Friday, December 31, 2010

A nice adjustment of resolution in the Big Picture - and - To which "Degree of Usefulness" do we go?

It's probably about time to write something. That's not to say there is not a lot to write about; but that there's just not the time to do it right.

My attentions have been filled with a wonderful mix of things which have all been complementing each other lately. School, work, German language study, bible study, household duties; and it's all had to happen in the course of recovering from a horseback riding injury (a sprained pelvis - I mean really sprained).

I just finished a most fascinating early part of nurse's training early on in my new career track; and that would be the Anatomy and Physiology course. And in a class where 1/3 of the students flunked out, I tied for the highest grade (a frequent "older student" achievement I'm going to guess).

I love the subject material. But more importantly, I am enjoying how my plans for a useful place in the nursing profession are starting to come into view.

Until two days ago I was determined to flunk out of medical school. I'm serious; while I already knew I wanted to go into psychiatric nursing, I was determined to first take a run at something that sounded even more interesting, psychiatric medicine, even flunk out if that is what it took to finally nudge the whole notion from my head; maybe then I could take "no" for an answer? The worst thing that could have happened is I would have been a psychiatrist. However, I feel that I could accomplish everything I need to accomplish as just a psychiatric nurse (doctorate). I could conduct psychotherapy (which is simply just reasoning with folks), I could prescribe many medications, and I could work in an area of intense interest to me.

On the one hand, I realize that I don't need to to be a psychiatrist to become involved in what I'd like to become involved in, but, on the other hand, I thought it would be an interesting challenge and far from a waste of time. I think I'm over it.

Two days ago I think I caught sight of something far more interesting. My church (along with three other nearby sister Conservative Mennonite churches) have started several churches in SE Uganda in recent years. They've been eking along and, for me anyway, have been a source of real frustration. Almost to the point where I need to stop even thinking about it, and talking about it. Criticizing it. Until Wed. night that is, when listening to one of the brethren who had just returned from there give a report, I learned that one of the "sister church" members had a while ago come up with the grant of a few thousand dollars to provide one of the church members there, a Pakistani doctor who had had to flee Pakistan after writing a Christian book, with finances ample to start a small upstart medical clinic. And the clinic is going along very well.

This is the kind of nursing I have wanted to do. A Christian owned medical clinic in a desperate place. And then after hours, teaching the gospel with good Christian brethren whom I had really come to appreciate before they left. A great mini-barn builder and a terribly faithful fellow willing to serve the gospel.

Do you realize what a medical basket case Uganda is? Between diabetes becoming pandemic, A.I.D.s, and, with people generally suffering a lot of abuse from other machete wielding people, they are a physical mess. I've got Christian brothers who went over there with large families of small children to a dangerous and strange place, from building mini-barns, to now bumping along and getting run off of dirt roads all over creation, way outside of most peoples comfort zone, taking to the people a plain gospel.

My kind of folks.

Oh, that's all a while from now that I would go myself; and. . . I'm not ready now anyway! That is, not to do the kind of job I want to do. But it has given me additional perspective.

In a year and a half, I can take the LPN board exam, get pre-certified for Uganda, and, so as to not be tied down to a job here that I can't get away from for a month or two at a time, I will set one of these young lads here to taking care of my farrier customers while I'm gone. And try to arrange a local part-time nursing job.

Get over there, buy a laptop, a little elephant repellent, and continue on in my studies and writings.

And then in my spare time, finish up my registered nurse degree over here, and go on and specialize in psychiatric nursing.


Well that all opens the door to one more point. In most respects (at least, in all of the important ones), a theology degree is one of the most useless degrees of higher education that I can think of. In spite of what the halls of higher theological academia would desire us to believe, the bible can and indeed, is designed to, and, indeed, can only "teach itself".

Alright, there is one other good exception in which one may have adequate reason, good reason that is, beyond one having excessive amounts of spare time and intellectual resources, to spend time in "academic theology". And it's all exposed in Jude. That is earnestly contending for the faith, 'within' in the faith. In other words, disproving the false teachers among us who lose themselves, and the gospel, in deceptive,faulty academic reasoning. Don't forget, that while Jude starts out referring to ungodly people who have crept in, he finally moves on to the many otherwise godly men inside the church, who have all sorts of other personal agenda and biased teachings.

Jude makes it clear at the beginning of his letter that he is taking time out from the gospel, the message of salvation, to deal with other serious man-made house cleaning problems within the household of Christ.

Let me make it clear, for the sake of balance, that I humbly believe that I can take any academically based argument and shake it right back down to being resolved with only the Bible. The science(discipline) of Textual Criticism is very handy in helping to produce the best possible representation of the original manuscripts which we use, but the original text is still there with or without the specific science we used improve their organization. The message which is there handily pushes aside anything, such as a higher academic training, between us and God's revelation to us.

But just as I tell the Mennonites that we can't leave the Internet to the Lutherans or the Catholics, but instead are obliged to offer the plain gospel there; likewise, we can't leave the extensive tools of academia to be misused by the hucksters and word-spinners.

There are many who have gone to the underpinnings of man's wisdom, used the legitimate (and fun) tools of academic pursuit, have taken them, and have misused them to mislead others on behalf of their own agenda's and teachings, at Christ's great expense.

