When you are reading here whether you found me intentionally or accidently, please take time to leave a comment and let me know where you are and what you are thinking. I love feed back. Vondi

Saturday, October 31, 2009

bragging on my nephew

I've been meaning to post these pictures for several days but kept getting involved with other things and forgetting them. The very distinguished man in the tuxedo is a self described "plain ole Navajo man from sagebrush country," my nephew, Irving Nelson. The second picture is his 'everyday self."

On October 7th, he received one of the first two Prism Awards ever presented from the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian! "The NMAI Prism Award is given to a person who labors tirelessly and lagely anonymously in a tribal community to improve the lives of community members in some way. ...the Prism Award reminds us that it is in the communities throughout Indian country where the most important work is done. Prism Awards recipients forge strong, healthy , civic-minded communities. "

The Smithsonian provided transportation and lodging for him and his son, Christopher, to and from Washington DC. He attended a Gala Dinner on the sixth and the Award was presented in special ceremonies on the seventh. The young man on the right is Christopeher, Irving's son. I don't remember the name of the man in the center. Some dignitary I believe.
Irving has been the director of the Navajo Nation Library System for 32 years. He has worked tirelessly during that time to improve the extent of library branches and the quality of the library collection. He has also implemented the increased number of volumes to exceed 73,000 books! Many of these have been donated by organizations and government agencies that Irving has lobbied personally.

In addition to the Prism Award Irving received a lifetime achievement award at the Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums Conference that took place at Portland, Oregon, on October 17th.
I'm so proud of him. But I look at the distinguished man and still see the ornery ten year old that was in my Sunday School class on the mission. This is one of those times when I see the truth of the verse, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." I know Irving has had ups and downs in his life but I trust that some of the lessons we did in Sunday School had an impact on the man he is today. When he wrote to tell me of his award, his first sentence was: "Praise to my almighty God!!! He has blessed me with my job that I have had for 32 years and has blessed our main and branch libraries with thousands and thousands of free books from donors across the United States."
And I do praise Him for that.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Several years ago I had a good friend and co-worker who shared a fascination with me about strange folk sayings. You know, things like “cute as a button’ and ‘cuss a blue streak’ and ‘acting like a suck-egg hound.’ Some of the sayings have obvious roots, but others are pretty obscure and seem to bear no relation to anything real. I mean, just what is ‘cute’ about a button? And cussing I can understand, but why a ‘blue streak’? I can also understand hound dogs that steal eggs, but just how would they act? Linda and I were always coming up with something old but new to one of us and looking for the source of it. We enjoyed trying to find the source before the other one did.

One of our long term favorites was ‘a goose just walked over my grave’ or sometimes, “a ghost walked over my grave.’ It is used when someone has a sudden unexplainable chill or shudder. When Linda died we were still tracking the source of that. Both of us could easily understand a goose walking or even by a stretch of imagination, a ghost, but how can either of them walk over my grave when I’m still alive? And why would a saying like that come into being? Who would ever think that a goose walking would cause a chill whether it walked over a grave or not? Why would anyone say that to start with and why would it have endured for so long? We were still looking for the source when she died.

I was reminded of her this morning when someone used the term ‘kit and caboodle.’ I wondered about the word ‘caboodle’ and what it meant. I assume that it means all the junk that goes along with having a kit of any kind. A first aid kit has a lot of items in it. They can get all jumbled together and you have a ‘caboodle.’ I guess. It’s easy to figure out what a saying means, but sometimes knowing the source of the archaic word is fascinating.

Linda died of a lingering illness after several months. She was saved a few weeks before the Lord took her home. I remember I carried a heavy burden for her and prayed for her not only in formal prayers, but at odd moments in between times. I wasn't picky. I asked the Lord to heal her or save her. I would have liked both but one was sufficient-especially the one He gave me.
I can almost pinpoint the moment when she gave her heart to the Lord. I was driving home from work, praying for her as I usually did. There was a tape playing…”far above the sounds of battle there is victory for me…” In the midst of my prayer my heart went from weeping to rejoicing. The burden lifted and I was filled with blessings.

I could only accept it for what it was—an answer to prayer. I had absolutely nothing to support my ‘feeling’ except the blessing, but I began thanking the Lord for saving her. A while later, I spoke to her sister who had been talking with her about her soul, and she told me Linda had given her heart to the Lord the day before. I didn’t need to ask her what time it had happened.

It is fantastic how little things can bring back a flood of memories.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Oh yes, I wanted to tell you about my fabulous egg sandwich creation. Because of my starchy carb free diet I can seldom have bread. Usually I'm okay with that but sometimes I get a real hankering for it. Rachael, bless her little heart, found this whole wheat bread, Nickles 100% whole wheat bread. It has 16 grams of carbs per slice, which is about the same as other breads, but this is compensated for by 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. It is a great alternative to white bread which has often has 20 carbs with only 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protein. And for some reason, thank goodness, it has a positive effect on my glucose numbers. Of course, I can't eat it every meal of every day, but I can occasionally have a sandwich or toast.
Anyway, enough of that. I like egg sandwiches but because of my standing-time issues, I'm not able to stand comfortably long enough to manufacture them. That process also includes standing and scrubbing the frying pan besides the preaparation.
I found a better way! Microwaved food can sometimes be disappointing, but this works!
Assemble: bread, thinly sliced deli ham (not chip-chopped, real ham) American cheese slices, 2 eggs, butter or margarine. two small containers-one microwavable sprayed with cooking spray. fork, knife.
Here's the part that prompted the whole thing- Sit down! Of course it helps to have a kitchen arranged so you can reach everything,but still...
Toast two pieces of bread-whatever kind you like.
While your bread is toasting. beat two eggs in a bowl, pour them into the microwave dish prepared with cooking spray.
Microwave the eggs for 1 minute.
When the toast pops, spread each slice with butter
Put a slice of cheese on one piece of toast.
When the minute of microwaving is over, flip the eggs. (They will be done on one side, but slimey on the bottom. )
Return eggs to microwave for 10 seconds.
Separate the ham slices -as many as you like.
Put the hot eggs on the slice of cheese,
Immediately spread the ham slices on top.
Place the other piece of toast on that and wrap the sandwich in a paper towel. The heat from the eggs warms the entire sandwich and melts the cheese!
Get your coffee or orange juice.
Breakfast is ready. hot ham and cheese with egg on toast! It's great. Tastes good. Easy prep. A whole breakfast in 3 minutes. Easy clean-up. Rinse the dishes and knife under hot water with a drop of soap....or toss them in the dish washer.
Trust me, try it.

beautiful day!

