GOD AROUND THE HOUSE
So here we go! I have had an idea for a daily devotional that has haunted me for a long time.
My quest is to write about the daily simple things right in front of me.I think God is always with us.
Most of the time we miss him because we are looking for him in the big stuff.We fail to see him right smack in front of us each and every day. I want to see if I can adjust the lens of your heart so you can see and spot him in your world.
We may ignore ,but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded
with him. He walks everywhere incognito. C.S. Lewis
We have a very old small barn on our barn. It was there when we bought the property years ago.
It has a lean to on the east side where I store our old tractor. The horses can go in and out any time
they wish . They mainly use it as a shelter not against rain and wind, but most often to escape pesky summer flies.
My wife's granpa , Pete Markul, worked for a electric company for many years up north. Years ago, we did not have electricity on the property. He ran a bunch of wires up to to a bright lamp in the barn. He ran the wires to a special plug and put another on my old Ford truck engine. I could pull up close to the barn and
plug it in and have lights using the truck engine as a generator. This was a hugh help when I was treating a sick or injured horse. He would be surprised to know that my favorite horse is named in his honor, Feather Markul.
Years later , we had a newer tan pole barn built up on the hill. It had a living quarters as well.
We spent many hours there before we were able to build a home on the farm. We made many memories in the cabin that I will always cherish. We often joke that if our rowdy boys are ever asked if they grew up in a barn , they can say we sure did!It was in that very room where I first started to study God's word and began to get serious about my faith. It was there where I first flirted with the idea of possibly writing a book .
I look back on those days with great fondness.
I had to stop writing this story and it has been almost 24 hours since I had to stop. I find it ironic but
it seems I need yet another barn! There were horse out in our front yard ! They had been there quite awhile but darkness consealed their presence. I said a prayer asking God to help me get them in easily and without mishap and I am greatful for that. It did take several hours to repair the fence.
Our barns and even others I see as I travel often make me think of a wonderful Bible story . A man was
so rich that he did not have enough room to store all his stuff. He thought he would just tear down his barns and build bigger ones and just kick back and take it easy. In this parable told by Jesus ,this man is rich in earthly wealth but has a poor relationship with God. He is unaware that very night will lose not only all he has but his very life. This should be a warning as well as a reminder to all of us as to not let money cause us to lose focus of what is most important. It is ok to have money as long as it don't have you.
Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not to have a rich relationship with God.
Time goes , you say? Ah ,no! Alas, Time stays ,we go.
It's no use closing the barn door after the horse is gone.
I was over at our horse barn feeding the horses. As I was trying to fill up the feeder bucket,
the horse in its eagerness bumped my hand and spilled a great portion of it upon the ground. I was a little perturbed at her ,but then wondered if perhaps this could be by grand design.
A few night ago I was very tired after a long day. It was late. I was so tired and thought about waiting
till morning. It took a while but I finally got up enough to go over to the barn when all I wanted to do was head for my bed. Of course I was in a hurry and that always leads to mistakes. In my haste , I made
much waste as I spilled a lot of feed upon the ground as I raised up one of the 50 pound bags of feed.
There was enough there that I could have filled two or three scoops. I actually planned scoop it up for the horses. I wondered again if God had something else in mind. I felt in my heart he was behind this, and
it was to be left behind.
I do know this that something always comes up and cleans this spilled food. I do not know if it a deer ,
rabbit, or even a coon. All I know is that some one of God's creatures has figured out that a snack can be found here from time to time.
This makes me think of the Bible story about Boaz. This wealthy man told his men to not to glean the fields perfectly. He wanted them to leave some behind for a young girl named Ruth who went out into the fields each day to provide for her and her mother in law, Naomi. I suggest you read the Bible story found in the Book of Ruth. Things turned out pretty good for him .
Be it a little larger tip at a restaurant, or dishing out a few bucks to someone we know who is having
hard time greatly pleases God. Maybe the stray kitten who shows up on your doorstep was sent to see if you can spare a little saucer of milk. I know you are afraid if you feed it it will come back. That could very well happen but I think other wonderful things may come your way because of your kindness and compassion. I think that when we do this , God opens up his hand even wider on our behalf.I have found you cannot outgive Him, believe me I have tried.
When you harvest your crops, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your field,
and do not pick up what the harvesters drop.It is the same with your grape fields,- do not strip
every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground.
Leave them for the poor and the foreigners who live among you, for I, the Lord , am your God.
We have a curved walkway leadind from our sun room out to the garage. It is glassed in on both sides and has flowers on both sides. Often when we have guests they will comment on this as they pass through this area of our home.
We keep our shoes lined up in this area. It takes away from the wow factor but it is functional. There are not near as many shoes there as when our sons lived here. They always grumbled because the rule was left on left , right on right ,and both toes touching the wall. Our oldest son went to OCS in Rhode Island and these young navel recrits were told to leave their shoes in the hallway with specfic instructions. You guessed it.