So yes, there are some inside of Christendom who have piled their own biased teachings so high with carefully crafted words and self-deceptive and tangled writings that it takes others trained in the academic arts to wade in and unpack them. Defuse them for the protection of others, and bring the gospel back to simply walking in faith and obedience from the bible, with an awe and respect for the love and the power of His Spirit which He freely gives to those who call on His name. And may their hearts be especially blessed for doing so. There is [a] degree of usefulness. But, going out to work each day as a workman, with capable spirit-filled hands and mind, as a highly trained bible-witness of God's knowledge and wisdom, and power, to a desperate world that couldn't care less about the academic God, is altogether apart from, even preeminent, and surely of a much broader usefulness, than trying to academically outwit each other toward our own complex and intellectually self-indulgent version of the gospel.

And on into the new calender year we go.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Pride: Failing to recognize in all you do that, if it were not directly God Himself doing it, then, it was at least He who let you.

--T.S. not Elliot

Friday, November 19, 2010

Da Hunt!

Diss is where last deer season, which was also the final year of an eight year long drought, I wood walk across da river to some public land that was very hard to get to any other way. There I would sit, pretty much all alone, not bothering anybody (for a change), and enjoy waiting for all the deer to come along. I thought I would do the same thing this year.

Diss year the water was way over da tops of my booots and sow I could no longer just walk across da river into hunterless paradise. So I taut, what do I have ta dooo, drop a tree across or get my canoe, er what? Well, I taut, why not walk up treem a liddle bit and maybe sumptin will come to me. And it did!

I looked up stream, and, whether it was intended as such or not, there was a nice big blessing from God. A tree, right across the river. Taaaaaaannnk yoo.

A nice big Balsam had fallen across the river sometime since last year and pretty toon I was scouting ta udder side of the river wid dry boots.

A little farther on at what was left of the base of the tree was a nice clean break (no saw marks).

It was kind of high up there to get on the thing but, IT WAS DRY. And that was nice.

After stomping off a few braches it became a veritable boardwalk.

And on the other side, looking back, it felt a little too good to be true (and very dry).

Through the brush and up the river bank and whoops. Just barely visible through the brush I could see a little glaze orange peeking through the thin harwood covering. You probably can't see it unless you zoom in. But that's o.k. because in order to avoid that hunter and his "blind", the deer will all be walking over to my side. Well that's how it's projected to go in theory anyway. But I will probably spend most of my time hunting down stream to the south and try not to bother him. I just can't sit in one place very long. To much to see, to many places to go.

There was an interesting specimen of a tree which had been struck by lightning. And that fella's stand was straight behind it only by about 20 yards.

And there was some "sign" around where that big critter I was hoping to trick into walking in front of me had scraped the velvet off of his antlers a couple months ago.

I'm still sort of pinching myself over such a nice tree across the river. What a day. Season opens tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The End of Evolution or Just A Whole New Generation of Martians?

With the gradual burning out of the Sun, and the Earth scheduled to slowly turn into an unimaginably cold ball of ice (an incomprehensibly long time from now, or between now and whatever time God ordains that to be); what happens to the most widely accepted Evolutionary Model, "A process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena"? Part of what "progression" is traveling further and further away from everything out into the unknown? Progress?  Seems to me the progression here on Earth just ended at about that time. And what do all of the "interrelated phenomena" become then? Everything Will be frozen and hurling through space. What an anticlimactic little scenario in store for this Earth. A fitting end? "How are all my family photos going to fare", I wonder?
All of the sudden explanations of origins and outcomes within the narrow context of Evolution become awfully inadequate.
"We are 'progressing', toward 'what' again... professor?"

Oh, I get it! Part of our evolutionary paradigm includes a jump to the planet Mars, after the planet Earth begins to fail; presumably, to wait for someone from another galaxy to come along and rescue us from extinction as we hurl farther and farther out into a colder and colder and gradually darker and darker outer space?

So some of our descendants are going to be Martians?

Check out Mars here on Microsoft's World Wide Telescope

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press – Mon Nov 15, 4:12 am ET
PULLMAN, Wash. – Invoking the spirit of "Star Trek" in a scholarly article entitled "To Boldly Go," two scientists contend human travel to Mars could happen much more quickly and cheaply if the missions are made one-way. They argue that it would be little different from early settlers to North America, who left Europe with little expectation of return.

"The main point is to get Mars exploration moving," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, who wrote the article in the latest "Journal of Cosmology" with Paul Davies of Arizona State University. The colleagues state — in one of 55 articles in the issue devoted to exploring Mars — that humans must begin colonizing another planet as a hedge against a catastrophe on Earth.

Mars is a six-month flight away, possesses surface gravity, an atmosphere, abundant water, carbon dioxide and essential minerals. They propose the missions start by sending two two-person teams, in separate ships, to Mars. More colonists and regular supply ships would follow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Promising Little Allegory Called, "The Parable of the Faithful Wordsmiths"

-T S Not Elliot
One day, just as He had foretold, God made His appearance again on this Earth. He reminded man where He'd been, why, and that, while He was planning to leave His Spirit here, He would soon be going away again for a while, and thus, would they please write down the things He was saying and make sure that they get shared in all places for everyone's edification while He's gone, and quite soon after that, He left.
Many men went about seeing to it that His words were studiously written do,wn, praised and thanked Him for them and spread them faithfully across the whole orb just as He had spoken them, with His Spirit there seeing to it that no one would be missed.

Almost immediately, men began to feel that they could do a much better job at putting into their own words what the Lord had had them write down, to the point where, pretty soon other men began having to say, "Hey, wait a minute, what did you say He said???".

