GOD AROUND THE HOUSE

                                          So here we go! I have had an idea for a daily devotional that has haunted me for a long time.

                                  My quest is to write about the daily simple things right in front of me. I think God is always with us.

                                  Most of the time we miss him because we are looking for him in the big stuff. We fail to see him right                                              smack in front of us each and every day. I want to see if I can adjust the lens of your heart so you can                                       see and spot him in your world.


                                              We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded 

                                               with him. He walks everywhere incognito.                           C.S. Lewis 


































LATEST ENTRY

                                Several years ago, I was on the rider mowing our yard. Behind our house, and down the hill is a large

                                 cross shaped flower bed. As I was mowing, I looked down the hill to see something that 

                                 looked like a rock. I thought perhaps the wind had blown a sack or a piece of cardboard 

                                 down the hill. I came around the house a minute later and noticed the rock had moved.

                                 I stopped mowing to find it was a large snapping turtle crossing our yard.


                                A few days later I shared this story with a patient. He explained that this is very common 

                                in the spring and this was a male moving from one pond to another in search of romance.

                                About a week ago, I saw a much larger snapper in about the same place headed the same direction.

                                We had put up a section of fence last year and this guy guessing to be 25 pounds or so

                                could not get thru the woven wire fence and had his left front leg and claw up on the wires.

                                He was very mad at me and snapped aggressively as I picked him up by the tail and took him up 

                                the hill and put him on the other side by the red pipe gate.


                                 As I approached him, I tried to get behind him to grab his tail. I grabbed at it, and he quickly tucked up                                      under his shell. Each time he spun around and kept me from my goal. I took a small old orange boat oar                                      and flipped him over on his back. He panicked and forgot all about his tail. I easily picked him after I had                                 turned him and his world upside down. he was not happy with me even though I had to do this to help 

                               him.


                               I have been having terrible pain in my right hip and leg. I have not used a cane in public even though I                                         probably should. I cannot walk fast or very far.  I once was fleet of foot but now move about at a turtles                                      pace. I need to sit quite often, and it help with the searing pain. I had the boat oar with me because                                             on bad days I use it like a cane. It helps greatly with the uneven ground.


                                I cannot do many things I used to enjoy. It seems God has put fences up to block my way. I love God and                                     trust him. Still my situation has caused me to snap at others even when they were trying to help me.

                                God has turned my world upside down. I don't know why but I do know this is temporary. He is moving

                                 me from where I am to the place that is best for me. My prayer for you my friend is that this tale                                                  moves you.


                                                          I learn as much from a turtle as from a religious text.

                                                                                                                                             Dalai Lama


                                                           Anytime you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he had some help.

                                                                                                                                             Alex Haley


                                                             I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing 

                                                             with the glory that will be revealed in us.   Romans 8:18



ENTRY


                           Not too many stories ago, I shared the fact that I do not like to play games. I had played 

                           a few over the years. I do so to be with my family but for the most part I feel it is a waste of time.

                           Not long ago out of boredom I clicked on an ad for a free game on my computer. I blush to admit 

                           that I have played way too many times over the last few months.


                           I tell you one thing and now I change my mind and tell you the opposite. If I continue 

                           to do this, perhaps a career in politics is a possibility.


                           The goal of this game is to shoot small marbles and try to hit the same color and score 

                           points along the way. When I first started I did good to get 1,000 points. This happened over 

                           and over and then I started to learn a few tricks . I think my best score recently of 153,000 

                          even broke my previous high of 135,000. I never thought I would ever be able to beat that score.


                          Even as I play, I am trying to figure out why it appeals to me. I have made many mistakes

                          but I now use those to my advantage. I can now see potential shots that were not an option before.

                           It is because I have learned to bounce the marble off the wall to hit a target not possible with 

                            a straight on shot.


                          One of the biggest reasons for my high scores is that I learned to see what color marble is next.

                          This knowledge will cause me to choose a shot that will not shoot me in the foot on my next attempt.

                           I have made successful shots that kept me from scoring because I blocked my own way.


                           I feel that the game rises to your level of play. Once it senses this is not your first rodeo

                           it makes you way difficult from the get-go. I think the fact that this game thinks is what I like 

                            most about it. I think this in much the case as we deal with demonic spirits . As we  try to 

                            witness for Christ , hell will assign bigger , better , and stronger demons to  discourage us 

                            and curb our efforts. new levels , new devils.


                           If I read a book , I always hope to glean knowledge from it to help succeed or to make  me a better 

                           husband, dad, brother, friend  or boss.  


                           I feel this has helped me be a better decision maker. It has taught me to sit back and look around 

                           to comprehend   a good shot is not as rewarding as a great shot. Sometimes I need to pass up a good

                           shot in order to set up a great shot a few moves later. Boxing is like this, so is the case with life.


                            


                            I feel I could write an entire book on how this game mirrors life. One thing this game does that 

                            life does not, it lets me see what is next.  Life does not let us see the next marble. We all could make a 

                            a lot of money in the stock market if we knew what was coming next.  I think it is better not to know. 

                            Know why? God has decided not to let us see what is up ahead and he knows what is best. I 

                          think we might lose our marbles because we would live in dread and fear long before our day of trouble                                      arrives.


                           Some days it all comes together, other days not the case. Sometimes I know the end is near. 

                           The shots get tougher and tougher.  Then I do not have any moves left . There are no options.

                          I know my next move will be my last one.


                           I love to read the Bible. Time and time again God steps in does something that defies reason and logic. 

                           He opens seas and ways when there seemed to be no way out .  Yes, he does move in mysterious ways.

                           We should trust him with all our moves because he can see what is coming round the bend. I think you

                           pick your socks without prayer . I think you should bend your knees and ask for help from

                           the one who can see around the bend. When the situation seems hopeless, better move out of the way 

                           he will move on your behalf. I think he is as drawn to the word impossible as I am to this game!


                                                A finite game is played with the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the

                                                purpose of continuous play.                                       James P. Carse



                                                Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.

                                                                                                                                             William A. Ward



                                                The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be 

                                                 does not wait to be done by perfect men.              George Eliot


                                                  Always dream and shoot higher than you know what you can do. Don't bother 

                                                  just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better 

                                                  than yourself.                                                            William Faulkner 



 ENTRY

                                     I enjoy the upkeep of having a nice and neat yard. My wife is on our mower at this 

                                   very moment. it is a little bit on the chilly side. She came in the house to get a warmer 

                                   coat.  It takes about 3 plus hours to do our entire yard. She had on her earphones 

                                   and I wondered what station she is listening to today.


                                   Tomorrow when she comes up the hill after work, she will look around the yard and 

                                   see the fruit of her labor. It will please her to know she played a part in keep our little

                                   neck of the woods looking tight and bright.


                                  Our boys are grown and have places of their own now. This chore that was passed down

                                  to our sons has returned. We both enjoy mowing and often tag team as we did last week


                                   I am not anal about our yard but still stive to keep it" looking tall "as my dad used to 

                                   say. A few years ago, I was trying to solve a strange mystery behind our house. I blush because 

                                  it took me way too long. there was a small patch where the grass kept dying. One day I was 

                                  looking down from our deck. I realized one of our guys could urinate from the back deck and

                                  still be able to see and hear the tv without going down the hall to the bathroom. Who said 

                                  that males cannot multitask? 


                                   His mixture of byproducts did a better number on the grass than anything sold at the 

                                   local hardware store. If we could brand and bottle it  , I guess we could call it number one.

                                   At first, all 3 of my boys were suspects. I thought hard as I tried to solve this mystery.

                                   Who shot JFK? Now this. I didn't have a lot to go on. I knew whoever it was going 

                                   on my lawn was a Methodist because we all know they believe in sprinkling.


                                   Years ago , i put fertilizer on our yard at another house. I had to refill the small wagon several times .                                           As I refilled the Revoir, I was not aware fertilizer pellets were leaking on the ground. A few weeks

                                   later the brown patches all over our yard stood out like a sore thumb. I was surprised that 

                                   what would help the grass thrive and grow did the opposite when put on too heavily.


                                  I think of this lesson and example each and every time I mow. I also think of this as I teach 

                                  with writing or speaking. One has to be careful because if we teach too hot and heavy

                                  it can cause people to be turned off and maybe even cause burnout if we are not careful.


                                                           Always drink upstream from the herd.

                                                                                                                                    Will Rogers


                                                           I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had

                                                           an olive in it.                                               Rodney Dangerfield


                                                          We don't believe in mowing the lawn, we do it to avoid unnecessary

                                                           engagement with the neighbors.           Miranda Judy




 ENTRY

                               There is great excitement all across our country today. Today's date is 4/8/2024. 

                                and it is a Monday morning. It is a click before 9:00 A.M.. In about 4 hours the total eclipse

                                will start. It will last about 4 hours with totality predicted for our area around 3:O4 pm.

                                 It will cross our nation and Indiana will best places on the planet to view this. People

                                have traveled great distances to see this phenomenal and rare site.


                               We have known about this for some time. I was thinking about this early this morning.

                               Can you imagine years ago working in the field to see the sunlight disappear. I would think

                               this would cause a great deal of concern and panic.


                               We normally would be in the saddle today. I closed the office so my staff could be home with

                                their families to see this once in a lifetime event. My wife Kim went down the drive this morning.

                                I am tempted to drive to her place of employment but do not plan to do so. I will be at home today.

                                Some articles have suggested this may cause animals to panic and act very strange. I have thought I                                          should put our horses up in the barn but decided against it. I am glad to be home to keep an eye on 

                              them as well.


                               I was thinking about when Jesus was being crucified. God's word tells us the sky became dark 

                               and the sun ceased to shine for 3 hours. When Jesus died there was an earthquake, rocks were split

                              apart and people who were dead came alive and walked around. I was not there but I can

                              imagine there was great fear all across the land. They did not have news channels predicting all of 

                              these things.  With all our technology, so called smarts and modern day know how this would scare

                              us all today if these things would occur after this afternoon.


                              I am ready for the eclipse. I am also ready if Jesus should return today or even tomorrow.  So many people                                have obtained glasses to watch this event today. When we read the Bible, we get to see the world events                                    through the lens of Scripture. It allows us to see what has happened, what is occurring and what is to                                         come.


                               So many people are in living in darkness and yet are unaware of what is ahead. Just as these glasses

                              protect our eyes, his blood covers our sins and protects us from the path of his wrath that is forthcoming. 

                              on a day known only to God himself.


                                                     When we have God in clear focus, his powerful presence eclipses 

                                                     our fear.                                                   Charles R. Swindoll



                                                      Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the son will

                                                       not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.                John 3:36



                                                                    

                                                      Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of the light 

                                                      because their deeds were evil.                                             John 3:19

                           



 ENTRY

                               I am as rule a person who does not like to play games. I have and most likely

                               will give in and play cards or a board game at a party or family function. To be honest

                                I do not really care for them, and I am not really sure why. 


                                I do not like to waste time and I think that is how I envision these frolics. I am very much 

                                goal focused perhaps almost to a fault.  I love to read but care very little for fiction. 

                                I think it is mainly an escape and has little to offer and is just a waste of time.


                                 As I have gotten older, the years have changed my perspective of many things. I catch 

                                myself watching silly reruns of shows many that I have watched before. I love to watch

                                funny and comedy shows before bedtime. It helps me unwind and helps me 

                                escape the pressures and complexities of life that will be waiting for me in the morning.


                                One of these is the sitcom FRASIER.  I chuckle at the situations Frasier and his younger brother Niles

                                get into.  They are board certified Psychiatrists. They are supposed to be highly trained medical doctors

                                who we watch with amusement struggle with their own problems and weaknesses.


                                 Does it make me feel better to see they have problems as well? I don't think that is it.

                                 I think it appeals to me at a far deeper level. We all have funk and junk in our trunks

                                 and we all struggle with the curveball's life throws our way daily.

                                 I know this is tv and of course fiction. I take my hat off to the brilliant writers

                                 who have hidden many deep truths behind the dialogue and laughter.


                                 Sometimes I share these lines with my staff or patients. As I do so I wonder if this is

                                 the true reason behind why I am sitting on mine. Am I trying to find a lesson or treasure

                                 in this farraginous pattern? As a favor to me, please look up that big word. If you 

                                 watched Frasier you wouldn't have too. ;


                                Truth be told, I am anxious as I write this very entry. I wish I could call into the 

                                fictious radio station and ask the renowned and gifted doctor for advice. He always greets

                                those who call in with his signature line, "I am listening".


                                I think the problem I am having is spiritual. I think the one you're are dealing with is as well.

                                I will go so far as to state that if we track back far enough all issues and problems

                                lead us back to the Garden of Eden.


                                I have been trying to think of someone who I could call.  Should I call a friend? should I call a Pastor?

                                 Should I call a close friend of mine who is a pastor? I do not have the number for Ghostbusters!


                                I am going to go upstairs and kneel beside my bed. It is where I go and what I do when I don't.

                                know what to do. I learned long ago God's number is 333. read the verse below to get the

                                connection my friend. How comforting it is to know God is real and he is there for us and 

                                is always listening.


                                                  Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things.

                                                   you do not know.                                                                                Jeremiah 33:3

                                                


                                                   It's no wonder he wins every time. He has never done anything in

                                                   his life but play games.                                                              Henry James


                                               

                               

 ENTRY

                                 Spring is upon us, and I like many are itching to get out in the yard and plant flowers

                                 and work in the landscaping. There is a bountiful crop of daffodils this year. We have

                                 several colors and varieties in the yard. The bright yellow is the most common but the 

                                 yellow ones with orange in the center are my favorites.


                                I am always on the lookout for them and bring my beautiful wife a clump quite often. 

                                I have several vases around the house but always have trouble finding them. I often

                                take them to my office and put them out front to be enjoyed by patients and my staff as well.

                                  I don't know if vase less a correct term but I find myself in this state  often because I cannot

                                 remember to bring them home.

                                          


                                Because of their high visibility, patients often ask about them. Many conversations 

                                 stem from people who also ask about them. Many times, I will share with them a story I hold near

                                 and dear to my heart.


                                 When my mom was alive, we always went down to her house on Easter Sunday. We went to a Sunrise

                                 Service and later enjoyed a big breakfast. Our tradition was for my brother, Steve, and I to load each

                                  of our three boys and drive to a large field full of what we still call Easter flowers. This was a homeplace                                   to a country family years and only small portion of the old house remained. 


                                   Our goal was to surprise their Nana and their mommies with flowers. They always acted surprised and 

                                    these little boys were on a mission. I always served as driver and camera man and snapped many

                                   action shots. One of these treasures was of our youngest son, Jarah. I would guess him to be about five 

                                      years old at that time. All the other boys picked with one hand and held the flowers in the other.       