I wish I could adequately describe this day. The sunlight is almost blinding and the sky is as clear as any I ever saw in New Mexico! It was cold last night, but this morning is just nippy enough to make the dogs hustle. I was up early to make sure Michael's coffee dripped and get his lunch in the bag. Then I took my coffee and came back in and sat down. I think I fell asleep because the next two hours zipped past.

I heard Rachael thumping around upstairs getting ready for work. This is a switch. SHE is usually the one leaving early, but today one of the Kroger stores is having a grand opening and she had orders to be there at 11 AM. I heard her making noise at nine oclock and, although that was a little early for a 10:30 departure, I went ahead and got up. Then I got involved with my blood pressure cuff and didn't get moving quite as fast as I intended. She came down stairs about 15 or 20 after nine. She said her boss had called and said everything was in a tizzy at the store and could she get there right away.

Rachael was chuckling because her boss has a tendency to rile things up more than straighten them out and the employees at the store were probably already suffering from stress exhaustion. She has a talent for looking chaos over and discovering which string to pull that will straighten out the mess. Then she diplomatically straightens the whole thing out. I'm sure Monna was looking forward to her arriving and doing just that.

Oh! I'm so glad those days are over for me. I always did my job, but I never enjoyed telling other people what to do... I much preferred being with the kids, teaching them and having fun. Rachael gets her take-charge attitude and ability from her Navajo heritage. Navajo women are strong and never afraid of speaking their minds.

I'm going to trundle on down the road now. Maybe I'll sit out side in my new jacket and enjoy the sunshine. I hope your day is as beautiful as mine.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I've found a lot of photos on the web, but this has to be one of my favorites. Balloons-exuberant,soaring up, lifting into the sky! Sometimes I picture my heart as one of them-ebullient with praise and joy.

I woke up from my nap this morning after Rachael had gone to work much earlier and leaned back thinking how wonderful that I could wake up and just be joyful--no apparent reason as far as events in my life are concerned, nothing special has happened to bring a particular joy-but I was, and am, joyful. Now I'm not always philosophical at this hour of the morning and when I looked for a reason why I should be so happy at 6:30, immediately the hymn popped into my mind. And you know, this is the only reason to be joyful after you were up since before 4:00AM.

I will sing, hallelujah, for there’s joy in the Lord,
And He fills my heart with rapture as I rest on His Word;
I will trust in His promise; I will shout, I am free;
In my blessed, loving Savior, I have sweet victory.
There is joy in the Lord, there is joy in the Lord;
Hallelujah! glory, glory! there is joy in the Lord!
There is joy in the Lord, there is joy in the Lord;
Hallelujah! glory, glory! there is joy in the Lord!

I will live for the Savior, I am His evermore;
I am resting in His favor, I am safe and secure;
For the light shining brighter on my path every day
Cheers my happy soul with rapture as I walk in the way.

When I reach heaven’s portals, in that land of the blest,
I shall sing with holy angels of this rest, happy rest;
I shall dwell there forever with my Lord and my King,
And with everlasting praises make those high arches ring.
--DS Warner
And I still haven't learned to post the recording here so as always I'm giving you the link if you don't know the song: http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/There_Is_Joy_in_the_Lord/hifi/

Friday, October 23, 2009


(A message from October 11, 2009 in the evening. )

A few days ago I listened to a message by brother David Chancellor from Moore, Oklahoma. Some of his thoughts had a deep impact on me and I took a few notes that I want to pass on. I was particularly thrilled by his distinguishing between the work of the evangelist and the pastor. It was a thought that was entirely new to me and my heart was excited at the truth of it. I’m not claiming to be passing his words on verbatim or exactly how he presented it, but this is the message I got from it. And it blessed me.

He pointed out that the emphasis for many years has been on the role of the pastor who is called to care for the sheep. But the evangelist’s role is to reach those who aren’t in the sheepfold. There are many good pastors today, but there is a need for evangelists to go out among the American people today.

The work of an evangelist is to speak to people who don’t know anything about the Word or Jesus… Consider Paul’s message on the unknown God.
The work of a pastor is more to preach to people who do know, but need to be better grounded. An evangelist has a gift for presenting the message to those who know nothing about the Bible or God.

There really are a lot of people in America today who have no idea of what the Bible says. We try to get them to come to ‘church’ but when they do, the language is almost incomprehensible to them because they just don’t have the background we do. Without that background in the Word, they simply don’t understand what is being preached.

Paul faced this problem in Athens, but he took the one thing they DID know, the ‘unknown god,’ and turned it into a message they could understand. I never thought of it quite that way before, but isn’t that great!

“A church without evangelists is like a business without salesmen.” Someone has to present the product in a manner that all men understand how it benefits them. Someone has to present Christ to people in a way they can understand. Quoting scripture at them has little impact. Seeing and hearing about some path that applies directly to them (and then discovering later that it is from the Bible) gains their immediate attention. Many people are looking for solutions to their problems. They are looking for answers to their questions.

The answers and solutions are in the Bible, but we have to have a knowledge that we need to go look there. We (the people of God) need to supply some of the answer or solution and the knowledge of where to look before we present the Bible.

First people need to be convinced that there IS a God and Christ is His Son. They need to see Him in the Lives of His People. They are convinced He is real by seeing Him in action in the lives of his people. It does matter how we live and what we say and where we go. Seeing Jesus in our lives may be the thing that prompts them to go looking for what is missing in their life and to pick up a Bible to find it.

