Saturday, December 24, 2011

The most important question, ever

12/24/11 Saturday
It’s the day before Christmas. We have snow, as you can see from this picture I took this morning. I had planned on making the two hour trek to the Lynaugh prison today but the people I was going to ride with decided road conditions make that unadvisable so it was cancelled. That’s unfortunate because this time of year is always extra hard on those in prison, locked away from family and friends. But this time of is hard on so many in this world. I will call my friends in Ohio to try and give them some cheer and hope. Allen may be in jail by now, facing a charge for growing marijuana, and Suzie had recently been calling and texting, desperately looking for financial help since her car got impounded because of her son. How I wish we could help but we struggle just to put gas in our vehicles and pay the bills as it is. If we still lived up there I could at least provide transportation for her and the teenage daughter who is now pregnant. It breaks my heart to watch people suffer the consequences of decisions made, knowing the answer to their problems but unable to make them understand or accept that answer.

So, unable to go to the prison, what will I do today? I must finish writing the short version of the story of my life. I have been so undisciplined in pursuing the writing that needs to be done. Discipline is simply something that must be applied, something I must make myself practice. A big part of the issue here is the remaining effects of my brain injury. I have improved and healed tremendously in the ten going on eleven years since the accident but there are still some problems I must battle. My memory is better but still very poor, and my ability to follow through on tasks is a continuing struggle.


Cherie is getting better at helping me, a little more understanding that I must be reminded repeatedly, like a child, in order for some things to get done. I was taught to have a written schedule of tasks to be completed at the Brain Injury Institute in St. Louise but have yet to make that a practiced part of my daily routine. It is hard for Cherie to understand for she sees me daily and thus observes that I am very intelligent but there is the rub. The score of the IQ test I was given by the psychologist a month or two ago was 112, definitely above average but a far cry from the 136 genius level I was tested to be during high school. What is hard for people to understand, seeing an obvious level of smarts, is why I seem unable to remember things or complete tasks, and why I sometimes have a hard time comprehending easy stuff. Some people judge me to be lazy or a dunce because of that. I’m not, it’s just that some parts of my brain don’t exist anymore or don’t work as good as they used to.

But there is another aspect of this equation. It is known that Albert Einstein had to be reminded to tie his shoes. His teachers thought he was just plain stupid in his childhood years of school. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was often so focused on things he needed to be reminded to bath, unaware even of his body odor. There is no question these two men were and are highly intelligent but despite that displayed what some considered signs of a lack that intelligence. Am I equivalating (Equivalate is now listed as a new word by Webster dictionary, though it has been used in several publications on occasion for some time now) myself with Bill Gates or Einstein? Not at all, I can’t even pretend to approach their intellect but I am no dummy. But I am absent minded and take comfort in having good company in that respect.
We have already taken quite a bite out of our firewood. If it runs out I know of a dead tree I can cut up for more.


So I digress. I need to write. There is much I have to say and much that needs to be said in these last days. I understand that it is through writing that I will have a voice. I also understand that my voice can be heard world wide through the poser of the internet. I also understand that our enemy will work to keep me distracted and thus keep my voice from being heard. So discipline must be practiced because time is getting short. There are some hard days ahead for us all, what we considered to be secure will be shaken hard, what we thought was solid ground will become sand.

I am a voice crying in the wilderness. A light in darkness that grows deeper every day. Some will think me delusional but time will prove my words true, and truth is becoming ever harder to discern as the days turn into night. Truth is called a lie by those who’s deeds are exposed by it. There are those whose concerns regard more of what others think of them, of their reputation among men, rather than what the living God, who sees all, even the deep hidden thoughts of the heart, perceives. The sadness is many of these have deceived themselves, have formulated a gospel that is a lie, one that makes their actions and thoughts acceptable in their minds when they are repugnant to God. My dog took a dump on the living room floor last night. We were almost overwhelmed by the odor of it and not at all happy, but such are some of the deeds, words, and thoughts of many, who wear the label of being a follower of Christ proudly, to the living God. A detestable pile of dung, whose odor permeates the very garments of all around it, yet they try to say it is a pleasing thing to God. Try to dress it up and make it pretty. Put a bow on it proudly say “Look at what I did for the Lord”. Listen to what Jesus says “I know what you are doing: you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth! For you keep saying, 'I am rich, I have gotten rich, I don't need a thing!' You don't know that you are the one who is wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked!” (Revelations 3)


There is a doctrine preached these days that is all about money. It says that if you are a child of God you will be blessed with great prosperity and wealth. It also implies that if you do not have wealth you must not be doing something right in your spiritual life. And thus, with this doctrine, comes judgment. It is judgment that is one of those detestable piles of dung that permeates so much of the church. Judgment comes disguised in many spiritual garbs. Sometimes it is dressed as the “gift” of discernment or it comes packaged as doctrinal superiority, where all those who don’t believe as you do haven’t received the “revelation” and thus aren’t as high as you are on the spiritual ladder. So there is this sense of superiority, which automatically makes the rest inferior, that becomes a vital part of all false doctrines. That in itself is often the draw, the bait so to speak, that attracts so many to take up the flag of deceit and run with it, clueless that they are causing more harm than good. At the core of this sense of superiority is that most dangerous of all sins and internal flaws, Pride.

The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil and pride is the root of all sin. Join them together and you have the basis for one of the most eagerly sought after and quickly accepted false doctrines there is. And it is powerfully destructive as well as causing great division within the body of Christ. Like Jesus said, that I quoted earlier “For you keep saying, 'I am rich, I have gotten rich, I don't need a thing!' You don't know that you are the one who is wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked”.

Is wealth bad? No, it is not bad at all, but it is dangerous. All of our life must be kept in balance and balance is often so hard to achieve. The bible doesn’t say money is the root of all evil, it says the LOVE of money is. Why is that? Because anything that we make more important than God becomes our god. Colossians 3 says ”Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry”. How is greed idolatry? The desire for more, whether it is money or possessions, can become a focus in life and thus the thing you worship. We are to trust in the Lord to take care of all our needs, to not worry about it. We are also to work hard and take care of our families too, but that is not greed.

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.' " "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Mathew 19)

Does this mean that Jesus wants us all to sell everything we have? I don’t think so. He said “If you want to be perfect sell your possessions and give to the poor”. A key here is having “treasure in heaven”. But let’s be real, as uncomfortable as it is. What does Jesus require of us, exactly what He gave for us, our lives. What it boils down to is what is most important to you. Are you willing to give up your life for what you believe in? I ask this question with the hope that what you believe in is God and His love for you. Are you willing to sell what you have and give it to the poor? Would you do that if God asked you to? What do you have in your life that is more important to you than God? These are serious questions you need to ask yourself. I know many people who hang on to what they have, even when they no longer have a use for it. There are many who have died clinging to all of their possessions, and even trying to still control them after they die through their will and the legal system.

