Looking Out

water falls in the middle of the forest

Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Mat 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

I pledge to tell my story—to share my experiences—with authenticity and without apology. I know that in telling my story I can provide others with the gifts of hope, wisdom, and joy. 

At this moment I’m struggling to comprehend what part of my story would go here. The line from a Gospel song comes to my mind. …Sing it softly thru the gloom, when the heart for mercy craves; Sing in triumph o’er the tomb, Jesus saves! Jesus saves! (Jesus Saves by Priscilla J. Owens and music by Wm. J. Kirkpatrick)

Some people come to the Lord after a mountain top experience, yet others have to hit bottom to look for help.

The people in Matthew chapter 3 respond to John the Baptizer when he cries unto them Repent ye. Even some of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized. He chastises them and tells them true repentance calls for fruits that show their repentance. In other words, true repentance is more than saying the right thing.

We’ve seen revivals through the 1700s, 1800s, and into modern days. What puzzles me is how have we gotten to such a spot in time when morality has become blurred. No one, even amongst Christ’s believers seems to know what repentance is nor do they understand what Godly living is. They’ve adopted the Jeremiah syndrome:

Jeremiah 6:15  Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall:

A discussion several months ago still resonates in my mind. My Adorable Cousin and I were discussing finding a suitable wife for young men. I—foolishly—mentioned a young man’s interaction with some young girls from a fellow church and how the young girls had facebook pages showing their pool party. It was a girl’s only pool party to their credit. Of course Adorable found nothing amiss about girls in swimsuits, and I actually don’t care either, except…

I tried more than once to explain that what one does in the privacy of their own property isn’t any of my concern. Most people don’t wear anything when they take a bath, but they don’t take pictures of themselves taking the bath then publish it on Facebook for their friends and whatnot to view. This would not be considered a modest thing to do.

That was my complaint about the Facebook pool party photoshoot. I shouldn’t need to explain that adding a bit more sturdy cloth to something styled the same as a woman’s underwear doesn’t change the swimsuit into something modest and above a person’s underwear.

I agree with the idea that modest apparel on the outside can still hide an unclean spirit on the inside. A spirit that has evil intent with evil thoughts and whatnot. This is true, sometimes we can be blind to what lies in the heart.

That doesn’t excuse immodest attire and what you see on the outside is generally a clue to what is on the inside.

I can honestly say I’ve been on both sides of the issue. As a child, I wore what was put on me, or provided for me to wear. As a teenager, I didn’t have a whole lot of intelligence. I wore what was in style, and in some instances somewhat edgy styles.

Even after I became a Christian some of the styles were still unbecoming for a person professing Christ. I wasn’t invested in the church in a deep way. I did believe, but I didn’t have depth. So there was a combination of reasons for my immodest apparel. Two major reasons would be a lack of spiritual depth and a lack of self-value.

There were people who would have liked to have told me something. They were afraid because there wasn’t a depth in our relationship. In the last fifty years, I’ve seen numerous articles telling women to watch what they wear, to dress modestly, and be pleasing to God. I’ve even written several articles but…

What I’ve come to see is in most instances you might as well be spitting in the wind. In many cases the same problems I had are present. The length of time a person has been in Christ doesn’t tell us of their spiritual maturity, or their spiritual depth.

As in my case, I struggled with an inferiority complex and lack of spiritual depth during those days. Many women struggle with these problems as well as the lack of self-value.

These women will continue to seek self-valuation from the society they live in by what they wear and do. They will use their daughters by encouraging their young girls to dress and look like their peers in the world. In this way, they will gain approval on two levels.

Sing it softly thru the gloom, when the heart for mercy craves; I wonder if—or when people will lay aside themselves and truly turn to the Lord? When will they realize what they are doing?

I read an article about a woman around the age of forty to fifty years old. Her husband was situated in a good job, her children were out on their own and doing well. She had a very nice home and surroundings. She wanted for nothing. She told the interviewer, ‘This to me is heaven. What more could I want?’

