Sunday, December 10, 2017

Peace Advent Sunday Two

There can be no peace among men until there is peace within the individual.  That peace cannot exist apart from Jesus Christ.

Pascal suggested that there is a God-shaped hole in the heart of everyone and the only thing that can fill it is God.*  This condition developed upon the very first instance of man's disobedience to God's instructions.  "They saw that they were naked." (Genesis 3:7) The righteousness with which man in his original state was clothed fell away immediately upon the commission of the sin of disobedience to the Creator.

Yet God in his infinite love so yearned for reestablishment of fellowship with the Creature that he gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrificial atonement for man's sin. Peace returned to the world through this gift, yet the hole in our hearts can only be filled by accepting the gift.

Seeking frenetically for something to fill the void within is futile, no matter the excitement of the entertainment or the glitter of worldly possessions.

Peace, Jesus said, I leave with you.

Avail yourself of the Peace!

 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  --John 14:7

 *“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”
- Blaise Pascal, Pensées VII(425)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Philosophers I Admire, Part 1

.My three ayem ponderings led me to thinking about Doug Marlette and Rev. Will B. Dunn.  This morning I looked back in the archives to see what I had written about these characters.  Is it an irony that this was originally published to String Too Short to Tie on this date, nine years ago?


The philosophy I study on a regular basis depends greatly on, but is not restricted to, the comics. By comics I mean the daily strips, the funnies, that appear in newspapers and that should be read on a regular basis.

The first philosopher I wish to showcase is deceased and his political cartoons and his comic strip are missed. This is Doug Marlette whose comic strip "Kudzu" served as a guiding light for me. The characters in this funny were painted true to life in character and hilarious in their demeanor. While Ida Mae; Nermal; Veranda; and Kudzu, after whom the strip was named, as well as infrequently appearing minor characters all lent panache and vibrancy to the world in which they lived, the real hero of the story was Reverend Will B. Dunn.

Dunn, whether sitting on a hillside studying the stars, or in the pulpit bumbling his way through a sermon or ceremony, always had on a hat and cowboy boots with his trousers tucked into them. His advice column was classic. "Dear Preacher, your biggest problem is you can never admit you're wrong. Disappointed." "Dear Disappointed, I may not always be right, but I am never wrong." Sitting on a hillside with Nermal, Nermal says, "Preacher, do you believe there are alien beings out there?" Dunn replies, "Son, I'm not worried about alien beings out there. I'm worried about the alien beings in here." (Points to his heart.)

The irreverence of his political cartoons often earned him the outpouring of rancor from those whose point of view he skewered. This quote is his response to such attacks.

Those who have attacked my work, whether on the right, the left, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or Muslim, all seem to experience comic or satirical irreverence as hostility and hate. When all it is, really, is irreverence. Ink on paper is only a thought, an idea. Such people fear ideas. Those who mistake themselves for the God they claim to worship tend to mistake irreverence for blasphemy. --Doug Marlette 1949 - 2007

Douglas Marlette gave of himself not only through his art, but through public service. On his way to a rehearsal of a high school drama club who were preparing to present an onstage "Kudzu," Doug's pickup crashed and he was killed. RIP

Other Marlette posts here and here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

History Lesson

Remember Pearl Harbor
Never forget.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/USS_West_Virginia2.jpg

 USS West Virginia, December 7, 1941
Image: Wikipedia.  Article here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project -Six

from Interactive Post


Clearly, Brooke had been dismissed.  She took the elevator to the sixth floor, walked to her cubicle, thoughts roiling in her mind.  She took the brown paper bag from the bottom desk drawer.  She opened the sack, found the sandwich within.  Brooke had peanut butter and jealous for lunch.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Conversations with Random People -21

We spent a good portion of Monday afternoon on the third floor of a courthouse in a neighboring county.  We were there is support of an acquaintance who was to appear before the court.  The floor was paved in a tessellated octogon/triangle pattern, the overhead skylight a geometric wonder.


As our crew gathered in the hallway, so did others, people with whom we were not acquainted.  The saddest part of the day was watching a parade of young people, some probably not yet out of their teens, passing by in shackles, escorted by a sheriff's deputy and headed to a courtroom.

A gentleman with our group, sixty-ish, unassuming, and garbed in gray shirt and gray dockers introduced himself to me and stated that he was a jail chaplain.  Conversations went on in clusters in the hallway, various people came and went.  I, tired of standing, sat on a nearby chair and simply observed.  People-watching is a fine pastime.  After awhile I noted the chaplain standing to one side contemplating whatever pictures were moving in his head, so l went over to him and

Just to satisfy my curiosity, tell me, what circumstances led to your chaplaincy?
 If I told you, you wouldn't believe it, so I'll tell you anyhow.
Say on; you have further piqued my curiosity.
Ten years ago I was one of these people.  I have done time.  Then in 2009 I met the Lord Jesus Christ and He transformed my life.  I committed myself to follow God's will in all things.  Then one day he spoke to me and said, I want you to start a jail ministry.  I replied, Unhuh.  I don't want to be a minister.  And the Lord said, I don't care what you want.  You will be a minister.  So I started calling at the jail, meeting with those who wanted to talk seriously about their lives and circumstances.  After a time, the sheriff's department called and asked for my clothing sizes.  Oh, no, I said, you are not going to knit me one of those orange suits.  No, we are going to give you a uniform fitting to your position as official chaplain and you will then be granted free passage in the jail at all hours.  So I am a chaplain.
Wow.  That is an amazing story,  God will open doors for those who will obey His calling.
Indeed, he said.  And there is more.  Just a year ago the Lord told me he wanted me to be the pastor of a local church, an old but dying church in the community. (He named the church.)  Oh, no, Lord, not me.  I don't want to be a pastor.  And God said, I don't care what you want.
Seems, I said, the Lord gets His way with you in spite of what you want.
Truth, he said.  There is no bargaining with God.  It is His way or no way.  At any rate, when I took the church they were down to about fifteen souls in attendance.  Less than twelve months later, we are running fifty-five and growing a bit week-by-week.
Another example, I said, of the Lord's faithfulness.  Keep the faith and carry on!

