An Evening in Mayberry (RFD)

It was a rare evening when I finished up business, and had a little time before I could sneak in and watch the “This Week in the NFL” show, which didn’t start until 9:00, so I turned the TV on to the channel which carries the old television shows. Since I don’t watch network television, except for sports, I am thankful we get a channel which features the old family shows.

I don’t watch network television, for the simple reason, “Have you seen network television?”
I know that sounds like an “all-inclusive” statement, which we’re not supposed to make. Pretty much the only exposure I get to network television is on the promos during commercial breaks during football games, and that’s enough to turn me away. I’m sure there may be some “good” shows out there, being made today, but they must not advertise them.

Anyway, the show that was on this particular evening was “Mayberry RFD.” They play two episodes, back-to-back, and I joined the first show half-way in. The story was centered on the town raising money to replace the church bell. So, scenes inside the church were part of the show. One of the final scenes showed the congregation (with all the cast in attendance) singing a hymn … a song which included the name “Jesus” … on television, a network show featuring the entire cast singing a song in praise of Jesus … A popular show at the time, I might add … and, still popular today … Did I mention the plot was centered on the importance of a church to our community … and the entire cast was seen, in church, singing a song in praise of Jesus? This show, “The Church Bell,” first aired 3-24-69.

It was like I was transported back in time, to a place and time far, far away … and, long, long ago …
I thought about how things have changed, and, perhaps, just maybe, how the shows of that time reflected our society … Does this mean that the shows on TV today reflect our society?

Anyway … back to Mayberry RFD … I thought, “That’s nice,” but, maybe this was just a rare show in the series … I sat in my chair and watched the second episode begin …
This show was about a city in Mexico, Porto Bello, which was to be a “sister-city” to Mayberry. So, the town of Mayberry had to come up with a special welcome gift to give the visiting delegation from Porto Bello. Aunt Bee (Yes!!! Aunt Bee!!!) had crafted a hand-stitched, framed gift which said, “God Bless Porto Bello.” The show, “Sister Cities,” first aired 5-12-69.

I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed just watching a television program. Watching Ken Berry, Goober, Aunt Bee, Howard Sprague, and Emmett. We love Ken Berry … he just seems like such a nice guy … have admired his work for years, including shows like “F-Troop” and “Mama’s Family” … He was also a cast member of the “Dr. Kildare” show … Mr. Barry is now 81 years old …

All of us remember certain television shows from when we were growing up. For instance, I never forgot an episode of “The Waltons” which featured Ron Howard as a family friend who was diagnosed with leukemia … a show called “The Gift,” which I was able to purchase at Wal-Mart, and have seen many times … I also never forgot an episode of “Mayberry RFD” in which Goober was lost in a cave … what I remember most from that episode, which I hadn’t seen since it first aired on March 15, 1971, was Goober, alone and lost in the cave, and his lamp going out … In total darkness, here’s what we heard: “Now I lay me down to sleep …” It was the sound of Goober praying. Well, I got to watch that episode last week …

It suddenly strikes me now that, in Mayberry RFD, as far as I can remember, “Opie” did not make an appearance, but Andy did (more on this later) … yet, Ron Howard will be forever etched in my memory as another character other than “Opie,” and then … well, there was “Richie Cunningham” … (OK, so we love “Happy Days”, too!) …

All this has really gotten me thinking about the past, and as usual … how things have changed … Is it just me, or does it seem like every time we think about how things have changed … how things aren’t the way they used to be … how things are “different now” … Why is it that we are usually referring to the fact that things aren’t “as good” as they used to be … that things have changed-for the worse? Aren’t things “supposed to improve with time …?” Or, maybe that is just wine … which should give another, clear understanding of how we look at the past, and how, over time, things seem to work in reverse … not “move forward,” as we are led to believe.

