Friday, November 30, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Well, the leaves are all burned -- the
roses are covered up in their cozy little cones. Let it snow -- let it snow -- let it snow. I do not care.
for my next project. The rose cones look like decapitated snowmen so I'm going to blow up a whole bunch of balloons. I
think I have 16 rose cones out there. Anyway, I will take a big round balloon and cover it with a kind of heavy twine and
then "paint" it with liquid starch which I got at Wal-Mart the other day. After the starch is nice and dry, then
I'll pop the balloon and drag it through a opening in the twine. It will stay round because I'm going to spray a coat
of lacquer on the twine ball. Otherwise, the little snowman face would probably collapse when it rains or snows. I will let
you know if the lacquer does the trick. Otherwise, I'll have to think of something else.
On the other hand,
maybe I won't pop the balloons. I wonder how long they will last. If I get desperate because neither of the above methods
worked, then I'll just get big styrofoam balls and decorate them.
There, that gives me three viable solutions
to the problem. That's always my goal -- a minimum of three solutions per problem. I prefer to have four or five options,
but three will do in this case.
And then this afternoon is oatmeal cookie time. My very good friend Cody Droege
sent me a link for a giant cookie recipe collection. There's just about every kind of cookie you can imagine! Naturally,
I found a half dozen that I want to make right away but if I do that, Quint and I could just go stand outside and pretend
we're snowmen -- we'd be that round!
If you have an interest in getting the collection of recipes, send
me an e-mail and I'll forward the cookie links to you. I tried to put a page link on at this point but it didn't work.
I think I can get around this little problem by forwarding Cody's e-mail to you. When you get the forwarded e-mail, you
can click on the individual cookie recipe. Prepare to be amazed, and to you, Cody -- thank you one million times.
For instance, here is what's supposed to be EMILY DICKINSON'S GINGERBREAD COOKIE RECIPE:
4 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream (I use evaporated milk)
1 T. ginger
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 cup molasses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Shape
heaping tablespoons of dough into flattened ovals about 3 inches long. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
(Guess they didn't have those little gingerbread cookie cutters back in Emily's days.)
to make these cookies this afternoon too. Although Quint can't have the molasses, the college kids and soldiers sure can!
(I might have one or two just to "taste test.")
NOTE: I made the above cookies. Next time I make them,
I'm going to add some Splenda to sweeten the cookies more, and maybe a couple of eggs. This cookie dough didn't hold
together very well and I had to add more milk -- maybe 1/4 cup. Also, I want some cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla in the cookie
dough. One cookie recipe I checked out on Food Network also had cloves in the recipe. So this recipe is good, but not sweet
enough, and with the adjustment of more liquid, the dough finally stuck together better. I think if the cookies were decorated
like little gingerbread men, they'd be sweeter. Well, yeah.
Remember, at Christmas, Vitamin C stands for "Cookies!"
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 23:1-35
Paul is in front of the Sanhedrin. Let's listen
in on what he says in his "opening argument" -- (verse 1): My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all
good conscience to this day.
Ananias did not like this opening from Paul. He told the men standing near Paul
to hit him in the mouth!
To which Paul said, in verse 3: God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit
there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!"
And just who is this Ananias?
We first met Ananias and his wife Sapphira by in Acts 5. Luke
introduced this couple to make a point that God holds us accountable to what we say. Especially if we tell lies. Ananias sold
some property he had and he was supposed to bring it to the apostles to distribute to people in need.
kept some of the money for himself. Like it never occurred to him that God was watching. First of all to see whether Ananias
would really sell the property. Then whether Ananias would bring all the money to the apostles (which he did not do.)
So when the apostle Peter caught Ananias in his lie and when Peter told him that he knew, Ananias fell down dead.
Peter then asked Sapphira about the same property sale and she lied too. She also died too.
So that Ananias is
not the same one that Luke has us meet in Chapter 23.
Then we have Paul's introduction to another Ananias in
chapter 22:12 -- where Paul recounts to the Jews about how he came to his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let's listen
in on Paul's speech in chapter 22:12: A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and
highly respected by all the Jews living there. And in verses 14-16: The he said: "The God of our fathers
has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to
all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling
on his name."
So now there is another Ananias in chapter 23 who's encouraging people to hit Paul
in the mouth because Paul has reminded the Sanhedrin of his commitment to the Lord.
This particular Ananias (high
priest A.D. 47-59) was noted for cruelty and violence. When the revolt against Rome broke out, he was assassinated by
his own people. (Concordia Study Bible footnote)
Now, you have to realize that the Jews and the Romans hadn't
gotten along for some time. Goes all the way back to the Roman occupation which took place before Christ was even born.
Then along came Caligula. He was really perturbed at the Jews because they were the only people who wouldn't recognize
Caligula's self-proclaimed divinity. Once Caligula had declared himself a god, he tried to build a statue of himself in
the Jewish Temple. There was no way that the Jewish people were going to let that happen. In fact, there was open revolt against
Caligula and all his Roman guards.
He threatened to tear down the Jewish temple. Probably would have too if he
hadn't been stabbed to death in his palace by the praetorian guards. Even his fourth wife, Caesonia, was stabbed and their
infant daughter was bashed against the palace walls.
Caligula left no descendants to avenge his death and
he was succeeded by an uncle, Claudius, in A.D. 54.
In the years after Caligula's death, the Jews suffered
enormous indignities in their temple. For instance, on one occasion, the Roman soldiers exposed themselves in the Temple.
Another time they burned a Torah scroll.
The Jews then got the idea that they could beat the Romans in battle.
Well, Jerusalem was a small military outpost and guess what? The Jews did win. But not for long because the Roman ruler in
Syria sent a whole bunch of Roman soldiers to do battle. There were about 60,000 of them. They were the Jews worst nightmare.
By the time the Syrians got through with the battle with the Jews, there were about 100,000 Jews killed -- or sold into slavery.
But back to our story.
In verses 6b-8, we hear from Paul again: "My brothers, I am a Pharisee,
the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead."
When he said
this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (The Sadducees say that there
is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.)
huge dispute erupted over this oratory from Paul. The Pharisees, in essence, said "So what? Maybe an angel spoke to Paul."
It got to be so bad that the commander was afraid that Paul would be torn limb from limb. So the police commando ordered
his men to get Paul and put him in protective custody immediately. So it was back to the barracks for Paul.
just to show you that God was listening to what was going on, (and make no mistake about it, he listens to us and hears what
we say to others too), God said to Paul later that night (verse 11): "Take courage! As you have testified about me
in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."
By the time the next morning arrived, there were about
40 Jews who had gotten together and decided they were going to go on a hunger strike until Paul was killed. They cooked up
a plot to have the Sanhedrin brought back before them on the pretense that they needed clarification on some of Paul's
points, when, in fact, they figured they'd kill him while he was en route.
As if God was going to let that
Their plot was foiled because Paul's nephew heard about what they were cooking up and he went to Paul
and spilled the beans. So Paul told him to go to the commander and tell him what he'd heard about the planned ambush.
The commander heard what Paul's nephew had to say, then dismissed him with a cautionary "Don't tell
anybody what you've just told me."
Then the commander called in a couple of centurions and told them to
get a detachment ready so that they could transport Paul safely over to Governor Felix's house. And that's exactly
what they. Under the darkness of night, Paul was taken to safety.
When Felix learned from Paul that he was from
the province of Cilicia, he told Paul (verse 35): I will hear your case when your accusers get here." Then he ordered
that Paul be kept under guard in Herod's palace.
And so the intrigue continues. But you know how the story
ends, don't you? It may be curious for you, though, to learn how Paul continues on his journey.
than keep you in suspense, I'll add a couple more studies over the weekend.
OBESITY RATES LEVELING OFF
A new government report says that obesity rates are hitting plateaus. According
to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, adult obesity rates for both sexes are holding steady at
Those rates are still two high, says Mark Swanson, a researcher from the University of Kentucky's College
of Public Health.
Keep in mind that the adult obesity rate was at 15% in 1980.
Obesity is defined as
having a body mass index -- or BMI -- greater than 30.
To determine what your BMI is, go here:
PSYCHOLOGY: ARE YOU GETTING YOUR EMOTIONAL NEEDS MET?
You have to identify
what your emotional needs are in the first place.
Personally, I think it's easier to offer a few suggestions
so you can say, "Oh, yeah," rather than trying to come up with a list on a blank slate. Besides, your emotional
needs may not be the same as your partner's.
Now, I'm not some guru sitting up on top of a mountain who
makes this stuff up. Instead, there are lots of places to go to find lists of emotional needs. The one I like the best was
developed by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D. He's from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Honesty and Openness
And to that, I would add Emotional Honesty, because that's what's missing in so many dysfunctional families.
By emotional honesty, I mean expressing your true feelings. If you're angry, don't say you aren't, and
then turn around and go passive aggressive on someone. Passive aggression is always hostile. And hostilities are breeding
grounds for unresolved angers.
I'm not so sure I agree with Dr. Harley for including Physical Attractiveness,
Financial Support, and Domestic Support as emotional needs either.
My list would include these:
Having access (emotionally) to partner
Being viewed as competent
and being forgiven
Being safe and secure
And what do
you suppose people do who don't feel they are getting their emotional needs met?
Four things, actually.
1. They try to manage and control others.
2. They usually end up feeling superior to others.
3. They get
out of the emotional game completely, and go off on life adventures that will bring them status, money and/or fame.
They compete to be the best and the fastest and the smartest.
In other words, if they can't get emotional needs
supplied, they settle for superlatives that describe them. They think.
But that isn't what's really happening.
They might just as well paint a big billboard in a heavy traffic area and say, "I'm John Doe and no one is meeting
my emotional needs, but I can run a 3 minute mile so I must be good. Right?"
Thursday, November 29, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
It sure feels good to have the internet
back up and running after about two days of frustrations of losing data and getting bumped off. That's not supposed to
happen with a wireless modem and a super dooper cable supplier. But we lost our internet capacity and our On Demand as well.
No movies, no internet. I just about can't abide regular TV with its endless march of commercials throughout the
programs I'm trying to watch. I understand that the networks have to make money but I think 20 minutes out of every hour
is way too excessive.
But I did get a lot of knitting done. It's been years and years and years since I knitted
anything. I only made a washcloth for the dishes. Big deal. It's a No. 7 needle, 45 stitches wide and 9 1/2 inches long.
Just a plain old knit stitch (garter stitch). Nothing fancy. And one great washcloth that's 100% cotton so it can go in
the wash with the stuff that gets bleached.
My sister Cookie is still at the rehab place. Not much new. Just keeping
up her paces on the treadmill. She thanks all of you for your continued prayers.
Remember that Paul was just about to be thrown into the barracks by the local police chief
type when he stood up and said to the commander, "Let me speak to them."
Well, he spoke to the Jews in
Aramaic. That got everybody quieted down. Here they thought they had gotten ahold of some foreigner Greek type person. But
now this guy was talking to them in their own language! Where did he learn to do that?
They were stunned!
Let's listen to what Paul has to say in verses 3-5: I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this
city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are
today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,
as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus,
and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
Wow! Did the Jews ever make
a mistake here. Paul studied with none other than Gamaliel, who was the most respected rabbi in the 1st century!
Just a side bar here to remind you that it was Gamaliel who saved the apostles way back in Acts 5:38 when they were brought
before the Jewish court. Gamaliel said: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human
origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting
So who was this Gamaliel who was so honored and revered by these Jewish people?
his very name translates to mean reward of God. He was a grandson of the famous scholar Hillel, and a prominent teacher
in his own right. He was a highly educated Pharisee and a leading member of the Sanhedrin through the reigns of the Roman
emperors Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. (Tiberius was emperor at the time of Christ's crucifixion.)
died about 52 A.D., 18 years before the fall of Jerusalem.
So when Paul stood up and said, "Hey, I studied
at the feet of Gamaliel," that meant a whole lot to this riotous crowd. No wonder they quieted down in a hurry.
Some have even compared this speech of Paul's to Shakespeare's "Friends, Romans, Countrymen"
speech of Marc Antony in Julius Caesar. One major difference, though: Paul didn't win over the crowd with his
Paul did try though. He reiterated his history of persecution of the Jews and how Jesus literally struck
him blind when Paul was getting near Damascus on a persecution run. In verse 8, Jesus asks: Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute
The crowd must have listened intently and quietly as Paul talked about how his vision returned and how
he had been instructed to preach throughout the region. And then Paul told them that the Lord has instructed him, in verse
21: Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.
Well, that did it! The crowd started shouting again.
Then they took off their cloaks -- outer garments they didn't want to get messy if they were successful in beating Paul
up. Then they started throwing dirt up in the air -- a sure sign that they were really agitated.
In verse 22b,
the crowd turns murderous when they say: Rid the earth of him! He's not fit to live!
So here comes
the police commander again. He's going to have Paul taken to the barracks for sure. And then he ordered Paul to be flogged
and questioned in order to find out why the people were so mad at him.
In verse 25, Paul plays his trump card,
if you will. He asks: Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn't even been found guilty?
Ooops! In fact, this is a really big mistake. Police commandos cannot go around flogging Roman citizens. Flogging is a torture
reserved for slaves and foreigners. But Roman citizens? Never!
Now the inquisitors withdrew immediately. Even the
commander was more than just a little worried that he had even said such a thing out loud.
So the next day, the
commander ordered Paul to stand before the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin.
Tomorrow we'll find out what
happens to Paul in front of this high court. Do you think he'll escape torture? Do you think he'll be rescued once
again, like he has been so many times?
We shall see in our next readings.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
It's more than brisk here today. But
at least the sun is shining even if the temperature is in the low thirties -- where it will stay all day. I do have to get
out there this afternoon and put those little cones on top of the roses where they will stay until next spring. I did kind
of haphazardly put them on the roses last week, but it was just a quick placement to protect them from an overnight frost.
Nothing permanent for the winter like they're going to get after the roses are pruned a bit to help the cones fit better.
Quint checked his journal from last year and said that on March 15 the leaves on the trees were budded but hadn't
popped yet. So that tells me that we have about three and a half months of bleakness before we can get a hope of spring. But
you know spring will come this year. Hasn't missed yet in all my 64-1/2 years on this planet.
We had a nice
visit from our daughter, Sharon, and granddaughter Heather. They headed back north this morning after breakfast. It's
always great to have family come to visit.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 21:1-40
is getting ready to go to Jerusalem as this chapter opens.
But it was in Tyre, after he landed, that the
disciples -- through the Holy Spirit -- urged Paul not to go through with his plans. But Paul left them after a week and went
on his way. All the disciples and wives and children came down to the beach where they knelt to pray. Then they went back
home and Paul's group boarded the vessel.
They wound up at the home of Phillip the evangelist. Luke makes mention
of the fact that Phillip had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. Phillip lived in Caesarea and while Paul was there,
a prophet came from Judea -- a man by the name of Agabus.
He came up to Paul and took his belt and tied his own
hands and feet with Paul's belt and said (verse 11b): The Holy Spirit says, "In this way the Jews of Jerusalem
will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles."
Despite the pleading of those
who were gathered around Paul, it didn't do any good. Listen to what Paul has to say to them (verses 13-14): "Why
are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord
When [Paul] would not dissuaded, we gave up and said, "The Lord's will be done."
And so there you have it. Paul went to Jerusalem. When he got there he went to see James and all the elders.
Paul reported on his ministerial activities among the Gentiles.
James brings Paul up to speed and they praised
God for Paul's activities among the Gentiles. But there was this problem that James brings up in verses 20-26: Then
they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law.
They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not
to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come,
so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and
pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports
about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them
our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from
The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the
temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.
The seven days weren't even finished before the Jews stirred up a crowd of people and seized Paul. They started
yelling at the other Jews within earshot that Paul was running around all over the place teaching against the law and the
They even said that Paul had brought Gentiles into the temple area and defiled it.
Paul had seen Tophimus, an Ephesian who was in the city, and the Jews assumed that he was there because Paul had brought him
Well, that was enough to bar the gate! They grabbed Paul and started beating him. Poor Paul. No matter where
he went, there were Jews around who wanted to do nothing but grab onto him and starting wailing the daylights out of him.
But this time, the whole city was riled up and they were actually trying to kill Paul.
Then the Roman soldiers
got wind of what was going on so they rode over to the murderous mob and wanted to know what was going on. They stopped beating
Paul at that point.
The commander of the Roman soldiers put a couple of chains on Paul and asked the Jews what Paul
had done. Some said one thing; others said another. Not being able to get a straight answer out of anybody, the commander
ordered that Paul be taken off to the barracks.
But just before the soldiers took Paul off to the barracks, he
asked the commander if he could say something to the crowd.
Then Paul stood before the crowd and addressed them
Silence! They must have been stunned to hear Paul speaking in Aramaic. Was he a Gentile or not? Was
he a Jew or wasn't he? They must have stood there stunned to hear Paul speaking to them in their own language.
Tomorrow, we'll find out what Paul has to say to them.
Monday, November 26, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We were welcomed into our new church home
at a Voters Meeting yesterday afternoon. It's nice to be connected to a church family again. We've been attending
weekly worship services since we moved here full time. Worship is an important part of our lives. As an added bonus, it brings
us together with like-minded people who also prioritize their faith practices the same way that we do.
is one of the greatest gifts that my mother gave to me. And she didn't just saywe should go to church. Rather,
she went with us. Even after she retired and moved to Warrensburg, Missouri, we looked forward to visiting her and going to
church with her when she got older. We met some wonderful friends at her adopted church home.
And I dearly love
to go back to Paducah, Kentucky, and attend the church I grew up in. There are many special people still there that I knew
So much for that rambling thought.
Quint is playing hunter this morning. We had
a little colony of cute little ladybugs who thought they were going to winter over inside with us. He swept them into the
dustpan and took them outside. He's kinder than I am. My suggestion was the garbage disposal for their exit. They
bite, you know.
Well, we have been busy sorting through much of the stuffed still packed away on the second floor.
I will admit that we are motivated by the need to get the Christmas tree and ornaments out of the attic, so we had to clear
the entry to the attic door. We now have another trunk load of goodies to take to the resale shop.
And Quint found
the cooking pot that he uses to make fudge in. It's the same fudge pot that his father used to make fudge for the family
when Quint was a little boy. It was actually a cooking pot that his father -- a section foreman for the Union Pacific Railroad
in Colorado -- picked up off a railroad easement. The story is that the chef on one of the trains burned something pretty
bad and got so mad that he threw the pot and all off the train.
Along comes Quint's dad and rescued the pot.
It's a really nice piece of club aluminum. Very well seasoned. It's been a dedicated fudge pot for many, many years.
The time of the year has now come for Quint to make fudge for all our kiddos. Yes, at Christmas, all the children become "kiddos"
again. They look forward to getting their batch of fudge, believe me!
Quint even promised to make a batch for me
to take to Ladies Aid at church on December 3rd when we all get together to pack up "care packages" to send to college
students and local service personnel from Effingham who are off on their tours of duty. It's always nice to be remembered.
The whole church brings donations of all sorts and the Ladies Aid packs them up and ships them off in time for Christmas.
The college students get their stuff just in time for finals week. Remember those all-nighters when you needed extra
pens and highlighters, cookies and high energy snacks and protein snacks like peanuts, etc.
And the service personnel
are off to the four corners of the globe keeping us safe and strong and free here at home. We remember them with lots of things
they've requested, but I suspect that what they like the most are the homemade cookies. Oatmeal and chocolate chip are
probably the two favorite varieties. Although I suspect any kind of Christmas cookie would be welcome.
I am sorry to say that I am not able to provide a report about my sister. When I called the rehab center this morning, I was
told that there is now a password code which I need in order to get updates. My nieces have seen fit to give me this code
-- at least not at this time.
I did talk to Cookie late last evening and she seemed agitated and very much wants
to go home. But she continues to be involved with therapy. So I'm hoping I'll get everything straightened out when
I talk to her later this afternoon. She does thank all of you for your prayers, as do I.
STUDY: Acts 20:1-38
Well, after all the riot at Ephesus calmed down, Paul said toodle-ooh to his disciples
and headed for Macedonia. He finally arrived in Greece where he stayed three months. You can be sure that he kept himself
busy with his preaching schedule.
Then came the time when he thought he ought to head back to Syria. Originally
he intended to sail but he learned of yet another plot that the Jews had cooked up. So he went overland instead, ending up
at the port of Philippi.
From Philippi, he sailed to Troas. Apparently it was Paul's plan to leave from Troas
the next day. Given Paul's enthusiasm, he talked "on and on" as it says in verse 9b.
There was a
young man named Eutychus who was sitting on the window sill listening to Paul's continuing sermon. He must have nodded
off, then maybe caught himself awake. We've probably all had that happen, though hopefully not in church. But anyway,
this young man fell into a deep sleep and -- you guessed it -- fell out of the window. From the third floor. Dead. (verse
Can't you just imagine how alarmed Paul would be?
He ran downstairs and out the door. Paul threw
himself onto Eutychus, then got up. He told the people, "He's alive!" (verse 10)
Oh my goodness.
This was truly a miracle.
So what did Paul do? He went back upstairs, broke bread and ate. He talked until daylight.
And the people who were there took Eutychus home, very grateful that this young man was still alive. (verse 12)
left shortly after this incident. He wanted to get to Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost (verse 16).
Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, but he sent for the elders at the
church in Ephesus. Let's listen to what he says to these elders (from verse 18): You know how I lived the whole time
I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears,
although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would
be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they
must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to
Jerusalem, not know what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Hoy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships
are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the face and complete the task the Lord
Jesus has given me -- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Now I know that none of you among
whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Thereofre, I declare to you today that I am innocent
of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and
all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his
own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own
number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them So be on your guard! Remember that
for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Now I commit you to God and to the
word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted
anyone's silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs
of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the
words the Lord Jesus himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
These words grieved
the elders, especially when Paul told them they would never see him again.
It must have been a sad time when the
elders went down to the ship to see Paul off. Sad indeed for this is a reminder that the early Christians suffered through
treacherous times. Their personal safety seemed to always be at risk.
NEW MOVIE GENRE: WAR
And the American public is not nibbling.
If Hollywood thinks it's got its pulse on
the American public, boy, are they wrong. Redacteddid not even make it into the top 35 films tracked by Box Office
Mojo. Word on Fox News this morning is that the movie only took in $25,000! And this was its debut weekend.
It's another one of those stories that puts out service personnel in bad light.
Hey, Hollywood: We don't
want to hear your trash and we're not going to pay money to have you lecture us. You're the ones who don't get
Lions for Lambs, another war porn type movie, took in $1,669,000 this weekend. That brings total receipts
to $13,792,000. And the budget for this movie was $35 million. Not even Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise could
convince moviegoers that this was anything worth watching.
I have news for them: I can see these movies on On Demand
for no added cost but I wouldn't bother. I've had it with the ultra liberal trash coming out of Hollywood.
Same goes for nudity. And for violence. It's our living room and our TV and we control what we let into our home.
So what did win out at the box office? Enchanted, a family movie rated PG took in a whopping $50,048 million.
And Seinfeld's bumblebee movie is still up there. It took in $15,988,000 this weekend to bring it's accumulated total
to $112,069,000. Not bad for a cute little bee with a story to tell.
Friday, November 23, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Today is the shopping day of the year!
In fact, it's called "Black Friday" because it's the day when many little boutiques and big stores alike
finally hit their annual break even point and begin to start operating "in the black."
On the other hand,
there are two people I know of who will not be out there battling the masses this fine, sunny day. Hint: their names are Quint
and Jane. We're going to stay home and practice our "snuggling in" technique. We'll leave the shopping rushing
around for those young and more energetic than we are.
We do have to run over to Rural King this morning, though.
Need to get some root poison to put in the drain pipes. We had a rotorooter out last Monday to rod out the drain pipe. We
could hear the roots getting chewed up. He made three passes and pulled out some roots with some attached masses of finer
roots. And there was the problem! Now they're gone. He did recommend a root do-away-wither though. (I don't want to
use the word "poison" in the same sentence with something living.)
THE COOKIE REPORT: I talked with my
dear sister last night. She sounds much better. Can articulate so much better and her voice is a lot stronger. She did say,
though, that she had a seizure yesterday morning. I thought she had been given an anti-seizure medication after surgery but
apparently not. She is now -- that's for sure.
It's amazing, though, what memories are resurrecting as
her brain heals from the surgery. It takes me back to my old grad school days when I was studying cognitive theory -- that
is, whether or not thoughts are chemical or physical processes. Or just plain old electromagnetic energy. Truth is, maybe
a little of each and maybe we just don't know as much as we think we do about such things.
In any event, Cookie
is doing better. It's truly a day of Thanksgiving.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 19:1-41
In this chapter, Paul goes to Ephesus. There he meets some disciples and asks them (verses 2-7): "Did
you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
They answered, "No, we have not even heard that
there is a Holy Spirit."
So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
"John's baptism," they replied.
Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism
of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptized
into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues
and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.
Note from my Concordia Study Bible: John's baptism
looked forward to Jesus, who by his death would make possible the forgiveness of sins.
When Paul was in Ephesus,
at first, he spoke in the synagogue very persuasively about the kingdom of God. But (in verses 9-10) some of them became
obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had
discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in
the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
We learn more of the astonishing things that Paul did in
verses 11-12: God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him
were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
Can you just imagine
that? Here was a man who came to Ephesus and preached about salvation that was possible because of Jesus Christ. This man
-- Paul -- promised forgiveness of sins to all who believed. And then, there were these miracles. Given all that, you can
see how the people believed what Paul told them in his preachings. The people wanted to hear more. They were thirst for the
water of life that was promised them.
Well, you just know it wouldn't take very long for some sneaky people
to try to cash in on this special gift that the Holy Spirit had gifted to Paul. As if just anybody could heal the sick or
drive evil spirits out of a possessed person.
Just such a thing happened when the sons of a Jewish high priest
commanded an evil spirit to come out of a person in the name of this Paul guy.
They hadn't learned yet that
Satan is a force not to be taken lightly. So the spirit says to them (verses 15-16): "Jesus I know, and I know about
Paul, but who are you?"
Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave
them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
Well, news of this incident sent shivers
through Jews and Greeks alike. They held Jesus in high honor, it says in verse 17. Many of these people had been sorcerers
but now they wanted to confess their sins and get rid of all that stuff that they used to conjure up so-called information
about the future. They brought all their scrolls together and burned them right up. These were supposedly valuable scrolls.
The value was more than 50,000 drachmas. I'm guessing they probably contained incantations.
The word of the
Lord thus spread wider and became more and more powerful.
At about this time, Paul decides to go back to Jerusalem
by way of Macedonia and Achaia. And he said that after Jerusalem, he'd need to go back to Rome.
Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia while he stayed in Asia for a bit longer (verse 22b).
Now comes the riots in Ephesus
that we've all heard about.
It had to do with idol worship. Not the golden calf, though. This idol was Artemis,
a man-made silver token. A man named Demetrius had the market cornered in Ephesus and he was not too happy that Paul was going
around converting so many of his former customers to worship the one true God.
Let's see what Demetrius is
up to (verses 25-27): He called them together, along with the workman in related trades, and said: "Men, you know
we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large
numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at
There is danger not only that our trade will loses its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess
Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will
be robbed of her divine majesty.
See, it boils down to the almighty drachma!
Now look what they
went and did. The whole town of Ephesus was in an uproar. The people seized Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia,
and rushed into the theater. In verse 30, we learn that Paul wanted to talk to the crowd, but the disciples wouldn't let
Paul must have argued that he would go before the rioters and try to calm them because some of the officials
of the province, who were friends of Paul, begged him not to go out there.
Finally the city clerk got the people
quieted down again. Basically he told the crowd that if they had any complaints, they should press charges and settle the
matter in a legal assembly.
The matter comes to a conclusion in verses 40-41: As it is, we are in danger of
being charged with rioting because of today's events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion,
since there is no reason for it. After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
You have to admit that
those were treacherous times for Paul and the disciples. Being a missionary brought real and present dangers for these men
who carried the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to the far corners of the then-known world.