We spoke of many other things, and the wait was not yet over.

More amazing perhaps than the floor or the ceiling is the staircase:







Sunday, December 3, 2017

Hope Advent Sunday One

Fall 1943.  The Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog arrived in the morning mail.  Nine-year old Brother gets his hands on it first because he brought the mail in from the postbox.  He is lying on the living room floor engrossed in dreams of what might be when six-year old Sister wanders in and demands to see the new catalog.

Brother, rapt in study of the offerings and wrapped in complete self-interest, denies Sister's request.  She in turn appeals to higher authority and Mama soon advises Brother that he will have to share.  "But," she tells them both, "don't get your hopes set too high.  Study the book and choose carefully.  Here, Sissie.  Saturday you may draw a ring around one, ONE, item with a red crayon.  Buddy, you may draw a ring around one item with a blue crayon.  That's it; then hope for the best."

Saturday morning.  Brother has already made up his mind so he gets the book and quickly circles his choice.  After breakfast, after the table is cleared, after all have gone about their respective chores, Sister takes the book, places it carefully in the center of the dining room table, takes her red crayon and carefully draws a ring around the book!  The table covering is oilcloth, so no permanent damage.  Yet note how much greater the wishes than the hope Sissie was offered!

This catalog is not called "The Wish Book" for nothing.  There is a vast difference between wishes and hope.  For the Hebrew people prior to the time of Christ the hope they harbored in the coming of a Redeemer was grounded in the promises of God.  For centuries they awaited the coming of The Messiah.  God is faithful and we know that He fulfilled his promise in Jesus whom we call The Christ.

 "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  --John 3:16

We observe Advent to celebrate the birth of Jesus in Judea two millennia ago. We are reminded to be ready for the Second Advent!

 " For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" -- I Thessalonians 4:16,17

Jesus said, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man comes."  --Matthew 24:44

We have this hope through faith in Jesus Christ.  Someone once said, "Faith is not believing God can; faith is knowing that He will."  And so it is.  Amen




Friday, December 1, 2017

The Universe and Tinker Toys

Last evening there came together a set of circumstances which resulted in an awesome* experience for vanilla and BBBH.  Circumstances?  a) I had heard during the day that the International Space Station might be viewed at 6:17 p. m.,  b) I just happened to look at the clock at 6:17, and c) it was a perfectly cloudless and dark evening, moon and stars shining brightly.

I ran outside and looked slightly west of north and behold! I spotted the satellite at eleven o'clock as I faced north.  I ran into the house excitedly calling for the Better Half to join me in the yard, which she did.  We watched as the object, brightly reflecting the sunlight which no longer lighted our spot on earth, silently progressed to the northeast and eventually faded from sight.

I stood in awe of the ingenuity of mankind; then I took my eyes from the spot where the ISS disappeared from view and looked around the night sky.  I thought as my .eyes attempted to penetrate the depths of the star-studded skies, "God makes worlds, man makes tinker toys."

*I have come to dislike the word because of its incessant and flippant use, too often applied to something which is in no way awesome.  It has lost its meaning.  But in this instance, I can think of no other word which fits as well, assuming we take it at its true worth.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Provisions and Prosperity

     A few years ago an acquaintance and I had an exchange discussing the sixth chapter of Matthew's Gospel.  One of the comments was
 
I think the treasures we have as Christians are laid up in heaven, as Jesus said. From a scriptural standpoint, "the rain shall fall on the just and on the unjust." This says to me that God's riches are not apportioned to the righteous only, but mankind shares in them. As for the portion we are to receive, Jesus said God knows our needs even before we ask. Our needs will be supplied. As for our "wants," perhaps we need to get a rein on that horse. Tough to do though; my spouse tells me "If I want it, then I need it." Well, that may work on me, but I don't believe we deal with our Heavenly Father in that way.

     This Sunday last the pastor's message was based on the same scripture.  Link to sermon notes:

 http://bobwarr.blogspot.com/2017/11/first-things-first.html

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Oink, Splat, Glug

All three of the synoptic gospels relate the encounter of Jesus with the demon-possessed man of Gadara.

Two thousand piggies
ran headlong into the sea.
A fitting bit of justice for the profiteers, purveyors of forbidden flesh.
While it likely Jewish swineherds would not consume the meat
They were willing to profit on its sale to the Romans who thought it good to eat.
There are many little puzzles in this account of the demons and the Master
But they are all solved if one takes the time to think through it carefully for
Haste often leads to disaster.

We will deal with only one facet of the story this morning, the question of who is on the right course and who on the wrong.  There exists a fallacy  in logic named for this situation: the Gadarene swine fallacy.

One must not fallaciously conclude that because a group is in formation it is necessarily on course.  Neither may we assume that because one is out of formation he is also off course.  Though we may not assume he is on course, either.

To the instance at hand.  The man possessed, living alone in the tombs, seeing Jesus step ashore, ran to worship him.  He was alone, not in formation, but on course.
The swine, all 2000 of them, into which the dispossessed demons took up residence, in formation ran over a steep declivity, plunged into the sea, and expired.  They may have been on course, but if so, they were on course to destruction.

The rest of the explication is complicated,






Friday, November 24, 2017

Remembering



Ellie
May 1, 1926 - November 24, 1998

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Blessing of Enough

It is time once again to prep the turkey and dressing. I have been advised that this bird is much too scrawny to feed the gang, so I kept him on the premises in an attempt to fatten him up for the next Thanksgiving. Clearly, my efforts have failed.  Again.  (He shows up here on an annual basis, just to tease me, I guess.)

This is one smart old bird. He has figured out that by eating just enough for sustenance and the daily chore of obtaining enough provender against the next day, he has a much better chance of survival.  As, I might add, would we all.

