Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Impact of a street rat

"You are a worthless street rat. You were born a street rat. You will die a street rat. And only your fleas will mourn you." ~Prince Achmed~ From Disney's Aladdin...

Arent those sweet words?...just kidding. You know it seems that sometimes some of the rich and powerful and those sycophants who desire to sponge off them will feel no compulsion, no desire at all to lean down and help someone who is not rich and powerful...just for the sake of helping another human being. And in so doing the rich and powerful miss their opportunity to be truly rich and truly powerful.

These are biting words intended to drive the psyche of their intended target into the ground. Sometimes these words come not from the rich and powerful, but from the minds of those who feel themselves to be "less" than the rich and powerful. Their imagination creates a barrier that inhibits them from seeing the truth...

The truth is that Aladdin made an impact in the lives of many people before he found the Lamp. He made an impact. He was already rich and powerful and just couldnt "see" it because of the barriers his mind had created for him...probably because he was always looking out his bedroom window at someone else's magnificent palace.

I often struggle with thoughts of "what have I done?" What do I leave behind when I step off this world? Have I made an impact? I think on the magnificent...and I miss the truth. I miss the reality.

There are those right now whose lives have been forever changed because of me. Some changed for the worse, Some for the better. Could I do more for others if I were "rich and powerful"? I dont know and I likely will never know. But I do know a few things.
The biblical Joseph surely never saw as he rotted in Pharoah's dungeon that one day he would be second only to Pharoah in all the Land of Egypt. I also know that it is likely that Rechab never dreamed possible that his words would pass down through the generations and in time his children's loyalty to a promise given many years earlier would become the standard by which the great prophet Jeremiah would stand before the people of Israel and preach.

I know something today. I know that a testimony before men stands as a pillar of truth. I know that people. A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
If I do not see the light of another dawn I know that many will see a testimony in my family in the years that follow...and my family will get to decide if I will be honoured as was Rechab.

Impact...I believe as did Aladdin...I'm not a street rat...and I dont have fleas.

My magic lamp...why I've had one for years. Sometimes I just forget to rub it...Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dear Mom...Its Christmas Eve

Dear Mom,

I love you.

It's Christmas Eve. Your favorite night in all the year. I miss you so. I miss your excitement about it all. I'm not enthusiastic about Christmas this year. The spirit just hasnt grabbed me. I know you're probably disappointed with me. It would be different if I could share it with you I'm sure. Being broke all the time doesnt help much. I like watching everyone open presents and well there wont be much of that this least not here.
I'm home alone tonight. Managed to finagle a little time to myself. The children are off to Milano's for singing and yummies. Jean is going to the church for more singing and yummies. So here I am with the cat and the dog, neither of whom are very interested in me tonight.

I've been thinking alot of some bible verses for awhile now...There about Christmas. They are in Luke chapter 2.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

I guess that to some folks these words dont really mean much, to some they mean more than life itself. To me, they are another point of light and truth...On this night whether it was really sometime in October as some folks say or maybe some other time...but on this night some 2000 odd years ago...the Saviour of the World was born in the flesh to become a live and love, to mourn and celebrate with men this thing, this vapor...this moment in time we call Life. And it was so.

According to the words of the Living God as found in the King James Bible we are told to Fear Not on this day. We are told that the birth of this child was intended to bring great joy...rejoicing if you will...perhaps even celebration. Through it Mom, I noticed that the angels and the heavenly host were praising God worshiping Him and once the shepherds had seen the babe and turned away from the manger...they too were praising and glorifying God for the birth of their Saviour...

Today Mom there are people, believing people who turn away from this celebration of the birth of Christ because they consider it to be "the way of the heathen". I too once struggled with the doctrine which I now know is biblically false...but even more importantly I have my memories of what they would call "the way of the heathen", good memories of Christmas now long past and one just last year for which I am now and always will be grateful.

Those who say December 25th is a pagan holiday...fine...but I sure would like to see the day they actually set aside to celebrate the birth of their Saviour as is the scriptural, biblical of rejoicing and being exceeding glad...

This I know Mom, there is no joy for them and I mourn for them because they wont mourn for themselves.