At one time I was the big man on this campus. I do not have a picture of this, but remember all our boots lined up largest to small. My size 13's were top dog . My dad teased me as a youth saying that if my feet grew any larger, I would have to back up to a door to knock on it.
He would be amused to see that if we would line them up now, my feet would be the smallest of all the guys. We have a size 14, 15, and a size 16. My dad passed away many years ago and only got to meet our oldest and boy were they tight. My dad wore a size 10. I try to keep his memory alive and tell my boys stories and lessons that he passed on and along to me. I use these nuggets of truth each and every day and I often share these with patients . I am so blessed to have such a great dad. I hope that I can measure up as a father. I have big shoes to fill indeed.
What a father says to his children is not heard by the world ; but it will
be heard by posterity. Jean Paul Richter
If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground , put some
responsibility on their shoulders. Abigail Van Buren
Years ago I bought a big white dually . I was and so far the only new vehicle I have ever owned.
I paid close to 40 k for the truck 20 years ago. That same model of F350 runs about 95k now!
Our family likes to name our cars and trucks and I really am not sure why. I called this big white truck
BIG VIC mainly because we have victory in Jesus. It served me well and told me down many roads
and miles. As a lay speaker it has heard many prayers said out loud before I would enter churches as
a guest speaker.
My favorite picture of me with our three boys is on a shelf in my office at home. My wife kim took the picture. I am in the drivers seat with the 3 boys looking at the camera from the seat behind me.
I would not have sold that truck to anybody but I wound up giving it to our youngest son years later.
We gave it to him on his 16th birthday. I wote a short poem on a big circular piece of cardboard.
Roses are red and violets are blue
Now the dually belongs to you!
As I red and studied this morning I went back in time and replayed this memory as I read about
God told Moses in regard to his name. God told Moses his name was I AM. God told him to go and ask his people to be set free. When they ask who sent you tell them I AM has sent you. We see from scripture God has many names . Because of that story the plate on that big white truck was IAM4AM.
Looking back I would bet that many people tried to figure out what on earth that stood for. Many would ask me in a parking lot as I parked and it gave me a chance to do a little witness for Christ because of that big truck.
Once in a while I would get behind a car whose plate was 3RD DAY. I liked to be reminded of that especially when I was having a rough day. When things are not going well and all hell is breaking out, Jesus
broke out of the tomb on the third day and broke death grasp on us . That should give us hope and joy to know that no matter what is on our plate today , it is all going to be ok. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus
who has paved our way home with his own blood.
God replied ," I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS. Just tell them , I AM has sent me to you."
In the southwest corner of our yard is a large tree. This is the direction one would
need to travel to get to the place where I grew up. As a crow flies it would be 25 miles away.
It is a sweetgum tree . I planted it there because there was a sweetgum tree in my parents yard
off to the side and behind my parents home. While mowing I often look at the tree in our yard
and my mind takes me back in time .I think of the large tree in my parents yard and the back
story behind it.
I was young and was in my physical prime. I had my shirt off and had just finished lifting weights in my parents basement. My dad had just come home from work and called down for me to come up.
He said he had a chore for me and we hopped in the truck and traveled a few miles down the road .
Dad had spied a small sapling along the road and wanted it for the yard. We dug it up with I would guess a dirt ball around its roots close to 300 pounds. Maybe I was showing off or maybe I just wanted to see if
could lift it alone. I did so but it was not easy. I waddled thru the weeds and a small ditch and put it on the tailgate huffing and puffing. He seemed pleased and impressed but his was going agaist the grain from
his teachings. Through him, I had been taught a wise man knows to try use his mind more and his back less.
Over the years I watched that tree grow into a tall and mighty specimen. I glanced at it many times as I
was visiting my parents. My back is not near as strong as it used to be but no man on this planet could move or lift that tree now. It's roots are firm and it is set in it's ways.
I write children's books as well. I often think how we must try to bend the lives and minds of this precious children towards Christ Jesus while we can. Studies have shown that the chances of them accepting him as their Lord and Savior go down with each passing year. The time to teach them and to reach them is now.
The soil in return for her service keeps the tree tied to her, the sky asks nothing and leaves it free.
Our kitchen is to the left side of our house as you come up the hill. As you step out onto a covered porch with a few flower pots. Off to the right is a lime green swing which was a must have as we built our home.
I blush as I write these words because I do not have enough sense to sit out there and reast and relax as
planned . Sometimes I do sit there for a few minutes before supper. I look out and see a piece of paper in the landscape or a tuft of grass we missed by the sidewalk while weedeating. So instead of resting, praying , and relaxing , it turns into another work session.
Near the swing is a large triangular shaped piece of metal. Hanging from it is another hollow tube.These
items are banged or clanged together when it is time to call us up to the house and for supper. We hardly ever use them but it looks cool and it is how cook let the cowboys knew that supper was ready.