It certainly wasn't
always about sitting in each other's living rooms eating figs and dates and bread and sipping wine while joyfully recounting
their adventures. Sometimes they had to run for their lives to places of safety.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
The folks up north are expect three to
five inches of snow later on today. I'm sure glad we have this 180 mile girdle of land separating our house from theirs.
We might get a thunderstorm this afternoon, but that's about it.
It will be a good time to --
take a nap (Quint favors this)
2.) do some more genealogy
3.) go to the library and return books (check out more0
4.) drop off stuff for resale at the Silk Purse
5.) get Christmas tree and ornaments out of the attic
Christmas card list from last year -- it's somewhere in this house
We're staying put over the holiday.
No traveling. No interstate. Don't know what we'll eat but it won't be a turkey. Maybe we'll just pause and
say thanks and have regular food. But then, we're always thankful for everything we have. It's all a blessing from
We pray that you will enjoy God's richest blessings and if you're traveling, that you'll
be safe as you go along the highways and byways until you're safely tucked back into your home.
We send our
love and prayers to all of you.
THE COOKIE REPORT: Physical therapy take up the biggest part of her days. It's
showing because her voice is so much stronger and her speech is much, much better.
Except for the seizures on the
first day after surgery, her recuperation has been very uneventful. We thank God for that. She's really hoping that she'll
be able to leave Schwab and get back to a place nearer her home and friends early in December.
STUDY: Acts 18:1-28
When the curtain lifts on the scene of Chapter 18, Paul has left Athens and is on
his way to Corinth. Paul meets some new friends in Corinth -- a Jew named Aquila and his wife Priscilla. Aquila and Priscilla
had kind of gotten kicked out of Rome when Claudius made all the Jews leave Rome. (verses 1-2)
Aquila and Priscilla
were tentmakers, like Paul. We learn in these verses that Paul stayed with them and worked with them. And we also learn in
verse 4 that every Sabbath found Paul in the synagogue continuing his ministry with both Jews and Greeks alike.
was then joined by Silas and Timothy who had come from Macedonia. After they arrived, Paul devoted himself exclusively to
preaching and testifying to the Jews (verse 5).
Not all the Jews welcomed Paul's message that Jesus was the
Christ. In fact, in verse 6, we read that the Jews not only opposed Paul, but they also became abusive toward him.
Paul then shook out his clothes in protest and vowed that from then on, he'd only preach to the Greeks.
just to show you whose ministry this really was, Paul gets a message loud and clear from the Lord (verses 9-11): "Do
not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because
I have many people in this city." So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
Jews weren't going to let Paul have any rest, though. While Gallio was proconsul -- a governor of sorts -- the Jews got
together and brought Paul to court. My Concordia Study Bible says that Gallio was Seneca's brother and was proconsul of
Achaia from A.D. 51-52. This, then, would give us a date as to when Paul was in Corinth for this part of his missionary work.
Gallio was a man known for his fairness and when he found out what the Jews were up to, Gallio reminded them that
they hadn't really brought charges that Paul had done anything illegal. In verses 14-17, Gallio disposes of the whole
matter: "If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for
me to listen to you. But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law -- settle the matter yourselves.
I will not be a judge of such things." So he had them ejected from the court. Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue
ruler and beat him in front of the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever.
Paul stayed in Corinth for
some time before he sailed away and ended up in Ephesus, along with Priscilla and Aquila. There he preached in the synagogue,
as was his usual activity. And when the got ready to leave Ephesus, the Jews asked him to spend more time there but he turned
them down. In verse 21, he said he'd come back to them if it was God's will.
Paul left his companions,
Priscilla and Aquila, as Ephesus and sailed for Caesarea where he visited a church he had begun on a previous missionary journey,
then went down to Antioch.
Paul spent some time in Antioch before setting off on his third missionary journey.
This third journey would be the longest of his ministry -- some 2700 miles in total.
Paul goes back up
through Galatia and Phrygia. He spent much time and energy strengthening all the disciples.
Then he met a Jew
by the name of Apollos. This man was a native of Alexandria and he had come to Ephesus. In verse 24, he is described as a
learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.
Apollos may have been a learned man all right but it says
in verse 25b that he knew only the baptism of John. This baptism was based on repentance. And like John the Baptist, Apollos
was still waiting for the promised Messiah. He was a fervent speaker in the synagogue. But Priscilla and Aquilla brought him
up to date on the way of God more adequately, specifically that Jesus was the Christ.
Apollos went to Achaia where
he was able to refute the Jews in public debates and proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (verse 28) Note:
Corinth was the capital of Achaia.
We will meet up with our friend Apollos again in Pauls first letter to the Corinthians.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We drove to Paducah, KY for a funeral on
Monday. Ivan Pool is part of the scrapbook of my childhood memories.
When I became a puppeteer at the Children's
Department at the Paducah Public Library, it was Ivan's mother who made the culotte that was a required part of the uniform
for the three of us puppeteers.
I sewed a little -- like aprons and potholders. That was as far as Home Economics
had taken me to that point. So when I needed a culotte -- and it had to be made out of burgundy gabardine -- Ivan's mother,
He and his wife, Imogene, would have celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary tomorrow.
I just can't imagine the depth of Imogene's sorrow to lose her beloved lifemate. Theirs was a treasured relationship,
to be sure. Sixty-four year marriages are a profound blessing to both people in the partnership. My heart and prayers go out
to Imogene and their loved ones who, in compassion, lifted their sorrows.
Our trip to Paducah took us through the
Shawnee National Forest. This is a 270,000 acre preserve that President Franklin D. Roosevelt made part of the national parks
system in 1939. It's definitely going to be a place where Quint and I will go for play days. Lots of trails, although
I think I might steer clear of Panther Den Wilderness. Don't know if panthers have ever been sighted. Don't care.
Somebody must have had a good reason to name this part of the forest out of these big cats. There's also copperheads and
rattlesnakes out there -- although the people who wrote the trail guides say they've never actually seen these snakes
on the trails. Doesn't matter. I know a little something about southern Illinois too. And to my reckoning, in order to
get from one side of the trail to the other, these critters would have to actually be on the trail to cross it. I'll stick
to the paved roads and let the rustic trails go to the wilderness hikers. I avoid such dangers. That's how I got to be
THE COOKIE REPORT: I talked with my sister when we got back home last evening. My goodness, she sounds 1,000%
better. Her articulation is so much improved. And there's animation in her voice too. She's looking forward to getting
out of Schwab Rehabilitation and going on to the next step, which will be another rehab place where she can get the physical
therapy she needs closer to her home. That will make it a lot easier for her cherished friends to come visit her. She has
lots and lots of friends.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 17:1-34
When Paul and Silas,
and their entourage arrived at Thessalonica, they preached in the Jewish synagogue. It is a custom in the synagogues, at one
point in the worship time, to ask if anyone present would like to address the gathering.
No matter where they
were, the apostles always took this opportunity to bring the gospel message to the people in these synagogues.
Thessalonica, Paul preached on three Sabbath days. In verse 4, we read that some Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas,
as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and prominent women (verse 4).
But guess what? Some of the Jews were
jealous. And here we go again. They rounded up some bad characters and created quite a ruckus in the marketplace. In fact,
in verse 5, it says they started a riot.
They hurried over to Jason's house, expecting to find Paul and Silas.
But they couldn't find them. No matter. They figured they'd take Jason and some other brothers instead. So they hauled
them in front of the city officials, shouting (verse 6b-9): "These men who have caused trouble all over the world
have now come here, and Jason has welcome them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there
is another king, one called Jesus."
When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were
thrown into turmoil. Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
As soon as it got dark,
Paul and Silas headed over to Berea and started preaching there. With much success too!
Problem is, word got back
to Thessalonica that Paul and Silas were preaching in Berea. So they hurried over there. Sure enough, the Bereans were very
excited about this new gospel message and were most eager to learn more. They examined the Scriptures every day, we learn
in verse 11. They wanted to see if what Paul said was true. Again, many people came to believe -- Jews and Greeks alike.
When the troublemakers from Thessalonica arrived, Paul left immediately for the coast, eventually ending up in Athens.
Silas and Timothy stayed behind in Berea. Then the people who had escorted Paul safely out of Berea came back with a message
that they were to join Paul.
Well, in Athens, Paul became most distressed to see so many idols. In fact, in verse
16, Luke says that the town was full of idols.
So in verse 17, we learn that Paul launched a full-time, every day
endeavor to move the Greeks away from idol worship: So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing
Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
There were some philosophers
present during these messages from Paul. They called him a babbler. Paul's message about Jesus Christ brought a response
from the philosophers that Paul seemed to be talking about a foreign god. From verses 19-21, we read: Then they took him
and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May be know what this new teaching is that you
are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean." (All the Athenians
and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
Guess you could call them Greek's leisure class.
Paul welcomed the invitation to share the message
of salvation with the Greeks. He said, in verses 22-23: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.
For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN
UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship a something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
And with that, Paul retells
the gospel message to the Greek philosophers. They listened and when Paul was finished, we read (verse 32-34): When they
heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject.'
At that, Paul left the Council. A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the
Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
And so we continue on our journey with Paul
and Silas. When we read about the messages that Paul delivered in the synagogues and marketplaces, it's easy for me to
get the idea that Paul was such a powerful speaker that, sure, he converted a lot of people to the Christian faith. After
all, that's what the New Testament tells us time and time again.
But don't ever get the idea that this
was an easy task. These were dangerous times for the early Christians. And they were extraordinarily dangerous times for Paul.
More and once he was lifted out of harm's way so that he could continue the work of bring the Word of God and the blessed
story of salvation to men and women and children throughout the region.
His safety was lifted in prayer requests
many times, you can be sure of that. And it was because of God's grace that he was able to continue to bring his messages.
And he was empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak with conviction!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
I am posting this on Sunday evening instead
of Monday because we will be tied up Monday morning and into the afternoon with a funeral of a friend.
like going to funerals. Probably no one does. But it's something we do for people we care apart. We help our loved ones
bury their dear ones. It means a lot for people to see that they are surrounded by people who care for them and care about
them. And in doing that, in a small way, we help another person mourn.
The weather here was absolutely gorgeous
today. We had one of those world renowned Lutheran meal gatherings after church today. This time is was catered since last
Sunday was a pot luck. Couldn't do a potluck two weeks in a row.
Niemergs, a local fine dining place, did
a great job with lunch. Fried chicken for me and a generous ham slice for Quint, with all sorts of delicious sides.
Then we listened to someone from seminary talk about the growing need for help for seminary students. Our church congregation
adopted a seminarian this year. He was also present, with his wife and their adorable little two year old son, Caleb.
THE COOKIE REPORT: Cookie is settling in at Schwab Rehabilitation. Her days are filled with therapy and reading when
she needs to rest from therapy. Maybe even napping a bit. Her language articulation continues to make a great improvement.
I'm sure she longs for the day when she will be able to walk without assistance.
I will resume
the Bible Study on Tuesday morning. Thank you for your understanding and for your continued prayers for my dear sister, Cookie.
Friday, November 16, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
The day started out hectic and it hasn't
slowed down yet. I have three one-hour sessions with clients, starting at 9 am -- two by phone and one in person.
Fortunately I was able to get the stew on to cook by the time the first client came for appointment. It's a new recipe:
Beef Stew with Root Vegetables. So it cooked slowly while we talked. Then I put about two tablespoons of cornstarch in a cup
of water -- actually I used a coffee cup from breakfast that I hadn't washed yet. After that was dissolved, it got poured
into the stew to thicken it up. The whole stew cost $1.02 per meal. I got four meals for the two of us out of the
entire stew. Three containers went into the deep freeze for the future.
Then I made some bread and got it finished
with its first rising. Now it's all stomped down and rolled out and cut into the shapes and in its second rising. The
round rolls are the bread and diamond shape rolls are cinnamon. I just knead in about 1/4 cup Splenda and sprinkle some cinnamon
on half the batch of dough. It's a hearty whole wheat bread.
I think we're done with the leaf burning for
the front yard. The maple tree that was responsible for all the leaves is pretty much empty. Now for the back yard. Only the
box elder is barren. The two big maple trees in the back yard still have half their leaves. But we'll get up what we can
this afternoon and burn them. That way it isn't such a daunting job to wait until the trees are completely empty.
I know -- I know. People say that if God put the leaves on the ground, he can take them away. But I know what God does with
leaves on the ground -- he makes a very acidic soil that doesn't grow nice green plush grass -- just patches of moss and
ugly weeds that will grow in any kind of dirt, even the cracks in the sidewalks.
Besides, we like to rake up the
leaves and burn them. My fire starters work very well too. They're from Girl Scout days -- sawdust in a paper type egg
carton, then pour melted paraffin on top. Works great.
THE COOKIE REPORT: My sister is on her way to Schwab Rehab
as we speak. It's part of the Mt. Sinai group and very well known for physical therapy. The expectation is that she will
be there for at least two weeks, then move to a facility in Evergreen Park which will be closer to Little Company of Mary
Hospital where she will continue the radiation that the doctors started at that hospital for any possible malignant brain
7 HINTS FOR A HOPE-FILLED DAY -- from Antoinette Oberheu
Today I will Not Strike Back -- If someone is rude, impatient, or unkind, I will not respond in a like manner.
Today I Will Ask God To Bless My "Enemy" -- If I come across someone who treats me harshly or unfairly, I will quietly
ask God to bless that individual.
3. Today I Will Be Careful About What I Say -- I will carefully choose and guard
my words, being certain that I do not spread gossip.
4. Today I Will Go The Extra Mile -- I will find ways to share
the burden of another.
5. Today I Will Forgive -- I will forgive any hurts or injuries that come my way.
6. Today I Will Do Something Nice For Someone -- I will reach out and bless the life of another.
7. Today I Will
Raise The Spirits Of Someone Who Is Discouraged -- My smile, my words, my expression of support can make the difference to
someone wrestling with life.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 16:1-40
Paul goes back
to Lystra. This is where he meets Timothy, a young man who lived in the town. In verses 2 and 3, we read: The brothers
at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the
Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Interesting note that Paul circumcised
Timothy, where he refused to circumcise Titus. In the case of Titus, circumcision was requested for salvation. In Timothy's
case, it was for the sake of expediency since Paul knew they would be encountering Jews who lived in the area.
they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people
to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers. (verses 4-5)
For all the
times we are in a quandary about what we think God might want us to do with our lives, or decisions we should make, look how
clear Paul and company got their marching orders (verses 6-10): Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region
of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came
to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia
and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over
to Macedonia and help us." After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that
God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Note the reference to "we" at the end of this passage.
Since Luke is the author of Acts, it's a safe assumption that he was part of the entourage on this, the second missionary
journey of Paul.
A really good map of this second journey is at this site: http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/pauls-secd-journey-map.html
Paul immediately set sail for Samothrace from the seaport town of Troas. Samothrace has an interesting history.
No doubt Paul wanted to get right in the middle of this small island which was basically a sanctuary for people to go to worship
the "Great Gods." Most of the island is mountainous so it wasn't much good for agriculture. Just fishing and
Read these notes about Samothrace: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samothrace
We don't know what Paul did on this island. Maybe it was just a stopping off point to replenish supplies,
or maybe it was a place to challenge people who came to worship the false gods of their mythologies.
didn't stay long. Instead, in verse 12, we read that they traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony. They stayed there several
While at Philippi, Paul meets Lydia. She was a seller in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira.
Purple was a royal color. And because it was so difficult to make -- requiring I don't know how many little snails
and other sea creatures to make just a yard of the stuff, only royals could wear a robe made completely of purple.
Purple cloth was, as this author says, the Gucci or Rolex of the trades: http://sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=71005. This is an interesting account of who Lydia was and the importance of her joining Paul's ministry team.
is also important to note from the above story that there was no synagogue in Philippi. In order to have a synagogue, 10 men
were needed. So without a synagogue, Paul went to where people were gathered on the Sabbath. Let's listen to what happens
in verse 13: On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We
sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer
in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Pual's
message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer
in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.
The rest of this
chapter recounts the details of how Paul and Silas end up in jail.
The story starts out with a young slave girl
who was inhabited by a spirit. This spirit allowed her to be able to tell the future. She followed Paul and Silas and the
group shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God."
It wasn't that it was annoying for
her to recognize the source of Paul's enormous faith in God, but rather, that Paul recognized the spirit that had possessed
her. Paul turned to her and said 'In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" And the spirit left
her. (verse 16-18)
This did not sit well with the slave girl's owners. Now they lost a big chunk of change
because she couldn't tell the future anymore.
So the slave owners go to the local magistrates and complain
that Paul was interfering with things and generally causing an uproar. The magistrates ordered Paul and Silas to be stripped
and beaten. Verse 23 says they were severely flogged.
But they weren't put into just any jail cell. Oh no.
They were put into an inner cell. And their feet were put in stocks. The jailers were taking no chances on these
But you know what? God caused an earthquake just about then. The dirt underneath the jail turned
to wiggly matter. All the cell doors flew open. All the chains fell off the prisoners.
The earthquake woke up
the jailer and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to commit suicide when Paul yelled out,
"Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
Well, the jailer called for lights. Guess all the better
to do a headcount of prisoners. Sure enough, they were all there. He was pretty shook up and he came to Paul and Silas and
asked, "What must I do to be saved?"
Here's the rest of the story (verses 31-34): They replied,
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved -- you and your household;" Then they spoke the word of the Lord
to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer too, them and washed their wounds; then immediately
he and all the family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with
joy because he had come to believe in God -- he and his whole family.
The magistrates must have gotten plenty
worried after the earthquake because they send a note over to the jailer to release "those men."
Paul told the officers (verse 37): "They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and
threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out."
Oops. The magistrates weren't supposed to treat these men like ordinary criminals just on the word of a couple
of slave owners. And throw them into prison without a trial! Before it could get any worse for them, especially since that
one guy (Paul) seemed to know what his rights were as a Roman citizen, they figured they'd better do what he asked and
eat a little crow and go on over to the jail and escort them out of the prison.
That's what they did too.
Then Paul and Silas went to Lydia's house where they encouraged the brothers. Then they left for their next stop
on their missionary journey.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Uh oh, it's supposed to get down to
35 degrees by 8 pm this evening. I have to get out my notes from last year so I know when to put the cones on the roses. Somehow
I don't think it's a good idea to put the cones on when it gets into the 60s during the daytime.
won't be long before the cold winds from the north come down out of Canada and bring a dusting of that white stuff. And
we will be welcomed by Mother Nature into yet another winter season. But then, spring wouldn't be so special if we didn't
I made a gift to Quint of a rolling cabinet. It's been part of the kitchen gear from condo days.
It had a microwave sitting on it, and a little cabinet for the crock pot and my mini-blender. And a side cabinet with a touch
type opening where I had stored just about every flavor of sugar free jello and puddings -- times 3!
put it downstairs in his workshop -- "The Shed," otherwise known as his "Screwdriver Repository." Now
he will have a nice surface to work on many woodworking projects that I have in mind for him. Like box shelf units for a variety
of places. The first one will be the kitchen wall where I have pretty much all my pots and pans hanging.
little box shelf will be just big enough for my collection of church cookbooks. My experience tells me that they are the best
recipes in the whole wide world. I also have some Junior League cookbooks too. They're all about the same size and they
have those plastic combed things for binders.
Anyway, now my kitchen floor has nothing on it. Not a thing. Even
the wastebasket is tucked away into a cabinet. And since we have a garbage disposal, there's not any garbage in there,
so things don't get messy.
THE COOKIE REPORT: Today will probably be moving day for Cookie. The feeding tube
was taken out this morning and she enjoyed a nice breakfast. I believe she will be going to Schwab Institute, which is part
of the Mt. Sinai group of facilities. She's in for a whole bunch of physical therapy.
I expect that by the
time they are done with her she'll be trying out for the Virginia Reel!
OFF TOPIC: That
was a huuuuge earthquake that struck Chile on Wednesday afternoon. It racked up a 7.7 on seismic activity.
then, today there were 2 aftershocks -- one was 6.2 and the other was 6.7.
Those aftershocks would be big as just
plain old earthquakes, but aftershocks?
JUST LIKE THE CONFUSIONISTAS TO SAY THE
IRAQ WAR IS COSTING $1.6 TRILLION
See, it goes like this. There's an appropriation resolution that
comes out of the House of Represenatives for, say, $500 billion for more support for the war in Iraq. Before it gets out of
the House, however, there are a whole bunch of earmarks that get added on.
You know -- favorite little projects
for a million here, a few hundred thousand there, and before you know it, by the time the earmark list gets around to all
435 representatives, that $500 billion resolution might total $800 billion. Let's just say.
Out of the 435
representatives, there are only 5 congresspersons who did not request earmarks. The whole list is shown at this site: http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=EarmarkRequests_2007_House
The list also tells you which representatives responded favorably or not to a request to provide a list of the earmarks
And those earmark projects in the defense bill? Could have to do with genetic research to make
corn or wheat more resistant to bugs and other vermin. Could have to do with paint for interstate overpasses. Could have to
do with testing the quality of water in Chesapeake Bay. Could have to do with help for spinach farmers. Could have to do with
shrimp boaters' matters. Could have lots of earmark requests that have nothing to do with the defense bill.
to the Porkbusters website, there are 1776 earmarks in this year's appropriations bill. The total pork requests from the
House came to $180 billion, while the Senate wanted to add $6.6 billion in pork spending. Here's the Porkbusters link:
And so, when it comes time to write media headlines, the entire bottom line figure, including all the
earmark projects, gets included. That $1.6 trillion might only be, in reality, $700 billion for an accumulated total. Since
the war began.
Remember the old saw, Figures don't lie, but liars can figure.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 15:1-41
This is the chapter where the question of circumcision is laid to
It all started when some guys came down from Judea to Antioch and challenged the message of salvation that
Paul and Barnabas were sharing with the Gentiles.
These men tried to impose Mosaic law that would require circumcision
in order for any of the Gentiles to be saved. Well, this led to a clear dispute from Paul and Barnabas were picked to
go back to Jerusalem for a meeting.
In their meeting, some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees
stood up and said (verse 5b): The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.
Bible text goes on to say that the apostles and elders met to consider this question (verses 7-11): After much discussion,
Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles
might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving
the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by
faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers
have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
The whole group was stunned. In verse 12, we read that "they became silent as they listened to Barnabas
and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them."
James stood up to address the group. This is James who was the brother of Jesus. He was the leader of the church at Jerusalem.
James basically removes circumcision as one of the Pillars of the Church, but leaves the other rules in place
that are related to other lifestyle matters. Let's listen to what James has to say (verses 13-21) -- Brothers,
listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself.
The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: "After this I will return and rebuild David's
fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles
who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages.
It is my judgment, therefore,
that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them
to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses
has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.
okay then. That seems clear enough. All that was left to do was write a letter and send it on along to the congregations at
Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. These towns were where this whole dispute was rising up.
Then, there was the question
of who would carry this letter, accompanying Paul and Barnabas. In verse 22 we learn that the men who were chosen were Judas
(called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.
This letter carried the opinion of the
Council at Jerusalem (verses 24-29): Greetings -- We have heard tht some went out from us without our authorization and
disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear
friends Barnabas and Paul -- men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending
Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden
you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the
meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
this letter was read to the congregation at Antioch, the people were glad for the encouraging nature of the message (verse
31). Then Judas and Silas went back to Jerusalem, but Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch where they continued to preach and
teach. In verse 35, we learn that others joined them in their preaching.
By the end of this chapter, we see that
a strong disagreement erupted between Paul and Barnabas. This apparently had to do with Barnabas' desire to have John
Mark accompanying them on a kind of tour of the new churches to see how these churches were doing.
But Paul doesn't
look too happy with John Mark. He told Barnabas that John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and really hadn't continued
with them in their work. The disagreement became vehement enough that Barnabas left. He took John Mark with him. They sailed
for Cyprus, which is where Barnabas had come from. Since John Mark was Barnabas' nephew, he was probably a Cypriot also.
Paul chose Silas to go with him to Syria and Cilicia where he wanted to strengthen the churches that had formed.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
In case you didn't notice a new web
site I just added to my main page, here's a place where you can go if you want to put a stop to getting all those catalogs
in the mail: www.catalogchoice.org/signup
I know -- catalog printing is a whole industry all unto itself, and one reader says it keeps the postal carriers
in business. Don't know if that's true or not. Catalogs between now and Christmas are measured in pounds delivered
and I doubt very much if the mail carriers will mind if my mail delivery is a few pounds less every week.
is a slow day. We're going to replenish our cupboards here in a little bit. Then to the library. And I think Quint went
off to pay the real estate taxes. We're going to try to burn some leaves this afternoon. Hopefully they'll be dry
after having had a day to dry them out from the rain the other evening.
Before I forget, welcome to readers from
Canada, Brazil, Germany and China, as well as the United States.
And thank you all for your kind words about the
Bible Studies. There's so much interesting information about the Apostle Paul's missionary journeys. Over a million
web sites, according to Google. Just type in "Paul's 1st missionary journey" and see what you get.
I even found a recap from the Book of Martyrs. It's about people who have been martyred for Christ since the
first century and goes all the way to the 1800s. Doesn't list them all by name -- it's a narrative recap but it does
have some interesting stories. The site is www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/foxbkmrt/foxmartyr.html
THE COOKIE REPORT: The swallow test that was supposed to have been done yesterday has been delayed until later this
The nurse said there was a big meeting yesterday with 15 of her medical attenders. The agenda included
lots and lots of physical therapy, picking up the radiation again, and the question of where this is all to be done.
I've not gotten any details as to where and when all this will take place. Or if.
STUDY: Acts 14:1-28
Paul and Barnabas did very well in Iconium. As was their usual, they went first to
the Jewish synagogue where their messages were so effective that many people -- both Jews and Gentiles alike -- came to believe
The plot thickens though, as we read in verse 2: But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the
Gentiles and poisoned their minds against their brothers.
Isn't that just like a bunch of unbelievers?
If you think it deterred Paul and Barnabas, you'd have to change your point of view. They spoke even more boldly.
In fact, by the Lord's grace, they were able to perform miracles in the name of the Lord. (verse 3)
people of Iconium were divided. Some believed. Some didn't. The ones who didn't were pretty inflamed. They developed
a plot to get ahold of Paul and Barnabas and stone them. (verse 5)
This is where and why Paul and Barnabas fled
from Iconium and headed for Lystra and Derbe, two Lycaonian cities. They preached the good news in these towns.
was in Lystra that Paul healed a man who had been crippled from birth. In verses 9-11, we read about what happened: He
listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, "Stand
up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
What happens next would be a comical
twist to this story if it hadn't been true. Read what happens next: When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted
in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they
called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls
and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
Oh brother! What
do you think you would do if a bunch of people in a strange city far away from home decided that you were a god and wanted
to worship you. But wait, they didn't think that Paul and Barnabas were just any little old tin cup god -- oh no -- they
figured that Barnabas was the big honcho -- Zeus. Paul got to be Hermes (also known as Mercury, the messenger) because he
was the main man speaker.
This is clearly not what these two apostles intended to have happen. The first thing
that Paul and Barnabas did was tear their clothes.This was the traditional Jewish way of showing enormous anguish. The they
ran into the crowd shouting at the people who had gathered. They told the crowd that they were men -- mere mortals -- just
like they were.
Then they confessed their belief in God to these people (verses 15b-18): We are bringing you
good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything
in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony. He has shown kindness
by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with
joy." Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
things" that they talked about is a reference to the Old Testament reference to false gods (1 Samuel 12:21 -- Do
not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.)
this must have been pretty upsetting to the people. And some Jews had come over to Lystra from Antioch and Iconium. They were
not friendly Jews either. They helped win the crowd over. They stoned Paul right on the spot. They didn't first drag him
outside the city to stone him; they just stoned him right there and left him for dead. Then they dragged him to the outside
of the city.
The disciples gathered around Paul. Can you imagine the horror that went through them? What do you
think they did? Say a few prayers for Paul? Do you think they might have wondered what they should do next?
their great surprise when Paul got up. He went back into the city! (verse 20b)
The next day Paul and Barnabas went
on to Derbe.