It’s sad to see. But I have had the privilege of losing everything I own, from being worth over a million dollars on paper (though the reality was I would have been hard pressed to come up with 70 grand cash at the time) to wandering homeless carrying everything I owned in a plastic garbage bag. I had the privilege of dying and then was miraculously brought back to life, not by men but by God. The medics had given up, the coroner was called out to the scene of the accident, where he officially declared I was dead, I was covered up and on the way to the morgue. That brings the reality of death home for me.
I carved this as I recovered from the accident. It says what I believe

So here is a serious question I would like you to consider. When you die, what will have been the value of your life? What will happen to all your things, your possessions and money? Will there be the divisions and fighting over it I so often see? Will family members and loved ones get angry and bitter as they rush to get what they can out of your estate? But the important question, the only one that matters, the only one you will be worrying about as you stand before the Throne of God, is…Will God be happy with you?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Miracles still happen

12/22/11 Thursday
We are blessed. There are so many times that it seems we can never dig our way out of a hole. Money is tight, will we be able to buy food? Can we even afford the gas we need to go get food or other essentials? Can we pay the electric bill, because it is more than what we have in the bank? So many questions, so many concerns, and so much stress for Cherie and I, but we are blessed. Our God is real and He does supply our needs according to His promises to do so. I believe we are being trained by God for the hard times that are coming, being taught to learn what it really means to trust in the Lord with all our heart, to not lean on our own understanding, so that in all our ways we acknowledge Him, and so that we can have confidence that God will direct our paths.

Here is an example of that. I learned this year that I can grow watermelons and cantaloupe with the salty well water so made the decision that next year I would focus on that. In order to do so I must install drip irrigation over the 5 acres we have cleared to farm. But money is tight. There is no way I can afford to buy the hoses and drip fittings required to do that. Not even close. So what do I do? Because I do trust in God and have faith in Him I talk confidently of my plans, but don’t talk about the seeming impossibility of being able to do it.

Here you can see the irrigation tubing laid before the furrows I plowed days ago.

So last week there was a Kairos prison ministry council meeting, where we began to make plans for next year. In the course of conversation Ken, a fellow Kairos member and tree farmer, tells me “I have a mountain of drip tubing that I no longer use. You can go get as much as you want”. Come to find out it has drippers placed every six feet, exactly the spacing I would use for the melons. I had already plowed the furrows needed to install the tubing, despite not having any and not knowing where I could get it, just a few days before.

This is miraculous provision folks. Some would say it’s just a coincidence and that I am reading into this something that is not there, but it’s not a coincidence, it’s a Godcidence. See, there is that word I had to invent because so many things happen in our lives that after a while one must realize that these things cannot all happen by chance, that there is a real supernatural hand putting these things together.
There are three sections just in this pile. I estimate it would cost me $100 dollars a section to put this together. Multiply that times 7 and you can see the Lord's blessings we have received. So much of what we have is others' leftovers and it is always just enough just in time.


So we are blessed. God loves us and has a plan already made out for our lives. But with that comes problems as well. Just as God is real so is our enemy, Lucifer. How easy it seems for the devil to manipulate others to work against us. He places seeds of doubt and judgment in their minds and encourages some to gossip and spread the poison that judgment is, staining the souls of those that receive this poison. There are some who promise to help but never do, and then there are the religious ones, the saddest part of this story.

Jesus said “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”. What is the will of the Father? It’s pretty simple, Jesus left only two commandments, to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And then to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. How is it that the religious people, who are “all that” in church, some pastors, some teachers, many good friends and followers of the others, don’t understand that when you talk bad about others, gossip about them, look down your nose at them, and think you are better than they are, you are not loving them at all. To love someone means you care how they feel, to truly love someone means that you will make the effort to help them be better people. Reach down and pick them up when they fall, feed them when they are hungry without worrying why it is they have no food. Real love requires action.
This is the Model AA 1929 Ford I get to work on. I told the owner that my fee is easy. I will do the work, keep tract of the time and materials used, and when done he can pay me whatever he feels like paying, if at all.


Jesus said clearly that the way we treat the “Least” of His little children is how we treat Him. Who is the least of His children? The ones with the most problems, the ones many of us think the least of, aren’t comfortable around, these are children whom God loves dearly. Understand that children require the most effort. They must be fed, protected, taught, and also understood. For a child often doesn’t comprehend that it is not good to get angry, jealous, or to not share his or her toys with others. The same is true with spiritual children, who despite being much older in years are still not mature in the things of God. Greed, selfishness, covetousness, are all issues many of us face no matter how mature we think we are in the Lord, along with many other issues. It is real love that helps us overcome these things, that motivates us to put forth that extra effort to help another. Real love requires sacrifice. Without sacrifice it is just empty talk.

Enough said. I have farm work to do as well as to go visit the guys in jail. It’s getting chilly these days so I must get some anti-freeze for the tractor because the last thing I need is a broken block because it froze up. With the Lord’s help I hope to start a bible study in Stanton, as well as at the prison in Lamesa. There is so much need for the basic truths of our faith to be presented. I understand that with that will come more attacks and opposition from the devil, so pray for me if you could. Nothing good comes without a cost.

Remember, God is good, He loves you so much He sent His son to come and die, so that you can have life. This is the truth of Love, showing us by His example how we should behave towards each other.

Monday, December 19, 2011

start of another week and we got rain

12/19/11 Monday
Ahh, the start of another week. They seem to come and go so quickly these days. I am certainly staying busy. Went to the Fort Stockton prison Friday and got home at midnight from that. Left at 7:30 Saturday morning to attend the Kairos reunion at the prison in Lamesa. While I greatly appreciate the opportunities to help others it always comes coupled with a heaviness of the heart from seeing so much darkness in some of these souls. I often sit where I detect some need, whether it’s a sense of isolation or what. In Fort Stockton I saw a man sitting at the circle of chairs alone so I sat next to him. He had attended the last Kairos, the one I had missed because we were in Ohio. We talked a bit and I shared a little of what God has done in our life when the others for that group showed up. Come to find out it was a Spanish speaking gathering where some didn’t speak any English so others interpreted. I stayed and they were gracious to make sure I understood what was said as well as to include me in the conversation. The way I figure it is the more Spanish I hear the better able I will be to learn the language.

At Lamesa the group I sat with were mostly pagans and witches, who had probably gotten involved with Kairos for the free cookies and coffee. That was fine with me. I know a few pagans and various types of witches so have probably a better than average understanding of their belief systems. There were some interesting conversations there. I doubt I made any significant changes to their beliefs but I’m just there to show them the love of God and speak the truth.

We had planned on visiting with the widow that Saturday evening but she was sick so we waited till Sunday. Sunday morning we went to First Baptist church in Midland where we got to visit with all our friends we know there. We certainly have missed them and it became quickly apparent many of them had missed us as well. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and that brought home the lack of friends we endure here in Stanton.

After that we went to lunch with Jen and Wally, who had sent us the invite to the Sunday school Christmas get together. We met at Logan’s steakhouse and enjoyed the meal along with lots of good conversation. Wally asked about the farm and plans we have. I talked about my dreams and vision for the future regarding not just the farm but what we see coming in the whole world. There are some serious hard times coming, lots of major disruptions of what we thought was secure. I explained that was why we felt such an urgency to make this farm a producing entity. When it all is said and done you can’t eat gold and eating is the most essential requirement to live, along with having water to drink. People will always need to eat so producing food is a pretty safe bet when it comes to a business.