Brother Chancellor related a testimony of a young teen living in a the Soviet Union when it was a communist country a few years ago. The concept of atheism was being pushed in the schools. The teen sat in one of those classes and thought to himself: “If there is no God why do people work so hard to convince me there isn’t onel” It happened to be snowing this particular day and the young person lived in an area where snowfall was infrequent. He wanted to be out in the new falling snow and he spoke in himself saying, “God, if there is one, make this snow last long enough I can get out in it.” It snowed for three days and the young person was led to begin searching for the reality of God. That happened without the intervention of an evangelist but it demonstrated that something has to prompt the search for God and His direction.

Brother David spoke of cultural differences…. The impact on me was that we cannot outright condemn cultural traditions up front. Some understandings come only later in our walk with God. Others may not fit in our own perception of what is good, but there may be nothing wrong with them before God. Let’s understand that our moral standards may not be those of another culture. ( for ex. Chinese women’s traditional casual dress with trousers: one of my biggest quandries. vh.) Let’s not allow those cultural differences be so much at the front of our mind that we are condemning them before the message of God and Jesus is ever presented. Let’s first present the wonder of a Heavenly Father and the Salvation he presents through His son. We can let the cultural differences be taken care of by the Spirit after the convert learns what it is like to live for God!

I hope I’ve done justice to the message. I apologize if it isn't presented as brother David intended. Remember this has been strained through the element of my understanding and perception. There was more to it that this, but this portion was the part that rested most heavily on me. You can go listen if you want to. http://www.moorecog.org/sundaynotes.aspx

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This morning when R&M had gone to work, I sat down to finish looking through a pile of catalogues that came in the mail yesterday. The first one I picked up was one that heaven knows how it got to my house, but it was full of ‘Christian’ gifts. I don’t know what I was expecting, but by the time I finished looking at it I was disillusioned.

Now I like cute dust catchers and stuff hanging on my walls and cups with pretty pictures as much as the next sentimental woman, but after looking through this catalogue I don’t think I’ll like them quite as much in the future. The book was full of cutesy ideas for “promoting our faith”, and “building a witness” and “proclaiming our allegiance” and “testifying of Salvation.” There was a plethora of necklaces and bracelets and key chains: all of them purporting to be a “constant reminder of God’s Promises,” “encouraging words before us,” and “shining reminders that God hears our prayers." There were bracelets with John 3:16 and I Corinthians 13:13 engraved on them. There were charms with faith hope, trust, love, and kindness logos dangling from them. Cross necklaces with inspirational words engraved on them promised to ‘make a statement’ of your faith designed “to start thoughtful and faith-provoking conversations where ever you go” There was even a crystal cross proclaimed to be ‘faith filled finery.’ Inside it was a mustard seed and a couple sprigs of greenery! And there were military ‘dogtags’ adapted with scriptures and witnesses instead of the standard name and serial number….

There were statuettes and plaques and wall hangings and appliquéd banners, each designed to be a "silent and constant" “proclamation of your faith.” One was declared to be a “silent testimony to the Creator.” A set of wind chimes was designed to remind us every time the wind blows that ‘we are not alone.’ There were religious symbols modeled onto lapel pins, tie tacs, ball-point pens, key chain fobs . There was even a ‘prayer crock’ with a pretty floral heart and a pad of small note pages. Prayer requests were to be written on the papers and placed in the jar where we could “rest secure in the knowledge that your heavenly Father hears you.” There were coffee cups and travel mugs and candle holders and neck ties! ( For goodness sake!) All of them designed with pictures and sayings to be a ‘silent witness.’

Now I do believe that there is a real need to be a ‘silent witness’ in the world today. There is a crying need for sinners to see men and women of God quietly and faithfully living out the gospel message. Now that is not to say that we should never speak of our salvation and what God had done and what He requires of us. No, no, no. But too often there is too much talk and not enough living. False religion has substituted much speaking for liv[ing] soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

Now we come up with these religious messages plastered on all kinds of chintzy objects, shouting out isolated words and scriptures and pictures, all designed to circumvent the crying need for righteous living. If we LIVE out the message of Christ in righteousness and holiness, we will have an impact on those we live with and meet daily. There must be a dramatic difference between the Christian and the world. If there isn’t, all the cute mottos, and necklaces and coffee cups and plaques and teeshirts will be worse than useless. These things plastered across the living space of men and women living like sinners but proclaiming their spiritual connection have a negative effect--instead of drawing people to God, the heap scorn and negation on the very name of Jesus.

I once knew a lady who liked to wear tee shirts with scriptures and cute religious sayings on them. She was ignorant of any message of righteous living, so some of the fault must lie with the men who served her as pastors, but her fits of temper and bad language belied the message she sanctimoniously proclaimed on her tee shirt. People had no confidence in her and by association, no faith in God either.

Now some of the things in the catalogue were pretty. A couple of them I thought I’d like to have myself, but not to substitute for a holy life. I liked them for the same reason I have pretty pictures hanging on my wall. They were pleasing to the eye; but I wouldn't depend on them to proclaim a message of salvation. To do that, I depend on living a consistant life for God. If you walk into my sitting room…looking around right now…there is no visible indicator of my religious belief. Even my Bible is on the shelf behind my chair and not visible to the casual observer. But anyone who spends any time with me, I hope, will find a difference between my attitude and lifestyle and that of most senior citizens.

If you like the kinds of things I’ve been talking about, that’s okay. There really isn’t anything wrong with most of them. So if you have religious things hanging on your wall and your coffee cup says "Prayer changes Things" I'm not faulting you. However, don’t rely on them to proclaim your salvation. Do that by living righteously before the Lord and your neighbors.

The scriptures keeps running through my head: Whose adorning let it not be that outward . . . But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (I Peter 3:4-5) Granted this is speaking of women and their penchant for jewelry and fancy hair dos and fine clothes, but it is certainly still applicable to all children of God regardless of their gender. The hidden man of the heart clad in a meek and quiet spirit is the greatest witness, not plaques on walls or banners or neckties or necklaces.

Okay, I’ve vented.