He has so frustrated me that I am tempted to wring his scrawny neck purely as the vengeful treatment he so richly deserves. But I won't; he's become sort of a pet around here.  May I have another slice of that "tofurkey" please?

I wish you enough. Be ye thankful.

Word of the day:  tofurkey, which should never have been coined and for which there never should have been a reason for the coinage.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project-- Five

While entertaining myself by reading some of my old posts, a few paragraphs here and there jumped out and spoke to me.  Bragging.  I like some of these and thought to mention the ones I particularly enjoy.

"Well, Will, I always called him Will, was good to us, handed me his paycheck every week, and never missed a day’s work.  But Will had a wild hair.  I knew this, but he remained steady, always headed to work in the morning, came home at night, turned over the paycheck.  The first two girls graduated high school, got married.  The third girl and Will, Jr graduated together since they were Irish twins less than a year apart and in the same class.  Commencement ceremony over, party at our house to celebrate.  Their Daddy came in, hugged each one of them, told them he loves them dearly.  Turned to me and said, 'Thank you, Ma’am.  You did good, gave me four wonderful children.'  And he walked out the door, took nothing but the clothes he wore, and I’ve not seen him nor heard from him to this day."

Lifted from this story.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Backyard Mechanic




I saw the motto and knew instantly what was being advertised-- brand name and all.

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/mags/PopularMechanics/2-1941/tough.jpgHow long has it been since you saw an ad for piston rings?  Everyone, well, nearly everyone, owns some but no on gives them a second thought.  That is unless he is a combustion engine mechanic by profession.
Back in the. . .  Well, you know, when I was a lad it was not uncommon for the family vehicle to develop a bad habit of belching smoke due to worn piston rings, among possibly other causes.  It was also not uncommon for Pops, or Daddy by whatever moniker he was known in the household to purchase a set of piston rings and a few other things, pull the car under the shade of the elm, and proceed to correct the problem.

This just isn't done anymore.  Isn't necessary, and scarce is the man who has the know-how to accomplish the task.  We resolve our automotive issues in different ways these days.  But here is a brief story, true story, a memory from my kidhood, circa 1945.  Faithful reader Vee will verify or correct the date.

Little sister having been stricken ill was hospitalized and the appendix was removed.  Daddy had a real concern regarding payment of the accompanying medical bills.  I think I remember numbers, but in the interest of correctness in reporting I shall tell the story without naming dollar amounts.

Dad had access to a small amount of cash but not enough to meet the obligation.  A new neighbor recently moved into town had a 1934 Ford sedan he wished to sell.  But the little V-8 engine was afflicted with the problem cited above, along with other foibles.  Father bought the car, pulled it into a garage on the back alley, and disassembled the engine, laying the parts carefully on the workbench.  We were cautioned, nay warned, that to touch, move, knock over, or in any other manner disturb this arrangement was to put our very lives in peril.  Kidding.  Dad did not threaten our lives, but he made it clear that we might wish we were dead if we messed up his work.

He bought piston rings, some bearings, and whatever else he found he needed, cleaned the old engine, rebuilt it and reassembled it.  He sold the car for enough money to recover his investment and pay off the medical bills.

Hastings had nothing on my father who was also "tough but gentle."

Monday, November 13, 2017

Culture in Perfect

Saturday for the second night in a row BBBH and vanilla were out and about.  Started the evening
with an AYCE catfish dinner followed by the theatah.

Our local players, Tipton Community Theater, presented "It's a Wonderful Life."  Who among us did not think "Jimmy Stewart" when we read that title?  Having seen the movie (who hasn't?) I was curious as to just how this tale would be presented on stage.  Not to worry.

The actors and prop managers transported us smoothly and quickly from a humdrum mid-America auditorium to Bedford Falls and we found ourselves absorbed in the affairs and travails of George Bailey and a small New England town.

To add to the pleasure of revisiting the story was the fact that the players on stage were our friends and neighbors some of whom surprised us with their thespian abilities and all of whom acquitted themselves with aplomb, panache, even.

Topped off the evening in the rotunda visiting, congratulating, and high-fiving the actors.

Anticlimax:  Into the FORD and home to FALL into BED.

Sweet.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Leadership Seminar


“If you think you’re leading and no one is following you, then you’re only taking a walk.” ~ Afghan proverb

Au contraire.  A true leader must have courage-- and be willing to walk alone.
Leadership is a risky business.

"Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

This was not written by a leader, either.  Leaders don't push.  There are plenty of people in positions of power who are not leaders; they are bulldozers.

Bulldozers are pretty good at tearing things down and leveling stuff out, but they aren't much at constructing.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11

Armistice declared on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the Year of Our Lord, 1918 to effect the cessation of hostilities in the "war to end all wars". (How has that worked out?)

Anyway, the war, now known as WWI, officially ended the following June upon the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1919, November 11 was declared by President Wilson to be "Armistice Day". It was made a legal holiday by an Act of Congress in 1938. In 1954, the day was declared by an Act of Congress and a Proclamation by President Eisenhower to be "Veterans Day" in honor of all who served in the Armed Forces, since the 'war to end all wars' had failed miserably to accomplish the goal of ending all wars.

The Uniform Holiday Act of 1968 attempted to dump Veterans Day into the "Monday" federal holiday program, and Veterans Day was celebrated on October 25, 1971. It quickly became apparent that the American people would not stand still for this confusing slight to a much respected and honored holiday. Thus, in 1975, President Ford signed an Act of Congress into law which returned the celebration of our Service People to November 11, and since 1978 it has been so observed.

To all who served our country in the Armed Forces, thank you, thank you. Were it not for your sacrifices, we would be enslaved and impoverished. You stood up for us when we needed you.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hopping to the Hoppers

Yesterday afternoon as I was computering I had a music channel on in the background.  The Hoppers came on, singing "Shoutin' Time in Heaven."  I enjoy Southern Gospel and had heard recordings of the Hoppers but had never seen them in concert.  "I wonder," thought I, "if they are going to be anywhere in our bailiwick anytime soon?"  So I googled them, found their website and checked their tour schedule.

