Sunday, January 31, 2010

Christian Maturity

Pastor Rasmusson spoke to us today on maturity in Christ through the appropriation of the Word of God and obedience to the Spirit.

I Corinthians 1:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2: I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3: For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Spiritual maturity depends on growth in Christ and is governed by undersatanding of the Word. (Not dependent on how long one has been a Christian, but on how one appropriates the Word to his life.)
Babes in Christ are yet carnal, the mature are spiritual. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God wants to control us through the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

The emphasis throughout the Old Testament is obedience.

The matter of being spiritual in how we respond to God.

II Corinthians 5:21 For He(God) hath made Him(Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Christ).

We will be judged not on our accomplishments but on what we have done with the Person of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dance, Dance, Dance








We were entertained last evening by Folklorica, a group of young people who perform authentic Mexican folk dances. The children range in age from eight to eighteen. Not only did they enthrall us with rhythmically perfect feats of the feet for over an hour, they were on their way to another performance after an hour's rest! Well, no, I wouldn't want to be a kid again, but that kind of energy and stamina is enviable.

This group is sponsored by Edinburg Parks and Recreation; and they perform competitively all over the nation. They have won many accolades and prizes, and they compete against adult competition!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mighty Mo

On this date in 1944 the last battleship of the United States was commissioned into the US Navy. The USS Missouri, affectionately known as "Mighty Mo," was the site of the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII.

The Missouri fought in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War. She was involved in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. She was involved in the Korean war, after which she was decommissioned in 1955.
The Mo was reactivated with updated armaments and equipment in 1984 and provided support during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.The USS Missouri was decommisioned in March 1992, and in 1998 she was donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association and is now a museum ship at Pearl Harbor.

The Missouri is the only battleship I have ever been aboard, as I had the good fortune to tour this vessel during the time she was decommisioned and lying at anchor in Bremerton.
I also visited the carrier USS Lexington, now a museum ship in Corpus Christi.

Pass the Lamb, Please

I'll pass on the lamb, and yes there is a story behind that. My late wife, Ellie, grew up in Westchester County, NY and lamb was a great favorite of hers and of all her family. I, on the other hand, had three summers of eating in the cafeteria at a western college whose name started with "R" and ended in "eed." The cafeteria manager, or purchasing agent or whoever made those decisions, had evidently worked a long-term contract with some Montana sheep baron. We had "lamb" and mutton and mouton-- you get the idea-- to the point that I can barely stand to be in the same room with it.

Ellie, on the other hand, was at times almost distraught because lamb was impossible to obtain in our community, even though we practically could see the sheep grazing in the pasture next door. Of course: they shipped their lamb to NY! So when her brother visited, he always brought a leg of lamb: and you gotta love Don. He brought a ham, too, just for me.

A BBBH favorite is gyros so whenever we are in the neighborhood of a good Greek restaurant, she gets to stop for that. Of course, I have a burger.



(Since I have hit a "dry spell," I lifted this from my private blog to share it publicly.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Supremes

Where does this Judicial Branch of the government get off, thinking its job is interpretation of the Constitution in lieu of supporting political ideologies?

"FDR packs Court; OHB hacks Court."

Eating Out With the Eldergroup



Wednesday afternoon in E'burg and many of the park residents head to Peter Piper's Pizza. Bring your Piper's Club cup and the drink is free, the salad, pizza and ice cream is $4.99 plus tax. Can you eat at home that inexpensively?


But when you go out for "supper" with this group, it is five o'clock, don't be late. In fact, be there by 4:45. The only group of people you can go to dinner with and be home before sunset. In January. Well, okay, so our average age is 77.6. [Statistic made up, but not far from the truth.] At least it seems that most are older than I; and I, as the kids tell me, am older than dirt.


There was real bleu cheese dressing for the salad, the pizza was hot and tasty. The ice cream came in a very tiny cup, but the cinnamon dessert "pizza" was excellent. And I had enough Dr. Pepper to last me until, well, the next time!


Note that this is filed under "health" because a healthful eating regimen was practiced. In the breach.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Western Union

This notice was posted on the Western Union website:

"Effective 2006-01-27, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative.