Just a note here, before we leave Lystra behind in our rear view mirrors. This is the city that the
disciple Timothy comes from. He was born in Lystra. We're going to meet Timothy on Paul's second missionary journey,
so hang onto this note until we get to the 16th chapter.
The rest of this chapter lists the various other towns
that Paul and Barnabas went to. Fortunately, Paul didn't get stoned again in any of them. They ended up in Antioch where
they stayed "a long time with the disciples." (verse 28)
A note in my Concordia Study Bible says
that this "long time" was probably more than a year.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Well, well, well. It looks like we're
going to go over 75,000 hits today. We're at 74,975 right now. And welcome to readers from China.
I have been
working on continuing education readings and this afternoon will take an open book test to send in for a couple of CEUs.
And Quint is lucky. He's getting quiche lorraine today for lunch. He likes quiche. I use 2% milk, not heavy cream
for my quiches though. Makes them more heart healthy, along with the egg beaters. Helps keep our cholesterol down.
The leaves will probably be too wet to burn today, even though the sun is shining now. We got 0.9 inches of rain during
the night so we'll have to let them dry out a day or so. This weekend ought to be suitable for that.
REPORT: Cookie has started her physical therapy. But boy is she ready to go home. I suspect she's even glad to be doing
that. Days can be so long just lying in a hospital bed. She's still somewhat confused and because she keeps trying to
get out of bed (to get dressed to go home), they have her restrained. That is never a happy thing.
Karen arrived from Kuwait City yesterday. I think her husband Alec is scheduled to arrive today. Cookie was glad to see her,
I'm sure. My daughter Sharon is going to hospital today to see Cookie.
Her nurse says she slept well through
the night, but has some pain upon awakening.
WOW! NOW THE NUNS ARE BEING CHARGED
Quint just handed me a report from Fox News about a Catholic nun who pleaded no contest on Monday for
fooling around with a couple of little boys back in the 60s.
The nun is 79 years old. She had sexual intercourse
with one boy more than 100 times when she was the principal at a school. Probably in the Milwaukee area since she entered
the plea in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
And since I used to live in Oak Lawn, I was amazed to learn that
Sister Sister lives in Oak Lawn. But she's 79 years old now and completely separated from all contact with minors.
I'm not going to list the nun's name, but here's the link if you want to read the Fox report: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,311026,00.html
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU TO ALL OUR MILITARY PERSONNEL -- PAST AND PRESENT ALIKE
No matter where you served, today is the day to stop and pause and say "THANK YOU from the bottom of
our hearts. Thank you for your service and thank you for my freedoms. We owe everything we have, as Americans, to our soldiers.
Freedom isn't free. It has been bought with the blood of American soldiers that stains so much earth
around the world.
We love you and we thank you. Each one of you.
Maps of the missionary journeys can be seen at: http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/CN092MAPS1.htm
This chapter launches Saul/Paul on his first missionary journey with Barnabas. While they were worshiping
the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said (verse 2b-3): Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have
called them. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
refers to people listed in the first verse of this chapter: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen
(who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
Interesting note here about the Holy Spirit. Sometimes
we think of the Holy Spirit as quietly working in the background -- making intercessions for us with the Lord
God. In verse 2, though, we see the Holy Spirit as being very proactive in calling people to get to work building God's
kingdom on earth.
When I look at the map that's at the web site linked above, it seems like this missionary
journey was a very big undertaking.
They left from the city of Syrian Antioch and walked to Seleucia. Not
far. It's about a quarter inch on the map -- in reality, just a few miles. Looks to be about ten miles or so.
Then they somehow arranged passage to Salamis on the island of Cyprus. There were Jewish synagogues on Cyprus,
so Paul and Barnabas immediately began preaching.
Incidentally, they had John Mark along as their assistant.
It's generally thought that this is the same Mark who wrote the second gospel.
There were many Jews
on Cyprus who had heard the message of Jesus Christ. They had come to this island after having been scattered by
the persecution in connection with Stephen (Acts 11:19).
Barnabas and Saul were all over this island, preaching
at every opportunity. When they got to Paphos, (about a hundred miles from their landing port on the island) they met a Jewish
sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus (verse 6).
proconsul is a kind of provincial governor. Since Cyprus was a Roman senatorial province, it would have a governor, or proconsul,
assigned to it. (Concordia Study Bible note, p. 1681).
What happens next is very interesting -- verses 7b-12):
The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas
the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who
was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, "You are a child of the devil
and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting
the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be
unable to see the light of the sun."
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped
about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at
the teaching about the Lord.
You'll note, as you continue your readings of the Book of Acts, that the
order of mention changes. We no longer see "Barnabas and Saul," but rather "Paul and Barnabas." That
is, until they get back to Jerusalem -- then it goes back to Barnabas and Paul.
The distinction between
"Saul" and "Paul" is one of language. "Saul" is Hebrew and "Paul" is Greek. But
from this point on, references are to Paul. Maybe because Paul begins his preaching phase to the Gentiles? At
least that's the thought in my Study Bible.
The journey continues, from verses 13-15: From Paphos, Paul
and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. From Perga they went on to Pisidian
Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue
rulers sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak."
And so Paul restates the gospel message to the people gathered in the synagogues in verses 16-37. He wraps up
his message with this important note (verses 36-41): Therefore, my brethren, I want you to know that through Jesus the
forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from the law of Moses. Take care
that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
"Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am
going to do something in your days that you would never believe even if someone told you."
With a message
like that, it's no wonder that the people invited Paul and Barnabas back to speak further about these things on the next
Sabbath. And when the next week came 'round, practically the whole town showed up to hear what they had to say!
If you think the Jews would be jealous when they saw the big turnout, you'd be right. The Jews even talked abusively
against what Paul was saying, it says in verse 45.
Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had
to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn
to the Gentiles.
For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that
you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored
the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. (verses 46-48)
The Jews were not
about to let this rest. They were still upset so they began inciting and stirring up persecution against Paul and Barnabas.
So you know what Paul did, dont' you?
In verse 51: So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against
them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Monday, November 12, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
The cricket that had taken up residence
in our basement must have found an escape hatch and scurried on outdoors. Little did he know that he was safer inside than
out there where it's frosted several times. Sure hope he's okay. Maybe it was a she.
I like crickets.
We have decided that every Sunday when we get home from church, we are going to reclaim all the horizontal surfaces
in the living room and dining room. I am happy to say that Week #1 went really well.
Quint and I both like to
have things organized but horizontal surfaces seem to attract papers and such things like a magnet. We have a lot of horizontal
surfaces in those two rooms, believe me. Every surface got a good polishing. So we stood around and patted each other on the
back for quite a little while. Enjoyed a cup of coffee while we were at it.
Since Quint did such a marvelous job
making the spice shelves in the kitchen, I have requested a smaller boxed in shelf for my favorite cookbooks. That will also
give me the added benefit of a shelf on top of the "box."
I'll put my hand-held ricer up there.
The ricer is older than dirt. It once belonged to my grandmother. Grandma Stubbe had a boarding house for Illinois Central
railroad engineers and conductors in Paducah, Kentucky. Grandma was a world champion cook. Fortunately she passed her recipes
down to my mom, who shared them with me. I also got Grandma's biscuit cutter which I have been using frequently now that
I have time in the mornings to make a civilized type breakfast for Quint and me. Quint will eat biscuits any time I care to
make them. It's not any trouble at all. I use one of those Bisquik biscuit packages and mix with buttermilk instead of
water. Can have biscuits in the oven quicker than Quint can make and butter toast.
THE COOKIE REPORT: I talked
to Cookie this morning. Her articulation continues to improve.
The nurse says she pulled the feeding tube out and
that had to be re-inserted. Cookie really wants to get out of the hospital.
I will admit that I'm a bit disturbed
because one of the first things she said to me was that our two brothers were not dead. When I asked her how she knew that,
she was very excited and said that they had come to see her.
Our youngest brother (James) died in 1988. Our other
brother (Allison) died in 2002. And then she became sad and said Mom had not come back. She said that Mom was there the other
day to see her.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 12:1-25
This chapter opens with information
about King Herod's persecution of the early Christians. In particular, James, the brother of John, was put to death with
the sword (verses 1-2).
So why would he put Peter in prison? In verse 3, we find out: When he saw that this
pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also.
This happened during the Feast of Unleavened bread.
After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended
to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
So Herod put Peter in jail and put sixteen guards on
him. Just to make sure Peter was not going to escape. Peter was chained -- probably to the wall -- between two guards. And
there were two sentries posted at the door of the entrance. (Probably the jail cell door. Don't know where the other 12
guards were placed.)
In another room, somewhere else in town, the people in the new church were praying for Peter.
After James was martyred, you can just imagine how earnest their prayers were for Peter's safety.
On the night
before Herod had planned to bring Peter out for trial, an angel appeared (verse 7): Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared
and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains
fell off Peter's wrists.
The angel continued with instructions for Peter to wrap his cloak around himself
and follow the angel.
In verse 9, we learn more about this encounter with the angel who was sent by God: Peter
followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing
Now we learn where the rest of the guards are placed (verse 10): They passed the first and
second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When
they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
About that time, Peter came to and
said to himself (verse 11b): Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches
and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.
Peter hurried over to Mary's house (the
mother of John, also called Mark). There were a lot of people gathered there. They were continuing their prayer vigil for
So Peter knocks at the outer gate. A servant girl named Rhoda answered the knock. But she was
so excited at seeing Peter that she ran inside to tell the others, without opening the gate for Peter to get in!
They didn't believe her anyway. The people inside tried to convince Rhoda that the man at the gate must be Peter's
But Peter kept knocking. Finally somebody came out to see who it really was. And in verse 16b: ...when
they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.
To say the least.
Peter motioned for
them to be quiet so he could tell them what had happened. Then, Peter left for another place, but not before instructing the
group to tell James and the brothers about what had happened.
Meanwhile, back at the palace. Things were not going
well for the guards. Herod was not pleased with the thought of losing his prisoner. Now the guards were in the hot spot and
after Herod cross-examined them, he ordered that they be executed.
Herod then headed for Caesarea to stay for a
while. He apparently was not getting along real well with the people of Tyre and Sidon. (These are cities in what would be
Lebanon today.) But then, the people came to Herod and asked for an audience. After all, they needed Herod to continue the
food supply from the king's storehouses.
So Herod put on his best royal robes and sat himself down on his royal
throne. He made a big royal speech to the public that had gathered. They were bedazzled by this awesome robe that Herod was
wearing. Josephus described it as a silver robe that was so shimmering and dazzling that the people said he must
be a god.
Herod didn't deny it.
Uh oh. Wrong thing to do. In verse 23: Immediately, because
Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
See what I mean? Herold should have gotten his theology right. There are not four people in the trinity!
As this chapter ends, we learn that the word of God continued to spread throughout the region.
time, Barnabas and Saul were finished with their mission and returned from Jerusalem.
A GOOD SHOWING FOR ANTI-IRAQ FILM
This was going to be a movie that 'splained things to us hicks in
the heartland. Since we apparently "don't get it" -- as Hollywood types have said -- they're gonna make
a movie to help us understand how wrong the war in Iraq is. The producers and directors out there in Hollywood just haven't
figured out yet that the American moviegoer is not going to tolerate the left wing propaganda. People go to movies to be entertained,
not talked down to.
Well, this time is was United Artists -- Tom Cruise's studio -- that made Lions for
Lambs. I read somewhere that they needed a rock bottom $8.5 million for the opening weekend. Lions came in fourth
with $6,710,000. One could say it bombed. Cruise reportedly played the part of a senator for next to nothing in salary. He
wanted his studio to look profitable, I guess.
Anyway, the movie got beat out by Jerry Seinfeld's bumblebee.
The Bee Movie picked up a big $26 million!
Coming in second was Denzel Washington's American
Gangster. It fetched $24,319,000. And Fred Claus got $19,225,000. After that, everything is single digits.
ONLY THE POLITICIANS AND THEIR MEDIA ARE CLAIMING RECESSION
here's the truth. Politicians don't get to say when the country has started in a recession.
Despite what you may hear from the highly tauted dusty old campaign trail, it's the National Bureau
of Economic Research that declares whether the United States is in a recession or not.
By a strict definition,
the Gross Domestic Product, has to decline for two consecutive quarters.
So, in 2007, the first quarter showed
an increase of .625% -- second quarter came in with 3.4%, and the third quarter showed an increase of 3.9%.
the tail end of 2006, the fourth quarter showed an increase of 2.5%.
So when you hear the political rhetoric from
now until Doomsday 2008, keep in mind that the candidates don't get to say we're in a recession. And if you ever go
to one of those rallies, ask the candidates if they know what the criteria for a recession is. Then sit back and watch them
I'll bet the don't know. I'll bet they mutter something about unemployment and inflation.
Just keep in mind that recessions are part of the ebb and flow of business cycles.
If there's anything good
at all about a recession is this: it cures inflation.
But it's not a foregone conclusion that we're going
to go into a recession anytime soon. If at all. The feds aren't done adjusting the interest rates yet.
Friday, November 9, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We had a wonderful time last night playing
Pinochle with our new friends, Naomi and Norm. And for about the fourth time in my entire life, I was dealt a double Pinochle.
That's how rare it is to get the Jack of Diamonds/Queen of Spades combination. Naomi and I made a decent showing teamed
against Quint and Norm. Naomi and I were getting good hands. Then we ate little sandwiches and I took lemon bars instead of
the lemon meringue pie. Naomi had chocolate chip cookies too.
It's still chilly here in Effingham. We have
a new programmable thermostat that Quint installed back in the summer. It goes down to 62 degrees at 9 pm and kicks back up
to 70 degrees at 6 am. We started doing that last winter when we were still in the condominium and noticed that our heating
costs went down 30% for the winter!
THE COOKIE REPORT: I am happy to say that my sister was moved out of the neuroscience
critical care unit and back to a "regular" critical care unit. I was actually able to talk to her on the phone this
Her speech is still somewhat garbled but I think her articulation is slightly improved. Before, it was
like one big long word, where now, I can hear word separations. She sounded chipper. She didn't remember throwing a pillow
at her nurse the other day. She laughed when I told her. I told her we were glad to see that she was not paralyzed as a result
of the surgery.
Some optimism is returning to me, albeit a very cautious outlook. She still has to have the lobectomy
and then there's the radiation and chemotherapy still looming on the horizon. And the not too far distant horizon, either.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 11:1-30
The word of faith was spreading like wildfire
throughout the region. People all over the area came to believe and be comforted with salvation for their sins. There was
a growing contingent of new believers who were Greek. That was not lost on the Jews in Jerusalem. The Jews called Peter to
task on this when he made his journey back to Jerusalem (verse 3): You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate
Peter then reiterated to the Jews everything that had happened to him while he was in Joppa. He
summed up his dissertation with these words in verse 17: So if God gave them the same gifts as he gave us, who believed
in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?
The Jews couldn't argue with that
point. We get their reaction in verse 18: When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying,
"So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."
As we get further into the chapter,
we read that Barnabas goes to Tarsus to look for Saul. When he found Saul, he brought him back to Antioch.
get this -- for a whole year, Barnabus and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were
called Christians first at Antioch.
And then, a profound miracle occurred (verses 27-30): During this time
some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that
a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, each
according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the
elders by Barnabas and Saul.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
I am going to the office supply store today
and get dividers for each month for a little notebook that will be used for gardening notes. I cannot remember what I'm
supposed to do each month to the different flowers. So it's time to get it all written down and organized by month. Might
even do a check-off list. Might be helpful until the time comes when I'll be able to just "wing it." Right now,
I'm way too much of an amateur. You should see my poor little plants after I give them a pruning, even though it
seems to keep them robust. I don't do anything that those people on the Master Gardener program would call "severe"
though. But I do follow my grandma's advice and prune during the dark of the moon. I've never forgotten that advice from
the expert gardening sage.
We're going to play Pinochle tonight with our new friends from church. We have
to go out Highway 32 to the red barn, then turn right and follow the road for a quarter mile. We're looking for a farm
that has a white fence around it. How did we ever live without cell phones?
I remember one time right after
my mom passed away when we were rather exuberant in our cleaning at her house. If the auctioneer didn't want
it, and relatives hadn't come to claim what they wanted, and the community resale shop didn't want it, stuff
had to be tossed out. To be truthful, what we threw out were items like outdated canned goods, zillions of those plastic tubs
that some people just can't seem to throw out, and other things that just would not be useful to anybody but
Well, my sister and I thought her garbage pick-up bill had been paid through the end of the month. It wasn't. One
of the neighbors was making a claim of "aesthetic nuisance." Yes, they can do that. So we called the garbage
collectors and sure enough, she was paid through the end of the month. For a big garbage can. Not for half a house full of
trash. (Forgive the hyperbole.)
Off we rode to the garbage store out in the country where the landfill was.
If you think it's hard to find your way around a new city, try going out into the country where roads are
just numbered by some mysterious numbering system known only to the people who live there.
That must be how
they keep the tourists and unfamiliars back up on the hard road, and away from the local folks.
So I got
lost. You knew that was coming, didn't you? Then I get on the phone with this nice lady at the garbage store and she guided
me in. Then I got on a road that stretched all the way to forever. I could see all the way to the horizon and nothing was
in sight, except cows.
She said, "Now make a right hand turn at the T-intersection."
I thought. Sure hope she remembers that I'm lost. Then she told me to turn into the first driveway I came to.
That seemed mysterious. How did she know where I was, I wondered. So I asked her. "Because I'm watching you,"
she said. And sure enough, about a half mile down the road, there was a building. One of those Morton looking buildings.
It was their office! And she was standing out on a landing type front porch waving at me.
When I got out of
the car, I laughed and asked her, "Bet you don't get many big city types out here who get lost so easy, do you?"
And being the kind lady that she was, she said, "Oh, you'd be surprised. Even the folks in town have trouble
finding this place."
All's well that ends well. The extra stuff we threw out was picked up by the end
of that very same day. But then, when we got back to mom's house, garbage pickers were going through the stuff. I thought,
"Where were you when we needed you?"
THE COOKIE REPORT: Still no change. Another test for swallowing
and speech today. She is more alert today and talking more, but the speech is garbled and I'm sure that must be frustrating
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 10:1-48
We meet a new character in this chapter
of Acts. His name is Cornelius.
Cornelius is a God-fearing man and his life shows the richness of his faith as
he leads his daily life. He gives to the poor. He prays regularly.
He is a centurion in the Italian regiment. He
headquartered in Caesarea, a town about thirty miles north of Joppa. A centurion was a commander of about 100 men. It was
part of a Roman legion of some 6,000 men. This legion was broken down into various regiments. So a centurion commanded about
1/6 of a regiment. The note in my Concordia Study Bible says that centurions were carefully picked and usually had
noble blood running through their veins.
So one afternoon, about 3 o'clock, an angel of the Lord came to Cornelius
and told him to send for Peter down in Joppa. The angel even gave Cornelius specific directions to find Peter: He is staying
with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea. (verse 6)
Cornelius immediately sent men to Joppa to find
Peter and bring him back.
The next day, Peter goes up on the roof of his friend's house. Must have been a beautiful
sight, there on the warm shores of the Mediterranean. Verse 9 tells us that it's about noon. High noon in the middle east
would have been warm indeed. The roof was a place that afforded Peter privacy for his prayers.
Then, in verse
10, we learn that Peter became hungry and wanted something to eat. While this meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.
This is where he sees heaven open up and he sees all sorts of animals and reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, "Get
up Peter. Kill and eat." (verse 13)
Oh no. Peter did not want to eat a lot of those things that were in that
large sheet that came down from heaven. After all, there were unclean things in there. Things that he had never eaten in his
Then the voice spoke to him a second time (in verse 15): Do not call anything impure that God
has made clean.
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
Peter was sitting there wondering what this vision might mean, the three men from Cornelius were knocking at the gate.
Then the voice came back to Peter and said (in 19b-20): Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go
downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.
I've often heard people tell me, in
counseling sessions, that when they wondered what they ought to be doing, that they wished God would just tell them. And I
always remind them that God does talk to us. In that still, small whisper deep inside us that we sometimes think of as a hunch.
We get clear instructions, all right. Problem is, we second guess them. We don't pay attention to them. But we ought to.
The more we listen to this small voice, the stronger it becomes. Eventually, as we mature in our faith, we recognize it as
the voice of God whispering to us.
So Peter went out to the gate and met the men. They explained to Peter how
they happened to be there looking for him, and they were under orders to bring him back to Cornelius who wanted to hear what
Peter had to say.
The next day, Peter set out with these three men and some of his friends from Joppa who wanted
to go with him.
When they got back to Cornelius' house, Cornelius knelt at Peter's feet in reverence.
Cornelius had organized a big gathering with all his friends and relatives.
Peter went inside and saw all these people.
He then reveals the purpose of his coming to Caesarea (verse 28-29): You are well aware that it is against
our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or
unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?
Cornelius told Peter and the other people gathered there about the angel who had appeared to him and instructed him to go
Peter then continued (verses 34-43): I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism
but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel,
telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning
in Galilee after the baptism that John preched -- how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how
he went around doing good and healing all who were under teh power of the deveil, because God was with hi.
witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but
God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seend. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses
whom God had already chosen -- by us who ate and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
He commanded us to
preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets
testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came into the group and filled everyone with the gift of the Holy Spirit -- everyone,
even the Gentiles.
They were able to speak in tongues. They wanted to be baptized.
Peter ordered that
they all be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
We welcome readers from the Russian Federation,
China, Brazil and South Korea -- and, of course, the United States!
I am still amazed by the number of people who
are logged on to this site at all hours of the day and night. And from your e-mails, I know that many of you are reading the
Bible Studies along with your own translations. Special welcomes to all of you in Christ's name. I pray that the Bible
Studies will somehow enrich your lives and bring peace and joy to you.
My sister Cookie continues to be about the
same. But then, it's only been a few days since the horrendous surgery that removed a malignant tumor from her cerebellum.
An evaluation yesterday showed the situation to be about the same. Swallowing difficult and speech garbled.
liken that to my own patients who have had strokes. Recovery will be a slow process with many long hours in rehab, no doubt.
But, looking on the bright side of things, her vision is well intact. For a person who is such an avid reader,
that's definitely good news. I may have mentioned earlier that it is nothing for Cookie to read an entire book a day.
Sometimes she'd get through half of a second book. Reading will be a blessing to her when she sits in those waiting rooms
for the tests that most likely will be coming soon.
Please continue to lift your prayers to God for her healing
We'll be blowing leaves around again this afternoon. One maple is finished shedding, but there
are two other maples that are just starting to give up their leaves, as well as an box elder. We planted a red bud this summer
in honor of my mother. Of all the trees on the planet, the red bud was her absolute favorite. She would go on "safaris"
with her friends in the spring to spot red buds. And in southern Illinois and western Kentucky, there are a lot of them. There's
even a town named Red Bud in Illinois. They're so pretty in the spring when the early leaves are a lavenderish, lacy
foliage. Eventually, green leaves take over and the tree just looks like an ordinary, green-leaf tree.
I have a ham quiche in the oven. It's Quint's favorite. But then, anything ham is his favorite. He could eat ham
three times a day and be perfectly happy.
My bread turned out much better yesterday with the two packages of yeast.
I used half the dough to knead in some cinnamon and Splenda. The other half is just whole wheat rolls.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 9:1-43
This chapter describes the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, the man who
hunted down the Christians and (verse 1) breathed out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples.
day Saul was going to go on over ride to Damascus, but first he went to the high priest and asked for letters to
the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them
as prisoners to Jerusalem. (verses 1b-2)
On the way to Damascus, Saul's cosmic clock struck his moment
See, this big light beamed down out of heaven. Made Saul fall down off his two good feet. Then he started
hearing voices. Well, a voice. Not sure he would recognize the voice of Jesus, since he had never actually met Jesus
Christ. But there was no mistaking who the voice belonged to when Jesus asked, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute
me?" (verses 3-4)
So naturally, Saul asked, "Who are you Lord?" (verse 5a)
answered (verses 5b-6): I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what
you must do.
There were other men with Saul and they were really surprised. Here they saw Saul fall down,
then this big light beam came down from heaven, and now, when Saul was getting up, he realized he was blind. Saul's friends
led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days, Saul didn't eat anything, didn't drink anything, and he was still
blind. And he was praying.
Well, there was this man called Ananias who also lived in Damascus. He was one of the
disciples. The Lord came to him in a vision and gave him these instructions (verses 11-12): Go to the house of Judas on
Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come
and place his hands on him to restore his sight.
So far so good up to this point. But Ananias reminded Jesus
that this Saul guy was the same man who had done so much harm to the saints in Jerusalem and even now, on this very afternoon,
he was carrying papers from the chief priests to arrest all the people who were worshiping Christ.
in so many words, told Ananias, "Oh, I know all that. But I've picked this man to carry my message to the Gentiles
and their kings as well as the people of Israel." And then Jesus added this thought, in verse 16: I will show him
how much he must suffer for my name.
And then the miracle occurred (verses 17-19): Then Ananias went to
the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord -- Jesus, who appeared to you on
the road as you were coming here -- has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately,
something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some
food, he regained his strength.
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. He started preaching
the word of God right away in the synagogues -- telling everyone that Jesus was the Son of God.
Can you just imagine
the reaction of the people who heard Saul? They must have thought something like, "Hey, wait a minute. This is the same
guy that used to run the believers down and haul them off to jail. Didn't he come here to take us all prisoners? He's
got the papers on him, you know.
But no matter, because we read in verse 22: Yet Saul grew more and more powerful
and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
Now the Jews were conspiring
to kill Saul. They were on the lookout for him day and night. But Saul's followers put him in a big basket and lowered
him through an opening in the city wall.
He went on to Jerusalem and pretty much got the same reaction from the
disciples as he had gotten at first in Damascus.
Barnabus stood up for Saul though. He told the disciples
the story of what had happened to Saul on the way to Damascus. And how Saul was preaching fearlessly in Damascus.
So here was Saul, now preaching in Jerusalem, and debating with the Grecian Jews -- keep in mind that Saul was Greek --
but they were trying to kill Saul. The disciples learned of these plots so they sent Saul back to Tarsus.
was a great time of growth for the church throughout the region, in Judea, Galilee and Samaria. The church was strengthened
by the Holy Spirit as it grew in numbers.
Peter also was traveling about the country performing miracles and preaching
Christ crucified. While Peter was in Lydda, he learned of a disciple named Tabitha (which was translated to "Dorcas").
Tabitha died. Peter was summoned. He knelt to pray and then turned toward the dead woman and said, "Tabitha, get up."
With that, Tabitha opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped
her to her feet. (verse 40b-41a)
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Cookie report: About the same as yesterday.
There will be some testing today insofar as her ability to swallow is concerned. Most likely looking for presence of dysarthria
which would account for the continued slurring of speech too. If that's the case, then the verbal working memory may be
affected as well as rehearsal time that we use up for articulation. Recuperation is going to be a long haul with many long
hours of rehabilitation.
But I am thankful with what Cookie has left. She's such an avid reader and I am thankful
that her visual abilities do not appear to be damaged. This will help her get through many long hours of what may have otherwise
been tedious prisons of boredom. She was always reading. Always. She'd read before going to school at the breakfast table.
She'd rush home from school to pick up her book where she'd left off. Then after supper, she'd be reading again.
She just plain old loved to read. Still does. She could read a book and a half every day. Maybe two books. Reading has always
been her most favorite pastime. She so looked forward to retirement so that she could read all day.
But for my
most immediate concerns, changes in Cookie's cognitive resources are at the top of my list. But then, I'm a cognitive
therapist so I tend to watch for microscopic changes in mannerisms of people who have come to me after having had strokes,
or any number of reasons why cognitive problems may surface, including PTSD, attempted suicides and depressions. Cognitive
deficits are about thinking, awareness, and understanding.
Thank you again for your prayers. They are profoundly
meaningful to anyone who is suffering the profound injuries such as a tumor resection from the cerebellum. Even though she
is sleeping deeply, for the most part, she appears to be having more times of alertness each day. And sleep, when it comes,
seems to be more restful.
