Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thoughts On A Historic Day. Windsor Castle. Update.

 

For "Scripture Sunday":

Thoughts on a historic day

"No matter what our people decide about morality, it does not change what God says in the Bible is right and wrong, sinful or righteous.

A man looking over a cliff toward the ocean.Ana Gabriel/Unsplash

Will you be overwhelmed by social change and sin and give in what the majority feel is acceptable? Or will you continue to stand firm in your convictions and continue to live by a righteous faith defined by God?

There once was father who looked on his sick child and didn’t know what to do. He knew if the child didn’t get better soon, he would die. The child hadn’t always been sick. He was born healthy. He was loved and nurtured, put into a home that was safe and filled with everything the child would need to grow and develop into a mature adult.

But one day he developed a fever. Further symptoms developed. A cough along with pain. Doctors were consulted. Medication was prescribed. For a time it went away. Strength was regained and life went on.

But in time the sickness came again. This time specialists were consulted. Further diagnosis was made. The sickness, some said, was throughout the body, from the head to the feet. The child was very sick, and unless there was something dramatic he would not get better. He could die.

In desperation the father took the child in his arms as only a father can, and he slowly lifted the child up toward God. In earnest pleas the father described to God what was wrong and asked God “why” and “what” would be done. “My child is desperately sick,” he cried. “Please, dear God, look upon our family and heal our beloved child.”

Today, I feel like this father. Not because my child is sick, but because I see my nation wracked with sickness from its head to its feet and in need of healing. I won’t put the headlines in front of you at this time. You read the news and already know the great moral and spiritual issues facing the United States of America.

I’m like this father who looks around and sees a people suffering the impact of spiritual sin; of a broken moral law. America is suffering the result of breaking the Ten Commandments of the Eternal God.

Today instead of pointing out the specific sins, I feel like turning to a little-known biblical prophet named Habakkuk. Habakkuk broke the mold of Old Testament prophets by taking the condition of his fellow countrymen and lifting them up to God in a sincere plea to notice the problem and help him see a way through to better days. The first four verses of the book named for him describe the violence, the injustice and spiritual condition of a nation called by God’s name, supposedly “one nation under God.” They had lost their way and did not know why. Habakkuk pleaded for them, for their life.

God’s answer to Habakkuk is this: “Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you” (Habakkuk 1:5).

God was doing something larger than the prophet could understand at that moment. He was working among that nation, and there were even bigger changes coming. God’s firm and loving judgment was on the horizon and would sweep over the nation of Judah. “Habakkuk,” God was saying, “hold on to your hat—it’s going to be a bumpy ride!”

Habakkuk had to resign himself to this new reality. He had to live by the righteous faith he personally knew and let God do what He was going to do.

No matter what our people decide about morality, it does not change what God says in the Bible is right and wrong, sinful or righteous. Nothing has changed as far as God’s spiritual teaching is concerned. The question to Habakkuk and to us is: “How will we continue to live?” Will you be overwhelmed by social change and sin and give in what the majority feel is acceptable? Or will you continue to stand firm in your convictions and continue to live by a righteous faith defined by God?

The world is changing. America is not the same nation it once was. I can only present the case to God, much like a father might present his sick child, and ask God’s direction and light to guide us into the future. May God yet bless America in spite of current moral and spiritual condition." 

Article and comments at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/a-cry-for-my-nation-thoughts-on-a-historic-day

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The Windsor Castle

An Amazing Fact: "The Windsor Castle is the longest-occupied palace in all of Europe.

Windsor Castle is also the largest inhabited castle in England. It’s one of the residences of Queen Elizabeth II. She spends many weekends of the year there, using it for entertaining private and state groups. Located in the English county of Berkshire, it has a long history with the British royal family.

The castle was originally built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of William the Conqueror. It was designed after the motte and-bailey structure, with a raised mound surrounded by a ditch. A strong wall of timber and rock was created around a keep, often with a drawbridge, which led to a courtyard inside.