                                    The picture I treasure is of Jarah in mid step. Both of his hands are empty but both pockets

                                    are crammed full of flowers. You can see both beautiful yellow blooms  as well as green stems!

                                    My heart swells every time I think of this, and I will never need a DNA test on this one.

                                    He indeed and for sure is my son. 

                                    

                                                           Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, the less the artist does, 

                                                           the better.                                                                 Andre Gide


                                                           Flowers may beckon toward us, but they speak toward heaven 

                                                           and God.                                                                  Henry Ward Beecher




 ENTRY

                                  More times than not, if you would enter my office you would see my glasses  sitting on my desk. I sat                                             them down on my desk  several minutes ago while I made a call. I was looking for something to write                                          about this morning . I was looking for a subject . After the call, I had not noticed the computer was a                                             little blurry. I rubbed my eyes. This did not help. I could clearly tell there was a problem.I looked around                                      and then saw my glasses sitting   there on the desk  looking back at me.


                                  I first started using reading glasses in my mid to late forties as most do. Years ago , I was sitting in my                                         chair our  as youngest son, Jarah , entered the room. He asked what I was doing. I told him I was rea                                              reading  my   Bible and  doing my morning devotionals like I always do. He wanted to know why I was                                        wearing glasses.  I  explained how the muscles in the eye weaken with age and I was not a young man                                        anymore. He  then   said, " But you are any eye doctor! You studied against it."


                                  I asked him if he thought doctors get  sick or if he thought dentist get cavities? He said no to both 

                                  questions. I chuckle and if his line of thinking is correct, we should all go to school to 

                                  be funeral directors!


                                   I love life's little musings. I always think about the truths often deep hidden within 

                                  humerous situations. As my young son went on his way, I thought about our conversation. My 

                                  young son may just be on to something.

                                 

                                  Death and decay are one the way. Even if we try to not thinking  about caskets and tombstones,

                                  the mirror daily  testifies that time flies.It reminds all of  us everday that we are in decay. God has given                                     us the  Bible .  It helps us to make good decisions . It tells us death is not to be feared but expected .

                                   We all will die but when we  must study against it. The Bible tells us what goes down after we die is                                              clearly up to us!

                                  


                                  Just as my glasses help me to see, God's word helps us to see why we are here and what went wrong long                                      before we arrived. It tells that we could never pay the cost and we are lost. People often do this and do                                    this to gain favor with God . They do not realize it has been done for them .

                                   

                                  If they just accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they will forever with Him. If they do not, they will die                                    in their sins. I know Jesus was a carpenter but he might have been the worlds first eye doctor .He lays                                         out the only   two  choices we have  and lets us choose. You can live forever with Jesus or die in you sins.

                                  I have made my choice  and because of that I rejoice .  Now I ask you, 'which is better, one or two? "


                                  We have an ad that runs ever month in a local paper with our ad as we sponser a path listing the times 

                                  of all local church times and locations. It has always had our logo as this timely advice:


                                        Glasses and Bibles should be worn.


                                        As for me and my house,we will serve the Lord.

                                                                                                                                 Joshua 24:15


                                        Experience is what you get while you were looking for something else.

                                                                                                                                   Federico Fellini


                                                                                                                        


 ENTRY

                                  For the most part, we have had a gentle winter this year. A few days ago we had 

                                  a bright sunny day with an afternoon temp near 70 degrees. The sun felt great 

                                  and I had to keep looking at the calendar to make sure it was still Febuary. 


                                  About a month ago my wife  carved a few days and headed south for about 4 days.

                                  The weather back home was supposed to be gray dark and rainy during our break.

                                   Itseemed I must have hooked that same weather on my bumper because it was 

                                  cold nasty and rainy in Florida as well. I would estimate we saw the sun for about 35 minutes

                                  total in our four day stay.


                                  I must admit , I am not a fan of winter . I loved it in my youth because we would be off school

                                  and the days were spent on the rolling hills sled riding. Those days are long gone and 

                                  now have to make the call if our office will be open or closed that day. I also have to make

                                  sure our office lot has been cleaned and cleared of snow and ice to make it safe for 

                                   staff as well as patients.  Even if we are off , I still need to take the tractor and blade and 

                                   clean the long and windinG lane up a  hill to our home.


                                   When I think of winter I envision  the long boring rainy cold afternoons . They seem to linger and 

                                    last forever.  I must admit a sunny day with snow on the ground is indeed stunning. Then 

                                    a cardinal lands in a bush outside my office and I watch it as I sip my coffee. This in its own 

                                   way can rival anything the sea can offer.


                                   I know our thoughts and emotions should not be linked to the weather but I think they are.

                                   I use the weather on many occasions as a ice breaker as I engage conversation with 

                                   patients. Most of them feel the same way and better when the sun is out and bright.


                                   I think it has always been this way and I can perhaps back this up with scripture. There

                                   is a verse that says it is pleasing for the eyes to see the sun. It was written thousands 

                                   of years before Jesus was born. 


                                   I remember a story I read years ago about a doctor who climbed Mt. Everest. He noticed

                                   that the climbers spirits and moods was much better when the sky was clear and they could see the 

                                   summit. On days when the weather was bad they seemed to feel bad.


                                  On gloomy and doomy days I try to see through my moods and scold myself . Emotions

                                  do not have brains and I should not allow them to lead the way on any given day. I know the

                                  sun is still up there . I just cannot see it . I need to focus my thoughts  things above .Not the sun 

                                  mind you , but on God and heaven. I need to rise above my moods and focus on

                                   what life is about and what matters most.


                                  I try to tell a funny or story to lighten the mood or conversations. By doing this a chuckle  

                                 from them brightens their day and in turn mine . I don't think the sun goes on vacation but maybe 

                                 sometimes it needs a day  or two away from us . While it rests, its up to the rest of us to see if we can 

                                  do our best shed a little light in our little corner of the world.

                                    

                                    Light is sweet and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. 

                                                                                                                                        Ecclesiastes 11:7


                                    We are cups , constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is ,knowing how to tip 

                                    ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.                

                                                                                                                                        Ray Bradbury



ENTRY 

                                  If you would enter our home through the sunroom, you would more times than not see a 

                                  clear plastic pithcher siting on the floor. Sometimes  I place it on the floor to remind me to 

                                  water the plants in the sunroom. Often as I use it to transport water to the thirsty plants, I 

                                  think about another story about Jesus . There a small little hidden tidbit that I recently

                                  uncovered as I read the story yet another time.


                                   Jesus sends some of his men on ahead to find a certain place. Jesus tells them to look 

                                   for a man carrying a pitcher. To us that seems not big deal but in those days that was 

                                   unheard of. the men hearing this must have rolled their eyes. This was something only 

                                   women would do. The most likely had never seen this before. 


                                   Regardless, off they went. He gave them another clue saying he would be walking 

                                   towards them.  the pupose of this mission was to find a place where Jesus could

                                   celebrate the passover meal. there most likely would be much work to get this room 

                                   up and ready.  Soon they saw the man with the pitcher in hand. they were told to follow 

                                   to his home and he had an upper room and that is where this will all take place. He 

                                   had also told them this upper room had already been set  up and was ready. I do not name these 

                                   entries but if I did, I would call this one THE SET UP.


                                   I think at times all of us have done things not really understanding why. Something

                                   in our heart or mind nudges us to do so. Perhaps we buy a book and then smile when days

                                   or weeks later we know just who it is for and give it to them. 


                                    Maybe God has given you a task or a vision and you are  waiting and nothing seems

                                    to be happening . You feel  ready and  maybe you are. Could it be that the other people 

                                    that will play a part and the other things you will need are not yet in place?


                                    I write these small entries often when feeling a nudge in my heart to do so. Sometimes the

                                    timing or topic does not seem to make sense to me.  I  have learned by walking with Him and trusting                                           Him  even more the years, it doesn't have too . Maybe my words even these words

                                    will be in place and ready for the day you are in need of them.


                                                    The disciples left, and found things just as Jesus had told them.

                                                                                                                                                      Mark 14:16


                                                     The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.

                                                                                                                                                       Benjamin Franklin

                                                                                                 


 ENTRY

                                As you enter our house from the garage, you enter through our sun room. It is filled with 

                                a variety of plants .The room has many windows and allows in a lot of sun. Because of the 

                                many windows it gets really warm in the summer. Because of the same it is a little cooler in there 

                                on cold winter days. Even though the sun is shining , it will be cool in there because it is 5 degrees 

                                right now with an expected high today of 7! Regardless of the weather there is something really cool                                          in and about that room each and every day.


                                My wife and one of her friends drew a mural on the wall . It is a Bible scene about the woman

                                woman who meets Jesus at a well in the heat of the day.  In the corner of our sunroom is a 

                                water fountain. I love to turn  it on and just sit quietly and listen. I think there is something almost                                               spiritual about the sound of water.


                                In the mural , Jesus is sitting on the edge of the well. We see her off in the distance to tell her 

                                friends and family about her encounter. He waterpot has been left behind and is near the well.

                                The Bible tells us that many will come to believe in Jesus because of her testimony . 


                                I have preached this story before and took one of our larege water pots from our kitchen and 

                                used them without my wife's knowledge and or permisson. It is a miracle that I brought them

                                home without damage. 


                               What I love perhaps most about this wonderful story is that she was broken. She came in the middle

                               of the day in the heat rather than probably to endure the gossip of the other women. She had 

                               tried to quench her thirst with men.. many men.  Women were outcasts in those days and she was an

                               outcasts among outcasts.


                               It was not cool to talk to women back in those days. Even the disciples were certainly surprised 

                               to find Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman of no doubt  ill repute. I cannot do this wonderful story here                                   justice  so I not only invite but ask that you read John chapter 4 for yourself.


                              I think the girls did a great job with this painting. I feel they perhaps captured one of the most important                                 aspects of this story. His words changed her life and her direction. She not only forgot her waterpot

                             but her  past history . I have found it is that way even to this very day .  I have seen many broken lives                                          turned around and repaired after an encounter with Jesus. If they listen to his words and heed 

                             them as well, things usually turn out well for them.... in fact very well!


                             There is a small jewel hidden at the end of this story. It tells us that the people tell 

                             the woman they came to believe in Christ not because of her words but his. May i point out

                             something most of us may have missed? Her words  caused them to want to listen to him. I type                                                     these very words  with the hope of that same type of influence .


                              

                              Even though you are a person of faith who has acquired some degree of biblical litercy and

                              theological knowledge, there's one thing you can be sure of - God will confuse you.

                                                                                                                                                        Paul Tripp


                              .. and His voice was like the sound of many waters.                  Revelation 1:15


 ENTRY


                                     Last week I spent most of the day taking down Christmas  our outside decorations . It seemed to me

                              like I had just put them up. It aso seemed like a few days went by instad off an entire year. The wisdom

                              of those who told us this would happen is unfolding right before our eyes .

 

                              I grew up in a small little town. There were two houses that lrft theirlights up all year round. As a kid,

                              I thought that was the laziest thing I had ever seen. Now that I am 65 I am starting to look at this a little                                  differently. I imagine the old guy watching a college football game and it is halftime. He steps out

                              on the porch and steps over a sleeping dog or two and bends down and plugs in his lights. He is

                              back in his recliner 5 minutes later and is ready for Christmas. It is intrueging to me how we look at things

                              years later.


                              The weatherman has been talking about some cold and brutal conditions in a few days. Even though

                              I pack up all the Christmas lights , I leave the many and long dark green extenion cords out . They 

                             are used to run down to the horse water tanks. We have heaters that float in the tank to prevent

                             freezing as temp soon will drop.


                            I have on many occassions  had to go out in the dark cold nights to use a sledge to bust and break

                            the ice on our ponds. If the horses to not drink then and soon, it does not take long to freeze back up.

                            Often and several times down through years, I find to my surprise the chore was already completed.

                            The horses have taken things intotheir own hands or hooves if you will.  They have used their rock hard                                   hooves to bust open the ice around the edges to allow access to clean and cool water. I stand there in the                                   dark marveling again at God and how he gives them the wisdom and the tools needed to survive in this type                            of weather.


                          He has our best in mind as well and has given us the Bible to help us in this world. Do not get me wrong

                          life is still very difficult with Jesus . He never told us it would be. Still as I look up at the stars and in                                             childlike wonder. I cannot fathom how they make it and can take it in this world without Him. Nothing

                          is too hard for God. He can even make water flow out of a rock.


                          Sometimes it takes years to get through to some in regard to faith. I have learned to keep chipping away.

                           I do so with the hope that even I could play a part and make a difference in anothers life. Just this thought                               warms my heart on a cold winters day and keeps my hope and faith afloat. 


                           The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

                                                                                                                                                                      Proverbs 12:10


                            He will hew to the line of right, let the chips fly where they may.

                                                                                                                                                       Roscoe Conkling

                         

                            





                              

                              


LATEST ENTRY

                            I try my best to be positive and upbeat. There are many days I go to the whip and prod my mind

                            towards God. I had one of those days this past week. I did my usual routine of prayer and Bible study

                            but I had trouble focusing not only on God but on everything in general. My spirit was flat and doom

                            and gloom seemed to be upon me rather than a garment of praise. I was having a serious pity party

                            and even though I know better, I could not seem to shake it off.


                            At times like this I even recite Scriptures out loud to remind myself to focus on God promises

                            rather than my problems. One of my old favorites

                            is this:


                                    Perfect peace has he whose mind is stayed on thee.

                                                                                                                                    Isaiah 26:3


                           Later in the morning and when most needed God came through for me and I received 

                          what is called a God Wink. I was upstairs and earlier that morning I had planted some pink flowers 

                          in a large flower box on the front of our home.


                          I had just stepped out of the shower and was drying off. I thought I saw movement right outside the window.

                          I very slowly walked up to the window and saw a dove inspecting my work. I stood motionless

                          and looked at it and studied the great details of its wings and feathers tucked back behind her.

                          It turned its head and I saw its black eye surrounded by a ring of blue iridescent color. It blinked

                          several times and I felt a peace come over me.  The spirit of doom and gloom left me the moment 

                          she flew away.


                          When Jesus came up after the water after being baptized, the Holy Spirt descended upon him in the 

                          shape and form of a dove. These creatures are very special to me, and my heart always perks up when I 

                          hear the special sound of a Mourning Dove. I thanked him because it was a thrill and a treat to see one 

                          that close. I felt the presence of God then as I do even now to share this with you on Pentecost Sunday.

                                        

                                         He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.

                                                                                                                                                                 Psalm91:4


                                           





















         




                             












                       

                             







                           

 ENTRY

                               When I am not working, my style of dress is pretty boring and quite predictable. Even since

                               my college day, jeans ,flannel shirt with rolled up sleeves and boots. 


                               I picked up one of my best friends yesterday morning and he drove about 40 miles

                               to the closest Cracker Barrell for breakfast. We have did this many time over the years

                               and it was great to hang out with him and I already look forward to our next jaunt.