Thus ended an era which was a huge part of my early life. For I delivered telegrams for most of my high school years, working four hours each evening after school and eight hours on Saturday. I learned a good many things, some of which were actually useful. Equally important, at the time, I kept my pockets lined with spending money, most of which I frittered away. I did, though, open a passbook savings account at a local bank.

The bank paid two percent on savings. They basically charged six percent on loans. They paid their employees and shareholders and drew their profit from the float. What ever happened to banking? It used to be a service industry. Can you say "greed?" My bank paid on my savings account last year just under one percent. No typo. And I shudder to think what the rates to borrow might be.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Tale from School

It was another beautiful fall morning, but it was a Tuesday. The small boy wore a scowl on his little face as he put on his shoes. Tying the laces carefully, he was muttering all the while, "I'm not going to school today." He went into the kitchen where Mama was just finishing the cooking of the oatmeal on the wood-burning range. The boy sat at the table with Daddy and Little Sister as Mama ladled the oats into their bowls. A dollop of cream from the top of the jar and a spoonful of sugar made the breakfast quite palatable.

"Boy," Dad said, "You need to hustle a bit. That pan under the icebox has to be emptied and you need to bring in a dozen chunks of wood before you head off to school."
"I'll take care of my chores," said the child. "But I'm not going to school today."
Dad chuckled a second, then let his face turn to a scowl, a reflection of his son's visage. "I've heard that every day since the first week you were in school. I'm a little tired of it. Now scoot."
The boy carefully removed the pan and emptied the water into the sink, knowing full well that if he spilled any he'd have to mop the floor. But all the while he was muttering, "I am not going to school."
And after the wood was inside in its box, he went out the door still vowing he was not going to school. But that, of course, was exactly where he was going.

It was just after 10:30 and Miss Gibbs had told Sandra twice to face the front of the room and to stop talking. As the child turned her head yet again toward her classmate behind her, the teacher swiftly negotiated the distance between the blackboard and the girl's seat. The children sat agape, stunned at the quickness the Old Lady displayed. The Boy, two rows over, was stunned when the teacher grasped the girl's face between her hands and rudely faced her toward the front of the room. As Miss Gibbs swung on her heel and started back toward her desk, Sandra stuck out her tongue at the retreating back. The teacher immediately spun around, returned to the girl's place, and swung her hand smartly across the child's face, literally knocking her from her seat. There were 29 first grade children who would believe for the rest of their lives that that teacher had "eyes in the back of her head."

The rest of the day, nay, the rest of that school year, is lost in the mists of that boy's memory. Except for the coloring book incident. Perhaps another time.

Names have not been changed to protect the innocent, as there is no innocent in this tale. Except maybe Little Sister, who only got to sit at the table. In our six-year old cleverness, our chant, when not in her presence, was "Old Lady Gibbs has lost her ribs."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tell Me the Old, Old Story

Pastor's sermon at Park Church this morning was a simple retelling of the old, old story, that, as the song says, is best loved by those who know it best.

The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God.
I Corinthians 2:14: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15: But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

In Adam, all have sinned, save Christ who bore our sins for us.

Every person is on one of two paths. Either he is on the way to heaven, or he is on the way to eternity without God.

God has provided a sacrifice and a way of salvation. Our only hope is to personally accept the free gift of salvation that He offers us through Jesus Christ.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hidalgo County

The median household income in Hidalgo County, Texas is just 60% of the MHI nationwide. This means that the area is among the poorest of all U S counties.
Notwithstanding this economic condition, the winter weather is perfect for us northerners whom the locals affectionately refer to as "Winter Texans." The influx of these short-term residents raises the population considerably from December to April. And no doubt increases the average age of the population a good bit too. Just looking around the park we have chosen to occupy suggests that the average age in this little community is about 78.4 years. Like all good statistics, that one is made up to suit the purposes of the writer.

The weather is perfect in January and February, but it tends to get a bit much temperature-wise in the summertime. I followed the stats last summer from the comfort of my Hoosier 85/85 weather, and I noted many days where the temperature here soared well above the 105 degree mark. Well, that is why we travel back and forth, for from the comfort of our 85/15 weather here, I monitor the near zero weather back home.