Towers were erected along the wall for defense purposes. In smaller castles, there might only be one tower that could house a few soldiers. Windsor began with a very simple plan, but over the last 950 years, new monarchs remodeled and created new additions. It now has three wards with the massive Round Tower occupying a central position. Many new towers were added over the years, including the Curfew, Edward III, Salisbury, Henry III, and the Garter Tower.

Windsor has survived many sieges since it was first built. In 1649 the English parliament almost voted to demolish the castle. A bill to destroy it lost by only one vote. It has been neglected and declared uninhabitable, but it now has been transformed into a luxurious palace. It has survived two World Wars. In fact, the royal family used the palace as a place of refuge during the bombings of World War II. In 1992 a large fire nearly destroyed a major portion of the castle.

In biblical times towers were built as places of refuge and safety, not just to make a fortress look nice. These strongholds could be more easily protected from approaching enemies since it placed defenders above attackers in a fortified structure. If a city wall was breached, people could run into a tower for safety.

That’s apparently the picture presented to us in this proverb. God’s name is an impenetrable tower! When Moses requested to see God, it was the Lord’s name that was presented to him. God’s name presents His character—gracious, loving, and compassionate (Exodus 34:6, 7). In other words, when we yield ourselves into God’s hands, the Lord, who is merciful, will be our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1).
Additional reading: Proverbs 18:1–12
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. - Proverbs 18:10

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Update:

I haven't written anything lately because nothing has really happened yet.  I gave Ray an eviction notice because he was so far behind with the rent in my guest house.  He took off again the next morning, without a word, and took the sweet outside black cat with him.  I hope that she will be happy. 

But, as he didn't pay the light bill at his disabled son's house, the son has been staying in the guest house, using the electricity which is in my name!  It took a month for an agency to finally help the son by paying his light bill so he could move back to his own home.   I am still cooking his father's food for him, as he doesn't know how.

We moved all my furniture and appliances out of the guest house, and Ray's living room stuff is all piled up in one end.  The bedroom is still full of his things.  The appliances had to be hosed down before they could be stored, and we have to do quite a lot of repairs.  Now maybe we can take up the kitchen linoleum and replace that.  So we are still just waiting to have the place emptied out with nothing in the way.  No one knows when Ray will show up again, and he doesn't answer his phone, not even to his son.

The 17 year old cat was moved to a different foster home because I couldn't bear to hear her crying.  She had to be locked up in a large cage as she peed on my floors and carpet.  They are going to try a different diet and see if that helps her kidney troubles caused by being fed dry cat food all her life.

So now I just have one foster cat, Nala.  She is a white cat with black splotches, which are commonly called "moo-cats".  She is a spoiled brat-cat, and we are very close.  But because of my age, she needs to be adopted or she will be an old cat looking for a forever home.

I 'bought' the Dodge van out of the repair shop, it was getting too hot to drive the Puddle Jumper into town. On it's first trip, Jay and I loaded it down with items to go to the consignment shop and to be donated.  Getting more and more stuff out of here.  For it's second trip, Jay went to church with me and everyone welcomed him back. 

This week the Bible readings were Num. 19:1-21:35, Judges 11:1-33 and John 3:14-21.  The Teaching was 'Turn Away from Idolatry'.  Mostly about Baal and all the things that can be idolatry, including money!  Anything that one considers of more importance, before God, can be called an idol.

The potluck was great. I took an Asian cucumber and carrot salad with sesame oil and sesame seeds.  The pastor's wife had brought a very tasty, tender, big crockpot of lamb.   Then we always have lots of salads, different veggies, legumes and garlic bread.

We have had some storms, but now the weather is getting hotter each day!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Hay Bale Gardening. Excessive Panting And Drooling. Update.

 

With all the trouble with Live Writer and things going on here, I didn't even attempt to write last Sunday.

But I did find this interesting:

Hay bale gardening is probably the most fun you’ll have growing your own food and herbs, requiring almost no work or maintenance.