What?  They will be in Tippecanoe, Indiana at 7:00 p.m. November 9, 2017.  Wait!  This is November 9, it is already 3:30 and BBBH is "out and about" which is to say I'd no idea when she would be home.  She came in about 4:15 with a carload of groceries.  As I was transferring the sacks from the car to the kitchen I casually asked, "Would you like to go hear the Hoppers tonight?"  Her response was "Who are the Hoppers and where are they playing?"

"The Hoppers are a Southern Gospel group that I enjoy a lot.  I know that is not your favorite genre, but I like it.  They are singing in Tippecanoe tonight."

"How far away is this Tippecanoe?"

I told her about seventy-five miles straight up 31, take about an hour and a half.

She glanced at the clock, then she said, "You'd have to drive home 75 miles after."  She handed me a can of beans.  "Here, add these to the chili left over from yesterday and heat it."

I did as I was bid still not having a "yes" or a "no."

As we were eating the chili I told her we would have to leave by 5:20.

"Okay.  Anytime you get out of your chair and want to do something. . . "

Thus we pulled the car out of the garage at 5:15 and by 6:50 we had found seats in a very crowded auditorium.  The drive was smooth notwithstanding that 31 is an extremely busy corridor and this at rush hour to boot.

The group started in the mid-fifties as "The Hopper Brothers and Connie."  Today the group is composed of Claude and Connie Hopper, two of their sons, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter.  Connie and Claude have some mileage on them, take that however you like.  They put on a wonderful two-hour show!  If you check their schedule on their website you will see that the lifestyle is beyond crazy.  For example, this week Tippecanoe, Indiana November 9, Grove City, Ohio November 10, Houston, Texas November 12, Georgia on the 16th, back to Ohio on the 17th, West Virginia on the 19th.  And they do this by bus. [Gasp]

We were safely home by 10:25 and I was ensconced in my chair with cuppa coffee by 10:30.  Life's good.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Collector or Hoarder?

I have a friend who is a collector of certain artsy items.  These are neither cheap nor tacky, yet he has hundreds of them and will buy more as he finds them.  They have not driven him from his home, for while he has many dozens of them tastefully displayed throughout the house, the vast majority of them are neatly stored in boxes in the garage and attic.  He is a collector, a consumer of fine art.  

I have known a number of people, both men and women, who are hoarders.  These people amass stuff.  Once they acquire an item they cannot rid themselves of it.  These things may have value, they may be useless, but the clutter they create builds to the point that the occupant of the house has mere aisles eighteen inches wide between piles of junk, a path from a kitchen, a bathroom, one to a bedroom.  Papers, books, magazines stacked four feet high, unimaginable and unusable trash everywhere.  If there were a treasure in the lot, the heirs will never find it, for they will simply have the stuff shoveled into dumpsters when the owner dies.  Hoarder.

Oh, by the way.  Neither the stuff of the hoarder nor the collector has any eternal value.  Jesus said, 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.  --Matthew 6:19,20

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I Might Have Said

Setting:  A decent restaurant, surrounded by 30 friends, eating good food and engaging in scintillating conversation.

Climax:  BBBH is placing a few morsels in the styrofoam take-home box.

Listen in.

BBBH:  Have to take a goodie home to my doggie.

J (across the table):  People food is not good for dogs.

vanilla (either because he knows everything, or because he rushes to his wife's defense): Dogs are omnivores.  Their digestive systems will handle just about anything ours will handle.  Cats, on the other hand (now he is in the TMI mode) are carnivores and their systems are designed to handle only meats.

J:  I have a friend in Florida who has a beautiful retriever that was not well.  She took the dog to the vet who told her that she should never under any circumstances allow the dog to have people food because it is not good for them.

vanilla:  (Oh, really?  Most people eat people-food that is not good for them, either.  Consider that chocolate cake there on your plate, for instance.)

 [The above is in parentheses because I did not say that, because, in fact, I only thought of it twelve hours later when I should have been sound asleep.  Dang, why does that happen to me?]


Monday, November 6, 2017

A Laborer is Worthy of His Hire

But He Doesn't Have to Have a Plaque.

A few months ago I related a dream I had regarding my "recognition" party at the time of my retirement.  In tiny print I left a footnote indicating that I might someday relate the true story of my recognition by my employer.  Here goes.

I retired in the summer of 1990 following 31 years in public education, 21 of them for the school system from which I retired.  To say the parting was sweet sorrow would miss the mark.  It was sweet to the extent that both the superintendent for whom I worked and I were tickled that our relationship was over, so neither of us was sorrowful.

One year later the superintendent's tenure was ended.  He moved on and I've heard nothing of him since. Our corporation installed a new superintendent.  A couple of months into her tenure she called me on the phone and asked me if I could attend an upcoming school board meeting.

What?

She explained that when she moved into the office she found in her bottom desk drawer a plaque recognizing my years of service, awarded to me by the Board of Education.  The board members, she said, were abashed when they learned of the fate of the token they had ordered for me.

So they presented the thing to me some fifteen months after my service was concluded.

And this story is at once funny, pathetic, laughable, and tear-worthy.  But if you choose tears, don't shed them for me, for in no way am I to be pitied.  And I would never have missed the thing had I never seen it.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;.  Weep, and you weep alone.  --Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Watchman, what of the night?

The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: (from Isaiah 21:11,12 KJV) 
We make no attempt in this little essay to interpret Isaiah's prophecy.  Rather we use this intro to evoke the image of the watchman set upon the watchtower.  His observations will alert the city to any impending danger.  Be alerted.

The Parable

The great city is under siege.  The enemy has surrounded it and encamped beneath its walls, In the darkest hour before the dawn, the cry, "Watchman what of the night?"

