Archives January 2021

Scriptures for Friday, January 29, 2021

white and brown eagle on brown tree branch

Psalms 24:8  “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.”

The powerful picture of an eagle, either in flight or at rest stands for an enduring commanding creature. During the times in our lives when we feel powerless, or perhaps we’ve been fighting the good fight so long we feel drained, during all of these times we need to rest in the Lord. Look to Jehovah for our strength. Remember the battle belongs to the Lord.

Isaiah 40:

29  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

30  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Philippians 2:

13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

14  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Psalms 56:

2  Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.

3  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

These scriptures are self-explaining. Trust in the Lord and He will carry us through the tough times. Don’t be like the rabbit that hunkers down in fear only to fly out into the open also in fear and into danger. Fear is not our friend, and scripture often tells us, ‘do not be afraid’

Scriptures for Today

photo of snow field near trees

Job 37:6  For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

Anticipation. We knew when we went to bed last night today was a snow day for the school children. The tally today was that we received fourteen inches of snow. I didn’t measure ours but it blocked some of our doors.

Not that we couldn’t get out, but it took just a bit more work than usual. I’m glad all I have to do is look at it and of course, we do remember those in prayer who must be out in such weather.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

What a beautiful thought this is. Each one of us on this earth is created by God and each of us has not just intrinsic beauty, but value and purpose. And not just a random value or purpose, but as a flower planted in the garden of God, we are to glorify and point others toward God.

Psalm 90:17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Don’t let ingratitude destroy your joy. Of all the things that can do away with good work and a good attitude is the mindset of being owed something, especially if you don’t receive it. In the end, God blesses with recognition in His time, not ours.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Word for 2021 Location

photo of woman looking at pizza

You can have the best pizza parlor in the world but…

if it’s in the middle of the Sahara Desert it probably won’t win the most visited parlor in the who’s who of whodom. As an entrepreneur, one of the first things you learn in starting a new business is about location.

On one of the reviews of my manuscript, the reviewers at one point must have reviewed the location of my residence which happens to be ‘in the middle of nowhere’ literally. But I’m a writer and although that doesn’t affect my writing it does affect my networking and social connections. However, in an effort to remain positive the consensus of the reviewers was, ‘you are located by I 80 and you can go anywhere from there’.

The translation of course is if I want to network, going to conferences, meeting fellow writers, and so forth, I must go there’s nothing happening where I am at.

Location. We’ve tried to start businesses but, our location isn’t right. Perhaps now we have a different networking system ie computers might help. And this year people have had a jarring wake-up call.

***

Grocery stores this year were out of more than toilet paper at times. One of the wonderful things immigrants from other countries have noticed is that they can walk into an American grocery store and there is an abundance of food and supplies. Indeed, one of the things as a children’s Bible class teacher is it’s difficult to explain to our children is the idea of a famine.

God has so blessed this country that very seldom is it that we are unable to go to our local grocery and pick up the items we need. Until the year 2020 at least. This last year there were times when bread was scarce, meat was a bit hard to find, and other things on occasion.

Indeed, some people were told they could buy meat directly from a beef-producing farmer in order to circumvent the lack of beef at the grocery store. It sounds good but—picking out your beef from the farmer is only part of the problem.

Farmers don’t butcher the meat, so when you buy from the farmer the second step is you will also need what we call a ‘locker’ that will take the live beef, butcher it and package it for the individual. We raise our beef and send it to a local butcher yearly as well as sell a limited amount of beef. (Here is the link for our farm page. We do not have beef ready at this time, and will not have any ready for some time, but we do sell other things in season. https://www.facebook.com/TheFuzzyFarmerProduce)

It has become more and more difficult to get a date with the butcher because this year so many have been trying to buy meat from farmers.

In the good old days, it used to take us two to three months for a locker date. Two years ago it took six months to get our beef into the locker and last year we had to make our date a year in advance in order to have our beef processed this year. Part of this is due to several of the local lockers in the past number of years going out of business, but most was because of the number of extra dates this year.

Location—where you’re at. Many people today are short-sighted. We stopped thinking about where our food, clothing, and medicines come from only to discover much of our supplies come from other countries.

We still get much of our fresh fruits and veggies from Southern and South-Western states, but…although the people in the U.S. could be 98% self-sufficient for our needs—we aren’t.

At one time farmers in our state raised veggies and fruits for local canneries. The canneries are gone and the fields that supported them are gone. Many orchards are also gone.

Our current situation should shock us out of our self-imposed you’re alright I’m alright attitude and prepare us for harsh realities.

America and Americans have been exceptional for many reasons not least of which is because of the Can-Do spirit. The idea that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. No matter what the re-writers of our history may say, the Pilgrims definitely relied on Jehovah God.