We went to see the widow after lunch. Cherie visited with her while I mowed her lawn and cut down the tomato plants that had finally succumbed to the freezing weather. We discussed things I can do for her in the future and talked of things of God. I wore out, almost falling asleep at the table, so had to cut the evening short. Always hate to do that.

We had some rain last night. Always am grateful for rain. I was able to get the tractor running so attached the single blade plow to the back. With it I was able to make the furrows I had marked out to install the tubing for drip irrigation for the melon patches. The ground being wet helped that task greatly. Tomorrow I hope to start running the half inch tubing for that. I was talking with a friend and he said he had a “mountain” of half inch tubing that had drip emitters already installed every six feet I could have for free. I’ll need to go to Odessa to pick it up. Perhaps that can happen tomorrow.

There is lots of work to do to be ready for planting come spring. No money for seed but at least I have seed left over I got from the watermelons and cantaloupe, along with okra and some other seeds. Certainly no money for fertilizer and the people I was getting horse manure from were unfortunately the church people with that little church in Stanton, and had evidently believed some lies being told regarding things I was purported to have said, so there is no longer any horse manure available. That is sad, such evil has been done there in the name of the Lord.
I’m tired so this is all I will write. Goodnight.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What does God want?

12/16/11 Friday
This will be a busy day. Lord willing I plan to visit the Lynaugh prison this evening. These Friday Prayer and Share events make for a long day. It’s almost a two hour drive there, which of course makes it a two hour drive back so by the time I get home it is midnight. Then tomorrow I go to the Smith Unit prison in Lamesa. That is much closer and we can better afford the fuel to go there. At fifty dollars in gas to get to Fort Stockton prisons and back I wouldn’t be able to go if it wasn’t for hitching a ride with other Kairos ministry members. God always provides.

The visit’s to the Stanton jail have been productive. I worry about and pray for the young man who accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior 2 weeks ago for he has been released and I have no contact with him. There is a responsibility that comes with representing God here on earth. Jesus said “Go out and make disciples” not go out and get as many people “saved” as possible and then leave them on their own. Making a disciple requires that sacrifice so few seem to be willing to make, a sacrifice of your personal time and effort. That is not convenient you know, and here in America we have developed a “convenient” Christianity that requires only as much as one is willing to give and little sacrifice at all. Many churches have made things as easy as possible for their members, often just asking for money and saying thus they have fulfilled their duty.

At the Stanton jail I have been asked again what church I have or go to. Many incarcerated there presume I am a pastor with a church. But I am detecting something else in their questions. They want to come to my church and one specifically asked if I would be willing to spend time teaching him more about this Jesus I believe in. In Kairos there is a rule that you do not reveal your home address or any personal information for fear it will be used by those who desire to take advantage of others. I understand the Kairos policy for it is also the policy of the Texas Department of Corrections as well. However here at home I find a great need for the bible to be taught clearly, not with a denominational slant or the ulterior motives too often found in those who desire to be ministers of Christ.

As I talked with the guys in the jail they brought up their experiences in churches, both here and abroad. There was a general consensus of a lack of acceptance found, a lack of that most integral foundation of our faith, Love. They spoke of judgmental attitudes, gossip, and one said “I went to several churches, and there was nothing there”. I avoided telling of my experiences in the two churches we attended in Stanton because I didn’t want to reinforce their negative feelings. But I did turn to Mathew 24 and Mathew 7 and read the words of Jesus, of His predictions regarding the church and the problems that would be a part of it. “Watch out for false prophets, for they come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”. When you understand that the definition of a prophet involves anyone who speaks for or represents God, anyone who is a pastor or preacher falls into that category.

So I recognize a need in this area, a need for a place without judgment where all the rejected and looked down on can come and feel welcome. These are the people Jesus came for, the ones He was gossiped about for associating with. Read what Jesus did and said in Mathew 9 “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Who does God love? All of us. Who did Jesus die for? THE WHOLE WORLD, everyone, no exceptions. Who did Jesus have the greatest problem with? The religious people who thought they were better than others. What did Jesus say about that?
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18)

So I am seeing more and more a need for balanced teaching, and for someone to reach out to those whom others seem to think not a whole lot of. Is God moving me in this direction? I have lots of questions don’t I. If this is what God wants then doors will open. Pray with me about it would you? Time to go things to do.
==========================================================
Been working on getting the tractor to run. Put air in the tires that had gotten low, then went and got diesel fuel for it. Without a fuel gauge that works and unable to remember what I put in before nor how long it was run, plus because running a diesel out of fuel can cause some real problems, I figured it safer to put some in. So I got 5 gallons of diesel for about twenty bucks and put it in. Filled the tank up before I ran out so it wasn’t bad on fuel. I checked the oil and found it was fine so tried to start it. Not a bit of spark left in the battery so I put jumper cables on from my truck. Let it charge for an hour but that still wasn’t enough so I drug out the 100 foot extension cord and hooked up the battery charger. An hour later and it still won’t start. Nuts. Hope the battery hasn’t gone bad because we sure can’t afford a new one. I don’t even have money to get some anti-freeze and that could be a serious problem should we get a hard freeze. Last thing I need is a cracked block. There was anti-freeze in it but the tractor loses a gallon or two of water every time I run it so by this time it is pretty thinned out.

I sure want to plow the furrows we need to install the drip irrigation lines in preparation for growing some serious melons come spring. When I dug the grave for Buddy, whom I miss constantly, I found that the ground was wet a good 18 inches deep. Considering it gets rock hard and the plow won’t dig deep when it is dry this is a good time to do it.

But I will be leaving for the prison at 4 or 4:30 so am running out of time for that. Perhaps I can get it running and at least attach the plow. But tomorrow I go to the Lamesa prison and we also want to go help the widow out. Gonna be tight.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just buried another dog

Buddy reaching up for his pets

12/13/11 Tuesday
We buried another dog yesterday. Buddy is gone. I always called him the world’s friendliest pit bull and he was. Unfortunately that was his undoing. Buddy craved human attention more than any dog I have ever known. Yesterday, as I worked on writing my blog post, he would come to the bedroom window and give a little whining sound. When he saw me get up he would race around the house to the veranda door, where he knew I would come out. When I did Buddy would reach up for his pets, as he always does. I sat down with him each of the three times he got me to go out and Buddy would almost bowl me over as he crawled into my lap and kissed my face fervently. Buddy had become Trixie’s best friend. They would spend much of their time together exploring and playing.

