Archives November 2020

Matthew10:6-33

art church church window colorful

6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.


8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Better to Slow Down a Little

small airplane on airfield in countryside against sundown sky

Okay, so we need to stop flying as we go down life’s road.

We’ve had to have our front window replaced and a bit of cosmetic work done on it due to leaking windows and moisture. It is about 95% done but still requires inside work.

“I think we’ll probably need to repaint the living room.”

“Our new window curtains will need to allow the light we get from that new window in,” Old Fuzzy says. We’re admiring how much more sunshine is streaming into the room.

Fast forward a day, and on my computer, I’m getting ads for…curtains! Wow, I’m thinking how come I’m getting ads for…?

“How you doing mom?” Young Fuzzy and I are having a conversation a week later. “Not too bad. My hair is looking better since I’m having it washed at the salon,” I tell him. And it really has helped it look healthier…

This last week I have been receiving on my computer lots and lots of ads for—“You can have longer, thicker, healthier hair. Try our new—”

Hmm, well, I don’t know, but I’m thinking. I’ve been told you can’t escape big brether’s, and that’s the only explanation for several things such as this that have happened lately.

Although I did kind of put it to a test and I may have to reword or retry it again. “Well, Buddy,” says I to Young Fuzzy, “I’m thinking you and I need to start looking into getting our pilot’s licenses. I’ve always wanted to fly my own plane…”

As they say, Laughing Out Loud—I’m still waiting on that one.

1 Corinthians 3:

19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20  And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

23  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

Miserable People

silhouette photo of two persons riding horses

When we were relieved of our chores we could run or ride horses about the farm or timber.

“Well, how did we get so many miserable people?” the speaker said. He was commenting on the state of our society. Thoughts may be asked such as, how many miserable people do we have? How do we know we have miserable people? And what makes them miserable? Or can they become unmiserable?

This year of 2020 has been somewhat unhappy because of the COVID problems, but I’m very sure that isn’t what he was speaking to.

I believe he was starting with our unalienable rights. The ones that go along with the words, “All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Of course, life doesn’t ensure that we will be happy, neither does liberty and in reality, neither does the last of the three, the pursuit of happiness isn’t happiness itself.

I feel as if most people don’t have any idea what will give them happiness. People settle for the pursuit of a good job/income and the perfect doodads.

The doodads change from person to person. It could be the perfect house, the perfect spouse, the perfect boat…swimming pool…car…fill in the blank here. And in some instances, these things bring a certain sense of arriving at success.

And arriving at success gives a sense of happiness or accomplishment. But is that happiness, and why are people miserable?

When I was young I remember on more than one occasion sitting out under my grandparents’ boxelder tree at the end of a summer day. My grandparents lived on a small farm, a mere twenty acres. Today that would be classified as an acreage more than a farm, but it was their farm. There were eleven acres that could be farmed and the rest mostly tumbled down a fairly steep timber ground.

Grandpa planted his tillable farm ground in a rotation of corn, alfalfa, and oats. He raised a few cattle, milked the cows, and sold beef to friends and family. During those years horses were important, and horse shows were very popular in our area. So, Grandpa who had made the horse racing circuit shoeing racehorses retired from that to shoe horses for those who competed in the horse shows.

As they grew older they had a steady income from these endeavors. Even when he was eligible for Social Security he didn’t sign up for it for quite a few years. He didn’t retire from his farming and shoeing until in his seventies or pushing eighty.

Doodads to them could have been instead of chopping firewood by hand they bought two oil stoves and had them filled every month or six weeks, or paying our neighbor, Gene to come in and bale the alfalfa during the summer. Of course, we could afford to buy ice cream, and we took our clothes to the laundry mat in town, and they no longer raised a large garden…

As I said I remember sitting out under the boxelder tree which was where Grandpa used to tie the horse he was shoeing. He had a small forge for working the horseshoes in order to fit the shoe to the horse. Some days as he was shoeing one of us kids, or even my Grandma on rare occasions, would have a rag and we would stand by the horse’s head swishing the flies that landed on the animal in order to keep the horse content.

During the summers we children were expected to help with morning and evening chores, and we helped Grandma get meals and wash up dishes and any housework. When we were relieved of those chores we could run or ride horses about the farm or timber. Often in the summers after lunch was cleared away and dishes were done we had a couple of games in the afternoon of Canasta.