                               We met up on a Saturday morning and I was running a little behind. I came out of the gate slowly

                               and rushed around trying to get dressed and out the door. I opened my hunting sock drawer

                               to get a pair of socks to wear under my boots. I grabbed the first two I saw . They were completly

                              different in both color and thickness. I knew that if I looked I would find another pair that was just

                              like the two I put on.


                              I am a little surprised at my lttle quirk in regard to this. I am very picky about some things

                             and for the most part a fan of balance and symetry.  It doesnt matter to me and in a weird way , I prefer                                     having socks that do not match. I have done this so long it doesn't feel right to me when they are alike.


                           Years ago, we went up to Louisville for a huge boat expo. They had fishing boats, ski boats, and cabin

                           cruisers so large they would qualify as small yachts. One even had a place for aa chopper to land on the rear                               of the giant boat!I am not sure how many vessels we boarded that afternoon. To do so , you had to put a                                       slipper over your shoes or just take off your shows before  touring the boat.


                          The little slip ons were too little for my big boots. I unlaced my boots and just carried them from boat  

                          to boat . it was very crowded and as we walked everyone stared at my two mismatched hunting socks.

                          I could not care less but my wife's face was a shade of red that makes one think of October leaves.

                          I think I enjoyed looking at her more than the big boats.

                           

                          The salesman that were aboard these high  dollar vessels also looked down at my feet with both amusement                              and perhaps disgust. The did not turn red as  the leaves but they decided to leave me alone. I                                                             guess they decided I could not afford a high end vessel if I  could not  afford matching socks. This

                           worked out quite well for me . I saw a few smirks and sneers out of the corner of my eye . This odd look                                        blessed my socks off , and I walked through them  among them without being bothered. 


                          This is a lesson and a reminder for all of us. Maybe sometimes we are too quick to judge and look

                          down  on those who do not live up to and match our own expectations.


                           It is New Years Eve. I do not mean to brag but I have enough money to last me the rest of this year.

                            We are about to cross over the threshold  and through a new door. It is my prayer that God will bless

                           your socks off in 2024!


                             If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we'd all be be millionaires.

                                                                                                                                            Abigail Van Buren


                            Only God is in a position to look down on anyone.                 Sarah Brown


                            You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.

                                                                                                                                                                            James D. Miles





 ENTRY

                            A few years ago, I found something on ebay that caught my eye. It is just a few feet away from me

                             and it sparkles and shines. It is an aluminum vintage Christmas tree. It has a color wheel that sits 

                             on the floor and the wheel turns and as it does projects  four different  colors on the tree.  


                           Many times I turn off all the lights and sit quietly in my office and stare at the tree. As I do it 

                           takes me back  to a time and place where life was a lot simplier.. my childhood. My family never 

                           owned one of these . The small white  church where I grew up had a small one.  Each year, it was placed on a                                small table off to the left side in the very front. 


                           I would sit there and watch as the tree changed color .  I am not sure I paid any attention to the preachers                                   words as  I stated  at the tree .As it turns out, I think the words I heard influenced me more than I realized at                               the time. a young boy, that little church had a big impact on me and my life. My faith was growing

                           and little did I know but in a few years I would need it more than ever. I went off to college and met 

                           very smart people who thought it was stupid to believe in Jesus.


                          I remember one particular Christmas when  I was struggling at many diffent levels. I had just came home

                          and was very tired after a long drive. My mom wanted me to go see a play put on by the kids . 

                          I agreed to go but my heart was not in it at all.  When I got there it seems they were needing 

                          someone to be God's voice in this little play. They talked me into it but I did not feel qualified or worthy.

                          

                          I agreed to do so and stood out of sight behind a white curtain. When I  spoke for God I talked slowly and                                   clearly holding an empty paper towell holder to my lips. I do not remember my lines or the verses I uttered. I                              do remember the wonderful feeling I had as I had in my heart for being allowed and choosen to do that.

                       The gal that asked me to do that did so on a whim but I feel it was from Him. She had no idea what that 

                        that meant to me and it warmed my heart and lit a fire that had almost went out.


                       I still get that feeling when I am asked to  give a talk or participate in a church service. I get

                       great satisfaction and that wonderful feeling of peace and refreshment  even as I type these very words .   I do                             so with the hope my efforts please him. I live with the hope  that perhaps they will be found on a day when                                another's light is    flickering and about to go out. I am both honored and shocked God would use me to play a                           part. He knows my heart and my true colors  better than anyone including me. Turns out as I read my 

                       my Bible , it seems he has used  to  flawed and blemished people to turn other's hearts around and back to him. 



                      The full measure of a man is not to be found in the man himself, but in the colors and textures

                      that come alive in others because of him.                                     Albert Schweitzer


                       Whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and color of its birthplace.

                                                                                                                                          Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

                       

                       


 ENTRY

                            Christmas brings a plethora of thoughts  and feelings. I sit here at my computer and  think 

                            how different it is now from years ago. Two of our sons live close by and plan to drop by our 

                            house later today with their wives. Both are soon to be fathers, and it is very exciting to think 

                            we will soon be grandparents.


                            Our oldest son is in the military and lives in Japan. He will not make it home and this stings a bit. 

                            He has been in close to ten years and this is only the second Christmas he has not made it home.

                            We feel very blessed for the times and are very thankful for those. We try to focus on our many blessings

                            and try to think about all we have instead of what is missing. He has his orders and will be returning

                            to the states in early March. He will be in florida for about a month and we hope to go down and visit.

                            I look forward to the feel of the  warm sun on my face but even more to my son's strong hug and embrace.


                           I love to read and enjoy learning new words. Not long ago I stumbled across the word, atiptoe. After 

                           looking it up , I drew a little picture of a face looking over a fence at me and I can only see his eyes. 

                           This will help me remember its meaning. Atiptoe means to look forward to something with great excitement.

                            It is kinda of a word that almost makes sense . 


                            I imagine the little man I drew is standing on tip toes to see what is beyond.  I chuckle at my self and

                            because as I share my thoughts with you this very moment, I am doing just that. The presents are

                            still under the tree . I know nothing that my wife or son' presents  will give me as much pleasure as just                                           seeing them and being together. We will laugh and have fun and just like that it will be done. I know 

                            that sounds sad, but tell me if I am wrong . I will watch them go down the drive and will look forward to

                            the next visit. The upcoming florida trip  if God allows will march on and we will headed back home with a                                   brown  face and a blue heart.


                            Life is at times complex. The same family that had tears of joy picking up family at the airport a few days                                   ago  will soon  shed tears of sadness as the same loved ones depart. So I guess what I am trying to say

                           is we should try to again focus on today and what we have and what we have had. It is ok and perfectly

                           fine to look forward to the future but not so much that we miss the wonderful things that are right here 

                           right now.


                          I thank God for the gift of life. I thank him for sending his son, Jesus. Because of what he did for us we 

                          will be able to live with him forever. It is hard to imagine a place without hardship, tears, fears,

                          and good byes.  Do you hope you are going to heaven are are you sure? There are only two types of faith 

                          for those who do believe. There is hope so and know so. Give your heart to Jesus today. There is nothing you

                         could give to him that would please him more. Nothing you you have been given , own, or done can 

                         give you any more joy or satisfaction than his presence in your life. His spirit will help you weather the weary,                          dreary, and teary days all the while reminding you the best is yet to be and we can look forward to them

                         with atiptoe.


                        The same fence that shuts others out shuts you in.

                                                                                                                        Bill Copeland 



                        The moment after Christmas, every child thinks of his birthday.       

                                                                                                                        Stephen Uys


                        The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.

                                                                                                                         John Vance Cheney                             

                                          


 ENTRY

                            Christmas is just around the corner. People are out and about looking  for the perfect gift for loved ones 

                            and family.  The malls are still quite busy despite online shopping. Every evening I do my little routine and                                  take our red ATV down to get the mail before I go over to the horse barn to feed my friends. It seems each                                  year there are more and more magazines. They are there to remind me what I need and is lacking in my life.

                           I feel most of us are pretty good at that on our own and do not need any help in that regard. 

 

                           I saw a cartoon recently that had a medievil theme. It showed a large catapult pushed up close to a castle 

                           wall and the castle door was shut tight. The man in command told his men that it was Christmas 

                           and it was time to release the magazines  .It made me chuckle and think of it watch evening as I open our                                    mailbox.


                            Holidays, especially Christmas, makes me very  nostalgic. Even though the boys have grown and flown the                                   nest, this time of year brings many wonderful memories  to mind. My wife places pictures taken down                                           through the years and she puts them out around the large nook where we eat our meals. I look at  them                                          often and it feels good and yet  stings a little at the same time. There is not a parent out there that  does                                not exactly how these bittersweet  memories tease our very hearts.


                           Years ago ,I was walking out to do something in our garage. Christmas music was playing in the house.

                            Our middle son,Jace ,and our youngest ,Jarah ,were in the great room. They were laying on their stomachs                                    side by side both leafing through a Christmas catalog. The fire was on and it looked like a Hallmark                                                 commercial .  As they turned the pages, they both pointed to something they hoped Santa would bring                                        them. They were not aware of my presence and were excited about the presents... of a different kind

                              Christmas was just around the corner and hopes , desires, and expectations were high. I felt a sense of                                          peace come over me as watched them. 

                              As I did so, a bible verse came to mind :


                              How pleasant good and pleasant it is when brotherS live in unity.

                                                                                                                                          Psalm 133:1


                              After a few short moments, I came back in the house and heard a great commotion fronm the great room                                     that did not sound all that great. As I  came around the corner , they were fighting  and on top of the                                          magazine and several pages were ripped wrinkled and crinkled and a few pages were torn out.I separated                                      them and then learned that all had been well until they both pointed to the same toy. They both wanted the                               very same thing .  This amuses us because they fought as if there was only one of these on planet earth.

                             The peace in my home was over as they wrestled over such a silly little thing. 


                             I watch the news in that same room and see people  all over our country and the world doing the very 

                             same thing.It  is not amusing but scary.  We do not need to teach our children to be selfish. This sems to                                        come quite naturally. I really do not think we ever grow out of it. 


                             I have learned to been able to put my selfish side aside  and give forgiveness and grace to those who have                                   hurt me. I have not fully masterd this mind you but I am getting  better.  I have  a long way to go.

                             


                            This Christmas , I suggest a special gift for you. It may at first seem selfish but it is not ,I assure you. it is the                                 polar  opposite. This is something we do not get but is something we do recieve  when we give up the grudge                              or  chip on our shoulder from someone who has hurt you in the past. If  nothing or no one comes to mind, I                                     suggest you  pray for a better memory. Yup, we all have someone me included.


                            Give someone a break. Let it go! This will not come easy  . Your mind and your heart will wrestle  back and                                 forth as you try but still will not want to. Your heart wants to but your mind has it own list of offenses that it                            has kept and nicely cataloged for you .  Pray for them asking God's very best for them and those they love.

                            You will be floored by the sense of peace that comes over you ... it is not of this world.



                          The me-ism of our times has taken a serious toll on the family.

                                                                                                                  Charles Swindoll


                          My idea of Christmas whether old fashioned or modern , is very simple; loving others come to think

                          of it, why   do we have to wait to Christmas to do that.    Bob Hope


                                                   

                                                                                 


 ENTRY

                            I have been thinking about my dad .  I have been going through a rough patch

                            here of late and wish I could turn to him for advice. I often share some of the wisdom  my father passed

                            down to me  in the office . He has been gone a long time . His birthday was 2 days ago 

                            and if he was still here with us, he would have been 90 years old.


                            Oranges make me think of my dad. He would often tell me to peel my eyes when I was trying to see 

                            a deer or a rabbit in a thicket. I  guess that is my very  goal with this book is to try to teach the reader

                            how to spot God in the ordinary and everyday.


                            He loved to eat oranges and had one almost every single morning. He has his own medical theory

                            that you would never catch a cold if you had one daily. I would chuckle when Mom would catch heck if

                            we would run out. It could be 4 months later and dad would get a cold and he would blame it on Mom 

                             because he missed a day or two without an orange.


                             Christmas is just around  the corner and the malls are full and Amazon trucks and vans seem to be 

                             everywhere. We are trying to find the perfect  gift for loved ones. As I take this all in I remember a story my                                dad once shared with me about one special Christmas he had as a boy. 


                            My dad grew up without a dad. His father ran off and left my grandmother Hazel with 4 young chilren.

                            They were very poor and they struggled. She kept them all fed and clean but times were lean. I took the help                              of extended family but they made it. One Christmas, my dad's only gift was an orange. It was all his and 

                            he did not have to share it. Can you imagine how far a gift like that would go over now days? Orange you 

                            a little embarrassed ? I know , I am.


                            I blush beet red  as I type these words because we are the type of country that has been so blessed with                                         abundance .We aquire more and more  and put more and more on our plates  . Maybe we are morons. Could                                   it be that less is more? Should we are try hard to put less on our plates? Is this the' less on 'we  all cannot                                    seem to remember? Is that the secret not only about enjoying Christmas but life in general ?


                             I Love to listen to the wonderful Christmas songs on the radio. Between the songs are the ads that try to get                               us to add more. These ads appeal to our  greed and make us all confuse needs with wants. Without realizing                               it they just caused us to tune in to our own selfish and favorite station, WIFM. This acostic 

                             stands for :

                              Whats

                               In it

                               For

                               Me



                            We need to tune in to God's word and calibrate our hearts to hear and listen to his voice. Peel your eyes and                              look for good and you will see  it. Be the good and share what you have with others. It might just be

                            one of your best Christmas's ever.



                                   Seek first the virtues of the mind; and other things will come or not be wanted.

                                                                                                                                                    Francis Bacon



ENTRY

                            I have set out to write a devotional about things in and around our house. As a reader , I have taken you 

                            out into the fields and forests. I have told you stories about our horses and barns. Today I am 

                            frustrated because I can't come up with anything. 


                            I have many goals and dreams and like you probably will not live long enough to accomplish all of them.

                            I would like to someday write a book about things that happened in the office . I even have a possible title                                 for it called" BEHIND THE SEENS'. With your forgiveness, I would like to take a story about the office and                                     share   it with you today. I found  a large tin foiled E in our garage in a drawer. I have not clue how this came                                 to be  but since its  here I feel it qualifies.


                           I cut this large E out of cardboard years ago. To my surprise, I had patients that were adults that did not know

                           their letters and could not read or write. I used this most often with kids. When I checked their vision , I                                      would put up a chart on the wall that had all E's turned in all directions. I would hand them the tin foiled

                            E to match the one projected on the wall.