Anyway, I got the chance to watch another episode of “Mayberry RFD” a couple of weeks later (remember that “This Week in the NFL” is a weekly show), and, guess what?
The episode featured the return of Andy Taylor to Mayberry … with his wife, Helen … and their new baby!!! You remember the show about the “Four Godfathers?” The plot was that Andy and Helen came back to Mayberry … in order to go to church … in order to christen their new baby …

I am not making this up: Each time I was exposed to this classic television program, it seemed that the plot, the theme of the episode, revolved around church, and the importance of “church” to the community. Just so you’ll know, I haven’t watched it since, but, just from the few episodes, at random, I watched, it made me think about many things:

First, allow me to offer this: I get tired of people who will speak of those old family shows, and say things like, “That’s just fake,” or “That’s just made up,” or, “That’s not the way it really was.”
As I ponder these opinions, I think that it may have more to do with “That’s not the way it is now,” or, sadly, “That’s not the way it was at my house. That’s not the way it was for me.”

Yes, I realize that it was not “that way” for many families back then … and, now. However, the reason I was called to write this was because that was “the way it was” in my family, for families I knew when I was growing up … we were raised with morals, and family values, and the shows we watched echoed, or, more importantly, cemented that. When we watched these “family shows,” … ready for this … we watched them as a family … We didn’t think these families were strange or made up, because the values the shows sought to teach us were already a part of our upbringing … the fact that “church” was a large part of our lives did not seem strange to us … because “church” was a large part of our lives. The morals and family values which those shows represented were already a part of our lives, so, seeing this “played out” on the television screen was not something we thought of as “different” or “fake” or “made up.” Church and morals and values were part of our very existence, our everyday life. Period. We loved the shows because it mirrored what we lived … what we believed … and … ready for this … what we were taught at home …

When “Olivia Walton” (Mama) ran off to be alone, in a room by herself, and opened the Bible, read a passage, and, in agony, cried out … it wasn’t “fake” or “strange” to us … because it was real to us … it was what happened in our home … in our lives … the portrayal on screen may have been from a time which was years and years ago, but, what she did … what she believed … what she acted out on screen … was “natural” to us … because, that’s what my Mama did … and, what a lot of other “Mamas” did … in real life. It wasn’t fiction to us: We loved these shows because it portrayed, in a theatrical sense, our home life. It really did. We “bought in” to these shows because, to us, they were real.
Do I really need to follow up that “real” sentence with a reference to “real” shows, or, I think they call them “reality shows” today?

Back when the show “Dallas” was popular (remember “Southfork?”), the show was number one in the world. This was at the beginning of when U.S. television, because of satellites, etc., became viewed world-wide. I remember reading that “Dallas” was the Number 1 television program in the entire world. And, that, people in these foreign countries, who had never been to the United States, based their opinion of the United States, and Americans in general, on what they saw on this particular television program.
Has this changed?
Do our “present” television programs reflect our present society?
Do our “present” television programs reflect our present society do the world?
How could they not?

Here goes: When I watched those, what are now, “old shows,” they were like watching family. Because, that’s what my family, and the values and morals they portrayed, lived and taught. That’s the way it was, in my family, and my community.
What about now? Do the television shows reflect the values, morals, and community in which I live?
Do people, around the world, “find out about” how we are, as a society, by our television shows?
If television reflects us, how does that reflection appear around the world?
If TV reflections our society …
Look at TV from years ago …
Look at TV now …
Look at how the United States was viewed (and revered) long ago …
Look at how the United States is viewed, around the world, now …

Shall we hope that the world doesn’t watch TV …?
Except for METV … ?

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Modern-Day Psalms

 

Video: “The Power of Words”

Here is a new, short video … powerful …
It’s called “The Power of Words”

 

 

Victory Over Depression

During a session of Ministry training, I’ll never forget these words from the instructor:
“You’ll never look into the eyes of someone who has not experienced great pain and sorrow.”

Recently, God has placed on my heart to write about this, to offer hope and encouragement, and hopefully instruction on how to deal with what has become such a problem in our society. Maybe it’s because I have encountered, first-hand, people we know and love who have been having a real battle with depression. Whether it’s been friends who have come to us just to talk, or Carol and I recently praying with someone in their driveway, this matter of depression has really come into focus for us.

First, I don’t discount the fact that I know that this is, in reality, a real “battle.” The very definition of the word “battle” sums it up pretty well: “A hostile encounter or engagement between opposing forces; participation in such hostile encounters or engagements; a fight; any conflict or struggle; to work very hard or struggle; to strive.” How about this for a definition: “A battle is a prolonged and general conflict pursued to a definite decision.” That one really speaks to me, as it envisions something that isn’t “gotten over” or won quickly … that it is, even in itself, a continuing process … plus, it has the word “pursue” and the phrase “definite decision.” This tells me that a battle, which this is, can be won, but it may take time … and a continual decision to “beat it.”