Blessings to each of you.
CHEER ONE FOR GOD!
The first lob over the net came several years ago when the hoosie-whatsies said that Christian children could not pray in
school. These atheists hang their hats on the peg that says there should be separation of church and state. "Says so
in the constitution," they say.
Ahem. Here's what the U.S. Constitution actually says: Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
The strong words in there say that Congress can't set up a state religion -- like the one
the colonists had back in jolly old England. Nope. They were going to make sure that this didn't happen on this side of
Maybe they remembered all that fallout flap because Henry the 8th wanted to divorce wives and his Catholicness
wouldn't allow such things. Maybe they remembered all those dead men walking who lived in the Tower because they took
part in setting up the Church of England.
Well, over here, there was not going to be a Church of the Colonies.
Congress was specifically forbidden to set up a church state.
So then, over time, the meaning of this first amendment
has eroded to the point where children can't even pray in schools at the beginning of each day. Not that all these individual
school districts were going to set up churches in their schools anyway.
Then, wouldn't you know it. Because
people -- children and teachers alike -- can't pray out loud, they pretty much resigned themselves to starting their days
with moments of silence.
That sounds like a horribly lopsided compromise to me. And all because some parents of
some kids were offended by other kiddos who wanted to pray.
I mean, why not have a place where the children who
want to pray could go for a few minutes? Can't do that either. The children who don't want to pray, like maybe the
one atheist left behind might feel "singled out."
But wait! I thought expressing what you believe in
was supposed to make you proud. Are you saying that the atheist child left sitting in a classroom would be ashamed of what
he or she believed in? What does an atheist believe in anyway?
So, to recap, we can't pray in schools. And
it apparently is not even okay to observe a moment of silent prayer. Because if you observe silent prayer, then people will
know you're in there somewhere in your head saying a quiet little prayer to God!
Wouldn't you know it!?
Somebody sued to have the silent observance also removed!
We're talking about 15 seconds of silence, folks.
Rob Sherman, a talk radio host, filed the suit to stop the silent observance. He has a 14 year old daughter who attends
a school in District 214 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
There was a law passed by the Illinois legislature. It's
called The Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed the law. The state legislature overrode
Sherman describes himself as the "best known atheist-activist in the Midwest."
a federal judge in Chicago refused to grant an injunction that would stop District 214 from observing this moment of silence.
And 15 seconds is just that. A very brief spit of time.
Everybody has to come back to court on November 14 to talk
some more. The lawsuit itself still stands.
Sherman is well out of step with the granddaddy of all atheists, Antony
Flew. He's the 81 year old debater in favor of atheism and has been running around for decades trying to make believers
out of his theory that the onus of proof that there is a God rests upon the theist.
Well, maybe since he's
now a octogenarian and realizing that if there just might be a God, he'd better make his peace. Who knows what his thought
processes are and it really doesn't matter because everybody has until that last gasp of breath to make a conscious decision
about God, and confessing sins, and asking for forgiveness. I am not the Decider about who goes to heaven or hell, but I,
for one, thank God that Flew finally had this to say: It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about
constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism.
new book, There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, was scheduled for release
on October 23, 2007.
Here's my cite: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/flew.html
P.S. Does this mean I could have been sued when I was adjunct professor of psychology at both Moraine Valley
College or Joliet Junior College? Oh, there were no "official" announcements of silence for prayer but I could tell
that students were deeply contemplative about something before tests. Don't think for one moment that I would have made
those reflective students go out in the hall to finish those silent conversations they were having. There's no such thing
as atheism on exam day. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!
HIGH SCHOOLS ARE
"DROP OUT" FACTORIES
Here's a web site worth checking out: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21532193/
It's an interactive map of each state in the United States. Click on an individual state and you'll see
the percentage of high schools in that state that have less than 60% of the high school students who graduate.
schools that do not hold onto at least 60% of its students are called "drop out factories."
the only state that does not have a single drop out factor in the entire state.
South Caroline has the highest
percentage: 52% of the high schools have drop outs.
Nevada has 44% drop outs -- that's where Senate Majority
Harry Reid comes from.
California has 12%. That's where the world's most powerful woman, Speaker of the
House, Nancy Pelosi, comes from.
There are actually two states that are worse than Illinois, where the rate is
10%. Actually there are a number of states that are worse than Illinois. Take a look.
The research was done by
Johns Hopkins University for the Associated Press. The study identified 1,676 studies nationwide that were identified as drop-out
Know what I think? Okay, since you asked.
High school students are adolescents. Adolescents
are going through a giant hormonal upheaval. They have a lot going on inside their bodies and specifically inside their brains.
Neural pathways are trying to get hardwired. And that's a race that's going on until -- finally -- at about age 15,
most of the little neurons have found their resting place or have set up neural pathways.
In the meantime, brain
busywork creates fatigue. Adolescents also don't want to go to sleep. Every parent on the planet knows this. After all,
they might lose out on something magnanimous, you know.
So who in the world ever thought up something as horrible
as zero hour? Do you really think high school students are able to be fully functioning at 7 am? For anything?
say we let them stay home and sleep in another hour, get up and eat breakfast, then go to school.
Oh, and another
thing. Let them have their moments of prayer in school.
Teachers can do this without literally making a federal
case out of it. You can tell if your students are contemplating something. You just don't have to say, "Let's
take a break here for a silent meditation." You don't have to do it that way. Just don't interrupt them when
they are meditating.
It's called honoring your students.
Acts 8:1-40 (developing)
To get a view of Philip's and Peter's Missionary Journeys, go here: http://bibleseek.blogspot.com/2006/02/map-of-philips-and-peters-missionary.html
This chapter opens with a second verse noting that Saul was present at Stephen's death -- giving his approval
for Stephen's execution. In verse 2 we read: Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.
the persecutions began for the young Christian church (verse 3): But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house
to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.
They still preached about Christ no matter
where they were (verses 5-8): Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard
Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evils spirits came
out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
We are introduced
to a man named Simon the Sorcerer in verse 9. He sounds kind of like a Houdini because he was able to do some pretty amazing
tricks. And if he had had his own TV show, I guess you could have likened him to a David Copperfield. That's how well
known he was in Samaria. The people who came to see his amazing magic tricks said that he even had divine powers.
And then, in verse 12, we see the power of the Holy Spirit become evident because when people heard Philip, they believed
the good news of the kingdom of God. In verse 12b-13, ...and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and
women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles
Word got back to the apostles who had stayed behind in Jerusalem. When they heard that people in Samaria
had accepted the word of God, they went up there. (verses 15-17) When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might
receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the
name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on the worshipers. It was like he pleaded, "Give
me some of that." He even offered to buy the power of the Holy Spirit from the apostles (verse 18, 19).
gives Simon a little mini-sermon (verses 20-23): Peter answered, "May your money perish with you, because you thought
you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before
God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.
For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."
With that, Peter and John returned to
Jerusalem, preaching the gospel as they went along.
Now Philip took off on another long journey. This one was at
the direction of an angel who had come to him and said, "Go south to the road -- the desert road -- that goes down
from Jerusalem to Gaza." So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge
of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was
sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet.
The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot
and stay near it."
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet.
"Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.
"How can I," he said, "unless
someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. (verses 26-31)
at some length. Philip was able to answer the eunuch's many questions as they traveled along the road together. Philip
even baptized the eunuch when they came to some water.
And in verses 39 and 40, we learn of another miracle: When
they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but
went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until
he reached Caesarea.
PSYCHOLOGY: YOUR ANGER GIVES YOU PLENTY OF WARNING SIGNS. ARE YOU
If you can't hear the warning signs that anger gives to you while it's on its way toward
twisting up your psyche, you are going to have problems a'plenty with your social, professional and family relationships.
You need to pay attention to what is happening inside your body -- the tensions that start building inside you;
maybe you're one of those people whose pulse starts to race.
Whatever the signals that your body sends to you,
you ought to pay attention because it's nature's way of letting you buy some time to cool down. This cooling down
will help you think more rationally and not fly off at the handle. When you get to that point, you're going to have to
work overtime to calm yourself down.
Take a short walk. There's a huge amount of energy bundled up in anger
so when this happens, you're going to need some kind of physical outlet. Can you go down into your basement
and pound on some nails? Can you go out for a jog? If you don't like the bruising that jogging does to you, then
how about a fast-paced walk?
For some people, listening to music or even playing an instrument will help
you refocus your anger energy.
And yes, counting to ten does help. It helps because it lets you change
Lots of times, people get into angry tug-of-wars because they rise to the bait that someone else puts
out there. How much solution-building do you think is going to come out of two people trying to convince each other that the
other person is to blame?
Blaming someone else is childish behavior. It gets you about as far as it did when you
were a kid.
The truth is getting out of your anger is your responsibility. It's not up to other people to
soothe you. By the time we get to be adults, one of the things we learn to do along the way is become self-soothing.
Monday, November 5, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
First of all, welcome visitors from
Brazil, South Korea, Portugal, China, and Kuwait. And, of course, our great friends here in the good ole U.S.A. Nice to have
to with me and thank you one zillion times from my sister, Cookie, and me for all your prayers and concerns.
seems like a lifetime ago since her crainiotomy. But it was only Friday morning. She remains sedated to a certain degree.
That will give her some peace and quiet in her head so that some pretty powerful healing can take place.
says that she is responsive to commands. That's a very good thing. Paralysis was a very real possibility.
she passed over a big hurdle. Not sure when she will be released. Her neurosurgeon thought the release date would only be
a couple of days. She may be released back to her first hospital -- Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen -- or back
to her home to prepare for another surgery -- a lobectomy to remove the lobe where the lung tumor has taken up residence.
So my life will be filled with such activities as cleaning and cooking. That's what I do when I'm stressed.
Quint likes the cooking part -- today it will be more whole wheat bread. I'm going to double the amount of yeast I use.
It's not rising the way I want bread to be.
BIBLE STUDY: Acts 7:1-60
the chapter opens, Stephen is back before the Sanhedrin to explain the charges against him. He began by reiterating the story
of Abraham and the land that was given to Abraham by none other than God himself.
More than that, Abraham, who
did not have any children yet, was also promised by God that his descendants would inherit this land after Abraham. In verses
6-8, Stephen recounts to the Sanhedrin just what God said and exactly what God meant by what he said: God spoke to him
in this way: "Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated
four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves." God said, "and afterward they will come
out of that country and worship me in this place." Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became
the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob
became the father of twelve patriarchs.
Stephen goes on to tell the story of how the patriarchs were jealous
of Joseph and sold him into slavery. Joseph did well in Egypt, though, because God took care of him and rescued him for all
his troubles (verse 10).
Except for the anguish that Joseph must have felt just knowing that his brothers had
did something so horrible to him.
Jealousy is a painful thing because it's an inward pain that comes out of
a person's heart sideways and it curls around its victims and fills them with anguish. So there was Joseph, fearing the
worst when he was bought.
And there was Joseph in tearful, heart-wrenching pain when he realized that his own
flesh and blood didn't want to have anything to do with him. How useless would that make you feel?
had something else in mind for Joseph. God gave Joseph great wisdom. Joseph gained the goodwill of Pharaoh who made him ruler
over Egypt and all his palace (verse. 10b).
That all happened before the famine came. This was a big famine. It
wiped out the food cellars in Egypt and back in Canaan. Well, actually, Joseph had put some grain aside for emergency and
word got back to Jacob that there was grain in Egypt. So they trekked on down to Egypt.
They apparently had no
idea that their little brother would ever be the decider of whether they'd get grain or not. In fact, in verse 13, it
says that it was on their second visit down to Egypt that Joseph let on that they were dealing with him, their long-lost brother.
By this time, Jacob's family had grown and grown. There were now 75 members of Jacob's family. Joseph
wanted them all to come live in Egypt.
Well, people have a way of getting old and dying. This was as true back
in those days of old as it is nowadays. And sure enough, the Pharaoh who had placed Joseph in such high regard also died.
The new king guy wasn't as nice. Just how not nice is revealed in verse 19: He dealt treacherously with
our people and oppressed our forefathers by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
This is where Moses comes into the picture. When Moses was about three months old, he was placed outside. Pharaoh's
daughter more or less adopted Moses and raised him as her own son. He got the best education that money could buy.
Well, when Moses turned forty years old, he decided to go visit his kin. He wasn't happy to see them being mistreated
by an Egyptian and rose to his kin's defense. Actually, he killed the Egyptian. Not a good idea!
next day, Moses saw two Israelites fighting. This time they were fighting with each other. What in the world for? It's
bad enough that the Israelites had gotten into trouble the day before with the Egyptian, who was now dead, but this time,
they were wasting the power and the passion fighting against their own beloved kin. They were squandering the love they should
have had for each other.
In verse 26b, Moses said: Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?
In so many words, the Israelites said to Moses, (verses 27b-29): "Who made you ruler and judge over
us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?" When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he
settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
Moses lived there for forty years. Then (verses 30-34) we learn about
the famous Sunday School story: ...an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount
Sinai. When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to look more closely, he heard the Lord's voice:
"I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to
Then the Lord said to him, "Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground.
I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free.
Now come, I will send you back to Egypt."
Stephen tells the Sanhedrin that this is the same Moses who
led the Israelites through the desert for forty years.
And this was the same Moses who told the Israelites (verses
37-38): This is that Moses who told the Israelites, "God will send you a prophet like me from your own people."
He was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received
living words to pass on to us.
But the Isrealites didn't obey Moses. You guessed it. They rejected him
and in their hearts, they wanted to go back to Egypt. Maybe they figured that even in the famine years, life was better than
wandering around in a desert with scorpions and sidewinders and living off the manna from heaven. I mean, they couldn't
even get a good supply of manna built up because it turned wormy if they tried to keep it overnight.
So they told
Aaron (verse 40-41): Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt -- we don't
know what has happened to him!" That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to
it and held a celebration in honor of what their hands had made.
And this, my friends, is where God turned
his back on the Israelites.
I mean, did they really think that Aaron could find a god who would go ahead of them
as the Lord God Almighty had done to lead them out of Egypt? They forgot that it was God who found them, not the other
But by this time, they were pretty full of themselves. Guess they thought Aaron could just go
out into the hills around their encampment and find a god to lead them back to Egypt.
All relationships have
a tipping point, and it sounds to me like this was the tipping point for the Israelites. This time they had really done it.
They didn't just ignore those commandments that God had given to Moses -- they broke the first one that ordered them
never -- not ever -- build a god to worship instead of the Lord God Almighty.
It was here that God said (verse
43b): I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.
Stephen reviews the plight of the Israelites all the
way through to the time of David, who had found favor with God. But it was not David who built the tabernacle, but rather,
his son Solomon who built the house for him. Then Stephen says (verses 48-50): However, the Most High does not live in
houses made by men. As the prophet says, "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house
will you build for me?" says the Lord. "Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?"
Well, up to that point, Stephen was reviewing some Israelite history before the Sanhedrin.
My guess is that he had their attention. There were probably soft summer breezes blowing through the windows and doorways.
But then -- look out. Here comes the point Stephen had been brought to the Sanhedrin to make (verses 51-53): You stiff-necked
people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever
a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you
have betrayed and murdered him -- you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed
The Sanhedrin really got angry at Stephen. They did not like to hear all this telling and re-telling
of what Peter had already told them and accused them of being responsible for the death of Jesus Christ.
gets the most important last word in (verse 56): "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God."
[I would like to make a note here that the "...Son of Man standing
at the right hand of God." If you recall, there are references in other places in the Scripture to the high priests doing
their work in the temple always standing because their work was never finished. And there are other Biblical references to
Jesus sitting at the right hand of his Father in heaven. This particular verse 56 says that Jesus is standing. Wouldn't
you think that this is filled with the meaning that in this time immediately following the death and resurrection of Christ,
that he still is anticipating the work that has yet to be done so he is not sitting down next to his Father? I find this particular
verse rich with meanings.]
Members of the Sanhedrin heard all that they were going to hear. They dragged Stephen
out of the city and started stoning him.
But guess who else was present at this murderous scene? (verse 58b): ...the
witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
This is none other than the Saul who would
later be converted to the Apostle Paul. Don't lose the fact that Saul was responsible for hunting down and killing Christians
in those days of early Christianity.
But for now, Stephen prays (verse 60): Lord, Jesus, receive my spirit."
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell
Sunday, November 4, 2007
MY LIFE IN INK --
Quint and I have returned home. Somehow
the chore of raking and burning leaves was a welcome relief.
The neurosurgeon at the University of Chicago Medical
Center actually removed the entire tumor that was embedded in the cerebellum -- not near it, not on it, but actually in it.
The tumor was 3 1/2 centimeters in diameter. Now for radiation which will hopefully get any little stowaway cells that
may be hiding out in little nooks and crannies elsewhere in the brain.
And, of course, there remains the other
project of removing the upper right lobe of the lung where the other tumor is located.
Thank you all for your prayers.
I have copied each one and given them to Cookie.
We welcome July readers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, India, Latvia, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden,
Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam and United
This video is the most beautiful depiction of what happens
in the womb when the baby is developing and growing. The video was developed by Yale professor Alexander Tsiaras. Just beautiful.
Warning, though. Some of the images are graphic. But nothing gross. It is just a reminder to me that life is a beautiful baby
and life is absolutely precious. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyljukBE70&feature=player_embedded#!
July 29, 2012
Update on Quint: He
is making an incredible recovery. The skin cancer is essentially gone. When we met with the surgeon for a post-op appointment
on Friday, we learned that the biopsy of the frozen section shows all the cancer was removed. The incision is healing nicely.
It's about a 6" incision down the side of his face in front of the left ear. The doctor put so many stitches in that
any scar is hardly visible. Thanks to all for prayers you have been lifting up for his health. The surgeon says there are
dissolving stitches in three levels of tissue. We also met with our oncologist last week and he says the lymphocitic/leukemia
will continue to make Quint vulnerable to skin cancers. Please keep him in your prayers so that all his cancers, and mine
as well, will remain in remission.
I received the following about a child's reason for why he believes in God
from our friends, John and Sherre, in Wichita, KS:
Little Boy's Explanation of God
He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment,
to 'explain God.'
I wonder if any of us
could have done as well?
'One of God's main jobs is making people.
He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there
will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't
make grownups, just babies. I
think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up
time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'
'God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some
people, like preachers
and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to
the radio or TV because of this. Because
he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in
his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'
'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you
shouldn't go wasting
his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you
'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista [California]. At least
aren't any who come to our church.'
'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles
and trying to teach
the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him
preaching to them and they crucified him.
But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his
father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive
them and God said O.K.'
'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him
he didn't have to
go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps
his dad out by listening to prayers
and seeing things which are important for God to take care of
and which ones he can take care of himself without having
to bother God. Like a secretary, only more
'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of
them is on duty
all the time.'
'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to
Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And
sun doesn't come out at the beach untilnoon anyway.'
'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your
parents can't go everywhere
with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when
you're scared, in the dark or when you can't
swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big
'But. . .you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can
take me back
anytime he pleases.
And...that's why I believe in God.'
July 13, 2012
Quint is recuperating
from surgery on July 11, 2012. Surgeon removed a growth on left cheek that turned out to be squamous cell cancer. Prognosis
is good because doctor says he got good margins. Please continue to pray for him. He has a 4" incision on left cheek
from about the corner of his eye all the way down to jawbone. Looks worse than it is.
In another matter, this
link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2172551/Art-genius-Nine-year-old-painter-tipped-greatness-buyers-world-snap-work.html shows some incredible artwork that a young, 9-year old in England, artist has painted and his work is beginning to sell
July 1, 2012
I'm a Lutheran
and I sure wish the Lutheran Church had authored this video or one like it: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=D9vQt6IXXaM&hd
No matter, it's a message that needs saying so hats off to the Catholic church!
On another subject,
the temperature here in Middle Illinois at 6 p.m. as 102.8 degrees. That's really hot.
Stay safe out there. If
you do not have air conditioning, or if your AC goes out in this heat, sit in a tub of cool water. It will do wonders pulling
heat out of your body. And let's remember in prayers all those folks on the eastern seaboard who don't have electricity. They
don't even have fans to plug in.
Kind of reminds me of going to church when I was a kid. Oh, was that hot. And
remember those hand fans that funeral homes gave out free to churches? We wore ours out.
June 24, 2012
The heat is
the story here in the Midwest part of the United States. I can't tell you when the last time there was rain, but the corn
stalks are starting to look pretty wilted. The word "parched" comes to mind. The beans don't look any better either.
So the big conclusion that some people have arrived at is that God is punishing the United States because so many
people have turned away from Him?
And how many?
and doomers pontificate about how we're all going to die and go to hell can't give any numbers. Can't offer any hope.
Well, folks, don't you believe it. God is a God of love. He wants all of us to be saved.
And to those people
who think they can define the reasoning of God are being sacrilegious. They are talking when they should be listing to God.
My God is a God of love. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for our sins. Because of that, we are
assured of salvation and life eternal.
But there are those who are going through these crises of faith. They're
noisy. When God talks to you, listen to Him. It's that still, small voice inside you. And don't believe the naysayers who
think they have he last word on what means and what God intends to do. They don't know. They just don't know.
faith is what will bring you closer to God. Let Him into your hearts and listen to Him.
June 6, 2012
We don't laugh enough.
We are not light hearted enough. Way too serious. Oh, there are times when serious is good for you, but there are many more
days when we just are not enjoying a good laugh.
So someone sent me a link to Mark Lowry. He's a Christian comedian
and good for a real belly laugh, I can guarantee you.
Here's the link: http://jesus-loves-you.org/?p=6641
I'm going to You Tube and search for him and see if he's got other material. He's really funny.
May 15, 2012
Our U.S. Constitution
is not flawed. It's not dead. It's not irrelevant!
Those who think it's out of touch with today's "modern
thought" fail to realize that the U.S. Constitution is modernized each time the United States Supreme Court reviews a
law or an incident and decides whether the rights of our citizens are abridged or impeached.
The language of the
U.S. Constitution does, in fact, reside in a little book small enough to fit inside a man's jacket pocket or in a lady's handbag.
However, volumes and volumes of interpretive material fills libraries. Interpretation by the sitting Justices keeps our Constitution
May 12, 2012
Our God is awesome!
God controls the waters and the seas. Take a look at this video of the angry sea. http://www.dump.com/angryseas/
May 10, 2012
I am in the process of researching the involvement and the role that the National Road (U.S. 40) played in military
activities -- specifically troop movements. If you know of any such movements, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "National Road info" in the subject line. I'd be ever so grateful. If you do not want your name used, be
sure to tell me. Otherwise, I'd like to share that you found the information. This is for a funding opportunity for Effingham
County and it will focus on the role that the National Road has played in the significance of Effingham.
April 27, 2012
Well, that was
a nice little rest.
Since I've last posted, I've fretted that frost would get my lovely irises. It didn't. Nor
did the frost chip away at my roses. I have never had roses blooming in April before. They have exploded into full bloom.
Bright red blooms against our white house. Wow!
And the irises are just as beautiful. I have some really deep purple
irises, light lavender, some two-toned purple and white, bright yellow, a lighter lemon chiffon color, a pink iris and a peach
colored one that is a double.
The spirea finally decided it would bloom too.
All in all, considering
that I did absolutely nothing last year in the flower bed, it's amazing that my little troopers have done as well as they
have. The irises apparently are no longer upset with me for snipping them back at the end of January and early February. Again
in March when they started sending up things that looked like they'd bloom.
We've still had frost tucked in between
80 degree days but nothing serious enough to hurt my darling little flowers.
Quint and I are doing well. We continue
to see our oncologist every three months and get blood work to check markers for cancer that might have decided to invade
us again. So far, so good. Platelet counts are coming back to normal and we're working on our stamina.
I do have
to take some medication for five years -- well, four years now -- that inhibits estrogen. It will keep breast cancer from
recurring. Problem is, it makes the long bones in my legs and muscles in the thighs really ache. Nothing that can't be tolerated
though. Compared to the benefits of what the medicine does for me, I'd say I came out the winner at this point.
lymphoma is still in remission too, so we're pretty health for the shape we're in.
And now I'm going to fix us
a snack of yogurt, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas and walnuts. Then we're going to watch some spy thrillers on Netflix
Nice to be back and thank you for not giving up on me.
April 10, 2012
I am getting
over the grandaddy of all colds. I expect to be better by morning, after having laid around all day today. Finally just gave
it up and stayed in bed.
Until now, that is.
And you know how I love kids and their entrepreneural spirit.
Well, here's a video of a young lad in east LA who build an arcade out of cardboard boxes in his dad's auto parts store. His
name is Caine and he's 9 years old. It's just precious! http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/unplugged/nine-old-cardboard-arcade-launches-college-fund-182844242.html
Oh, and one other thing before I head back to my comfy easy chair. We have frost warnings for tonight. 30 degrees!
My irises and roses are blooming. Wonder how that's going to set with them.
I just thought I'd mention something
about all those spam emails and telemarketer calls you may be getting. Even if you're signed up for "do not call"
lists, you still can get calls. Here's how. If you take part in an online voting request, or if you call to participate in
a TV vote, you are setting up what is known as a "special relationship." Special relationships with a state allows
any advertiser of that station of promo outfit to put you on their callers who are exempt from the "do not call"
If you live in Illinois and you get a telemarketer call, just tell the caller that Illinois is a "do
not call" state and you do not want to be on their lists. They are required to hang up at that point. I've tried it and
Also, here's a tip for getting rid of all those preapproved gimmicks that find their way into your mailbox.
When I get the offers, the first thing I do is draw a big diagnonal line through the offer and write VOID on it. Then I stuff
the document back into the self-addressed postage paid envelope that they provide. The advertisers are going to stop sending
you stuff pretty quick rather than pay postage twice.
April 5, 2012
Thursday - the first part of the Easter trilogy.
Maundy Thursday was the night when Jesus shared bread and wine
with his disciples and commemorated the event that we've followed in the Lutheran Church for ages since that time.
When I was confirmed on Palm Sunday many years ago, Maundy Thursday was the first opportunity I was given as a new confirmant
to take my first communion. It was an awesome experience then, and it continues to be every chance I get.
that it is the same for you as you draw near to the Easter story.
Tomorrow is Good
Friday. Part 2 with the significance of Christ dying on the cross for our sins.
And then, of course, there's Easter
Sunday when we celebrate Christ's resurrection.
Sin and death no longer have a hold on us because Christ died for
April 4, 2012
Ready to watch
a miracle? Here's a video showing a woman in an SUV sinking. She couldn't swim. The SUV sank. But the miracle is not that
she was somehow pulled from the SUV but the after-story: http://salesianity.blogspot.com/2012/04/woman-drowning-in-her-suv-is.html --
May the blessings of Easter catch you up in the miracles going around you every day. Life is a miracle.
God brings miracles to us today just as He did thousands of years ago when Jesus died and rose again. I pray that you will
get caught up in the miracle of the Easter story all over again. Christ died for our sins and rose again, and because He rose
again, we have eternal life guaranteed to us by our Heavenly Father.
April 2, 2012
Want to know what
video of a couple of famous dancers has gotten more than 118 million hits? None other than the big routine from Dirty
Another trivia question that some of you may know the answer to has to do with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's
failure at sea. April 15 is the date of this tragedy. If you thought most of the folks on board perished in the icy waters,
you'll be surprised to learn that only half died. Well, maybe "only" is not a good word. One would be too many on
a ship that was touted as unsinkable. There were 2,223 passengers and crew. 1,517 died. A little more than half.
April 1, 2012
If you haven't
heard this song by the Barn Again Gang -- On My Father's side -- am sure you'll enjoy it. And thanks to you, Joyce
from Frankfort, IL for sending: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ddoyfn6g4
And here's Kaitlyn Maher, a 4-year old, singing in America's Got Talent. Mind you, she's had 26,585,501 hits on
her debut on the national stage. She is absolutely adorable! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwAbtizFCzo&feature=related
Kaitlyn Maher again, this time singing Ave Maria - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR0AXNtwqZE&feature=related
And she got to sing for President and First Lady Laura Bush: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpt_UU96EG8&feature=related
Here she is singing the National Anthem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhD9kKb3hSM&feature=related
I have not ever heard the story about the "Praying Hands" so I am especially thankful to
Cody in Warrensburg, MO for sending Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with
eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob,
the father and head of the household,
a goldsmith by profession, worked almost
eighteen hours a day at his tradeand any other paying chore he could find in
Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of the elder children, Albrecht and
Albert, had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew
full well that their father would
never be financially able to send either of them
to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.