                           When I did this, I usualy started off with  big E with the bar on the bottom with the three arms

                            sticking up. Once when I was doing this, I asked a little four year old boy what he saw on the wall. He 

                            looked at it for a long while  with a puzzled look on his face. He answered with a question. He's response 

                           was," a drunk E?


                           I have told this story in the office many times down through the years. His answer tells us that he put                                           and  two and  two together and got floor! Like you, I was not aware that an E could drink. I tell this humorous                            story but it saddens me a bit as well. As young as he was, he had seen the effects that drinking can have

                           on people. Someone in his life was setting a poor example for him and had forgot as we all do, that this little                               ones are always  watching and listening . 


                                        Two things that a man cannot hide : that he is drunk and that he is in love.

                                                                                                                                         Antiphanes


                                         Sometimes God has to put us flat on our back before we are looking up to him.

                                                                                                                                              Jack Graham

                          


 ENTRY

                            I had a lot of  pain last night. I have been having a lot of hip and back issues that haunt me

                            from time to time . I had a pretty good day pain wise but it it was Halloween all night long. I even got up                                       during the night and took the combo of pills that usually work but it did very little to put the fire out. I do                                   not feel like myself this morning and probably should not be at my computer. I do not like pity parties or like                               being around people who tend to throw them.


                           This short entry is about my alarm clock . A week or so ago it was just an alarm clock. It is small black 

                           and battery operated. It still does it's job and wakes me and sends me off to work  even when the electricity

                           is off. I  think I have shared before in print my family's weird habit of naming things we own and use.

                           For example , our red ATV is called ,Chuck.  You see it is used as I go around the pasture to feed our horses.

                           Even the sound of it , causes great excitement and nickering as the chuck wagon delivers vittles.


                           Wisdom comes into our lives from many different ways. Yes we earn a lot from books, movies and even You

                            Tube. Many lessons come to us through things we learn from other people . The may say things that cause us                             to look at something with a new perspective. I see myself  as one who tries to glean and from time to time                                     pass on  and along things that may help others as well as just being too good not to share.


                           I was talking with a patient that had just had a tumor removed from his kidney. It was benign and

                           he discussed the discomfort of his  surgery and the after effects but was grateful for that and

                           glad to be alive. I had tapped into one of my previous loops about being frustrated at the alarm

                           sounding off rousing me from sound sleep . I got up staggered towards it with an attitude.


                           The patient told me what he had learned recently. He corrected me and said that was not the way I should                                   treat it at all. He went on to say , I should pat it gently  after  I turned off the alarm button.  

                           He gently scolded me and I should not approach it  in that manner. I should not be irratated or angry 

                           but grateful. It was not a rude awakening but was just reminding me of something that I  had forgotten.

                           I was alive and  could get up out of that bed and go about my day and  on my way. To be honest , I did not do                              this this morning. My restless night caused be to be ticked off. I am working  on putting this new habit in                                      place and I guess I do not have it  down pat just  yet.  By the way, the alarm that sits near by my bed and                                  reminds  God has  given me another day has been given  the name Pat. ;)



                       Learning sleeps and snores in libraries, but wisdom is everywhere , wide awake on tiptoe.

                                                                                                                                                       Josh Billings


                       Time marks us while we are marking time.                            Theodore Roethke



                       This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.     Psalms 118 : 24


                          



 ENTRY


                             Less than a week ago ,it was Opening Day for shotgun season in Indiana. My sons who 

                             live close to us were busy that day and our oldest was in Japan.  My heart was a little heavy as I set out 

                             for a solo hunt. It was a great morning to hunt and there was little to no wind. I  only saw one deer all                                          morning right at first light. I was to dark and too far away to even tell if it was a buck or a doe. I do some of                                my best praying in the woods and I had plenty of time on my hands because the deer certainly did not                                          distract me.


                            Shortly after daybreak I was distracted several times over the next 4 hours by the lowing of a cow to 

                            the north. I knew what this was all about. This is the sound of sadness. A cow that recently had a calf 

                            has been separated from her little calf. Perhaps it had been put up in a pen because it is time to wean 

                            the little one. I never heard the sound of the calf making me wonder if it has been sold . I listed to her bawl

                            and must admit it evoked emotion in my own heart for when the boys lived under our roof and we all went                                   out and hunted together on opening day.


                             Her persistant lowing caused me to think of a Bible story.  The Israelites were in a war against the

                             Philistines and  they were losing. They decided to bring the Ark to the battlefront to give them courage 

                             and hope.  This caused the Hebrews to shout so loud it made the ground shake. The Philistines were afraid                                   when they realize the Ark was present.


                             This was not enough and the Philistines won the battle and captured the Ark. They took it and placed 

                               in their temple in front of their God ,Dagon. The next morning their statue of Dagon had tipped over as if                                       bowing in front of the Ark. They stood it up again and the next morning found it had fell over yet again                                      but  this time the head and arms were broken off as it laid prostrate before the Ark.


                              Sickness and tumors broke out and the people panicked. They sent it off to a nearby town and the same                                         thing happened there affecting old and young alike. They wanted to get rid of it in a hurry. The built a new                                 cart and hitched up two cows that had neved been yoked. Both cows had just had calved  and the little                                         ones were penned up. They loaded the cart with gold shaped tumors and gold rats as a token hoping  the                                     God    of the Hebrews would forgive them. They knew if these new moms would lead the cart away  and                                        back it  was from God. The cows did not turn to the left or right and took the ark right back to the Israelite 

                              nation. This is not natural or normal and was indeed a miracle.  The Bible tells us the new mothers were                                         lowing all the way.


                               Our nation, a nation that is supposed to be under God is now under attack. We have taken God our of our                                   schools and lives. We thought we need not heed his commands and laws and have put the truck in the  

                               truck in the ditch. Our country is having separation anxiety from God and the cries of despair  can be                                           heard   thoughout the land  and rightly so. 


                               As the deer pants for streams of water , so my soul pants for you , O God.

                                                                                                                                                             Psalm 42:1


                               The slaughter was very great ; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers . The Ark of God was 

                               captured.                                                                                                            1 Samuel 4:11


                               

                                                                                                                                                                                        

 ENTRY

                            There is a grave in the field behind our house. It is where my father's horse is sleeping in the ground.

                            His name was Rusty. My dad bought him from some people who lived near the Ohio River in  small

                            town called Derby.  My dad loved the show Bonanza. Rusty was the spitting image of the horse the 

                            that  the main character, Ben Cartwright, rode in the hit tv show.


                             He was a buckskin. to this day it is one of my favorite colors. He was tan in color with a black mane

                             and tail. He had strands of silver in his black mane and tail. He was a  tall horse and was very muscular.

                             He was a crossbreed. His mother was a Saddlebred named Easter because she was born on Easter 

                             morning. His sire was a full blooded Quarter horse.  He had the muscularity of a quarter horse and stood                                     around 16 hands. He had a proud walk and held his heard very high. As you sat upon him, you looked out at                               the world between his ears like a picture frame.


                            We had to break him and he was hard headed and stubborn. I did not like him at all at first. In the end it

                            was well worth it and was the best horses we ever had  and to this day my favorite. As dad got older he gave                               him to me. I brought him to our farm to take care of him but in my heart Rusty was dad's horse.


                            We were very close and he always looked forward to me coming home from college and would run to greet 

                            and meet me. I had to rub his big ole head before I would go into the house. It was tradition and my dad                                       claimed he could tell the sound of my car  long before I  came into sight.


                            I most often rode him bareback and rode him all day and he came into the barnyard with his head held high                                and a spring in his step as if he was ready for another long excursion. He would slide down a creek bank and                               swim across the creek and often I would would fall off and show off and grab his tail. It was fun but not fast                                enough to ski behind.


                             My wife says to this day Rusty did not like her. She thinks that Rusty was jealous of her.  Rusty and me 

                             were tight. Then I bring this pretty gal home from college and spent less  time with her him and more and                                      more time with her. I must admit she may be on to something. Rusty would lay his ears back and bare his                                     teeth at  Kim. Even though she was not in the pen ,this would cause her to take a few steps back. To this day

                              sometimes I try to lay my ears back as  I shave and I look in the mirror . I would give anything to back her                                   up like that when we have a disagreement without saying a word.

                            

                             I  would take off my tee shirt and put it under his hugh neck. This 1200 pound animal would neck reign with                              just  this gentle pressure . I would run him as fast as he could go and he  would turn and stop with the gentle                               pressure of my shirt. My dad was shocked and surprised  the first time he ever saw me  do this.  I often think                                of this and his trust and loyality to me. It   reminds  me that I should  be  responsive to  the gentle nudges of                               my Master. This fine horse set a fine example  that I think of when I am not sure where  life is taking me. I                                     just need to trust and obey knowing God knows the way.


                             Remember I said I did not like him at first? He was difficult  to break and had some really bad habits.  It                                     took it a lot of time and trouble to get him  to come around.  My dad taught me  that you have to be careful                                  when breaking a horse. You need to teach them good habits and break them of their bad habits, but must be                                careful to never break their spirit. There is an old saying that the wildest colts make the best horses

                             and we found this to be true.


                            When I think back on this , I often think about the apostle Paul. He hated Christians an was an enemy.

                            Despite this, God did not give up on him and saw great potential to be a powerful force . At first Christians

                            were very wary of Paul thinking it has to be some kind of trick. Jesus saw something special in him and saw                                he had raw potential that he could use for good. He would need to tweak him and hone his skills some of                                     which were a little rusty.


                           Over the years , many who do not believe come around and come to Christ have proven to be   some of the                                    most effective  spokesman and recruiters in bringing people to closer to him. How exciting to know God

                            can use you or me if we just follow His lead to a tee.



                                    Habit is habit ,and not to be flung out a windowby any man, but coaxed downstairs 

                                    a step at a time.                                                                        Mark Twain



                                    The wildest colts make the best horses.

                                                                                                               Plutarch


                                      When we put bits into the mouth of horses to make them obey us, we can turn 

                                       the entire animal.                                      James 3:3




 ENTRY

                            It is fall and here of late I have being doing little around the house chores as we prepare for winter.

                            I am always filling up the horse troughs and each and every time must try to remember to

                            unhook the hoses to prevent freezing. I have goofed up in this area a time or two and dodged a bullet as                                          nightly temps have dipped below freezing. 


                            The vehicles must be winterized as well. The boat must be put in storage after it tuned not up but down for a                               winter rest and sleep. Begrudgingly  I go about these tasks . I know what to do but I do not want to 

                             but I have no choice. The beautiful trees that give us beauty, refreshing shade, and relief from the

                            scorching  summer sun  lose their leaves and leave us with yet even  more work to do.


                             I am not near as fond of winter as I was in my youth. I loved snowy days which led to no school and sled 

                             riding. Those days are far behind me. Now  I must get up very early on rough weather days

                             and make the call to see if we will still run that day or if we need to stay put and close the office that day.

                             I must factor in my office staff as well as patients  who will get out and about to make their appointments .

                             The sidewalks  at the offoce must be salted  to prevent falls.I will need to get out the tractor and grade our                                steep hill with the grader blade so we can get up and down our drive.


                             I wanted to be a grown up so I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. That has not worked out 

                             as planned so far.  It seems there are not enough hours in the day as need be. Too be honest it, bothers

                             me because it takes me longer to do things than it used to. Back in my younger days my back did 

                             not hurt like it does these days and the bones do indeed know when a front is moving in .


                             Nonetheless I praise God that I am still here and thank him for all the days of life he has given me . 

                             My friend you and I have something in common with a calendar... you see our days are numbered too.

                             I am in the winter season of my own life and I must make adjustments because of this. We need to get our                                   affairs in order and make sure we are right with God .We can get side tracked and  forget the most 

                             important thing of all. We must think ahead and be prepared  prepare to meet our Maker regardless of our 

                             age. 

                             


                                      Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

                                                                                                                                     Psalms 90:12


                              Winter is not a season ; it is an occupation.                     Sinclair Lewis


 ENTRY


                             Years ago my oldest son and I drove down to Evansville  to look at cars. I had worked that day and had no                                   clue my son wanted to look at every single car on lots scattered across the city. There were lots and lots of                                    lots. We got home around one in the morning and I had to work the next day. He drove home and I                                                  snoozed for an hour.  I woke up about a mile from our house and rubbed my eyes. As I did so, I saw                                                 something  white along the road on the right side in the weeds. It was drizzling rain and I asked Josh to stop                               and back up. I reached down into the weeds and picked up a small little yellow and white kitten. He was                                       cold  and wet  and easy to find because he was very vocal. We have had him for close to 15 years now.  His                                   name is Sushi.


                             He spends his  nights in the garage but is quite the hunter and roams all over our yard and  down into the                                     woods  as  well. He is spoiled and comes running when we tell him we have cookies (treats). He is very picky                              and loves his treats . When he is successful on a hunt, he will  bring his kill into our garage and place it right                                 in front of  the door . We literally  have to  step over his trophy to walk out . The thought of eating one of his 

                             victims has not ever crossed his mind.


                             One time I was fussing out loud to my wife about yet another kill I will have to pick up and dispose of. 

                             I thought this was odd and  funny that he does this. My wife kim asked why I thought that this was so 

                               amused by this and then with great pleasure pointed out to me that I do the exact same thing. 


                              She explained that I go out into the woods after a big buck. I shoot him and then bring  it out of the woods.

                              I drag it into our garage and then knock on the door with great excitement. I make everyone come out into                                the garage  to show off my most recent kill and trophy. I think a spotted yellow and white  cat has my tongue                               . I cannot  think of anything to say back to refute that. 


                             What I was not picking up on was the fact that this story is a perfect example how much easier it

                              is for me to spot other's spots rather than my very own!





                              Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention 

                              to the plank in your own eye.                                             Matthew 7:3


                               If cats could talk, they wouldn't.                Nan Porter


                              Kittens are angel with whiskers.                   Alexis Flora Hope


                              No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.

                                                                                                                                             Abraham Lincoln


                                        

ENTRY

                             We have a small beautiful lake on our farm. It has been a great source of fishing and fun down through

                              the years . I pass by it often as I travel over to the horse barn . I feed the critters early the other                                                         morning before work and there  was a fog hanging over the water. Many colorful leaves were floating upon                               the  surface and it was  indeed pretty as a picture. I had time to go back up to the house to get my phone                                      and   snap a picture but I did not do so and regret it.


                            As life often does , memories flow in and out of our minds without order and even our permission. 

                            As I sat here reflecting and pondering this, another memory of our little precious dog" Hans "stirred within                                  my  heart  and gently  surfaced . We had trouble getting pregant and had to wait quite awhile but God came                              through for  us and again for that I raise my hands, and heart to him today. Hans was our firstborn  and was                                 a special  little dog and had no clue he was a dog and slept in the bed with us his entire life. He is burried                                   on the farm behind our home but he will live forever in our hearts.