Our youngest son came out the other evening and wanted to tag aong with me as I went out to "feed the ponies ". I was eager to show him something I had been doing to call some babies up to the fence instead of going out into the field to find them. I did my dad's whistle and then banged the scooper between the bars on the metal red gate. They equated this hillbilly dinner bell with the promise of of vittles In no time flat , these youngsters came flat out running as hard as they could go. I heard the mixture of thundering hoofs and Jarah's belly laugh.
The little church I grew up has someone pull on a rope and ring the bell right before church starts. It lets the
sleepy little town know people are being fed up on the hill. Not many go to church these days down there
these days or anywhere for that matter. It is certainly not a laughing matter.
A good example is like a bell that calls many to church.
Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce the beginning of a new year. It is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
When a doc or nurse asks me about allergies of any kind, I always tell them poison ivy. I also add that
my lips will probably break out because I said it.I have had giant bubbles between my fingers so big I have
trouble making a fist. When I do close them, the bubbles would erupt and of course would spread to other places.
Often in the office , I have to help patients try to find and figure out what they used or were around that
caused an allergic reaction on around their eyes. Sometimes it is a new pet, change of shampoo, or a new
contact lens solution. I have honed this area of questioning and have flushed a lot of rabbits out and into the open over the years.
About a year or so I have a personal situation that stumped me. There was something in my life that would
cause my lip to swell up .It would first start to tingle and within 10-15 minutes . I first thought it was a gel
on my son's head because I always kiss him on the head. When it puffed up when he was not around, he was
taken off the suspect list. I blamed my wife , the dog, a son's girlfriend and could not figure this out to save
my life. My family and staff at worked showed no mercy and found it amusing especially when it caused
difficulty speaking and would playfully mock me.
I always tell patients I learned in school our bodies never have an allergic reaction when it first is exposed .
The next time is when the body has decided this is not welcome is when it blows up in some way or another.
I went down one Saturday afternoon to see Helen Keller's homeplace in Tuscambia Alabama. I drove up on Sunday morning to find it was closed . I was disappointed but decided to go home through Columbia Tn.
and visit James Polk's home.
It was late Sunday evening and I was tired. I dreaded the Nashville traffic. I read years ago chewing gum helps
with mental capacity especially when we are fatigued. Knowing this, I reached down and popped a piece of Juicy Fruit chewing gum in my mouth as I neared the city. I have a habit of running my hand though my hair
when I am stressed out. I had done this more than once in anticipation and dread of big city traffic. I felt my
lip start to tingle and in no time my upper lip was hugh.
I had bought a hair gel in florida at a grocery store. I help my hair in place better than anything I had ever
used. I knew I had found the problem. I had this on my fingers as I popped the gum in my mouth with my left
hand which is my usual go to when I run my hands through my hair. I never used this any more and my lips
have not been quite but have been quite normal.
Imagine you were sitting in a little country church right now and you see a stranger come in. We might turn our head out of curosity and maybe even flash them a smile or nod to make them feel welcome.We do not know anything about them . I do know one thing indeed , they have never hurt you or someone your love. In short , no prior history!
Now imagine the same setting and we turn to see our least favoite person on planet earth. I know you know who I am talking about even thought I do not. I know one thing, their had been prior history beteen the two of you and their presence has made you feel funny and uncomfortable. That person or persons that have that
done this to you, you need to try to forgive them. Even though we thought we had , this shows we were wrong.
Yes, I have people too I do not care for and would like to never be near or around but that is often not possible.
When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.
Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them;but do not let them master you. Let them teach you
patience ,sweetness, insight. Helen Keller
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.
William Arthur Ward
In front of me and on my desk, I have a very special book. I look forward to reading it in the near future.
Our youngest son ,Jarah, and his wife ,Kirby, gave it to me on a Saturday afternoon not long ago.
It was about 3 days after my birthday and they told me it was a belated birthday gift. It is called FAMOUS
HORSE STORIES. I kidded and asked they how on earth did they know that I love horses.
Jarah said told me that I should look inside . He said the author had signed it for me. I had my doubts because
it has been around for awhile and was publihed in 1949. As I opened it to the front, I did not see
an inscription but a sonogram! This picture of a baby inside this book told me a baby was growing inside
our beautiful and wonderful daughter in law.
I am not sure how I held it together' but I did. I told them I can't believe you was able to get this signed for me.
I handed the book to Jarah who passed on and over to my wife , Kim. She opened the book and then
became unglued. She cried like a baby and melted as she saw a picture of a baby. She saw her first grandchild for the first time. Tears and hugs all around as our hearts were joyous with this news.
I plan to read this book soon .I have been known to loan books out or even to give them away. This book
is too special and will always have a special place in my library and my heart.
Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old.
Mary H. Waldrip
It is ironic but as I was writing the story below, my wife fell as she was out in the yard with the dogs.She was not hurt bad but fell on her right arm. She came in and sit in my big leather chair and told me her story as
I was telling mine.