(Don't forget. Go see http://chosenhighway.wordpress.com )

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

songs on the night

A lot of times I'm awake in the middle of the night. It seems that once I get my three sleep cycles in I'm awake and ready to go. I have no place to go so spend my time thinking. I consider of a lot of things and I won't even pretend they are all deep spiritual thoughts. Often I think about my kids and my dogs and things going on in the world, plans R&M have for the house all sorts of things. But there are times when my mind is fixed on the Lord and the things He has done for me. And when I'm meditating on those works, I can't help but sing His praises. The old testament writers spoke of songs in the night and the oldr I get the better I understand the concept.

When life is good, and things are running smoothly, it's easy to sing
joyfully. But what about the darker times we endure? David said, "Yet the LORD will command his loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." Psalm 42:8 And sometimes I think we don't realize the blessing of being able to sing in the darkness, at midnight and the small hours of the morning.

Elihu, in the Book of Job, asked, "Where is God who giveth songs in the
However, David, in the above verse answers this with, "In the night
His songs shall be with me."

Everyone of us will pass through dark valleys sooner or later. All of us
will become ill at times. Some of us will become permanently ill. It is an
illusion that this side of heaven all diseases will be wiped out with cures.
We will all go through periods of suffering, bereavement, discouragement,
danger and difficulties. We are foolish if we believe our life will always go smoothly without rough spots and set backs.

There are those who give up their fidelity to God because they don't
believe God is fair. They ask, "What have I done to deserve this?" "Why is
there cancer?" "Why me?"

How will we answer these and similar questions? How will we learn to sing
songs in darkness?

Here's how . . . By having faith in the dominion of God! The world's not being ruled by chance, but by a God who's in control! Even a sparrow can't fall without God noticing. So, He cares for each of us much, much more. Nothing can happen that does not concern Him. Jesus sang in the darkest night of His life on earth. The Apostle John sang songs of joy and praise while in exile on the island of Patmos. At midnight, David arose to give thanks to God. And Paul tells us, "When I am weak, then I am strong."

How did they do that? Because they had all trusted before and God had proven Himself mighty in their behalf. That’s where the songs come from. They come from prayers answered and burdens lifted. We can’t wait until we are in deep water and then call for God’s help. We find our faith too weak then and we suffer failure and our songs in the daytime disappear, never mind the night. We must first trust Him for the little things, the things some might say don’t matter, that we can ‘take care of for our selves’. Only when we have seen His Greatness, His Mighty Hand, and His Stretched-out Arm, can we sing songs in the darkness.

Our lives will become stronger and our spirituality deeper when we learn the source of those songs in darkness. "At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments."

It makes my heart sing just to remember the works he had done on my behalf! And it isn't even dark yet. Praise the Lord
I meant to mention here that I've opened an additional blog called Chosen Highway. It is a blog devoted to auto-biograhical accounts-things I remember from my life. They are just random accounts. Maybe some day I'll organize them chronologially but for now, I'm just posting them as I think of them. There is a link over to the right further down the side bar that will take you to Chosen Highway if you are interested.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

self pity

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow.. Jonah 3:10; 4:1-3,5

Several times during the course of my life with the Lord, I’ve been subject to self pity. I found that of all the trials we may experience, this one is more the product of our own flesh than any other. Self pity is a matter of choice, of being so involved with how we feel about circumstances and our concerns about how those circumstances encroach upon us and how things should have been that we lose sight of God’s design. We become so involved in seeing how badly we have been treated by fate or by others or even by God that we are paralyzed by our own self involvement.

Jonah came to my mind immediately when I started thinking of people who felt so sorry for themselves. He had a history of not obeying God and reaping serious consequences but after the consequence he did come around to doing the will of God. Jonah did his job so well that the city was convicted and the king decreed period of mourning. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. Jonah 3: 10

Jonah’s task was a fabulous success, but instead of rejoicing he went off and felt sorry for himself because his dire threats regarding God’s punishment for their sins had not come to pass. Instead of being happy that the city was saved, he said to God, “I knew You would do something like this! That’s why I went to Tarshish. I knew if I would go to Nineveh and preach all kinds of damnation and then You’d make me look foolish by forgiving them when they repented.” He was so involved with his image as a prophet, that he could not rejoice in the salvation of the city. He was more involved with his self that he was in seeing God’s work accomplished.

Many times in the midst of doing a work for the Lord we complicate the situation immeasurably by being so involved with our own difficulties that we can only sit on the hillside and moan. Life is full of circumstances that are often not easy. But it is very easy for us to begin feeling sorry for our state. Satan will cooperate by heaping trials on us. And our self pity snowballs.

The result of self pity is that our faith is smothered. The more we dwell on our sorry situation and worry about why things are the way they are the less faith we have to exercise. The sadder we are about our circumstances the more useless patience seems to be. The more helpless we tell ourselves we are, the less effective we can be for the Lord. And of course when we have talked ourselves into this state, the happier Satan is. Without his doing much work at all we have destroyed our witness and our effectiveness for God

Monday, October 19, 2009

our ditch

Poor Michael. He's spent his evenings for almost the last week and his afternoons over the weekend trying to conquer our sump pump drainage system. At first he thought it was a simple leak in the pump, but every time he fixed something he found another problem. By last evening he had the entire ditch dug up across the front yard! He discovered some obstructions, but his biggest problem was that the corner turn just below the side walk was several inches lower that the far end of the drain!
He and Rachael dug out and had no success with lowering the far end-it was getting so it was too deep for the drain hole. Finally they decided to replace the pipe, which wasn't really broken up but did have some cracks in it, and raise the low corner section. So they have all the pipe and the corner joint replaced and part of it refilled. Now all they have to do is buy a couple loads of topsoil and cover the still exposed corner, which is now the right level, but sitting almost on top of the ground.
Fortunately there was a low spot in the yard at that point (probably part of the reason it was low there.) Hopefully they will be able to get it finiahed off with no more headaches.
Oh yeah--the cause of all that mess AND the subsequent exposure of the messed up drain was that the drainage pvc under the sidewalk had been filled with concrete along about a 2 foot length when they raised a tilted section by forcing cement between the slab and the substrate. A good idea, but NOT if you drill into the drain pipe. The one good thing-none of this happened in the middle of winter!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

