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Leading the Way

man and woman shaking hands near the window

There is a game people play where one person pantomimes a word or phrase to a group attempting to get them to guess the word. There are more days than I can remember I feel like I’m playing that guessing game. It may have to do with what would God want me to do, or it may have to do with balancing what needs to be done and how does it need to be done?

If there were a chart that showed my progression would I find that I think I’m advancing only to change directions in midstream? And actually, at the end, I’m standing in one spot not going anywhere.

Finding something that hasn’t been told? I had my manuscript accepted at a Christian writers service and was given a free sample copy of a short publication of articles.

At the point I had been accepted I felt discouraged and decided everything I had written or was going to write had already been written, therefore I didn’t need to write anymore. I could sit the next millennial out, thank you.

However, one of the first articles in the free publication addressed that very discouragement. For those who had the view that everything had already been written they would write, who knows that the way you say it, or the way you write it will trigger the heart response in someone? It may have been written before, but not by you, and not in your words.

My father-in-law more than once said I was born a hundred years too late. That was because since my grandparents raised me I’ve lived life in between. Grandpa had horses and a tractor that he used to farm his land. In early seasons of my life, he used horses for his farm work. In later years he had a VAC Case tractor that we used. He was content to live on a small farm and farm the old way.

I mention that only because it gave me a different perspective. My life was transitional. My sister and I didn’t know from one minute to the next. Our mother was a single mom and the only stable foundation we had was that farm and our grandparents but Jackie and I loved it there.

Fast forward to a grown-up world, and I could see the difference between families with a mother and father compared to how I was raised. I could see how important an in-home/homemaker was compared to how I was raised. I could also see through the hypocrisy of what we were being fed.

We have in this new generation what they call influencers. In my life, I’ve not been born one hundred years too late, but seventy-five years too early. In my day most everyone in my sphere didn’t want to hear it.

I’ve presented scriptures and articles on a variety of subjects, including self-determining modest versus immodest clothing. Determining good versus evil. Marriage who, what, when, and how. Being in subjection for wives, honoring your spouse for both. Older women teaching younger women. Why is it important for women to be keepers in the home? Loving your husband and loving Jesus/God—to name a few subjects.

Scriptures such as (1) I Peter 3:1-6 on honoring and being in subjection to husbands, and wearing modest clothing. (2) Ephesians 4:20-25  Learning Christ and putting on the new person of holiness (3) Titus 2:3-5 on older women teaching, on love, and homes (4) John 1:1-51 on the beauty and majesty of scripture, and of God and Jesus (John 1:1-2) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

What I have found is that no amount of scripture will influence either believers or unbelievers to do what they don’t want to do.

Most believers know that it behooves men and women of faith to wear modest clothing, or to be modest in their behavior, but—those who want to follow God will follow God, and to the rest, believers and unbelievers, those scriptures don’t apply to them.

Neither life nor people have changed much in the last ten thousand years.

2Timothy 4:

“1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

What Is Your Focus

moon surrounded by clouds

“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we ought to be as happy as kings.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

This morning is beautiful the sky and the view out my sliding glass door are designed by God. As the days, weeks, and years roll by our view may change, but the designer remains the same.

On our computer roll, we have a picture taken by someone else, of someone taking a picture and someone watching the someone taking a picture. As odd as that sentence is, here’s the background.

The picture was taken on one of Young Fuzzy’s mission trips, perhaps taken by himself of a fellow mission worker.

The view she is taking a picture of isn’t particularly pleasant to anyone else. Thus the person watching her take the picture has a look on their face that could be read as What is she doing?

I’ve had pictures like that. Back in the day when you had to send your pictures in to get them developed, coupled with vacations when everything was new and you saw stuff everywhere.

I would get my pictures back and invariably there were a number of them I was sure the developer must have slipped in to raise the price of the picture package…

Maybe not, but I would look at some of the pictures and wonder what I saw that needed to be immortalized in print. Was it a rock, or perhaps a piece of grass, or just what? And we got double prints in those days so we could share.

Seeing stuff everywhere…

Where are we? What stuff are we seeing everywhere? It is important for each of us to slow down and see some of the stuff. Most of us have the habit of barreling on through life and missing stuff.