Turns out that she had turned the dogs out in the back yard for a potty break. One dog obeyed the rules ,did his thing and came back up and on the deck. The one one is usually the most responsible decided to go for a
stroll way down behind the house and close to the horse pasture. Kim had walked out there to keep her , Skyler,
away and alive. As Kim walked across the yard, she was tripped up by a large piece of barb wire some idiot
had left in the yard.That idiot would be me!
She was not mad and I was able to keep her from calling a lawyer. I felt so thankful she was not hurt but felt bad because it was indeed my fault. In my defence, I do not have a leg to stand on...either. I had repaired a
section of fence the day before. I picked up all my tools and headed back to the house. It was not procrastination but I planned to take this over to the barn on my next run .
As I thought about what to do with this, I pondered throwing it in the pond. I imagined someday someone getting snagged and held in the water by their clothing or worse yet their skin. I did not forsee Kim going
down to that remote spot as even a remote possibility. It goes to show that we all need to think about the o loose ends during any project for that matter. We need to think about those who will will come up behind us .
There are some wonderful moms and dads out there that would do anything and everything for their kids.
They do not have faith and are not raising them in Christ or the church. It concerns me greatly that these parents do not realize how much their family including their kids are in danger of hell after this life is over.
Much sorrow and pain will be caused because of what they did not put in place and leave behind . They were doing this that and the other thing and forgot to give the most important of all lessons. They need need to make sure that their legacy is about following Jesus and making him their Lord and Savior.The Word will protect them from the world and all the evil it offers. They will see things that the others do not see or even know to look for.
We never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves.
Henry Ward Beecher
A few days ago, I was trimming some low limbs off a clump or river birches in our front yard. It has
become more difficult here of late to mow around them. I did not want to take away from the look of the tree
but still need to take away a few limbs. As I snipped and clipped, I wondered if there was something that I
could take away and use in an upcoming story, sermon , or blog.
I clipped a larger limb that had spit off into two limbs. I did not want to cut it but it was way two low and
went too far out into the yard. I did not notice it at first . When I began to gather them up, I saw that a small
nest was in the fork. The family that had been raised there was long gone . I looked up the hill at our home
and felt a twinge in my heart as my wife and I are now empty nesters.
I picked up the nest and held it in my hand. It looked like any other nest but it had a lot of white in it. Upon
closer inspection , I realized they were long white hairs. They were horse hairs either from a mane or tail.
I smiled because our only white mare has had a baby of her very own this summer. Her name is Wish.
When I curry the horses they seem to enjoy it. In the spring , large clumps of hair fall to the ground. If the
wind is blowing often the hairs will cling to your clothes or get in your mouth. Every time I do this I marvel at
God keeps the horses warm as winter comes. Then in the spring , the birds use the strands to make their nests.
Our barb wire fences have many stands of hair all over the farm as the fence steals a few hairs from their
tails as they swat at pestering flies. I can sometimes tell who the donor was by the color of the strands
swaying in the breeze.
So what can we take away from this story? I have learned that everything God does has a purpose and
a plan. I like you forget this sometimes ... most of the time to be more exact. Maybe you lost or misplaced something recently like the awesome hoodie I bought in Lake Tahoe last year and left behind at the airport.
Maybe God let me use it for a few days. He needed me to position right where the one he had in mind
could find it . As I study His word and , I am in awe of his ways. I wish I could tell Wish this story and how
her loss helped another. I also wish I could see the person who is wearing that awesome hoodie.
Have you given the horse its strength or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?
Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.
Henry Ward Beecher
It is Saturday. I was off today but a patient who had been working on a home project got
something in his eye. I came in removed it and patched him up literaly. The foreign body had got up in his eye and under the lid. About 1/8 of his cornea was missing, and he had a pain of 9 on a 10 scale.He is going to be fine but there is a good chance I will need to come in tomorrow depending on how things go. Notice I did not say we will play this by ear. We will play it by eye.
When I was first learning to ride , my dad always stessed how important it was t make sure there wer no
burs or any thing underneath the saddle blanket. He preached that when the riders seat hit the seat in the saddle that is when the rodeo will start!
This patient favors his left eye and it is the one I just put a patch on. I warned him to be careful because
his depth perception will be reduced even more so with the best eye out of the line up.I also warned him
will pick on him and tell him every pirate joke they have ever heard.
When I see him again, he will tell me something I hear every single time when one has to do life with a single
eye. He will have a much greater appreciation for having two eyes than ever before. His short affliction will
make him more understanding for those who must do life like this for the rest of their lives.
I told him that years ago one of my favorite horses ,Rusty, had injured his eye. The poor guy coud not hold it
open and it watered profusely. I doctored up the big guy's eye and used similar human meds I used on my patient this morning. I used seveal red shop rags to patch his eye and used several rounds of gray duct tape spands around his hugh jaw.His eye healed as well but my 1200 pound patient did not make this easy .