Here is one example of this “process:”
A person who turns away from their faith: That person just doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to backslide, and then turn their back on God. That person has been “gotten to” by the enemy, and chances are … it’s something they have been thinking about for a long time … the enemy is there, taking every opportunity to work on the mind of that person … until that person is no longer under their own control … but, has succumbed to the wiles of the enemy ….

Please keep in mind that I have been in the situation where I have physically taken the gun out of someone’s hand … and I have been in the situation where I got there too late.

If we are a Christian, other people will know it. And, they will seek us out when they are going through a struggle or battle with something. Sometimes, the best thing we can do, especially when someone first approaches us, is, simply, just keep our mouth shut … and listen. The compassion we show by just listening, quietly, will carry much weight, and will often lead to other witnessing and opportunities, which may be the whole reason that they were led to you in the first place. The best example I can think of is when someone is grieving over the loss of a loved one. Just the fact that you are there … the fact that you cared enough to just listen to them … this makes an impression they will never forget.

So, every day, I pray that God will help me to think the right thing, do the right thing, and speak the right thing. Depression can be as much a thought process as positive thinking. They both work, pretty much, the same way. What we think about comes about. If there is one area where our enemy seeks his greatest control, it is in our mind … our thoughts. If Satan can control our thoughts, he can control our actions. Period. If we allow Satan in, he will take every opportunity to gain control. Slowly at first, and then … if left unchecked … he’s got you!
That said, victory can be ours … and in exactly the same way: If we allow Jesus, through the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts … the Holy Spirit can control our actions … and, if we will allow Him, Jesus will take every opportunity … He will give us every opportunity … to allow Him to have control in our lives …

There seems to be many, many verses I can use … all making the same point … that we are, every day, in a battle, a real war, between our flesh and the Spirit … I can paraphrase this battle by saying that, every moment of every day, Satan is trying to gain control of our mind … meaning to gain control of our actions … while, at the exact same moment, the Holy Spirit is trying to lead us in the other direction … make no mistake … this is a real, all-out war, and “to the victor goes the spoils.” That may sound over-simple, but, that’s really all it amounts to. Who will win? Who will we let win? The spoils of this war are our very souls.

Satan is a jerk, and he is a liar. His only mission is to “kill, steal, and destroy.” He doesn’t want your car! He doesn’t want your job! He wants your joy! Why??? Because … that’s where your strength is!!! The joy of the Lord is our strength … if he can take that away … to a certain degree, he has already won! If he can take your mind … he has already taken you. If he can steal your joy … he can destroy. I hate that that
rhymes …

Why do you think one of Satan’s greatest weapons is depression? He knows that if he can begin to sap your strength … it’s only a matter of time (and-he is willing to wait it out!) before you will start doubting … doubting what you know to be true … because, if he can begin to control your mind … he can begin to replace what you know to be the truth … with a lie … then, he’s got you! You will start believing a lie, then another lie … and then, you’ll have him believing that you will believe anything he tells you … especially about yourself … and, as a kicker … about what others say about you … in particular, what you are worth …

Satan is the master of what I call “the domino effect.” One thing leads to another … he knocks down one barrier … then another … then another … until you can’t control it … because you have allowed yourself to be controlled … then, it all comes tumbling down, and you can’t stop it, because your “line of dominoes” have piled so heavily upon each other …
And, it’s not just you he wants … here’s the real “killer” to the domino effect: If he can make you fall … think of all those whom your life affects and effects … if he can get you to fall … perhaps that can start a whole row …

I didn’t plan on writing this way, and, in fact, I haven’t looked at my notes yet …
However, I am reminded that to win a war … we must first know the enemy …
What Paul called “the wiles of the devil.”

The real problem is that with real depression, we will dwell on certain thoughts …
Dwell on certain thoughts … which will lead to certain actions …
Often, when I am speaking or preaching, I will, somewhere near the beginning, advise the audience that, while I’m there, I thought I would just go ahead and solve the whole world’s problems. I ask if they’d mind if I told them the solution to every problem in the world. I then ask them if they would be willing to repeat just four words … just four words that would solve the whole world’s problems. Here goes:

“The world needs Jesus.”
Repeat:
“The world needs Jesus.”
Now, repeat just these three words:
“I need Jesus.”
Repeat:
“I need Jesus.”