I love you Mom,

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The eyes of man are never its a wood pellet stove and pellet there anything I cant lay my eyes on and not want...its a good thing I'm broke...cuz if I wasnt I would be now!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Isaiah 55:1-2 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Why can't I just have faith that God is always right? Why am I discouraged for that which I dont have when I have been promised so much? Why is it such a struggle just to be content?

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Dear Mom,
Well, it's Christmastime. Almost anyways. It's been a really rough year this year...well...since you went Home anyway...Ive been pretty lacsidaisical about everything. Nothing really seems to matter much to me...I cant sleep at night anymore, too many thoughts going through my mind...too much coffee too maybe.
I've always been weak on death. Never understanding it. Never getting it. Hardly greiving for those who are gone...but I guess I understand the greiving a bit now. But selfish as I am it seems the greiving is for me...what I have lost.
I suppose you already know this, but I'll tell you cant tell me I'm wrong now can you? Then again you couldn't tell me that when you were here. Anyway, I want you know that I really feel cheated by this whole thing. Easter was such a joy for you...and all the holidays and children's birthday. I gleaned a lot of second-hand joy from vicariouosly watching you celebrate life through those moments.
Then you went and died just before Easter. We had to make our own peanut butter eggs wasnt pretty. Then Jean's birthday and Mine...Then Amber graduated from high-school...and we remembered how excited you were that you were going to see it happen, but you died...and I feel cheated. Amber's and Becca's birthday are past now...and we had our first Thanksgiving without you...and I wept. Now it's almost Christmas and I am lost without you. My 43rd Christmas and my first without you.
I know you see better than I now. I know you get to celebrate while I mourn.
Just so you know...I'm not angry with you, nor am I angry with the Lord. I am a little angry though, but just because I miss you so. I'm kind of mad with our health care system that I think let you die because we had no money. I really believe that if you had been wealthy they could have and would have done alot more to keep you alive. It was evident, easy to see that most of the people in that hospital were there for their paychecks and nothing more.
But you were 80 years old...that's hard to grasp too. My Mom was 80. hmmm. And you'd never really taken very good care of yourself so I mean...everyone has to die, but that seemed so silly that you would get a cold...and die.
Uncle Buzz told me that it was up to me to be the Strength of the family...the binding cord that holds us together as you were, but I'm afraid Mom that I don't have that strength at all.
Aunt Joyce asked the question that I guess we all were wondering..."What are we going to do without you?" What are we going to do without the Cord that held a family in place through the Great Depression, World War II. The Cold War...the Sixties, the hand that drug us all through the 70's and help us jump past Reaganomics through the 90s...without the one whose strength endured and upheld as Dad slipped from our fingers and left you standing weak and frail...and just as stubborn to persevere as ever, maybe even more...
How do I long for those nights this past year when you would stay up and tell me about life when you were a child. How you met Dan your first husband and how you lived through his death. I wish I could have recorded those conversations so that I might have them now to keep me company through these sleepless nights.

Well, gotta go for now Mom,
I love you and I'm sure I'll write again soon,
You favorite son...just kidding Danny! LOL. We all know who the favorite is...Mom had no favorites. She loved us all no matter what happened.
God bless Mom,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Land of Middleswarth BBQ Potato Chips

I was recently reminded when viewing a friends Facebook page about the importance of Pennsylvania...Middleswarth Chips... Now 20 some years ago I lived in New Hampshire and worked for GTE Sylvania. In this factory were a lot of other people from PA. Every time we would come back to PA for a visit, my friend Terry would take orders for Middlewarth chips and when we returned to NH we would be loaded down the dozens of bags and barrels (they dont have the barrels anymore) of MC.

There is just something about MC that makes them special, better than any other chip...anywhere.

That special "thing" will cause PA natives mouth to water when they are far from home and something brings MC to their mind...They will act funny, their vioces will crack and their eyes will wonder off into distant memories.

I think of one such memory though I suppose it was more of a night when I was about 18 I was out with some friends and we got some barrels of MC...for some reason someone began throwing chips and the next thing I knew my mom's car was covered with Middleswarth chips...Shivers....the absolute horror of all the chips on the floor and the seats, the dashboard...everywhere...