I cringe at stories like that. I’ve been in this old world long enough to realize how quickly life can change. This world isn’t heaven and Satan is still the god of this world.

when the heart for mercy craves—Mark 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Matthew 3:1  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

6  And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Life and Changes

view of ocean during golden hour

As I grow older I am amazed at how life moves on, sometimes in gentle circles other times in violent upheavals.

Today I sit in front of my large sliding glass door, sunshine washing over the countryside, a lazy warm breeze keeps the leaves on the trees waving and brushing the sky. During our younger years, there were always so many things needing to be done and most of them needed to be done yesterday. Keeping up with all the chores of raising a family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord was a task not for the faint of heart.

At one time there were the old tried and true methods of raising children. But that got thrown out in the forties and fifties with Dr. Spock and his book. Now we have all sorts of rules and for some reason, nothing seems to be getting it right.

Raising children is taken too lightly, without enough prayer and forethought. When raising our children, my prayer always was I know I won’t do everything perfectly, but Lord don’t let me make big, horrible mistakes.

Thinking through what you want children to be and do is important. Good families don’t just happen. Goals of what you’re aiming for should be written down and prayed over. We wanted our children to be followers of Christ, to be honest, and respectful and to grow into well-functioning adults. Some other things we thought we were teaching were thankfulness and love of parents and grandparents.

I have had people tell me in the past, ‘you have the nicest family’…and one of the most gratifying statements was one I overheard by a middle-aged sister in Christ when she told someone else, ‘you know the boys I really like are those Westphal boys…’ and the proof is in the pudding as they say.

These many years down the road I see I should have prayed over some of these things more than I did. Honestly, no one ever told me about making a list and praying over it. I’m sure things would have been different if they had. Maybe a list and a prayer for each child as well.

Too often we throw things out in a desperation prayer and hope for the best. Parents need to realize the mistakes they make in raising children may last into the future for many generations.

Many of our first principles were carried all the way through our rearing of children. At one point our oldest two boys let me know that they were ‘breaking dad and mom in’ so the rest of the kids would have a better time of growing up.

Well, now there are several things you do and several you don’t do as a child. Possibly telling your parents such a thing is questionable. If I saw something I believed I was doing wrong, yes, I would be open to changing it. Breaking me in so I’d be more lenient? Not so much.

Oddly enough their intentions were shown to be more breaking dad and mom in so they could do the things they wanted to do. We had our first six children in ten years then ten years later we had the last child.

Within those twenty years, Old Fuzzy and I did jettison some ideas we saw as nonessential and rearranged other principles. Instead of lauding dad and mom for our progressiveness the oldest two now complained.

“You aren’t raising number seven the way you raised the rest of us…” Well, alrighty then. Having learned many things in those years, I didn’t argue with them I told them, ‘We heard so often what crappy parents we were we thought we’d try something different.’

One thing I learned was not to allow someone to dump on me. Everything in life isn’t mom’s fault. When I saw our youngest son begin repeating behavior we had witnessed in the oldest child? We put a stop to it.

After being disciplined for doing something wrong, young fuzzy said angrily to me, “You got me in trouble.” I told him ‘Oh, oh, repeat after me, I did something stupid and I got myself in trouble. IT’S NOT MOM’S FAULT. There were a number of times in the next few years in which he learned this truth.

Before, with the oldest, I thought it was just a childish behavior that he would outgrow. But the oldest never did, and we nipped it in the youngest when it raised its ugly head.

I was part of a disjointed family as a small child. As I grew older I became more like an only child, my sister being six years older. My grandparents grew older in their life and didn’t really need a (1960s vintage) teenager type.

When I lived with my mother I lived like a lone survivor. She worked all day and when she got off work she went to the bar until it closed then she got up the next day to do it over while I went to school.

In high school, I was on my own in life. But I had realized at a very young age something wasn’t right in my life and in searching for God, Jesus found me and after I returned home, I found Old Fuzzy—at that time he wasn’t an Old Fuzzy yet, he was dashing and debonair.

Yet, the first year of marriage was stressful, then finding ourselves expecting our first child, it was all a new experience for me. I would be the first to admit our oldest child bore the brunt of my struggles to become part of a functioning family.