"The fires of the enemy before his tents are many, yea, as the stars of the sky.  He is working frantically even in the night hours to assemble his siege engines, to amass stones.  Ladders are being brought before the walls.  Verily, he goes without rest."

The sky lightens ever so little, yet the watchman can now see into the distance, a league beyond the fires of the enemy.  "Watchman what of the night?"

"The morning is coming!  There is,  yes!  There is approaching in the distance a mighty host!  The light breaks!  It is clear.  The King is coming!  The King is coming!  We have nothing now to fear for our redemption is near!"

Keep the Faith

Be of good courage, for the King is coming.  The morning comes, and also the night, for the enemy shall be plunged into everlasting darkness. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Please Fix This Mess

Tomorrow night you need to "fall back."  Yes, that nonsense arrives again.  This is my twice-annually friendly reminder that you need to mess with all the clocks.  Since we suffer from double daylight time (being geographically in the wrong sun-time zone) I wrote this little piece several years ago.  I would not mind the DST nonsense nearly so much if we were properly situated in the scheme of temporal things.

Again, my suggestion.  Perhaps someone will move it forward.  But I doubt it.





Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November 1

60 Days Until 2018.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Throwback Celebration

For this year's Halloween celebration, let's revisit Uncle Japtha's tale of a certain Halloween on the High Plains, 1924,

Happy Halloween, Mr. Principal
 
Did I tell  you about the time your Daddy and your uncles pranked the principal on Halloween? Well, them boys was sump'n, let me tell you.  Now I don' 'spose your Daddy's ever tole you of the onry-ness a them kids?  Anyways, there was a whole passel 'n'm kids, mostly boys and your pa right in the middle the bunch.  Now one a them boys was just a year older'n your pa, and another'n a year younger.  Whut a trio they made.  No, they warn't no singin', but mischief! Lawd, ha' mercy.

So anyhow there was this October when they was prolly 13, 14, and 15 year ol'.  Halloween a comin.'  Now the principal a the school over there was Ward Livengoodll, he was "livin' good," what with his nice income from the second-best job in the county.  Har! har! Livin' good.  I sometime crack myself up.  Anyway, ol' Ward, he come out here from Indiana, had him a dee-ploma from Oakland Normal School, doncha know.  What was the best job in the county?  Why sheriffin', I reckon.  You got no idee the ways them fellas can line they own pocket.  But that's a tale for another time.  So ol' Livengood marry a sweet thang from over to Terre Haute, and headed West.  Lureen Tuttle, she was, and the only way I would know that is she never cease from tellin' ever' one she meet about "the Tuttles from Terre Haute."

So Principal Livengood got the school over there, an' that school were the centerpiece a McClave. They had just built hit a couple years afore, and it were a two-story brick, three ya count the basement.  Now Livengood drive him a little ol' Model T Ford car, runabout, they call hit.  So anyway, morning of November 1 he walk on over to school-- didn't even notice his car wasn't aside his house, on account he only drove hit to work but rarely.  But he get to school, unlock the building and clumb on up the stairs.  Imagine his surprise when he get to the second floor, and there a settin' in the hallway smack again' his office door is his very own personal Model T!


And do you think that trio and they cohorts had anythin' to do with that?  Not much, they didn't; no more'n hit was them left Fred Sparks's outhouse in the middle George Watt's broom corn field.

© 2013 David W. Lacy



 I resurrect this annually for I have yet to find a better Halloween cartoon.
















This one is pretty good but not limited to Halloween.

Comic: wizard-of-id
2√2b2

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Feast Coming Up!

Not quite up to my all-time favorite Halloween cartoon, but not bad.  Boogity boogity.


2√2b2

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Supper's On

BBBH:  Run over to DG and get a small sour cream.  Hurry!  Everything's ready and the sour cream is all moldy.

vanilla:  On it!

Half-mile to the store, grab the item from the cooler, get in line.  (One register open and there is ALWAYS a line.)  I am lucky, though, or so it seems.  First customer checkout almost complete and only one more between me and her.

She swipes card.  Fail.  Clerk reaches over card reader.  Peckity peck peck peck.  She swipes again.  Nothing.  Peckity peck peck peck.  She inserts card in chip reader.  Fail.

Clerk now leaves station to find manager.  Returns with manager in tow.  Manager, peckity, etc.
Swipe fail.  Manager opens what might be a secret compartment, retrieves screwdriver with strange tip.  She then steps over to the OTHER checkout station, removes card reader from its stand, turns it over, removes back.  Unscrews stuff inside, disconnects cable.  Carries object over to this checkout, lays it on counter.

Now the manager dismounts this card reader from its stand, inverts, etc.  Then she connects the cannibalized gizmo to this cable, reassembles, attaches gizmo to stand.  Then the clerk and the customer proceed to conduct business.  Manager says she will "take customers over here," as she goes to the idle register.

So man in front of me and I move on over.  He has only two items for which he pays cash.  That was quick.  My turn.  Manager rings me up, states tab, I look at empty card reader stand and say, "Oh, can't swipe my card?"

Yes, I did.

But.

I had a ten-spot in my hand.  I thought it was funny, not sure the lady did.  I mean, it was near closing time and she had probably had a long day.

(This scenario took much.  Much.  Longer to play out than it took me to write out this account.)

Tacos were good, tummy is satisfied.  Will check into a little "Walker, Texas Ranger" now.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Giving Meds to Pets

About a decade ago this one made the rounds on the internet.  I found it too funny not to share, and since it is admittedly internet lore, I feel free to steal it so I posted it here seven years ago.  We (BBBH and I) read it again last night.  Much guffawing and gasping for breath  Laugh your head off: we did. 