                            Back then, we  lived in a house about two miles away. Hans loved to come out to the property and 

                            ride in my old pick up truck  just as much. I am a fair weather fisherman at best. I can talk the fish are                                           not concerned or probably even aware I am there. 

               

                           One evening, I walked along the bank casting artificial bait. I came around the boat and was crossing the                                     dam. Hans decided to get a drink. As he did so little circles ripples went out as his little pink tongue lapped                                  up  the cool, clear water. I noticed a large dark object crise up a few feet from him . This was a nice bass                                        intent on  having a quick snack of this little pink bug or so he thought struggling near the bank.


                           Without thinking I threw my plug between them and twitched the line to make it look like it was injured.

                            The bass nailed it and I pulled in the 4 1/2 pouder and gave Hans the assist. I let the bass go but I go back to                               that day often wondering which of the two would have been more startled . I regret my interference

                             and wished I had just observed.  I would bet Hans would be hesitant to even drink from his water bowl                                         and the bas would pass on little pink bugs from that day on.


                            Many men go fishing all their lives without  knowing that is not fish they are after.

                                                                                                               Henry David  Thoreau



                             Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you....

                                                                                                                                     Psalm 55:22


                              

                             Some go to church and think about fishing ,others go fishing and think about God.

                                                                                                                                      Tony Blake


                           


 ENTRY

                                   As we head into fall, there is less daylight each and every day. It takes a lot of work to keep

                                   things going on a farm. The horses are a labor of love but take a lot of time as well. I spent several hours                                      this past week fixing fence .  I do not like to think about it or much less want to admit it , but my energy

                                   is also waning with each passing years. I would like to think I can still hold my own but it takes more                                              effort and time to do the same task  as aopposed to years ago. Me and the old gray mare have 

                                   a lot in common!


                                   So last week , I was delayed at the office and again ran out of daylight. I was feding 4  hungry 

                                   horses on the east side of the barn.  It was pitch black and as I walked out of the barn a bright light                                                 shined down on me and the entire area! No it was not an alien encounter .Nor  was it a Saul 

                                    expericience. 


                                    It did not startle me at all in fact I smiled and said  my mind  and my heart said thank you Jarah 

                                    without audible words. This was  solar light that our youngest had put up there a few years back.

                                    We had a very sunny day and the light was fully charged and helped me see what I was doing 

                                    and made the tasks much easier and go much faster.


                                   


                                   Had I known his intentions, I  probably would have said no. He had to climb very high up on the side of                                        the barn to  place it above the barn door. It was late and I thought that most likely he was already in bed                                       at that hour. Still even thought he was not here and present this present that did did for me was 

                                   actively at work.


                                   I think many times the things we do and say may help others in this same way. I  live with the hope that                                       maybe my feeble ministry efforts through books and stories could be at work when I am not awake

                                   or even perhaps even alive.


                                   Jarah's efforts also reminded me to send a pray upward thanking God for giving me another day and

                                   for watching over me and my family. I also thanked him for my eyes that allow me to see or the 

                                   solar light or even the light of day would not help.


                                  I also thanked him for the Bible that allows us to see  through His eyes . It helps us to continue to have                                          hope in a crazy  world where darkness seems to be gaining ground. If you are having trouble finding

                                  your way, open your Bible and ask God to see him in the dark and by the light of day. May His face 

                                  shine down upon us as in  Him alone we trust.


                                   Ears that hear and eyes that see - the Lord has made them both.

                                                                                                                                                            Proverbs 20:12


                                   Immediatly, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes , and he could see again. He got up 

                                   and was baptised.                                                                                    Acts 9:18


                                   There is always light. If only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it.

                                                                                                                                                           Amanda Gorman



 ENTRY

                                It is bow season and I have yet to be in the woods . I have been looking at several trail cam pictures

                                fellow hunters have shared with me. It has started to get those juices flowing down within me

                                as gun season is not far off.


                                I love bow hunting and it actually prefer it. The deer are relaxed and tend to follow their usual

                                habits. By noon on opening day of gun season all bets are off and all of the shooting lets them

                                know that something is up.


                                I spoke a few weeks ago on a Friday night as a guest speaker. I was invited by a friend of mine and we all                                     gathered around a big bonfire. I shared with the younger dads that one of my biggest regrets was spending                                 way too much time in the woods especially deer season when our sons were young. I shared with them how                                   fast their kids will grow and leave the nest in know time. Yes, I was told the same and had not clue how                                        true this would and it took awhile for those arrows of truth to hit home.


                               I am not sure what this season will bring. Last year was not a good one! I was having terrible shooting                                           pains from sciata down my left leg. I was not able to walk near as far as I would like too. I caught myself                                       hunting in stands closer to the house when some of the best and my favorites were a long way off.


                              One cold morning ,I decided to use our yougest sons stand which  he claims as his own. It is where  Jarah                                       always  goes and where he got his first buck. It was well before daylight and had been awhile since I had                                      ventured  into the woods and you would be surprised how easy it is to lose your bearings in the dark. I                                           shined my   flashlight down into the valley and saw several small things shining close by and in the                                                distance. It was not  the eyes of a lion, tiger or bear.. oh my!


                              I had forgotten that years ago, I had lined the trial from the edge of the field to his stand with reflective

                              tacks in the tree leading him where he needed to go. I smiled as I walked with ease and confidence as 

                              headed in.  This lighted path was a great help. Soon I was at the base of the tree. There on the tree at eye                                    level was a group of the reflective white tacks in the shape of a cross. I remember telling my young son that                               he had nothing to fear  even in the darkness and there was no need to be afraid because Jesus was right                                       there with him .


                              My leg was hurting and I was not looking forward to the climb up the steps.   I knew it was gonna be a little                               rough but my reward was waiting  above. I hope this metaphor helps you . I soon would be suspended 

                             between heaven and earth and   many  and most times feel closer to God in a deer stand  than any building I                               have ever been in.


                             As I reflected on this , I was amazed how my own words  and teachings returned to help me. I know that all                                of us will go through dark periods  as life goes on and we will beat times feel  bewildered and  feel lost. We                                  just need  to believe that Jesus is with us. We need to keep keep our eyes on the cross to lead us home and to                             things  that are far beyond and more wonderful than anything this world can offer!


                            For our present troubles are quite small and wont last long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great                                  glory that will last forever.                                           2 Corinthians 4:17



                          To lead an unexamined life means to rush from task to busy tasks , but not call enough time-outs to reflect

                          on life's larger meaning and purpose.                                                      Patrick Morley


                          There are times when we stop, we sit still. We listen and breezes from a whole other world

                          begin to whisper.                                                                                            James Carroll



ENTRY

                             My favorite season is summer but fall  for me is a close second. I enjoy hunting but the show of the leaves in                              Southern Indiana is indeed a sight to behold. If I would move from here I would long to go back home when I                                heard the leaves were in their glory. 

                             It is a challenge to know how to dress this time of year. The other morning it was 46 degrees and today we                                 will be in the mid 70's. You need to have a tee shirt handy as well as a hoody and may need and use both                                     before the day is over.

                            I love these kind of fall days. I have always called them October Flannel Shirt days. You start off working in                              the morning with a tee shirt and a flannel shirt. Around 10 ,I  take off the flannel shirt and throw it over the                                horse fence. I work until about 3 in the afternoon and start getting goose bumps on my goose bumps.  I look                                around wondering where I left my shirt and if ginkgo tablets really help your memory.The air is clean , crisp ,                               and cool and goes to the very bottom of your lungs . As our warm breath leave our body we see it. I believe                                  it reminds all of us who do believe just how blessed we are to be given another day of life. We should then

                          use our very breath to thanks God for each and every one.

                                            

                             I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God even with my dying breath. 

                                                                                                                                                        Psalm 146:2


                             Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.

                                                                                                                            Albert Camus


  ENTRY

                             I have told stories before about the flowers in and around our house. I have shared how it takes

                             to do this chore. I often whisper a little prayer of thanks upward when we have a rain and I get to take

                             the evening off.


                             I do not like to admit this, but I often forget that some rains don't reach. The flowers that

                             enjoy the shade  on our porches are deprived of the gentle rains that they need as well. Often

                             when I do remember to water the porchies , I think about parenting. I know and can think of several 

                             situations where well meaning overly protective parents deprive their kids from learning valuable

                            skills that they will need long after the parents are no longer here to hover  over them.


                             One day I was on our  raised porch on the back of our home. I needed to water 2 hanging baskets

                              and 2 potted plants that sit right below the potted plants on both sides of the porch. The hanging

                             plants do not have as much soil so I usually water them first and give them just a bit more. 

                             I watered one of these hanging plants, I headed to the other side of the porch but suddenly stopped.

                             I heard the sound of water dripping and tried to process this without turning around.


                             I looked back  to see that the plant was running over and sharing it with the flowers below and 

                             under them.I smiled because this was a good example and reminder to all of us to share the  blessings

                             that we have been given with others.


                             He who betows his goods upon the poor, shall have as much again, and

                             ten times more.                                                         John Bunyan



                            A good measure , pressed down and , shaken togeher and running over , will be poured unto your lap.

                            For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.                            Luke 6:36


 ENTRY

                              I usually get up around five in the morning. The first chore of the morning is to let the dogs out.

                              As the microwave warms my cup of tea, I stand out on the deck and watch the dogs . I put a lighted plastic                                  collor on each of them. Skyler has a pink one and our three legged dog Buster's is blue. It is easy to see                                           where they are in the early morning darkness. This morning both took care of their business rather fast .                                       Some mornings it takes a lot of searching to find the perfect spot to go. It seems the more pressed for time                                   that I am the greater chance there is of that very situation.


                               It is October now and the morning air is quite cool and you can see your breath most mornings. I am

                               trying to wake up and figure out who I am . When I see my breath , I often say a little thank you to God for                                   my breath and another day of life.


                               As I watched the dogs , my eyes were on the skies. I looked at several constellations high in the sky.

                               I thought of how my dad had taught me how to spot them. Since fall is upon us , several are now present

                               that are not present during the summer months. 


                               The Bible mentions a few of these. I think how God has placed them for not only to admire but to help us                                      find our way and discover new lands. Sure we came up with instruments later on, but he put them up there                                   far in advance waiting on our wits to sharpen.


                                As I stand on the deck, I stand in awe. These very stars I look upon will be still be here after my time on                                        this earth is gone. All of the characters we read about in the Bible looked up and saw                                                                             these very same stars.  They looked down and saw Jesus, Moses, King David as well as all the others. 

                                They could bear first hand witness for the stories we only  read about. This applies to not only the Bible                                       but all stories down through history.  They continue  bear  witness  to God and in turn  bring                                                              him glory . It serves as a shining example for us all to look up to. 


                                I have not been to the Holy Land. I would love to see the places where Jesus lived and to look upon the                                         things with my eyes the things his eyes have seen.What the heck, right on my back deck, I can do  just that.

                               You see, it will aways be a type of Holy land as well for me.


                               Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up 

                               at the stars.                                                                                                                       Henry Van Dyke


                               The common tasks are beautiful if we have eyes to see their shining ministry.

                                                                                                                                                                             Grace Noll Crowell

                                

                            


 ENTRY


                            We have many flowers around our house. It takes quite a while to water them all. It seems

                             to me that many ideas and thoughts that I will write about  later will come to me when I am doing this                                           simple chore. It is very cool this morning and soon  our first frost will arrive. It is kinda sad because I  will                                     miss doing this.


                            Since it has not been as hot here of late ,I  have not had to do this as often. I was disappointed in myself as

                            I walked behind our house the other day. We have a trellis on both sides of our home. I plant different colors                             of morning glories and they climb up  and onto a railed porch.The ones on the north side are not exposed to                                 the sun near as much as those on the south side. The ones on the south side looked puny and were in need of                               a drink and refreshment bad. 


                           This can serve as an example to all of us. Often the playing field in life is not level. We may work at the same                              job and have equal pay but one may have a loving and supporting spouse and another is raising his or her                                   kids alone. Maybe both families have the same number of kids but one family has a child with medical issues

                         or special needs. Maybe your family is close and supportive and your neighbors have dysfunction in theirs.


                         I seen Satan  uses this to cause great distress for people because he makes them feel like there is something                               wrong with them. They beat them selves up and  and Satan adds more woes to cause more pain from the blows.

                       

                        These flowers cannot get up and move to the other side of the house. They have to depend on the one who                                  planted them and placed them there. Even if they could move across the street or across the county, they                                     would still need someone to care for them. In this way they have this in common with us.There is something                                you can do right now that will not only to level the  playing field but tip it largely in your favor. Call on God                                an ask  him to help you . I want to share something that I have found in my own life. When we give up and                                    throw our  hands up, that is when God shows up.

       

                        Take heart knowing  God has placed you right where your are. Maybe you are the one that is feeling  high and                            dry and are in  need  of help. Maybe God is causing you to look across  the road or street and wonder                                              what you can do to help lend a hand to your neighbor. Perhaps you have been planted there for such a time                                such as this. 


                        We take excellent care of our bodies, which we have only for a lifetime; yet we let our souls shrivel

                        which we  have for eternity.                                                                             Billy Graham



                         A generous man will prosper; that he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

                                                                                                                                                          Proverbs 11:25


                           

 ENTRY


                             Upstairs in our master bedroom ,there is an eclectic display on the wall. I have bragged on my wife's 

                               ability to decorate in the past .Her skills have made our home look both comfortable and inviting. On the                                     wall are two different pieces of metal both the same size. They have been sprayed black and even though                                     they are   the same size the patterns on them are a little different.They are the top and bottom grates on a                                    register that came from the house where I grew up. 


                              My faimily would be surprised to know how many times I sit and stare at them. They take me back to my

                              childhood home . My brother and I slept upstairs in twin beds. The living room was right below us. I would                                  get up from my bed and sneak over to the register and through those grates was a great way to watch tv                                     after I was suppose to be sleeping. I knew which boards in the hardwod floor creaked and the ones that did                                 not. Despite my best stealth , my dad more times than not  would yell at me and tell me to get back in the                                     bed.


                              It was not until I was an adult that my mom spilled the beans. She  told me where and how I messed up and                                alerted my dad that I was up there. To see the tv , I had to use gently push a lever that caused the grates to                                 slant to best view the television. In these old homes this allow heat from the stove below to rise up and into                                upstairs rooms. The vent was usually wide open to allow best air flow. So when I adjusted the register , it                                      never registerd that small little particles of dust would fall  like snow and trickel  down below. That is how                                 my dad  knew ! Dust particles would trickle down and fall like snow  in a direct line of sight between my                                       dad's  recliner television.  So see it is my mom's fault! If she would have only cleaned that area a little 

                             better. Knowing my dad, I would bet a shiny nickle he probably told mom not to touch it so he would know                                  when I did.