The song Day by Day comes to my mind. God only gives us one day at a time for a reason. Today is peaceful and quiet, busy but not stressful. That hasn’t always been the case and may not always be true, but today it is and we are thankful for it.

Colossians 3:

16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

And There You Are

a cowboy riding a horse

Many years ago when we still had a television and even still when we watched television, one of the shows we watched was a tri-monthly show, McCloud.

There were three detective shows that alternated through the month one was MacMillan and Wife, one was Columbo, and the other was McCloud. It was a show about a western cowboy cop who found himself stationed in New York City. If that wasn’t outlandish enough in one show he was sent to Australia for a show.

There were several characteristics that were part and parcel of this series, one of which was McCloud’s catchphrase, ‘There ya’ go!’.

It is funny what sticks with a person. I still remember the Australian show whenever he used his catchphrase the other people in the scene would all look around in confusion and say who—or—where, or some other confused remark.

I sometimes find myself on both sides of these catchphrases. Phrases like there ya’ go, there you are, and such like seem to draw a conclusion and we are being instructed to draw a conclusion with the speaker. Sometimes we do and sometimes we look around and wonder, how did the bird just fly over my head and I missed it?

Communication isn’t as easy as it should be mostly because we come from different backgrounds and experiences. Many years ago in a conversation with my sister, she said, “I believe in life after death. I don’t know if you believe in that or not.”

“Yes, of course, I believe in life after death.” I was puzzled by her statement because most Christian faiths believe in the Resurrection and Second coming when we will be alive with Jesus. Some don’t but most believe in life after death.

My sister and I were not raised in any Christian faith so she might not have known this and that added to my questioning of her statement but…

What I was talking about and what my sister was talking about were miles and a universe apart. What she called ‘life after death’ was reincarnation. Coming back as something else in a next life. What I called life after death was that when we die here on this earth we leave our fleshly temple, this body, behind and move into the eternal spiritual life beyond.

After all of my experience, I still don’t always clarify my communication and it does cause me to wonder why it is so easy to assume I’m on the same page as someone else.

Then there are the times when I know I’m in one world and the person I’m talking with is somewhere else. And as it’s said somewhere by someone wiser than myself, Ne’er the twain shall meet.

Spiritual people lately have been talking about the ‘rapture. Ever tried to talk one of those believers out of that belief? Or any number of doctrines that aren’t supported scripturally without picking things out of context and working them over in our image.

There are many of these doctrines as there have been many through the ages. The Catholic church believes it was the church from which all other churches came. Not so, there was an original simple church before the Catholics took over and warped the teachings of the New Testament.

What is needed in order to be true to the original church and its teachings is the scriptures and what the Apostles taught. And we must be careful to follow those teachings not throwing in commandments and doctrines of men with their human errors lest we become part of the problem spoken against. And there you are…

1 John 2:

17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

18  Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

19  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

I Pledge That

silver cross pendant necklace on brown wooden table

I will not allow my negative voice to guide my thinking or stop my creative process. I will surround myself with people who love me and support my writing.

How easy it is to listen to the wrong voices. In my book If I Should Die one of the characters had a problem. He had all sorts of voices in his head mostly telling him negative things like, You’re gonna die.

My editor at the time told me I had to change this exchange. I couldn’t have his point of view it had to be shifted back to my main character, but…

That gave me a problem. He wasn’t the main character, but life is more than one character and a story that revolves around only one character feels shallow. Like stone soup with only a stone for the soup.

One day when my grandson Toben was a wee bit of a pollywog I called my daughter and Toben answered. When he answered I said, Well, hello my favorite Toby. He was so excited and said, that’s me, that’s me…

I thought at the time how often are we allowed to make someone feel special like they are our ‘favorite person’? And what a special privilege that is.

Matthew 8:3  And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Some time ago it was pointed out that throughout the scriptures Jesus touched people in healing them as in the example above. For a leper who had to cover his face and cry out in warning, “Unclean, unclean,” how basic the need to be touched is and to them, it was denied, until—Jesus’ touch.