We're lovin' it.
Sincerely,
Riley

Friday, January 22, 2010

Interwebby Friends

Just a note, Friends, to let you know that we have arrived safely at our winter home. It is going to take me a bit of time to catch up with you all. Five days away from visiting really has put me behind. But I will be looking in on you. If the comments are brief or nonexistent it is in the interest of devoting the time to reading what you have to say!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Victoria, Texas

As we entered Victoria last evening, there right beside the road was an RV service center. Can you repair the outside shower faucet; we have no hot water? Because I apparently left a few drops of water in the shower when I winterized the thing last fall.

Not a problem. Fifteen minutes and sixty dollars later, we were good to go. We stayed the night in a neighboring RV park and awakened this morning to pea soup fog. But. A mere ninety minutes later, voila! brilliant sunshine, and so it is on down the road!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On the Road

Overnite, Day 1
Lunch, Day 2
Gas and Coffee, Day 3
Lunch in the Parking Lot, Day 4
--and parked in Victoria for the night.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Centrality of Christ


Sermon by Rev. D. W. Lacy (1910-1999). I have transferred some of his sermon outlines to digital database. Reading the outline is not at all the same as hearing this man of God delivering a message. However, it is my hope that you will derive a blessing from following the line of thought.

Introduction
“Christ Himself is the center of God’s wise plan for salvation.”

2 Cor 5:14b For the love of Christ constraineth us. Five wonderful words: “Christ’s love hedges me in.”

1. My prayer for you today is: “That the love of Christ may hedge you in, and bind you tightly while the current of his affection reciprocates with your spiritual nature.

2. God wants us to be governed by the Love of God, moved by the Spirit of God, dedicated to the glory of God.”

Sermon Body
There are three important scenes in the Lord’s life [which] took place on mountains.

Number one: When He preached the Beatitudes --Attitudes.
The practice of them brings a cross from the world.

Second: He showed the glory that lies beyond the cross.

Third: He offered himself in death as a prelude to His glory for all who believe and practice His presence.
===================================================
Scenes from the life of our Lord complement and intertwine, though each of them is separately keyed to Supreme thought.
===============================================================
The Supreme thought [is] redemption of mankind.
So he chose men through whom he could communicate policies.
1. He chose to involve mankind with him in redemptive grace, knowledge, and transformation of character as teacher.

2. He chose Peter (Little Rock), John the Visionary. They had shortcomings, were incomplete.
===============================================================
They needed teaching and example.
1. They needed to see His Authority and Glory beyond the scandal of the cross.

2. They saw the beauty of the Godhead when Divine Light shone within, correcting false conceptions of Christ.
(a) We need our false concepts corrected.
(b) Peter and James were throne seekers--Who will be first?
===============================================================
What we really need to know is: Christ’s cross came near, unveiling His glory. In the light of His cross He revealed the final steps [in the] fulfillment of His mission. At His baptism the heavens were opened. At His transfiguration they opened again to install Him as mediator (advocate) for us before the Throne of God the Father.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Andrew Wyeth

Christina's World, Andrew Wyeth, 1948
I am neither an art expert nor an art critic. I guess that's two names for the same thing. But, to coin a phrase, I know what I like. Along with Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth has long been one of my favorite American artists. Christina's World is probably the most well-known of Wyeth's Christina series. It is certainly my favorite.
There is much that is personal in the appreciation of a work of art; and thus it seems that one revealing too much about his perceptions of a painting is a bit of an exhibitionist. Perhaps, too, it requires a bit of voyeurism on the part of the reader to impel him to study another's perceptions. Or perhaps this applies only to certain works of art. Technical analysis and categorization by "school" or "style" is one thing. The visceral reactions and innermost feelings of the viewer are quite another.

Andrew Newell Wyeth July 12, 1917 – January 16, 2009 RIP

Friday, January 15, 2010

Disaster

Do whatever you can for the Haitian people. Please.
Don't tell me; just do what is right.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Every Show a Style Show

BBBH and I frequently sit next to each other reading or watching tv. By 'reading' I mean surfing the web, in my case, or actually holding a book in her hand in the case of Beautiful.

Who controls the remote is not an issue, for if it resides beside me and the Companion objects to the show I've selected, I of course, de-select it. If her selection is HGTV, which it likely will be, I have the choice of watching it or leaving the room. I am not a wimp; I am a loving and devoted husband.