The problem was that anytime someone pulled off the road Buddy would go visit them and whether it was the farmer across the road or workers on the oil well, he would cross the busy highway to be with them. I got into the truck many times to go and retrieve him from there. Yesterday there were crews out locating and marking pipelines and underground phone cables. I locked Buddy and Duke in the veranda, knowing he would be over there and not trusting Duke to not follow. When I saw they had left I let them out. Unfortunately they came back after lunch and it appears Buddy went over to visit with them. Perhaps it was when they left that Buddy got run over. I don’t know. Never heard brakes or a horn honking, just took out garbage and saw his body on the road. Broke my heart, again.
Trixie so misses her playful companion, just as we do. She spent her morning looking for Buddy, finding all the places he left his scent.


As always, my dogs teach me spiritual lessons. This one is my tribute to Buddy, but also should make you pause and think. While Buddy was the most loving dog we’ve known, he was also a problem. It didn’t matter how many times you would scold him, he would still cross that highway. Buddy’s pit bull instincts were also a problem so I had to break up fights between him and Rascal, as well as Duke, a few times. So he was a wayward dog who didn’t pay much heed to scolding, yet loved more than any other, always there when we came home or went out the door. But in the end his lack of obedience caused his final demise.

We knew this could happen. In the same way God knows the eventual outcome when His children constantly stray and are self willed. Like I loved Buddy and would go retrieve him when he strayed God loves us and works to get us to come back home, where we are safe and cared for. Proverbs says “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of that way is death”. We need to get real with our faith, and understand that in the end it is life or death. Moses stood before the nation of Israel, after they had been rescued from Egypt, had wandered in the desert for forty years, and just before they were to go into the land God had promised them, and said “I set before you blessings and curses, life and death, Choose you this day whom you will serve”. It was a pretty simple equation, obey and serve God and be blessed or go your own way and get the unpleasant fruits of that decision.

Those fruits are eternal and there is a point where they are final. Some have argued about this, pointing to people who have made millions directly from things that are diametrically opposed to all that God calls good. “Where is their bad fruit” they say. Jesus said “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8)

Buddy is gone. His death is final and there is no bringing him back. The fact is we will all, at some point, stand before the living God, and be called to answer for our life, and we will all suffer the consequences of decisions we make. These are inescapable basic principles of life that so many of us wish to ignore. Jesus also said "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

There is no such thing as “Easy Christianity”. It requires sacrifice, giving up things you like because you choose to obey God. So many preachers these days, anxious to get as many people in the door of their church as possible, make it an easy gospel, and in the process lead millions down that easy broad road that leads to destruction. What is their end?

Again I turn to the words of Jesus, the son of God, who is, who was, and who always will be, and who also will be our judge. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Understand please, that Jesus is talking about church people. They are praying to God, saying “Lord, Lord”, they are prophesying in the Lord’s name, they are casting out demons and healing the sick in the name of Jesus, so they are more than your average sit quietly in a church pew type of Christian, and in their minds, they are right with God so they are self deceived. They are walking down that broad and easy path to destruction, to a bad final end.

The lesson I have learned from Buddy is this. There are consequences to the decisions we make and there is a point of no return, a point where there is nothing you can do. Like Jesus said earlier “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”. We loved Buddy and Buddy loved us, craved our affections, was always there, but…But he went his own way, doing what we tried to show he should not do, self willed and seeking comfort where he should not have. Won’t you learn a lesson from Buddy too? Your life is in your hands. Choose this day whom you will serve. Either God or yourself. Please feel free to contact me if you want to talk about this. My email is bobcarver2@yahoo.com

Today I have a Kairos planning committee meeting and at the same time the Ministerial Alliance is meeting, so I must choose which one to attend. While in town I will make a water run and get 20 gallons of filtered drinking water for the house. Don’t like to waste any gas so if I’m going to make the 40 mile round trip to Midland I want to get the most of it I can. I need to buy new windshield washer blades for Cherie’s truck and we can just squeeze that out of our budget. Continue to study for a CDL driver’s license and hope to find a job. Would love to find a church I could serve at as well, but leave that in God’s hands.

Be blessed people, and know that God loves each and every one of you. I'll leave you with a final word from Jesus "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Truth???

A picture of the winter wheat and rye we planted

12/12/2011 Monday
Ahh, Monday, the start of another week. We are halfway through the month of December and getting ever closer to the start of a new year. Cherie and I have both been fighting off a cold so are taking plenty of vitamins along with exercise and eating right. That plus a little prayer, which I am sure does more than the rest.

Cherie’s laptop picked up a nasty virus three days ago. I spent all day yesterday fighting it, going online and learning different ways to get this Trojan completely off of her computer. That fight is still going on this morning but I feel that at least I have a handle on it. The Trojan shows itself as “XP antivirus 2012” and pretends to be a windows product that has discovered all kinds of nasty infections on the computer. It then wants you to install it and if you try it tells you where to go to pay for the better version that will actually work. None of it works, all of the infections were placed there by the virus in the first place. Unfortunately this also means that a keylogger program is installed along with the serious possibility that all passwords have been compromised.

This Trojan made lots of changes to her computer, labeling every program as infected and thus stopping them all from working. I closed out her laptop and opened it up in safe mode. From there I was able to get online and download spyware programs to remove this. The first spyware program found it but didn’t make it go away, despite saying it did. The second one would not run in safe mode and when I went to regular mode was instantly infected so would not work at all. It almost seemed like there was someone on the other side watching my every move and countering them as I tried each technique learned from my other computer. I restored to earlier dates several times, ran spyware, thought I had it beat, and then it all showed up again, with a vengeance. Worked on Cherie’s computer from 9:00 in the morning till 10:00 at night nonstop Sunday. Nothing else got done.

Finally I went to Malewarebytes, one of the many programs recommended, and downloaded it. That program worked while the laptop was in safe mode and discovered 18 infected files. Those were removed but even after they were taken out I had to deal with the changes made to Cherie’s computer that kept me from going online or using any of her programs, including the Malewarebytes program. I posted to several computer forums and got an answer on how to correct that this morning. Now I’m running the Malewarebytes program and it has so far found 6 infected files, so the fight continues.

Meantime there are many other things I need to pay attention to. I applied for a job Saturday as a maintenance person for a storage locker. I explained my desire for something with flexibility to allow me to continue ministering at jails and prisons, along with my need to operate this farm and was assured that this job would allow it so went in to fill out the application.

Just filling out the application turned out to be quite interesting. I haven’t held a job since I woke from the coma ten years ago. When the lady learned that previous to that I ran three companies at the same time, all of which I had founded, with well over a hundred employees, and was applying for a job that paid only ten dollars an hour sweeping floors and cleaning up, she sat there looking at the application in silence. I told her about the accident, and how blessed I was to be alive. We will see what happens, it is in God’s hands. We got our electric bill and it is over 200 dollars. Cherie’s new job is part time and she doesn’t even make that in a week. It’s important for me to find work that pays. I’ve worked on this farm and house for five years but that hasn’t paid much. Like it or not I have difficulties from the brain injury but would hate to give up the dream we have to make this a working farm.