After many long discussions
at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally
worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down
into the nearby
mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy.
Then, when that
brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he
would support the other brother at the academy, either
with sales of his artwork or,
if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.
They tossed a coin on a Sunday
morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and
went off to Nuremberg.
Albert went down into the dangerous
mines and, for the next four years, financed his
brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation.
etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his
professors, and by the
time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees
for his commissioned works.
When the young
artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive
dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant
homecoming. After a long and
memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored
at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the
years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht
to fulfill his ambition. His closing
words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn.
can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream,and I will take care of you."
All heads turned in eager
expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat,
tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head
from side to side while
he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no....no ..no."
Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long
table at the faces he loved, and then, holding
his hands close to his right cheek,
he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me.
... Look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every
finger have been smashed at
least once, and lately I have been suffering from
arthritis so badly In my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass
to return your
toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush.
No, brother ....for
me it is too late."
More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful
pen and silver-point sketches, water colors, charcoals, woodcuts, and
copper engravings hang in every great museum in
the world, but the odds are great
that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works.
More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction
hanging in your home or office.
One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer
painstakingly drew his brother's
abused hands with palms together and thin fingers
stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands,"
but the entire
world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed
his tribute of
love "The Praying Hands."
March 30, 2012
I have to
share with you that the operators of this web site have become increasingly frustration to work with. The way I see it, I
have two choices: (1) shut down the site altogether and discontinue the blogs, or (2) find a site that is more responsive
to what I want from a web site.
In the meantime, one of the questions that Jesus asked is #80 -- If you do not
believe Moses' writings, how will you believe me? (John 5:47)
Old Testament writings often come under fire as being
"irrelevant" or "out of date" or just "too old."
All of those excuses are flawed,
in my view.
In the first place, the Word of God is eternal.
Because the Word is eternal, it transcends
time and space.
For that reason, when you read the Bible, the breath of God is still on the paper; still on the
words. The Bible is the Word of God. It will never get "too old" or "out of date."
the Word. Absorb it; take it in. If you find any challenge whatsoever about understanding what some passages mean, then the
Counselor will be sent to you, just for the asking. Just pray that Jesus will send you His Counselor to assist you in your
Blessings to you in your spiritual journey through the Word of God.
March 27, 2012
Here is one
of the most precious tapes I've ever heard of a child: http://www.maniacworld.com/stay-calm-dad.html From my friend Shirley in Arizona. It's just precious!
This is a video I found on my own. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rtt-TmReaw&feature=related I love the innocence of this little girl. I pray that she will hold onto her dreams all her life and never let anyone
snatch them away from her.
God keeps the dreams of children in his right hand pocket. And woe be to those who
steal the dreams of a child.
Today I am going to discuss Question #66 from Luke 18:7 -- Will not God then
secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?
In the first place, I consider myself
one of God's chosen ones because I claim the inheritance of being a child of God.
And how did I get to
be a child of God? Simple. I believe that Jesus Christ, God's only Son, died for my sins and offered me salvation. By doing
this, He names says that I share in the inheritance of God's richest blessings.
And you most certainly can enjoy
this same inheritance and become a Child of God by believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins too.
that simple. You have only to believe.
This is my right, in God's own words. He says: Will not God then secure
the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? I believe that because I know that God does not lie.
He's good for His promises and when He says He's going to secure my rights, what do I have to fear?
And do I call
out to God day and night? Yes. In my car when I head out to work. I pray that some idiot does not plow into me head-on. I
pray that I don't get tee-boned by someone running a red light or a stop sign.
I pray that when I enter that miraculous
place of empty thoughts of what seems to be unconsciousness, that the veil will be lifted in the morning and I will re-awaken
to a new day. Sleep itself is a miracle. We fall into a mindless abyss every night and awaken refreshed to a new day. Is that
a miracle or what? How does God do that?
I remember reading or hearing this "what if" thought that when
you awaken in the morning, what if the only things you had in your life were the things you thanked God for yesterday! Kind
of put a new perspective on things for me. Instead of just nagging and nagging -- which I can be pretty good at -- for things
I think I want, or things I think I need -- I stop every day and thank God for what He gives me. The gifts are enormous and
I only get them because He is a gracious God. I certainly deserve nothing.
But all day and all night I talk to
God. We have an ongoing conversation. Help me with this, please. Oh, and thank you for that. Or how about all those problems
that you just can't seem to solve. Then He says, "I can help you with that." Or, after the problem is solved and
I nod a quiet thank you, He says "All you had to do was ask."
God is my friend. This King of the Universe
took notice of me when I was about four years old. That's when I started talking to Him in my head. I knew it was God because
I learned about Him in Sunday School. My Sunday School teacher told me I could just talk to God simply like he was an ordinary
person. I took her at her word and have never thought of God as anything but.
Even though I know for sure, now
that I have a few more years on me, that God is nothing ordinary at all. But I also know that He is never too busy to secure
my rights as one of His chosen ones.
Enjoy your day and rest easy in your sleep, dear friends. God is watching
out for you.
March 26, 2012
#32 that Jesus asked was, "Could you not watch for me one brief hour?" -- Matt. 26:40
There are lots
and lots of ways to travel through the Lenten season on the way to Calvary. And the reasons for doing things differently are
many and varied.
People offer up the thought that they can worship anywhere. They feel just as close to God, they
say, when they are listening to a beautiful piece of music, or walking through the woods in the late afternoon.
things are true.
But it seems to me that if you want to go down that path to Calvary, you ought to do it the way
that Jesus wants you to do it. Not the way you think, in your not-so-infinite pseudo-wisdom of coming up with these cute
little excuses. Cute, you think.
Truth is, Jesus wants you to go to your church, or your temple and watch
with him there, in that place.
This question that Jesus asks from Matthew sounds like a plea to me. Couldn't
you watch with me one hour?
Well, sure you could, if you thought it was important enough.
and I go to Lenten services and the church is not even half full. Where is everybody? Working? Playing? Doing homework? Driving
around? Out to dinner? Where are you? Those who couldn't come to this worshiping place to watch with Jesus one hour.
What if I told you that I had learned that Jesus was going to make one of those rare earthly appearances for one week only.
He was actually going to come to church because He wanted to talk to me.
I'd move heaven and earth to get there
on time. I want to meet this man while He's still alive. You bet I'd watch with him an hour. In fact, I'll stay up all night
if he stuck around to talk to me.
And talks to me He does. When I'm sitting in that pew, I can almost feel his
eyes burning a hole in my skin. Kind of at the back of my neck. I can almost feel his hand on my shoulder while he bends around
to look at me and whispers to me, "I'm so glad you came tonight. I'm doing this all for you, you know."
He's my Savior. We're connected. It must break His heart to see so many empty pews when they should be overflowing with
people who are willing to give Him one hour of their busy schedules.
"Why couldn't you watch with me one
hour?" He asks. It's a question you'll have all of eternity to answer Him one day.
March 25, 2012
Now this is precious!
It's a two year old dancing to Jailhouse Rock. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wt824D1Bqg He's got some good moves too.
March 24, 2012
At this time
of year, one of my favorite places on earth is Kentucky when the dogwood and redbud are in full bloom -- and nowhere are they
more beautiful than my home town -- Paducah, Kentucky.
Just look at these gorgeous photos and you'll see what I
These quips come from my cousin who lives in a small town not too far from Houston -- well, in Texas, 200 miles
is a "small distance" I think: THE POSITIVE SIDE OF LIFE:
Living on Earth is expensive,
but it does include a free trip
around the sun every year.
How long a minute is
depends on what side of the
bathroom door you're on.
Birthdays are good for you;
the more you have,
the longer you live.
Happiness comes through doors you
didn't even know you left open.
Ever notice that the people who are late
are often much jollier
than the people who have to wait for them?
Most of us go to our grave
with our music still inside of us.
If WalMart is lowering prices every day,
how come nothing is free yet?
You may be only one person in the world,
but you may also be the world to one person.
Some mistakes are too much fun
to only make once.
Don't cry because it's over;
smile because it happened.
We could learn a lot from crayons:
some are sharp, some are pretty,
some are dull, some have weird names,
and all are different colors....but
they all exist very nicely in the same box.
A truly happy person is one who
can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Have an awesome day, and
know that someone
who thinks you're great
has thought about you today!..
"And that person was me.".....
Please don't keep this message
to yourself.....send it to those
who mean so much to you.... "NOW".
Thank you, Frances. I love the one about some mistakes. Hope you don't have too many people
out there who are all to eager to point each and every little mistake you make. Those, I think, are the ones who go to
their graves with the music still living inside them. It's just too much "vinegar energy" to look for flaws in people.
And God knows I have more than my share, it seems. But here's the thing: I don't make mistakes on purpose and I never
make mistakes with the idea of making someone's misery index go up. I just thank God that I am surrounded by true
friends who cut me some slack. You know the ones. They really care about you. I like the idea that we are all living in a
big crayon box. That has to be one of those lessons learned in kindergarten. But then, I'm old enough to realize that
we didn't have kindergarten when I started school.
I celebrated kicking off my educational pursuits by going down
the big slide on the playground with a somersault from the top. I was grounded from recess for the rest of the week.
These beautiful thoughts also come from Frances:
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW THAT IT IS CHRISTIAN
PERSON WEEK AND YOU SHOULD SEND THIS TO
ALL BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN PEOPLE
When I say that 'I am
a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living. I'm
whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'
When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that
I stumble and need Christ
to be my guide.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm
need His strength to carry on.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have
failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws
are far too
visible, but God believes I am worth it.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting
of pain. I have my share of
heartaches, so I call upon His name.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier
than thou, I'm just a simple sinner who
received God's good grace, somehow!
Today is Beautiful Christian Person's
Pretty is as Pretty does but, Beautiful is just plain Beautiful..
I'm supposed to send this to Beautiful
and you are one of them!!!
March 21, 2012
sermon text at our 5th Midweek Lenten Service in Matthew 28:16-20 comes the command of Jesus that we are to go into all the
world and make disciples of all men.
Well, I don't know about you but I can't go to the airport and get a ticket
to go to some faraway place and work in a mission field. But those very words are the marching orders of the church.
What I can do is partner with the Lutheran Women's Missionary League and be a supplier of stuff that missionaries
can use. Quilts, for instance. Quilts are made in Lutheran churches all across this country. They find their way into orphanages.
In hospitals. In remote villages where they are placed over a low branch and become the roof of a home. If the villager is
lucky, a second quilt could be a floor. We need more quilts -- more than the 355,000 that have been made this winter. That
means there will be an unmet need.
Our church is going to put baby kits together. These baby kits will have a few
diapers in them. Some tee shirts. Some tiny little caps. Diaper pins and little sleepers. We're making the receiving blankets
and it will have a bunch of baby supplies in it, then pinned with the diaper pins. Missionaries can take these baby kits and
go into villages and give them to new mothers who often don't have clothes for newborn babies. And if they have a receiving
blanket at all, it was made from their old clothes that were too worn out to use anymore. Imagine the joy when a new mom gets
a bright, colorful receiving blanket that has been made with so much love and joy and prayers!
Yes, the women of
the Lutheran Women's Missionary League can partner with missionaries who are in a position to tell others first-hand what
Jesus has done for them. They can ground others by bringing them the Word of God.
And how long are we supposed
to do all this?
Jesus says "Until the end of the age." That is, we're supposed to keep on keeping on
until Jesus comes back for us.
In the meantime, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of ways that
I can reach out to people around the world and spread the wonderful message that Jesus Christ died for our sins and because
of his death on the cross, we can claim salvation as a child of God.
So this is the reason I write this blog. It's
my way of going around the world to talk to people about what Christ has done for each one of us. That would be you. And it
would be me. My computer is my magic carpet and on it, I can ride through cyberspace to reach you in 23 countries so far this
God bless each and every one of you.
March 20, 2012
results in Illinois: http://www.wthitv.com/subindex/elections/results Not all results are in at this writing.
If you are anywhere near middle Illinois on March 23, you could do
yourself a favor and go to the Effingham Performance Center at 8:00 p.m. and catch the show headlined by Scott Wattles of
Blue Suede Crew. Tickets are $5. He's an incredible performer for those of us who wax nostalgia over Elvis, Roy Orbison, Marty
Robbins, and a host of others. What a voice!
We had an opportunity to hear him for the first time on Sunday evening.
All Gospel songs. And a standing ovation for How Great Thou Art!
If I tried that it would come under the
category of making a joyful noise, but I am filled with appreciation for anyone who can sing really well. We are fortunate
because own Pastor Rensner is also a wonderful vocalist. I love listening to someone who loves to sing. And both these gentlemen
Earthquake near Acapulco registers 7.6! That's a really hefty earthquake even if it is about 200 miles
from Acapulco. God is sure rattling the earth these days. Two hundred miles is nothing when an earthquake ripples its way
through the earth.
It is still 78 degrees in the house. And Quint mowed the grass -- or part of it -- yesterday
afternoon. Don't remember that happening in March. Ever. We sure do enjoy having the windows open and soft warm breezes blowing
across us when we're sleeping though.
We pray for God's blessings to all of you. Some of you are living in dangerous area and you are especially in our prayers.
And we thank you for prayers too.
March 19, 2012
quote: PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU
SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM
It's time for a patriotic song and this just arrived from Shirley, my favorite snow bird who has not
returned from Arizona yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TPgJSZf5Vw&feature=youtu.be
And here's a cute little story sent by our friends John and Sherre in Wichita:
Subject: A New Pet
A single guy decided life would be more fun if he had a pet.
So he went to the pet store and told the owner
That he wanted to buy an unusual pet.
After some discussion, he finally bought a talking centipede,
(100-legged bug), which came in a little white box
To use for his house.
He took the box back home, found a good spot for the box,
And decided he would start off by taking his new pet
To church with him.
So he asked the centipede in the box,
"Would you like to go
To church with me today?
We will have a good time."
But there was no answer from his new pet.
This bothered him a bit, but he waited a few minutes
And then asked again,
"How about going
To church with me
And receive blessings?"
But again,there was no answer
From his new friend and pet.
So he waited a few minutes more,
Thinking about the situation.
The guy decided to invite the centipede one last time.
This time he put his face up against
The centipede ' s house and shouted,
"Hey, in there!
Would you like to go
ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS ......
Came out of the box,
"I heard you the first time!
I ' m putting my shoes on!"
March 17, 2012
the day when the whole world is Irish. That includes my cousin, Mark, who sends this blessing. It's beautiful poetry by Phil
Coulter and narrated by Roma Downey. I thank you Mark for this beautiful blessing and, in turn, send it along to all my friends:
http://www.andiesisle.com/ThisBlessingIsForYou.html Looking at the beautiful photos, I am reminded of a wonderful vacation that Quint and I took to Ireland a few years
ago. It's a beautiful country and I got an answer to why the green grass is so vibrant and emerald colored. Supposedly it's
because of the high level of minerals in the soil, most particularly calcium. And that's one of the reasons why Queen Elizabeth
sends here pregnant horses to Ireland to deliver. Munching on good Irish green grass makes for healthy bones for the baby
horse in the mom's womb, and also when the little baby horse starts to grow and develop. The grass really is emerald colored.
They aren't just kididng.
Ready for a little humor? This comes from my friend Cody in Warrensburg, MO:
Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his
Plane arrived there was a limousine
there to transport him to his home.
As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.
'You know' he said, 'I am 87 years old and I have never
Driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove
it for a while?'
The driver said,
'No problem. Have at it.'
Billy gets into the driver's
seat and they head off
Down the highway.
A short distance away
Sat a rookie State Trooper operating his
first speed trap.
The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.
The trooper pulled out
And easily caught the limo
And he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.
The young trooper walked
up to the driver's door
And when the glass
Was rolled down,
He was surprised to see
Who was driving.
He immediately excused himself and went back to his car
And called his supervisor.
'I know we are supposed
To enforce the law....
But I also know that
Given certain courtesies.
I need to know what
I should do because
I have stopped a
The supervisor asked,
'Is it the governor?'
The young trooper said,
he's more important
The supervisor said,
'Oh, so it's the president.'
'No, he's even more
Important than that.'
The supervisor finally asked,
then, who is it?'
The young trooper said,
'I think it's Jesus,
Because he's got Billy Graham
for a chauffeur!'
Smile - God loves you! I ask the Lord to bless you, as I pray for you today;
To guide you
and protect you, as you go along your way
God's love is always with you, God's promises are true.
you give God all your cares, believe with all your might that God will see you through.
March 16, 2012
I see a lot
of anxious people who come for counseling. And even though anxious people want very much to not be anxious anymore, they resist
doing the very thing that un-anxious people know all about. That is, un-anxious people live their lives on a foundation of
faith. Christ lives in their hearts. The Holy Spirit is used as a daily ever-ready counselor.
In going down the
list of 100 Questions That Jesus Asked, I come to Luke 12:26 which asks: If even the smallest things
are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?
It's a humbling thought that we don't
have all that much control over the external events of our lives. For instance, there's that old Liar, Satan, who likes to
poke his nose into every facet of our business. He'd like to think we're easy pickings for his nasty little harvest. And beware
that you say such things as, "I'd give anything ..." Satan is the one who will seize that opportunity and yes, he
can grant your wishes, too. Many times he does. Then he comes back for payment from you a nickel at a time.
want wealth? Satan will give it to you. Then what? How many lives have been ruined by winning the lottery? But you say you'd
like to just try it? Don't bother. Satan doesn't play fair. He wants to own you, lock stock and barrel.
on the other hand, says, Do my work and I will prosper you. God is not against prosperity. It's not money that gets
people in trouble. Rather, it's the love of moneythat leads to sin. The love of money leads to greed and corruption.
People who are thousandaires strive to become millionaires. Millionaires strive to become billionaires. No matter how weather
they are, they are never satisfied with what they have. Prosperity, on the other hand, comes with contentment.
we are prosperous we thank the Lord that we have enough to spare and some left to share.
Lots of people are anxious
about money because they have this idea that they want more and more and more, and never realizing that they don't have enough,
and probably will never have enough to suit them.
But money isn't the only thing that causes so much anxiety. It's
the fear that we're never going to be in control of situations or events in our lives.
When you look at your life,
what is it that you think you do have control over? Your children? Your addicted spouse? Your job? Your ability to drive down
the street and not have an accident? Your shopping for food and making the assumption that the food hasn't been tampered with
by an idiot who has figured out a way to slip a poison into your food without it being detected until you get sick and are
rushed to a hospital? Or you order and egg at a restaurant and get a dose of salmonella.
How's that control thing
working out for you?
But here's what you do. First of all, get down on your knees and pray to God. Pray to Jesus
Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and help you figure things out better. God likes our prayers better when
we are reverent, I've found. That's why kneeling is best; it's humbling.
Don't want to do that? Well, you don't
have to. Life can continue the way it's been going for you if you are filled with fears and anxieties. But if you want your
life to change, let Jesus Christ into your heart. He has solutions for you that you can't even imagine.
Master of the universe and it's Jesus Christ who is the agent of change in your life, not you.
March 15, 2012
Oh my, what
a beautiful day we had today. It warmed up to a perfect 74 degrees. Soft, gentle breezes. Then there was this dark, ugly row
of clouds that I had my eye on as I drove to work. It was about twenty miles away. Never did get a drop of rain. The clouds
scooted east and stayed out of my way. The storm must have hit Detroit. I saw some pretty ugly video of tornadoes over there
late this afternoon. Lots of damage and rubble. Hope there were no casualties.
On another subject, I have been
thinking about compassion a lot these days. The people who are able to express and share it with others are so welcome in
my world. Here's the deal. We all have to fashion our responses to other people similarly to what our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ, would do.
Compassion and gentle tenderness. And love and kindness. And helping one another.
comes from good friend Shirley all the way from Arizona:
This is SIMPLY AWESOME!I’ve never seen this
before! Whoever put “The Resume of
Jesus Christ” together is surelya blessing to us all! Please share
it! The last
sentence says it all...
The Resume of Jesus Christ
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible . Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior
My name is Jesus -The
Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my resume because
I'm seeking the top management position in your
heart. Please consider my
accomplishments as set forth in my resume.
I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)
formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)
I breathed into man the breath of life,
(See Genesis 2:7)
I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)
The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See
I've only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49 ).
never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
My employer has nothing
but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15 -17)
Skills Work Experiences
Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering
the poor to be poor no
more, healing the broken hearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick,
sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See
am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell
safely and shall not fear evil,
(See Proverbs 1:33 ).
Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to
cleanse you of your
sins, (See I John 1:7-9)
I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge,
wisdom and understanding,
(See Proverbs 2:6).
In me are hid all of the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).
My Word is so powerful; it has been
described as being a lamp unto your feet and a
light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).
I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).
I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting
of all times, (See
Genesis 1:26 ).
I laid down my life so that you may live, (See
II Corinthians 5:15 ).
I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind and made a
show of them openly, (See
Colossians 2:15 ).
I've miraculously fed the poor, healed
the sick and raised the dead!
There are many more major accomplishments, too many
to mention here. You can read
them on my website, which is located at: www dot - the BIBLE. You don't need
Internet connection or computer to access my website.
Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing, salvation,
deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.
Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate
qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly
direct your paths,
(See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See
John 6:47 ). When can I start? Time is of
the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15 ).
Send this resume to everyone you know,
you never know
may have an opening!
Thanks for your help.
March 14, 2012
I just got
this link from my friend in the Quad Cities area in northern Illinois. It's an eagle mom sitting on her nest. And the article
points out that the nest if seven feet in diameter! http://www.alcoa.com/locations/usa_davenport/en/info_page/eaglecam.asp
Got this from Mary, a friend who lives in Springfield. It comes to her from an attorney. And just an aside, when
your credit card is stolen, you do know that you have to file the report in the police department where the fraud/theft took
place, don't you? There's lot of good advice here and I thank you, Mary, for sending this. I'm going to write "photo
ID required" on each card as I receive new ones. That's a great idea!
All Credit Card Users Advice
Advice for all credit card users posted by Bluwolf at Caps Corner
Sunday morning 03/11/2012
bluwolf] Read this and make a copy
for your files in case you need to refer to it
we should all
take some of his advice! A corporate attorney sent
the following out to the
employees in his
1.Do not sign the back of your credit cards.
Instead, put 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'
you are writing checks to pay
on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the
line. Instead, just put the last four
numbers. The credit card company
knows the rest of the number, and anyone
who might be handling your check as it
passes through all the check processing
channels won't have access to it.
3.Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If
you have a PO Box use that instead
of your home address. If you do not have a PO
Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks.
You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get
the contents of your wallet on photocopy machine. Do both sides of each
license, credit card, etc. You will know what
you had in your wallet and all of
the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in
a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here
or abroad. We've all heard horror
stories about fraud that's committed on us in
stealing a Name, address,Social Security number, credit cards..
Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my
wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the
thieves ordered an expensive
monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line
to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my
driving record information online, and more.
But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
5.We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately.
But the key is having the toll free numbers and
your card numbers handy so you
know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
6.. File a police
report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc.,
were stolen. This proves to credit providers you
were diligent, and this is a
first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). But here's what is
most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)
Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations
immediately to place a fraud
alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had
heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an
application for credit was made over the Internet
in my name. The alert means
any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they
to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
By the time I
was advised to do this, almost two
weeks after the theft, all the damage had
been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves'
purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no
additional damage has been done,
and the thieves threw my wallet away this
weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about
your wallet, if it has been
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289 1-800-680 7289
4.) Social Security Administration
(fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along
just about everything. If you are willing to pass this information along, it
could really help someone that you care
March 13, 2012
It has been
a really long day at an all day board meeting for Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML). The location of the meeting is
some 95 miles from home. We passed a resolution for mission grants in the amount of $75,000.
The women of the LWML
are amazing. They collect small amounts of change on a regular basis and add them all together and pretty soon, there are
thousands of dollars in our district, and almost two million at the national level. Then the money is sent all around the
world to help feed hungry children, start new churches, help church workers go to school, and a wide variety of projects that
One of the member groups, called Societies, is finishing up some 170 quilts they have been making
this winter. Another group, from my zone, has made 127 quilts. These quilts will be sent to Lutheran World Relief and shipped
to people around the world wherever they are needed.
It's a long day to meet for quarterly board meetings but
it's refreshing to partner with so many other women of faith who share a single commitment to help make the world a better
place to live in.
We had a mission pastor speak at our church last Sunday and he tells of the horrible poverty
in Central America. Did you know that there are children who do not have clothes to wear. And they eat maybe once every two
or three days?
Why aren't more people on fire with a passion to join in a partnership with churches that are working
hard in these poverty-stricken countries? These are the groups that make sure almost 100% of any money that's collected goes
right where it's needed. And much of that money is spent distributing the goods that are collected.
Pray for the
hungry and the naked children who live in squalor and poverty.
God bless you, each and every one.
March 11, 2012
the day when it feels like we've moved into another time zone -- one just to the west of us because the sun stays up longer.
My dear friend Joyce sent me this link to a video that is nothing short of adorable.
It's about a mother black bear and her three newborn cubs getting tagged in the wilds of Ontario. The commentator
is pretty funny too. Thank you, Joyce.
Here's another one from Joyce. It's about a young woman who's talking to
her grandpa about the ipad she gave him. He assures her that he's using it and knows all about the apps, etc. Watch this:
-- See, don't tell fibs.
And this comes from my cousin, Frances, in southern Texas:
How children perceive their Grandparents......
1. She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under
eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before.
After she applied her lipstick and
started to leave, the little one
said, "But Grandma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!" I
probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about
kissing the toilet paper good-bye....
2. My young
grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday.
He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 80. My grandson was
for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"
3. After putting her grandchildren
to bed, a grandmother changed into
old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she
children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience
grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed
their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left
the room, she heard the three-year-old
say with a trembling voice,
"Who was THAT?"
4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter
what her own
childhood was like. "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing
made from a tire; it hung
from a tree in our front yard. We rode our
pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods."
The little girl
was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said,
"I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"
5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you
know how you and God are alike?" I mentally
polished my halo and I
said, "No, how are we alike?'' "You're both old," he replied.
6. A little
girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's
word processor. She told him she was writing a story.
it about?" he asked.
"I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."
7. I didn't know
if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I
decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color
was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I
continued. At last, she headed for the
door, saying, "Grandma, I think
you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"
When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept
the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting
insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I
did, Billy whispered, "It's no
use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are
coming after us with flashlights."
9. When my grandson asked me how
old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm
not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised "Mine
I'm 4 to 6."
10.. A second grader came home from school and said to her
guess what? We learned how to make babies
today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep
her cool. "That's interesting." she said... "How do you make babies?"
replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."
11. Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence
about a public servant,"
said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder
The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you
know what pregnant means?" she asked.
said the young boy confidently. 'It means carrying a child."
12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren
to their home one
day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the
fire truck was a Dalmatian
dog. The children started discussing the
"They use him to keep crowds back," said one child.
"No," said another. "He's just for good luck.."
A third child brought the argument to a close."They
use the dogs," she
said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."
13. A 6-year-old was asked where
his grandma lived. "Oh," he said,
"she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her.
Then, when we're done having her visit, we take her back to the
14. Grandpa is the smartest
man on earth! He teaches me good things,
but I don't get to see him enough to get as smart as him!
Grandparents are funny, when they bend over, you hear gas leaks
and they blame their dog.