So, to the point. Every show is a style show, for BBBH WATCHES everything, whereas I tend to try to hear the dialogue and follow the "story line," if there is one. She notices, in order 1) hairstyles, 2) clothing, and 3) set design. Apparently, everything else is irrelevant, though I will never understand how it is that six months later when the same show comes on as a repeat, it is "new" to me, but she knows every detail, including the outcome of the story.

But, that she observes the things that are important to her is not my problem. The difficulty arises from her incessant scintillating running commentary. "What a horrid haircut." "That's a cute (shirt, skirt, scarf)," whatever. "What is she thinking?" "Nobody would wear that to the office." "That's just (stupid, ridiculous, unflattering, so nineties)," you choose; or, "Really cute!" 'Cute' gets a lot of play. So does, "That's the ugliest thing I ever saw."

A wave of my hand to indicate I'd like her to be quiet is one of the worst mistakes I ever made. And once was enough. One time I tried the line, "I really appreciate that the writers throw in a lot of nonessential dialogue so that missing some of it doesn't interfere with my ability to follow the plot." I only did that once, too. I'm not stupid apparently not as smart as I think I am. Nor am I a glutton for punishment. But I'll get mine if she happens upon this post, heaven forbid.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cash at Folsom

On this date in 1968 Johnny Cash performed at Folsom Prison where the tracks for this album were cut.

An excellent story about this event is posted on NPR's website:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5018930

Here in its entirety is my post from last February, on the man's birthday:

Country, rock-a-billy, plain ol' good pickin' and singin'.
Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932. BBBH disrespectfully refers to him as "Johnny One-note" but I know some good singing when I hear it.
The Man in Black has "walked on down the line;" and I miss him. But fortunately thanks to technology we can still hear his baritone renditions of some of the best tunes ever penned.

Johnny Cash 1932 - 2003 RIP

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kreskin

If you watch Bruno Heller's "The Mentalist" starring Simon Baker you know that the protagonist claims no magical powers. He credits his astute acumen to acute observation and deduction from his ability to see what others miss. Credit, too, his ability to "twist" people's thinking. Rather an entertaining show, particularly on a winter's evening too cold for riding your bicycle. Overlook, if you can, the absurdities that abound in a typical episode and just enjoy the entertainment.

Quite possibly, though, the most renowned mentalist of our time is The Amazing Kreskin. That is his name. Really. Kreskin, The Amazing (last name first, first name, middle name last.) Kreskin, as he is familiarly known, was born George Joseph Kresge on January 12, 1935; but he had his name legally changed to The Amazing Kreskin. Kreskin says he was inspired to become a mentalist by Mandrake the Magician created by Lee Falk who also created The Phantom. Those of you old enough to remember comic strips may recall that this character was a mentalist who practiced stage magic but in real life used his powers to fight crime. Gee, have we gone all the way back around to the Simon Baker character?

Kreskin had a long run on television as himself. He has also been a favorite guest on tv talk programs and has appeared so many times on some of them as to be almost a regular. Kreskin teaches seminars for law enforcement. He resents being identified as a psychic, for that is not what he is. He, like Patrick Jane, the Baker character, relies on acumen, observation, deduction and relaxation techniques.

Monday, January 11, 2010

1A


This little reminder of the me I once was showed up in some stuff the other day. As you see, I was required upon entering the armed forces to surrender this card to my commanding officer.
Also, assuming that I did not enter the service, this certificate must be on my person at all times. Wow. No wonder this thing looks so worn after more than 55 years!

['"thing" could refer to the document, or it could refer to the person]

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Sunday After Epiphany





Lucy is being Lucy. She is 1) playing "I told you so," and 2) reacting just as we would expect she would to the opportunities presented by a new year (or a new day, or a new experience.) Some of us are like Lucy, just because we can't help ourselves. And worse, some of us enjoy it.
Moreover, good grief, like Charlie Brown, we are all losers; that is, we are all lost.
Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Yet all of us, even though we are like Charlie, have this hope, for the above sentence continues
24: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.