They could see how poorly the men had done who thought they could do a much better job at putting into their own words that which the Lord had had them write down, and so it wasn't long before they began going about showing that they could do a much better job at it themselves.

Pretty soon the problem grew much worse. More and more, and still more men were making the same mistake as the first by thinking they could do a much better job than the others at putting into their own words that which the Lord had had them write down.

More and more men began seeing the problem now and felt it important to gather together from far and wide to sit down with each other and prove, once and for all, who of them it was that "does the best job of all" at putting into his own words that which the Lord had once had them write down, when they came to the startling realization that, there was a much bigger problem here than they might ever have imagined: After enlisting the finest tools known to men, and the most brilliant men on the face of the orb, each of the men present, astonishingly, was able to prove that he alone was able to do the much better job than the next at putting into his own words that which the Lord had once had them write down; and, that every other man was indeed, doing it poorly.

Oh my! You can imagine the problem this caused as. . . the one to whom it appeared the other had gotten it backwards, to the other appeared to had gotten it inside out. The next, who thought the other to have turned it completely around, was himself, thought to have stood it altogether on its head. It was as if they had all gone slightly mad, one by one. Quite a sight...
(to be cont. right here a.s.a.p.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Conversation on Divorce.

I initiated a discussion over at the Full Contact Christianity blog, (poor them), as to whether or not the bible agrees with divorce for reasons other than premarital infidelity. Well, the discussion really implodes; there is no divorce the Lord approves of, it simply points to Him the fact that you messed it up all the more without Him. He forgives you but not without a re-tuning of your understanding of what marriage is (and sure, He may forgive you even if you remain in the dark). The discussion here really degenerates, as do so many blog discussions today; but the truths gleaned from it are precious. The ugliness with which this discussion ends, I think, emphasizes how badly emotion had overtaken sensibility in this issue.

I'm going to look at the beauty though the ugliness. I'm sorry, but at the end of the day this is what I do and how I think. My design for the activity in this blog is for it to be real. The good and the bad. Development of a whole picture; fully illuminated with no dark part. Being accountable.

This is "reality blogging" at it's most real. Insufficient time for it, insufficient training for it, but issues come up that need addressing. Things stand or fall on their own merit. Nobody gets a free pass based on their credentials. Man's wisdom gets tested against God's, and, sometimes it gets swept aside by God's larger truths.

In this case, some uncomplimentary things were published about how God views divorce. When you sift the New Testament down on divorce, it doesn't appear to be o.k. under any circumstances. So the facts deserve to be sifted through.

Was "Full Contact" made with the issue? It ends terribly ugly; but not before an important matter is settled. A matter which demanded correction, whether done perfectly of imperfectly; a matter that needs to be addressed regardless of the willingness or unwillingness of one to be corrected. The main 'uglines' is a fellows tendency to look for technicalities to rescue himself from not having answers.

This discussion is sort of a tame one as blogging goes. Sometimes men of low character show up and shine light on things for us. Someone must. I'll be the weak one. God uses the weak. The test here is whether we are going to focus more on style or substance. Sometimes maybe God needs to use men with a strategy to get through our tangled web of excuses and willingness not to listen. I'll be the one with the poor manners, but "Full Contact Tim" will have to be the one with the faulty reasoning. Poor reasoning, in this instance, renders the institution of Christian marriage just a temporary formality; poor reasoning gives permission to a 'legitimate' exit from a marriage following an infidelity (and much less) in the place of reconciliation, forgiveness, and the process for maturation, hope. It replaces God's hope with our hope that the next marriage will be better; or the next. Reasoning that legitimizes Christians having the same divorce rate as Non-Christians as being the work of God..

In Nursing, it is taught that the important thing is the answer, not the means of obtaining it. And in the end, style is nice, but is nothing without substance. Good style can lead to a bad end. Good substance never will. God gives us clear and infallible substance to teach and help infuse into a marriage. When it appears to fail, it is our failure, not His. Marriage maintains it's potential for permanence without us.

-- Marriage is permanent and the Lord will never tell you divorce is a good end.

Christ will help you succeed; but He will not help you fail. He is not an "enabler" to disobedience and defeat. But if you accept that you have failed without Him, He will be there after a divorce to help you pick up the pieces and go on.

But the real astonishing part of all of this; He will be there to empower us to endure a marriage that we may not be able to see how we can possibly endure by ourselves, and which may hold a blessing that we have not yet grasped.

Now let us who are able, continue to expand on and teach that great truth. . . our own imperfections and all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

(So,) How far are those stars?

Let me borrow a few paragraphs from a classic children's Christian magazine we get at our house called Nature's Friend, I wonder how many of the Conservative Mennonites out there know this magazine has a website (the plain folks that is - women wear head covering, congregations shy away from the internet, no musical instruments, etc.)? I just realized myself that they have a website. While both I and the folks at the Conservative Mennonite Church I attend love each other with God's rich abundant love, and, love the internet, I'm the only one who uses it. Well, who admits to it anyway.

What a fine magazine though, and here is what they had to say on, "How Far Are Those Stars?" September, 2010 (Oh man. . . they are rrrrreally far.)

"It is difficult to comprehend the vast distances across space, but if we shrink everything down to a more manageable size, we can better realize the vast distances between Earth and the stars.