Our wonderful farm neighbors has taken a walk through our woods on a beautiful October afternoon. Rusty
and the other horses came up to the red gate overlooking the field. They saw Rusty's occluded eye and concluded this must be how I practiced doing this. Rusty knew the full story and did not say a word.
I shut my eyes in order to see.
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
When I was growing up, we only had a well in our yard. We did not have a spigot and a hose to clean our cars
or water the flowers. This well water was deep and clear and cool .It was the best water I have ever had.
It took quite a while and to be honest I am not there yet, acquiring a taste for what us country folk
distastefully referred to as' city water.'
I spoke about this in the small church in bristow several years ago. I told how King David longed for a drink
from a certain well. Three of his finest men risked their lives and fought their way to that well and brought
it back to him. The king was touched by their kindness and devotion. He did did not drink it put poured
out upon the ground.
A lady who heard me speak that day still had a well. She brought some to the small little church and they kept
in the fridge until I could get back down and down it. I was with my youngest son and shared it with him.
Jarah was amazed how it was so different than what he knew as the taste of water. It was a special moment for me and him. I will always remember her act of thoughtfulness . The water passed over my lips and and is lone gone . It left a good taste in my mouth and her act of kindness shall remain well into the years.
The common tasks are beautiful if we have eyes to see their shining ministry.
Grace Noll Crowell
Last week I went around to the various water tanks. I needed to make sure they all were topped
off . Most people do not realize how much water a horse can down in one day. Because of this, I often stand
amazed of the water drop in 24 hours during times of high heat.
I pulled up the lever and looked at the tank about 100 feet away and slighty down the hill from me. I
counted in my head knowing I will see turbulence in the water in about 8 seconds. I did not see anything and
thought the hose must have feel out of the tank. Sometimes a young horse will play and pull the hoseoff and away. The were two youngsters in this field so they were on the list of suspects.
I walked down the hill and found that was not the case. There has to be a kink in the hose somewhere along the way. I checked the entire span and was trying to figure out this mystery. I went back
to the sourse. Two hoses split off from that same point. I had forgot that when I last used it I had switched hoses and a tank to the south that was full was running over and then some.
Everytime I fill either tank , I am always reminded of a bible story. An angel would from time to time
stir the waters and the first to enter were healed of their infirmity. It was called the pool of Bethesda
and we are told large crowds of sick people gathered there. A man who had been sick for 38 years was there.
Jesus walked up to him and asked if he would like to be well. The sick man explained he had no one to help
him .W hen the water was stirred up, someone always get in before him. Jesus told him to pick up his mat
and he was healed instantly.
This really caused a stir among the religious leaders. They got bent out of shape because Jesus healed him on
on the Sabbath . They pointed out the man was sinning by carrying his mat as he walked away. Seems like
they should have been happy that a man who was down and out was now up on his feet and on his way.
They were as confused as I was about trying to figure out why the hose was not working. Blessings were indeed being poured out and needs were being met but not in the way I thought it should be. When we are
connected toJesus and have him as our source, life is indeed full of surprises.
Crowds of sick people -blind, lame ,or paralysed lay on the porches.
Since my youth, I have always been fond of the color orange. I think that is another reason I enjoy
looking at the trumpet vines. Often as I trim them, I think of a heated discussion I had with an elderly patient
a few years ago. He was very well versed in his bible and knew scripture well. He belongs to a church where
they do not allow musical instruments in worship and feel this is indeed wrong.I have preached a time or two
in this type of church and I have often wondered what they feel this is so off limits.
I told him that many musical instruments are listed as being used as praise . We all know as a youth David
would play a harp when a tormenting spirit would come upon Saul. Several times prophets would listen to waited upon the Lord's spirit for guidance and direction. The use of trumpets were used to call men to arms
and used in battle as well as worship.
This gentleman drove a car down to his appointment. In my heart, I do not think he is going to hell because
he drives a vehicle. . Up in the area where he is from many churches have music in their churches but the
parking lot is full of hitching posts for horse and buggy.
As I asked about this, he told me that all of the things I had just said were true. He said what I had failed to understand that this was all in the Old Testament. He said there is not a single mention of any kind of music in the New Testament. Since Jesus came, it all changed and music was not used or mentioed and challenged me to find a single example proving otherwise.
I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I have read the Bible a few times as well. I told him I think there was going to be a certain sound we would all hear when Jesus returns , correct me if I am wrong but iI am
certain it is a sound made by a certain musical instument. ;)
For the Lord will decend from heaven with a cry of command , with the voice of an archangel, and
sound of the trumet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
Frow where I am sitting, I can see the arbor that covers our sidewalk as you walk up to our
front door. I planted trumpet vines on both sides and it is full of these beautiful orange
flowers . It is so full that I need to trim it back... again. There are a few misguided sprouts that are reaching
and over to a nearby rose bush. I will have to be very easy and train them to wind them in and
around the arbor, or Lord knows where they might end up.