Mark 9:20  And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

21  And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

22  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

What an encouragement when the heart for mercy craves, isn’t it the human way to do life, we wait until all else fails then we turn to God and Jesus? Of course, this parent hadn’t had many options until he brought his son to Jesus. Yet, even after 2000 years people still wait until turning to the Lord is the last resort.

We don’t always know when and how we will be able to reach out and encourage people. We don’t always know who needs the encouragement.

I am amazed at how important school bus drivers have become in children’s lives nowadays. One of the reasons Old Fuzzy has stuck with this aspect of his life is the rapport he has built with his school bus kids.

Many of the children begin their trek to school as four-year-olds going to pre-school. And he has been carrying them to school from pre-school into high school. We try to provide treats for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the kids.

A few years ago we provided a homemade treat and a candy cane. One first-time bus rider when given his treat looked at it in wonder and awe. “For me?” he said. “For me? No one has ever given me a present before…”

I don’t know about anyone else, but how could anyone not tear up when I think of that poor child.

2 Corinthians 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

The Bus Runs

city road man person

They tell me they can’t get out of here…and I say to them, man, the bus runs every day.

Morgan Freeman during an interview after questions about racism and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps gives this example. People tell me I’d like to have done this or that but I can’t. They tell me they can’t get out of here…and I say to them, man, the bus runs every day.

Of course, after these words, Morgan and the host laugh, because it’s true. But I can empathize with both sides. After my graduation from high school, I found a bus out of that town heading back home.

On the flip side of that coin, after looking for a job in the big city back home I had to settle for a job in the little town waiting tables, then another job in the little town as a nurses aide.

A few weeks ago Old Fuzzy and I watched a movie called What If. In the movie the main character is about to make a decision that will take him forever away from a godly life but before he finishes that decision God interrupts him with a what-if moment.

There are some memorial moments in this movie as it challenges the character to understand the contrast in what he thought he was looking for against what he could have had. Then to make the choice based on what he found.

Like many people, he believed money and lots of it, along with prestige, and powerful influence would make him happy. Contrast that to a life of servitude and humility it should be a no-brainer.

So, where does it go from here? James 4:2 “…ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. That is plucked out of the middle of a line of scripture, and only partly addresses the problem. The point is and this goes especially for children of God, when scripture in 1Corinthians 10:13 says …God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

A person has to look for a way of escape and sometimes a person must ask and look for the way to go. In a nutshell, the bus may run every day but if you’re looking to leave for a better situation you must look and you must ask because there are a lot of buses running every day, but not all of them are going somewhere better.

Too many instances we don’t do one or the other, and sometimes we don’t do either to look or to ask.

If we are trying to find a way of escape to something better—in other words trying to find the right bus that will take us to something better—looking for the way, asking God to provide and show the way are good first steps but another thing we must do is leave our baggage behind.

How many times people may get as far as getting on the bus and making a start, but when they arrive at their destination they are the same old person with all their doubts, fears, and foibles. They set up camp bringing their old self with them so they took the bus out only to be their old self in a new place.

Romans 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

When we come up out of the watery grave as Christians we are supposed to leave the old man of sin behind. As a person wanting to be on a better bus headed to someplace better there is no better bus to be on than the one headed to heaven.

Matthew 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

August Isn’t for the Faint of Heart

planet earth

Or as I told my cousin: Earth, the trip of a lifetime…

This morning I planned on turning off the air conditioner, throwing the door in my office that opens onto the deck wide open and breathing deeply of the outside air, listening to the birds, the free-roaming chickens (and a lonely turkey), and all of the wonderful sights and smells of au naturel. But it became warm by the time I finished in the kitchen, and…I shut the door to the deck and left the air on…

Life—it does that to us when we least expect it. If I had a dollar—well, figuring for inflation maybe two dollars for everything I thought I would or could do I’d be wealthy beyond counting and like Tigre extraordinaire.

Since I only get a third done of what I want to do, I have decided in order to get more done, this is the plan, I’ll make my to-do list three times longer. It could work.

Our calendar says August, but day by day our weather shimmers between August and September. September days tend toward warm and humid, somewhat lazy, laidback, and languid with cool to cooling nights good for sleeping. August is warm to hot and humid days with not much respite for sleeping at night.