My grandfather enjoyed watching people. For instance, we were on a mission. After taking grandpa to a doctor’s appointment and as often happens we needed to pick up a prescription on the way home. Old Fuzzy walked into the pharmacy to pick up Grandpa’s medicine and those in the van watched the other people coming and going.

And you see all sorts of things. Some people look worried, and some look Wal-Mart ready. And with all of them, I watch I wonder what their lives are like. When they go home who are they?

Psalms 65:9 Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.

10 Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof.

11 Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.

I’m reminded of the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we ought to be as happy as kings.”

Sometimes we are, but most of us are tied down. I’m probably not the only one in the world who becomes so snarled in the cares and troubles of this life I don’t see the blessings that shower down around me. Somewhat like the picture of the person taking a picture of… what was she seeing, and in your life, what are you seeing? Being thankful and cognizant of our “number of things” that God rains around us.

Genesis 2:

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The Last of Old Hillbilly Wisdom

photo of people standing near stonehenge

There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
(Ecclesiastes 1:11)

This is the last installment of my copy of Old Hillbilly Wisdom:

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience, and most of that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

***

Another day, another dollar, they used to say. In some parts of the world, a dollar a day is still a decent wage—but not here and not now.

Here and now—that’s where we live. I know and most of us have read that it is imperative to know history. Not mis-history, but real history.

On our school bookshelf, we have world history books that span our known world history across the centuries. We also have American history that begins with the early settlers coming to this country. History can also be local as in state and city history.

History deals with many different aspects of life but in most cases, we are interested in civilizations and the people contained therein. For instance, there have been many volcanoes in the past, but Pompeii piques our interest because of the civilization it covered.

Historians on occasion use or abuse scriptures. It depends on whether they believe in God or not which path they take. Several years ago in doing research I came across a historian discussing a certain artifact discovered in an archaeological dig. The artifact looked like a child’s toy designed like a camel.

The particular person was saying it couldn’t have been from the era of Abram (Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. (Genesis 11:27))

Of course, Abram became Abraham, and so forth—However, the professor said it couldn’t have been made in Abraham’s era, because he said, Abraham wouldn’t have known what a camel looked like.

That was some circular reasoning if ever I read it. And it was so dumb. I don’t even know where that person came up with such a stupid idea. It isn’t told us specifically that when Terah and Abram left Ur that they ladened their camels to travel but I am assuming camels were amongst the many animals that went with them.

But by the time Terah died and Abram and Sarah made it to Egypt they came out with camels. (And he (Pharoah) entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.) (Genesis 12:16) Camels were common animals and would have been known at that time.

Prejudice is the act of pre-judging. The thing about history is civilizations have risen and fallen. Many inventions have been invented through the ages and we tend to prejudge that previous cultures were more primitive and not as advanced as we are.

What we fail to realize is that no matter, if you take a horse carriage or a modern automobile, the people of the era, are still basically the same through the ages. Our clothes may have changed but our hearts haven’t.

“As Time Goes By”

You must remember this

A kiss is just a kiss

A sigh is just a sigh

The fundamental things apply

As time goes by

Moonlight and love songs

Never out of date

Hearts full of passion

Jealousy and hate

Woman needs man, and man must have his mate

It’s still the same old story

A fight for love and glory

A case of do or die

The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by—

In other words, humanity is engaged in the struggle of life—the same old story—hearts full of passion, jealousy, hate, love, desire for power or glory, or in the end whatever the individual may desire. That’s why it’s listed in the constitution as “Pursuit of happiness.”

Ecclesiastes 1:

2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

𝐎𝐥𝐝 𝐇𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦

scenic view of lake and mountains against sky

Yes, we survived the holiday weekend and have earned a reprieve… Here’s some wisdom for this week.

Don’t corner something that is meaner than you.

Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

Don’t be banging your shin on a stool that’s not in the way.

Borrowing trouble from the future doesn’t deplete the supply.

***

I try to post first thing in the week. Last week we got waylaid. I’m finally getting here. At least I’ve survived.

We did have a special fourth of July, but not without prayer. However, every celebration gets several rounds of prayer. Every one of them.

Triggered memories—My mother finished 8th grade back in the late 1930s. High school was nice, but not a necessity in those days. There were three children in her family and only her oldest sibling, a sister, finished high school.

As I wrote, education was good but not a necessity. As long as you could read, write, and do mathematics, things were fine. By seventh and eighth grade most children in that day, knew more than high school kids of today.