a better day

Well, things were back to normal today. Both of my little dogs slept with me last night. We all slept like logs. The one time I got up Gable didn't even move! Later when it was time to start Michael's coffee, he did get up and follow me in his usual routine. I had to roust Sebastian out of bed to go outside.
Gabe stayed with me the way he always does, but as soon as I turned toward our room again, he took off and beat me there. He hopped up on the bed and was snuggled among the pillows before I even got myself set down. Sebastian thought maybe he'd go up stairs with Rachael, but soon returned to sleep beside my in our chair. And there they were settled until about 10:30.
When Rachael let the big dogs out I went to open the door for them to go outside. Gable and Sebastian both went out with them, but as soon as they were back inside, Gable curled up by my chair and went to sleep again. He stayed there until we went back to our room after lunch. He is sleeping as much as he can, usually snuggled up warm. Silly little dog! I hope he doesn't come down with pneumonia because of his cold wet afternoon.
Maybe next time he will think twice before he goes exploring. At any rate, he has his collar and tags on!
Michael is putting locks on the gates. Right now we are paranoid everytime we let the dogs out.

Friday, October 16, 2009


So much trauma in the last 24 hours.
Yesterday morning, the lawn service came and applied whatever it is they put on the grass for weeds and fertilizer. When they left, they didn't effectively latch the gate on the back yard. About 2:00 we put the dogs out, not thinking that the gate wasn't secure.
Rachael and I were sitting here gabbing about this and that when she jumped up saying, "The dogs are out." She had just seen Maxim going past the window.
She ran to the front door and when she got it open, Maxim was coming around the corner of the house. He came romping in. Rachael ran across the front of the house to the gate. Mica and Sebastian were just discovering it was open. She slammed the gate and fastened it. Mica and Sebastian went in the garage. Maxim was in with me. Rachael went running around in her slippers and sweat shirt calling Gabriel. He was gone. Like he had been zapped up by Captian Kirk or Scotty.
After a few minutes she came back in and put on better outdoor clothes and began looking for Gabe. I put on a jacket and shoes and went to stand out side, calling him. For about 45 minutes or an hour she canvassed the neighborhood on foot. Then she came in and got the car to drive further.
To make the whole thing worse, Gabriel didn't have his collar on! No license, no rabies tag, no ID! He had gotten in a tiff with the neighbor dog remember, and I'd taken the collar off because his neck was so swollen it was too tight. He still had a lump and I hadn't put it back on!
I called the police to get the animal control number (I was so flusterd I couldn't locate it.) The dispatcher gave me the number, but also took a report on Gable.
I called the Animal Control Office and gave them a report too. Mean time Rachael drove all around Twelve Trees. No Gabriel.
When Michael came home, he and Rachael drove around again, but it was nearly dark by then. No Gabriel. When they came home they didn't come in to my room right away and I was sure they were burying Gabe before they told me he'd gotten hit. I imagined he looked so awful they didn't want me to see him! Finally Rach came and said they just hadn't been able to find him.
I tried to stay positive. Rachael was sure someone had taken him inside because of the cold damp weather. I prayed that was so. I didn't sleep real well, but better than I expected to. And I didn't cry too much. But I missed having him lay in the side of my chair. Sebastian came up but he just doesn't feel like Gable.
I prayed that Gabe wouldn't have to spend the night outside.
I prayed somebody had him and would take him someplace where I could find him. I prayed that the Lord would protect him and bring him home to me safely. I posted a note to a few people asking them to pray for him to come home to me, but I was so upset that I wasn't very coherent to explain.

It really hit hard when I got up to start the coffee this morning. Gabe always hops out of bed right away and is ready for the day, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed so to speak. And he wasn't there. I was all alone. I went to the bathroom alone, washed my face alone, put my dress on alone. When I went out to the kitchen I had to call Sebastian to come along and go out to the potty. Then I started dripping.
I cried all while I fixed Michael's lunch box and got the coffee and made some toast. I came around and sat down in my usual spot still crying but there was no Gable sitting by my foot. And when Sebastian came inside, he was cold.
After everyone left for work, I made up a lost dog flyer to email to Michael at work. He said he'd print it off and they could get a bunch made. One of my friends emailed me to see how I was doing....
When I came out from taking my shower and washing my hair there was a missed message on my phone. When I called it was the Westerville Police. Someone had brought in a little black and white Jack Russell Terrier. I wanted to hope but I was afraid to even think it might be Gabe. After a few calls back and forth I thought to tell the dispatcher that I'd posted his picture on PetFBI.com, our lost dog website. About 3 minutes later she called to say it was him!
A policeman brought him to me about fifteen minutes after that. Oh, I thank the Lord for getting him home safe. The policeman said everybody at the station had loved him. That was very evident--his little belly was like a drum. Everybody who'd seen him had felt moved by his woebegone face to give him a treat. And he'd obviously taken advantage of every single tidbit.
They said he'd been clear over in Three Forks, several blocks from us! The little wanderer! Some people had picked him up yesterday evening and kept him warm over night. In the morning they had taken him to the police station.
Thank the Lord. Not only does He care about the grass of the field and lilies and sparrows, but He cares about little black and white dogs too. And their 'mamas' who have served Him faithfully.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Martin Luther's Theses

Did you ever read all of the 95 theses? I admit I hadn't. I knew what they were but I'd never actually read them in depth. Wow! No wonder they shook the world!
I watched a documentary a while back about Martin Luther and his Theses. In 1517 he published the results of his study with a sincere desire to reform the Catholic Church. Of course, we know that didn't happen and he had to confront the politics of the Catholic priesthood of his time in a number of trials. They were called other things, but basically Luther was on trial and required to defend his theses. He tried for the next four years to present his teaching in the venue of the Church, but in 1520 he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X. His t
preaching became the basis of the Lutheran movement. You might want to check out the Wikipedia post on him.