The Pilgrims weren’t self-sufficient farmers when they arrived at Plymouth Rock. I would hazard a guess that they knew very little about raising their own food and building their houses at first, but they learned. They learned how to raise their own food, how to spin their own thread, make their own cloth…all the way to how to be independent.

Something we should never have outgrown was our admittance that God is our rock and high tower. It is God that sustains us in both the good and the harsh times.

As you go through this earthly life, don’t be afraid that you will die. You absolutely will die before this life is over. You must remember it isn’t that you will die in this life, but where you will spend the next life. It’s all in the word, location. Location, location, location.

Romans 15:

3  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

5  Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

6  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7  Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

8  Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

9  And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10  And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

And Deborah Said

ancient antique armor armour

Judges 5:7  The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.

So, I don’t have a doctoral degree in biblical studies. I haven’t been to seminary or even Christian college. I’m a semi-retired homeschool mom with a lot of experience but not any titles. But I love God and His Word, and I want others to know and love Him, too.

The judge, Deborah and I do have some things in common but I’ve never been tasked with going to physical war with a General to lead an army.

Yet this morning as I was sleeping this quote came to me from J.R.R. Tolkien, taken from The Fellowship of the Ring:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

There have been catastrophic things happen to us starting with the pandemic as it’s termed, which shut things down this last year. Except for the riots, of course, those continue even unto this day. And for those peaceful people who want to raise our children, sit on our porch surrounded by our friends and family, and live and let live we are constantly poked by radical rabble-rousers.

Where do we go from here? Well, I know that historically life is not ever really peaceful. In the book of Judges, the people of Israel had a history of falling away from God, and God would abandon them to their fate. Enemies would invade and make the people not just unhappy but downright miserable.

And when the people had been ground into the dust because of their iniquities they would cry to God and he would raise up Judges to liberate them. Hence we have Deborah, a mother in Israel. She is the only female Judge in this time period.

I don’t know what Deborah thought or felt. That she was fearless is probable. She calls Barak to raise an army and take on Israel’s enemies. In a surprising move, he tells her he will go but only if she goes with him. Yes, she says, she will go with him, but a woman will get the honor of killing Sisera.

Did Barak think Deborah meant she would get the honor? We don’t know what he thought but it was not her and it wasn’t Barak.

The point is what is next? We are looking at hard times. A picking up of where we were before the last four years. No jobs (Steve), no cash (Johnny), and no hope (Bob). As some have said ‘please don’t let us lose bacon…but I don’t remember who he was or where he came from.

In doing research one of the keys we miss so often is the one where we miss personal witness. Many of the older people of my life, my Grandfather and my father-in-law for example could tell me what happened in what year. Such as ‘in 1934 we had the worst winter, snow and it was bitterly cold’.

But I missed out on most of that. I didn’t begin doing research on those years, or I didn’t ask the right questions of the right people and now they are gone.

And don’t ask me about events in my life. I don’t remember what year anything happened or what the weather was in what year. I feel more like a bobblehead doll that just sits and grins and well, does whatever a bobblehead doll does.

Back to Frodo and Gandalf—here we are with the time we are given and now we must decide what to do with it…

I was doing research into WWII and the British organization SOE. It was the inspiration where the United States came up with our CIA. Except the Brits disbanded their SOE when the war finished and our CIA was just getting started.

The SOE’s main training camp was in Scotland and there was quite extensive training to the organization. One of their agents was a gay man. I don’t remember his name off the top of my head but his was a unique story as all stories are. He went through rigorous training and was sent on his first mission which began with him using a rubber raft and boating onto the coast of Spain.

In his own words, he said something like (and no, this isn’t a verbatim quote) I’m sitting in this boat about to go ashore and the gravity of what I’m about to do hits me. I’m scared and I’m thinking I can’t possibly do this…

I’m about to turn back when I tell myself to get ahold of myself. “And I thought, buck up ducky, you haven’t come all this way to give up now.”

Well, you know those are words of wisdom. And so that’s where I am today. Buck up Ducky you haven’t come all this way to give up now.

Colossians 4:

1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

YOU ARE ALWAYS ON MY MIND

golden statue under blue skies during day time

You
see the second king of Israel in so many words said almost the same thing a long time
ago.

Have you ever chased a rabbit? Probably most of us would have to say yes. I am not
meaning in the literal sense but the figurative.

Maybe you are doing research for school
or work or just for fun. Or perhaps you find yourself following a link to YouTube to
listen to some familiar music.