Indeed, my Uncle went through the military and served during WWII with only a seventh-grade education. In earlier generations, it was as if life was short and they didn’t have time to waste.

My mother had thoughts on education that she wasn’t afraid to share. Thoughts such as higher education did not necessarily make people smarter. Thoughts such as an educated idiot is still just an—

I don’t know how she formulated some of her views, but they were still accurate. I didn’t seek out a college education for myself nor for my own children. Some of them acquired a college degree or two anyway.

I am not weighing in on the controversy of our day other than to say I agree that it seems highly unfair to require someone who did not go to college, did not end up with one of those degrees, and didn’t spend an incredible amount of money for the honor of a degree to pay for someone else who did sign up for all of those things.

What I have seen is that well-meaning parents send their offspring to one of the higher learning centers—even Christian colleges—to receive often not their children back, but strangers.

Strangers who no longer believe the same tenants as the parents. Strangers who depending on what institution they attended, come home radicalized and weird and don’t share any of their parent’s values.

I have an idea that my mother sensed that this was where higher education was going. I know in my world it was what I saw happening, even in my own generation. For my children it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to put my money, and if my children wanted that they could pay for it themselves.

Education—what is it and where does it come from? Does it always make a person wise? As a child… and as an adult, the phrase “don’t be smart with me” meant something entirely different than, “You are a smart person”.

We have access to information at the tips of our fingers—sometimes. If I’m in need of information on a specific question I’m in luck if someone with a smartphone is handy. On the other side, when those phones aren’t working right? I’ve also heard the threat, “I was tempted to see how far a smartphone can fly.”

***

Smart is no longer just memorization. In many country schools, memorization was the basic foundation that knowledge was built on. And it was a good foundation. But it was only a foundation.

Smart is not just access to information. A person who chooses not to access the information is still clueless.

Smart can include Situational awareness, Clarity of goals, Good taste, and Empathy for others. It definitely must endeavor to hone the ability to make decisions that further your goals.

The good news is that smart is a choice, and smart is a skill, and as a skill needs to be taught and used wisely.

Job 32:

4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.

5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.

6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.

7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.

8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.

11 Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. 12 Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:

A Few Steps Back

white sailboat on water

Like ships on the ocean or paths in the sea…

“Before we react, though, it might be worth asking “and then what happens,” five times.”

This advice comes from Mr. Godin. He goes on to write, “If any of the (5) steps involve, “and then a miracle happens,” maybe you should take a few moments to reconsider, or as I would phrase it—take a few steps back.

Honestly, I have never had the idea of Then a miracle happens actually come into my mind during any of my episodes, but…

I’d like a couple of dollars for every time in my life I optimistically rushed into something without the five-step agenda and even without the miracle thought, yet still in the end I must have believed in some kind of voila moment—which didn’t happen.

So, here I sit between today and yesterday. If it were possible I would like to go back to bed and sleep all night. I can imagine that—and waking up in the morning feeling rested and ready for a wonderful day. Well, I could imagine that.

If this were in the middle of the day it would be a daydream, but this is night time and this isn’t really a night dream. In the long and short of things, there are too many of these things you can’t explain and don’t make sense. Especially at this time of day/night.

I have several favorite books in the Bible. Ecclesiastes has some of my favorite passages.

“Ecclesiastes 10:

10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.”

I find all of the above scriptures to be clever in one way or another each one has a point.

So, is “there is a difference between a snake handler and a snake charmer?” This may be true, but why does “A serpent will bite without an enchantment” and a babbler is no better” go together? Babbling isn’t charming I think. I don’t like snakes and wouldn’t want to be either a snake handler or a snake charmer.

Now consider verse fifteen. I mean who would want to come under the curse of not knowing how to go to the city? “He’s so foolish he doesn’t even know how to go to the city…”

If you want to go to the city just follow the path. Lots of people are going to the city. In our day and age there are many who have just wandered into the city. The question now is do they know how to get out of the city? Talk about babbling, I think it has come to that.

Jesus didn’t talk about knowing how to go to the city, but he did talk about following the path.

“Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

And we know that many fools follow the broad way to destruction. “Consider your ways” is a cautionary warning for all of us. Yet too many aren’t willing to take a step back and look at where their path is taking them.