Next Year Now

These are leaves...lots of leaves...I picked up most of the bagged ones along the curbsides in town, the truckload and about 10 other bags came from a clean up job we did.

I got these leaves because even after 4 years of working my garden soil it still has a lot of clay attributes to it...Nothing like when we started...its much better now, but still holds a lot of water, gets kind of hard and doesnt have the dark color I like so much.

So we'll be working alot of these leaves into the ground hopefully before snows sets in for good and we'll let some cook over the winter and till them into the ground in the spring.

I also collect branches and brush from yard jobs and such through the summer and I burn those in the garden as I'm told this is very good for breaking up the soil. I have 2 giant cottonwood trees in the yard which are constantly dropping branches and twigs all year round.
There's always something to do to get ready for next year.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where is God?

Jeremiah 6:16-19 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Remarks from CBS Sunday Morning - Ben Stein

I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late ! ! The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me.. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
In light of recent events.... Terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.
The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr.. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing yet?
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully, Ben Stein

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Are these BUGS on my tree???

Its a maple tree and I think its had its last year of life...But what are these critters?

Just a Schwinging~Part 2

They were dreaded words, words I didnt think I would ever hear...Dad, the swing is broken.

Now, I said before that this swing was made to last, but alot of that lasting took place before I got it...we've had it about 3 years and most of that time has been with boards that aren't fastening down as the seat...the old boards had rotted away.

I'm a little slow at getting things fixed so I just haven't gotten that done, but this was I looked out the window at the poor swing I could see that one side was on the the chains havent broken, they should have...the hook which held the swinging thing pictured was broken...I cant fix that I thought, I'll have to a new thing....and so the days and weeks and months passed as I continually forgot to stop at Wilson's Supply and buy something...I just kept forgetting.

While cleaning out an old barn a couple weeks ago I found these big mean looking heavy duty nails and thought to myself, "Now Dave, one of those just might work to fix the swing...

So, the day before Becca's birthday (my daughter) I got to working in the yard and spotted that sad lookin swing...The Swing has become and everyone knows it...Becca's Swing. I think her whole summer has been thrown off because the swing was broken.

So anyway, Becca's was not home and wouldnt be till after dark, so I had a wonderful surprise to give....and she would have to find it. It was great! She was thrilled with the mystery of the hidden surprise birthday present...

What a treat it was for me when she saw her swing!

So, well the fix isnt permanent, but maybe this spring when I fix the seat...see how it works. ;)


This here for all you uninformed folks is a backyard swing...not just any old backyard swing's my backyard swing!

This is not some Big Lots/Walmart/Target swing either, its a bona-fide handmade, Tioga County Pa, back yard swing and it was built a long time ago and it was built to last...well I'll talk about that in another post.

Anyway, this swing came to me by way of an estate auction a fews years ago, just after we'd bought of house. My intention was to put it in the front yard with a "For Sale" sign, by my family quickly became enamored with the ugly old thing and soon enough all of us found ourselves "just a swinging" on that thing...No one named Charlotte has been on it as yet. Well. not since I've owned it anyway.

Everytime I look at this swing it reminds me of the John Anderson song by the same title. Course the "ch" I added to the title above is because I have a friend who I've not seen in years who used to add a ch to all sorts of things and so I think of him when I think of The Swing.

Field of Dreams

Long ago when I was about 13 or 14 years ago I read a book titled, "Shoeless Joe Jackson". It was about an old-time baseball player and a farmer...The ballplayer was long dead, but the farmer kept hearing his voice called to him...."If you build it, he will come."

Well, most of you are familiar with the film starring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones which brought those characters whom I had read about years earlier to life for millions of people who may not have read about them.

Its a heartwarming and touching tale of hope, inner pain, loss, dreams, redemption. That last is perhaps the best...the chance the fix a past make something say "I'm sorry".

Pictured above is the browning stalks of corn which represented another part of my field of dreams. At one point in August after a terrible rain, hail and windstorm I was pretty sure there would be no corn field as it was almost all laying down flat. Turns out that it straightened itself up even though I interfered and tried straightening it myself with little effect.