And then it happens, the thumbnail on the side catches your attention. There is a song I haven’t heard for years. Well, 30 minutes and several
videos later you realize you are not where you started or where you should be.


Donevy asked me to write another post for her. A little while later I happened to be
watching a video when I noticed a thumbnail for Willie Nelson’s “You were always on
my mind”. I happen to like that song but this isn’t about the song but rather the title.

You see the second king of Israel in so many words said almost the same thing a long time
ago.

You can find King David telling God that His word was always on his mind. Notice what
he says in Psalms 119:97

“Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” This whole 119 th Psalm is about the Psalmist’s attitude toward God’s word. Wouldn’t it be something to stand before the throne of God on that great day and be able to say “you
were always on my mind”.

(Psalms 119:97 Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.
(Psalms 119:98) Thy commandments make me wiser than mine enemies; For they are
ever with me.

(Psalms 119:99) I have more understanding than all my teachers; For thy testimonies are
my meditation.
(Psalms 119:100) I understand more than the aged, Because I have kept thy precepts.
(Psalms 119:101) I have refrained my feet from every evil way, That I might observe thy
word.
(Psalms 119:102) I have not turned aside from thine ordinances; For thou hast taught me.
(Psalms 119:103) How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to
my mouth!
(Psalms 119:104) Through thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate every false
way.

Who Were You When

trees covered with snow

This morning I wanted to get up and produce a YouTube of our winter blizzard.

Just a short update. Yes, I’ve been busy working on the next novel in the series As A Lovely Song. I have currently finished rewriting the first two hundred pages and am honing in on the last fifty to one hundred pages.

The problem is you don’t just produce a YouTube without preparation. Not that I can see at least. Since I don’t have the equipment to film and record and whatever else it takes for one of those complicated projects I’ll have to go back to the old typing of a post.

No wonderful pictures of five feet of snow and wind blowing that snow to kingdom come. But we didn’t receive five feet of snow, and although the wind is blowing it’s not bad right here. The chair outside my door does have about a foot of fresh snow on it and that is impressive.

I’ve come from past eras that did see worthwhile blizzards. We had one blizzard in approximately 1973 or 74 when we were snowed in without electricity for at least a week. Thankfully we had a wood stove and an outhouse. The outhouse hadn’t been used for quite some time, but it was still functional. We also had a gas cook stove which was helpful.

One of the most recent winters of interest was when our youngest son was still a resident here at home. Old Fuzzy was gone on a mission trip overseas—that’s when these things like to hit. There was just Buddy and I keeping the home fires lit.

Buddy had finished evening chores and it was beginning to get dark. There was an ice storm where the temperatures were just warm enough for a cold rain then once the temperature began to drop it turned to ice, coating trees and bushes in heavier and heavier layers of ice. The electrical wires across the road from our house were dancing in the high wind and at one point created quite a show when on occasion they would get too close and arc.

We could hear the electric company crews just up our country road trying to keep people’s electricity repaired. We were warned we might be out of electricity all night which does happen when you live out in the country as we do.

Now, this is what sets some of us country folk apart from city dudes. Buddy was in from chores, our electricity had gone off, we had popped our popcorn and were setting up a game of Canasta by a kerosene lamp. We got a call from some recently moved to our area city people. “They’re setting up cots at the neighborhood center in town,” they said. “You want to go with us?”

As you can imagine we were shocked that anyone would want to try to brave a ten-mile drive through a blizzard into town to spend the evening trying to sleep on a cot surrounded by strangers. We were very sad indeed when our electricity was only off for about an hour. We continued playing our game by the lamplight then went to bed.

Somewhere there is a tribute to farmers. Paul Harvey did one such tribute. It doesn’t cover most farmers today because our farmscape has changed, but my family and Old Fuzzy’s family go back in the farmer category a long way. As my Adorable Cousin is renowned for saying, “If my ancestors could walk across this continent with bacon grease dripping from their lips…” and that’s another story.

It is a question to ponder on, who were you when…

I Corinthians 1:

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Who Keeps Your Dreams?

flight landscape nature sky

As a writer, I try to bring these personal thoughts out from each of my readers. This writing journey isn’t about me. In some ways it isn’t about the reader, it’s about us.

Many thoughts flit through my mind thinking on this. As a writer my purpose isn’t—well, there are a whole bunch of things it isn’t. It isn’t self-glorification. It isn’t about look who I am. When I add the word Christian as a qualifier it really does change the scene. My focus changes from me to Him.

In other words, what I’m trying to say to the reader is there is more to you than a mere body toiling from day to day. More than a body wandering through this world of woe.

In the good ole days it was a given that once a person reached the right age they would find their mate, marry, raise a family, and live happily ever after doing whatever that entailed until they passed on into eternity.