Although the Lord gave him wonderful insight into the Word, if we read the theses we can see clearly the lingering effect of Catholic teachings. Yet, the core of the theses condemns the Catholic church on many fronts. When I read them I was amazed at his audacity. He truly had to be empowered by God to take the step he did and stand so firmly behind his leading. I was moved by his statements on several points. We have heard these theses preached on in the Church of God for many years without knowing exactly what they say. Take time to go and read them all. They are a little hard to understand in some instances, but you will be blessed by putting in the time to work your way through them. I copied them all off onto a document and did a bit of paraphrasing so I could track the thoughts easier. It was a fantastic study and a real blessing.

Even more than all that, he was responsible for the initiation of translating the Word of God into a language the common people could read. Today there are bibles everywhere. You can buy inexpensive ones in WalMart or Target. You can get better quality in a bookstore or a really fine leather-bound copy in a Bible bookstore. We have literally dozens of translations of varying quality and veracity. It is difficult for us to imagine that once it was not available anywhere. The available copies were kept carefully safe in the libraries of the Catholic Church and the few intellectual elites who could read the Latin or original languages. Luther saw the need for everyman to be able to read the Word of God in his own language and translated the first testament into German.

"His translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible" (wikipedia)

If you have never studied the life of Martin Luther I encourage you to do so. Keep in mind his time and background when you find inconsistencies to the Light we have today. Consider the giant step he took on faith. You will be blessed.


I think I just signed up to follow a tweet that I'm not interested in.....

heaven help us!

I cannot believe it. I just registered with twitter! UN-BE-LIEV-ABLE! See it started out when I went to check out a friend's page... But it was on twitter and I couldn't access it without registering for twitter. I least I don't think I could access it. It's real easy to confuse me on these things.

So, like the technologically challenged soul I am, I went ahead and 'registered.' And now I have an account, but I'm not real sure how to use it!

Honest to Pete, I don't believe I'm tweeting material.

If anybody knows anything about using this whole twitter thingie, puhleze, send me an email or post a comment or just help! I've heard that people do all kinds of neat things with their pages.... Not me, kid! I'm amazed I to have one.

Oh yeah... I'm at
http://twitter.com/honchess And don't be disappointed. It's a bare bones page. Like I said, I'm astonished that it's even there.

angels never knew the joy

I'm still dwelling on the concept that the Lord has given us something that His Own angels can never experience. Isn't that mind boggling? Ordinary words just don't describe the thought. Wonderful, overwhelming, awesome. Words simply don't have scope enough to do the concept justice . I don't know if it means as much to you as it does to me, but tonight it is simply ringing in my heart over and over.

When I was a teenager a brother at campmeeting used to sing this song. Again it speaks of angels being silent when we sing of Salvation.

There is singing up in Heaven such as we have never known,
Where the angels sing the praises of the Lamb upon the throne,
Their sweet harps are ever tuneful, and their voices always clear,
O that we might be more like them while we serve the Master here!


Holy, holy, is what the angels sing,
And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring;
But when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings,
For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings.

But I hear another anthem, blending voices clear and strong,
“Unto Him Who hath redeemed us and hath bought us,” is the song;
We have come through tribulation to this land so fair and bright,
In the fountain freely flowing He hath made our garments white.


Then the angels stand and listen, for they cannot join the song,
Like the sound of many waters, by that happy, blood washed throng,
For they sing about great trials, battles fought and vict’ries won,
And they praise their great Redeemer, who hath said to them, “Well done.”


So, although I’m not an angel, yet I know that over there
I will join a blessèd chorus that the angels cannot share;
I will sing about my Savior, who upon dark Calvary
Freely pardoned my transgressions, died to set a sinner free.

A blessed chorous that "angels cannot share." How marvelous, We will sing of sins forgiven and the freedom from the bindng power of sin! It is an experience that the angels who exist exactly as God created them, with no freedom of voluntary choice, cannot comprehend. And not only that, we don't have to wait for some coming day, but we have that wonderful blessing right now in this present world.

There just aren't enough words to describe it!

( Here's a link to play the song if you've never heard it.
http://gordon-and-jean-greer-holy-holy-is-what--mp3-download.kohit.net/_/208392 Click on 'play now' button. )

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's a Song Holy Angels Cannot Sing

The message of this song has been the focus of my thoughts for days now. Can you just imagine! Angels want to understand it and they never can!
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. I Peter 1:12

Angels never knew the joy that is mine,
For the blood has never washed their sins away;
Though they sing in heaven, there will come a time
When silently they'll listen to me sing "Amazing Grace".

It's a song holy angels cannot sing,
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!
It's a song holy angels cannot sing,
I once was lost, but now I'm found!

Holy is the LORD, the angels sing,
All around the throne of GOD continually;
For me to join their song will be a natural thing,
But they just won't know the words to "Love Lifted Me".

It's a song holy angels cannot sing,
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!
It's a song holy angels cannot sing,
I once was lost, but now I'm found!

There's a button here to listen to it.... http://north-valley-baptist-church-a-song-holy--mp3-download.kohit.net/_/417713

Friday, October 9, 2009

dying to follow Christ

Thought: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

If any man serve me, let him follow me; John 12:24-26

I read something that prompted me to give this scripture thought. The author was saying that the kernel of wheat is referring to Christ and the necessity of His dying on the cross. It was, I don’t know if you’d call it a revelation, but certainly a new angle of thought… Now that is a strange thing for somebody who has read the scripture uncounted times in the course of their years of living for the Lord. But it certainly goes to demonstrate how the Word of God is always new and the Lord is always showing us new things.

This particular scripture, I’ve always thought of in the sense of being applicable to the child of God who must give up his own feelings and ‘life’ to bear fruit for the Lord. And it certainly is applicable under that logic. We must be willing to lose our life in the life of Christ and we must hate our worldly life in order to participate in that life.

But the other lesson here is one of Christ’s willingness to lay down His life to bring us life eternal. He is called in various places the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David. We know further more that of Mary’s pregnancy the angel told Joseph that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. So we find Jesus, the spiritual seed who chose to ‘fall to the ground’ and bring forth much fruit. He chose the route of the cross in order to bear spiritual fruit.