We'll start by making everything in the universe a billion times smaller. Now the Earth is a bout the size of a pinhead, about .05 inches across (which is a lot bigger than a pinhead by the way) or less than 1/16 of an inch across. At this scale, the Moon would be less than 1/64 inch in size and would be 1.5 inches away. The Sun being much farther away, would be about 49 feet in the distance and would be about 5 1/5 inches in diameter. The planet Jupiter would be about 255 feet away from the Earth, Pluto would lie at almost 2,000 feet.

Now we are ready to go to the nearest star. This is where we take a big jump. Proxima Centauri, the star nearest to us, would be 2,470 miles away. . . "

O.k., this is where I need to get off until I can process.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Genetics/Mother Nature/Voice Check

Here are a few off-the-cuff remarks on a Sunday morning. (The server refused to put spaces between my paragraphs so I had to take matters into my own hands with a little star. Please bear with.)
We are learning how to make more and more things grow the way in which we would like them to; though, it is a bumpy road. Here is one strangely colored little red/green cherry tomato that showed up on the shelves the other day. Whoever made it however, did so at the expense of it's flavor. Thankfully we still have the old blueprint.
Mother nature appears to have made man with the capacity to effect his environment and then turn on her and ultimately destroy it. Mother Nature, left to her own devices, can really mess up. Even science says that one day the world must come to an end. Science sure helps put into proper perspective what God confided to us already several thousand years ago.
Isn't Mother Nature hard to define. My Anatomy and Physiology (A & P) professor refers to her once in a while for an answer to those really tough questions. The ones he can't answer. I am not going to rain on his parade and ask him to come up with a sensible scientific definition for Mother Nature. Oh, he would come up with one, but, isn't it interesting that it would not stand up to critical analysis. Because she (Mother Nature) has never spoken to nor has she made herself known to anyone (that we are aware of). She does not fit then as a very reliable source of truth. I like good scientific reasoning much better. However, I would guess it may not phase him much that Mother Nature may not exist at all. It doesn't phase many folks. And this life is usually too full of enough distractions and amusements, fascinations, and even hardship, to guarantee that most of us will never even have the time to be bothered by that thought that, nature may not be our mother at all. But the idea of Mother Nature as being some ultimate source of power has nonetheless surely condemned many of us to a life of partial answers. Mother Nature is simply the natural system of things created by, and to be used by, it's creator. Very insignificant and even self-destructive when left to itself.
For instance, we like our science of Genetics and suppose that it will give us the insight needed to answer the tough questions on the origins and workings of this world. Yet, it's hard to admit to the fact that the more we discover about it, the more there is to it than we 'can know'. We never will get outside of our universe, and if there were a "Big Bang", then, what did explode, and, where did that originate from? Most everything we believe which holds the 'real clues' as to what really constitutes matter, is just too infinitesimally small to see (neutrinos for one). We will never actually see nor explain spiritual matter, and, can surmise that it gets even much smaller than that(spiritual particles that is ), and so, we really can't claim to know much about anything.
Nonetheless, there are those who feast on 'what we can know' as though they are on the trail of some tenable 'final answer'. But, that final answer which they seek is finally unknowable. We can know that very fact both through scientific logic, and through the logic of God's Spirit, which, thanks to Him, He has been revealing to us since the beginning of this world.
That is not to discount the beauty, the vastness, and the worth, of 'what we can know' in this world; trying to search and to know everything we can find out in this world. It's real accessibility is just in ones approach. Since we 'can' know that God was on the earth in Jesus revealing Himself to us, then it only stands to reason that we go with what we know for sure, and look in His direction for any meaningful answers to the tough questions.
Yes, the only way we will know the answers to the tough question is to seek answers from the Creator Himself. Everything has a Creator. Man, who can in a unique and limited sense himself, 'create', did not just rise from the dust haphazardly. So, with 'man', the quasi-creator, who in some people's imaginations might be capable of knowing, in time, nearly everything; why would there then not be a larger 'being' responsible for all of creation who has attributes similar to man's only vastly greater?
The existence of that Creator is self-evident in this world. And like any Creator would do, He has made His existence known to His creation. While we are down here wondering what the big answers are, He is up there, with exclusive ownership of them; having shown Himself to us, and proven to us that the search for the answers need go no further than Him. So ours is the next move. Got to see Him for the answers.
Answers freely offered. The Spirit of Truth. Jesus did not just make that up.
God Himself, the irrefutable one, while coming to the world in the flesh, and proving to us that He is who He says He is, both told us, and showed us, that His ways are indeed higher than our ways, that He's got the final answers, and that, 'that', is where they are going to stay until we make it all the way back to Him. He 'has' shown us that He alone possesses the answers, and, He, 'has' told us where we can find Him.
-"Then you'll know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it, said the Lord."(NASB)
We recognize that there are spiritual things in this world, spiritual matter; and thus, spiritual logic. Science has now recognized that there is a type of invisible energy that passes right through the earth. Spiritual-like things have now gained a different place in the 'world scientific conversation', and the Lord has therby 'upped' the pressure a little bit on men to know that He is God.

Well, I did re-sing these two hymns during the last couple of days. My voice is still no violin. I was fortunate enough to get an A & P test out of the way (50/53, yes!) and have a few hours to see how the voice was progressing. Plus, the singing on these two hymns was pretty bad. Now it's only bad.