The tire is going flat on the tractor. I have a five gallon air tank for filling it up but that big tractor tire needs a whole lot of air. This little tank would probably require ten or perhaps twenty trips to fill that tire back up where it should be. I have a nice compressor our nephew gave us to bring here when we first moved but never hooked it up. Finally got an electric motor that should work on it but running and hooking up electricity is one of the many tasks I have not gotten to. Here I am surrounded with the reminders of my deficiencies, surrounded by so many uncompleted projects, things started but never finished. With a little help I could do wonders but a little help is hard to find out here.

The ground is wet so this would be an ideal time to hook up the single plow blade and make the trenches needed to place drip irrigation pipes in the ground for next spring. Wet ground is rare out here for sure. On one of our walks Cherie and I were out where I had planted the winter wheat and rye grain. Both of us were astonished at how many rabbit droppings there were. Now I understand why the wheat and rye never went very far. It’s been feeding rabbits for the whole area. It is all still there but at ground level with nothing more than an inch tall.


As Christmas approaches my thoughts turn again to those at that little church in Stanton. We pray for them every day, that they would recognize the blatant hypocrisy they so willfully displayed and be restored to a correct relationship with God. I wonder if they read this blog at all and if they do how they might interpret what I say. Odds are they would see it as me being bitter and vindictive, speaking words of poison to get even, and thus further justify their actions. This is the way of people, who always want to see themselves as righteous and often refuse to recognize any fault within. So here is a simple question for them, Does God desire for you to love or despise your neighbor? Actually I have a lot of questions. Does God desire separation or unity? Isn’t that which causes division from the devil and not God? Which is most pleasing to God, to talk about someone or to actually sit down and talk with them?

Of course what they did hurt us, and the idea that they smugly believe what they did was right really digs it in deeper. Do I want to hurt them back? No. I pray for them because I understand that we all must answer to God for every word we speak, and I also know, from Jannie’s own words, that we were not the first to be so treated. What a dangerous road she treads, and leads others to follow, judging in the name of the Lord that which they ought not to even touch. I sometimes send copies of blog posts to Jannie but have no idea if she even looks at them. I on occasion send her a note explaining that we love her and are praying for her. Does she see them or just automatically delete anything that has my name on it? I don’t know for there is no contact with our brothers and sisters in Christ from that arena. How I long to talk with them, to heal this rift caused by gossip and judgment. Ephesians 4 says “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

One of the reasons I talk about this so often is it was not an isolated example. Throughout the church in America, there is an increasing incidence of this kind of judgment and rejection. With that comes a great increase in false teachings and doctrines as well. I understand that nothing that happens to us happens by accident. In these last days God has raised many to stand up and speak out for true righteousness, to stand against this great falling away from the truth. Who am I? you may ask. I am nobody, the smallest and least in God’s kingdom, but I am His child and small as I am do know right from wrong. Who are you to deny what you know is the truth? There is a way which seems right to a person but the end of that way is death. The one who knows what is right to do, and does not do it, to him (and her) it is sin. If you go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of truth there no longer remains a sacrifice for your sin, but a certain, terrifying judgment.
There are so many spiritual lessons our dogs provide me. I watch as they fight and play, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. But there is always that jealousy displayed, and the desire to be the top dog, to be recognized as dominant. How often I see this same spirit displayed in people. The desire for everyone to look up to you, and to bow before you, acknowledging your position of importance, is the central tenant of pride.

What is the truth? That God so loves us He sent His only son to die for our sin. Love is to be the hallmark of our faith. What is Love? True love is demonstrated in actions, not empty words, true love requires sacrifice on a personal level. True love gives, not takes. True love accepts others, not rejects. True love draws in the lost and needy but hypocrisy soon becomes evident and brings those who see it to flee. This is the danger I fear for many, for if by your actions others who could have accepted Christ as their Lord instead reject Him, their blood is on your head.

Several times now others have called me a prophet. I am not happy about that and not keen on such a title at all. Such a thing I would never declare that about myself. We have seen way too much falseness and deception performed by those who claim to be prophets, and make good money along with getting lots of accolades in the process. What does a true prophet of God do? He/she leads others to live lives more pleasing to God. They point out the sin and falsehoods others practice. And they seldom are popular because of that. I am a servant, nothing more. I hear God because I listen and study His words. I see what is clear to see but wonder why others can’t.

Here is a scary scripture I was shown two days ago. It is found in Ezekiel 13. Why is it scary? Because there are many these days who’s actions follow this pattern.

Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2 "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy from their own inspiration, 'Listen to the word of the LORD ! 3 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing. 4 "O Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. 5 "You have not gone up into the breaches, nor did you build the wall around the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the LORD. 6 "They see falsehood and lying divination who are saying, 'The LORD declares,' when the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word. 7 "Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said, 'The LORD declares,' but it is not I who have spoken ?""' 8 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "Because you have spoken falsehood and seen a lie, therefore behold, I am against you," declares the Lord GOD. 9 "So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord GOD. 10 "It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, 'Peace !' when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash ; 11 so tell those who plaster it over with whitewash, that it will fall. A flooding rain will come, and you, O hailstones , will fall ; and a violent wind will break out. 12 "Behold, when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, 'Where is the plaster with which you plastered it?"' 13 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "I will make a violent wind break out in My wrath. There will also be in My anger a flooding rain and hailstones to consume it in wrath. 14 "So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare ; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the LORD. 15 "Thus I will spend My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it over with whitewash ; and I will say to you, 'The wall is gone and its plasterers are gone, 16 along with the prophets of Israel who prophesy to Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,' declares the Lord GOD. 17 "Now you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who are prophesying from their own inspiration. Prophesy against them 18 and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe to the women who sew magic bands on all wrists and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature to hunt down lives ! Will you hunt down the lives of My people, but preserve the lives of others for yourselves? 19 "For handfuls of barley and fragments of bread, you have profaned Me to My people to put to death some who should not die and to keep others alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies.""' 20 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against your magic bands by which you hunt lives there as birds and I will tear them from your arms ; and I will let them go, even those lives whom you hunt as birds. 21 "I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people from your hands, and they will no longer be in your hands to be hunted ; and you will know that I am the LORD. 22 "Because you disheartened the righteous with falsehood when I did not cause him grief, but have encouraged the wicked not to turn from his wicked way and preserve his life, 23 therefore, you women will no longer see false visions or practice divination, and I will deliver My people out of your hand. Thus you will know that I am the LORD."

Then in chapter 14 Ezekiel speaks of those elders and leaders who have set up idols in their hearts yet still come to seek God. “Then some elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 3 "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all ?”

It goes on to spell out clearly the price prophets pay when they decide to speak with those who, despite knowing they are doing wrong, (for it says “these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity”) still come to the prophet, and you can even say the pastor for they are the representatives of the Living God, and as for a word from God. What is the warning from God to those who represent Him and speak in His name? 10 "They will bear the punishment of their iniquity ; as the iniquity of the inquirer is, so the iniquity of the prophet will be, 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Thus they will be My people, and I shall be their God,"' declares the Lord GOD."