But now it awaits the eventual fate af all things green. The bible says, "there is a time to die" and this is it. My son would like to try tilling the stalks into the ground, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to work for a tiller like ours, so I'll likely soon be pulling them up and burning them back into the soil with the other refuse I gathered over the summer, dead branches and brush and some leaves. Till all that and the bags of last years leaves which have been cooking all season back into the ground and maybe next year we'll get to eat sweet corn again...or potatos, or mangoes...or some other yummy thing from a lush green plant....Another field of dreams.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Just wait till next year...

Can you hear that sad refrain echoing through the now cold recesses of Wrigley Field? The ghosts of Cubs past awaiting that longed for day when the World Series Banner is raised above their beloved home...

Well..that's kind of how I feel as I look out upon the dying remains of what was this past spring such a promising looking garden. Except there's no ghosts and not nearly so long a drought as the Cubs have endured.

So here is the end of more poor, deluded hope of a great tomato harvest...The banner hoisted above my garden dreams...Just wait till next year....Lord willing of course that I am still here come spring.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

on hiatus

Sorry...just have thoughts...some i think interesting...but not ready yet.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nightmare Tomato Wasteland Revisited

Well... I had hoped that a few of our more than 50 tomato plants would be spared, but alas such is not the case...There have been about 20 cherry tomatos and a few plums, but all the beefstakes are gone. All the plants are an ugly rotten scene of death and decay...Now its time to mourn.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Its my fault - Sanctification and Edification~Building Up Not Tearing Down

Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Ummm...terrible word to use to start a post I suppose, but these verses are...well...humbling and convicting...its my fault.
I have spent a lot of time doing everything except edifying. Everything except setting the Body of Christ apart as Holy. Shame on me. It's my fault.
It is my fault...those four words are probably I think the most important words anyone can ever learn to speak.
If I plant a garden and don't prepare the soil and make sure I've got good seed, I'm not likely to get much of a harvest...and it would be my fault.
I've planted a lot of "seed" over the years, but I fear that most of it was bad seed. It's my fault.

Now this post is about coming to terms with my mistakes. I could turn it around to discuss these same mistakes in others, but I will try not to do so.
I guess it started awhile back with Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

But it went beyond my children. It went to my family and my friends and all the people whom I have spoken with in my life.
Mark 7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

I had a realization that it was the height of arrogance to think it was possible for a parent to think that they had done everything right in the raising of their child. No one can do everything right. To me it seemed even stranger to claim to believe the bible and then say you did everything right and still end up with a child that goes their own way, that rebels and chooses to follow a path away from God and the bible.

I needed to realize that if one of my children went wrong, it was my fault, that somewhere along the line I'd blown it. I had to accept that truth, even though the Curse is broken, the scriptures are still true and they say...Exodus 20:5-6 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
This is a curse, but it is also a promise. Mercy to those who keep His commandments.

With these verse came freedom. The freedom to know that I cant do everything right and really shouldnt expect that I could. That all children will follow whatever god is placed before them. I place the gods before them. They get to choose. When they do I can accept my role in that however it works out.
The fault is mine...and I am forgiven. But the lessons to learn are just now beginning to come to light.

How many times have I had ill words for God's church, the Body of Christ? Not edifying words and so because the words which came out of me did not edify, then the church was not sanctified in the eyes of those to whom I was speaking...Is it any wonder that those outside of Christianity, those lost, would name christians to be hypocrites when we spend our time doing the same thing? It's my fault.
The Bible says that the husband sanctifies the wife and vice/versa. I have taken that a little farther and made it apply to even more aspects of life.
My mother, Lord rest her soul...spent a lot of time talking about the things my Dad couldn't do...and he didn't because of it. My wife has spent a lot of time telling me that I can do all the things that I think I can't...which wife sanctified and edified her husband?

Over the years I've spent a lot of time saying bad things about people and about the church. Is it any wonder that my family has the same issues? No...ITS MY FAULT. I could have and should have done differently.

To my good brother Wayne Anthony, should he ever read this post...Thank you. Why? "It's just how you look at it." A few words spoken...but another brick in the pathway on the way Home.

There is so much freedom in knowing and accepting that...its my fault.