When I go about this I often think about our three sons who have since moved out and now have lives and God fearing wives of their own. They grew up in the church and all attend faithfully and I could not be any more proud of them. I think back upon my own life and my mother was the spiritual leader in our home and she made sure my brother and I were in God's house every Sunday morning.
I am so thankful for the small little country church I grew up in . I have been known to sneak down there
from time to time if time allows. Many and most of the people have passed on . I can still see them and hear
their voices. they unknowing were bending, training , and influencing me . They were teaching me with their lives to cling to that old rugged cross.I am so thankful for each and every one of them, or God only knows where I would have ended up.
Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22: 6
We have a large rock down in our front yard. It came from a field in the horse pasture down on my parents
forty acre farm. I mentioned the idea of bringing it up and into their front yard . My dad at first dismissed
but later was all in. It sits off to the right as you come up the hill to our home. It is placed pretty close to the
way it was down home. When the time to come sell the farm , I took my tractor and bucket and brought it up
to our farm. I spend a lot of time there . It is one of my very favorite places to pray and talk to my Maker about
the things on my heart.
I have had so far a rough summer in regard to my health. I have had severe sciata issues that led to a back
surgery and a month later a second one as pieces of my spine broke loose causing a drop foot. I am not free of
of pain even know but it is starting to lessen a bit. I am trying to put my best foot forward(joke) but some days
are hard. I wonder if perhaps the lesson at hand is that I need to put my pride aside and let others help me.
As I sat on the rock a few days ago, there was a nice wind blowing on a warm summer evening. Sometimes
I take the dogs with me. I was by myself. I had my hands clasped together and my head down and my eyes
were closed. I had just started to pray and I heard a weird sound but at first dismissed it. Then it started again
kinda the same but yet different. It had a longer and louder two toned moan or groan sound. I stopped praying
and looked up. I had ridden down to the rock on our red ATV . I had not closed the door and the groaning
sound was the door being moved by the wind.
I could not help but think how we become more verbal as we age. I am amused sometimes as the sound I make move about when not one is around except the dogs. I know they will not say a word. Often I pray for
pets we have and some we have had in the past that have passed. One of those is buried near the rock. His
name was Gus, and I put him there because he loved going to the rock as much as I did. I still miss
my little buddy.
The door swayed in the wind. It creaked ,moaned, and groaned as I prayed. A verse came to mind .
The bible tells us that Jesus prays for us! It also tells us the Holy Spirit prays for us when we are without
words and do not know what to say.
This verse makes me think that since all creation looks forward to what lies beyond the grave, we may see
pets that we have loved and lost . I am not certain this is the case, but I live with that hope in my heart.
All creation anticipates the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay.
And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan
to be released from our pain and suffering. Romans 8:22-23
To touch a childs face, a dog's smooth coat , a petaled flower, the rough surface of a rock, is to set up a new
order of brian motion. To touch is too communicate.
James W. Angell
Our oldest son and he is a naval aviator. I checked my email earlier and did not hear from him today. When he is out at sea , we can only email him . At times the ship goes quite and for many days
we will not hear from him.
I will be out doing chores and will hear a small play flying over our farm. Before I can think I turn my eyes
up to the heavens wondering if that is Josh. He did that many times during his college days . My wife says
does the same.
I was with him in a small Cessna one afternoon and we circled our home several times. I remember exactly how things looked far below. Our wives came out in the front yard and we could tell which one was
was ,Christina, because of her bright pink shoes.
We covered a lot of ground or I guess sky that day. It was mainly clear skies but there were a few
large clouds here and there. As he zeroed in on one he asked if I had ever seen a cloud . I said,' Maybe
one or two (Optometry humor)." He then asked me if I have ever touched one. He told me to crack my
small window on my side and stick my hand outside. My hand was wet with moisture when I pulled it
back inside the aircraft.
I have been through a cloud and I have been through the Bible. The combination of things floating around in mind affect what I see, hear, and feel not only on my hand but in my heart .You tend to look at things a little differently when you have been through them.
A child on a farm sees a plane overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the
the farmhouse and dreams of home. Carl Burns
The clouds are the dust of his feet.
Nahum 1: 3
I have written about getting older before. I leave notes all over to remind myself to do things.
All kidding aside, I think this is one of the best habits we should aquire. We are all so busy and daily
overwhelmed with information coming at us from all angles all day. Even last night as we slept, the world
kept spinning, and those who feed us our news have put a spin of their own as we are informed.
I see many patients who write on their hands. Perhaps that is even wiser because truthfully I often lose or
misplace my sticky notes or forget where I put my reminders. I guess if you really thing it is that important
and you want to make sure.