March 7, 2012
Got this earnest
prayer from a dear friend, Diane, who lives in Hidalgo:
Hi Lord, its me.* *We are getting older and
things are getting bad here.*
*Gas prices are too high, no jobs, food and heating costs too high.* *I
have taken you out of our schools, government and even* *Christmas,
but Lord I'm asking you to come back* *and re-bless
America .* *We really
need you!* *There are more of us who want you than those who don't!* *Thank
Lord,* *I Love you.* *If you agree, send it on---if not just delete.*
*Only you & the Lord will know.*
*"Life without God is** **like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."*
As a side note, there
is a prayer group that stops to pray at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. The prayer is for America to return to its Christian
roots and rid Washington, D. C. of all corrupt politicians. People all over the country are joining together in this common
prayer. Join in if you can.
Last night was Ladies Aid at church. What a privilege it is to meet with other women
of like Christian values and to share God's word in a Bible Study, then our hostess for the evening, Melissa, made a wonderful
spread of fresh fruit. She also made cookies but I didn't have any. It seems that sugar has become my enemy since learning
that I have gout that settled in my lower back and my right thumb. The medicine that I now take is for people who specifically
took Cytoxan as a chemo treatment for breast cancer. So, no sugary desserts. But then, since Quint is diabetic,
Splenda has become my friend. And I can also get chocolate covered cherries from Figi's and have them shipped to me. Yummmmmmy!
It's really windy here. So bad that the windmill has blown over twice in the last day or so. I also heard that
there were 90 mph gusts in Las Vegas. Not that anybody who goes to Las Vegas goes outside to stand on the sidewalks to enjoy
the weather. I mean, they don't even have clocks in the casinos. They'd probably like it if people took their watches off,
but that's not happening much either.
Got this from both cousins, Mark and Alan, so you know it's serious
Can't eat pork,
Can't eat chicken,
Can't eat Beef, Mad cow
Can't eat eggs, Salmonella.
eat fish, heavy metal poisons in their waters.
Can't eat fruits and veggies E coli, insecticides and herbicides.
I believe that leaves Chocolate
and ice cream!!!!!!!!
Remember - - - 'STRESSED'
March 5, 2012
Got this poignant
story from cousin Mark. Enjoy! Gratitude is a acquired pleasure.Have a great day full of love and happiness.
Change Your Thinking
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed
to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain
the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next
to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked
for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement
military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could
sit up, he would pass
the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world
would be broadened and enlivened
by all the activity and colour of the world
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young
lovers walked arm in arm amidst
flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city
skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by
the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the
other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine
this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye
as the gentleman by the window portrayed it
with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring
water for their baths only to find the
lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate,
the other man asked if he could be moved next to
the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making
sure he was
comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to
take his first look at the
real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had
described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not
even see the wall.
She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'
is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but
happiness when shared, is doubled.
And these quips from "kids in church" comes from dear friend,
Cody, in Warrensburg, MO:
A little boy was in a relative's wedding.
As he was coming down the aisle, he would
take two steps,
stop, and turn to the crowd.
While facing the crowd, he would put his hands
up like claws and roar.
So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the
As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard
by the time he reached the pulpit.
When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said,
"I was being the Ring Bear."
Sunday in a Midwest City ,
a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour.
The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew
but were losing the battle.
Finally, the father picked the little fellow up
and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out.
Just before reaching the safety of the foyer,
the little one called loudly to the congregation,
me! Pray for me!"
One particular four-year old prayed,
"And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
A little boy was overheard praying:
if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."
School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church
service, "And why is it necessary to
be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."
A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination,
at the old pages as he turned them.
Then something fell out of the Bible.
He picked it
up and looked at it closely.
It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between the pages.
look what I found," the boy called out.
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.
With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered,
"I think it's Adam 's suit".
The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike,
and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,
the mike cord as he went.
Then he moved to one side,
getting wound up in the cord and
nearly tripping before jerking it again.
After several circles and jerks,
a little girl
in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,
"If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"
old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in
Joel giggled, sang
and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough.
"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."
"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,
those two men standing by the door?
My grandson was visiting one day when he
"Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?"
polished my halo, while I asked,
"No, how are we alike?"
"You're both old," he replied.
A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother,
was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible.
Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking,
"Which Virgin was the mother
of Jesus ? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin ?"
A Sunday school class was studying the
They were ready to discuss the last one.
teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.
Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and
"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."
March 3, 2012
your hearts in prayer for the victims of this horrible rash of tornados today. These are killer winds. In addition to fatalities
reported, there's dangers with houses being lifted off their foundations. It's a good night to stay in, be safe, and
pray that God will embrace all those people who are suffering with heavy losses. Harrisburg, in southern Illinois, was particularly
hit, it seems to me. But there are other areas, with just as deadly outbreaks. I heard on one of the news channels that this
year would be as bad as the tornado season in 1978.
We pray steadfastly, also, that our nation will return to
its Christian roots on which it was founded.
I look forward to going to church on Sunday and hearing a message
from the Gospel lesson that, at least in part, says For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and
sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
I think there are a whole bunch of people out there who have kind of postponed thinking about what
they're going to do with all this Christianity stuff. "I'll worry about all that when I get older," they seem to
Well, think of Andrew Breitbart, who now lays cold and quiet at the tender age of 43.
He was one of my favorite reads. He was the kind of journalist that Pulitzer hoped to reward for courage through the printed
word. I pray that he was okay with God before he took his last breath. I have a feeling that he was.
But what about
all the other people out there? You know the ones -- they don't want the children to pray in school. They don't want to say
the word "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. They don't want to hear anything that sounds like Christian talk. Woe
be to those who turn their backs on God. This verse in Mark tells them exactly what God will do in retaliation. And don't
think for one minute that they can appease God with some half-witted excuse like, "I didn't mean it. You know I wasn't
serious, don't you?"
It's time to pray like you mean it. It's time to spend your days thinking about God.
Oh, you don't have to jump up out of your chair screaming "Hallalujah." But you can think about the Great and Wonderful
Creator of the Universe who allows you to take each breath throughout every day of your life. Be thankful for that.
I have always wondered about the people who want to go to heaven. Don't they realize that they will spend their time praising
and worshiping God? If they are looking forward to the time when they are able to do that, wouldn't you think they could spend
more time worshiping and praising God every day, in some way?
There are so many things a person can do to worship
God. He sees us when we are kind to others. He sees us when we are compassionate and generous. He sees us when we try with
all our heart to lead a life as free as sin as we possibly can - not that we'll ever be totally sin-free, what being human
and all. But we ought to try as best as we can to avoid temptation and sin in our lives.
God likes it when we strive
to do that.
February 29, 2012
to ask yourself --
Can you tell the difference between being tested and being tempted?
When you're tempted, it involved a sin of some sort.
Being tested is a form of discipline. Discipline makes
you grow in faith. It enriches you and tempers your faith into a tool as strong as steel.
The passage that started
all this thinking about being tempted was from the Epistle lesson a week or so ago. It's from the Book of James, and
says: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and
he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. -- James 1:13-14
So if you feel like you're being tempted, who do you think might be the culprit?
Another easy answer
-- Satan himself.
Satan is the author of evil. Not God. God does not tempt us, Satan does. Temptations involve
sins. Testing involves love through discipline.
This notion that there is a person named Satan reared its head
out on the campaign trail a few weeks back. Santorum made the comment that "...Satan had his eye on Washington."
What a firestorm that set off. Here came the spindoctors who tried to make Santorum look like a religious kook. Until some
organization did a survey and found that 70% of Americans believe -- truly believe -- that Satan really does exist.
Remember way back in Sunday School days hearing that the best trick Satan has going for him is that he convinces people
that he does not exist. Well, that doesn't happen in the United States.
We're a Christian nation and we know he's
real. And his favorite game is Gotcha!
If you want an inkling about who Satan is, take a look at the Book of Job.
In the very first chapter, in verse 6, we read: One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord,
and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"
Satan answered the
Lord, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
Then follows a conversation
recorded between the Lord and Satan. So if the Lord recognizes Satan and calls him by name, who are we to even think that
he does not exist?
Rest safely in the arms of the Lord, my friends, and pray fervently for his protection from
Satan and all that is evil.
February 28, 2012
I go off in a different direction, you have to watch this video of the Daytona 500. Talk about races, burning cars, fast bumps,
and one big brewhaha. One spill took out six cars: http://news.yahoo.com/video/turnerweekendtop5-20497430/weekend-top-5-daytona-28446636.html#crsl=%252Fvideo%252Fturnerweekendtop5-20497430%252Fweekend-top-five-homestead-27337497.html
Here's a video that is precious. It's about Pastor Ed Dobson, who developed ALS. He talks about his new role as
a different kind of pastor now that he no longer has an active church. http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/18/tending-the-garden-one-person-at-a-time/
Pastor Rensner talked about how come God, who has the power to stop the storms in our lives, doesn't do that.
Pastor said that sometimes God calms the person going through the storm rather than calming the storm. And why would He do
that? His reasons are his own and they are not my ways.
I am working on a thesis of the difference between being
tested and being tempted. I hope to have it finished by this time tomorrow, so I hope you'll come back to read it.
Blessings, prayers and hugs,
February 27, 2012
This story comes from
Connie today. She says it will give you the chills....... GOOD chills. See if you agree.
A young man had been
to Wednesday Night Bible
Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice
The young man couldn't help but wonder, 'Does God still speak to people?'
After service, he went out with
some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed
the message. Several different ones talked about how God had
led them in different ways.
It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in
his car, he just began to pray, 'God...If you still speak
to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to
As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop
and buy a gallon
of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, 'God is that you?' He didn't get a reply and
started on toward home. But
again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.
The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice
and how little Samuel ran to Eli. 'Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.' It didn't seem
like too hard
a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the
gallon of milk and
started off toward home.
As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, 'Turn Down that street.' This
is crazy he thought, and drove on past the intersection.
Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street
At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh.
Half jokingly, he said out loud, 'Okay,
God, I will.'
He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop He pulled over
to the curb
and looked around. He was in a semi- commercial area of town. It wasn't
the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods
either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were
already in bed.
Again, he sensed something, 'Go and give the milk to the people in the house across
the street.' The young man looked
at the house. It was dark and it looked like the
people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open
and then sat back in the car seat.
'Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake
them up, they are going
to be mad and I will look stupid.' Again, he felt like he should go and give the
Finally, he opened the door, 'Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I
will give them the milk.
If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want
to be obedient. I guess that will count for something, but if
they don't answer
right away, I am out of here.'
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could
hear some noise inside. A
man's voice yelled
out, 'Who is it? What do you want?' Then the door opened before the
young man could
The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got
of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some
stranger standing on his
doorstep. 'What is it?'
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, 'Here, I brought this to you.' The man
took the milk and rushed down a hallway.
Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.
was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming
down his face.
The man began speaking and half crying, 'We were just praying. We had
some big bills this month and we ran out of
money. We didn't have any milk for our
baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.'
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, 'I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you
young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him
and put in the man's hand. He turned and
walked back toward his car and the tears
were streaming down his face.
He knew that God still answers prayers.
This is so true. Sometimes it's the simplest things that God asks us to do that
cause us, if we are obedient
to what He's asking, to be able to hear His voice
more clear than ever. Please listen, and obey ! He will bless you (and
February 25 -- 26, 2012
adding this video at the front. It's from my cousin Mark and it's a video showing an owl coming in for a landing on a security
tower. http://www.dogwork.com/owfo8/ It's unbelievable footage showing the owl "putting on the brakes," so to speak. And look at those wing maneuvers!
It's only a minute long, but fascinating.
Beautiful photograph by Paul Bunyard, set to music -- called Chasing
the Light. It's a four and a half minute respite! http://www.dogwork.com/bnpcduk8/
One of my favorite videos -- this is a dog in a contest -- apparently the judges don't give him very high marks
because he can't seem to get it right. But then, just wait until the amazing end! http://www.dogwork.com/tconmv8/
This is a video (1:40) of cranes flying over Venice, Italy. Fascinating photography of the landscape below, but
also of the cranes communicating with one another while flying: http://www.dogwork.com/crafly9/
Here's a video, also from dogworld.com that shows a little bird coming into a bluegrass festival and sitting on
the lead singer's guitar. Too funny! http://www.dogwork.com/blugrs9/
Now, before you watch this next one, please realize that dogs are not supposed to stand upright and walk, much
less dance. But here's a cute little dog doing a Paso Doble. Yes, dancing: http://www.dogwork.com/psdqwk8/
Danica Patrick crashed intot he wall at Daytona today: http://www.breitbart.tv/danica-patrick-crashes-at-daytona/
Oh dear. This video shows someone getting creamed by an oncoming traffic. Just another reason why I don't do any
road ranging during ice and snow and black ice weather: http://www.breitbart.tv/nissan-frontier-shattered-into-bits-by-oncoming-semi/
Here's a recently discovered amateur video of the shuttle that exploded. After watching it, the videographers
didn't really understand what had happened. It seemed like they thought the crash was the booster rocket separating. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2012/02/24/vo-challenger-amateur-video.newscientist
And this final video is about a man named Omar and his seeing eye dog Salty. Omar was working on the 71st floor
of the World Trade Center when the building was hit. Watch this video of this remarkable dog rescuing and saving his best
friend, Omar: http://www.dogwork.com/arfp8/
February 24, 2012
know that 2012 is a leap year, don't you? Just thought I'd bring that up, in case you overlooked the fact that February has
29 days in it this year.
So it's Friday night here at home. It's cold outside with the wind whipping around the
corner of the house. And we're about ready to settle down to a good old mystery on Netflix streaming and Quint asks from the
kitchen, "You want popcorn with that?" Who could say no? Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks.
3-2-1 cakes for dessert. If you remember, I have a big plastic bag into which I mixed together a sugar-free yellow cake mix
and an angel food cake mix. Really mix them well. Then, whenever you want a quick little cake, you mix 3 tablespoons of this
cake mix and 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave that for 1 minute and you have this unbelievable little cake.
I got fancy, I did. I put about 1/2 tablespoon of margarine and 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar blend (with Splenda). Microwave
that for about 5 seconds until the butter is melted. Stir that up and put in 1/2 tablespoon of crushed pineapple. Then add
the mixed up 32-1 cake mix and microwave that for 1 minute. Yummmy!
I'm going to see if sliced strawberries in
the bottom of my little dish (which is about the size of a ramekin), then put the 3-2-1 mixed up cake mix and see if it passes
for a strawberry short cake. It might. Or it might be close enough to pass for a suitable substitute.
the subject, the weather here has taken a dive down to 36 degrees. This time yesterday it was almost 60 degrees. For those
of you who just joined us from the United Arab Emirates, it probably doesn't matter that much. You have heat all year round.
But you also have sand. I don't know if I could really get used to living on a sand hill. It just looks - well, dry.
But since readers are from all over the world, it's probably a curiosity for some who never experience snow. (You're not
missing much at all.)
And as a side note, I'm so glad that you liked the blog from a few days ago about the man
praying the Lord's Prayer. It's unbelievable how many emails I've gotten in favor of this prayer. And how it's made you pause
and think about what you're saying when you pray. You know, God really is right around you every minute of the day. And he
cares about you, so keep on praying.
My prayer for you is that you will be blessed with many wonderful people
and opportunities that God will put in your life today. Enjoy each and every one of them.
February 23, 2012
was Ash Wednesday service at church. It marks a time when we begin a remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection
three days later at Easter. It's a somber time and as I sat in church and looked around me, I saw the usual faithful worshipers.
I felt closer to them than I do at other times of the year. The imposition of ashes reminds us that we came from dust and
it is to dust that we will return. In the meantime, we are to live our lives as Christians and walk through life behaving
as if --
...as if Christ were right beside us, visibly point out pitfalls,
... as if Christ were steering
us around the misdeeds we might otherwise get ourselves into,
... as if we remember that we are never alone,
... as if we realize consciously that Christ is watching us,
... as if we remember that it is Christ who
sits at the right hand of God interceding for us on our behalf,
... as if we remember, also, that it is Christ
who will judge us when we catch up with eternity,
... as if we always remember that we are to pray to God, our
heavenly father, and we can only get there through Jesus Christ,
... as if we want more than anything to please
God and Jesus Christ,
and finally, as if we are truly sorry for all our sins.
This isn't one of the
questions that is listed as having been asked by Jesus, but sometimes, when I do really silly stuff, I have this vision of
Jesus asking, "What in the world did you do that for?" It helps me not to do things anymore that I really don't
want to do and know that I shouldn't do.
February 21, 2012
feel the earthquake this morning? It registered 4.0 on the Richter Scale. I'll have to tell Quint that it wasn't the wind
that was rattling the windows that woke him at 4:00 am, but rather, the temblor shifting around close to the New Madrid fault
line. Here's a map that shows exactly where the earthquake was: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US10/32.42.-95.-85.php
But if you really want to see something, take a look see at this map of the United States -- 806 earthquakes in
the last 24 hours. California and Alaska are always feeling a lot of shaking going on.
Stay safe out there, my
Changing the subject, back to the List of 100 Questions that Jesus Asked:
Question #79 -- How
is it that you seek praise from one another and not seek the praise that comes from God? John 5:44
this question with me for a moment. Remember the last time you went to get a new outfit? You found something that you thought
would look good on you. You looked in the 3-way mirror to make sure the outfit draped across your body just the way you wanted
it to. And why is that?
Simple. When we buy something new to wear, we're thinking of what others will think of
it. Then they'll tell us how nice it looks.
We'll get praise.
But hold on here for a moment. The question
that Jesus is asking is how come you're thinking about what others think?
How come you aren't all that concerned
about what God thinks of you?
I think there might be a couple of answers to this question.
One of the
thoughts I have is that because we don't physically see God, it's sometimes hard to imagine that he's right here, right now,
in this very room, reading over your shoulder. Maybe watching you curiously to see how you get through your day. But, our
humanness sometimes fails us spiritually because we aren't always consciously thinking that God is present everywhere
at the same time.
How can that be? I don't know the answer to that. My brain can't get wrapped around that possibility,
but I know it's true because the Bible says so.
I know that after Quint and I finish our breakfast and we join
hands for our daily prayers, God is in the room with us. And I also know that it pleases God when his children talk to him.
That's what we do. We let him know what we're thankful for because he does so much for us. We wouldn't have a thread to wear
if it weren't for God's grace. Oh, I don't mean that he puts a hanger with clothes on it in our closet. But he makes provisions
for us to get the things we need as we go through our lives. And it's been like that since the day we were born.
God has always been a stellar provider. He has never failed to provide us with what we need.
By the same token,
he puts situations in our paths to see what we're going to do about them. He brings people to us to see how we're going to
react to them.
We need to always think about what we are doing so that we live our lives in ways that please God.
To me, that's a lot more important than whether someone else likes a dress I bought.
I care what God
thinks. I most definitely care what he thinks. And I hope that anything and everything I do in life tickles him. He is
not a person I ever want to be displeased with at me!
February 20, 2012
couldn't use a bit of humor in these harried political days? Got this one from my cousin Al in Virginia Beach:
female journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going
to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day,
every day, for a long, long time.
So she went to check it out. She went to the
Western Wall and there he was,
walking slowly up to the holy site.
him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave,
using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him
for an interview.
"Pardon me, sir, I'm Rebecca Smith. What's your name?
"Morris Feinberg," he replied.
"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"
"For about 60 years."
"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray
"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims."
"I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop."
"I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults and to
love their fellow man."
"I pray that politicians tell us the truth and put the interests of the people
of their own interests."
The reporter then asked, "How do you feel after
doing this for 60 years?"
"Like I'm talking to a wall."
And our good friend Joyce sends us this cost analysis of how much it costs to run a
Volt. Can you tell that Joyce is a banker by trade?
Subject: Cost to operate a Chevy Volt
Take a few
minutes to read thru this analysis. This is truly an economic failure,
until technology improves to change these costs!
This is what the Obama
Administration is pushing in his new budget! Just another "cash sink hole", from our
taxes, and huge debt!
Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel's Follow the Money) test drove the Chevy Volt
the invitation of General Motors.
For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles
Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.
Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the
25 miles it ran on the battery.
So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is
It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to
charge the battery
and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours.
In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time)
would be 20 mph.
According to General Motors, the Volt battery hold 16 kwh
of electricity. It takes
a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.
The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned
so I looked up
what I pay for electricity.
I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons)
$1.16 per kwh.
16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.
$18.56 per charge
divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the
Compare this to a similar
size car with a gasoline engine only that gets 32 mpg.
$3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.
The gasoline powered car cost about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000.........
So Government wants
us to pay 3 times as much, for a car that costs more that 7
times as much to run, and takes 3 times longer to drive across
- I have a question. After the battery just up and dies, how much will it cost to
destroy it? I doubt if the batteries will be allowed in landfill. I mean, if you can't even put an old, dead cell phone in
the landfill, what are you going to do with the Volt battery?
But what if you keep the Volt and decide to replace
the battery. I read somewhere a couple of years ago that the battery alone cost $25,000. Can that be right? Does anybody know?
If you do could you shoot me an email. Please.
this from my dear cousin Frances in Broaddus, Texas:
We need to show more sympathy for these people.
* They travel miles in the heat.
* They risk their lives crossing a border.
* They don't get paid enough wages.
* They do jobs that others won't do or are afraid to do.
* They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a
* They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day
~ every day..
I'm not talking about illegal Mexicans ~
I'm talking about our troops!
Doesn't it seem strange that so many are willing to lavish all
kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don't support
Wouldn't it be great if we took the $360,000,000,000 (that's
billion) we spend on illegals every year, and spend it on
February 17, 2012
one of the best versions of an interactive Lord's Prayer that I've ever read. It's sent to us from my dear friend
Cody in Warrensburg, MO. I do pray that it will enrich your life today and that you will think about this when you pray the
THE LORD'S PRAYER- Rather cleverly done. This is in two parts,
The prayer(in blue
type) and GOD(in red type)-in response.
It is very, very good.
Father Who Art In Heaven.
Don't interrupt me. I'm
But -- you called ME!
No, I didn't call you..
Our Father who art in Heaven.
There -- you did it again!
"Our Father who art in Heaven"
Well, here I am..
What's on your mind?
But I didn't mean anything by it.
I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day.
say the Lord's Prayer.
It makes me feel good,
Kind of like fulfilling a duty.
Okay, Hallowed be thy name .
it right there.
What do you mean by that?
"Hallowed be thy name"?
It means, it means .. . Good grief,
I don't know what it means.
in the world should I know?
It's just a part of the prayer.
By the way, what does it mean?
means honored, holy, wonderful.
Hey, that makes sense..
I never thought about
what 'hallowed' meant before.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Do you really mean that?
Sure, why not?
What are you doing about it?
Why, nothing, I guess.
I just think it would be kind of neat if you got
of everything down here like you have up
There. We're kinda in a mess down here you know.
Yes, I know;
But, have I got control of you?
Well, I go to church..
That isn't what I asked you.
What about your bad temper?
got a problem there, you know.
And then there's the way you spend
Your money -- all on yourself.
And what about
the kind of books you read ?
Now hold on just a minute!
Stop picking on me!
just as good as some of the rest
Of those People at church!
you were praying
For my will to be done..
If that is to happen,
It will have to start with the ones
are praying for it.
Like you -- for example ....
Oh, all right. I guess I do have some
Now that you mention it,
I could probably name some others.
I haven't thought about it very much until now,
But I really would like to cut out
some of those things.
I would like to, you know, be really free.
We'll work together -- You and ME.
I'm proud of You.
Lord, if you don't mind,
I need to finish up here.
This is taking a lot longer than it usually does.
this day, our daily bread.
You need to cut out the bread..
You're overweight as it
Hey, wait a minute! What is this?
Here I was doing my religious duty,
all of a sudden you break in
And remind me of all my hang-ups.
Praying is a dangerous
You just might get what you ask for.
Remember, you called ME -- and here I am.
too late to stop now.
Keep praying. ( pause .. . )
Well, go on.
Scared? Of what?
I know what you'll say.
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
See? I knew it!
I knew you would bring her up!
Why, Lord, she's told
lies about me, spread stories.
She never paid back the money she owes me..
I've sworn to get even with her!
But -- your prayer --
What about your prayer?
-- mean it..
Well, at least you're honest.
But, it's quite a load carrying around all
bitterness and resentment isn't it?
Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get
even with her.
Boy, have I got some plans for her.
She'll wish she had never been born.
you won't feel any better.
You'll feel worse.
Revenge isn't sweet.
You know how unhappy you are --
I can change that.
You can? How?
I'll forgive you;
And the hate and the sin,
will be Ann's problem -- not yours.
You will have settled the problem
as far as you are concerned.
Oh, you know, you're right.
You always are.
And more than I want revenge,
I want to be right with You . . (sigh).
All right, all right . .
I forgive her.
How do you feel?
Well, not bad.
Not bad at all!
In fact, I feel pretty great!
You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight
I haven't been getting much rest, you know.
Yeah, I know.
not through with your prayer, are you?
Oh, all right.
And lead us not
but deliver us from evil.
Good! Good! I'll do that.
put yourself in a place
where you can be tempted.
What do you mean by that?
You know what I mean.
Yeah. I know..
Go ahead. Finish your prayer.
For Thine is the
and the power,
and the glory forever.
Do you know what would
bring me glory?
What would really make me happy?
No, but I'd like to know.
I want to please you now...
I've really made a mess of things.
I want to truly behave like Christ
I can see now how great that would be.
So, tell me .. . .
How do I make you happy?
February 15, 2012
a break from the questions that Jesus asked, I have to share with you that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) took Secretary (Health
and Human Services) Sebelius to task today about whether or not she had consulting with any bishops before drafting the contraceptive
order for the White House. Her response was that she had not, but assumed that the folks over at the White House must have.
Well, that wasn't quite good enough to Hatch who then made the statement that he believed all religious organizations
should be exempted from the contraception demand. (See article at: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/02/15/sebelius-didnt-consult-bishops-on-contraception-deal/)
There are several layers to this argument, if you ask me. One is that of whether you believe women ought to be
able to buy contraceptives.
The other is a question of honoring all religions who are opposed to abortion and believe
that abortion is about killing an unborn child. In that event, then the "morning after pill" would make the trip
down that slippery slope.
Then there is the constitutional camp which is inhabited by people who believe that the
government has no right in tampering with freedom of religion. Forcing organizations, whether directly with religious
organizations, or imposing on the insurance companies who insure employees of religious organizations makes no difference.
The question isn't about who pays for the contraceptives -- the religious organization or its insurance company. It's about
whether the government has the right to mandate any such behavior.
Clearly there is not a lot of wiggle room with
folks who believe strongly that they have a right to hold onto their religious beliefs without interference from the government.
And yes, of course, the fed have overstepped its constitutional boundaries.
Bet this one makes it to the Supreme
February 14, 2012
question that Jesus asked is in Mark 8:12 -- Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign?
was when Jesus was meeting with the Pharisees and they wanted to test him. Guess they wanted to see if he could really perform
some good magic tricks. They asked him in verse 11 for a sign from heaven. You know that Jesus must have been a bit perturbed
because verse 12 starts out with Jesus sighing deeply.
Well, if you were the Son of God and you knew you could
move a mountain if you just wanted to, wouldn't you get just a bit exasperated with people trying to put you on the spot all
Why couldn't people just believe that Jesus was the Son of God? Would you? If you were expecting the
promised Messiah to be more, well, kingly, would you still believe a person who arrived on the scene dressed in something
that looked like a homespun robe? So he went around doing miracles. These were real miracles. They weren't magic signs that
could be explained by a slight of hand.
No, no. Jesus healed the sick. He made the lame walk. He even touched the
leper and made him clean. And he saved his best miracle to last when he raised a dead man back to life.
Not really. Because the very idea that he had brought a man back to life was used to prosecute him.
If you were reading the Galilean Daily Chronicles and there was this banner headline about a dead man walking again,
wouldn't you call to get a ticket to this man's next event?
Of course you would. And you'd probably try to get
a front row seat so that when this guy Jesus asked if anyone in the audience would like to come down to the front and ask
for anything they wanted, you'd hop on down there. What would you want? Win the lottery? Cure for your arthritis? A baby for
your barren womb? A fairy tale, drop dead gorgeous superman for a husband? A shiny new Corvette to tool around the Galilean
countryside? A big fancy yacht to troll around the Sea of Galilee, catching fish and stuff?