                            I cherish these memories. Sometimes as I am getting ready for work, I have more serious thoughts. 

                            I am fearful because many people I know and are fond of ,are on their way to hell  . They  do not care 

                            about God, faith,  and heaven.  They are unaware and are not concerned of what is in store for them because                             they do not know Jesus as both Lord and Savior .When we surrender and give our life to God our names are                                 registered in the Lamb's book of life. I cannot  think of anything you are doing today that is more pressing or                                important than doing this.  I do not are who you are. If you have never done this , I pray maybe the slant on                                 my story will help you see how trully  important this is ,and will  eternally register with you.


                            

                            Dust you are and to dust you shall return.

                                                                                                            Genesis 3:19


                            I will never blot out his name from the Book of Life, but will acknowledge his name before 

                            my Father and his angels.                               Revelation 3:5


                            I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you  

                            have to start all over again.                                                                                   Joan Rivers


                            




 ENTRY

                             We have a very old small barn on our barn. It was there when we bought the property years ago.

                             It has a lean to on the east side where I store our old tractor. The horses can go in and out any time 

                            they wish . They mainly use it as a shelter not against  rain and wind, but most  often to escape pesky                                             summer flies.


                            My wife's granpa , Pete Markul, worked for a electric company for many years up north. Years ago, we did                                    not have electricity on the property. He ran a bunch of wires up to to a bright lamp in the barn. He ran the                                   wires to a special plug and put another on my old Ford truck engine. I could pull up close to the barn and 

                             plug  it in and have lights using the truck engine as a generator. This was a hugh help when I was treating a                                 sick or injured horse. He would be surprised to know that my favorite horse is named in his honor, Feather                                  Markul.


                             Years later , we had a newer tan pole barn built up on the hill. It had a living quarters as well. 

                             We spent many hours there before we were able to build a home on the farm.  We made many memories in                                   the cabin that I will always cherish. We often joke that if our rowdy boys are ever asked if they grew up in a                                barn , they can say we sure did!It was in that very room where I first started to study God's word and began                                 to  get serious about my faith. It was there where I first flirted with the idea of possibly writing a book .

                             I look back on those days with great fondness. 


                             I had to stop writing this story  and it has been almost 24  hours since I had to stop. I find it ironic but 

                             it seems I need yet another barn!  There were horse out in our front yard !  They had been there quite awhile                              but darkness consealed their presence. I said a prayer asking God to help me get them in easily and without                                mishap and I am greatful for that. It did take several hours to repair the fence.


                           Our barns and even others I see as I travel often make me think of a wonderful Bible story . A man was

                           so rich that he did not have enough room to store all his stuff. He thought he would just tear down his barns                                and build bigger ones and just kick back and take it easy. In this parable told by Jesus ,this man  is rich in                                     earthly wealth but has a poor relationship with God. He is unaware that very night will lose not only all he                                has but his  very life. This should be a warning as well as a reminder to all of us as to not let money cause us                                to lose focus of what is most important. It is ok to have money as long as it don't have you.



                                    Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not to have a rich relationship with God.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Luke 12:21


                                     Time goes , you say? Ah ,no! Alas, Time stays ,we go.

                                                                                                                                      Austin Dobson


                                     It's no use closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

                                                                                                                                               John Heywood




 ENTRY

                            I was over at our horse barn feeding the horses. As I was trying  to fill up the feeder bucket,

                            the horse in its eagerness bumped my hand and spilled a great portion of it upon the ground. I was a little                                    perturbed at her ,but then wondered if perhaps this could be by grand design. 


                            A few night ago I was very tired after a long day.  It was late. I was so tired and thought about waiting 

                            till morning. It took a while but I finally got up enough to go over to the barn when all I wanted to do was                                    head for my bed. Of course I was in a hurry and that always leads to mistakes. In my haste , I  made

                            much waste as I spilled a lot of feed upon the ground as I raised up one of the 50 pound bags of feed.

                            There was enough  there that I could have filled two or three  scoops. I actually planned scoop it up for the                                  horses. I wondered again if God had something else in mind. I felt  in my heart he was behind this, and 

                            it was to be left behind.


                            I do know this that something always comes up and cleans  this spilled food. I do not know if it a deer ,

                            rabbit, or even a coon. All I know is that some one of God's creatures has figured out that  a snack can be                                      found here from time to time.


                             This makes me think of the Bible story about Boaz. This wealthy man told his men to  not to glean the fields                                perfectly. He wanted them to leave some behind for a young girl named Ruth who went out into the fields                                    each day to  provide for her and her mother in law, Naomi. I suggest you read the Bible story found in the                                     Book of Ruth. Things turned out pretty good  for him .


                             Be it a little larger tip at a restaurant, or dishing out a few bucks to someone we know who is having 

                             hard time greatly pleases God. Maybe the stray kitten who shows up on your doorstep was sent to see if you                               can spare a little saucer of milk. I know you are afraid if you feed it it will come back. That could very well                                 happen but I think other wonderful things may come your way because of your kindness and compassion.  I                                 think that when we do this , God opens up his hand even wider on our behalf.I have found you cannot                                             outgive  Him, believe me I have  tried.


                                          When you harvest your crops, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your field,

                                           and do not pick up what the harvesters drop.It is the same with your grape fields,- do not strip 

                                           every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground.

                                           Leave them for the poor and the foreigners who live among you, for I, the Lord , am your God.

                                                                                                                                                                         Leviticus 19:9-10

                                     


 ENTRY


                                We have a curved walkway leadind from our sun room out to the garage. It  is glassed in on both sides and                                   has flowers on both sides. Often when we have guests they will comment on this as they pass through                                           this  area of our home.


                                We keep our shoes lined up in this area. It takes away from the wow factor but it is functional. There are                                        not   near as many shoes there as when our sons lived here. They always grumbled because the rule was                                        left on left , right on right ,and  both toes touching the wall. Our oldest son went to OCS in Rhode Island                                      and    these  young navel recrits  were told to leave their shoes in the hallway  with specfic instructions.                                         You guessed it.


                                  At one time I was the big man on this campus. I do not have a picture of this, but remember all our boots                                     lined up largest to small. My size 13's were top dog . My dad teased me as a youth saying that if my feet                                        grew any larger, I would have to back up to a door to knock on it.


                                  He would be amused to see that if we would line them up now, my feet would be  the smallest of all the                                          guys. We have a size 14, 15, and a size 16.  My dad passed away many years ago and only got to meet                                           our  oldest and boy were they tight.  My dad wore a size 10. I try to keep his memory alive and tell my                                           boys  stories and lessons that he passed on and along to me. I use these nuggets of truth each and every                                       day and  I often share these with patients . I am so blessed to have such a great dad. I hope that I  can                                           measure up  as a father. I have big shoes to fill indeed.


                                                           What a father says to his children is not heard by the world ; but it will 

                                                            be heard by posterity.                                        Jean Paul Richter



                                                             If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground , put some 

                                                             responsibility on their shoulders.                   Abigail Van Buren


                                                             A lie can be half-way round the world before the truth has got its boots on.

                                                                                                                                                  James Callaghan



ENTRY

                             Years ago I bought a big white dually . I was and so far the only new vehicle  I have ever owned. 

                              I paid close to 40 k for the truck 20 years ago. That same model of  F350 runs about 95k now!

                              Our family likes to name our cars and trucks and I really am not sure why. I called this big white truck

                              BIG VIC  mainly because we have victory in Jesus. It served me well and told me down many roads

                              and miles. As a lay speaker it has heard many prayers said out loud before I would enter churches as 

                              a guest speaker.


                              My favorite picture of me with our three boys is on a shelf in my office at home. My wife kim took the                                            picture.  I am in the drivers seat with the 3 boys looking at the camera from the  seat behind me.

                              I would not have sold that truck to anybody but I wound up giving it to our youngest son years later.

                              We gave it to him on his 16th birthday. I wote a short poem on a big circular piece of cardboard.

                              It said:

                                          Roses are red and violets are blue

                                          Now the dually belongs to you!

                                          HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


                               As I red and studied this morning I went back in time and replayed this memory as I read about

                               God told Moses in regard to his name. God told Moses his name was I AM.  God told him to go and ask his                                     people to be set free. When they ask who sent you tell them I AM has sent you. We see from scripture God                                 has many names . Because of that story the plate on that big white truck was IAM4AM.

                              Looking back I would bet that many people tried to figure out what on earth that stood for. Many would                                     ask me in a parking lot as I parked and it gave me a chance to do a little  witness for Christ because of that                                  big truck.


                            Once in a while I would get behind a car whose plate was 3RD DAY. I  liked to be reminded of that especially                                when I was having a rough day. When things are not going well and all hell is breaking out, Jesus 

                            broke out of the tomb on the third day and broke death grasp on us . That should give us hope and joy to                                       know that no matter what is on our plate today , it is all going  to be ok. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus

                             who has paved our way home with his own blood.


                             God replied ," I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS. Just tell them , I AM has sent me to you."

                                                                                                                                                     Exodus 3:14


                                      


 ENTRY

                             In the southwest corner of our yard is a large tree.  This is the direction one would

                             need to travel to get to the place where I grew up. As a crow flies it would be 25 miles away.

                             It is a sweetgum tree . I planted it there because there was a sweetgum tree in my parents yard 

                             off to the side and behind my parents home. While mowing I often look at the tree in our yard 

                             and my mind takes me back in time .I think of the large tree in my parents yard and the back

                             story behind it.


                             I was young and was in my physical prime. I had my shirt off and had just finished lifting weights in my                                         parents basement. My dad had just come home from work and called  down for me to come up.

                             He said he had  a chore for me and we hopped in the truck and traveled a few miles down the road .

                             Dad had spied a small sapling along the road and wanted it for the yard. We dug it up with I would guess a                                 dirt ball around its roots close to 300 pounds. Maybe I was showing off or maybe I just wanted to see if 

                             could lift it alone. I did so but it was not easy.  I waddled thru the weeds and a small ditch and put it on                                          the tailgate huffing and puffing. He seemed pleased and impressed  but his was going agaist the grain from

                             his teachings. Through him, I had been taught a  wise man  knows to try   use his mind more and his back                                     less.

   

                             Over the years I watched that tree grow into a tall and mighty specimen. I glanced at it many times as I

                             was visiting my parents. My back is  not  near as strong as it used to be but no man on this planet could                                          move or  lift that tree now. It's roots are firm and it is set in it's ways.


                              I write children's books as well. I often think how we must try to bend the lives and minds of this precious                                 children towards Christ Jesus while we can. Studies have shown that the chances of them accepting him as                                 their Lord and Savior go down with each passing year. The time to teach them and to reach them is now.


                                The soil in return for her service keeps the tree tied to her, the sky asks nothing and leaves it free.

                                                                                                                                                 Rabindranath  Tagore

                           

  ENTRY   

                            Our kitchen is to the left side of our house as you come up the hill. As you step out onto a covered porch                                          with a few flower pots. Off to the right is a lime green swing which was a must have as we built  our home.

                              I blush as I write these words because I do not have enough sense to sit out there and reast and relax as 

                              planned . Sometimes I do sit there for a few minutes before supper. I look out and see a piece of paper in the                               landscape or a tuft of grass we missed  by the sidewalk while weedeating. So instead of resting, praying ,                                     and relaxing , it turns into another work session.


                               Near the swing is a large triangular shaped piece of metal. Hanging from it is another hollow tube.These

                               items are banged or clanged together when it is time to call us up to the house and for supper. We hardly                                    ever use them but it looks cool and it is how cook let the  cowboys knew that supper was ready.


                              Our youngest son came out the other evening and wanted to tag aong with me as I went out to "feed the                                        ponies ". I was eager to show him something I had been doing to call some babies up to the fence instead                                  of going out into the field to find them. I did my dad's whistle and then banged the scooper between the bars                                on the metal red gate. They equated this  hillbilly dinner bell with the promise of of vittles  In no time flat ,                                    these youngsters came flat out running as hard as they could go. I  heard the mixture of                                                                     thundering hoofs and Jarah's belly laugh.


                             The little church I grew up has someone pull on a rope and ring the bell right before church starts. It lets the

                              sleepy little town know people are being fed up on the hill. Not many go to church these days down there 

                              these days or anywhere for that matter. It is certainly not a laughing matter.

                                 

                                                A good example is like a bell that calls many to church.

                                                                                                                                                     Danish proverb


                                                 Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce                                                                           the beginning of a new year. It is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

                                                                                                                                                                              Thomas Mann

  

                                        

                                                       

ENTRY

                         When a doc or nurse asks me about allergies of any kind, I always tell them poison ivy. I also add that

                         my lips will probably break out because I said it.I have had giant bubbles between my fingers so big I have 

                         trouble making a fist. When I do close them, the bubbles would erupt and of course  would spread to other                                    places.


                         Often in the office , I have to help patients try to find and figure out what they used or were around that 

                         caused an allergic reaction on around their eyes. Sometimes it is a new pet, change of shampoo, or a new 

                         contact lens solution. I have honed this area of questioning  and have flushed a lot of rabbits out and into the                             open over the years.


                         About a year or so I have a personal situation that stumped me. There was something in my life that would 

                         cause my lip to swell up  .It would first  start to tingle and within 10-15 minutes  . I first thought it was a gel

                         on my son's head because I always kiss him on the head. When it puffed up when he was not around, he was 

                         taken off the suspect list. I blamed my wife , the dog, a son's girlfriend and could not figure this out to save 

                         my life. My family and staff at worked showed no mercy and found it amusing especially when it caused 

                         difficulty speaking and would playfully mock me.


                         I always tell patients I learned in school our bodies never have an allergic reaction when it first is exposed . 

                         The next time is when the body has decided this is not welcome is when it blows up in some way or another.


                         I went down one Saturday afternoon to see Helen Keller's homeplace in Tuscambia Alabama. I drove up on                                 Sunday morning to find it was closed . I was disappointed but decided to go home through Columbia Tn.

                         and  visit James Polk's home.


                         It was late Sunday evening and I was tired. I dreaded the Nashville traffic. I read years ago chewing gum helps 

                         with mental capacity especially when we are fatigued. Knowing this, I reached down and popped a piece of                                  Juicy Fruit chewing gum in my mouth as I neared the city. I have a habit of running my hand though my hair 

                        when I am stressed out. I had done this more than once  in anticipation and dread of big city traffic. I felt my 

                         lip start to tingle and in no time my upper lip was hugh.


                         I had bought a hair gel in florida at a grocery store. I help my hair in place better than anything I had ever 

                         used. I knew I had found the problem. I had this on my fingers as I popped the gum in my mouth with my left

                         hand which is my usual go to when I run my hands through my hair. I never used this any more and my lips

                         have not been quite but have been quite normal.



