for everyone who has gone through that particular situation in the past, is going through it now, or will go through it in the future. The key is "through it." God, and only God, can get you through those situations. A constant theme of my writing is that God gets you through, so that you can then “go back in" and help other people out. I am constantly reminded that the first word in “gospel” is “go.” In order for you to know the way out, you would have had to have "been there" first.  

I can't stress enough, that another constant theme of my writing, is that what I thought was the worst thing that ever happened to me, turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Modern-Day Psalms? Praise Songs? Love Messages? Many of the love songs and poems I’ve included are metaphoric in nature, describing the love Christ has for us, and the love we have for Him. He is the lover of our souls, and the greatest joy a human can experience is an intimate relationship with Him. We are, after all, His bride. We are to love our wives just as He loves the church. So, I do not shrink away from saying that it’s ok to love your wife, and, to love Jesus … both … with all your heart and soul. 

While the individual works included in this volume have a true purpose, it is also the introductions to the works, and the stories behind the works, which God has wanted me to share. I have included a brief, or at least as brief as I could make it, introduction to each of the poems and songs in this volume. It has been my experience that it can be as much of an encouragement, help, and a blessing to know the story behind a particular work, as the work itself. For that reason, I have shared thoughts, part of the "messages" which God intended for this volume to be, at the beginning of each individual work. Some will be blessed and encouraged by the works, some by the introductions, and some by both. It is all part of His plan for this volume. 

After Part I, I have included the actual stories behind some of the works, and some additional messages which go along with some of the individual works.

I’d like to mention that this is not a “self-help” book, but a “His-Help” book, because I can’t do it on my own. Nor, can you. I need God’s help every day, in every way. I need His help to think the right way, to act the right way, and to write and speak the right words. I understand that the world says, “One day at a time,” and I can respect and appreciate that. However, Christians know that we need God’s help every moment of every day. Sometimes, we have to take it one hour, one minute, and even one second at a time. I need God’s help with every step I take, and every word I write and speak.   

I am often asked about the unique spelling and punctuation of my name, especially the periods after each individual name. Here is the explanation:

My pen name is a combination of names, meant to honor both my parents, and my wife's parents. My father’s name is Richard; Carol’s father’s name is Vincent, and her mother’s name is Rose. When I explain this, I always get the obvious question: 

“OK, I understand about your father’s name, and Carol’s parents’ names. But, you said your name honors all four parents. What about your mother?”

Well, actually, my mother’s name is included three times … You see, my mother’s name is Dorothy … You know what everyone calls her?

“Dot.”

You may also notice that I use a lot of what I call “3 dots” (…) in my writing. I know that “officially” this is called an ellipsis … but, I call it “3 dots.” One of the rarely used definitions for using an ellipsis is for a pause … to reflect. I certainly hope my writing makes you think and reflect on subjects that have the deepest meanings for you. I don’t know of any other writer who uses the “dots” as often as I do. Editors hate it … but … this is just another way, interspersed throughout my writing ... that I honor my Mom … and, all Moms. In addition, many of the poems are specifically written to be read in public, during a service or ceremony, so there are times when the “pause” is built-in. 

You will also notice that I capitalize personal pronouns which relate to Jesus, and to God. It is considered proper to not capitalize “He” or “”You” when referring to deity, in written form. The explanation given is that, even in Scripture, the capitalization is not used. I always use the capital letters when I write, as a way to honor Them.   

I also always capitalize the word “Pastor.” I know that when we use the word “President” in front of a President’s name, we always capitalize it. I have corresponded with both Presidents and Pastors, and I will always capitalize both. However … “The office of Pastor is the greatest office in the land. For, the people choose the President. God chooses the Pastor.” 

I have also been asked why, in putting together a volume of my works, I did not include illustrations to go with the works. I am blessed to have friends who are artists and illustrators. However, since the very beginning, God made me realize that it is not about the pictures, or the illustrations. It’s all about the words. And, as I was compiling this volume, God clearly reminded me of that. It will always be about the words. God’s words moving though a mind, heart, and soul, through a writing instrument, and onto paper. 

To be read. To touch the reader’s mind, heart, and soul. We all have our own pictures to go with the words, just as the words speak to us individually. 

Please enjoy this volume, and be blessed by the real messages behind the works. God has been gracious to allow me the privilege to write words to honor so many of those, in our daily lives, who are deserving of our love, respect, and our honor. 

It is not the job which gives honor to the man.

It is the man which gives honor to the job.

Blessings to each of you,

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

P.S. Genesis 12:3 

       Hebrews 6:15

P.S.S:  Pray More.

        + Study More.

        = Be More (Like Jesus).

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