Most of us get up in the morning and follow our day because we’re in a certain groove. That’s our path and that’s what we do. Here’s a bit of Old Hillbilly Wisdom to draw this piece to an end:

𝐎𝐥𝐝 𝐇𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦:

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Keep skunks, bankers, and politicians at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

If you don’t take the time to do it right, you’ll find the time to do it twice.

Don’t corner something that is meaner than you.

***

“1Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

You Have Memories

silhouette of man standing on mountain cliff

On social media we get these wonderful notifications of “You have memories with…” and it lists people that generally I do have memories with, but—

I’m sharing this poem. I did not write this but it expresses so many truths. It says so many things poignantly. This is for all of us who have lost at least someone or maybe someones.

A Goat Rodeo

You don’t just lose someone once.

You lose them when you close your eyes each night.

And as you open them each morning.

You lose them throughout the day.

An unused coffee cup.

An empty chair.

A pair of boots no longer there.

You lose them as the sun sets.

And darkness closes in.

You lose them as you wonder why.

Staring at a star lit sky.

You lose them on the big days.

Anniversaries.

Birthdays.

Graduations.

Holidays.

Weddings.

And the regular days too.

You lose them in the ordinary.

Paperwork.

Household chores.

Routines taken for granted.

You lose them in the familiar.

A song they used to sing.

The scent of their cologne.

A slice of their favourite pie.

You lose them in conversations you will never have.

And all the words unsaid.

You lose them in all the places they’ve been.

And all the places they longed to go.

You lose them in what could have been.

And all the dreams you shared.

You lose them as you pick up the broken pieces.

And begin your life anew.

You lose them when you realize.

This is your new reality.

They are never coming back.

No matter how much

You miss them or

Need them.

No matter how hard you pray.

They are gone.

And you must go on.

Alone.

You lose them as the seasons change.

The snow blows.

The flowers blossom.

The grass grows.

The leaves fall.

You lose them again and again.

Day after day.

Month after month.

Year after year.

Time marches on, carrying them further and further way.

You lose them as your hair whitens and your body bends with age.

Your memory fades.

And the details begin to blur.

Their face stares back at you from a faded photograph.

Someone you used to know.

You think you might have loved them once.

Long ago.

Back then.

When you were whole.

You don’t just lose someone once.

You lose them every day.

Over and over again.

For the rest of your life.

Monica Bobbitt

Galatians 6:

“2  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 
3  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 
4  But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 
5  For every man shall bear his own burden. 
6  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 
7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

On Our Plate

planet earth

… we are actually standing on a globe that is hurtling around the sun…

Today is exceedingly hot. And it’s possible the heat will be around for a day or more. I’ve already had a snooze. When my head keeps banging on the keyboard I feel justified in changing where I’m sitting.

We had family visiting this Father’s Day weekend, and so there is that. We ended up with thirty-two people for lunch on Father’s Day. Prayer is such a wonderful thing—we were all peaceable, entertained, and fed.

In a family our size and with some of our temperaments I rely much on prayer. After all, there is quite a Celtic streak in our bunch and as I’ve read lately: “I’m Celtic. We don’t keep calm. We run naked into battle, with a sword and axe, screaming at you.” And there’s that.

Confession here, Old Fuzzy and I are too old to run into battle, but we could scream at people… I guess.

 As we trundle down life’s crazy road there are many times we feel we have things figured out. At our age Old Fuzzy and I should have things figured out… but we don’t.

So, what’s in the soup today? We are thankful. Yesterday I was very slow. I’m thankful that today I’m not as slow. I am also thankful for the words of Jesus that tell us:

“Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. I should try to prepare for tomorrow but not worry.

As the scriptures say in Proverbs 22:3 “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

Another thing to be thankful for is the omniscience of God. So many beauties surround us day in and day out. If you can imagine that even as we believe we are sitting in our chairs or working at our work we are actually standing on a globe that is hurtling around the sun and it’s all speeding through the dark universe toward… well, we aren’t sure what.

This is the day the Lord hath made and we should get right with God since we don’t know what tomorrow holds. There’s that.

Psalms 19:2 “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

Been There Done That

orange mason jar in body of water

Depending on what we are considering, in order to believe that fallacy one had to skip childhood.

It seems to be the way of the world no matter what age a person lives in, but there is no end to the odd things you hear. For instance here are some things I came across just lately.