Without Christ’s death, the ‘fruit’ of Salvation would never have been possible. His death was as necessary to the process as for the kernel of wheat to be planted. He ‘hated,’ disregarded, rejected, his earthly life to the point that He was willing to suffer the pain of the cross to bring about eternal life for all mankind.

Now we most often separate the next verse from the one just before it. If any man serve me, let him follow me. We consider it as simply following the teachings of Christ and doing as He taught us. But during this entire passage, Jesus was speaking of His death on the cross and coming resurrection. If we will serve Him we must be willing to follow Him in that death. Possibly we will never be required to lay down our literal life, but we are most certainly required to lay down our ‘spiritual’ life. Each of us has a ‘spiritual’ life. Generally the word ‘spiritual’ is considered to apply to the good things of God, but actually the word spiritual is applicable to the things of the soul, or the spirit of the man.

For this reason we find many people saying they are ‘spiritual’. We take that to mean they are following the Lord, but most often it merely means that the individual is keyed into the supernatural side of their being -- that they believe in something, a force, a reality, beyond the literal physical side of life. Each of us has a ‘spiritual’ side that pursues either Christ’s way or our own way. We must be willing to lay aside that pursuit of our own way, to crucify our old man--that old ‘spiritual’ side of us that lived contrary to the way of God.

As Christ had no regard for his own life on this earth, as He pursued His Father’s purpose, so must we do. We must lay down our ‘spiritual’ life, give it up, die to the fleshly man, the old man. We must have such a desire to pursue the life of Christ that our own way is repugnant to us. We must hate it to the extent that we are willing to follow Christ in death and resurrection, not the literal death and resurrection, but in the spiritual. We must die to the side of us that is ‘spiritual’ the fleshly pursuits of our own ways, the soul-side of us that would follow after the ways of Satan. When we die that death we are resurrected in holiness.

It is the only way to truly follow Him....and I knew that. But I'd never connected it to this particular scripture this way.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I'm hurting this morning. I hurt all day yesterday and had trouble sleeping last night. And all because I sat outside with Rachael and Michael while they worked on the bushes in front of th house! It wasn't real cold. I didn't even need a sweater, but my knees did get chilled. So they are telling me about it. Rats.

But that is all beside the point. What is really exciting is that those ugly chopped off straight bushes are all gone. I don't remember if I've mentioned it before, but R&M got a fantastic deal on their house. It was a beautiful house but in need of some TLC that the owner wasn't interested in providing. One of the major problems was the landscaping. There very nearly wasn't any. These bushes ran all the way across the front and there was a scraggly big bush (cut back in this picture) in the middle. There was another big sprawly bush over by the garage door on the left where you can't see.. All the straight line bushes are gone now. There was originally two MAMMOTH junipers in the center of the right hand side that had been cut down before we ever saw it.

After all the bushes were gone there was still two big old stumps to be taken out before we (I use the 'we' loosely. I watch, R & M do!) can put in pretty landscaping. That's what they were doing while I sat out there and watched--digging those stumps out. Fortunately they were long dead and beginning to disintegrate, but it still took a lot of work to get them gone.

Now! We are putting in two 'sky pencil' hollies on either side of the door and birch trees out at the right end. In between will go some hostas and zebra grasses and I don't know what exactly on the left side by the window. Rachael wants to put a Japanese maple there in front of the window, but I say it is gonna get to big and hide the view. But at least if we get the hollies and the birch in it will begin to look like a loved and lived in house...

This is a Japanese Maple.... Gets kinda big to set in front of a window. Don't you think?

The leaves look like this. You can't see them in the big tree picture. The are deep burgandy in the spring, green in the summer and thent his bright red in the fall.

I'll keep you posted on the progress. It's exciting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