Experts warn that women’s minds are like an interstate highway connected and always buzzing with activity. My mind easily jumps from one idea to another. I’ve wondered at the idea of snowglobes. Little worlds that contain scenery that can be shaken up and we can watch the world in snowtime.

The snowglobes are full of snow, but why is it always snow? Our amazing world has seasons: a season with the snow, a season with the sunshine, a season when the leaves fall. When it’s day on one side of the world it’s night on the other. When it’s summer in one half of the world it’s winter in the other half.

As we hurtle through space at trillions of miles per second, have you ever wondered who is piloting the ship?

Yes, as a fact I do know who is piloting the ship, and I know he has a plan. Like the song says, I know who holds tomorrow

Ecclesiastes 7:

9  Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

10  Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

11  Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.

12  For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

13  Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

Be A Writer?

assorted color kittens

However, we’ve figured out Miss Kitty is moving her kittens, so some of them aren’t happy.

Today has been a day for chasing. My nose has had issues, I believe I must have allergies I never had before. Some times during a day my nose runs, my eyes run, and if I’ve not been careful enough with my diet don’t get between me and the potty, and they say I don’t get enough exercise.

At least at this stage of life on my forms, I can put retired, instead of primitive artist. Not that I’m not still a primitive artist, but trying to explain primitive artist was as elusive as being one.

But what does running or chasing have to do with writing? The writing I do has a lot of chasing. Even then it doesn’t always come out like I’m wanting, but some days I hit the jackpot. Today I was researching for a half a page scene. Almost all morning I chased Scottish fiddle music, accordions, and of all things washtub bass. I have shared a video at the end. A bit longer than I wanted, maybe, but I did skip through it till he started playing some pieces.

I do learn many things some of which I never wanted to know, some I won’t use but once, and yet most of it makes the writing experience interesting and hopefully the written story better.

I was tempted to begin with the phrase, today has been pleasant, and it has. In spite of the allergies, listening to music and how-to videos is good. The weather has moderated a bit so we’ve been able to turn off the air and open my office door onto the deck.

I can listen to the outside sounds. The birds are trying to feed their babies and scare the resident deck cat away.

She, the cat we named Miss Kitty, had her litter of kittens this week and we know where they are—under the deck. I don’t know how she found a way under there but we may have to work an intervention.

Suddenly one of the kittens began an incessant crying. And that isn’t pleasant. However, we’ve figured out Miss Kitty is moving her kittens, so some of them aren’t happy. Any tomcat around here is on notice, seen in this vicinity its life is forfeit. Tomcats aren’t native to this farm and stray tom cats are only bad news.

It is a strange idea that in four weeks our weather will be transitioning to autumn and falling leaves will be peeking around the corner. Eight weeks will bring even cooler weather nipping at our noses.

At this moment those changes seem like a long time away and the weather today is almost perfect. At times in my life I wish I could have put a border around certain days or happenings.

There are those happenings when moments were golden. Maybe it was a birthday party, a Sunday lunch, a graduation, or just a one on one special moment.

Childhoods go past much too fast. When people used to ask me why I didn’t send my kids to preschool I told them I only have these children for five years then public school takes over. I’m going to keep them as long as I can…

That was before we won back the right to be in charge of our children’s schooling. The principle was right and even after we began homeschooling our children, we still only have them for a few years before they are gone out into the world.

And that too is gone in a flash. “Well,” Old Fuzzy says to me, “That was thirty years ago.” “No, no that’s not possible. Not thirty years.” I’m in painful denial. It doesn’t seem possible that thirty years can just disappear, not without a trace, but at least in a flash.

 Ecclesiastes 6:

3  If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.

4  For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

5  Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.

6  Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

7  All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

8  For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?

Digging Ditches

paying with cash

…those rich people need to give us some of their money… pay their fair share.

Fair share—fair share, we hear that cry almost everywhere nowadays. It usually goes with taxes and the ‘rich’. This is an interesting thought that no one really thinks about what they are saying or thinks about what it means.

First off no one ever thinks they are part of the problem, they aren’t part of the rich so it’s always someone else who needs to pony up and pay up.