*There’s no absolute measure of wrong. Simply what we thought vs what they meant.

Depending on what we are considering, in order to believe that fallacy one had to skip childhood. Even a child knows this isn’t true. Often the younger a child is the more sure they are absolutely of right and wrong.

“Isaiah 43:1  But now thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.”

Because God created us, he set bounds and there are some things that are right and some things which are wrong. God also gave us his laws. In this sense, God created the standard which created good versus evil. Or as it says in “Isaiah 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.” The first of God’s laws were written on tablets of stone and now we have laws written on our hearts.

“2Corinthians 3:3  being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh.”

*The world is smaller than we think. Again this is partly true, but only comparatively. If you compare this world with other ‘worlds’ there are some larger and some smaller. If you’re walking around the globe or bicycling it is a large sphere. Taking a jet plane shortens things up quite a bit and indeed, the world is smaller than we think.

“Isaiah 43:2  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

The real opportunity and challenge is to get much better at recognizing truth and fabrication. Quite a few years ago I read an article that claimed ‘information is increasing at’ it claimed at an astounding rate. But how were we to know that information wasn’t there all along and no one knew about it?

When I was a child we learned about many inventors, scientists, and historical figures. Some of these men were amazingly brilliant. The scientist Sir Isaac Newton is one of them.

It is said that Newton remarked at a time close to his death, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

Within the vast ocean of knowledge and information, one thing we seem to lose sight of is when we compare an ordinary life span to eternity it is very short. None of us will live forever no matter how smart we are, or how much we know.

Some people say we can’t know what comes after death. They say it’s a guessing game, yet…

We all know how much better the world would be if everyone would live their lives in conjunction with not just the ten commandments but those commandments as Jesus gave them according to the New Testament.

And of course, it is better to live your life as if there is a God, being in a right relationship with him, and find out there is no God. You’ve had a good life. Than to live as if there is no God and find out there is a God and you’re about to be judged accordingly. Not only has your life been lacking, but you will now face judgment in your death.

Act 17:

23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you.

24  The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25  neither is he served by men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

26  and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation;

27  that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us:

That’s What I’m Talking About

man sitting on a hood of a school bus

Signs are up at many of the small schools in our area for school bus drivers.

The job can be demanding and frustrating. It’s a job that breaks up your day.

“Matthew 18:1  In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Since the routes begin early in the morning with the morning route finishing before nine o’clock and the afternoon route begins in the middle of the afternoon on a normal day. And then there are days when it changes and afternoon has an early out.

Sometimes the children are a challenge as well as the time challenge. All in all, driving a school bus has good and bad sides to it. If you can find a separate job with the flexibility to work around a school schedule and get your bus kids to follow the driver’s and the school’s rules, it’s less harrowing.

A few weeks ago several school bus drivers in this small community turned in their resignations. Not so much for anything, just happenstance. For a few years now Old Fuzzy had talked about retiring from driving.

Somedays it was related to unruly children, some days it was because it breaks up a daily schedule, some days it was Old Fuzzy isn’t a spring chicken anymore.

But every year there have been reasons to stay. He’s picked up some kids all through their school years beginning with the preschool program and even witnessed their graduation.

“Matthew 18:2  And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them,”

Many of the preschool children would get on the bus and stop and give him a hug. Indeed, to many of these children the only constant figure in their lives was their bus driver. He’d pick them up morning and evening, greeting them by name as they boarded the bus.

On certain holidays he would buy small presents and some of them would return the favor. In short, as I mentioned he has been one of the few constants in their lives. Some of them have been traumatized when their parents divorced, or worse they weren’t married and everyone just moved around.

“Matthew 18:

3  and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me:

6  But whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.”

At times like these, I’m speechless. As difficult as it may be to grasp, there aren’t words to articulate the depth of anguish when I view the cheap price tag placed on the young and vulnerable.

Back in the early ’70s when it became a woman’s right to kill their child in the womb it could have been predicted that all life would become cheap. Not just children but all human life is cheap. We still see bleeding hearts out there for puppies, kittens, and many other small, young life forms, just not for baby humans or human life.

We can credit our social media for allowing us access to different opinions. This last week someone put it quite succinctly “I don’t think the party that spent the last 3 weeks crying because they may not get to abort kids anymore has any right to lecture us about saving kids. Kaitlin Bennett”

When there is a tragedy, as the meme pointed out then the people advocating for gun control stand on the dead bodies and do just that. They lecture us on saving children. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter, shout out your abortion.