What does this mean? It means that if you allow a person to continue doing wrong, coddle them and refuse to speak God’s mind on the matter, you bear the responsibility and will pay the price for that other persons sin as if it was you doing it. The scriptures are clear in many areas concerning this. It says “let not many of you become teachers, knowing you bear a stricter judgment”. This is found in James chapter 3. How I fear in my heart for the so many who do not take their walk with God seriously, who’s religion is a matter of convenience. The time is coming when we must all answer to God.

I’ll close with this. James goes on to talk about our tongues, how they are full of bitter poison. With our mouths we praise God and talk about all kinds of good religious things, but with the same mouths we put down others, and talk bad about them. For some the idol we have in our hearts and put right before our face, is ourselves, and thus we are blind to what is right in front of us. Here is the final scripture from that same chapter in James Who among you is wise and understanding ? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.


Jesus tells us to judge by the fruits of our actions. Do our seeds bring peace and love? Or do they bring discord and strife? We are all to examine ourselves, every day, look to see if there is any evil thing in us so that we can root it out and thus remove those things that cause separation between us and God.

The young man at the Stanton jail asked me if I had a church. Sure I do. You are my church and everyone I can share the love of God with is the church. They are not MY church, for no one owns a church, not the true church of God, for we are all a part of that family, that kingdom that has existed thousands of years, and we all serve the one true God.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Deception



12/7/11 Wednesday
Talked to the DAR’s lady yesterday and she finally got the report back from the psychologist. My IQ test score is 112, up from the 99 I scored last time. Not up as high as I hoped but any improvement is appreciated. Still a far cry from the genius level my IQ registered at 40 years ago. It’s frustrating for me to be above average on one hand but unable to complete a project or to remember what I need to do on the other. This is the difficulty with traumatic brain injuries, difficult for others in that they can detect intelligence and assume the person is “Just fine” but can’t comprehend why this intelligent person doesn’t perform well. In this world of great judgmentalism, where many prefer to look down on others and find faults instead of even trying to understand, there is little compassion. This Jesus predicted saying that in the last days the love of many will grow cold.

(Mathew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.)

How we see this everywhere we turn. There is so much deception that it is glorified in the programs we watch on TV, movies, and amazingly enough even on the advertisements used to sell us products. It is so accepted that most of us don’t even recognize it. Here’s an example, how many of you have heard the advertising campaigns used to convince you to go to Las Vegas? What’s the motto? “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and the examples used always extol secrecy, where you can go do things that you might not normally do and keep it hidden in the darkness, keep it from view of family or friends. Do you not understand that this promotes living a lie and encourages people to practice living a double life? I lived that kind of life before, and choose now to live a life that has no shame, one I can be proud of without any need to run or hide. I desire to be exposed to the world with no secrets or shame, to live a life my God can be happy with.

We find so many these days being exposed, to their great shame and chagrin. Politicians running for president have their secrets brought out into the light of the world, though some of that could well be purposeful manipulation by their enemies, lies created to hurt and destroy. There have been the recent revelations of famous coaches who turned out to be pedophiles exploiting children. The pastor of a mega church exposed having many homosexual relationships. While it is sad and disconcerting to hear about all of these failures of human dignity the fact is that NONE of us have any secrets before the living God. We will ALL stand before Him in judgment, where all these things will be laid out.

I was talking to Cherie about this as we did our short devotional this morning. We have both been hurt by others, who have not practiced what they professed to believe. “Cherie, when I think about them and what they have done I get sad, not angry. For I know that they must answer to God for their hypocrisy and that can be a terrifying thing.” I explained to her. “So our desire needs to be for them, to love them and pray that when they stand before God they are found approved and lacking nothing”

There is, in the Christian churches, often teachings presented that lead people to think they will be exempt from any judgment or responsibilities for their actions, no accountability. This too was predicted. Paul, in his last days before he was to be put to death for his belief in Jesus, wrote this to Timothy “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom : preach the word ; be ready in season and out of season ; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

So, confident that they are exempt from any kind of judgment, many in the church seem eager to judge others, to look down their nose at them, to talk about them and tear others down, and to forget the greatest command of our Lord, who died for all of us. That commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. The greatest deception is the one where we deceive ourselves, and it is the most dangerous. So I would like to have you read what Jesus, the Son of God who died so that we may have life, says.

"But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats ; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink ; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink ? 38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' 41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels ; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink ; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 44 "Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 45 "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Do you not yet understand? This is the way our judge, Jesus, sees it. How we treat others, Jesus regards as how we treat HIM!!! So in your conversations and especially in your thoughts, think of others as the representatives of Jesus. “Oh, but this person is trash. He/she is evil doing all kinds of deplorable things” you might say. Really? So tell me, does God love that person? Did Jesus not die for the whole world, all of them, including you? So who are you to judge another? Have you forgotten from where you have been brought from. Hear these words Jesus spoke to the apostle John.
”I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false ; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary. 4 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first ; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place -unless you repent.”


This is found in Revelation chapter 2 and is a message to the church. It doesn’t matter how many things you do for God, for it is not what you do but why you do it that matters. Understand that I was made alive from death for a purpose, and that purpose is to tell the truth no matter how unpopular it is. Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Looking for work

12/6/11 Tuesday
It appears our water system survived the first real hard freeze of the year. It’s 19 degrees out this morning. Tonight will be another test when it goes down to 17 degrees. We did our best to insure Buddy and Duke were safe in this level of cold. Ben and Gretchen used to sleep together to share body heat and I could cover them up at night and they would stay under the covers. Duke and Buddy don’t get along for that. We suspect Duke had been an inside dog before we rescued him from how bad he wants to come inside. He sleeps in the garage, as close to a house as he can get I suppose. Buddy stays out on the veranda. We put the electric blanket out last night, to provide a warm spot, and spread it from the love seat to the landing in front of the door to see if that would attract Duke to stay on it. Nope, he prefers the garage so I’ll work on a winter spot for him there.

I am looking for ministry opportunities as well as some work I can do to pay bills. Investigating getting a CDL license as they are hiring truck drivers everywhere. Hope to find something that allows me to continue my ministry in prisons. Ultimately it’s what we do for God that has real value and that is where my heart is. Most of you know I have a powerful testimony and I am anxious to share what God has done in our lives. If any of you hear of something or can point me in a good direction it would be appreciated.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Snow


12/5/11 Monday
It’s a rare thing out here. I’m talking about snow, or any kind of moisture for that matter. We had rain two days ago and over three inches of snow last night. We went to the widow’s house yesterday afternoon, where I did a variety of chores and installed the insulating cups we bought for her outside water faucets. But mostly Geneva craved the company, someone to talk with and share the things going on in her life. It was good for Cherie too as she had someone to share with other than me. We all sat together after I got done with the various chores and talked about God and spiritual things. But knowing it would freeze last night I called it an evening and said we had to go. So we prayed together, as we always do when we visit, and I hurried home.

The urgency was because I knew I needed to insure the work I had done with the booster pump was protected from freezing. One good freeze and all that work would be erased with broken plastic pipes spewing water all over the place. We found an old electric space heater that I put in the pit we dug, then I covered it over with old pieces of plywood and a tarp. Held the tarp down with a bunch of cinder blocks to insure it didn’t go anywhere.