How To Give A Cat A Pill
1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side
of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to
close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle
cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm,
holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push
pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a
count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of
wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold
front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to
hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth
Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil
wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep
shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for
gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with
head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking
straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1
beer to take taste a way. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and
remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Open
another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on to neck, to
leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill
down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on
hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply
cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus
shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another
shot. Throw Tee shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from across
the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving
to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Tie the little bastard’s front paws to rear paws with
garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty
pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large
piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and
pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the
emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm
and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way
home to order new table.

15. Arrange for SPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call
local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

Conversely (and for the sake of completion)…

How To Give A Dog A Pill

1. Wrap it in bacon.
2. Toss it in the air

In the interest of full disclosure:  The dog deftly snatches the bacon from the air, eats same.  Later I find the pill on the floor.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Family Altar

I was blessed as a child to live in a home with two devoted Christian parents.
Needless to say it was a different time and in today's world not all families can practice the routine we followed.  But just to be clear: it is important for each family to make time for devotions within the home and insofar as possible that time should include all family members.
Our day started with gathering at the breakfast table where we partook together of God's provisions for the start of our day.  As soon as the dishes were cleared we all sat in the living area for "family altar."
A portion of scripture would be read aloud.  Each member of the family, even the youngest who could read, had a turn at reading. We discussed the verses read, Mama or Daddy leading but all were included and each person was encouraged to offer thoughts or questions.  Then we talked about the things we would address to the Lord in prayer. We all knelt at our respective places and in turn each person would pray aloud.
Following the devotional period the individual family members went about the beginning of his or her daily duties:  Daddy to work, Mother to the kitchen to make preparations for the maintenance of the home and the family's well-being, the children off to school or off to play depending on the age and the season of the year.
Whatever traditions are built and maintained in the home it is my opinion that none is more important to the spiritual health of the family and its members than is the "family altar," a cohesive devotional time.



Image: preparedtoanswer.org

Saturday, October 21, 2017


The donkey will bray.  It is his nature.


I Thistleonians 3:3


Monday, October 16, 2017

Blah

Just read an article about blockchain.  It was full of cryptography, time stamp, hash pointer, distributed ledger, Byzantine fault tolerance, and the like.

Other than a buzzing head, I know precisely what I knew before I read the article.

Have a wonderful 21st century day!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Grasshoppers in the Bible

As I was walking across the backyard, I espied a grasshopper hopping in the grass.  Though the rascals have been in near-plague proportions at times in my life, I seldom see one these days.  My inner Little Boy insisted he have it.  I stooped and grabbed for it, but my outer Little Boy no longer exists, and Hop!  She eluded me.  However, I am much the larger creature, and slow and clumsy as I may be, a couple of steps and a reach enabled me to capture her.

I opened my hand.  There she perched, yellow and brown, perhaps two inches in length.  The insect gazed at me, crawled out onto the second joint of my index finger, pondered her next move for a few moments, then launched herself into the freedom of the air.  She landed a dozen feet away.

Reading the Bible the next morning, I came across a reference to the grasshopper in Amos 7:1 where the creature is characterized as destructive. wreaking havoc on the young crop.  My mind drifted to the much earlier incident  in which the Israelite spies reported back that  "we are as grasshoppers" in our own sight, and in theirs  Here the grasshopper represents insignificance.  (Numbers 13:33)

What other references do we find to the grasshopper?  In Leviticus 11:22 we find that the grasshopper is fit for human consumption, nutrition.  In the Book of Judges, we find the insects represent great multitudes.  (6:5, 7:12)

In Job 39:20, the grasshopper represents timidity.  Isaiah uses the creature, again to represent insignificance. (40:20)  Jeremiah uses the imagery of vast numbers. (46:23)
So scripture gives us that the grasshopper is variously nutrition, timid, insignificant, multitudinous,  and destructive.  And this doesn't even consider the references to locusts.

What is the difference between locusts and grasshoppers?  A lot has been written on the topic, and I am not an entomologist, but I have distilled my reading to this, which satisfies me.  Locusts are simply grasshoppers that have gone into a color-changing and swarming stage in their existence.  You can read about the role of serotonin*click* and all that stuff, if you are so inclined.

Consider this. God used the insignificant grasshopper as a scourge against resistors (think Egyptian ruler), as sustenance for his people and his prophet (John*click* comes to mind), and in numerous instances throughout His Word as simile or metaphor to convey His message.

The Lord who can use such a minor creature can also use you.  The difference is the grasshopper had no choice; you have.

The green grasshopper visited our yard a few years ago.  It was much smaller than the one this story started with.

This is another instance of String Too Short to Tie paying it forward.  Post originally published in 2014.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Poles. Big Poles

Project going on down at the corner-- the erection of humongous tall poles for power lines.  These rascals are probably 30 inches in diameter at the base and the crew buries them eight feet deep in the earth.  You should see the augur that digs the holes!

I came out of the house Wednesday morning to go to the pharmacy.  I was a prisoner on my own property.  The street was blocked 50 feet to the north of my driveway and it was blocked 50 yards to the south!   With all sorts of equipment in the intersection to the south it was clear that my only hope was to run the barricade to the north an use the alternate bridge a quarter-mile to the north.  Removing a couple of traffic cones gave me a pathway wide enough for the car and there we go!


The top picture shows a crane lifting a pole into a vertical position.  The second shot shows a lineman working at the top of a seated pole.  The pulleys that carry the lines are yay big around, quite impressive.  The crews have seated about ten of these and I've no idea how many yet to go.

Snapshots taken from street in front of house.  The project was interrupted  about ten days while the crews were in Florida assisting in the restoration of power following Irma's devastation.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

BBBH Celebrates

A lovely evening drive to Bloomers in Anderson.  A nice New York strip for the birthday girl.  The drive home in the dark-- and drizzle-- was without untoward event.  A nice start for her eighty-first year!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Birthday Eve

On the eve of her 80th birthday her kids gathered 'round and BBBH was treated to a Mexican dinner.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Wiener is 15!

Happy birthday, Dog.
 Engaged in his favorite "activity" these days.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Our Walk with God

Let's go back this Sunday morning to a lesson from a few years back-- slightly amended.
 