But, the voice is coming along. I have no idea if it will ever come around far enough. It's the only voice I have. It shows a little promise here and there. But anyone who knows me knows how stubborn I am and I've got another good ten years or so to keep at it. I've thought of having some muscles grafted from my biceps to the voice box. If not, then I would love to find someone else to sing on these piano pieces (even if). I had to redo each line in these tunes 30-40 times before I could get a take where my voice did not crack or jump around on me. But it's simply a conditioning thing and I have many hours of driving in my average work day during which to practice.

And the piano playing I miss. There's been no time for that for the last year or so. I will get back to that and will just have to fake it in the meantime. It does seem to stick with me well.

I Sing the Mighty Power of God
(With this tune I'm just trying to make the vocal presentable until I can redo the music - and if you feel adventurous you can check out the music that just recently has started to play when you open up the Home Page of my website at . There you will find a 'little too-speedy' new upstart recording of this tune.

He Hideth My Soul
This music needs much more time than I'm able to give it. But here it is anyway. I'll be into nursing in a few years and then maybe things will settle down and I can get to it more. Take it up another level. If not, then perhaps it will just be a little time well spent. I do sort of have my eye on a nursing job at the Catholic hospital in Merrill which has a nice big baby grand piano in their foyer!
Probably more to add but this will have to do for now.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

6 Hardboiled eggs a day: Culinary dream come true or coronary nightmare?

Experiment time:

Question: Affect on arterial cholesterol level after eating approximately 6 hardboiled eggs a day for one year?


1) 6 Eggs (farm-grown) varying in size and shape from, freakishly large(XXXL - can't even get whole thing in mouth at one time), to, very small(barely a mouth full - may just as well have two at a time).
Beginning with a couple in the morning, topped with one large dab of Miracle Whip (sometimes also a squirt of mustard or honey, maybe horseradish. . .), and then the rest throughout the day.

2) One large Corel cereal bowl 3/4 full of raw oatmeal, raw cow's milk topped with 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of evaporated cane sugar.


Yummy! Wow.


1) Energy level high.
2) Feel good.
3) Protein very good.
4) Only slightly high cholesterol level at the present is predicted to stay about the same (hope I'm right?).
Duration of experiment is subject to findings of new cautionary information during Microbiology course next semester.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eventually, it does have to get there.

All of the posts in this blog tend to be amended and upgraded during the weeks following their original appearance. For some reason they always abundantly present room for improvement and clarification when I reread them a week or two later. This blog is intended to be a place of mine for the solid and constructive considering of important spiritual issues. Not a place where I am showing how others are not sorting out spiritual things correctly, but rather a place where I present how to, in part, actually 'do it' correctly. To present a workable, God honoring way of 'viewing', and then 'doing' things.

And while not being able to get it said 'quite all the way' the first time, every time, it is important that it does eventually get there.

And thus, provide not just a bunch of interesting chatter for the moment, but, an interesting and useful, and yes, slow in coming, longterm record of this little spot in the world. Something becoming more useful as it gets bigger. Something, miraculously, basically sound, which lends itself from that point to be built upon.

A Sidenote: Is it any mystery how Facebook burns precious time and leaves a person with very little of anything? The internet is an "by-itself-not-sufficient electronic reality" we roam in these days. We must take care to use it wisely.

Friday, September 17, 2010

On Dressmaking

The ladies from church hadn't had time to make her a new dress for the first day of school. Of course, with an average of 8.5 children per family, they're time-strapped!

So it was a good excuse to follow through and do something I'd been meaning to do for a while now. And I'd gotten the pattern several years ago, bought a sewing machine, even made half a dress. But she'd outgrown the patterrn so I tore apart a badly stained dress she already had and just traced it bigger.

As it was going to be made by Dad - and not a female - she had said she "might" wear it on the first day, but probably the second. She was also very justifiably suspicious of what it might look like. . . and so was I.

But the Lord was good. He'd given me patience and the ability to learn to work with my hands and it worked out better than would otherwise have been possible.

This is the third time this week, the second week of school, that she's going to wear the dress that Dad made for her to wear on the first day of school.

Now, as you can see, I have some catching up on houseword to do.

Friday, September 10, 2010

On the Liberty to Sin.

Of course, as we all know, the perfect Law of Liberty does not free us "to do", but frees us from "having to do". We have our own free will, "to do" as we will, but much of the time it will get us into trouble. And particularly with the Lord.

Christians can and still do sin, nonetheless, and . . . God forbids it. Therefore, it gets a Christian in trouble with the Lord. Since God has given us knowledge aplenty to know what sin is and how and why to avoid it. And the power - His power - to pull that off. And so we don't consciously persist in what we know to be sin.

We also know that anywhere the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Those in whom the Spirit of the Lord does not abide are the only ones who will practice sin, because, the Lord told us so in 1 John 3:9. "No one who is born of God practices sin, because the seed of God abides in him". Where the seed of God is there is no sin. Where the Lord is, there is no sin. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is no sin. And apart from the Spirit of the Lord, there 'is' sin, and there is also then no liberty. No liberty in sin. The person who willfully goes on sinning will separate himself from the Lord. And, apart from the Lord he can expect no liberty.

I think the following statement gives us insight as well.

Romans 11:22
"Behold then the kindness and severity of God ; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness ; otherwise you also will be cut off."

God's kindness is almost incomprehensible. He simply wants us to look and see that Jesus' visit to this earth was His clear and sensible way of paving the way for us back to Himself. To be His grateful sons, in His gracious kingdom. He simply wants us to desire it, Him and His kingdom. Not desire it merely in order to save our own lives (He does know our motives), because he that would seek to save his life will lose it, but, to desire it after beholding Him, and His unique love for us whom He has created. Created by Him to have a love for Him such as He has for us. He has shown us that He is a loving Creator, and one who, very understandably, does not appreciate 'not' having His great love for us reciprocated.

