MY TAKE HOME LESSON
We had a wonderful Christmas this past December . We had all three of our sons here as well as their gals. The
'presence' of each and every one of them is far more wonderful than anything one can find, buy, and set under a tree.
The weather was brutal and an artic blast moved through our area with snow and ice and sub zero temperatures. We
had a white Christmas and then some!
Our son Josh is a naval aviator. He will soon be sent to Japan. To be honest ,this was a extra special one
because it may be the last one where we are all together for awhile. It was bittersweet but is was in the back of all our minds whether we discussed it or not. I fought this off daily by trying to be thankful for what we have and were given.
On 12/28/22 josh and his wife Christina had to drive to Virginia Beach to wrap up a few details prior to their upcoming departure. As they drove back, Christina saw an dog in the meridian along the interstate. They thought he was confused and afraid. Josh went and found he had been hit by a car and was in shock. The tempertures were still low and dangerous and he carried him back to their SUV.
We recieved a text telling us they had to drive to lexington to find a vet. The kids paid over 500 dollars and
left him there thinking he would most likely be put to sleep. They got home quite late and it still warmed my heart to hear what the kids had done for this perfect creature and I was so proud of them for doing so.
We all prayed for this 3 year old Border Collie(per the vet) . Josh had called him 'Buster' from the get go .I am sure because he was all bloody and busted up. We prayed not only that he would make it, but that they would find the owners or that someone would adopt him if they could save his life.
One morning while at my computer, I saw a picture of Buster on the OR table prior to surgery. Also was an photo of the X ray of a broken left front leg. Josh had written one of the finest letters I think I had ever seen enquiring about him and asking for an update. He explained they could not take him to overseas but that he would adopt him themselves if they
were not leaving the country. I told the kids we would be glad to take him if the owners were not found.
I have read that letter several times ,and it has brought tears to my eyes each and every time. He described our horse farm and said we would share our home with him if he lived and that was an option. He thanked them for thier kindness and efforts and for helping to make perhaps his last moments on earth less painful.
Each and every day I prayed while looking at the surgery picture of him on my computer. Josh called up there but they could not tell him about the dog's status, but did say he was still alive. Hope was rekindled and we prayed the would find the owners and he would find a good home.
Josh was speaking to some kids at the local airport on a wednesday afternoon. I was seeing patients and was to be off that afternon. I recieved a text from josh wanting to know if I was interested in a 3 legged dog!!! I picked Josh up at the airport and we drove to Lexington to pick up the newest member of our family.
Buster has adopted us and is doing great. We had thought about getting a companion for our dog Skyler and they have become best buddies.It is unbelievable how well he is doing and he has the sweetest dispostion. Yes he hobbles ,but each step demonstates grit and perseverance . He sleeps everynight in a king size bed with my beautiful wife. I am not even able to do that because of my snoring!
I do not think most folks realize that God wants to be near his kids too. We enjoy our home but it it so much more wonderful when our family is here with us. We all talk and think about how wonderful heaven will be. I am sure it will beyond anything we have ever seen or imagined as Scripture promises. I believe God is excited about us all being there with Him. Our very presence will make Heaven even more wonderful even for him.
That is not Scripture mind you, nor did a little bird tell me. It is a take home lesson I learned from God and Jesus working through a gifted medical staff , and a bunch of kind hearted souls, and a 3 legged dog named Buster.
Don't be troubled. You trust God now trust in me, There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am
going to prepare a place for you. John 14:1-2
No eye has seen, nor ear has heard ,and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared
for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
As you head up our lane , the road splits off to the left. That is the right thing to do if you want to go up to
our horse barns. It is a narrow lane that served as lovers lane per the man who sold me this farm. He would
often have to pick up beer bottles and other items left behind.
Years ago , I was going through one of the most difficult times in my life. We had had a rain earlier that morning and
was trying to walk it off. I know, that probably applies more to physical pain than heartache and heartbreak.
Ihave found the old adage motion is lotion is indeed true and helps us mentally as well.