The point is Grandpa and Grandma were happy, my sister, cousin Coco, and I were happy…we were thankful for so many things.

I don’t know why we have so many miserable people. Perhaps it’s because they never got to sit out under a boxelder tree after a day of fruitful work. They have never sat as the stars began to come out a few at a time and listen to the whippoorwills calling from the deep timber.

Maybe it’s because they never after the supper was over and dishes put away, got to ride their horses. Around the wide paddock, we rode in a circle, laying back on our horses as they aimlessly followed the other horse and we watched as the constellations came out. We called it midnight riding. When we got tired of that amusement we hung our bridles away and went to bed.

Maybe that’s why we have so many miserable people. We didn’t have much, but as my Grandpa asked me once, ‘We sure had fun, didn’t we’? And yes, we did.

 I Timothy 6:

7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

13  I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

14  That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

15  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

16  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

19  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Fences and Bars

voting, Russia, countries, Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, Socialism, white water, Proverbs

Thoughts swirl and tumble through my mind like a river in white water mode.

Today, as you can see, is our voting day, November 3, 2020. We have been waiting—and dreading this day more as the time grew near.

***

Since 1989 there had been a trickle of changes in the Russian people’s day-to-day lives. By 1993 there were a few religious groups allowed in to speak to the Russian people, and this was causing the people to experience a new struggle.

That was the first year Old Fuzzy went on a mission trip to Khabarovsk in the far east of Russia. It was a three-week trip because the greatest expense was the travel fares and they wanted to make their time count.

The travelers were to each take two suitcases, one for clothing, and the second for food. I don’t remember exactly what items they took for food, but such things like Vienna little smokies in the can, crackers, cheeses, non-perishable items. Some of the earliest missionaries had learned the hard way the food supply was scarce.

I read a piece in the Reader’s Digest quite a few years ago from someone who had grown up in ‘the old days’ of Soviet Russia. One night at supper their mother had made an offhand remark about ‘being glad Finland wasn’t part of the Soviet Union, or they wouldn’t have butter’. The child inadvertently repeated the remark at school the next day.

Within the week they came home to find their mother had a nasty bruise on her face from where she had been questioned at the police station about the remark. They learned to be very careful with their words even at a young age.

***

What does that have to do with our current election? Thoughts swirl through my mind like a river in white water mode. Lately, I’ve seen a meme that reads, “A question for those who want America to go Socialist: Which part of socialism are you looking forward to most? Eating zoo animals, like Venezuela; being shot for criticizing your government, like Cuba; or your economy completely tanking, like Greece?”

You see, some of us have been to these other countries. Old Fuzzy went three separate times to Russia, numerous times to Mexico and Jamaica, and once to Haiti. Not all of those countries are Socialist countries, but not one of them is as great as our country is. As a multitude of people have been shouting, this is the last bastion of freedom there is, if this country doesn’t stand there is nowhere else to go.

I guess by the time we get to the end of the way, the question is why are people trying to break into this country if it’s so bad? Or, I don’t know what other country people are trying to break into?

Proverbs 26:

17  He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

18  As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

19  So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

20  Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

21  As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

22  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

23  Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

24  He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

25  When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

26  Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

27  Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

28  A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

Places In Between

a roaring lion

Daniel 6:16  Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

Monday is a day to look around and put things in perspective. Things such as, what month is this, what projects do I have at hand, and I’m seeking God’s blessings for my way for this time and forward. Today is the second day of the month, but we are at the last of the year. We have two major holidays looming over us. No one knows for certain what’s coming in these two months. In this coming week we have our election on Tuesday. This time is fraught with what if’s. It’s fraught with prayer and this year especially with much prayer. Kingdoms rise and fall, countries come and go and as the gospel song says, we may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.

And I’m going to leave it there. We can speculate about good days versus bad days; gold/silver in our lives and how in our final tapestry how it makes a difference and how it shows up. But during our night with the lions, our best defense is to keep on praying.

Daniel 6:

10  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

11  Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

12  Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

13  Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

14  Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

16  Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

17  And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

18  Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.

19  Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.

20  And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

21  Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. 22  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

And Jesus went forth

green black yellow round window

Matthew 14: 14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.


15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
18 He said, Bring them hither to me.

19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.