I saw a preacher yesteday morning in the office. I had not seen him for years and we had church and
enjoyed a chat about our Lord . We enjoyed the freedom of those who have learned you do not need a building
to have fellowship.I told him that morning I had read about the fact that God has written on his hands our
names on his palms. Look at your own cheat sheet. You have a large M on each palm. That stands for
memento Mori. That means,'Remmember you will die."
Whatever your hand finds to do do with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10
I am a person who tends to get a lot of things done. I have my share of bad habits . Over the years I have
absorbed a few good one. I try to get things done and then move on to the next one. In order to do that ,
you need to realize one is almost always more important than the next.
If that statement bothers you , please try to put your shoes on and now your socks. I also think pants
come first. If I am staying in a hotel and there is a fire, I can live without my shirt.
Many times as I plan my day , I need to keep an eye on the weather. I have some yard work
that I need to do and another task is to cut up some boards in the horse stalls over in the barn.
I will do the outside work first and the stalls later. Why? If it rains, I can still work innside the barn.
Even if the day gets away from me and I run out of daylight, we have lights in the barn.
I see a lot of students right before they go off to college. Many will have some requiements in subjects
that they are worried about. For many it is math. I ask them what is their favorite time of day.
I am amazed that many do not know and admit they never really thought about it.They are gonna have
trouble in math but in life as well. You can count on it! Why? They do not think ahead.
Let's say they hate mornings and math is a weak subject for them. Then they take a college math
course at 8:00 A.M. . The same course is offered at 4:00 P.M. . They may be smart but it seems
they have made a mistake before they enter the classroom.
I made a mistake in the office a few days ago. We had a good day and seems we were going to get out
and go home early. A gal came in and my heart sunk as I read the note. A young man had just splashed
gas in his eye . He was in severe painand 45 minutes out. I gave the green light to head our way but did not use my head.
I needed to tell them that was ok but if they could not make it by then, go to the ER. They came
almost an hour and a half later! I know better. If you do not give them a timeline they will not only take
their time but yours as well.
I am not a fan of procrastination. I often jke that I am writing a book about this but it is not finished yet.
The title will be, JUST YOU WAIT. All my sons know this never did fly in our home and one grew up to be a pilot.
They grew up hearing a constant mantra:
Do it right, do it now, do it right now!
This is gonna be a bit confusing and a bit hypocritical. One of my chores today is to pick up and haul off
several large limbs I cut and left in the yard almost a week ago. It is because the limbs full of leaves will
have died and they will not be near as heavy. So sometimes there is a reason to wait. So there is always a
never an always and always a never.
I know that I am going out on a limb here ,but they do not teach stuff like this in college. I wish
they did. I think they should.
It is not easy taking my problems one at a time when they refuse to get in line.
I got my start by giving myself a start.
Madam C.J. Walker
In the back of our house are many flowers. You would have trouble finding another male who
appreciates and enjoys them as much as I do. I spend a lot of time caring for them and watering them
in a chore in itself that takes several minutes.I can do nothing but think as I stand there and I am amazed at
how many ideas that may make their way to stories are being born at such a time.
As i went about my routine the other evening, iI looked at the stalks that a few weeks ago held the
orange tiger lillies upright and on full display. I love those flowers and have written about them
before. I miss them already and am a little sad because their time has passed. As I refect on them , I look
forward to seeing my friends next summer if the god Lord allows me to be here to see them.
I need to take my snippers and cut down these straw like stalks. I then notices that there was a vine
not only growing around the stalk on several of them. I had planted some morning glory seeds nearby.
Morning glories come in different colors but my favorite are the purple ones that have a red center.
So I will let them stand and soon these purple flowers with adorn the now barren stalks.
This made me think about you and me you see. We all have others who came before us and we
are enjoying things passed down to us who have lived before us and their time has such since passed.
An example would be money passed down after or parents have passed or to those great men
who have passed down and along their great thoughts and ideas that have made the world a better place.
I read years ago in the Bible that wisdom would give us pleasure. When God allows me to see things
I get excited. I hope when it is my time to go that somewhere along the line, someone will be inspired when
they read my words....perhaps even this one.
God speaks to all individuals through what happens to them moment by moment.
We are here on earth to do good to others.What the others are here for , I don't know.
W. H. Auten
The morning glories and the sun flowers turn naturally towards the light, but we have to be
taught , it seems. Richard Rohr
I was mowing our yard the other evening. I knew that I might not have enough to finish. I pulled the mower
pot of our garage and found that all 3 big red cans of gas were empty. I needed to run into town and get some.
I was a little miffed out myself because I driven the truck in to work that day.
It was a nice summer evening with a pleasant breeze. I rolled the dice and rolled on into the yard
to get as much done as possible. I almost finished our yard. I could have not been any farther from the house
when it started to sputter. I sputter caused me to mutter and chew myself out for being out of gas.
Mentally I was out of gas too. I am a completion freak and it was hard for me to walk away and on up to the
house but it it what it is. I will get gas tomorrow after work. I wondered if this unfinished task would
rob me of sleep.