Yes I had been praying asking God to give me a sign that a breakthrough was possible. As I passed by a large mud
puddle I stopped and stood there slack jawed. My blue mood kept me from realizing the sun had found a
spot in the still remaining heavy cloud cover. I looked into the reflection of the mud puddle and saw the sun shining
in a clear blue background. The logistics of what had to have happened at that moment will bless me
as long as I live. I took a picture of this and I enlarged it .
Sometimes after all the others have left the office, I will go in and stare at that picture and my heart is lifted
and I am reminded of his love for me as I reflect upon that very special memory .
Light is sweet and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
Once in a while you get shown light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
WE BETTER HOLD ON
Last Sunday I spoke in a large church on a snowy Sunday morning. I had been awhile since I had done this.
They had sent me a copy of the worship format in advance. They did not say who was to the children's moment
prior to the sermon. A few days before we touched base and the lady asked me if i would like to do that as well. She warned me there was not a lot of youth that attend there these days. We decided then and there we would do it anyway and if only the big kids were there. I jumped at the chance and it seemed I knew exactly what I was to do.
My wife was able to get a red baloon filled with helium and has a small white weight to keep it from drifting away.
Sure enough, there was not a single child in the crowd of 80 or souls gathered that morning. I sat on the steps in the front of the church as I would have if kids were in the house. Since there were no little kids present, I could hit upon a few points their presence would have not allowed.
I shared the quote at the end of this blog. It says that baloons teach kids not to let go. I shared that I feel that is indeed the case with our faith especially these dark days and applies to us adults as well. I told them I had read and studied for many years and l have learned that I really do not know much. I have also learned many things I was taught and thought to be true were wrong! How can we have a renewal of our minds without questioning the traditions sometimes handed down to us.
I have reached a stage in my life where my goal is to simply trust in the Lord with all my heart with the simple childlike faith I had years ago. I do not know but I do know someone who does know. His name is Jesus and he said much about the children and reminded us their angels are always in the presence of God himself.
I reminded the adults as we aspire to tweak our faith there are plenty of things we indeed should let go of. Things such as bad habits , bad thoughts, etc. Weight , there 's more! Nope, that is not an error. The weight that held the ballon and from flying away represents all of us who need to help keep them grounded in faith through Bible upbringing. We all are to play a part. Our very presence to come out and worship on a cold winter day sets an example to others and for them regardless if they are here or not. Our beloved country is in trouble and I feel is is because we have let go of what is expected and required of all of us who profess to know Christ. it is not too late. We can still turn this horse around. We better hold on and get a grip because the rodeo is well under way.
There are times in life when people must know when to let go. Baloons are desined to teach
small children this. Terry Pratchett
For you to follow this' I will need a little help from you. Please get an 8x10 inch piece of paper. Now please
turn it sideways. place a mark about two inches to the right from the top left hand corner. Please place another
mark an inchdown from the top right hand corner.
The piece of paper represents our back yard. The area above it and to the right is our horse pasture.
The edge of the paper are the where the fence line runs. Great work!
Years ago 5 horses were out in the pasture. They were about 3-4 inches above the mark in the left corner.
I filled a red bucket with horse feed. I walked out from the rear of the house . See some docs still make house
house calls! I crossed the fence and walked quite a ways to them. They seemed started and confused. I did the
same two tone whistle my dad taught me as a youth. I still do this to this day and in his honor.
They all knew what that means. They ran way off to the place on the top right corner and left me standing there
in a cloud of dust and amusement. I always tell people how smart they are but realize I may have to rethink this.
My goofy friends seemed so silly at the time. The more I though about it, God used them to show me we often do
the very same thing! We leave Jesus to go find him.
Jesus is always on the move. You never know where he would show up. His ways of approaching people were so
varied. Often churches try to dupicate a service or pattern that has worked in the past when his spirit did show.
Not realizing by doing this, they are hindering the Holy Spirt and denying the liberty it demands
All I ask if you would keep your heart open to the many ways he can and will use to reach us. It could be in the
form of a song,book, a friends words, a movie scene, or even a blogsite . These are just a drop in the bucket
of the many ways He could drop in on you.