Those who coined the phrase do know what they are saying. When they say the rich need to pay their fair share, there is an agenda behind it. These people know even though they are part of the rich they aren’t wanting for themselves to pay, only other people.

They point the finger at others in order to draw the attention of others away from their situation.

As an adult and as a parent how many times do we hear children moan that’s not fair? My response as a parent has been life isn’t fair. And it isn’t, but now as adults, we are asked to suspend what we know to be true, and become as little children and cry because life should be fair?

In the words of the ancient and now deceased, Jackie Gleason, what a revolting development this is.

In answer, there are several questions that come to mind. I think that most of us who have an entrepreneurial bent, and that goes for most small business owners, if we apply ourselves and one of our ideas does hit the jackpot and we make our fortune, we have earned our money. We’ve put in the long hours, taken the risk of putting our money in jeopardy, all of these things. Instead of the snake of jealousy raising its ugly head others should be impressed and cheerlead for the winners.

This isn’t what happens though. Instead of being inspired and thinking, wow, I can do that…we have whiners that say things like, they stole that money, life isn’t fair those rich people need to give us some of their money… pay their fair share.

There are some subtle other snakes that wind their way into the lives of current day life. For instance, we are told if a wife works outside the home it is incumbent upon the husband to help her with the housework. I thought this was the fair thing for years until I heard a Christian woman speaker for ladies point out nowhere does scripture allude to such a thing. Women are to be the ‘Keepers at home’ and just because they choose to work outside the home doesn’t change that directive.

I had not thought of that but it is true. There are many nuances with that and I’m not chasing them. However, that was a caveat, not my point.

To a case, I read of wherein the husband and wife agreed to split the household chores and they agreed who would do which chores. The wife became incensed when the husband instead of physically doing the chores himself hired a person to come in and do them for him.

Two questions here, why and why? It wasn’t dishonest of him, so why did she get angry? As long as he could afford it, my thinking is how genius? Second, maybe his wife could hire her half done as well?

At one time it was customary to hire help. It wasn’t unheard of for families to hire a cook to help the wife, and sometimes it wasn’t unheard of to hire other help. And that was before women worked outside the home.

Fair share, fair share, reminds me of the parable of the workers in the vineyard. The workers are hired at different hours, yet at the end of the day, they are all paid the same wage. I know it isn’t speaking to the idea of a fair share in the same light as this writing but in some ways it is. As the householder told the workers, friend, I do thee no wrong…why do we think we are owed something by someone just because they have wealth? It is truly an evil eye when we look at others lusting after what they have. It’s called covetousness. And this is its fruit:

Genesis 4:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Matthew 20:

12  Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

13  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

Go to words

architecture building cabin ceiling

My children grew up hearing encouraging words; mostly words my Grandma used…

Words such as—Each to their notion said the little old lady that kissed the cow. Or, You have the world by the tail on a downhill slide. Or Today’s the day they give babies away for half a pound of cheese…there were a number of sayings my granny used and my children have also used…not as often maybe as I used them but still…

We had a distinct place in our hearts for our cows. They provided us with many things. Calves were so cute, and with bovine, most of our cows would stretch out their neck in joy if you scratched them just right under their jaw. I could understand a little old lady appreciating her cow, but as for some of the sayings.

I often questioned the world by the tail and the downhill slide. Was this a good thing or were we just going downhill fast? Would we at some point be able to get free of the world or would it hold on to us forever?

And giving away babies? Shocked here, were we getting babies or giving babies, and either way, were we getting cheese or giving cheese? So many questions.

Several years ago I heard of the plan of our previous landlady to tear down the beautiful old house we had rented from her for years. After we had moved out some of our family moved in and rented the house from her.

She had a farm manager who had badgered her for years. The house (and farm property) had been her husband’s uncle’s and her husband had inherited it. An old house and property that dated back to when the O’Malley’s had done the original survey of the land back in the 1800s.

The farm manager was angry that he didn’t have total control of the property. She rented the house to us cheaply because she wanted someone who would care for it and the manager could have rented it for much more and gotten a share of that money as well.