The real problem with the world today is that the world needs Jesus.
This victory over depression is a victory over your mind.
Who controls it?
I don’t have to ask about your actions.
Whoever controls the mind controls the actions.
When someone does not have the Indwelling Holy Spirit to fight this battle over the mind … over their mind … who is there who can fight the enemy? Without Jesus, the battle has already been won … it’s only a matter of time …

I pray that you will pray for those who don’t have this Help … that God will use you to get there in time … He can save them … He can help them … Please allow Him to lead you … to them … And, to lead them … to you …

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Modern-Day Psalms

Quotes Collection: On “Courage”

“It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.”
Aesop

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”
African Proverb

“I’m not funny. What I am is brave.”
Lucille Ball

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
Coco Chanel

“Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.”
James Bryant Conant

“Insist on yourself; never imitate… Every great man is unique.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We must become the change we wish to see in the world.”
Mohandas Gandhi

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Wayne Gretzky

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
Napoleon Hill

“Be a fountain, not a drain.”
Rex Hudler

“One man with courage makes a majority.”
Andrew Jackson

“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”
Stephen Kaggwa

“Courage is saying, “Maybe what I’m doing isn’t working; maybe I should try something else.”
Anna Lappe

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”
Douglas MacArthur

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Nelson Mandela

“Above all things, never be afraid. The enemy who forces you to retreat is himself afraid of you at that very moment.”
Andre Maurois

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Jim Morrison

“Happy the man who ventures boldly to defend what he holds dear.”
Ovid

“Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.”
Arnold Palmer

“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
Plato

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.”
J.K. Rowling

“Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.”
Babe Ruth

“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
Mark Twain

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“He that is overcautious will accomplish little.”
J.C.F. von Schiller

“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.”
Virginia Woolf

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
John Wayne

Looking Back at Our National Anthem

Over the months, we have written much about how, and when, if it weren’t for sporting events, would we hear our National Anthem? In fact, one of our most popular posts in recent memory was about just that, a post entitled “Our National Anthem: When … Where … and Whitney.”
That was back in April, and it is still one of our most viewed posts … even though, for copyright reasons, Youtube took off Whitney’s unforgettable performance at the Super Bowl, we still feature her incredible singing of the National Anthem in in Norfolk, Va, during her “Welcome Home, Heroes” concert, on that post.

Here’s a direct link back to that post:
http://pastorappreciationblog.com/2014/02/09/our-national-anthem-when-where-and-whitney/

So, after election day this week, the folks over at Poets.org featured all of the verses to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” by Francis Scott Key.
We’ve featured the words before, but for some reason, today, the way the poem ends really struck me.
In the last stanza are these words:
“Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation …
And this be our motto— “In God is our trust” …

I thought … How about that? This is our, the United States of America’s National Anthem, and that’s part of the way it ends …
Since we don’t see that part much … and, really, how often do we get to see all of the words, here they are for you:

 

The Star-Spangled Banner
Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
‘Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— “In God is our trust; ”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Shared Email Classic: The Bible in 50 Words!

The Bible in 50 Words!

God made
Adam bit
Noah arked
Abraham split
Joseph ruled
Jacob fooled
Bush talked
Moses balked
Pharaoh plagued
People walked
Sea divided
Tablets guided
Promise landed
Saul freaked
David peeked
Prophets warned
Jesus born
God walked
Love talked
Anger crucified
Hope died
Love rose
Spirit flamed
Word spread
God remained.

“Back” To The Pellets

I just can’t stress strongly enough how important it is for us to include God in everything we do, and to pray about “everything.” We should also spend at least a part of our prayer time thanking God for all that He has already done for us … which is a great stepping stone into continuing to believe Him for what we ask for.
It’s true: If it’s important to you, it’s important to God.

Every day, during my morning prayer time, I try to always thank God for what, often, I have simply taken for granted: Electricity, running water, and yes hot water, shelter, heat, protection, our vehicles back and forth to work (including my bicycle), etc.