                         Imagine you were sitting in a little country church right now and you see a stranger come in. We might turn                                 our  head out of curosity and maybe even flash them a smile or nod to make them feel  welcome.We do not                                  know  anything about them . I do know one thing indeed , they have never hurt you or someone your love. In                               short , no prior history!


                         Now imagine the same setting and we turn to see our least favoite person on planet earth. I know you know                              who I am talking about even thought I do not. I know one thing, their had been  prior history beteen the two of                            you and their presence has made you feel  funny and uncomfortable.  That person or persons that have that 

                         done this to you, you need to try to forgive them.  Even though we thought we had , this shows we were wrong.

                         Yes, I have people too I do not care for and would like to never be near or around but that is often not                                           possible. 



                      When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.

                                                                                                                                                 Alan Paton



                        Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them;but do not let them master you. Let them teach you 

                        patience ,sweetness, insight.                                                                    Helen Keller



                         A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.

                                                                                                                            William Arthur Ward


                  

ENTRY

                         In front of me and on my desk, I have a very special book. I look forward to reading it in the near future.

                         Our youngest son ,Jarah, and his wife ,Kirby, gave it to me on a Saturday afternoon not long ago.

                          It was about 3 days after my birthday and they told me it was a belated birthday gift. It is called FAMOUS 

                          HORSE STORIES. I kidded and asked they how on earth did they know that I love horses.


                          Jarah said told me that I should look inside . He said the author had signed it for me. I had my doubts because

                          it has been around for awhile and was publihed in 1949. As I opened it to the front, I did not see 

                          an inscription but a sonogram! This picture of a baby inside this book told me a baby was growing inside 

                          our beautiful and wonderful daughter in law.


                          I am not sure how I held it together' but I did. I told them I can't believe you was able to get this signed for me.

                          I handed the book to Jarah who passed on and over to my wife , Kim. She opened the book and then 

                          became unglued. She cried like a baby and melted  as she saw a picture of a baby. She saw  her first                                                  grandchild for the first time. Tears and hugs all around as our hearts were joyous with this news.


                         I plan to read this book soon .I have been known to loan books out or even to give them away. This book

                         is too special and will always have a special place in my library and my heart.


                          Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old.

                                                                                                                                                    Mary H. Waldrip




 ENTRY

                        It is ironic but as I was writing the story below, my wife fell as she was out in the yard with the dogs.She was                              not hurt bad but fell on her right arm. She came in and sit in my big leather chair and told me her story as 

                        I was telling mine.


                        Turns out that she had turned the dogs out in the back yard for a potty break. One dog obeyed the rules ,did                              his thing and came back up and on the deck. The one one is usually the most responsible decided to go for a 

                        stroll way down behind the house and close to the horse pasture. Kim had walked out there to keep her , Skyler,

                        away and alive. As Kim walked across the yard,  she was tripped up by a large piece of barb wire some idiot 

                        had left in the yard.That idiot would be me!

 

                        She was not mad and  I was able to keep her from calling a lawyer. I felt so thankful she was not hurt but felt                              bad because it was indeed my fault. In my defence, I do not have a leg to stand on...either. I had repaired a 

                        section of fence the day before. I picked up all my tools and headed back to the house. It was not                                                    procrastination but I planned to take this over to the barn on my next run .


                        As I thought about what to do with this, I pondered throwing it in the pond. I imagined someday someone                                    getting snagged and held in the water by their clothing or worse yet their skin. I did not forsee Kim going 

                        down to that remote spot as even a remote possibility.  It goes to show that we all need to think about the  o                              loose ends during any project for that matter. We need to think about those who will will come up behind us .


                          There are some wonderful moms and dads out there that would do anything and everything for their kids.

                           They do not have faith and are not raising them in Christ or the church. It concerns me greatly that these                                    parents do not realize how much their family including their kids are in danger of hell after this life is over.


                           Much sorrow and pain will be caused because of what they did not put in place and leave behind . They were                             doing this that and the other thing and forgot to give the most important of all lessons. They need need to                                    make sure that their legacy is about following Jesus and making him their Lord and Savior.The Word will                                     protect them from the world and all the evil it offers. They will see things that the others do not see or even                                  know to look for. 


                                                         We never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves.

                                                                                                                                  Henry Ward Beecher



 ENTRY

                         A few days ago, I was trimming some low limbs off a clump or river birches in our front yard. It has

                         become more difficult here of late to mow around them. I did not want to take away from the look of the tree

                         but still need to take away a few limbs. As I snipped and clipped, I wondered if there was something that I 

                         could take away and  use in an upcoming story, sermon , or blog. 


                         I clipped a larger limb that had spit off into two limbs. I did not want to cut it but it was way two low and 

                         went too far out into the yard. I did not notice it at first . When I began to gather them up, I saw that a small

                         nest was in the fork. The family that had been raised there was long gone . I looked up the hill at our home

                         and felt a twinge in my heart as my wife and I are now empty nesters.


                         I picked up the nest and held it in my hand. It looked like any other nest but it had a lot of white in it. Upon 

                         closer inspection , I realized they were long white hairs. They were horse hairs either from a mane or tail.

                         I smiled because our only white mare has had a baby of her very own this summer. Her name is Wish.

                         

                          When I curry the horses they seem to enjoy it. In the spring , large clumps of hair fall to the ground. If the 

                          wind is blowing often the hairs will cling to your clothes or get in your mouth. Every time I do this I marvel at

                          God keeps the horses warm as winter comes. Then in the spring , the birds use the strands to make their nests.


                           Our barb wire fences have many stands of hair all over the farm as the fence steals a few hairs from their 

                           tails as they swat at pestering flies. I can sometimes tell who the donor was by the color of the strands 

                           swaying in the breeze.


                          So what can we take away from this story?  I have learned that everything God does has a purpose and 

                          a plan. I like you forget this sometimes ... most of the  time to be more exact. Maybe you lost or misplaced                                     something recently like the awesome hoodie  I bought in Lake Tahoe last year and left behind at the airport.



                           Maybe God let me use it for a few days. He needed me to position right where the one he had in mind

                            could find it . As I  study His word and , I  am in awe of his ways.  I wish I could tell Wish this story and how

                            her loss helped another. I also wish I could see the person  who is  wearing that awesome hoodie.

                   

                                   Have you given the horse its strength or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?

                                                                                                                                                                Job 39:19


                                   Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.

                                                                                                                                   Henry Ward Beecher




 ENTRY

                         It is Saturday. I was off today but a patient who had been working on a home project got 

                         something in his eye. I came in removed it and patched him up literaly. The foreign body  had got up in his eye                           and under  the lid. About 1/8 of his cornea was missing, and he had a pain of 9 on a 10 scale.He is going to be                           fine but there is a good chance I will need to come in tomorrow depending on how things go. Notice I did not                               say we will play this by ear. We will play it by eye. 


                         When I was first learning to ride , my dad always stessed how important it was t make sure there wer no

                          burs or any thing underneath the saddle blanket. He preached that when the riders seat hit the seat in the                                  saddle that is when the rodeo will start!


                        This patient favors his left eye and it is the one I just put a patch on. I warned him to be careful because 

                        his depth perception will be reduced even more so with the best eye out of the line up.I also warned him 

                        will pick on him and tell him every pirate joke they have ever heard.


                        When I see him again, he will tell me something I hear every single time when one has to do life with a single 

                        eye. He will have a much greater appreciation for having two eyes than ever before. His short affliction will 

                        make him  more understanding for those who must do life  like this for the rest of their lives.


                        I told him that years ago one of my favorite horses ,Rusty, had injured his eye. The poor guy coud not hold it 

                        open and it watered profusely. I doctored up  the big guy's eye and used similar human  meds I used on my                                  patient this morning. I used seveal red shop rags to patch his eye and used several rounds of gray duct tape                                spands around his hugh jaw.His eye healed as well but my 1200 pound  patient did not make this easy .


                        Our wonderful farm neighbors has taken a walk through our woods on a beautiful October afternoon. Rusty

                       and the other horses came up to the red gate overlooking the field.  They saw Rusty's occluded eye and                                         concluded this must be how I practiced doing this. Rusty knew the full story and did not say a word. 


                                                         I shut my eyes in order to see.

                                                                                                                  Paul Gauguin  


                                                        An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.

                                                                                                                                                                         Martin Buber

                                                                                                                    


                      


 ENTRY

                         When I was growing up, we only had a well in our yard. We did not have a spigot  and a hose to clean our cars

                         or water the flowers. This well water was deep and clear and cool .It was the best water I have ever had.

                         It took quite a while and to be honest I am not there yet, acquiring a taste for what us country folk

                         distastefully referred to as' city water.'


                        I spoke about this in the small church in bristow several years ago. I told how King David longed for a drink

                        from a certain well. Three of his finest men risked their lives and fought their way to that well and brought 

                        it back to him. The king was touched by their kindness and devotion. He did did not drink it put poured 

                        out upon the ground.


                       A lady who heard me speak that day still had a well. She brought some to the small little church and they kept 

                       in the fridge until I could get back down and down it. I was with my youngest son and shared it with him. 

                        Jarah  was amazed how it was so different than what he knew as the taste of water. It was a special moment                             for me and him.  I will always remember her act of thoughtfulness . The water passed over my lips and  and is                             lone gone . It left a good taste in my mouth and her act of kindness shall remain well into the years.



                                 The common tasks are beautiful if we have eyes to see their shining ministry.

                                                                                                                                  Grace Noll Crowell




ENTRY

                         Last week I went around to the various water tanks. I needed to make sure they all were topped

                         off . Most people do not realize how much water a horse can down in one day. Because of this, I often stand 

                         amazed of the water drop in 24 hours during times of high heat.


                        I pulled up the lever and looked at the tank about 100 feet away and slighty down the hill from me. I 

                        counted in my head knowing I will see turbulence in the water in about 8 seconds. I did not see anything and 

                        thought the hose must have feel out of the tank. Sometimes a young horse will play and pull the hoseoff and                               away. The were two youngsters in this field  so they were on the list of suspects.

                         I walked down the hill and found that was not the case. There has to be a kink in the hose                                                                  somewhere along the way. I checked the entire span and was trying to figure out this mystery. I went back

                         to the sourse. Two hoses split off from that same point. I had forgot that when I last used it I had switched                                   hoses and a tank to the south that was full was running over and then some.


                        Everytime I fill either tank , I am always reminded of a bible story. An angel would from time to time

                        stir the waters and the first to enter were healed of their infirmity. It was called the pool of Bethesda

                        and we are told large crowds of sick people gathered there. A man who had been sick for 38 years was there. 

                        Jesus walked up to him and asked if he would like to be well. The sick man explained he had no one to help

                        him .W hen the water was stirred up, someone always get in before him. Jesus told him to pick up his mat 

                        and he was healed instantly. 


                        This really caused a stir among the religious leaders.  They got bent out of shape because Jesus healed him on 

                         on the Sabbath . They pointed out the man was sinning by carrying his mat as he walked away. Seems like 

                         they should have been happy that a man who was down and out was now up on his feet and on his way.


                         They were as confused as I was about trying to figure out why the hose was not working.  Blessings were                                       indeed being poured out and needs were being met but not in the way I thought it should be. When we are 

                         connected toJesus and have him as our source, life is indeed  full of surprises.


                                                 Crowds of sick people -blind, lame ,or paralysed lay on the porches.

                                                                                                                                                                   John 5:3


 ENTRY

                        Since my youth, I have always been fond of the color orange. I think that is another reason I enjoy 

                        looking at the trumpet vines. Often as I trim them, I think of a heated discussion I had with an elderly patient

                        a few years ago. He was very well versed in his bible and knew scripture well. He belongs to a church where 

                        they do not allow musical instruments in worship and feel this is indeed wrong.I have preached a time or two 

                        in this type of church and I have often wondered what they feel this is so off limits.


                        I told him that many musical instruments are listed as being used as praise . We all know as a youth David

                        would play  a harp when a tormenting spirit would come upon Saul. Several times prophets would listen to                                  waited upon the Lord's spirit for guidance and direction.  The use of trumpets were used to call men to arms

                        and used in battle as well as worship.


                        This gentleman drove a car down to his appointment. In my heart, I do not think he is going to hell because

                         he drives a vehicle. . Up in the area where he is from many churches have music in their churches but the 

                         parking lot is full of hitching posts for horse and buggy.


                         As I asked about this, he told me that all of the things I had just said were true. He said  what I had  failed to                                understand that this  was all in the Old Testament. He said there is not a single mention of any kind of music                               in the New Testament. Since Jesus came, it all changed and music was not used or mentioed and challenged                              me to find a single example proving otherwise. 


                         I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I have read the Bible a few times as well. I told him I think there was                                   going to be a certain sound we would all hear when Jesus returns ,  correct me if I am wrong but iI am

                          certain it is a sound  made by a  certain musical instument. ;)


                         For the  Lord will decend from heaven with a cry of command , with the voice of an archangel, and

                         sound of the trumet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

                                                                                                                        1 Thessalonians 4:16




 ENTRY

                        Frow where I am sitting, I can see the arbor that covers our sidewalk as you walk up to our

                        front door. I planted trumpet vines on both sides and it is full of these beautiful orange 

                        flowers . It is so full that I need to trim it back... again. There are a few misguided sprouts that are reaching 

                        and over to a nearby rose bush. I will have to be very easy and train them to wind them in and 

                        around the arbor, or Lord knows where they might end up.


                        When I go about this I often think about our three sons who have since moved out and now have lives and God                          fearing wives of their own. They grew up in the church and all attend faithfully and I could not be any more                                 proud of them. I think back upon my own life and my mother was the spiritual leader in our home and she                                   made sure my brother and I were in God's house every Sunday morning.


                        I am so thankful  for the small little country church I grew up in . I have been known to sneak down there 

                         from time to time if time allows. Many and most of the people have passed on . I can still see them and hear

                         their voices. they unknowing were bending, training , and influencing me .  They were teaching me with their                             lives to cling to that old rugged cross.I am so thankful for each and every one of them, or God  only knows                                   where I  would have ended up.


                         Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. 

                                                                                                                                                                          Proverbs 22: 6                     




 ENTRY

                       We have a large rock down in our front yard. It came from a field in the horse pasture down on my parents 

                        forty acre farm. I mentioned the idea of bringing it up and into their front yard . My dad  at first dismissed 

                        but later was all in. It sits off to the right as you come up the hill to our home. It is placed pretty close to the 

                        way it was  down home. When the time to come sell the farm , I took my tractor and bucket and brought it up 

                        to our farm. I spend a lot of time there . It is one of my very  favorite places to pray and talk to my Maker about

                        the things on my heart.


                        I have had so far a rough summer in regard to my health.  I have had severe sciata issues that led to a back 

                        surgery and a month later a second one as pieces of my spine broke loose causing a drop foot. I am not free of

                        of pain even know but it is starting  to lessen a bit.  I am trying to put my best foot forward(joke) but some days

                        are hard. I wonder if perhaps the lesson at hand is that  I need to put  my pride aside and let others help me.