Hay Bale Gardening

"After a search online to find the simplest and easiest “no work” gardening method, I stumbled upon straw bale gardening.  The concept is simple: You plant directly into bales of straw, and as the season progresses, the straw is broken down into virgin soil that nourishes the plants from inside the bale.  One amazing benefit of this method of gardening is that the bales provide a raised bed, which keeps predators away and makes picking your vegetal treasures at the end of the season easy on the back.  I watched every video I could find on the subject, and have since concluded that using HAY bales instead of STRAW bales is far superior."

Why Hay Bales are Superior to Straw Bales

More at: https://www.endalldisease.com/hay-bale-gardening-effortless-food-production-with-no-weeds-no-fertilizer-less-watering-video/

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Excessive Panting And Drooling Can Be A Life-Threatening Sign That You Shouldn’t Ignore.

Dogs do not have the ability to sweat all over their bodies like we do. They only sweat on areas that are not covered in fur, such as their paw pads and their noses. Because of this, they rely on panting to cool down in hot temperatures. It’s a fairly poor cooling system, which means we need to be aware of the warning signs of overheating so that we can care for our pups properly.

Dog-Dog panting-shutterstock_58184632We have all heard the horror stories of dogs being left in hot cars, and suffering from heatstroke or death after only a few minutes. Heatstroke can occur from a number of different sources. Overexertion in hot temperatures, being left in a hot car, and walking on hot pavement are all bad ideas for your dog.

A dog’s normal temperature is 101.5 degrees.  A degree up or down is a normal fluctuation, but anything more than that in either direction is a cause for concern. It doesn’t take long for a dog to overheat. As little as 10 minutes inside a parked car can be deadly to some dogs. Be aware of the signs of overheating so that you can react appropriately!"
Read more at http://blog.theanimalrescuesite.com/dogs-over-heating/#GxQsrtFpZQucJsjU.99

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Update:

Things have come to a head here.  I need to get Ray and his son out of my guest house.  Ray still has not shown up, or paid his rent, back rent, or utilities for my guest house.  He hasn't paid the light bill at his disabled son's house next door either, so the son is staying in my guest house.  After many hours on the phone, I have been in touch with every agency to get some help for the son so that he can go back to his own home, and also to get him some SSI check of some sort.  He is not mentally capable of cooking the food Ray left in his freezer, so I have been cooking it for him.  But, I am not eating it, as it isn't organic.

Then Ray's 'Cat from Hell' who won't let anyone but Ray near her, has fleas and I had to trap her to get her out of the guest house to exterminate.  The son would be covered in fleas every time he walked in there.  Now I have the cat in a very big cage in the greenhouse, but I don't know how to get her out of it.  She tries to rip me to shreds even when I am putting new food in there twice a day.

Ray's other cat, a mostly outside cat, old Blackie, is very sweet, and appreciates it when I put flea control her.  She comes to my front door twice a day to be petted and fed.  I may have inherited her as there is no way that I would leave her behind when I move from here.

Then the very old sweet cat that I am fostering has some bad kidney issues and I have had to put her in a cage to stop her from soiling my house.  She is on prescription diet from the vet, but it doesn't seem to help the poor thing. I hate to see her caged up, but I can't have her peeing on my carpets.  People just don't realize how unhealthy it is to feed just dry food to their pets, especially a cat.

For several days I helped Jay do a job at a man's house down by the lake.  I supplied the transportation, tools and materials, too.  Jay got in one of his ungrateful moods, wouldn't even reimburse me, so we are no longer speaking.  So my grass needs mowing, and my carpets need cleaning, and there is no one to help me.  Two gals down the street said they would come mow as they needed the money, but neither has shown up yet.

I took Ray's son to get his medications at TriCounty one morning, and then for his appointment the next morning.  As I am still driving the Puddle Jumper with no working AC, it was hot. 

On a happy note, Thursday, my lovely little gray foster cat was going to meet prospective adopters, so Chris, the neighbor foster mom, took us in her air conditioned car.  The Mom and daughter just loved him, and I sure hope that he is happy.  He is such a sweet cat.