I suppose that hopefully one day I will realize just how much harm I have done to myself because of my own foolishness. How foolish and stupid it is to blacken the name of the Bride of Christ in my own eyes and the eyes of others...but what have I done to myself? What darkness am I in because of it? My foolish words....its my fault.

The 23rd Psalm & The Naughty Rebel Backslider

Where to start....? 10 years ago... 4 years ago...last year...? hmmm ...sigh... such a story as this deserves a better teller than I.

Peoples lives are such wonderous things. Even when they seem ugly and sorrowful there is something in them from which to draw hope.

I guess I'll start with scripture...

Psalms 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

This story is about someone's little sister or perhaps older sister, or daughter...maybe it might be yours...but its someone who has been part of my life and prayers for ten years now.

I guess I'll go back as far I can.

She was the Preachers Kid...You know the story. But she was a good kid. Loved the Lord and the bible. A good soul. Loved her Daddy and Mom.
Then one sad day for her and the rest of us...Daddy got called Home to be with Jesus. A happy day, but sad for those left here to move on without.

Now I dont pretend to know what this sort of thing does to a young person when they lose a parent, but to lose this parent in particular must have been incredibly hard. He was a really good man. He loved the Lord and preached the truth about being a man, being a Dad, being a husband.
Now in all honesty my life had gone another direction and I pretty much lost most of the relationship with this family.

Anyway, a few years passed and it seems that something happened that for all appearances seemed to indicate that this young girl turned young woman was falling away from...well from everything she'd been taught about being a christian.

Being the way things tend to be, the Lord seems to have worked to bring my family back into a relationship with this young lady's family. I've gotten to witness some good old-fashioned rebellion in this young woman. Just like I remember mine to be. Same words, same attitude, same lack of concern for the feelings of family members...(mine was much worse) was so interesting to watch it work itself out.

So to make this as short a ramble as I can...I go to a party that the family is having and the Lord being good the way He is, a great thing happened. A comforting thing happened.
I love to hear people quote scriptures that mean things to I ask several young people there to quote and I listened with my eyes close so I could catch every sound. I can hear the heart of the person speaking.

Finally, I ask this young lady if she has something memorized that she can quote...She hesitates of course...she's the naughty sister you know and proud of it to boot...but somewhere inside the little girl who loved her Daddy speaks..."I know the 23rd Psalm" she says. So I encourage her to say it. Well...I kind of implore her...I am addicted to this sort of thing. As she speaks I listen. I hear the voice hesitate and almost break...the scriptures are so powerful.
Somewhere inside The Naughty, Rebel, Backslider the Holy Spirit of God says to me, "Yes, I'm still here and she still loves Jesus even if she's not acting like it" ...

...and I know she'll be okay. For now...she's the Naughty, Rebel, Backslider....but not for always.

The story behind the 23rd Psalm. I asked her...

Because when she was a little girl....(yes I'm crying right now) she couldnt sleep, so Momma told her to recite the 23rd Psalm and she'd be able to sleep...and it worked. Better I think than Momma ever realized.

Parents....please...christian parents...hide those wonderful old words of life in the hearts of your children...someday those words just might preach to discouraged old man like me...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blinded By The Light

Acts 9:8-9 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

The apostle Paul had once been chiefest of sinners according to his own testimony, but here in this passage on the road to Damascus, all the pricks of the Spirit that he had for so long been kicked against finally kicked back.
The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Paul. The light of this encounter knocking him down and as it turns out blinding him for a time until another believer was sent to heal him of the blindness through the power and faith of the Lord Jesus himself.

Having just seen such great light on the way, Paul is left blinded by it...blinded by the light.

I was recently helping someone move their furniture to their new home. On the front porch was an older fellow putting together some porch furniture. Now it was late in the afternoon and the Sun was shining right in under the porch and making this porch fellows job very difficult for as he tried to see the holes into which to place the bolts he was blinded by the intense glare of the afternoon Sun...He said several times, "I can't see" before he finally changed his position.

Those words struck me. Like a spotlight at midnight.

I can't see...but there was light all around. It was broad daylight outside, but the light was just too much for him to handle.