The preacher's sharpest and strongest preaching should be to himself.
When you use your life for God's glory, everything you do can become an act of worship.
Years ago we had a very big snow. I put on my warmest clothes and went and fired up the old Ford tractor
to use the grader blade to clean and clear our lane. Even though I travel up and down our lane each day often
several times, I could not find it. I was about to call the police to report it had been stolen, I chose not to.
Often I preach to others as well at myself even more to , 'Stay in your own lane'. I found this ironic and a bit
humorous because that day I could not even find mine! I grade hard ,always have. I expect a lot and demand
those same traits in others I work with. Today me and my grader blade would not get a good grade at all.
I thought I knew this place like the back of my hand. I mean I headed toward the house and towards the front door.
I thought of all options. Could it be the house moved ?Yes my gravel lane is narrow, but my pride is that wide.
I kept plowing around and hit graveI. I was so happy and so glad I had not called the police . Like a
giant outdoor puzzle I found my lane . Believe me, it was a botch job but we had a cleared road.
Turns out I was way off and after our large turn coming up the hill , I was way off to the right.
A few days later , I told my brother about my snow blindness episode and he shared something a neighbor had
passed on and along to him. His neighbor puts stakes to mark the lane to help you line up and find your way .
Great advice! I went to the hardware store and bought orange stakes which line our driveway from
November to about early spring. Guests to our home will ask without fail what they are for.
These stakes are there to help me remember it is very easy to lose our way when we cannot find our bearings. Even on the hottest days of sumer , these stakes are in the corner in the garage reminding me of my mistake
on that snowy day.
If I could tell you one piece of advice to help you,this is it. Start reading your Bible each and every day.
These precious lines were put in place to help you find your way. It is not enough to read it you must heed
it's age old wisdom. They teach us the boundaries of God's and will stand ready on days when it is
hot as well as days when it is not. They remind us God is in our corner and not only shown the
path home but cleared our sins away with the Blood of his son, Jesus.
The only thing nice about being imperfect is the joy it brings to others.
Purify me from my sins,and I will be clean; wash me,and I will be whiter than snow.
When you wake up on a farm, you are surrounded by work. Sometimes you wake up to things unexpected
such as when it snows or the road is washed out by heavy rains. We have had a lot of very high winds
this spring . A downed tree can be a real downer . It often takes hours to cut up a tree, fix the fence
and you count your blessings if the horses are still in the pasture. It is still very time sensitive as I run the fence
to see if I can find the hole before they do.
Yes, I grumble and fuss but it is still a labor of love for me. I have loved these magnificant creatures
my entire life. It is indeed expensive both in time and money to feed and take care of them properly. I've ran
run the numbers and have explained to my wife it is far cheaper than having a shrink.
I hate to admit but at age 64 I understand the old gray mare's problem . We both ain't what we used to be.
Today was a pretty mild day for mid March. With the help of my son, we got thru the chores a little quicker.
I was very pleased he came out to help me .
Many jobs we have to do in the fall and winter I do perform but begrudingly . For example, winterizing the boat'
hooking up the snowblade on the tractor, or putting out the orange snow lane markers described earlier.I am well
aware of the forth coming and must both prepare and take precaution.
One of the last jobs today was quite pleasant. We unplugged the blue floats in our horse drinking
troughs. They keep the water from freezing and are very helpful. Most do not realize this, but a horse
can drink up to 10 gallons of water per day!
One of the fields has a small pond in it. The horses can drink freely from here anytime they they want .
If I fail the tank they know what to do. A few times the heater had been pulled out of the trough usually by a
playful youngster and the tank is frozen solid. I then will take an axe and bust through the ice as to let them drink
from the pond.
Often I stand there in awe to see how they have broken through the ice with thier rock
hard hooves and beat me to it. God had given them instinct ,and tools to help them survive when they come
to their own rock and a hard place.
He has done this for us as well. God gave us the Bible . It is hard to live in the world these days.
Fences are being torn down that should still be up. Others are being put up that we should not put up with.
Jesus is referred to a rock so many times. He loves taking care of us. His boundaries ar too protect us from us.