His liberty is conditioned upon our love for Him. For upon seeing His love and what He has done for us we are helpless to do anything other than to love Him back. Outside of that love, and the love for that Spirit of His, and the loathing of those things which He finds loathesome (that is, not lovable but despicable), namely, willful sin, there is no liberty.

Don't do it. Don't try to use the gracious law of liberty as an excuse to sin so that God's grace may abound. Because it says, "God forbid". It says if the seed of the Lord abides in you then you will not tolerate nor want to indulge in anything that resembles sin. Things profane, angry, impatient, arrogant, lawless, selfish, and so on.

Just be assured that, if you love the Spirit of the Lord, and if He knows it (and He knows your heart better than you do), then there is nothing more that you "have to do" than to go forward and enjoy His liberty and the freedom in that liberty. It's freedom(release) from the power of sin. It's the aquired power over sinning itself. And it's in the Spirit of the Lord.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hymn: My Jesus I Love Thee

I've enjoyed playing around on this one for a long time. I finally got a few extra moments to get it recorded. Hope you like it.

My Jesus, I Love Thee

But for now, I better go and study my Anatomy and Physiology.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I got a tremendous deal on these two horses. The one on the left is a 'Morab' (his breeding is Morgan and Arabian), named Dante. He is either a genius, or he's retarded. I'll have to train him. He is 7 years old and should have been trained long ago. He's very hyper-active but intelligent. Handling as many different horses as I do daily I have come to be able to spot intelligence, versus just shear, raw nervous energy. He appears to have given up the later. Or else he's an injury just waiting to happen. We'll see. His brother next to him (and below), is a very sure-footed, powerful and smart horse, also a 'Morab', whose name is now Cappucino. Very well broke and appreciates people. I got them and one other for a song; the other I had to give to a friend who had once given me a very good horse.
I passed the pre-entrance exam for the nursing program at Nicolet College two weeks ago with a nice, confidence building percentile so I'm off and getting a head start on Anatomy and Physiology for the next semester as well as back to studying German; gardening, butchering chickens again, starting to process firewood, and by far and foremost, continuing to pour over and marvel at the things God revealed to us concerning His administration of things here on earth, ages past, and ages to come.
* * * * * *
Summers around our place - a particularly intense time for the very physically demanding vocation of horseshoeing - is punctuated with our birthdays and much gorging on DQ ice cream cake, enjoying the flowers in full bloom, and beating those hot summer evening in the house by putting on our fins and masks/snorkels and paddling our kickboards out into the middle of the lake and watching the sun disappear off the tops of the tall clouds.
The seasoning process is going very well! It takes time, hard work in this life to season, ripen. It's not an easy thing with all of the distractions in this world to become built up together with Him - and others - who have seen, rejoice in His presence, and set their eyes on things from above.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Conversation on Divorce/Remarriage/Adultery.

Here's one I've been waiting to get at.

I stumbled upon John Howard Yoder. Lately, the past year or so, I've come across a lot of interesting and diverse perspectives on divorce and remarriage. John Howard Yoder gives us some very useful footing from which to start to seek understanding on the subject of divorce and remarriage, along biblical lines.

Here is his website at the University of Notre Dame -- you will notice that he's been dead for a few years -- and here is his article that I'll be using to get the ball rolling(if the link does not work then go most of the way down the page to Marriage, Divorce and Sexuality, and click on "One flesh Until Death...). It's a very useful piece of insight into what the Bible says about divorce/remarriage/adultery. An exciting topic.

I will also bring in at least two passages that he does not, which will be John 8, the woman caught in the very act of adultery, and the woman at the well in John 4.

We've gotten to the point that most of us accept divorce and remarriage, but do we know why? And how? My goal here is to broaden perspective, and stimulate thought.

I will get to it in the time to come, but first, I have to pass an entrance exam by 10 days, put out by the National League For Nursing, in order to get into a pretty good nursing program. And then, if I flunk it, I'll have to wait another 6 months before I can retake it; and if I pass it, I'm going to be that much closer to being an RN. And then, with roughly 10 more online courses, I'm told that I can have my bachelors in nursing, after which I will go on through some Seminary or the other and get my license to preach.

But first things first.

Read ahead and get some footing for a discussion (...perhaps just a monologue) on divorce, remarriage and adultery.

Probably not a favorite subject.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What Part About "The Fear of God" Don't I Understand?

Well, none of it. I don't get any of it.

Why not? It says to fear the Lord in the New Testament, plain as day, several times.

I just don't get it.

Primarily because something greater than fear is here.

God's new covenant does not explain to us how or why to fear the Lord. And it does tell us why 'not' to fear Him. More inconsistencies? Contradictions?

It does at times reiterate the fear that the nation of Israel was governed by. But then Christ came with the gift of grace. Deliverance by His own sacrifice in return for faith. An assurance apart from the Law. And apart from ethnicity or nationality.

The same way James telling us that 'faith without works is dead' - and presumably then so are you if your faith isn't accompanied by the requisite works - does not mean that it takes faith plus works to equal salvation. Algebra comes to our rescue. We are saved to God through faith. (Did you know that several mainstream branches of theology can be disproved through simple algebra?)