For us, heat in the Winter means wood pellet fuel for our pellet stove. We use a pellet stove for 100% of our heat, and I’ve developed a system of bringing the heat up from downstairs, so our one stove heats the whole house. It seems every year I do the same thing: I always order 1 pallet (50 bags per pallet = 1 ton of pellets) less than I need, and end up, during that last month (which up here is April-May), buying 15-20 bags at a time from whoever happens to have pellets left at the end of the season. Last year, pellets were in short supply during that last month, and I haven’t forgotten that.

Winter up here in the North Country starts the same way as everywhere else: When Winter finally comes, we always seem surprised … and unprepared. I mean, Winter comes every year … yet, we are always “taken by surprise” when it arrives. We’ve had a wonderful Fall this year, with very few nights below freezing thus far. We should be thankful for that! I have been so involved with a major home improvement project, which carried into the Fall, that, especially with the warmer temperatures we’ve had, I hadn’t taken the time to order our pellets for this year.

So, I finally ordered the pellets. This is not a “promo,” but I always order the pellets from a major “Home Improvement Supply” store … they deliver right to our driveway, and I can get the whole Winter supply at one time … I’m able to get the best deal on pellets, and not pay any interest for the many months we budget out the payments …

This year, there was a major concern that pellets, in quantity, would not be available, and some of the stores had a 3-week waiting period for delivery. The word has already gone out that there is a “pellet shortage” this year. I must say, in someone’s defense, that I had to really look around this year for pellets … a combination of customer’s pre-orders, perhaps coupled with increased demand, make them hard to find this year. Plus, I was concerned with a new brand of pellets this store carried this year … and, the only review I could find, online, was not good.

So, I waited patiently for pellets to become available. They finally arrived at the “Home Improvement Supply” store, and they were a brand I was familiar with, so I ordered them over the telephone (how convenient!), and set the delivery up for the following Saturday, which was this past Saturday, Oct. 25. Considering that, in years past, we’ve started using pellets in September, we’ve been really blessed this year. For instance, last year, we got a big snowstorm the last week of October …

Another major point I’d like to make is that God can see things we can’t … I know we know that, but still, we fall victim to only seeing what’s in front of us right now, while God sees the end. Carol and I are always saying things like “God’s pretty smart!” or “I think He’s doing a great job!” because He is always there with us, helping us, and always “working behind the scenes” on our behalf. Man … do we forget about that a lot! He is always working for us, making things happen for us … even when we try to get in His way …

Anyway … back to the pellets … there were a couple of things working behind the scenes here, which were trying to spoil our big delivery … I know this seems like small things … but, aren’t most things we worry about? Up here, like a large part of the country, we suddenly (after so many days without rain) got into one of those “it’s rained every day for two weeks!” spells … So, yes, I was concerned about “Pellet Day,” and having to carry the pellets into the garage in the cold rain.

We are blessed to have a garage which is big enough, with re-arranging, to store enough pellets for the winter. The bags of pellets must be kept off the floor, so a pallet works fine to keep them dry. The bags weigh 40 lbs. each, so a full pallet of 50 bags is the “one ton.” Which is pretty close to 2,000 pounds. So, the seven tons we’ll use totals 14,000 pounds of pellets. I learned that if I request a pallet jack to come on the truck with the delivery, I can just have the driver carry the pallet to the edge of the garage (which has a concrete floor), drop the pallet down, and I just pick it up with the pallet jack, and roll it to its place in the garage. Pretty good system! Since our garage has an overhanging roof, the fork lift must have those “extender” forks (which I also call “scissor forks”) which will extend the pallet out to where I can grab it from inside the garage. What a system!

It is so critical to have the pallet jack, that I left little “post-it” notes on the phone, and near the phone, to make sure the pallet jack would be on the truck. Well, the store called us prior to delivery to inform us that the company which delivers the pellets for them, because of an injury or something like that, no longer allows them to carry a pallet jack. I was … well … I wasn’t happy … having to carry 350 bags from the driveway-verses just wheeling 7 pallets around … was a major determent to my expectant joy over the delivery …

So, my next question is: Do you know how hard it is to find a pallet jack to rent, way up here? The closest place I found to rent one was 35 miles away, meaning that one hour there to pick it up, one hour back, and then the return … would cost me over 4 hours of time … I figured it would take me about that long to carry the pellets in by hand … What to do???