That evidently worked because we had running water this morning. I went out to take pictures and also to see if the old rotted pieces of plywood held up to the weight of the snow. It all seems to still be in place. Today I will focus more time on fixing that up. Eventually I plan on building a cinderblock building to cover and protect all of that but for now I must devise a better temporary solution. There are some serious cold days coming, like tomorrow, when it gets down to 20 degrees or so. That little space heater will send our electric bill up there and things are tight as it is.

I hope to find some work driving a truck. Am studying for the written part of the CDL exam but I need to find a semi to use for the driving part of the test. Meantime there is plenty to do here. I have windows to calk now that I found two new tubes of caulk I’d forgotten I had purchased. And I still need to tile the bathroom but that is a major project that will require the removal of the toilet while I tile that area, along with the bathroom sink.

I must go brush off and warm up Cherie’s truck so will be back.

That took a while. Brought back memories of living in Michigan and Ohio. I like the snow, but I don’t. It’s beautiful and not convenient at all. There were some 4000 reports of power outages in the area, mostly caused by the weight of snow breaking branches of trees that fell on power lines. Plus there are reports of car wrecks this morning. Most of the schools are closed today as this area is not equipped for snow. The weather report says that the snow will turn to rain later in the day. That will be a mess. I sure wish I had a way to collect all this moisture for the dry times to come.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

No water this morning

Last nights sunset

12/4/11 Sunday
Sunday morning. It’s chilly and we don’t have any water. I will fill up a bucket from the plastic children’s pool outside, that we always leave full for the dogs to drink out of, so we can use it to flush the toilet. As soon as I am done writing this I will return to working on the booster pump. I think I will take Cherie’s hair dryer out with me because the glues may be temperature sensitive. Perhaps that’s why it blew apart last night, for it was definitely getting cold. Plus, in my haste to be done, I didn’t wait as long as I should have to let the glue set. And there is the possibility that I forgot to put glue on the joint that came apart.

We listened to Charles Stanley this morning. For now our church is on television. We don’t have the money to drive into town more than necessary so visiting the churches in Midland will be put off till things get better. It’s sad we have found such a judgmental spirit at the church in Stanton. From what I hear this is not an uncommon problem in many churches here in America. How our Lord’s heart must break as His commandment to love your neighbor as yourself is ignored every time it becomes inconvenient. But it’s not a new problem, has been around as long as man. It was the religious leaders, the preachers, teachers, and pastors, if you will, who, in their arrogance and self-righteous assurance they were pleasing God, persecuted and conspired to kill Jesus. After Jesus was crucified the persecution was next focused on all those who believed in and followed Jesus. One of the greatest persecutors, Saul, was confident he was doing the work of God as he traveled finding Christians, putting them in jail, and watching in approval as others stoned them to death. But he had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and understanding his error repented and became one of the greatest proponents of Jesus that ever lived, changing his name to Paul.

So you, who think poorly of your fellow brother or sister in Christ, gather hope from this. For God is always there to forgive you of this grave sin and help you change your mind as soon as you understand how evil it is to despise those whom God loves.

I've got a well to fix so must resist the urge to do a short bible study or devotional. Bye now.
=========================================================================
Here is the finished booster pump arrangements. The pipes seem to be holding now but there are several small pinhole leaks. I suspect they are due to the glue not working well in the cold weather. The red plastic coffee container I used to provide some protection for the power plug. We can't afford to buy a regular waterproof electrical socket so do the best we can with what we have. When weather gets warm and budget allows I will probably redo the entire thing, re-gluing all those joints. Everything you see is subject to freezing, and that will be a major problem. I plan on building a shed around it with the cinder blocks I recovered from an old hotel that was torn down. Now I wish I had gotten more of those bricks for they all got hauled away. So I will learn a new skill, having never done any brickwork before. But till then I guess I'll have to cover this all with blankets and hope it doesn't freeze and break the pipes. If we had the money I would buy the pipe heating stuff I saw at Lowes that allows you to wrap the pipes and plug it in to keep them from freezing. Maybe a small space heater and some plywood over the top would work for now.

Looked at the whole booster pump array in the daylight. Could only find one area where the joint gave way. It does not appear that I forgot to put glue on the joint but if I did it wasn’t a whole lot. I got Cherie’s hair dryer and heated everything up the best I could in 36 degrees and glued it back together. This time I heated it after gluing for fifteen or so minutes to do my best to insure it held. Read the instructions again just to make sure and it says to leave the joint set for two hours to allow the glue to set, and longer if it’s under 60 degrees outside. I didn’t let it set last night in my haste and tiredness so that’s probably the problem. Will see at 11:30 when I run down to the well and turn it on.

The internet says our high today will only be in the 40’s so I started a fire. Tomorrow the real cold hits with a low down in the 20’s. We dug the electric blanket out for the dogs but Duke and Buddy don’t sleep near each other. Duke sleeps in the garage and Buddy stays out on the veranda. I think I will clean out the insulated dog house I made for Gretchen and Ben a year or two ago, when Gretchen had her puppies. How I miss those dogs. The hurt is still there, along with wondering who shot them and why. Was it random or something personal from someone who is busy with the hate that consumes so many. I don’t know but still pray for them, and continually forgive every time it rises up in my mind again.

Christmas is coming. This is one of my least favorite times of the year as the insanity and fervor for what has become a false holiday increases. It has become the one time of year many businesses depend on for survival as the battle to buy presents rages on. There is nothing wrong with giving gifts but now, if you don’t, you are looked on as a scrooge. So many these days expect to receive and get angry if they don’t. Depression and suicide are at an all time high during this season as many struggle to deal with all the pressures that our society and culture have forced on us. At the root of it is greed. There is corporate greed as businesses strive to strip us of as much money as possible, competing with each other for every dollar we have been so carefully instructed to spend. Then there is the greed we breed into our children as the day after Christmas it becomes a “What did you get” contest.

Lost in this mix is the tale that this is the day that Jesus was born. The fact that the early church, under Constantine and his mixing of pagan beliefs with Christianity, chose this day to replace several existing pagan holidays that revolved around the shortest day of the year is lost on most. The fact is no one knows for sure what day Jesus was born, but historical evidence points more to in the fall than Christmas, based on when the census was that forced Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem and the Jewish feasts. There is strong evidence that Jesus was born during the feast of Passover which would place the time somewhere in the middle of April. Personally I think it not bad to pick a day to celebrate the birth of the son of God, that it is good to recognize and celebrate His birth regardless of what day it was. But the Christmas tree and giving of gifts are directly related to the religion that came out of Babylon when Nimrod’s mother, who was also his wife, instituted that practice. Like it or not this is historical fact.