After twenty years of being badgered and her children not stepping up she had enough. It was a beautiful two-story farmhouse with ten-foot ceilings, a beautiful bay window you could sit in, or with padding lay in, five bedrooms upstairs…it was a beautiful once-in-lifetime home about to be bulldozed.

I wrote to our ex-landlady trying to find options to save the house, and at first thought, I would send some pictures to help sway her children’s minds. The children I call them, but they would have been almost the same age as my husband and me. Nevertheless, that was my plan, to send them some pictures and plead with her to sell the house and have it moved, or sell the house as an acreage, or…

I looked through my stash of pictures, but my pictures had not been stored well and most were ruined, so I didn’t have pictures. So, I went to plan B and that was to plead my cause When You Only Have Words.

She had given our son and his family one month to be moved out and she had told him he could take anything he wanted to save from the house with him. There were French doors, stairs to the second story, the bay window, woodwork throughout the house, the wood beams in the living room, dining room, sitting room, lights, a huge wardrobe…so many things.

He wanted to know if we wanted to come help dismantle the house and save whatever we could. The scene from Walt Disney’s Cinderella came to mind. The one where the jealous sisters tear her dress to shreds.

I told him no, I just couldn’t tear the house to shreds, it would break my heart. Even knowing that otherwise it would be dozed and burned I couldn’t do it.

Well, life happens things change, we all change. The house was one of the first dwellings in the area, a landmark. The local people of the town and community had names for the farm manager and none of them were complimentary.

I don’t know the end of that manager, but I have an off feeling that these scriptures cover the situation:

Ecclesiastes 8:11  Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12)  Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 13)  But it shall not be well with the wicked…

It was just a house. It was just a life. It seemed like it was just yesterday.

Isaiah 41:

Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

11  Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

Every Breath I Take

body of water near plants

Sunday we had the pleasure of friends from our past visiting at church.

They usually visit our humble congregation once a year as they are in the area for family reunion time. We are amazed at how we are all still in the boat paddling down life’s waterway after fifty-plus years.

Old Fuzzy had a great lesson for us on salvation. Marching on into August we have now left July behind. There have been good days, bad days, but almost every day has been interesting.

This morning I realize I haven’t written for quite some time. There have been slow changes and I’m still working on the next book. The Lord plainly told me to stop working on my diddly projects and hit the books. That’s what I’ve been focused on.

Today the swallows are still nesting outside our front door. They don’t like the kitties that come to visit our deck. Sometimes the kitties come to visit our deck more often because they are dreaming of a bird dinner, but I couldn’t tell those swallows anything when they persisted to put their nest where they did.

We had our air conditioner on most of last week, but this week has been pleasant without it. I do like to run it when we are running the stove for cooking or canning. So there’s that. I will probably run it around lunchtime.

There was an overwhelming odor of gasoline at the church building Sunday, so we turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows. That took some of us way back to the good old days. Windows open on the church building and prayerful for a breeze, along with hand fans in the pew racks…good old days.

I believe we have the tendency not just to close the windows, but to put church in a Sunday box. Not Christians so much as society. We were having difficulty during the 2016 year and before with government interference in religion. Government insisting for instance that the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns dedicated to ministering to the poor, provide abortifacients.

It was deemed that the Christian religion should and needed to be observed quietly at home, but not in public, and definitely not in a person’s life outside of their homes.

Back in the day when Thomas Jefferson wrote his letter to Danbury Baptists, the issue was not that religion would get into government and society, but that government would get into churches. Religion was expected to be in government and society by the original founding fathers.

Even education was merely for giving children the ability to read, write, and understand scripture for the ability not to be led astray by a ruling class of priests telling them what to do to acquire heaven. They could read the Bible themself, you see.

It appears to have failed in that now we have people who either can’t read, or still don’t know, and even worse, still don’t care, and an education system hijacked by people who are bent to indoctrinate children in their evil ideology.

Many are trying to wrest power away from such an entrenched hierarchy but since the hierarchy has dug itself in it will be a battle to the finish. A struggle that will never really end until the Lord Jesus does return, good versus evil. Yes, we win, but not without…

1Peter 5:

6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.