And so it is I believe with the Glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's a simple thing which sheds light all around so that all can see, but when you look right at it...its too much...too intense for many folks...and they are blinded...blinded by the Light....

But its only for a time...if...when the Believer comes to the door, they recieve himm receive the preaching of the gospel from a good, old-fashioned King James Bible..the Blindness is lifted and for the first time the Blind can really See.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Burning Bridges

Acts 15:37-40 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

Sadly, this marks the end of Barnabas in the scriptures...and yet it would not be the end for Mark as he reappears much later in the bible story at 2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Burning bridges hurts people, its separates them...often people who have burnt bridges realize later that they would much rather have that bridge back to the other person than they would have the memory of whatever it was that made them burn that bridge.

It is just so hard to rebuild those bridges. There is always pride to overcome on both sides of the burnt bridge. Pride, anger, pain....many reasons to avoid the task. All smaller than the need for the task.

I often wonder if Paul's praise for John Mark later in life was an effort on his part to restore his fellowship with Barnabas. I do not know the state of Barnabas' life at that time, whether he was dead or maybe had gotten away from the Lord, or maybe he was just doing something for the Lord elsewhere...but somehow I think Paul surely missed his old friend.

Perhaps some of the profitability Paul speaks of is just's a way for Paul to do something to make things right with Barnabas...even if Paul was right all those years ago...sometimes, many times, most of the times, its better to suffer yourself to be defrauded than it is to be right.

I have burned a few bridges in my life. Almost always I have wanted those bridges back. I have even tried to rebuild them on my side, but I've never been able to make the bridge as sturdy as it was the first time. Never has the bridge been so easy to cross as it had been before it was burned.

Give us meat to eat

Genesis 9:2-4 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

These are our chickens. They are special chickens. They dont lay eggs. Their lot in life is simple. Grow big, grow fast....and be harvested. They are intended to be meat for my family. We had a bad season with our birds this year as well as our garden. We started with 20, but we're down to 12 now. Only one of the 20 ended up in the pot. That one was the great big one you see in the middle of the picture.

These chickens have grown without the hormones and medications found in the chicken at the local supermarket. They've been allowed to free-range the yard and eat bugs and seeds and grass and I've given them shelled corn and scraps as well.

I have always had a weak stomach and that makes it hard for me to decide that the time has come for harvesting. These birds have a way of letting me know when it's time. the Lord has been kind to me and over the years has strengthened me and my stomach whenever the times comes to put meat in the freezer.

Its all part of His great plan for them and for us.

I find it odd that God has told us not to eat the blood of the animals and yet it is the Blood of Christ which is our remedy, our only hope....our life, our hope lies only in the Blood. His blood.

This Too Is Good

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

When my mother was in the hospital earlier this year I had a wonderful conversation with a man whom I consider a great friend. This conversation was I guess a little philosophical though I'm not sure I understand much of anything philosophical. Maybe I do. I'll let others decide that for me.

We spoke of life and death, God and love, family and friends, but in the end the phrase he spoke which I believe I shall always remember, or I should I say, I hope I shall always remember are the words..."This Too Is Good"...Thanks Dave

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Broccoli Separation

Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

My tenth grade English teacher once told us that there is often little tricks a person can use to remember how to spell words that one might find difficult. Hers was the word "separate". She had trouble with the first "a", always misspelling it with an "e" until one day someone told her that there was "a rat" in Sep"arat"e. I've always remembered that lesson...and I've come to discover that there is usually a rat of one kind or another somehow involved in separation.

This year I have been given the wonderful opportunity to remember something about gardening that I am told every year and always forget...DO NOT plant broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower together.

They are supposed to be planted separately because there's a rat that likes them all. His name...Cabbage Worm. A pretty green little guy who hides in the stalks...if you've eaten broccoli straight from the garden, you've probably eaten him as well.

Separation is supposed to help keep these little blackhearts to a minimum.

Separation is a much-maligned and often ignored doctine throughout christianity today. With it's ecumenical call to leave our doctrine at the door, its seeker-friendly emergent movement and dominionistic approach to kingdom building, it leaves the biblical means to sanctification (not the sanctification of ones soul, but that of his life) and holiness in an abyss of humanism and rationalism.