Let's divide the word(fear) rightly. There are at least two different Greek words translated as "fear" in our biblical manuscripts. Probably more. Doesn't matter. Let them all mean 'fear'. Being afraid.

But now, something greater than fear is here. It's the grace of God. The free gift of lovingkindness in exchange for desiring God. Not desiring eternal life only, for he who seeks to save his own life will lose it, but for desiring God. Loving Him for what He has done and why.

And 'love' castes out 'fear'.

In Ephesians 4, Paul gets on his knees before the Father and prays that we understand this. In his words, that we 'comprehend' and 'know' this. The depth of Christ's love with which He is calling us back to Him. Being rooted and grounded in love. This is where the power is. God's power toward us that resides in our inner man. His Spirit. And it's not the Spirit of fear. It's His amazing grace which has it's beginnings in His amazing love.

The spirit of fear is something that dates back to before each of our personal conversions. We are told to have a memory of it. When we were sons of disobedience. Before we heard and believed God. Before we knew and comprehended the gospel. What part of the gospel? Simply that God has visited us in Jesus and wants our attention.

What is left of fear as a believer. Either love castes it out or it does not.

Is what we are to fear now actually ourselves 'falling back into unbelief'? Not absolutely. Perhaps, if that's the way we feel, then it is ourselves we should fear? Not God. Then, if that is what happens, it seems there would then have to be a falling 'out' of love, and then a falling back 'into' fear. Wouldn't it? It should. But can you have both at the same time? Can the two exist together? Surely, in the nation of Israel it did, but they did not have Christ?

And there's much more to be said. But fortunately no hurry. My clothes are done. I'm at the laundry. Thank you Lord for Wi-fi and a little extra money to be able to afford a laptop. I discovered what Wi-fi is at the laundromat and then two hours later I owned a laptop. Well actually my credit card company owns it. Yikes.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Agate and Bond Falls, UP Michigan

We like da water der.

And then I was worried something like a log was going to come over the falls and land on my head so I panicked and got out.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.
(Albert Einstein)

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
(Leonardo da Vinci)

Monday, March 15, 2010


_________Guess who these guys are.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Last Night I Talked to a Man.

Last night I talked to a man who said he's been waiting his whole life for me to call. He had one simple question, the answer to which everyone around him knew but would not tell him. A question not many of us have. Why did he not have the name of his father on his birth certificate? The name all of his brothers and sisters had? Who was his father?

When I told him who I was he didn't know how he could ever even thank me enough. That he's been waiting his whole life to hear someone tell him the truth in this regard.

We're brothers.

Can a man have a half brother? I can't. Did the sons of Jacob, the nation of Israel, consider themselves half brothers? They came from a total of four different mothers. The Lord's own family from which He said all the nations of the world would be blessed. Did the Lord refer to them as half brothers? No, He did not. Did they refer to themselves as half brothers? No. Either a man is a brother or he's not. This guy is my younger brother; whether I like it or not. He's a gift. And, on top of that, he's a very neat guy. What a blessing the Lord has delivered to both of us.

Does he have any idea of the initiating I have stored up for a younger brother?

I talked to him for three hours last night. I'll meet him, finally, this Saturday. He's coming right up from downstate.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hey, How About That . . a Half Brother.(Let me put that a little differently)

So I just found my half brother. To the best of my knowledge, my only half brother.

What does that mean?

I'm not sure what that means to me. I've always had a brother. A sister. I know who my father is, always have, and I even grew up with him; all the way until I was 13. I don't think it ever even dawned on him, when the time came that he had to go, to have a regular visitation schedule with me once he left. I know it didn't to me. I was only puzzled as to why my mother hadn't asked him to go sooner. The marriage just never did work. I wrote him a letter soon after he left asking him not to go, stand up to mom, not to give up on the family. But he wrote back and said that my mother's mind was made up, and that it was probably for the better. I silently agreed with him, but, poooofff!!!, there went the family. I wanted to have it both ways.

I thought it was a no-brainer; the family had been dead in the water for years; I thought this was just meant to be. There was even a sense of relief. I just didn't want to let anybody off the hook! What do you mean failure? Come here Dad, I thought, . . . you're a Dad. . . don't you know that there is no room in my vocabulary for a failed Dad of mine?

Our Pastor counseled my mother and father that he could not see any point in their staying together. One would hope a Pastor would put up a little more of a fight than that. But it was over. And to me it was none too soon. But yet, perhaps a little bit too...

But there was something I didn't know; that my Dad had had an infidelity with his cousins wife, which had resulted in the birth of a baby boy. My mother got the hospital bill in the mail from the boy's mother the following year.

I guess I'm glad not knowing how I would have handled that bit of information at that time in my life.

So a divorce ensued and my Dad went on to achieve, by any gracious standard, even lesser things in life. But he tried to stay close to the family for a while and deserves credit for doing the best that he was able.

But back to the boy, Robert, who is no longer a boy but a young man in his mid forties.

I found out about him 3-4 years ago in a conversation with my mother. I was immediately upended by the thought that, "What if he were wondering who I was?". I certainly did wonder about him.

Last week there was the death of his uncle, my second cousin. Through a series of unlikely events the announcement of that fact wound up in my email box. I googled the obituary and found all the names and locations of the people I'd been unable to locate the past year. Two phone calls and one email later and I connected up with an Uncle Bill who was glad to help by contacting Robert's mother and locating Robert.