There are so many tragedies and we aren’t aware of them. The current wide-open border and all the sadness that is caused by it including human trafficking and child trafficking. Sorrow upon sorrow, yet what’s to be done? When people don’t follow the law it hurts more than one person.

“Micah 6:6  Wherewith shall I come before Jehovah, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves a year old?

7  will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8  He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Standing In the Gap

girls and boys playing football on the field

In my generation, we played many games… As a child, we were always moving at least when we were awake.

The story is told about my oldest brother-in-law when he was a young man helping his dad sort cows. His father stationed him in a spot telling him to watch the cows, meaning don’t let them get past him.

Somehow that message got mixed and as a cow or two finagled past the young man his dad was unhappy that he had allowed them to pass.

“Oh,” he said, “I thought you wanted me to watch them, but you want me to stop them?”

Two things happened there… or didn’t happen. Communication wasn’t good, and the cows weren’t controlled. And so life happens many times and in many ways.

In my generation, we played many games. Some of these games were hide- n-seek, blind man’s bluff, statues, tag, Mother may I, Annie, Annie Over… I’m sure there were others besides kickball, softball, and kick the can. Those were the outside games.

As a child, we were always moving at least when we were awake. Many decry the current generation which often is seen as the generation that constantly has their faces imbedded in their phones or electronic devices. As one person put it, “I’m glad I had a childhood before technology took over.”

And so it goes. We have so much technology it shouldn’t be difficult to communicate but who are we communicating with? Not only that, but WHAT are we communicating?

I fear for us. Not just for this generation but for the next generations. We need more fathers in homes. Our experts are admitting that the lack of fathers in homes is one of the biggest problems our society is facing.

I remember when feminists came to the conclusion “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” There are so many wrong ideas in the feminist movement and that is one of them. Empowering women hasn’t solved all the problems of the world either.

I read often of women throughout history, who’ve done those things that they weren’t supposed to do. The ones who flew the airplanes, wrote music, were influencers in science and astronomy as well as those who helped their men on the battlefield. Women who were authors, doctors, teachers, and many more accomplishments beyond what I’ve listed.

We act as if this was shocking in the times when it happened, but really, I think WE are just surprised. I think we don’t know that it was shocking then, and I’m not sure anyone cared then as much as we do now.

Women in those days still ran their homes, still gave birth to children, and cared for their men and their families. But they didn’t do it alone. Under the feminist banner, women can act and live like immoral men and that’s just fine. Except it isn’t.

We look around at the violence taking place in our society with horror. There has been a new hue and cry out there as people look around and realize many of these insane whackos are boys without fathers, and homes without God.

Like the teenage elephants that haven’t had the benefit of the older bull elephants to keep them in line, we are now seeing what homes without fathers produce. At what point will these experts realize it doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It takes a father and a mother and a stable home environment.

Most people are still looking for as some term it “their soul mate”—both men and women. This is just a guess, but I would say that over half the population would settle for the right one man one woman ratio.

That brings us back to children and fathers. In the beginning, God made them male and female and instructed them:

“Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,”

After arrogant know-it-alls have spent a hundred years tearing apart the fabric of our society telling us all sorts of stupid things, we find that our ancestors did have a number of good answers. Now, the problem is like Hansel and Gretel trying to find their way back home by following their bread crumb trail, our bread crumbs have been devoured by the wild birds and it’s almost impossible to follow the trail back to those good answers.

As a child, another childhood game we used to play was Red Rover, Red Rover. If you’re not familiar with this game there are two opposing groups standing several yards apart. Each group holds hands tightly. The chant goes, “Red rover red rover send… right over.”

The one side picks a person from the opposing group who is supposed to run as hard as they can and try to break through the tightly held hands of the other group. After that point, I don’t remember what the reward was if they broke through or the punishment if they didn’t.

I know they do this trick back and forth until someone wins. As with many childhood games there doesn’t always seem to be a big treat or reward. Just winners and losers and lots of running and exercise and laughter.

The real point wasn’t what you won, but that your team had to stand together. Your team had to hold tight and not let the other guy through your defense. The point was to stand strong, and stand in the gap.

“Joshua 24:

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:”