Yet without separation, the rats will infest everything.

As the verse shown above states, Those who make a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ will be separated from this world of men. For His name they will drive the born-again, blood-bought, bible believing, Bride of Christ away from them...They do not seek Him, nor want Him as a part of their lives.

As it states in this verse; "2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," Believers are given the responsibility before God to separate themselves from unbelievers. Verse 14.

Separated believers can rejoice in the promises found in the context of the verses stated above...

If a believer choses not to be separated...Watch for the Cabbage Worms...

The Turnip Patch

Acts 17:17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Last fall my neighbor said that the folks at the Farmer's Market like turnips. I had thought about going there to try to sell some produce...and just to meet people from the community. So I figured I'd plant some turnips this year.

Turnip seeds are very tiny, but they grew quickly and the turnips are quite large. I planted them much to close together and they are crowded, but it's been nice watching them. They have grown really well and that's a blessing because this year has been cold and wet, so my garden is failing.
As you can see in the picture there's tomato plants growing in with the turnips and corn. Those tomatos are the only ones not showing any sign of rot. They grew of their from last years left overs and I didn't have the heart to pull something that wanted so desparately to live. Perhaps the corn and the turnips soaked up so much water that the tomatoes werent flooded.

Now, I'd never tasted a turnip before, but I'd heard they were sort of like potatoes, just not so much sugar...well I've tasted raw turnip now and I never want to taste one again.

My daughter made french fried turnips and those were pretty good.

Well. I couldn't find anything about turnips in my King James Bible, so I decided on the word Market and that's as close as I could come to something which might be applicable. Maybe at the market I'll get the chance to talk with someone about the Lord...or about the price of Turnips...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nightmare Tomato Wasteland

Genesis 3:17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Saturday 7/1/09 my tomato patch looked really nice. Sunday after church I found them as shown in the bottom picture...

A wasteland. Rotten branches, rotten green tomatoes...Last year it was Blossom End Rot, this year its just...rotten. I dont want to hear about Global Warming anymore. Cold nights all summer, rain, rain, rain...The weeds are really growing well though.

What seems an eternity ago I planted these little seeds in the house and they grew into these wonderful plants that dominated our front room. We endured having them in the way for 3 months waiting for the weather to get warm enough to put them out and now...theyre dying.

All that time and effort and once again...the bible is proven to be true. Glory to God!

I had lots of plans and they are all foiled now. He must have better plans. He'll provide.

Next year, I'm planting corn in this spot...maybe turnips...or potatoes....Lord willing of course.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Big Dog

There's a man I've recently met at the church we've been visiting, who works at the 911 Dispath Center. He's a big man and he's seems to have gotten himself the name The Big Dog.

I know he's a big guy, but every time I see him he has this big, gleaming, wonderful smile that warms my heart and makes me glad. A funny man and a joy to be around.

I have been thinking alot about what it must be like to do what he does for a living and i thought that perhaps the best thing would be....being the first one to get to lift up a person in dire need in prayer to the Father of maybe the one voice that a distraught friend, relative or close family member gets to hear as their world is crashing down around them...

Then again I thought how terrible it must be to hear the call from the address of a friend or know first of all that tragedy is about to fall upon yourself....

Truly this man is big...but not because he's big...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

All Things Become New????

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

This is perhaps my favorite verse in the Bible. I have a lot of reasons, but the most important one is that it was this verse that my five year old daughter and her Sunday School class recited before their church the very first time I visited that church...which she had been going to on a church bus which came around every week...thank you Nick and Dania for all the sacrifices that you endured to make and keep that bus route a reality. Sorry I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have at the time. Thank you, brother Melvin for driving that bus.

But today, I think about that verse with a practical application that doesn't really have anything to with the Lord. Nothing to even do with christianity (feel free to correct me should the Lord show you some truth I've missed)...but with life....and our apparent need for all things new.

The apostle Paul once said of the Greeks, the Athenians in particular at Acts 17:21 that they spent all their time in search of something new, anything was of course a distraction to keep them away from thinking about the things in life which really matter.
I guess Americans and probably a lot of other nationalities have that same tendency.