about me

I just realized that I've been writing a long while and not really said anything bout myself. So I'll remedy that.
I grew up in a medium sized town in mid-Ohio. I had parents who raised me up in the nurture of the Lord. They taught my brother and me that we must read the Bible independently from as long as I can remember. I'm always surprised, even after all these years, to find that there are lots of Christians who seldom read the Bible except in church service. That was something completely foreign to me. We were read Bible stories and scriptures when I was young and I had grandparents who had well worn Bibles on their kitchen table and bedside table and end tables handy to reach all the time. I don't remember very many shiny well kept bibles, except once when mom sent her and dad's bibles off to have them recovered.. There were family Bibles and reference bibles in almost any room of the house and they were used. So it is strange to me when I try to imagine people who feel they are saved, but seldom read their Bible.
My mom and dad shared teaching responsibilities for the youth group and for the junior boys at our congregation. I remember my dad entertaining my brother and me in one of the Sunday school rooms in the church basement while Mom oversaw the youth group. He had a box of colored chalk and he would tell us bible stories and illustrate them for us. We were too young to be in youth group, but we did get to go along on all the hikes and weiner roasts and fellowship parties. We were treated like everyone's little brother and sister.
When I was about eight or ten, there was a junior boys' Sunday School class that was the terror of the church. They had chased several teachers out with their rambunctiousness. The pastor asked my Dad if he would take it. Dad had a great sense of fun and enjoyed doing active things, but his face had contours that could easily look very severe. His frown was like the wrath of God. He had no problems with the boys. I'm not sure just what they thought he would do to them if they didn't listen. I'm sure he never shook anybody till their teeth rattled but they may have thought he might. He had that kind of countenance. But they all loved him. They listened in class and then on weekends they camped and hiked and played ball--all the things junior age boys loved to do. Years later they still came around.
My grandma and grandpa on mom's side were from southern Ohio, he raised sheep and pigs and farm produce, etc and Grandma raised kids. Grandpa drove a tinker's wagon on long routes around the countryside selling vegetables and odds and ends of stuff. The boys worked on the farm. Grandma and Grandpa had 13 kids. They grew up with a strong work ethic and there was not a lazy one in the bunch. From those kids there were two preachers, three sunday school teachers and one preacher's wife. Of the 12 kids, only three were not living for the Lord the whole time I knew them.
On my dad's side, I never knew my grandmother. She died when my dad was only four or five years old. I don't even remember my step grandma, although Mom said she was thrilled that they taught me to call her 'grandma' She must have died before I was very old. My grandpa, Pop, I can barely remember. He wasn't well and Mom and Dad lived with him and took care of him while I was very young. (hmm, I just had a thought! I can't remember where his bedroom was!!! Ha. I just thought of that. I distinctly remember him sitting in his rocking chair in the big dining room, but I don't remember his bedroom. I guess he just lived in that rocking chair. lol That's funny--I'll have to ask my brother where he slept, but I doubt he'll remember. He is three years younger than I am.)
The only "grandparents" that I knew from dad's family were actually the childless couple who raised him. Dad's mother had tuberculosis when he was born and Pop hired this couple to care for the new baby. They very nearly raised my dad until Pop remarried after his wife died. Even then, they only lived a few blocks away and he spent a lot of time with them. I called them "Ma and Pappy." Ma was a Nazarene preacher in the days when there was a stigma against women ministers in the Nazarene church. So you can imagine the kind of righteous woman she was.
She and Pappy read the Bible for 'entertainment.' Seriously, where other people would read a magazine, watch TV or crochet, Ma and Pappy would read the Bible to each other. I remember them sitting and reading at their old kitchen table with coffee and crumbs scattered around a plate of cold bacon. I remember thinking that was a kind of strange thing, even though I was raised in a bible reading family. Pappy liked to listen to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio, but Ma thought it was wicked. (How mild compared to today's music. oh what she would have to say now!) Ma had sugar diabetes in the days before insulin was much known. A knock on the shin always resulted in nasty sores and ulcers that she had to treat several times a day... My dad and mom bought a farm for them to live on in their retirement years. They had such a small income they coudn't afford to rent or even pay a mortgage for their own home. I'm not sure but what Dad paid the electric and bought them coal for heat,too.
They were just about my favorite people when I was little. I used to stay with them overnight lots of times. Pappy always bought us marshmallow circus peanuts and orange gummy slices. I don't know if they even make that kind of candy any more. When ma was ill just before she died, they lived with us. Then after her death Pappy lived with us until he went to a rest home when Mom couldn't be there with him enough because of her job. I remember him sitting on his bed reading his Bible or just holding it in his lap.
I've never really considered my godly heritage to have been anything special, but looking at it in black and white... What a fantastic blessing.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Before I do anything else I have to post this picture. A friend sent me this list of pictures entitled Have You Ever Been This Tired? This one really hit home. I have felt EXACTLY like this

Now for 'the rest of the story'. This has been a full week--more for everyone else than me, but part of it was mine. Sunday afternoon, Michael was playing ice hocky and pulled a muscle in his upper thigh. He was hobbling pretty bad when he got home. Rach set him down with ice as soon as he had gotten his shower.

Rachael began her week's vacation on Sunday. How great to know that she didn't have to get up before anyone else was even turning over in bed. Of course, I was at odd's end because I woke up at four am anyway. Monday was a neat kind of day. Michael decided to give his thigh a day to heal instead of walking on concrete floors for 8 hours, so he was home on the sofa all day. Rachael and I were at the counter behind him. She was cleaning her kitchen and repotting some of her plants while just kibitzed and gave un-needed directions and advice. It's great being a Mom. lol

On Tuesday I went to a long over due doctor's appointment. I was supposed to go back in March before I left to stay with Notah and Kerra. but the day before I was scheduled Rachael was in her car accident (Friday, March 13's blog: one thing and then another) and we were all up in the air. She definitely was in no shape to take me. So I missed that one. When I got home from NM, Rachael had just started her lien accounting training and teaching job so she wasn't able to take me. This was our first chance to get to the doctor.

Now the good news! The doctor was overjoyed with my blood pressure records and the readings. And I've been out of the one type of meds since July! She did away with that one and gave me a mild diuretic combination instead. She asked how I was doing with my carb control regime. When I told her I'd purchased a blood glucose meter and had records for all summer she was so pleased. When she saw the numbers her eyes lit up! LOL When I told her that I thought the starchy-carb free diet had also had a positive effect on my weight, she went back and checked her records from when I started..... I'VE LOST THIRTY POUNDS! Isn't that fantastic. No starving. No counting calories. No exhaustive exercising. Just skipping the starchy carbs.

Let me be a proponent for the process. Just drop all the bread, potatoes, pasta etc from your diet. It is amazing. Eat proteins, vegetables and fruit. Mind boggling. The only draw back is that pizza and tacos are one of the things eliminated. But if you are faithful on all the other points, you can have that once a day or a couple times a week. My blood glucose readings these last few days have read 95-99. That's excellent. It's good for your blood sugar and good for your weight. Try it.

While Rach has been on vacation she went to see her friend Suzie in Cleveland where her brother was having open heart surgery for the 2nd time in has 28 years! Rachael left Tuesday afternoon and returned yesterday around two o'clock. I cooked for me 'n' Michael while she was gone. She left short-prep-time meal supplies. Tuesday I seared a roast and threw some onions in with it and let it cook for two hours, then dumped in already sliced carrots and celery and a can of little potatoes. Laziest dinners I've ever made in my life. lol But I didn't have to stand up long. Wednesday's supper involved boiling ham hocks then pouring in a bag of navy beans and again walking away for two hours. Michael and I were especially happy with the soup. We have been campaigning for soup all summer and Rachael has been insisting that soup is for winter. With the weather we've had the last two or three days, I guess winter is starting. OR do you suppose having bean soup triggered the onset. hmmmm. (play eerie music here. woo-oo-woo! do-do-doodoo, woo-oo-woo! do-do-doodoo. ) Navajos believe that kind of sympathetic magic.

Oh yes. The most traumatic event of the week! How could I forget! The coffeemaker sprung a leak!! I was gonna have to boil coffee while Rach was gone. Do you know how many years it has been since I cooked coffee in a percolater pot! Twenty at least! I wasn't even sure I remembered how. Rachael had to give me a lesson. We had boiled coffee the first day and then Michael, bless his heart, went and got a new coffee maker! Whew. Dodged that bullet.

Now it is Friday. And I actually made it.