So I will celebrate the birth of Jesus, every day. And not just His birth but His death and resurrection too. For it is in this that I have a hope of eternal life. I explained this to the young man in Jail. We have all heard (or most of us) the scripture found in John, 3:16 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. I spent a lot of time with the young man explaining what it really means to believe. Lots of people believe, or say they believe, in God, but do you really believe that you will stand before God and be judged for what you do? To truly believe means you understand God is God and Lord and thus you submit to His authority, obeying what He says to do. Most people are not willing to surrender what they want, to make a sacrifice of personal pleasure, to obey God. Instead they try to put God in a box that allows them to do what they want without fear but in the end God is God and we will have to answer. Do you really believe? I know I get preachy but I hold an answer to many peoples problems, an answer I have learned is real and works, I know how to live forever and enjoy God's blessings here in this life as well. When you have a life saver in your hands and are watching someone drown to not throw them the life saver and even try to save them is a crime. And God will hold us accountable for that for sure.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Not as good as I used to be


12/3/11 Saturday
I focused on finishing up the well today. It was a greater struggle than I expected. I thought I had all the pieces of PVC cut and trial fitted so that when it came time to turn off the well so I could cut into the pipes things would go smoothly. Such was the hope but that was shattered by a strong dose of reality.

I hate reminders that I am not as smart as I used to be and today those reminders were slapping me in the face. I’ve come a long way since I woke from that coma but still face some difficulties. I looked at a piece of pipe as I prepared to glue it in place and wondered why I had cut it so long. So I cut it shorter and glued it in place. It was maybe twenty minutes later I realized it had been cut correctly. I confused the intake with the outtake parts of the pump and that was just a start. Five hours later I am finding joints I forgot to glue and came up with some creative ways to compensate for mistakes I made earlier.

It’s dark now so I got flashlights out so I can see what I am doing. My pain level is way up there from crawling in and out of the pit I dug in addition to carrying the pump itself to the garage five or six times to modify the mounts in order to make the pipes line up. Finally I think I am done so have Cherie come out and keep an eye on it while I drove the half mile to the well and turn it on. Unfortunately my phone had run out of juice unbeknownst to me earlier in the day so she couldn’t’ call like I had asked.

Coming back to the house I discover there were just a few small leaks from poor glue jobs but I figured I could live with that for now and would fix that later. But then a pipe let loose. Nuts. So I rushed back to the well and turned it off. Coming home I find Cherie screaming at Buddy and Duke, who were viciously fighting. I tore them apart. It’s not the first time they have gotten into it. In fact they had fought just the day before and I got bit when I reached in with my hand to pull them apart. Not good. Looks like we will have to find another home for Buddy. He is absolutely the friendliest dog I have ever known, but he doesn’t get along with other dogs well.

I am beat. Worked on the well all day long. But tonight we have no water at all. While we did have the booster pump running I had Cherie turn on the water in the bathroom. It was a little better but still just a trickle coming out of the shower. This tells me that the new pipes installed are plugged up. Probably with the shredded plastic I have found in the filters of the farm irrigation system along with salt and hard water deposits. It looks like I must replace the pipes in the new bathroom already. What was installed are small diameter flexible hose things that screw into place. The new fixtures were set up to use those or to use conventional copper or PVC pipe and the plumber our friends hired to do the job opted for the easier flexible pipe stuff. I don’t think it would have mattered as that shredded plastic would have lodged where the valves and stuff are. Oh well.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Cold blew in


12/2/11 Friday
I finally got the concrete slab poured. Took three loads with this concrete mixer I bought a few years back, knowing I would have many uses for it on this farm. I’ve used it to mix seeds, soils, fertilizers, but this is the first time I used it for concrete. I have a poor eye for volumes so was surprised at how small an amount of concrete it made after it was poured out onto the ground. I took the pump and set in on the wet concrete to make marks where the bolts that hold it down go. Then I pushed the bolts into the wet concrete. I hope that the bolts are in the right place when the concrete dries.

Cold weather blew in hard last night. Got the woodburner going and because the high for today will only be 40 degrees will keep it burning all day long. There is moisture outside. Not rain so much as a drizzle. I hope to finish the booster pump today. Had a bad slow down last night. Don’t remember having many of those lately but Cherie reminded me that I have had a few. She reminded me I need to take a bath too. I take great consolation in learning that Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs of Apple fame also had to be reminded to bath. I simply don’t think about it and don’t remember when I last took a bath. If I took one yesterday I won’t remember. I don’t remember to eat and if I do don’t remember that either. When it comes to taking my medication that can be an issue. If I don’t remember taking my pain pill so take another one it can be dangerous. To combat that I make notes of when I take a pill or tell Cherie when she is home.

It will be a cold work day, but that’s what coats are for.
===========================================================================
Hard to believe it is already noon. Certainly cold out. Just came in to warm my hands and put a few more logs on the fire. Step by slow step I am progressing on the booster pump. The bolts I placed in the wet concrete were close but not quite close enough so I spent an hour using a chain saw file to alter the holes in the pump base so it would fit. As usual I lacked the proper tools so had to do the best I could with what I have. So the pump is in place. Next I will piece together all the PVC pipe fittings needed to insure I have everything cut to the proper size and ready to glue together. That requires putting the one way valve first, then running pipe to the pump intake. The one way valve will prevent water from flowing backwards. Then I must connect the pumps outtake to the pipe that leads to the house and also out to the farm irrigation system. That will require some manipulation. Also I need to hook up the 55 gallon pressure tank to that same pipe. Plus I need to hook up the electrical wiring to the breaker box. Part of that task requires me to nail the wiring I ran onto the rafters and wall of the garage for it’s all just hanging loose right now.
=========================================================================
I went to the jail to visit the young man who made the decision to become a follower of Jesus. He was glad to see me for sure. I talked to him of the seriousness of the decision he made and read the parable of the sower so that he could hear what Jesus said regarding those who hear the words about God’s love. When I said something about how people talk about others he started crying for there is no question that there is lots of talk about him. I explained what the Love of God is and isn’t, going through first Corinthians 13 to make clear the importance of the motives behind what you do. It says that even if you give all your possessions to the poor but do not have Love it means nothing. There are many we know who mouth the words but who’s actions reveal the truth of what they believe. It’s a simple basic fact that if you reject someone, refuse to talk with them, and instead talk about them to turn others against them, you don’t love them. And when you do that but then say you are a Christian and love everyone you are a liar and total hypocrite.

The young man asked me if I had a church. I told him that he was my church, that the true church isn’t buildings but consists of the people who love God and are practicing the truths He gave us through the bible. I said “My church is in prisons and jails, it is where ever I go. Anyone I touch and share the things of God with is my church”. And so it is and has always been. The Kingdom of God that Jesus spoke of is not a place, nor can it ever be. It is a spiritual condition, an attitude of the soul, a unity of hearts bound together by the Love of God that spans generations and is not constrained by time or physical borders. The Kingdom of God has always been, but we have gained entrance to it through our faith in Jesus and because He has revealed the keys to us. I told the young man that I may start a bible study here in Stanton soon and the church would be there as well.

We prayed, he thanked me for coming. I am tired now. Didn’t get the booster pump all the way installed yer but am close. Hopefully that will get completed tomorrow before we go visit the widow and help her winterize her home.