If you could have anything
you wanted, what kind of a sign would satisfy you that Jesus is the true Son of God. In fact, he's the only Son of God.
Jesus must have grown weary of people who had to have this proof that he was who he said he was.
think it's any different now -- 2,000+ years later? Aren't people still looking for a sign?
Can you just accept
in your hearts that Jesus is Lord? No signs are needed for those who believe.
And for those who do not believe,
there aren't enough signs in the whole world to bring the proof that they require.
It's all about faith. And believing.
February 13, 2012
my hands on a wonderful list called 100 Questions that Jesus Asked.
What a wonderful
springboard for our conversations here on this thread.
Eventually I want to go all the way through the questions
that Jesus asked. And the first one is from Matthew 6:27 -- Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan?
My recent - and I call the last two years of my life as recent -- bout with breast cancer jumps up and out of
the depths of that rusty barrel that houses my brain.
I will say that never during that entire ordeal did
I feel desperate and anxious about living or dying. That was because of a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the
verse quoted above. I know that somewhere in Jeremiah, there's a reference to the fact that God said he knew me when I was
still in my mother's womb. In another verse way back there in the Old Testament, probably from a psalm, there's a reference
to God knowing how many hairs I have on my head, and also how many days I will spend here on earth.
view those cancers for both Quint and me as God specifically not answering our prayers. I take a counter view because we have
both gone through that long, black tunnel of chemo. Radiation added for me. When we talked it through, all the way to the
core, we came to understand that God had, in fact, answered our prayer. You see, at our age, if there was to be cancer, it
was far better to get it out of the way, so to speak, before we got really old. Advanced age puts severe limitations on what
chemo you can get and what you can't tolerate. We are blessed to have gone through all that and are now in remission. In fact,
we just may be in better shape now than a lot of people who are incubating cancerous cells and don't know about it.
So, knowing that God knows all those details about my life, I have little to fear because I also know that he walks with
me through all my days.
Besides, God doesn't seem to put the same sense of desperation on dying that we humans
do. Perhaps that's because God thinks of death as the death of a soul. I figure that he's elated when a person's body dies
because those persons get to come back home to be with him in heaven. Who could cry about that?
It doesn't mean
we don't go through a grieving process when we lose our loved ones. And there might even be a few people who will be said
when my creaky old bones end up in the fiery pits of a crematorium. But I hope they will be overjoyed when death finds me
skipping through that tunnel that near-deathers describe.
After all, as Pastor Rensner says, "What are you
going to do, threaten me with heaven?"
So, no worries. Enjoy each and every little sunbeam as you travel down
the road of life. And get down on your knees and thank the good Lord above for all the blessings he has given you in this
life, right now.
February 12, 2011
Navy Seal quote
of the week
Dana Perrino ( Fox News) describing an interview she recently had with a Navy SEAL .
all the countries he had been sent to, she asked if they had to
learn several languages?
"No ma'am, we don't go there to talk."
February 9, 2012
ran over a hawk on the way home from work this afternoon. How could I ever explain how I could kill a bird on the wing! But
sure enough, the silly thing flew right in front of me about a foot higher than the hood of the car. He got real close to
the edge of the air.
That's Quint's reason for airline crashes. Planes crash when they go past the edge of the
Changing the subject, I'm making cookies for little kiddos at church. We have an after school program and
offer the kiddos a snack when they get off the bus and come into the play area with tummies that have caved in from hunger.
They get a half sandwich, a cookie and a piece of fruit. Then they go charging around the gym and burn it all off and go home
starved for supped.
I'm making cookies from a cake mix. To do that, you out two eggs into 1/3 cup oil and mix well.
Then, mix that into the dry cake mix. Makes a bit more than 2 dozen little cookies. The cookies are baked at 375 degrees for
6 - 8 minutes.
I got a confetti cake mix since little darlings adore confetti and sprinkles.
I got this beautiful story from my cousin Mark:
Tell me this one doesn't put life in perspective.
In Phoenix , Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was
Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination.
Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all
his dreams. Now that was no longer possible.
The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's
dream to come true.
her son's hand and asked,
'Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up
Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life ?'
Mommy, 'I always wanted to be a
fireman when I grew up.'
Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can make your wish
Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona, where she met Fireman
who had a heart as big as Phoenix .
She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible
to give her
6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.
Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better
than that. If you'll
have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll
make him an honorary
Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire
station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls,
the whole nine yards !
And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform
for him, with a real
fire hat - not a toy one with the emblem of the
Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker
like we wear
and rubber boots.'
'They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix , so we can get them fast.'
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital
bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck.
Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it
to the fire station. He was in heaven.
There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy
go out on all three calls.
He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic's' van, and
the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program.
Having his dream come true, with
all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so
deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than
any doctor thought possible.
One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and
the head nurse,
who believed in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to
call the family members to the hospital.
Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so
she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would
be possible to send a fireman in uniform to
the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition..
chief replied, 'We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes. Will
you please do me a favor ?
When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce
over the PA system that
there is not a fire? 'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open
the window to his
About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the
hospital and extended its
ladder up to Billy's third floor open window --------
climbed up the ladder into Billy's room!
With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and
him how much they LOVED him.
With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and
'Chief, am I really a fireman now?'
'Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief
With those words, Billy smiled and said, 'I know, He's been
holding my hand all day, and the angels
have been singing.'
He closed his eyes one last time.
February 8, 2012
this mountain of mud sitting at the edge of the yard. It's the residue from the sewer line repair the other day. Rather than
spread it out flat with the rest of the yard, we were told that the spring rains would pound it down so that the trench would
eventually be filled in. Sounds reasonable to me, but I think I'll get out there with a rake one of these days, all of the
same. Otherwise, I'm going to go out there in the next day or so and find a ski lift with very little people using the little
mound for their winter fun.
It got cold in the last day or so. Even had a dusting of snow. We are woefully behind
with our snowfall. According to the old wives' tale, since we had our first snowfall on the 27th of December, we can expect
27 snowfalls in total. Last night's dusting was only #4. Now, mind you, I don't mind not having 27 snowfalls. It's not like
it's a goal or something.
Oh, another thing. Changing the subject, NASA says that the oceans are not rising, but
rather, the level of water went down a bit. According to the weather/climate change/global warming gurus, weren't we told
that because of global warming, the ice sheets would be melting and we'd have so much more water in the oceans that our eastern
coast would be flooded. So how come the water level is going down? Faulty theory = flawed results. But then, just maybe because
the Russians drilled a hole in the ice sheet in Antarctica to get to an underground lake, maybe water is draining down into
the hole. Hey, it could happen!
Quint took me to lunch at Cracker Barrel today. When we were coming out to go back
to the car, we noticed that there had been a bunch of pansies in bloom before they got frosted. Now, who would plant blooming
pansies in the middle of winter? Sure enough, they got frostbit last night. I love the meatloaf at Cracker Barrel. If I close
my eyes, I can imagine that I'm back at Grandma Stubbe's boarding house in Paducah. Cracker Barrel's meatloaf tastes just
like hers. Maybe they found her recipe somewhere. It's delicious. So is their Cream of Potato Soup which is my favorite soup
And now my client has arrived for a session. I see her pulling into the driveway now.
February 6, 2012
world to be a better place? Then do something. Think about joining the huge group of volunteers in America.
this is old data, but it's the source I found when I went looking. It's a research article on volunteerism in America written
by Richard D. Young. He cited a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that says 59% of people in the United States who are 16
years old or older volunteered for an organization in some capacity. And that was for the year way back in 2001 to 2002.
that was 27.6% of the American population.
most often donate their time to religious organizations (33.9%). Second on the list is educational organizations who get 27.2%
of the volunteers. But it's the old folks who are 65 and older who donate
the most time to churches -- 45.2%.
Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies several
activities in which volunteers engage in consistently. The list below shows which activities are most predominate.
or coaching (24.4 %).
Canvassing, campaigning, or fundraising (22.9 %).
making, serving, or delivering goods (22.2 %).
● Serving on a board, committee, or
neighborhood association (16.3 %).
Providing care or transportation (12.3 %).
● Consulting or
administrative work (14.0 %). So this ties in with the Gospel lesson at church yesterday.
It's from Mark 1:29-39 and tells the story of Jesus healing Peter's mother-in-law from a fever. What's the first thing she
did when her fever went away? She got up and began to serve them.
Not because she had to, as Pastor Gillet said.
But because she wanted to.
When it comes to serving in the Kingdom of God, it's something we get to do.
We don't have to, but rather, we are allowed to serve.
In another article, again pulling data
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we read that ... nearly 63 million Americans, slightly more than a quarter of the
population, volunteered for charities last year, providing services valued at nearly $173-billion. That’s down from
2009, when 63.4 million adults, or nearly 27 percent of the population, donated their time. The volunteer rate has not changed
significantly since 2006, hovering around 26 percent. Volunteerism reached nearly 29 percent from 2003 to 2005 and has been
as low as 20.4 percent in 1989, says a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is based on annual
and monthly surveys of roughly 100,000 Americans age 16 or older, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor
What's neat about this article is an interactive map of the United States that compares the percentage
of volunteers in a state and compares it to the national average when you move your cursor over the state. http://philanthropy.com/article/Volunteerism-Holds-Steady-in/128565/
So get out there and be a good neighbor. While you're at it, volunteer to help out at your church too.
February 4, 2012
and I headed over to Culvers after closing up the junior quilting shop at church. When we started looking for a spot to sit
down at, I heard a familiar voice say, "Jane." It was the vice president of the Effingham/Shelby Zone and she invited
us to sit with her and her husband. They were just finishing up the flavor of the month (chocolate eclair) ice cream, so we
After talking about a dizzying list of favorite subjects, Chris and I then started talking about cake
recipes. I told her I was going to start visiting churches in the Zone. Tomorrow is my first outing. It's at a church where
the church council is making soup for lunch. I told her I was going to make a yellow cake with a peach pie filling and after
sharing that quick recipe with her (it's on the recipe page over there on the left), she said, "I'll tell you how to
make a cake."
She explained, first you mix a cake mix with an angel food cake mix. It can be any kind of cake
mix you want, but it has to be with an angel food cake mix.
Then, when you get those two cake mixes mixed well,
mix 3 tablespoons of the dry mix with 2 tablespoons of water and microwave for 1 minute.
She says it's easy to
remember because it's 3-2-1.
When I got home I mixed a sugar free yellow cake mix with an angel food mix that I
picked up on the way home.
Sure enough, it works! So I have this cake mix in a ziploc bag ready to make a cake
in a minute.
I even bought one of those new cans of frosting mix that Pillsbury has. It looks like a whipped cream
container where you kind of bend a plastic tip a bit and out comes the frosting.
What an amazing age we live in!
I remember when I was a little girl my grandmother would send me to the bakery to buy two layers of a yellow cake
if she didn't have time to bake a cake for a church event. And she thought that was cheating. But no one ever knew. She always
covered it with her famous 7 Minute Frosting so who would have ever been able to tell.
One of my other favorite
memories of my grandmother was her little forest of African Violet leaves. She had a big pan of sand which she kept wet. Then
she would take leaves from her African Violets and stick them in the sand. After some mysterious length of time, she'd know
when to take the leaves out because they'd have roots developed. She'd plant them in little pots and after a while, little
baby African Violets would pop their little faces up through the dirt. Eventually, she'd cut the big leaf off and put it back
in the sand to make a new generation.
I got up enough nerve to try that this year. A nurse at the oncology center
assured me that this method would work so I gave it a try. I now have a beautiful purple and another pink African Violet and
when I get a little new plant, I give them to clients who want them.
Except that I only use African Plant Food
water. That makes them bloom like happy little campers. Pretty much all the time too.
February 2, 2012
groundhog can be believed, we don't have to worry about winter weather so much. We had fog as thick as pea soup. Not only
could the rat not see his shadow, I doubt if he could see his cute little paw in front of his face. Yay! Go groundhog.
I received this from my friend Cody in Warrensburg, MO:
One of the best I've seen lately........
Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we
carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?
if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?
This is something to make
you go....hmm...where is my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing.
Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to
worry about our Bible being
disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
Makes you stop and think 'where
are my priorities? And no dropped calls!
When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you!
I read another article today on the web warning about yet another scam. This one has to do with jury duty. Supposedly someone
sends you an email or calls you to let you know there's a warrant for your arrest because you didn't show up for jury duty.
After you pick yourself up off the floor and start to explain that you never got a summons to appear for jury
duty, then the most helpful scam artist at the other end of the phone asks you for your social security number and birthday
so it can be double checked against the list of warrants. Now, we aren't going to give anybody that kind of information, are
Please say you won't.
Scam artists are mean. They're usually crooks who need to go where other criminals
If you live in Illinois, you need to know that Illinois is a "do not call" state. That means if
you get an annoying telemarketing call, immediately tell the caller that you are aware that you live in a "do not call"
state and want your name taken off the list he/she is calling from. The caller has to stop the conversation immediately.
Also, there's a link on the Links page on this website to put your phones on the "Do not call list." I probably
need to do that again because I'm starting to get calls again. Putting your phone numbers on the list is not a permanent solution
but when you start to get calls again, just go back in and renew your numbers.
February 1, 2012
through the Bible at an accelerated pace in our Sunday morning adult discussion class. It's an ambitious undertaking because
we're actually going to go from Genesis to Revelation in a 10-week segment. Oh, for sure, we aren't going to do any really
in depth stopping over points. We can always go back and focus on aspects of the textbook we're using individually at a later
One of the quick points that was made in an early chapter was that Genesis 15:1 was the first time that
the term "the word of the Lord came to..."
In this particular instance, the reference was to Abraham.
He was the first man to whom the word of the Lord came. Abraham was a prophet. In this particular instanc, the word prophet
means one who receives the word of the Lord.
Don't you think it would be exciting to pick up the Bible and get
into the Word? Page after page after page of the Word brings us richness and depth to our soul. It's a blessed journey to
walk every day with the Lord.
There's mending to be done when we weep from heavy grief. Our soul yearns for healing
and it's right there, in between the covers of the Book.
There's learning that jumps off the pages with so much
history. The Bible is not a complete history of what was going on in the world. For instance, from 1250 to 1190 BC the Greeks
and Trojans were fighting the famous Trojan War. It happened. We know that from recorded history. But it's not a Bible story.
And did you know that from 1750 - 1040 BC, China's Shang Dynasty had a system of writing. They organized a bunch
of armies too.
There were earthquakes too. From 1150-950 BC, earthquakes rattled the area around Cyprus.
Accupuncture was first introduced during the Chou dynasty at 1030 BC.
For sure, there were people in other places
doing other things. Their stories were not captured in the Bible.
What the Bible does bring us is the bloodline
of Jesus all the way back to Adam and Eve. The Bible traces this lineage through the House of David, through his line of history
to a little town of Bethlehem.
There's much in the Word to sift through and think about. Absolutely no other book
in the history of mankind has had the impact as the Word of God. Nor has any one single individual, save Jesus Christ, had
as much of an impact on civilization than the Son of God who came from heaven to become flesh and blood and to live among
us. Then he died as a sacrifice on the cross for the sins of each one of us.
This month we recognize Ash Wednesday
as the beginning of the season of Lent. It's a time when we stop what we're doing and ponder the miracle of God's great love
which he so graciously gifts us with.
Let the Word of God come to you. Pick up the Bible and just hold it in your
hands. Then open it and start to read.
Prepare to be amazed.
January 31, 2012
It's hard to
believe that here in Middle Illinois, it's 58.1 degrees. Highly unusual for January 31. Only two days 'til Ground Hogs Day
and this year, do I dare say, "Who cares?"
Actually, when you think about it, it doesn't matter whether
the rat sees his shadow or not. Spring is six weeks away no matter what. Just count the days on the calendar.
I left you last night I was talking about the bad rap that controlling and manipulating people have gotten over the years.
We've put a negative connotation onto those two words when, in fact, they can be life-saving.
I mentioned that
the reason people are controlling is because they want life to be predictable. And who doesn't want that?
we're asking for trouble in trying to control people, places and events that we don't have any business messing with. There's
all kinds of attempts at controlling that could even land you in jail. For instance, if you forged someone's signature because
you wanted to control your ability to get out of debt so you think stealing someone's identity and/or money is acceptable.
That's not even close to be included in this discussion.
What you can control, though, is your
behavior. How you react to events and people in your life can be a healthy way to control your environment.
for instance, who smile and giggle at you make it awfully easy and heartwarming to pick them up and cuddle them. They've learned
at a very early age that positive behaviors get more favorable attention from the big people in their lives. In a small way,
they've figured out how to control someone to come over and pick them up.
I remember when my daughter and her husband
were trying to get back to Los Angeles when, for some reason, their flight was abruptly cancelled. No new flights were
scheduled at that airline. So she went over to another airline and said to an already overstressed service attendant that
she realized the burden that this lady was under and she certainly didn't want to push her for help, but she was hoping ever
so much if there was anything that she could do to get them on a plane. She engaged the lady in a few light moments and the
next thing you know, she and her husband were on a flight, with a "Thank you so much. You are a lifesaver." And
off the went to the other end of the airport where the other airline's terminal was.
She learned when she was
a little girl that when you're reasonable, you're more able to operate on your environment and more often than not, get the
results you want.
Call it whatever you want, but being pleasant will get you farther along than being pushy and
ignorant and belligerent and demanding.
When you wake up in the morning, look at the daylight and say, "Today
is going to be a great day. I'm going to have some adventures and come in contact with people I enjoy being with." Then
get up, get dressed, and put your very best smile on your face as you out to operate on your environment. Make things happen.
But in a pleasant way that shows people you care about them.
January 30, 2012
in between clients right now, so this will be a bit brief. I'll finish my thought tomorrow in a bit more detail.
What I want to discuss before the thought goes too far away is this whole idea that controllingness and manipulation is
a bad thing. I say -- not necessarily.
The reason we need to control or manipulate things is to make life more
predictable. We all need predictability in our lives. So the question really wraps itself around why we feel insecure when
our lives are not predictable.
Jean Piaget, the psychological guru who developed the school of cognitive development,
says we all learn how to "operate" on our environment and the people in it.
It does not make you a bad
More about this after I've had a good night's rest.
About the time I think there's not
much new under the sun, this comes to my email. It's from Linda over in Lawrenceville. Thank you, Linda!
Monday Morning Message
This is SIMPLY AWESOME! I've never seen this
before! Whoever put The Resume
of Jesus Christ together is surely a blessing to us all! Please share it!
sentence says it all... Send this resume to everyone you know, you
never know who may have an opening! Powerful!
Have a blessed day!
of Jesus Christ
Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible . Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior and
My name is Jesus -The Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my
because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart. Please
consider my accomplishments as set
forth in my resume.
I founded the
earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19 )
I formed man from
the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7 )
I breathed into man the breath
of life, (See Genesis 2:7 )
I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See
Gal at ians 3:13 )
The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your
life through me,
(See Galatians 3:14 )
only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49 ) .
I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient,
slothful or disrespectful.
My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me,
(See Matthew 3:15 -17 )
Skills Work Experiences
of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be
poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting
the captives free, healing
the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are
(See Luke 4:18 ) .
I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6 ) . People
who listen to me
shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33 ) .
Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of
your sins, (See I John 1:7-9 )
I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom
understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6 ) .
In me are hid all of the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians
2:3 ) .
My Word is so powerful;
it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet
and a light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105 ) .
I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21 ) .
I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting
of all times,
(See Genesis 1:26 ) .
I laid down my life so that you may
live, (See II Corinthians 5:15 ) .
I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind
and made a show of them openly,
(See Colossians 2:15 ) .
fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!
There are many more major
accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can
read them on my website, which is located at : www dot - the BIBLE.
don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.
Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing,
deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.
In Summ at ion
Now that you've
read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate
uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart.
I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6 ) , and lead you into
everlasting life, (See
John 6:47 ) . When can I start? Time is of the
essence, (See Hebrews 3:15 ) .
Send this resume to everyone you know,
you never know who may have an opening!
Thanks for your help.
September 26, 2012
one-liners from friend Cody in Warrensburg, Missouri:
Don't let your worries get the best of you;
Moses started out as a basket case.
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited
you try to sit in their pews..
Many folks want to serve God,
But only as
It is easier to preach ten sermons
Than it is to live one.
The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose,
But mosquitoes come close.
When you get to your wit's end,
You'll find God lives there.
People are funny;
They want the Front of the bus,
the Middle of the road,
And Back of the church.
Opportunity may knock once,
But temptation bangs on the front door forever.
Quit griping about your church;
If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.
If a church wants a better pastor,
It only needs to pray for the one it has ..
God Himself doesn't propose to judge a man until
he is dead. So why should you?
Some minds are like concrete
Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
starts with a smile.
don't know why some people change churches;
does it make
which one you stay home from?
lot of church members singing 'Standing
on the Promises'
Are just sitting on the premises.
Be ye fishers of men.
You catch 'em - He'll clean 'em.
Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
Don't put a question mark where God put a period.
fruits create many jams.
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
God grades on the cross, not the curve.
But probably prefers 'fruits of the spirit' over
promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
who angers you, controls
If God is your Co-pilot, swap seats!
Don't give God instructions, just report for duty!
The task ahead
of us is never as
great as the Power behind us.
Will of God never takes
you to where the
Grace of God will not protect
The message changes us.
You can tell how big a person is
it takes to discourage him.
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
+ 3 nails = 4 given .
Do you think the US Navy would ever name a ship after an army guy, even if he
is a Green Beret? Well, if your name is Roy Benavidez, it would. Benavidez got the Medal of Honor too. You have to see his
story to believe it. This comes from cousin Mark: http://biggeekdad.com/2010/01/tango-mike-mike/
Oh my goodness - what fun! This letter from a New Orleans attorney provides, in addition to a good
argument, a bit of history at the same time. Thank you, Mark:
You have to love this lawyer.......
Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged with the task
of tracing home titles
back potentially hundreds of years. With a community rich
with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have
been passed along
through generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish
a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client:
A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for
a client. He was told the loan would be
granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered
as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer
three months to track down. After
sending the information to the FHA, he received
the following reply:
(Actual reply from FHA):
review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that
the request is supported by an Abstract
of Title. While we compliment the able
manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point
that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803.
Before final approval can
be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back
to its origin."
Annoyed, the lawyer responded
"Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received.
I note that you
wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present
application. I was
unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly
those working in the property area, would not know that
Louisiana was purchased by
the United States from France, in 1803 the year of origin identified in our
For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the
land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France,
which had acquired it by
Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of
made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had
been granted the privilege of seeking a new
route to India by the Spanish monarch,
The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost
as careful about titles as
the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold
jewels to finance Columbus's expedition...Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may
know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the
Son of God, and God, it is commonly
accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God
also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the
owner of origin and His origins date
back to before the beginning of time, the world
as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God's original claim to be
Now, may we have our loan?"
The loan was immediately approved.
September 24, 2012
I do another thing, I want to share a link with you from a friend of mine. It's an outstanding vocalist, a ten year old young
lady named Jackie Evancho. You know how I love to watch and hear people who excel at anything, regardless of their age. Just
listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foUrBztgzZA She was on America's Got Talent, and boy does she!
Changing the subject, today was the day when one of those
mega-mega-zoom-zooms arrived from our sun to lay havoc with the Earth's magnetic fields. Even Delta Airlines re-routed some
of its flights to dodge the solar winds from the Coronal Mass Eruption. http://www.space.com/12581-stunning-photos-solar-storms-flares-sun-weather.html
Wow! The northern lights must have danced quite a little Texas Two Step.
Now, on to other matters of
some import. It's all about retraining your communications ability so that you don't fall victim to people who want to get
and keep you on the defense.
In the first place, don't think you have to jump in and answer someone who demands
an immediate answer. No no no. Take a deep breath and give yourself a bit of time to send a response back over the fence,
so to speak.
Yes, it's more than okay to answer a question with a question. In fact, it's how you get out of all
those defense-intended maneuvers that are being shot at you. You simply do not have to answer with all that immediacy.
For instance, when someone says to you, "Why don't you want to talk to me?"
Your response could
be, "About what?"
Or, "Why didn't you call me?"
"Was I supposed to?"
"Who said that?"
Slow down a bit and give yourself time to frame
Try it. It will take some time to get in the habit of allowing yourself to proceed slowly. In the
long-run, it will help you set your boundaries and maintaining them. Especially if you get the inkling that someone is trying
to invade your peace of mind by demanding that you defend yourself.
And how can you recognize defense maneuvers?
Aside from your gut reaction, densive maneuvers usually start with the word "Why."
are not part of polite conversation. The intent is for one person to try to get and keep the upper hand over someone else.
September 23, 2010
is one of those off the beaten path pieces of information that you may not have known. I didn't either until today's issue
of American Profile arrived.
The there it was on Page 12. Yet another reason that Chicago can claim to
be a winner at something.
The Field Museum in Chicago has won the 2011 America's Best Restroom Award.
So what, you may ask, does a "best restroom" have going for it that would beat out other competitors? Well, for
starters, it has little people potties. And there's a nursing room complete with a sofa in it.
So congrats, Chicago.
'Nuff said about that.
Now it's official. Quint is in remission from his chronic lymphocytic/leukemia. We
made our trip to the oncologist today and learned that the results of the CT scan he had a couple of weeks ago show that the
lymph nodes have returned to normal. Thank you for answered prayers. We're both now on the once-in-three-months regimen. I
did have a new medication to the list of what the doctor has in my file. That's Allupurinol. So when I told him, he said,
"Oh, you've got gouty athritis."
Yep. That's me. The medication is specifically for people who has been
given Cytoxa for chemo with breast cancer.
But then I found out that eating cherries -- only 6 a day -- will help
out a lot. Sure enough, we found cherries in the produce aisle. Fresh from Chile. They are delicious. After only a week of
cherry snacks, I've seen an improvement. I can now bend my thumb with no pain at all. That's the only place, plus my back,
that seems to be bothered. Oh, it's just a nuisance. Nothing fatal. I'll take nuisances.
January 20, 2012
just jumping up and down for joy watching those pink icy, wintry mix patches float by on the weather map. And up north, oh
my goodness. I remember those days when a six inch snowfall was kind of sort of ordinary.
We do not miss it.
Here is a link to a beautiful young girl who is a prodigy -- Akiane Kramarik. She has been painting since
she was very young, age 4. Her paintings are incredible. And thanks to friends in Wichita, John and Sherre for the link: http://www.shangralafamilyfun.com/prodigy.html
Here's a link to Gene Simmons of KISS performing for the troops: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5MtdIO23MKM Makes me want to stand up and march around the dining room. Thanks, Mark, for sharing.
January 20, 2012
just jumping up and down for joy watching those pink icy, wintry mix patches float by on the weather map. And up north, oh
my goodness. I remember those days when a six inch snowfall was kind of sort of ordinary.
We do not miss it.
Here is a link to a beautiful young girl who is a prodigy -- Akiane Kramarik. She has been painting since
she was very young, age 4. Her paintings are incredible. And thanks to friends in Wichita, John and Sherre for the link: http://www.shangralafamilyfun.com/prodigy.html
January 18, 2012
so here's my ignorance showing. I don't know where either of these teams are from -- Trinity and Millsap -- but this link
that my cousins Al and Mark sent to me shows one of the most phenomenal football plays I have ever seen in all my born
Talk about teamwork! This one play won the game. Wow!
And Mark sends these tips too:
1. I think part of a best friend's job should be toimmediately clear your computer
history if you die.
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an
argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take
back all those times I didn't want to
nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know
how to get out of my neighborhood.
I especially like #7.
As for the second point, I'll have to see if Quint can even remember a time when
he was wrong. About anything. ha ha
Me? I try to keep my mouth shut unless I know pretty much what the answer is.
Reminds me of a fella in grad school who had a most unique form of discipline. He says it's more effective than time
outs and has been using it since his kiddos were real little. He makes them sit down so that he can tell them the entire
history of slavery. All total, it takes about 45 minutes.
January 17, 2012
from 61 degrees this morning to a cool 28 now. There's a raw wind blowing that makes it feel like 2 zillion below zero.