Somewhere within my lifetime it has become a different mantra. It has become I’m going to graduate high school, go to college, get a degree. After that I will get a job that pays me lots of money and I’ll live happily ever after with lots of money.

Wherein the scriptures do say, “Money answereth all things,” (Ecclesiastes 10:19  A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.) it doesn’t mean money is the answer to all things.

In other words, money pays the bills but it doesn’t make a life richer. So, what makes a life richer? Family, friends, laughter/good times, these thoughts come to my mind. Maybe I’m just a minimalist at heart and it doesn’t take much to bring me peaceful happiness.

Here are several ways in which we can be better keepers of our own dreams:

Put your trust in God, not in yourself. Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Be humble and pray fervently. Proverbs 3:7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Do not worry. Let God have it. Proverb 13:12  Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. 13  Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

Remember God knows your heart. He also knows the future and what is best. Proverbs 14:10  The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. 11  The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

Not everything comes out the way you would like or imagine it should/would. Disappointments will happen. Proverbs 14:13  Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

Put God’s ways first not your wants Proverbs 14:14  The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

IF

(This article was guest-written by Chris E. Westphal)

beach blur clouds dawn

As I was perusing my “facebook newsfeed” recently it was “suggested for you” the song
“If” by the group “Bread”.

Ah, the memories. I remember well the heartfelt love song by the group with a distinctive sound, especially for the time.


I am not going to talk about music but rather one of the biggest words of the English
language, if.

How many times do we begin a sentence or a thought with those two little letters? Replay
some of your day’s conversations whether with yourself or someone else. There is that word again.

All too often that word is inseparable from the word happy. I would be happy if . . . . If things were different. The list is long and you know yours.

It is not wrong to use the word if. In fact, it is found 1595 times in the King James Bible. Jesus used it in John 14:15 “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments.” We would do well to reflect upon the truth of this verse.

Let’s not stop there but consider also this which Jesus spoke shortly after “Jesus answered and said unto him, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23) Let us seek the reward as God wants us to.

1 Peter 3:10-11
(10)  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil,
and his lips that they speak no guile:
(11)  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

1Corinthians 15:1-20

belief bible book business

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;


2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

If That Doesn’t Say It All

silhouette photo of standing man holding camera looking at fireworks display

Why do we begin a new year by shouting, Happy New Year?

None of us have a magic ball to prophesy the happenings of the coming year and as with this year and every past year, old years are a mix of good and evil. Consequently, no one is shouting Happy Old Year—especially this year.

Right off the bat this year is dragging old baggage with it. In 2019 my Adorable Cousin kept telling me “They’re gonna disrupt the economy. It’s coming…” and I kept saying, “Well, I know why they want to, but our economy is doing so well I don’t know how they are going to disrupt it.”

Then we had 2020, and now I see how they did it, and I know we have to get a grip on this and turn it back around. But again I don’t see how. Not that it is impossible, but something has happened to people around us. For example:

Last week a play date was held by a private facility on a limited basis for children to come and play on the playground. It didn’t force people to come, but it didn’t ‘mask up’ and wasn’t a bastion of fear. It allowed what would have been last year at this time a normal outing for children.

Someone took pictures apparently and there was a whole lot of “Shame on them. I hope they lose their license, This is wrong…and so forth.”

But wait, these were not high-risk kids, they were playing on a playground/play equipment, and just being kids. Everyone should have the freedom to decide if they want to participate or not.

When has it become someone else’s job to police every single person? I know that we need to be thoughtful of others. I understand that, but no one should have the right to enforce a tyrannical standard on everyone else.

I would be judged as an ‘at-risk’ person partially because of my age and somewhat health situation but I don’t go out often and we are careful about different things. Yet, I realize my life is in the hand of God and no amount of quivering in or out of fear will change the day of my death.

In other areas, we also have the specter of an election that in the minds of 74M to 80M plus voters was fraudulent. The 74M minimum that is ascribed to President Trump was only a minimum and polls show that at least 30% of Democrat voters believe it was fraudulent.

The twist in the knickers is that if you can turn an 80M plus vote landslide win into a 74M loss there isn’t ever going to be a fair election again. It’s as Newt Gingrich wrote in an article taken from the Washington Times (by Newt Gingrich)

“You have more than 74 million voters who supported President Trump despite everything — and given the election mess, the number could easily be significantly higher. The truth is tens of millions of Americans are deeply alienated and angry.”

So here we are one day at a time not sure how we got here and not sure how our name got pulled out of the hat for such a time as this—and just what does it mean?

Esther 4:

10  Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;

11  All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.

12  And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words.

13  Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.

14  For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?