Then … there was the “back” issue. I spent most of the Summer, into the Fall, engaged in “heavy lifting” … of course, I over-did it, and often … So, by now, my back was really beginning to bother me … For the last couple of weeks, the pain was increasing, to the point where it was difficult to walk comfortably, and if I was sitting “low,” it was very difficult to get up. Of course I didn’t go to the doctor! (Don’t worry, I’m going on Friday!). So, now, I was facing having to physically carry 350 bags up the hill of my driveway, placing each neatly as I stacked 70 or more bags to a pallet … The pain was in my upper back, so I haven’t worried much about it, as I know I just twisted the wrong way on one of my “lifts” out in the yard … I crushed my lower back in a car wreck when I was 16, so I know all about “real” back pain … but, the thought of having to lug 350 bags, then “go high” with them in the garage, was something which, well, “concerned” me.

We were expecting, and planned, the delivery to be made Saturday afternoon, as “anytime” was ok with me, and we were told the driver would be making other deliveries before us. The delivery driver called at 7:30 Saturday morning, to let us know he was 45 minutes away. Carol answered the telephone … I was hurting too much to get out of bed to answer …
I spent a lot of time asking God for help to give me the strength to do this, as I knew I’d have to do it alone … funny, how we use that word “alone,” yet, knowing we are never alone. He is always with us. To help us. And … to give us ideas on what to do … if we’ll just listen …

Well … time to get up!!! Before she left for work, Carol covered my back with Tiger Balm, then covered all that with those “pain patches,” and, finally, she wrapped me up, all around with an ace bandage … As I looked at myself in the mirror, it reminded me of what I’d heard the great Larry Munson, play-by-play legendary announcer for the Georgia Bulldogs, say after a hard-fought SEC battle, during which several GA players were injured. Larry would say, in that gravelly voice, tearing at your heart, something like, “Well … we’ve got some players left … we’ll just have to find some more bandages, and tape, and gauze … and try to get ready … somehow … for ‘Ole Miss …”

God gave me this great idea: Have the driver drop the pallets, in line, down the driveway … one behind the other … then, I would back the truck up, load pellets onto the back and tailgate of the truck … and then, just back into the garage … I could get close to the pellets, and close to the drop-off point, without a lot of lifting, twisting, all those things which preyed upon my mind all week … It worked! It did take 8 hours to get them all in, but I did it … or, let’s face it … “we” did it.
Something else that happened: We’d had something like 2 weeks of rain, and there was only one day in the 10 day forecast in which there was no rain: Guess which day? Saturday! Are you saying that God kept the rain away from the whole Northeast, just so I could get the pellets in?
Are you saying that He couldn’t? I know many of you have had something like this happen:
In order to bless one person, God has arranged for everyone in the company to get a bonus.
Let’s put it this way: The way I talked to God about the rain stopping for this one day … you would have believed that I believed it. And, that’s all that mattered.

By the way … I finished with the pellets just after 7:00PM … then, had to finish cleaning up …
It started to rain at 8:00PM … just after I’d finished, and was safely inside. So, don’t tell me …

The pain in my back? Let’s put it this way: The longer the day went … the stronger I seemed to get … So … don’t tell me …

So, in yet another situation, God knew more than I did:
1. He knew the only day I could do the pellets would be the one day it wouldn’t rain.
2. He knew that if I’d had gone after the pallet jack, some 35 miles away, I would have missed the delivery. The delivery would have been made, but, I’m sure, to help me, the driver would have dropped the pallets of pellets right in front of the garage … which would have blocked me from using the truck.
3. He knew that the driver would not have the “extender forks” on his forklift, so the pallet jack would not have worked anyway. He couldn’t have gotten close enough to the garage to use a pallet jack.
4. He knew I would depend upon him totally.
5. He knew that I already had everything I needed to get the job done.
6. He knew Carol would be praying for me.
7. He knew I would be praying for me.
8. He knew I would see this as an opportunity to see, once again, how much He loves and cares about me.
9. He knew I would thank Him, and praise Him.
10. He knew it would take me 8 hours. If the delivery came when I expected, I would be lugging pellets-in the rain, until Midnight.
11. He knew I would write this.
12. He knew how important this was to me.

“He’s pretty smart!”
“I think He’s doing a great job!”

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Modern-Day Psalms