I'm here to tell you that "new" isnt always what it's cracked up to be.

I pulled an ancient wringer washer out of a basement a few days ago. It had apparently been there since Gerald Ford was President. Maybe longer than that even.

It was grimy and dusty and there was rust all over the outside of the motor housing and some rust here and there throughout, but it looked pretty sturdy. Cosmetically it wasnt all that bad. I'm guessing it had been built sometime during the 1960's.

I was pretty sure it was no longer in running condition. The hose for the water pump had been cut away and with all those gross cobwebs underneath and that wet, musty disgusting basement there is no way that old thing was when I got it home I put it out on the corner by the road with a For Sale sign...never plugged it in to check. I figured maybe an Amishman might pass by and buy it and change the motor...or someone might want it for a strange lawn or porch ornament. You never know these days.

Sure enough, after a few days someone called about it. I told them everything I knew about it. Told them I didnt think it was running, but that I hadn't checked for sure.
Well, they showed up the next day and ....asked me to plug it in...

Don't you know it, that old girl started right up. Agitating away...the wringer worked great both forward and reverse...incredible. It actually seemed that the Agitator worked better than the machine we are off it went. I put the $25 in my pocket and thought about that old washer most of the day...I thought sure it was dead.

Washing machines dont last 50 years...A lot of times the New machines dont last 5 years and here's this old piece of American made quality going off to someones house to be...yes...put into service again.
Lord willing and the Age doesnt come to a close, maybe in 50 years my grandson will pull it out of that basement...and maybe he'll plug it in...knowing that Old Things are often better than New.
One Old Thing I know that is better than any New Thing that comes's that Old Old Story, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as preached by His servant Paul the apostle...Amen, amen and amen.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Lord Will Take Care Of You

So my thought for moment of praise for His mercy and goodness to all, even those who do not care for His words... His truth.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

I spoke with a friend this evening with whom I have been trying to help clean out a house she needs to sell. An accumulation of many years of all things which "I just have to keep because I might need that someday" was overflowing and abundant. The "stuff" in this house was unbelievable...

Anyway...I spoke with her on the phone and she mentioned that her brakes went out on her truck on the way home. I offered to try to fix them as best I could, enough to at least get the truck to a garage. I do not think she will need us for that.

In her thankfulness though, she spoke of her gratitude for the help we have been to her since we met. She said that she just doesn't know how she could have gotten thus far without us.

I spoke just a few words which simply and surely gave God the glory, though my flesh and my pride would have liked to grab tightly onto that moment and steal the glory from God and keep it all to myself.

I just said, "Well, if we hadn't been there for you the Lord surely would have supplied for you. He may even have supplied better. I'm just thankful that He let me help."

It's truly a wonderful thing to hear the gratitude of folks when you do something nice for them. Perhaps even more wonderful is the encouragement gained from knowing that if only for a moment the Lord has put me to work for Him. Knowing that being not weary in well-doing (Galatians 6:9) has its rewards in encouragement and thankfulness.

But as I later pondered the exchange that took place on the telephone I realized that I have often been down-hearted because I have failed to see God's hand guiding me moment by moment so that I might have an opportunity to serve others and glorify Him in so doing...

Yes, even my need to be thankful, to be not down-hearted, but joyful...even that need has been met before I ever could have realized it was fulfilled.

My God is good. Thank you, Jesus.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Let the Madness Begin

Acts 26:24-25 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

The great apostle had just finished preaching the christian gospel, the good news of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) to the noble Festus. And was thus rebuked...with the fateful words...Thou art mad!

How often have I felt as Paul must have felt at that moment..."I'm not crazy! It's the truth! The truth of God! The truth of His words!" Yet so often it seems as though thier ears are shut, their minds closed...or worse, their understanding is clouded by some religious darkness, whether it be theistic or atheistic which causes their understanding to be darkened, their hearts hardened to the simple truths of the words of God.

Though my posts here may be heart and mind are willing, but my flesh is weak, I think you will either be intrigued...or will likely shout..."Surely this man is quite mad!"

So...I suppose it is time...Let the madness begin.....

Unless otherwise stated, all scripture passages will be from the King James Version of the English Bible.