Around ten o'clock I let the dogs out for bathroom duty. As I stood on the deck I saw a strange glow down
near where the mower was. I thought it was a reflection of the porch light. My theory was shot down when
turned off the porch lights. I knew what it was. I had not turned off the key. I had yet another thing to do
before bed. I went all the way down there but I was glad that I saw that. It had not been long so it did not
drain the battery .
I was amazed how even though it as pitch black, the tiny little orange light stood out in the darkness.
I wonder sometimes if I am wasting my time writing these stories and if anyone out in this world is
being inspired . The world in which we live is indeed a dark place and getting worse day by day.
That little glow from that button on the mower help shed a little light for me. I know it sounds silly but I slept soundly.I drifted off praising God thinking about how he used a mower out of gas to fill me with
hope and encouragement. I will remember the next time I feel like I can't cut it and cannot do this
any " mower".
That glimmer of light , surrounded by so many shadows,seemed to say without words
:Evil has not yet taken complete dominion. A spark of hope is still left.
Issac Bashevis Singer
There is a time for words and a time for sleep.
Our farm is about 4 miles east from Jasper In. We live on East Greener Road. Iknow you have heard
the phrase about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence.
I am here to tell testify and tell you that it is indeed greener on our side of greener road. It is because we
had issues with our septic system even before our home was completed.The septic system is on the southwest
side of the house and our wind usually comes from that direction. I am sure you get the drift.
Nonetheless we love our farm, and it has been a wonderful place too live and raise our three boys.When we
turn off Greener road and start up our lane we say aloud and praise both God and Jesus.We thank them for
for allowing us to return home safely.
I would like to think our sons do this as they drive up to their own homes now . I hope they will someday teach
their own children to do the same.I share this with you with the hope you would consider doing this as well.
I feel this pleases God and is good for all of us reminding us that even making it home safely at the end
of the day, is an very much overlooked blessing we all take for granted.
The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. The grass is always greenest where it
is watered. Robert Fulghum
Right now, there are several daffodils blooming in various places around our farm. There seems
to more and more with each and every day. I have planted many bulbs over the years and they have
spread quite nicely. There are different color varations and I enjoy them all.
About a week or so ago, I took a large vase to the office with I think 15 or so to be displayed and enjoyed
up at the front desk.
Often as I gather them I think of a pre Easter jaunt on a farm near my parents home years ago. I took a
picture of our youngest son, Jarah, with squished daffodils hanging out of both pocket as he gathered more.
The place where I took them was a Homeplace to a family that lived there years ago. I know of only one
other field that would even come close to this massive display.
I read a book about flowers years ago . I learned something there that I have shared many times since.
It is hared to find a good spot for flowers to grow as we match their need for light and shade. Even after we do '
the deer and other animals mangle then even more than Jarah.
Here is something we missed. The book says they are delicious especially the stems. The stems are made in such
way that it hurts to eat them. They are untouched because it just hurts too much. They slice and dice the tongue
and the critters leave them alone.
Have you noticed how God watches over and protects things he loves and that he has made? ;) It was not in the book
or anywhere in your Bible, but I think God really love those yellow flowers too!
Flowers always make people better,happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine , food, and medicine to the soul.
Our driveway is about 3 tenths of a mile long. I have had estimates for asphalt down through the
years and the prices keep going up.That is why we continue to go up and down our hill on a gravel road.
The steepness of our hill allows the hard rains to take our gravel road and wash it away. In fact I asked our
neighbors if could just dump the next load on their property to save the rain the trouble.
Gravel comes in many sizes usually in numbers. One would think that 53's would be much larger than a 2.
It is the complete opposite.The smaller the number, the larger the rock size.
I have found there are other things that seemed to be named backwards. Patients are always confused
by the term farsightness and near sightedness. Myopia the term for near sighted patients means the can
see close up. I fully agree it seems that would mean that they could not .
Flower terms are another example. It seems the ones that come up every year on their own or annually
would be called annuals and not perennials.
I thinks people also get confused about the size of sins. They feel some are much worse than others
but that is not at all what the Bible clearly explains. Sin is sin! They might look at the list of the Ten
Commandments and feel number 1 is worst than number 10 or vice versa.The Word of God
makes it clear that if you have broken even one... you have broken them all. There is not anyone
who has ever lived that is guiltless except for Jesus.
All have sinned , and come short of the glory of God.
So we are all sinners and in need of a Savior.When His red blood ran down from His body that did not save
you. When Jesus arose from the tomb , our sins are still in place. When we ask Him to be
our Savior and into our heart, our sins past, present, and future are washed away.
The next time Satan wants to dump a load of guilt on you, remind him you are in Jesus and
your salvation is assured and you are safe and no longer in trouble.
I believe America has gone a long way down the wrong road. If we ever needed God's
help, it is now. Billy Graham