Thank goodness Ground Hogs Day is only weeks away. That's the day I first celebrate spring.
when I was a little girl the teacher would pass around those mimeographed pictures for our class to color. After I became
an adult, I realized that the ground hog is nothing but a big rodent and the whole thing used up all my brown color crayons.
My irises did die back again though. Poor little things. I can hear them shivering under their little
dirt shoes. I have a huge variety of colors. Some are yellow, a peach color that's really a double. Looks pretty and
frilly. Various shades of purple, one almost black. And finally a pink iris. I like irises. They remind me of Vincent Van
Gogh. He painted irises for the whole year that he was in the asylum. People sometimes comment about how they must have been
Van Gogh's favorite flower. The truth is, they were the only flower planted at the asylum. So of course he painted irises.
What else were there? Besides, by that time he was probably tired of doing self-portraits, being one ear shy of having a full
face and all.
Thank you for all your "as if" comments. It was very interesting to hear about how you
are using the same concept. Actually it's little more than positive thinking. But it works. People who are negative get dumped
on a lot. They aren't any fun and they suck all the air out of relationships, out of the sky and out of their hearts. So lighten
up everybody and live your lives as if you are the successful person you want to be!
January 16, 2012
Live your life as
It's a Biblical concept. Believe you will get what you pray for, and it is yours, we are promised.
It's the underlying principle of the best-seller The Secret.
So let's all put a whole bunch of
positive energy out there. The idea is that if you send positive energy out from yourself, it will come back to you.
That's where you embrace the idea that you'll do better in life if you live your life as if.
married couples who live their lives as if can somehow keep a vibrancy alive in their relationship. Remember
those days when you tried to do all the thoughtful, courteous things you could to attract this handsome guy, or gorgeous lady,
into your life? If you're going to be late, do you call and let somebody know you're being detained? If you're living your
life as if, then you're going to do such thoughtful things like making a call.
Or how about getting that
dream job? What happens when you are sitting in your cubicle doing some grunt project and wishing the clock would advance
a few hours so you could get out of there? Well, if you're living your life as if you'd just gotten into an interview
and were trying to convince a prospective boss that you really wanted the job, you'd go ahead and do the best you could do,
even if every day isn't always exciting and creatively challenging.
Or how about parenting. Remember those days
when you couldn't wait for Little Baby Ten Toes to arrive? Live your life as if those days beckon you and you back
to the days when you promised yourself that you'd be the best parent you possibly could be to the new baby yet to be born.
Living as if will help you get through long, fright-filled nights when you're waiting for an errant teenage to wander
on back home.
And most of all, live your life as if Christ were headed this way from the other side of
the universe and he is just about ready to come down out of the clouds. Living your life as if he were just about
here just may change your life choices.
Good luck with that. Think about ways you could live your life as if.
January 13, 2012
Yes, we got the snow. Not
much. Just a couple of inches. Then it stopped for a few hours. I reminded Quint that when the snow started up again, it counted
as a new snow. At least for my reckoning. He doesn't have to count the snows separately if he doesn't want to. It's just that
if you don't, you end up with some extra snowfalls anticipated by the end of the season.
Yesterday I saw a red
fox loping along across the neighbor's yard across the street. At first I thought it was a dog, but then, that tail is a giveaway.
Red fox it was. Pretty good sized one too. We have some woods behind our house. Figure he lives back in there with the deer
who come out every once in a while looking for good chow, like when the neighbor's beans are about ready to pick. I told her
to get a bottle of Liquid Fence at the hardware store, last year. It works. It's kept deer, squirrels and rabbits away from
my garden goodies ever since I planted a garden down here. Not too cheap, but it does the trick. You spray around the perimeter
of the garden, not on the veggies. A quart bottle lasts most of the season.
It even works on those naughty dogs
who like to hike up their legs and take a leak on my rose bush out front. Actually they're probably marking their territory.
Doesn't matter, me and my Liquid Fence go out there and give the bush a squirt where the dogs squirted. They don't come back
so much. Nothing to reclaim if they can't get a whiff of their aroma.
Tomorrow I'm going to my first meeting of
the Christian Writers Group here in town. Looking forward to meeting others who are plying their craft too.
anxious to see if anyone else uses what I call the Ernest Hemingway approach -- you know, three to four word sentences. He
was a master at it and I figured if he made it work, so could I. Problem is, my spell checker does not like fragmented sentences.
But hey, that's the way people talk. So I say I write "conversationally." ha!
Oh, changing the subject.
What do you think the stock markets are going to do on Monday morning, now that Standard and Poors has downgraded the financial
houses of Yerp? France and Austria lost their AAA ratings. A total of 15 European nations' ratings were cutting in the
S&P slash and burn come-uppance move. One of these days, the US is going to get downgraded again if we don't get a grip
You can't spend all your money!
I watched one of those news interview programs, maybe
a Jay Leno man on the street. Not sure. Anyway, the commentator was asking the people where they thought money came from.
One lady said she thought the president printed the money in the basement of the White House. Unfortunately, she was serious.
She even knew who the president was.
God said something about wasting the blessings He gives us. We'd better all
listen up and pay attention, folks.
January 11, 2011
glad that Netflix survived the stupidest marketing debacle yet -- raising money on top of money by doing a double tier charge
system. Never could figure out what they were going to charge so we canceled everything but the streatming, which we used
mostly anyway. We do get one video still, though. What we have both come to really like is the video of a fireplace burning.
That's all it is. Just a fireplace burning. It makes the living room seem warm and cozy. Okay, so it doesn't make the room
actually warm, but the crackling fire and licking flames do okay by me.
Just in time, too, for a winter storm heading
our way. I fear that this one isn't going to miss us. We might get several inches out of it. It's heading SSE out of Iowa
and looks to cut a big swath across Illinois as it heads east. I guess that's the end of our 40 degree winters.
well, it was nice while it lasted.
Now, on to Groundhog's Day which is February 2. Somehow I don't think the little
groundhog is going to be a harbinger of spring. This is going to be one of those winters where it's going to be snowing for
Easter, I'll bet. When the girls were little tykes I remember them hopping through snow on the way to the church on Easter
Sunday. Didn't do their little patent leather slippers any good.
Not much news going on except politics, in case
you haven't noticed. Politics in the US has become a mult-billion dollar business. So the ads and speeches and debates and
spin doctoring are going to continue until November.
One good thing did come out of the Supreme Court today. Believe
it or not, the justices reaches a unanimous decision that says churches can hire people of their own choice - whether it's
a priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam. The supremes said the government had to "butt out" in so many words.
Well, it's about time.
And my cousin Frances in Texas says the jonquils are sprouting and the bluebells are really
thick, though not blooming just yet.
I will add that my irises are totally confused. I have cut them back twice
now and could cut them back again but I'm not gonna. If they decide to bloom when it snows, I'll take a photo for posterity.
And with that, no matter where you are, please drive carefully. I know that some parts of the midwest are supposed
to get 10" of snow or more, but the rest of us can expect 1 to 2 inches of the white stuff. I don't care if we only get
one inch of snow. If it's sitting on icy pavement, it can still be deadly.
Prayers for safety for all of you.
January 9, 2012
Had he lived,
today would have been my brother, Allison's, 67th birthday. His middle name was Wallace, probably named for some long lost
relative I've never heard of. So we called him A.W. because that's what people in the south do. There's usually at least one
first degree relative identified only by initials. So wherever you are, A.W., I hope you're enjoying the choirs of angels
and that at the last moments on your deathbed you begged forgiveness for a life filled with sins. I suspect that you did get
that idea as you lay dying of lung cancer. But I don't know that. I just pray that you did because I would love to see you
Changing the subject, I have received more than quite a few emails about this Mayan thing and what's
going to happen at the end of 2012.
In the first place, the Bible reference to the end of the world is very clear
about who knows what. I believe it's in Revelation where the verse says that no one knows when the world will end except the
Father. Even His Son, Jesus Christ, does not have that information.
Yep. It says so in the Bible. Look it up.
Or if you don't have a Bible with a good commentary that can point you to the verse, go to www.ask..com and type in a question like, "Where in the Bible does it say ............................................"
You'll get a reference.
That's exactly what I did this evening before I started this writing. I knew that somewhere
in the Bible, there was an answer to some prophet who asked God how he would end the world the "next time" since
he'd promised in a covenant after the flood that he would never destroy the population with a flood again. Then he put a rainbow
in the sky. To this day, when I see a rainbow, I am reminded of God's promise not to send a flood again.
about this point that the Mayans supposedly thought the world was going to end? Did they actually say that? Not really, unless
you interpret their writings to fit into that concept. But what if it'd the Mayan calendar, not the world, that is supposed
to end in December 2012? After all, we have Bible texts that say only the Father knows. If He didn't get around to telling
His much beloved Son, Jesus Christ, do you really believe He would have told some Indians out there on the Yucatan Peninsula.
So what did God tell the prophet?
In the New International Reader's Version, in Hebrews 12, we
25 Be sure that you don't say no to the One who speaks. People did not escape when they said
no to the One who warned them on earth. And what if we turn away from the One who warns us from heaven? How much less will
26 At that time his voice shook the earth. But now
he has promised, "Once more I will shake the earth. I will also shake the heavens."—(Haggai 2:6)
27 The words "once more" point out that what can be shaken can be taken away. I'm talking
about created things. Then what can't be shaken will remain.
We are receiving a kingdom that can't be shaken. So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him.
We will worship him with deep respect and wonder. 29 Our "God is like a fire that burns everything
There are also references to
God shaking the earth in Psalm 115:3 and Haggai 2:6.
I am reminded of the reference in Verse 28 that "...we
can worship God in a way that pleases him." That pretty much takes care of people who say they don't go to church because
they believe they can worship God in a forest, or somewhere else. In fact, God tells us that he wants us to meet in assembly
with fellow believers.
So get up on the Sabbath, get dressed and make your way to church where you can "assemble"
with "fellow believers." Just do it. Don't say "no" to God.
And then there's
this Tebow guy. Don't you love him?! Over the weekend he rushed 316 yards. That was the accumulated passes he threw and I
think he ran the ball some too. When he heard the stats broadcast with his last winning throw of the day that he was responsible
for 316 yards that won the game for the Denver Broncos, what does he do? Did he swell up and sing, "How great I am?"
Not on your life. He dropped to his knee and thanked God for his blessings. He later explained that when he heard that,
all he could think of was John 3:16.
January 7, 2012
I'm stuck at the weight
where I've plateaued so Quint and I headed for the gym today. That's how you get off those plateaus - either drastically cut
back on calories or step up the exercise.
Well, since our life is pretty sedentary as it is, just walking out
the door to get intot he car is an improvement on the sedentary lifestyle. So, since we're Silver Sneakers on our Humana insurance,
we headed for the gym where we used to go faithfully before all this cancer nonsense started. We walked on the treadmill for
a big fat 20 minutes. We got all the way up to a 27 minute mile. Then we did some work on the strength training machines.
I got on the machine that works the hamstrings. I personally think my hamstrings have completely atrophied, but that could
be just a bit hyperbolic. Truth is, I don't like needing to hang onto something just to stand up, for crying out loud.
Okay, so I don't expect to jump up out of my seat, but I would like to look less like an invalid. I'll work up to
walking for an hour, or get up to five miles. I remember when I was a Girl Scout leader I used to go on five mile hikes with
frequency. But then, those were called "all day hikes" for Brownies.
Oh well, we're expecting it to
take some little while to get some semblance of stamina back.
On our way home, we stopped at Walgreens where I
got my flu shot. The doctor only had one left when we were there for our last checkup, so Quint got it.
stocked up on sugar free candy. Russell Stover is my friend!
Changing the subject, I can always rely on my cousin
Mark to send the Darwin Awards for the previous year. And here they are:
THE 2011 DARWIN AWARDS
You've been waiting for them with bated breath, so without further ado, here are the
2011 Darwin Awards:
In Detroit , a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after
head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.
San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran",
accidentally jogged off a 100-foot high cliff on
his daily run.
While at the beach, Daniel Jones, 21, dug an 8 foot hole for protection
wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom, when it collapsed, burying
him beneath 5 feet
of sand. People on the beach used their hands and shovels trying
to get him out but could not reach him. It took rescue
workers using heavy equipment
almost an hour to free him. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed as he fell through the ceiling of a bicycle shop
he was burglarizing.
Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his
mouth to keep his hands free rammed into the base of his
skull as he hit the floor.
Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed as he won a
bet with friends who said he
would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the
After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door, a man
walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on robbing the store. The shop was full of
customers and a uniformed
officer was standing at the counter. Upon seeing the
officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up and fired a few
wild shots from a
The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and several customers also
their guns and fired. The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics.
Crime scene investigators
located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The
subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified
rounds from 7
different weapons. No one else was hurt.
47, and his wife Bonnie were bored just driving around at 2 A.M. so
they lit a quarter stick of dynamite to toss out
the window to see what would
happen. Apparently they failed to notice that the window was closed.
Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew
a person who had
bungee-jumped from a local bridge in the middle of traffic. The
conversation grew more excited, and at least 10 men trooped
along the walkway of the
bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge, they discovered that
one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered
and pointed out that a coil of lineman's
cable lay nearby. They secured one end
around Bingham's leg and then tied the other to the bridge. His fall lasted 40
before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously
survived his fall into the icy
water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen.
Bingham's foot was never located.
AND THE WINNER IS....
Zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt ( Paderborn , Germany ) fed his constipated elephant
22 doses of animal laxative
and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes
before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators
Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when
the relieved beast
The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr Riesfeldt to the
he struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200
pounds of dung on top of him. It seems to be just
one of those freak accidents.
January 9, 2012
lived, today would have been my brother, Allison's, 67th birthday. His middle name was Wallace, probably named for some long
lost relative I've never heard of. So we called him A.W. because that's what people in the south do. There's usually at least
one first degree relative identified only by initials. So wherever you are, A.W., I hope you're enjoying the choirs of angels
and that at the last moments on your deathbed you begged forgiveness for a life filled with sins. I suspect that you did get
that idea as you lay dying of lung cancer. But I don't know that. I just pray that you did because I would love to see you
Changing the subject, I have received more than quite a few emails about this Mayan thing and what's
going to happen at the end of 2012.
In the first place, the Bible reference to the end of the world is very clear
about who knows what. I believe it's in Revelation where the verse says that no one knows when the world will end except the
Father. Even His Son, Jesus Christ, does not have that information.
Yep. It says so in the Bible. Look it up.
Or if you don't have a Bible with a good commentary that can point you to the verse, go to www.ask..com and type in a question like, "Where in the Bible does it say ............................................"
You'll get a reference.
That's exactly what I did this evening before I started this writing. I knew that somewhere
in the Bible, there was an answer to some prophet who asked God how he would end the world the "next time" since
he'd promised in a covenant after the flood that he would never destroy the population with a flood again. Then he put
a rainbow in the sky. To this day, when I see a rainbow, I am reminded of God's promise not to send a flood again.
So what did God tell the prophet?
In the New International Reader's Version, we find:
Be sure that you don't say no to the One who speaks. People did not escape when they said no to the One who warned them on
earth. And what if we turn away from the One who warns us from heaven? How much less will we escape!
26 At that time his voice shook the earth. But now he has promised, "Once more I will shake the
earth. I will also shake the heavens."—(Haggai 2:6) 27 The words "once
more" point out that what can be shaken can be taken away. I'm talking about created things. Then what can't be shaken
28 We are receiving a kingdom that can't be shaken.
So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him. We will worship him with deep respect and wonder.
29 Our "God is like a fire that burns everything up."—(Deuteronomy 4:24)
January 4, 2011
this could be the beginning of a developing article about recognizing saboteurs within an organization. You know -- they're
the ones we refer to as alligators. Every organization has them. And they show their true colors more prominently than you
Here's an old maxim as you start your new year: If you want people to like you, you have to make yourself
That takes care of the bossy ones. People run from these guys. They sit in their chairs and issue edicts
and "fetch orders." "Get me this," or "get me that" seems to be their motto. You don't see these
people surrounded by a big crowd of people, do you? Organizations are full of these little chiefs.
So what can
you do to make people like you? Easy. If you want something, go get it yourself. That's for starters. The world does not raise
citizens who wait for you to beckon them.
That is, unless you're a politician or a monarch, or something that
gives your blue-blooded attitude the self-imposed right to sit on a chair and make demands.
Tied to likability
is another maxim: Good leaders make good followers. You can spot the good leaders in your organization by looking around to
see who the workers are. They're the ones who make the good leaders. The people who don't want to do any real work in a group
are the same ones who will keep the organization at the status quo. No growth. They say, "I liked it better when we were
smaller." All too often, these little-minded people have a secret agenda of their own. They seldom do anything to help
the organization grow. Does the definition of passive aggressive come to mind?
Just remember, aggression
is always a hostile act.
And passive aggression is disguised as sabotage. Each and every time. Passive aggressive
people are on a perpetual search for power. And what do they want the most? Whatever strength you've got. They're
trying to run a little micro counter-culture in your organization.
But there's good news. You reward (reinforce)
the behavior you want to continue. That's behavior modification rule #1. If you find yourself surrounded by people who
don't share your values, then for your own sense of well-being, find another venue. There are plenty of organizations and
opportunities out there in this big, wide wonderful world that welcome hard workers.
It's even Biblical to shake
the dust from your sandals and walk away. Whatever happened between the "shake the dust from your sandals" theory
and the "turn the other cheek motto?"
Well, that thesis can be bridged with a good sermon. I'm
not a pastor so I'll leave that one for theologians to wrestle with.
January 2, 2012
be it resolved -----
I don't ordinarily make New Years resolutions. But this year is an exception.
can trace my weight gain all the way back to 1985 when my thyroid was removed. I had what's known as a "thyroid storm"
at work and was taken by ambulance to Northwest Memorial Hospital from the law firm where I worked. An endocrinologist diagnosed
Graves Disease, an autoimmune nuisance. Problem was I had my daughter's wedding gown about half done and was looking down
the barrel of her wedding in about two weeks. I finished the gown, had the thyroid ablated with a radioactive iodine. Quint
said I glowed in the dark. The doctor released me much earlier than he would have ordinarily because I promised to return
post haste after the wedding for quick checkups. That only entailed a quick cab ride over to his office from the law firm
where I was back at work.
The problem was, my weight started to slowly rise. At about a 60 degree slope upward.
I put on seventy pounds in a year!
I tried lots of diets. All the wrong ones. Low carb diets, for instance, are
never any good. I don't care who recommends them, they are not good for your body's chemistry. The human being is meant to
eat grains and grain products. Problem was, I wasn't eating anything differently than my pre-ablation days.
in 2006 Quint and I moved. We bought a Cape Cod. People thought I was nuts to move into a house that had three levels when
we had lived in a condominium that was all on one level. Not to mention that my knees were giving me fits. But after we moved
I started to lose weight. Slowly. Ever so slowly. After about six months my knees were not giving me any problems at all.
I wasn't doing anything much different except I was out from under the sedentary lifestyle that came with my counseling practice.
I was walking around more. I enjoyed the physical activity. At the end of a year I was 49 pounds lighter.
is the year I'm going to take off the rest of the 25 pounds that I packed on. And how am I going to do this? Simple. Give
up most of the flour products I eat.
Following a gout diet is not that difficult. Sugar is my enemy. Yeast products
are also my enemy. Meat is my enemy too. No more bacon with my eggs. No more smoky links that are stuffed with cheddar cheese
and jalapeno peppers.
No more cookies. At least not more than two at one sitting. Ice cream is okay so it's a
good thing that I really like Eskimo Pies -- sugar free that is. This afternoon I'm going to make a cookie that has a chocolate
turtle stuffed inside. The cookie dough is a Pillsbury sugar free cake mix and the chocolate turtles are sugar free from Russell
Stove. I'll cut the turtles into quarters to make them go farther. Does it cost more to make them? You bet. But it's cheaper
than all the medicines that you have to take if you're diabetic. I can have a couple of cookies with impunity.
cheeses and cottage cheese are also very good for me. And for some reason, tart cherries are also good for the gout diet.
They are low in purines. The lower the purines in the bloodstream, the lower the risk of too much uric acid in the blood.
Fresh apples and oranges and bananas are good for the low purine diet too. But I seldom eat bananas. Once in a while we'll
put them on cereal for breakfast. (Did you know that a serving of banana is only 1/2 of the banana?) It has too much sugar
in it. I learned that from Quint's diabetic diet.
Two weeks ago I started a lifestyle change that will allow me
to get control of the gout. I've now lost 5 and a half pounds.
I'm looking forward to being at least ten pounds
lighter by the end of January. That's the only resolution that I've made so far.
I'm thinking about slowing down
a bit. Especially now that I'm working at a job that I really enjoy in the afternoons. It's working for a dual parish church
office. Fortunately, the pastor I work with was a friend of mine before I started working with him.
I'm not willing
to give that up. But I am willing to give up my "over-do" list. It's too easy for people to mistake my generosity
with my time and energy. So I'm going to step back this year and let other people do some of the things that I used to
do. In the meantime, I have joined a Christian Writers Group that meets here in Effingham County. It's a group of about ten
people who are writing for publication.
And I have a couple of grants that I promised to write for some business
people here in the county. I like writing grants. It keeps my paralegal skills honed. And I like helping business people get
their enterprises off the ground.
I also want to continue with my own writing projects.
And that should
keep me busy and productive in the new year.
That's only two resolutions. They're two that I can commit to that
I know I will follow faithfully. That's the key to success when it comes to re-inventing yourself. Pick a re-invention project
that you are willing to commit to completely. And don't take on too many projects at the same time. You'll only frustrate
yourself. Pick a project that you are motivated to work on. For me, it was the dreaded fear that if I kept on gobbling away,
I'd hit 300 pounds. That's just something that I'm not willing to embrace. Besides, losing weight is all about math. If you
eat more calories than you use up, you'll gain weight.
I've watched people who claim that they "just can't
lose weight." They'd have you believe that they have tried everything. Yet, when you look at their plates, there's potatoes,
noodles, and bread and butter. Then there's the entree and maybe, just maybe a little bit of green vegetable. Never ever eat
potatoes and bread in the same meal. And I don't know what they think they're doing by dumping noodles or dressing onto the
plate. After all, you're not required to eat everything on the menu. So, if you're an adult, make a fist. That's about a cup.
Half of that amount would be a serving. If you're eating a closed fist size of mashed potatoes, you're eating too much. Oh,
you could have that much in green beans. That's for sure. But not if the beans are highly seasoned with butter and bacon bits,
I figure you've probably seen this letter that my cousins Mark and Al sent to me, but
it's worth another read through:
Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month.
The day after she
passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking
about how much she missed Abbey.
She asked if
we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God
would recognize her.
I told her that I thought
we could so, and she dictated these words:
Will you please take care of my dog?
She died yesterday and is with you in heaven.
her very much.
I ' m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will
play with her.
She likes to swim and play with balls.
I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will
know that she is my dog.
I really miss her.
We put the letter in an envelope with a
picture of Abbey & Meredith , addressed it
We put our return address on it.
several stamps on the front of the envelope cause she said it would
take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way
to heaven. That afternoon she
dropped it into the letter box at the post office.
A few days later, she asked if
God had gotten the letter yet.
I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday, there was a package wrapped
in gold paper on our front porch addressed,
'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand.
Meredith opened it.
was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.'
Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to
God in its opened
On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized
Abbey isn't sick anymore.
Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.
loved being your dog.
Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your
so I ' m sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and
have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it
and sending it to me.
a wonderful mother you have.
I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that
I love you very much.
By the way, I'm easy to find.
I am wherever there is love.
January 1, 2012
What a beautiful
message I've received from my cousins, Mark and Al:
WHAT HAPPENS IN HEAVEN WHEN
> This is one of the nicest e-mails
I have seen :
> I dreamt that I went to Heaven
and an angel was showing me around. We
> walked side-by-side inside a large workroom
filled with angels. My angel
> guide stopped in front of the first section and said,
'This is the
> Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.
> I looked around in this area, and it was terribly
busy with so many angels
> sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets
and scraps from
> people all over the world.
> Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.
> The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging
and Delivery Section.
> Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed
> delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how
> busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station,
> since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged
> for delivery to Earth.
> Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of
a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated
> there, idly
doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section, my angel
> friend quietly admitted
to me. He seemed embarrassed.
> "How is
it that there is no work going on here? I asked."
"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they
asked for, very few send back acknowledgments."
"How does one acknowledge God's blessings? "I asked.
> "Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Lord."
> "What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.
> "If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
> overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.
> If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish,
> you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy, and if you get this on
your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that
> "If you woke up this morning with more
health than illness.. You are more
> blessed than the many who will not even survive
> "If you have never experienced
the fear in battle, the loneliness of
> imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs
of starvation... You are
> ahead of 700 million people in the world."
> "If you can attend a church without the fear of
> torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three
> people in the world."
> "If your parents are still alive and still married.... you are very rare."
> "If you can hold your head up and smile, you are
not the norm, you're
> unique to all those in doubt and despair......."
> "Ok," I said. "What now? How can I start?"
> The Angel said, "If you can read this
message, you just received a double
> blessing in that someone was thinking of you as
very special and you are
> more blessed than over two billion people in the world who
cannot read at
> Have a good day, count your blessings , and if you care to, pass this
along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are..........
> ATTN: Acknowledge Dept .
"Thank you Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and for
me so many wonderful people with whom to share it."
If you have read this far, and are thankful for all that you have been
> blessed with,
how can you not send it on?
thank God for everything, especially all my family and friends.
do you know how many pearly gates there are? -- If you guessed 12, you'd be correct. See Revelation 21.)
here's a profound story from my friend Linda, in Lawrenceville:
Read it before but just as powerful the second or third time.
GOD BLESS. Please do not forget the real reason for the
This is so beautiful!
A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner, the people
were in and out of the cold.
The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell many
He walked up to a policeman and said, 'Mister,
you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could
find a warm place to sleep tonight would you?
You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down
the alley and it's awful cold in there for tonight. Sure
would be nice to have a warm place to stay.'
The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, 'You go
down the street to that big white house and you knock
on the door. When they come out the door you just say John
3:16, and they will let you in.'
So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked
on the door, and a lady answered. He looked up and said,
'John 3:16 .' The lady said, 'Come on in, Son.'
She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker
in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went off..
boy sat there for a while and thought to himself:
John 3:16 ....I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold
Later she came back and asked him 'Are you hungry? 'He said,
'Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days,
and I guess I could stand a little bit of food,'
The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table
full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't
anymore. Then he thought to himself: John 3:16...
Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a hungry
She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub
filled with warm water, and he sat there
and soaked for a
while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16 ...
I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy
clean... You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my
whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in
front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.
The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room,
tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up
around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the
lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the
window at the snow coming down on that cold night,
he thought to himself: John 3:16 .....I don't understand it
but it sure makes a tired boy rested.
The next morning the lady came back up and took him
down again to that same big table full of food. After he
ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom
rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big old Bible.
She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face..
'Do you understand John 3:16 ? ' she asked gently. He replied,
'No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last
night when the policeman told me to use it,'
She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain
to him about Jesus . Right there, in front of that big old
fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there
and thought: John 3:16,“I
don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.
You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either,
how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how
Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the
agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched
and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept
Jesus on the cross till the end. I don't understand it,
it sure does make life worth living.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life....
If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow the
Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of
you before my Father.' Pass this on only if you mean it.
I do Love God . He is my source of existence... .. He keeps
me functioning each and every day. Phil 4:13 If you love
and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things he has done
for you, send this on..
Take 60 seconds & give this a shot ! Let's just see if Satan
stops this one.
All you do is:
1) Simply say a small prayer for the person who sent you
this, 'Father, God bless this person in whatever it is that
You know he or she may be needing this day. In Jesus' Name,
Amen ! '
2) Then send it on to other people. Within hours many people
have prayed for you, and you caused a multitude of
pray to God for other people. Then sit back and watch the
power of God work in your life for doing the
thing that you
know He loves.
(This is a good example of what I call Network Prayers. It really makes me feel
great to know that people are praying for me, and I love to pray for others too. Thank you, Linda, for sending.)