So what does this mean? To him?

Am I sort of an unsolicited nusaince?

Do I need this? I'm 50 years old. Is it not a little late to find out about a half sibling?

Does it even matter to him?

It would to me.

So. . .

Does he know who his father is?

I assume he does.

Has he met him? I'll just figure he has.

If the young man has met his father(my father), then I know what the young man went away from that meeting with, and I know it wasn't much. I know the father did not need or even know what to do with another son. I know that. And I'll assume the son has accepted that and has dealt with it. And that's what brings us here to this intriguing question.

What does it mean now? That is, what would it mean if . . . "I were in his shoes"?

Let's face it. . . some people are not introspective; and if you're not really sure what I mean when I say that, or even question whether or not you even need to be introspective, then you are probably not.

It means that if I were in his shoes then, would I appreciate knowing that there is still a healthy natural family instinct in some who want to reach out and make sure that their own are o.k.; because it is healthy, and it is good, and you've got to because no one else will.

It means if there are some blanks he still needs filled in about the rest of his chemistry, his genetics, his lineage, his kin, that, I've got some of the answers he has to have.

It means, if he needs it, he's got an open book about his natural father.

And that's important. It means if he has a curiosity about these things he has somewhere to take it.

If it were me, that would be a big one folks. A real big one.

And, all I need to know now is that he's o.k.; wherever this world has taken him.

And then I can be o.k.

But not until I know.

So. . . I will now find out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Sing Mighty Power of God (. . . Or Do I ?)


Well, here it is again. I Sing the Mighty Power of God. I did re-sing this one this week. I had a few extra hours this week and well. . . , I have been working on my voice. I did a little experimenting with it as well. I'll continue to go somewhere with it.

The instrumentation is the same as it was when I first recorded it three years ago. It was my first attempt with my bedroom based 8-track, "studio-in-a box" recorder, and I have about a day and a half into it. I naively recorded this one in such a way as the only thing I can change is the vocal.

So I'll just go on now and re-record this one instrumentally this summer -- Lord willing. I thoroughly enjoyed recording this hymn and there are some real fun things about it that I am going to enjoy developing, but it requires time, and that is something I really don't have much of right now. But then. . . there's all eternity. I Hope you find something encouraging in it all.

And then of course, stay assured(or perplexed), I will continue trying to do something with my voice. Even someone else singing would be nice.

And How Could He Know This?


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) - philosopher
"The person lives most beautifully who does not reflect upon existence"

As the old joke goes. Nieitzsche said that, "To do is to be!"; Aristotle said, "to be is to do!", and then of course Sinatra said, "It's Do-be-do-be-dooo...". And Sinatra was probably the closest.

But I would say a person lives most beautifully who reflects mightily on existence yet is careful not to obsess upon it too much.

One can very easily wind up like this great philosopher Nietzsche, perplexed, and befuddled as to the meaning of anything. Well, apart from his terrible mental breakdown later in life.

We take care of how and where and from whom we draw our wisdom.

God appeared such as He had been telling men for a long time that He would, in fact appearing to them from the beginning of recorded time, and then He absolutely astonished the world through His last visit and the things He revealed to us.

And then He gave us a lasting gift as He sent forth His Spirit into the very minds and bodies of all who would look and answer His simple call to come, to see, and know, that it is true, that it is He, and He wants them back.

He's joined Himself to those who call on His name. Those who can tear their hearts and minds away from the pleasures of the world long enough to see. . . 'it's Maker', and His more beautiful plan.

Ohhh. . . ------------------that beautiful tearing sound!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Handy Thing for Those of Us Without the Gift of Tongues


Vielen Dank an der Herr, unser Gott aus allen von uns.

Just click here, plug it in the box and set it to translate from German to English.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

I had a blessing today...

A light green egg. Or is it blueish? I think the chicken is starting to decide what color her eggs are going to be. I think green. From an Arcana chicken. They tend to lay eggs of that color. This is the first one. A Robin's egg is much brighter but less of a meal than this one.

I decided yesterday to learn German. Deutsch. I had a year of it high school. As well as a year of Spanish. I walked up to a man and said "No schpreckenzie Deutsch". But rather than feeling satisfied in knowing how to clearly communicate that fact to him - as I had intended - instead I felt very stupid. And rightfully so.

I could be very useful as an interpreter and a teacher to plain church people - of the Anabaptist variety - here and over there. And they do need help. We all do. That fact not diminished. . ., they really need help. It won't be my help but just me assisting in the Lord's work, since He has privileged us all to serve Him and each other through Himself. And there is possibly no greater joy here on earth.

The Developmental Psychology reading assignments for my first college class have been very interesting. Like theological theories psychological theories are organized, coherent sets of specific information that helps us understand, explain and make predictions. By definition they are neither right or wrong. Don't let the foundation of your knowledge 'of', and 'in' the Lord, be based on a theory.

Of course, Jesus said He is telling us these things that so when they came to pass. . . we would know that He is the One whom He said He is.

And I just misquoted scripture didn't I? Or did I?

Actually He says "then you will 'believe' that I am He".

But He means that you will "know". And that is 'why' we know; and that is 'why' we believe!

I'm using TellMeMore German language training software. $300.00, that my credit card seems to believe I have - and, I suspect I may - and, it will be here in two days.

I'm terribly excited.

It's all just a bunch of terribly hard work ahead, but. . . , work in the Lord is Spiritual rest.

Wish me a ton of hard work.