Let him him into your heart and ask him be your master, you will find a freedom in Him that most will never know.
Farming looks mighty easy when your plow's a pencil and you are a thousand miles from
a cornfield. Dwight D.Eisenhower
So if the Son sets your free ,you will be free indeed. John 8:36
It paws the the earth and rejoices in its strength. Job 39:21
For the water turns to ice as hard as rock, and the surface of the water freezes.
The same fence that shuts others out shuts you in. Bill Copeland
A short distance after turning up our lane, you will pass over a small stream. Many times the hard rains
wash out our road and debris must be gathered up and hauled away.
My wife and I moved to wonderful Dubois County in 1985. I was amused by the fact many of the old
Germans could not correctly pronounce the letter" V "on the eyechart.
Years later I saw a Russian grandmother for an eye examination. During our time together, she showed
me a picture of her blond haired granddaughter and said her name. I started with an" N". I found to my surprise,
I could not make that sound or anything even close to it and tried multiple times.
If she had offered me a million dollars if I said it right, the money would be
left right there on the table. As silly as it sounds, I could not get my tongue to twist and turn that way.
I would not have been able to do it even if my life depended on it!
Please allow me to let this little story flow back to a story in the Old Testament in Judges, chapter 12
The word 'shibboleth' means little stream. The correct pronunciation of that word was a matter of life or death.
It was used to at a ford in the Jordan river to tell if you were from that area or a foreighner.. If they said it
right, they went right on through.If they were unable, they lost their lives as did 42,000 people.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptles,and creatures of the sea have been tamed by man, but no man can
tame the tongue. James:7-8
All right say Shibboleth . If he said , Sibboleth because he could not say the word correctly, they
seized and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Judges 12:6
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Zora Neale Hurston
I am off today . I am at home recovering from a recent back surgery. It is windy and rainy and a
dreary day indeed. In awhile , I need to get in the shower and go to a local farm store to get horse feed.
I love going to this store . I do dread going today.
My back is starting to feel better. The sciata and pain in my left leg has been absent hours after I came to.
When I go to the store, I am going to have to ask for help. I am not allowed to pick up anything heavier
than a milk carton. To be honest, I felt a slinge twinge when I had my cereal earlier.
When I get up and get up courage, I am going to push myself and push my pride aside. I don't
see or talk to anyone let alone let them see me in this shape.
Now mind you I am not gonna wear a tux as I am out and about. A pair of jeans and a long sleeve tee shirt
should do. I will not wear a watch because I am not a slave of whistle and bell today. I will wear a leather
bracelet on my right wrist and my wedding ring.
You might say,' I thought you said you hate wearing jewery.' I do but many years ago I young man did something
and said something that has caused me to wear my ring when I am out in public ever since.
A group of strong men passed through our area. They were called the THE POWER TEAM. I was able to help
fund their trip to Jasper as they used their feats of strength to draw in crowds as they put on a strong
witness for Christ.
A blond haired young man named ,Kenan, with hugh forearms and arms tore a copy of the New York City with
his bare hands. Kenan is a bible name. Adam and Eve had a third son named Seth. Seth was Kenan's grandfather. As he prepared for the task at hand, he removed his wedding band. He just said in passing
that he never removes it but this is his only exception and he cannot do it with the ring in place.
I would guess that book was 4-5 inches thick and he went right through it. What he said as he put the ring
back his hugh hand has stayed with me down through the years.
He said I do not like to wear rings at all. He said, "I wear it for my wife. When I am and about, it shows and
and says I am taken. I belong to my someone and her alone".
No other feat of strength or words made a stronger impression on me that entire show. I found
where my ring was stored and have worn it since. Lord willing, I will have it on my finger in the store
in a little while. My back is still stiff and sore and I walk funny. My marriage to my beautiful wife Kim is
stronger than ever. I thank God for all the people he has used to help my faith get stonger. I marvel at all
the various ways he can give us handy advice I praise him for allowing our paths to cross!
The spiritual battle,the loss of victory, is always in the thought world.
Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength.