I really didn't feel like cooking anything for the church potluck on "Preparation Friday".  Everything was piling up on me, and I even called an investor about selling the whole place, house and guest house, and getting away from here ASAP.  But I managed to fix some carrot, apple, raisin salad, and some ground turkey and spaghetti.

The Bible readings were Num. 8:1-12:16, Zech. 2:10-4:7, and Luke 17:11-18:14.  The Teaching was about "Verily, Verily, you will be born again".  Though 'new birth', and putting on the 'new man' is necessary.

The potluck was great, even though there were very few of us this Sabbath, for some reason.  We had an enjoyable meal and it took my mind off my woes, so it was a lovely day.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Forgotten Memorial Day. Feast of Pentecost. Vatican’s Recognition of Palestine. Update.

 

For "Scripture Sunday":

A Forgotten Memorial Day: The Feast of Pentecost

"Monday is Memorial Day in the U.S. But there is another memorial day this weekend that commemorates one of the most momentous days in all of history.

A Forgotten Memorial Day: The Feast of PentecostOn Monday, May 25, most schools, federal offices and some businesses in the United States will be closed to observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a U.S. holiday remembering the Americans who died in all the wars fought throughout American history—perhaps 660,000 people.

But this coming weekend should mean more to us than just a three-day weekend of picnics and parades. In fact, this particular weekend is actually special for another reason. This Sunday, May 24, is a day even more important than Memorial Day—it is the biblical Feast of Pentecost (or Feast of Weeks).

The unique feast of counting

In Leviticus 23 God gave Israel a list of special observances that He declared “the feasts of the LORD” (verse 2). These festivals were to be observed by God’s people as “holy convocations” (verse 2). Israel was to assemble together on these days to worship and learn.

The third festival in this list was unique. Instead of having a fixed date, the date of its observance was based on counting: “You shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath [during the Days of Unleavened Bread], from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (verses 15-16). In fact, the name Pentecost is simply the Greek term for “fiftieth.”

This year, the counting began on April 5. Counting 50 days forward brings us to this Sunday, May 24." 

More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/a-forgotten-memorial-day-the-feast-of-pentecost/

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Pentecost: God Gives the Holy Spirit

"Pentecost marked the giving of the Holy Spirit and the founding of the Church. What does this harvest festival show about God’s plan of salvation?

Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, is one of the harvest festivals that represent the plan of salvation.

Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, is one of the harvest festivals that represent the plan of salvation.

Jesus’ crucifixion on Passover was a pivotal event in history. And just over seven weeks later, another watershed event occurred on the Feast of Pentecost.

Pentecost of promise

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4; for more about the miracle of speaking in tongues, see the article “What Is Speaking in Tongues?”).

During His ministry, Jesus Christ had told His disciples about the power of His Holy Spirit that they would need and would receive. By faithfully obeying God’s command to gather on His feasts, they were ready to receive this miracle.

God used the accompanying miracles to draw a large crowd to hear Peter preach a powerful sermon:

“‘Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. …’

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” "(Acts 2:36-38, 41).

More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/pentecost/

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What Will the Vatican’s Recognition of Palestine Mean?

The pope’s recognition of a Palestinian state was denounced by Israel, but what will its impact in Europe and the Mideast be? How will peace really come?

popecover1.jpg (2000×1334)

The Vatican signed a treaty recognizing a Palestinian state Wednesday, May 13.

The National Catholic Reporter said, “The move comes four days before the canonization of two Palestinian nuns and solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

“Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel that the government is ‘disappointed by the decision. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.’

“Israel insists that for the Palestinians to achieve statehood, they must first end their armed struggle against Israel and recognize its right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people.”

The pope’s play

Journalist Julian Pecquet wrote May 13, “From the beginning of his papacy Pope Francis hasn’t hesitated to jump into the bloody politics of the Middle East, starting with his September 2013 appeal for a day of fasting and prayer to protest the planned US military strikes on Syria. Since then he has recognized the Armenian slaughter of 1915 as a genocide and repeatedly called for peace in the region, all in the name of defusing conflicts that threaten to tear apart a rich mosaic of cultures in which Christians once thrived.