He hath known thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? --Micah 6:8

This is a rhetorical question, for the answer is contained within it.  The first clause asserts that God knows us, and thus knows what is good for us.  The second clause contains the question, "What does the Lord require?" and finally, the apparently very simple, three-fold set of actions incumbent upon us.


  1. Do justly.  To accomplish this goal, one must first have a sense of justice, then he must have the inclination and will to practice it.  Many people, in my opinion, have a "sense of injustice," by which I mean they recognize the hurts or perceived slights performed by others against them, yet they seem to have a truncated notion of what justice is in their dealings with others.  A "get even" attitude grows readily in this soil.
  2. Love mercy.  Another action required.  It does not tell us to recognize mercy, but to love it.  If we love mercy, we are going to behave in a merciful way; we will practice kindness toward others.
  3. Walk humbly with God.  First, this is a requirement to walk, not to sit, or lie about.  Then we are told with whom to walk; and we are told how to walk-- with humility.  We are clearly not to carry a prideful attitude with respect to our walk with the Lord.
Now this doesn't seem to be so simple, after all.  But it is required.  The additional good news is that there is apparently not a laundry list of further requirements.  Look at the word "but."  The implication is that in doing the three required things we are relieved of the burden of making and following nit-picking rules by which to define a godly walk.

It seems Micah has summed up the law in three requirements: Do, Love, Walk.  Jesus did ii in two, encompassing all the law and Micah's summary:  
  
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  --Matthew 22:37-39

Happy October the first!         


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Outraged

Everyone these days seems to be "outraged" about something or other.  I have been searching for something to be outraged about, that I might be a part of our societal fabric appearing to be "normal" in some respect.

I have found it.  Nordstom offered Barracuda predirtied jeans at $425.  But they are sold out.  Do you see the outrage building?

Not to worry, though, they have other filthy-appearing models as low as $148.49, though they do lack some of the panache of the sold-out item.

I labored for a good many years in the construction trades prior to my late-starting career in education.  I am proud to have been a working man.  One goes home at night, dog-tired, jeans encaked in cement dust already beginning to turn into concrete from the activation of the day's sweat, shirt and pants perhaps riddled with metal burns if welding was part of the days work, the whole thing reeking of gasoline fumes from the forklift operating in tight spaces.

Upon entering the mudroom the clothes are shed and one staggers from exhaustion to the shower and relief from the dirt and pressure and tiredness of body, then to stagger to bed and sleep the sleep of the righteous in preparation for another shift on the job.

So someone who spends his days in a boardroom or corner office buys the above named product to emulate a real working man and why?  Because he has more money than he knows what to do with.  It is insulting to every person who builds the sewer tile and the sewers down which his crap flows; to every person who strikes an arc or lights a cutting torch; to every person who climbs a utility pole so he won't have to sweat on the job; to every person who swings a paint sprayer that his much-too-costly Beamer or Benz will look really good parked in front of his 6000 square foot McMansion.

Are you sensing the outrage yet?

Yes, it makes me mad even though I have not gone home caked in cement in several decades.  Show some respect for the people who make your lifestyle possible, Bozo.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Snowball


Stop rolling downhill like a snowball headed for hell
Stand up for the flag and let's all ring the liberty bell  --Merle Haggard, 1981

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Historical Insignificance

What I considered entertaining four years ago, and 44 years ago: http://vanilla-ststt.blogspot.com/2013/09/10-s-n-e-1.html

Friday, September 15, 2017

Salamonie September




The shores of Salamonie with trails and trees and tents
Beckoned warmly to us so off we went
We took our RV, though, we don't do tent anymore
'Cause we'd never get our butts up off the floor.
(without a derrick)
Four wonderful days in God's great outdoors
Then we had to come on home, more's
The pity.  Doctor app't, that's kinda funny
We're not sick, Doc needs the money.
(true that)
That car is pretty as cars used to be
And most the people in our group, you see
Are older than this vehicle
And this thought has to tickle--
(better preserved, too!)
Kent and Ricky joined us, too 
As they often are wont to do.
They hiked, I sat
Walking? not much of that.
(good times!)
This photo by Kent Harrison.
Image may contain: plant and food

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Disaster of the Heart

Received an email from son Carl a few minutes ago.  He labeled the picture "And the band played on-- or, What? Me worry?"

I see this photo as a perfect metaphor for the American view of life, 21st century.

My heart hurts.  There seems to be little concern for anything outside-- even steps outside-- the realm of personal gratification.  Even the news coverage of the multitude of disasters that are upon the country seems little more than entertainment-- reality shows designed by an anonymous producer for our amusement.  We have been entertained to the point of numbness, stupor, uncaring.

I hope I am wrong.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Five Metaphors

The Book of Jude, short but powerful, admonishes the Church to beware of false teachers, using these metaphors found in verses thirteen and fourteen to characterize these charlatans and pretenders.

These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

1.  "These are spots in your feasts."  False teachers are blemishes, partaking to themselves but contributing nothing.

2. They are "clouds without water, carried about of winds."  False teachers drift like clouds above a semiarid land, holding out the promise of rain, but containing no water.  They are blown about by capricious winds, providing nothing.

3. They are "trees whose fruit withers."  A tree that bears no fruit is useless, dead; and these are twice-dead, for they have been uprooted from truth.

4.  They are "raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame."  Picture the wind-blown waves dashing against the walls of stone along the shore, the spray flying every which way, accomplishing only the erosion of the rocks.  Such is the effect of false teachers on the body of believers.

5, False teachers are "wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."  Travelers in the desert or on the seas may use a fixed star, e.g., the Pole Star for guidance.  But to rely on a heavenly body whose position varies with the motions of the celestial realm is to be misled, lost.  To rely on such teachers is to be lost. Note, too, the fate of such "stars."
 It is imperative that we check any teaching within the Church against  the navigational chart given us by God, that is The Holy Bible.  All teachings must be supported by scripture, else we will be led astray.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Rockport's Unwelcome Visitor


 

 Rockport seems like our second home, so many years we wintered there.  Ground zero when Harvey made landfall, Rockport is in shambles.  Hurts our hearts and we pray for the good people there, those we know and those we don't know.