And Lucy's perspective on life will not change through dint of will, resolution, or magnified effort to "be good." It will be changed by turning to the Author of joy and peace:

Romans 15:13: Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture lesson from the prophets for the First Sunday after Epiphany:
Isaiah 43:1–7. This scripture assures us that God is our constant
companion.
Excerpt: 5a: Fear not: for I am with thee

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Another Snow Post

In all likelihood, most bloggers from the Midwest through the Deep South will be posting pictures or stories about the winter, the ice and the snow. Not to be upstaged, I present these photos, but notice that the theme here is tranquility, for the most part. I nudged a window open on the sunporch to take the shot of the pampas grass and the back fence.
Lin over at Duck and Wheel with String
made this observation: "I especially like when the individual fence posts are capped--I like that god pays special attention to details on stuff like that." So I include this picture of our garden yard fence for her.
As for the less tranquil part of this tale, I like to imagine that if the Four Winds could make an observation it would be, "Whut th'?" It has never had to spend a winter in snow and zero temps.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Great Snow of '78

I found an envelope in my desk tagged "Blizzard of 78." Inside were strips of 35mm black and white negatives. I no longer have equipment to print negatives via wet chemical processes, and I don't know anyone in the area who does this anymore. So, onto the scanner, into a folder in the computer, and with a good deal of "messing around" with two or three programs, I managed to "develop" these images.

The first shot shows me in front of our house. The rest of the pictures were taken at the school shortly after the snowfall stopped. I had to walk over a mile, through drifts and all, to get to the building.


From the inside looking out.

This January snow was delivered by winds in excess of sixty mph, and the howling went on for hours. There were still remnants of this snowfall on the ground in April.
As I write this in the warmth of my cozy home, though it is 11 degrees outside, I hear the "forecast" for a nasty storm to start tonight. It is not anticipated to be anything like the blizzard of '78, but for me, even four or five inches of snow is more than enough!


Rejoice! Aunt Fern is 90 today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Twelfth Night

When I was a lad we observed January 6th as the last day of Christmas. Mother's people called it "Old Christmas." The church calls it Epiphany and celebrates it as the commemoration of the visit to the Christ-child by the Magi. The Eve of Epiphany, January 5th is Twelfth Night.

The Appalachian people to whom I referred had very strong beliefs and traditions surrounding Old Christmas. It was considered inappropriate to lend anything on this day, for the lender would never retrieve the item. Also, they believed that no matter how hard the ground might be frozen the elderbushes would sprout on the eve of Epiphany. If you were to sneak out to the barn or stable on the night of January 5th, at the very stroke of midnight, you would hear the animals praying.

Happy Birthday, son Mark.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Desert Pete

My sister read Sunday's post, then forwarded the story to me.

“Desert Pete”

Some years ago, a seldom used trail in the Amargosa Desert in California, there stood a rundown hut. Nearby was a well, the only source of water for miles around. Attached to the pump was a thin baking powder can with a message inside, written in pencil on a sheet of brown wrapping paper. This was the message...

This pump is all right as of June 1932. I put a new sucker washer into it and it ought to last five years. But, the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock I buried a bottle of water, out of the sun and the cork end up. There‘s enough water in it to prime this pump, but not if you drink some water first. Pour in about 1/4, and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest medium fast, and begin to pump. You‘ll get water. The well never has run dry. Have faith. When you get watered up, fill the bottle, and put it back like you found it for the next feller. Signed, Desert Pete
Ps. don’t go drinking up all the water first! Prime the pump and you can get all the water you want.
Don’t be selfish. Deny yourself. Seek God’s kingdom first, and God will care for you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Forward

(Wanting to start the new year with a positive outlook, I chose to look backward and adopt a self-congratulatory attitude. Reviewing past posts on this blog, I assayed to pick a "favorite." I am quite pleased with the stories about family and the items devoted to genealogy. I like the "tales to be told" series. But for rehash today, I chose this item which I posted early in the life of this blog.)

Memory and History

A couple days ago I posted a snippet titled "Nostalgia." Now we know that nostalgia is an unreasonable yearning for something in the past, something that cannot be. But what we don't often think about is that everything is past. What we recall, we may hold so long as we can remember. What we record is history.