“‘We cannot resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians, who have professed the name of Jesus there for [2,000] years,’ The New York Times quoted the pope as saying during his visit to Turkey last year.”

More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/what-will-the-vaticans-recognition-of-palestine-mean/

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Update:

Monday, Jay and I borrowed his mother's truck and got the 4x4's out of my van which is still in the shop.Jay said that he could make his mother's washer spin, so we didn't take it to the repair shop.  While we were out, I bought trip tags for the Puddle Jumper at the courthouse.  We returned the 4x4's to Lowes and bought chain link top rail. The swaged end will fit in the parts of the carport canopy.

Tuesday, BabyGirl's adopters couldn't wait until Thursday to get their new dog, so Chris and I took her to meet them at Petco.  All the forms were filled in and she is now theirs.  They have a lovely house and a salt-water pool.  They brought their other dog and he and BabyGirl got along great and even played a bit.  We are all so happy for her. 

Wednesday, the Puddle Jumper had it's new muffler installed in Conroe, and Jay and I did a bit of thrift shopping, too.  I bought another shredder, and he bought some shirts.  It was very strange to drive the little Puddle Jumper out on the road, and as it hasn't left the subdivision in 6 years it smoked when it was first driven over 20 miles an hour.  Once it got all the soot off the cylinders and valves, it ran like a top.

Thursday, before it started to rain again, we put two of the new long poles (top rail) in the car canopy.  We are raising it 18" so that it can accommodate my motor home.  Jay drilled 1-3/8" holes in the treated 2x4's that we had laid out, and pounded the poles through, about 2 ft. into the ground.  That canopy is anchored!

DSCF0279-001 Friday, we finished the carport. Here it is now.

Then, I went to lunch with my granddaughter at a very different place in Willis called YummyYummy.  They give you a bowl and you go through a buffet getting what you want.  I didn't really know what was going on, or I would have got some raw broccoli, cabbage, and cod, etc.  At the end of the buffet they take your bowl away from you and put the contents on a big grill.  You have a choice of different noodles and rice.  They give you a number and then your cooked food is brought to you. It was good, and enough to bring some home.

Over the weekend, Jay couldn't make his mother's washer spin any more, so we spun their washed clothes here.  I see a trip to the repair shop in the future after all.

Then we heard about the dam being weak at Lewis Creek Reservoir.  It will really affect me if it breaks, as I am at the highest place around and will get inundated with people!!  I have already been told by many "If we have to leave, we are coming to your place!!"  One RVer just left, she wanted to see where she could park her 42" motor home on my side lot!! The Corps of Engineers and Entergy are doing all they can to stop the dam from breaking. The reservoir was built to cool Entergy's power plant. Jay and his mother's houses will be in jeopardy as they are down by Lake Conroe.

Saturday, I drove the Puddle Jumper to church.  The readings were suitable for this Pentecost time.  Exo. 1:1- 4:20, Hosea 2:1-20 and 1 Cor. 12:12-31.  The Teaching was about "Emptiness and Fullness", and how everything is a choice and vanity is emptiness.  Psa.39:11, 62:9, Eccl. 2:2 "All is vanity". Then many verses which say how joyous it is to be filled.

The potluck was great, as usual.  Lots of fellowship and friendship.  One couple are full timers (live fulltime in their RV) and they are headed for Oregon.  We will miss them until they return to Thousand Trails Conroe next year. Some were staying for the evening Pentecost service. Some left and returned.  As we share the buildings with a Baptist church, we cannot use it on Sundays. 

Pentecost, like all the Holy Days, begins at sunset, so we had a small service after dusk.  I don't drive after dark so a church member who lives just past my house took me back at 7.30 for the evening service.  We had another great meal after the service and we didn't leave until after 10.00 pm. A really full and happy day.