Henry Ward Beecher
What counts in making a happy marriage ,is not so much how compatible you are, but how
you deal with incompatibility. George Levinger
A few feet away from me is a walking stick that I bought from an elderly patient, years ago.
He was always on the hunt for them. When I see a twisted young treewhile I am deer hunting, I think of him.
He would take them home and put a nice stain on them . He told me how a young vine wraps around the young sapling and causes it to grow up twisted. Willie took this deformity and turned into something of beauty.
The one in the corner is very thick and sturdy and would come up to about my shoulder. Its leans in the
corner but it almost was put to use as I was needing extra support when I was walking after my back procedure.
I love almonds and in fact my favoite candy bar is Almond Joy. I have a craving for a new cereral that is vanilla and almonds. I have been going through it since I have been off. Someone needs to cut me off.
Our youngest son Jarah recently married a wonderful gal we all love named Kirby. The kids bought a nice home
in Jasper and live 10-15 from us.They have a nice back yard.
I guess I am too sentimental. I bought a planter that looks like Santa's boots. I dug up a small
cedar tree roots and all and gave it to them as a Christmas gift. I thought they might want a tree from
our place for their place. They seemed to like it and the idea behind it and probably will put it behind
their house in the spring.
Can you imagine if I gave them our Christmas tree that Jarah and I cut down and used
our great room? They would think I was nuts!
People are always grasping for power. Even the 12 disciples were trying to discuss among themselves
who would be topdog after Jesus died instead of being crushed when Jesus shared what was forthcoming.
Moses had a brother named Aaron. He was to be a leader but many of the others did not like this. God
had 12 walking sticks to be left in the tabernacle overnight and before the Ark. He had one from each of the 12
tribes and they were to put each of their names on their on own staff.
The next morning the staff that belonged to Aaron had come alive and had produced flowers
well as ripe almonds! It seemed this staffing issue was resolved .It seems God found great joy( almond joy)
if you will in showing how easy it for him bring back to life things that are were dead.
God is a specialist at making something useful and beautiful out of something broken and confused.
Some circumstantial evidence is very strong,as when you find a trout in the milk.
The staff of the man I choose will sprout,and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you
by the Israelites. Numbers 17:5
We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relingquishing it.
I like watches . I always have. I have way too many and at last count it was around plenty five of so.
None of them are expensive and probably the nicest one I bought for less than 200 bucks.
The funny thing is ,I don't like wearing them. I know you thought you were stange !
I always wear one to work and will often change them depending on my wardrobe but they
are casual. The nicer ones I will wear for weddings etc but many times find the battery has died.
I am dressed up and am ready to go and find they are not.
I do not like wearing jewelry of any kind. The first thing I do is remove my watch and wedding ring
when I walk in every evening. If it is my day off , it would be very unusual to see me wearing a watch.
You see on of the things I hate most about my job is the fact that my life is divided into 15
and 30 minutes blocks of time. It is stressful because not only are we usually full, the day is full of
Many times we overcompensate for things. I fight tooth and nail to keep my weekends free
and I detest being overbooked or even being booked at all.
Years ago, I would take pictures and cut out of watch ads and put them up on Powerpoint
various talks. My goal was to show them something they have seen many times but never noticed.
Yes I enjoy doing that that. In the ads , more times than not the time displayed was 10:10.
The reason is because the human eyes likes balance and evenness. It pleases the eye as they want you to buy.
Digital watches often are set to this time even to this day as well.
When a policeman hears a 10:10, they know a fight is in progress. I hate to alarm you, but there is a
fight going on right now in your own heart and mind. How you feel right this minute will tell you which side is
winning. Please read John 10:10 and perhaps commit to memory. Use that verse and consider saying it out loud
when back up is needed.
Years ago, I spoke to a large youth group. I shared this with them and suggested setting an alarm
to go off at this time. A young mom approached me as I was out and about at a retail store.
She wanted to share with me that since that talk, she has set her alarm daily to 10:10.
He who bestows his goods upon the poor, shall has as much again , and 10 times more.
The thief comes only to steal, kill , and destroy.Ihave come that they may have life, and
have it to the full. John 10:10