Imagine a movie being played reel-to-reel. (We have to go retrotech here for the imagery.) The top reel is the future, the lower reel, the past. As the film flicks by the lens the present is revealed, in this case 1/24th of a second for each frame. But the present can actually be defined by infinitely smaller units: nanoseconds. Nay, even less for instantly the "present" is the past. We cannot see the future. We may anticipate it, contemplate it, fantasize about it or even plan for it. But we cannot live it. Only the briefest of instants compose our present experience.

We cannot live in the past; it is gone. But we may remember it, recall it, relate it, thereby relegating yet more of our "present" to the past. What is your life without memory?

For all that philosophers and physicists may expound on this "time" we have, it is just as simple as we have limned it herein and just as complex as our memories allow.

Are you making any memories? Are you making history?
Is your hand in the hand of the Eternal Guide?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sermon for the New Year

(My Father, D. W. Lacy preached this sermon at the beginning of the New Year, 1979.)

A New Year Promise

Introduction
Whatever the fortunes or misfortunes of life may be, let us remember we are not in life alone.
1. He whose stamp is on eternity itself has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:6)
2. “He will not fail thee.” Spoken by Moses, Deut. 31:8.
(a) There before you is the land of promise.
(b) Moses called Joshua in the sight of all Israel “Be strong and of good courage.” Lines of Administration.
================================================================
First Chronicles, chapter 29. David Assembled Israel and passed the lines of administration to Solomon. In Israel the land of Promise. “He will not fail Thee.”
(a) David assembled all Israel for this occasion.
(b) “Solomon, my son, know the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart.” Vs. 9
(c) He delivered the lines of administration to Solomon.
================================================================
(Heb. 13:15) “Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have, for he hath said: ‘I will never leave.’”
Moses said it, David said it, Jesus said it.
Christ wants a contented and aggressive people, and He wants us to know that the prints of his hands are on everything. Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us --” I Cor. 3:21-22 “All things are yours.”

Illustration of the artist’s work entitled “Virgin of the Rock” by Leonardo da Vinci in the National Gallery, London. Was this art authentic? Controversy
An almost identical [painting] in the Louvre in Paris [is] a known work of this artist. No questions here! Sir Charles Holmes, an art authority was sent to Paris to study the original. He found that the artist would pinch his paint at a certain stage, LEAVING HIS FINGERPRINTS ON ALL HIS WORK.

Christ: His touch is on His work today.
1. He will not fail thee as Savior.
(a) I John 1:7 “If we walk in the light.”
(b) Heb. 7:27 “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
(c) Heb. 10:23 “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith, without wavering; for He is faithful that promised.”

2. He will not fail thee as HELPER.
(a) Heb 2:18 “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor the tempted.”
(b) Ps. 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength” etc.
(c) John 14:26 Comforter. “But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance.”

3. He will not fail thee as a refuge.
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is Good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust Him.”

4. He will not fail thee as a guide.
(a) Deut. 31:8 “And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee. Into the unknown.
(b) John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth is come He will guide thee into all truth.” Etc.
(c) Rom. 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

5. He will not fail thee as LORD.
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses.” Etc.

Illustration of Desert Pete [As was often the case, the sermon was concluded with an illustration. I do not remember this particular story and I have found no clues to it. --Ed.]
© 2005 David W. Lacy
Note: After posting this, my sister sent me a link to "Desert Pete." I posted the story here: http://vanilla-ststt.blogspot.com/2010/01/desert-pete.html

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cookie's Birthday

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Cookie is celebrating yet another birthday. This is pretty much how he celebrates nowadays.

Yesterday, though, he did chase a squirrel out of the yard, but he did not seem to feel obligated to stand by the utility pole trying to bark him down.

The dog loves him some lap time.

But he has gotten pretty indedogbonedpendent in his old age. Simply calling his name does not necessarily elicit a response. And no, he is not deaf. He can still hear a car pull into the driveway. And standing at the front window, he can still see a rabbit a block away; so I infer that his vision isn't gone, either.

If we leave it off-latch, he can open a door from either side. But after trying ten years to get him to close it behind him, I think it's time for me to give that up.

The song says there are only three things worth a dime: old dogs and children and watermelon wine. Maybe there are only two things. But we don't judge him by his monetary worth, and we don't love him because he's worth anything.

One year ago today.