It will take months to clean up and who knows how long to rebuild.

Now Houston is being pummeled with rain and some models predict the possibility of 40 inches of rainfall by the time Harvey is through with Texas.  Some places have already received more than two feet of rainfall.  Heartbreaking.

 Port Aransas where we have stayed on several occasions is also victim of terrible destruction from the storm.
The Big Tree on Goose Island near Rockport is said to be over 1000 years old.  A spokesman for Texas Parks says it survived the storm.  "Didn't get old by being weak," or words to that effect.



On this date I usually note that it is the anniversary of my mother's birth.  Sometime in the middle of the night August 27-28, 1908 Vera Morrell was born near Hartman, Colorado.  In the excitement of the moment no one checked the exact time.  She always celebrated the 28th as her birth date.

Mama with Dad, their children and the first four of their grandchildren.  The youngest person in this picture is now 58 years of age.  Mom would have been 52 here.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

My Adventure at the Drug Store

Beautiful day for an outing, sunny, 77o so I rode the wheel the mile to the drugstore.  Picking up a 'script-- again.

I entered the store, walked to the fourth aisle intending to use it as the freeway to the pharmacy.  Did you ever notice that in a drugstore these days the part which sells drugs occupies, oh, perhaps eight percent of the space?   So I turned left into the aisle and what filled my eyes but this display:


Today is August 24, says so right here on my computer.  Unless they have moved Halloween up from October 31 there is something very wrong going on here.  That's my opinion and I am sticking to it.

It was finally my turn at the prescription check-out counter-- have you noticed that this spot is the busiest place in your town?  Perhaps you live in a livelier venue.  I state my name and expectation, oh, yeah and my birth date.  Recently, though, they have cut some slack on this one.  Try stating the month and day omitting the year.  Works here.  Not everyone in line necessarily needs to know I'm 83.  (Like they couldn't tell by looking!)

You know the drill.  Sign on the thingy for the medicine, then pay according to the method of your choice.  I went to the screen to sign and saw this:


 As of now I know that a "real" signature is unimportant because when I scribbled my John Hancock with my finger it looked like this: {/

You can be B. Bunny or whoever you want to be!

Nice ride home.

Be blessed, I know I am.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"They"

The ubiquitous "They" have done it again.  This time they have hijacked my church.  Please understand that no one, but no one including Satan himself can hijack The Church, the Body of Christ.  Jesus said, "On this Rock (the confession that Jesus is the Christ) I will build my Church and nothing can prevail against it."

I am writing here of the congregation of people who refer to the earthly building and its organization as "their church."  Many of these people belong to The Church, some do not.  That judgment is reserved solely to the One whose blood was shed for the remission of our sins.  I have attended this church for more than three decades.  I was baptized in the baptistry in that building, dunked by the pastor who was in the water with me.  That practice has been exchanged for a dunking in a horse tank placed on stage, presumably to save the pastor from the inconvenience of having to change his/her clothes.  That's okay; it is not solely what I am "on" about.

Note that I referred to a "stage."  That is the area once known as a platform on which stood a pulpit from which the minister delivered the Word.  And where is the altar, or mourner's bench?  There once was an organ and a piano on the platform as well.  They have been replaced by a drum set and wires and amplifiers and electronic instruments of one sort or another.  And the lighting.  One cannot have a weekly rock concert without adequate lights and background.  Huge screens on which is projected the seven-word choruses which are sung over and over serve as backdrop.

The pews are gone. In their place there are beautifully padded sturdy, comfortable chairs.  The hymnals are gone.  Charles Wesley, Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts.  All gone.

How came these changes to be?  It is my opinion that no person or group of persons set out deliberately to hijack the church.  Like most change, short a violent explosion, the theft took place incrementally, the planning resulting in unintended consequences.  Then one Sunday morning we arrived to worship and discovered that our church was gone.  We mourn for it, but praise God! Jesus is still on the throne and He is still in love with His bride.  He will shepherd her, guide her to safety with Him for eternity

Now the issue is, being in the habit of corporate worship on Sunday mornings, where to?
 
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  --Jesus Christ

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black and White, and Black


 A few days ago I was on about short pants and how I so looked forward to starting school because that was the marker for my becoming a "man" and wearing long pants.

I found this picture of Little David before he started school.

So that your trip over here won't be a total washout, I include this snapshot of our black hollyhock.  This flower is truly as near black as any I have ever seen.  Here, as you can see, it is strongly back-lighted and the camera picked up the red undertones.

Be blessed!  I know I am.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ouabache State Park '17



That's us, down there on the left.

We managed to get in a truncated camp out at Ouabache State Park last Tuesday and Wednesday, drove home on Thursday.  The weather was absotively perfect for camping.  That doesn't always happen.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Mid-America Show 43

Time again for the visit to the Mid-America Threshing and Antique Show.  This is the 43rd annual edition.  This year's featured machinery is by Allis-Chalmers.

Allis-Chalmers Company was formed in 1901 by the merging of the Edward P. Allis Company, manufacturer of steam engines and mining equipment, with Fraser and Chalmers, makers of mining equipment, along with Dickson Manufacturing Co. and Gates Iron Works.  They currently manufacture farm equipment, heavy construction equipment, generators and engines, stuff marketed worldwide.




Really old.
 
Not quite so old, but restored.
Besides A-C, there were many other marques represented.
These labels were on the tractor below.


And what's this?  My guess: Someone loves his wife or his daughter, or someone loves herself more than they love the tractor.  Nicely restored machine, though.

I have attended many editions of the MTA show here in Tipton.  But then it is close by.

2010

 2013 

2013