                        As I sat on the rock  a few days ago, there was a nice wind blowing on a warm summer evening. Sometimes

                        I take the dogs with me. I was by myself. I had my hands clasped together and my head down and my eyes 

                        were closed. I had just started to pray and I heard a weird sound but at first dismissed it. Then it started again 

                        kinda the same but yet different. It had a longer and louder two toned moan or groan sound. I stopped praying

                        and looked up. I had ridden down to the rock on our red ATV . I  had not closed the door and the groaning 

                        sound was the door being moved by the wind.


                        I could not help but think how we become more verbal as we age. I am amused sometimes as the sound I make                            move about when not one is around except the dogs. I know they will not say a word. Often I pray for 

                        pets we have and some we have had in the past that have passed. One of those is buried near the rock. His 

                        name was Gus, and I put him there because he loved going to the rock as much as I did.  I still miss

                        my little buddy. 


                        The door swayed in the wind. It creaked ,moaned, and groaned as I prayed. A verse came to mind .

                         The bible tells us that Jesus prays for us!  It also tells us the Holy Spirit prays for us when we are without 

                        words and do not know what to say.


                         This verse makes me think that since all creation looks forward to what lies beyond the grave, we may see

                           pets that we have loved and lost . I am not certain this is the case, but I live with that hope in my heart.



                          All creation anticipates the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

                          And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan

                          to be released from our pain and suffering.             Romans 8:22-23


                          To touch a childs face, a dog's smooth coat , a petaled flower, the rough surface of a rock, is to set up a new

                          order of brian motion. To touch is too communicate.

                                                                                                                                  James W. Angell


ENTRY 



                        Our oldest son and he is a naval aviator. I checked my email earlier and did not hear from him today.                                               When he is out at sea , we can only  email him . At times the ship goes quite  and for many days 

                           we will not hear from him.


                           I will be out doing chores and will hear a small play flying over our farm. Before I can think I turn my eyes 

                           up to the heavens wondering if that is Josh. He did that many times during his college days . My wife says 

                           does the same.


                           I was with him  in a small Cessna one afternoon and we circled our home several times. I remember exactly                                how things  looked far below.  Our wives came out in the front yard and we could tell which one was 

                          was ,Christina, because of her bright pink shoes.

                          


                          We covered a lot of ground or I guess sky that day. It was mainly clear skies but there were a few

                           large clouds here and there. As he zeroed in on one he asked if I had ever seen a cloud . I said,' Maybe 

                           one or two (Optometry humor)." He then asked me if I have ever touched one. He told me to crack my 

                           small window on my side and stick my hand outside. My hand was wet with moisture when I pulled it

                           back inside the aircraft.


                           I have been through a cloud and I have been through the Bible. The combination of things floating around in                               mind affect what I see, hear, and feel not only on my hand but in my heart .You tend to look at things a little                               differently when you have been through them. 



                           A child on a farm sees a plane overhead  and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the 

                           the farmhouse and dreams of home.                                        Carl Burns


                            The clouds are the dust of his feet.         

                                                                                                        Nahum 1: 3

ENTRY



                          I have written about getting older before. I leave notes all  over to remind myself to do things. 

                          All kidding aside, I think this is one of the best habits we should aquire. We are all so busy and daily 

                          overwhelmed with information coming at us from all angles all day. Even last night as we slept, the world 

                          kept spinning, and those who feed us our news have put a spin of their own as we are informed.


                          I see many patients who write on their hands. Perhaps that is even wiser because truthfully I often lose or 

                          misplace my sticky notes or forget where I put my reminders. I guess if you really thing it is that important

                          and you want to make sure.


                         I saw a preacher yesteday morning in the office. I had not seen him for years and we had church and 

                         enjoyed a chat about our Lord . We enjoyed the freedom of those who have learned you do not need a building 

                         to have fellowship.I told him that morning I had read about the fact that God has  written on his hands our

                         names on his palms. Look at your own cheat sheet. You have a large M on each palm. That stands for

                         memento Mori. That means,'Remmember you will die."

                          

                         Whatever your hand finds to do do with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10

                      



ENTRY


                          I am a person who tends to get a lot of things done. I have my share of bad habits . Over the years I have 

                          absorbed a few good one. I try to get things done and then move on to the next one. In order to do that , 

                          you need to realize one is almost always more important than the next.


                          If that statement bothers you , please try to put your shoes on and now your socks. I also think pants 

                          come first. If I am staying in a hotel and there is a fire, I can live without my shirt. 


                          Many times as I plan my day , I need to keep an eye on the weather. I have some  yard work

                          that I need to do and another task is to cut up some boards in the horse stalls over in the barn. 

                          I will do the outside work first and the stalls later. Why? If it rains, I can still work innside the barn. 

                          Even if the day gets away from me and I run out of daylight, we have lights in the barn.


                          I see a lot of students right before they go off to college. Many  will have some requiements in subjects

                          that they are worried about. For many it is math. I ask them what is their favorite time of day.

                          I am amazed that many do not know and admit they never really thought about it.They are gonna have 

                          trouble in math but in life as well. You can count on it!  Why?  They do not think ahead.


                         Let's say they hate mornings and math is a weak subject for them. Then they take a college math 

                         course at 8:00 A.M. . The same course is offered at 4:00 P.M. . They may be smart but it seems 

                          they have made a mistake before they enter the classroom.


                         I made a mistake in the office a few days ago. We had a good day and seems we were going to get out 

                         and go home early. A gal came in and my heart sunk as I read the note. A young man had just splashed

                         gas in his eye . He was in severe painand 45 minutes out. I  gave the green light to head our way but did not                               use my head.

                         I needed to tell them that was ok but if they could not make it by then, go to the ER. They came 

                         almost an hour and a half later! I know better. If you do not give them a timeline they will not only take 

                         their  time but yours as well.


                         I am not a fan of procrastination.  I often jke that I am writing a book about this but it is not finished yet.

                         The title will be, JUST YOU WAIT. All my sons know this never did fly in our home and one grew up to be a                                    pilot. 

                          They grew up hearing a constant mantra:

                           Do it right, do it now, do it right now!


                          This is gonna be a bit confusing and a bit hypocritical.  One of my chores today is to pick up and haul off

                          several large limbs I  cut and left in the yard almost a week ago. It is because the limbs full of leaves will 

                          have died and they will not be near as heavy. So sometimes there is a reason to wait.  So there is always a

                          never an always and always a never. 


                           I know that I am going out on a limb here ,but they do not teach stuff like this in college. I wish

                           they did. I think they should.



                           It is not easy taking my problems one at a time when they refuse to get in line.

                                                                                                                                                                   Ashleigh Brilliant

                          I got my start by giving myself a start.

                                                                                                       Madam C.J. Walker



 ENTRY


                            In the back of our house are many flowers. You would have trouble finding another male who 

                            appreciates and enjoys them as much as I do. I spend  a lot of time caring for them and watering them 

                            in a chore in itself that takes several minutes.I can do nothing but think as I stand there and I am amazed at

                            how many ideas that may make their way to stories are being born at such a time.


                             As i went about my routine the other evening, iI looked at the stalks that a few weeks ago held the 

                             orange tiger lillies upright and on full display. I love those flowers and have written about them

                             before. I miss them already and am a little sad because their time has passed. As I refect on them , I look

                             forward to seeing my friends next summer if the god Lord allows me to be here to see them.


                             I need to take my snippers and cut down these straw like stalks. I then notices that there was a vine 

                             not only growing around the stalk on several of them. I had planted some morning glory seeds nearby.

                             Morning glories come in different colors but my favorite are the purple ones that have a red center.

                             So I will let them stand and soon these purple flowers with adorn the now barren stalks.


                             This made me think about you and me you see. We all have others who came before us and we 

                             are enjoying things passed down to us who have lived before us and their time has such since passed.

                             An example would be money passed down after or parents have passed or to those great men

                             who have passed down and along their great thoughts and ideas that have made the world a better place.


                              I read years ago in the Bible that wisdom would give us pleasure. When God allows me to see things 

                              I get excited. I hope when it is my time to go that somewhere along the line, someone will be inspired when 

                              they read my words....perhaps even this one.



                              God speaks to all individuals through what happens to them moment by moment.

                                                                                                                                                          J.P.  DeCaussade


                               We are here on earth to do good to others.What the others are here for , I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                                           W. H. Auten


                                The morning glories and the sun flowers turn naturally towards the light, but we have to be

                                 taught , it seems.                                                                                                                     Richard Rohr




                         LATEST ENTRY

                         I was mowing our yard the other evening. I knew that I might not have enough to finish. I pulled the mower 

                         pot of our garage and found that all 3 big red cans of gas were empty. I needed to run into town and get some.

                         I was a little miffed out myself because I driven the truck in to work that day. 


                         It was a nice summer evening with a pleasant breeze. I rolled the dice and rolled on into the yard 

                         to get as much done as possible. I  almost finished our yard. I could have not been any farther from the house

                         when it started to sputter. I sputter caused me to mutter and chew myself out for being out of gas.

                         Mentally I was out of gas too. I am a completion freak and it was hard for me to walk away and on up to the

                         house but it it what it is.  I will get gas tomorrow after work. I wondered if  this unfinished task would

                         rob me of sleep.


                         Around ten o'clock I let the dogs out for bathroom duty. As I stood on the deck I saw a strange glow down

                         near where the mower was. I thought it was a reflection of the porch light. My theory was shot down when

                          turned off the porch lights. I knew what it was. I had not turned off the key. I had yet another thing to do

                          before bed. I went all the way down there but I was glad that I saw that. It had not been long so it did not

                          drain the battery .

                         

                           I was amazed how even though it as pitch black, the tiny little orange light stood out in the darkness.

                           I wonder sometimes if I am wasting my time writing these stories and if anyone out in this world is 

                           being inspired . The world in which we live is indeed a dark place and getting worse day by day.

                           That little glow from that button on the mower help shed a little light for me.   I know it sounds silly but I                                     slept soundly.I drifted  off praising God thinking about how he used a mower out of gas to fill me with 

                           hope and encouragement. I will remember the next time I feel like I  can't cut it and cannot do this 

                           any " mower".


                            That glimmer of light , surrounded by so many shadows,seemed to say without words

                            :Evil has not yet taken complete dominion. A spark of hope is still left. 

                                                                                                                                           Issac Bashevis Singer 


                            There is a time for words and a time for sleep.

                                                                                                                     Homer



                         ENTRY 1

                         Our farm is about 4 miles east from Jasper In. We live on East Greener Road. Iknow you have heard  

                         the phrase about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence.

                         

                         I am here to tell testify and tell you that it is indeed greener on our side of greener road. It is because we 

                         had issues with our septic system even before our home was completed.The septic system is on the southwest 

                         side of the house and our wind usually comes from that direction. I am sure you get the drift.


                        Nonetheless we love our farm, and it has been a wonderful place too live and raise our three boys.When we 

                        turn off Greener road and start up our lane we say aloud and praise both God and Jesus.We thank them for 

                        for allowing us to return home safely.

 

                        I would like to think our sons do this as they drive up to their own homes now . I hope they will someday teach

                        their own children to do the same.I share this with you with the hope you would consider doing this as well.

                       

                        I feel this pleases God and is good for all of us reminding us  that even making it home safely at the end 

                        of the day, is an  very much overlooked blessing we all take for granted.




                        The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. The grass is always greenest where it 

                         is watered.                                                                                                    Robert Fulghum

                   

                                           



ENTRY 4


               Right now, there are several daffodils blooming in various places around our farm. There seems

             to more and more with each and every day. I have planted many bulbs over the years and they have 

             spread quite nicely. There are different color varations and I enjoy them all.


             About a week or so ago, I took a large vase to the office with I think 15 or so to be displayed and enjoyed 

             up at the front desk.


            Often as I gather them I think of a pre Easter jaunt on a farm near my parents home years ago. I took a

             picture of our youngest son, Jarah, with squished daffodils hanging out of both pocket as he gathered more.


            The place where I took them was a Homeplace to a family that lived there years ago. I know of only one

            other field that would even come close to this massive display. 


            I read a book about flowers years ago . I learned something there that I have shared many times since.

            It is hared to find a good spot for flowers to grow as we match their need for light and shade. Even after we do '

           the deer and other animals mangle then even more than Jarah. 


           Here is something we missed. The book says they are delicious especially the stems. The stems are made in such 

           way that it hurts to eat them. They are untouched because it just hurts too much. They slice and dice the tongue 

           and the critters leave them alone.


            Have you noticed how God watches over and protects things he loves and  that he has made? ;) It was not in the book 

            or anywhere in your Bible, but I think God really love those yellow flowers too!




            Flowers always make people better,happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine , food, and medicine to the soul.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Luther Burbank

 


                        ENTRY 3

                    

                       Our driveway is about 3 tenths of a mile long. I have had estimates for asphalt down through the

                        years and the prices keep going up.That is why we continue to go up and down our hill on a gravel road. 

                         

                         The steepness of our hill allows the hard rains to take our gravel road  and wash it away. In fact I asked our 

                          neighbors if could just dump the next load on their property to save the rain the trouble.


                        Gravel comes in many sizes usually in numbers. One would think that 53's would be much larger than a 2.

                        It is the complete opposite.The smaller the number, the larger the rock size.


                        I have found there are other things that seemed to be named backwards. Patients are always confused

                        by the term farsightness and near sightedness. Myopia the term for near sighted patients means the can

                        see close up. I fully agree it seems that would mean that they could not .


                        Flower terms are another example. It seems the ones that come up every year on their own or annually

                        would be called annuals and not perennials.


                       I thinks people also get confused about the size of sins. They feel some are much worse than others

                       but that is not at all what the Bible clearly explains. Sin is sin! They might look at the list of the Ten

                       Commandments and feel number 1 is worst than number 10 or vice versa.The Word of God 

                       makes it clear that if you have broken even one... you have broken them all. There is not anyone 

                       who has ever lived that is guiltless except for Jesus.


                       All have sinned , and come short of the glory of God.

                                                                                                                           Romans 3:23


                       So we are all sinners and in need of a Savior.When His red blood ran down from His body that did not save

                       you. When Jesus arose from the tomb , our sins are still in place. When we ask Him to be 

                       our Savior and into our heart, our sins past, present, and future are washed away.


                        The next time Satan wants to dump a load of guilt on you, remind him you are in Jesus and 

                          your salvation is assured and you are safe and no longer in trouble.


                           FULL

                           ASSURANCE

                           IN

                           THE

                           HEART


                           I believe America has gone a long way down the wrong road. If we ever needed God's 

                           help, it is now.                                                                                             Billy Graham