Tag Archives: Richard.Vincent.Rose.

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 19: “I Can Read!”

Hi Friends:
As the author of the continuing series “Wealth Stored for the Righteous,” I am always thinking about things we are blessed with, yet seem, so often, to take for granted.

Only recently, while in prayer, I “just happened to remember” that I was thankful for … the ability to read … What a tremendous blessing, just to be able to pick up a book, a piece of paper, see a sign or billboard … and, be able to read all of the words. What a blessing this is. Even as I prayed, thankfully, for this ability and gift, I was surprised how seldom I had actually, physically, said “thank you” for this ability and gift.

Eventually, we’ll get to the “Freedom of the Press” we enjoy in this country (which so many around the world don’t have), but, for now, I’m just thankful that I can read.

I’m thankful that I was raised to appreciation the written word. To appreciation books. And, to appreciation authors. In fact, I can remember spending many, many hours with my brothers and sisters playing the card game of “Authors.” Remember that game? I’ll try to remember to write an “I Remember” feature story on the game.

Once again, I find myself being thankful for the way I was raised.

It’s true: Parents who read have children who read. Parents who love books will have children who love books.
Yes, you could say the same thing about prayer, but, for now, the emphasis is on the example set by parents, to instill within their children the love of books, and of reading.

Could the following just be a coincidence?
Is it a coincidence that my first side job, after moving to the North Country, was at the College Bookstore?
Is it a coincidence that, after earning my Degree in Theology, I would earn Certification as a Library Media Specialist?
Is it a coincidence that, just today, I left the High School Library, traveled to another Library, and discussed “Library” for 3 hours?
Is it a coincidence that all of my siblings also have large book collections?
Is it a coincidence that these same siblings buy and sell used books, and I consider them to be experts in finding valuable books?
The list goes on and on, but I’ll just add this one:
Many writers, and other public figures, name their homes.
Before moving to the North Country (an operation we code-named “Operation Iceberg”), we named our home “Destiny.”
Yes, Destiny.
Do you know what our School Library Inventory/Collection Management Program/System is called?
Destiny.

By the way, my Beloved Sister had one of the largest collections of books I’ve ever seen. Among my most prized possessions are many of those books, tucked away, yes, but still I have them … has it been that long ago??? … I still have those books, and, sometimes, I’ll open up one of the totes, get out a book, yes, smell the pages, check out the pages for all of those passages she had underlined, and made “side-notes” beside … and … and … just clutch them … hold them … lovingly … tenderly … to my chest … I may not actively read them, but I will always have them … I will always have them …

There are so many quotes about the importance of books, both to the individual, and to society as a whole.
The same can be said about the value of reading.
I’ll mention just one, and, even though it’s so obvious, either I couldn’t remember who first said it, or it was just an original quote I thought I had first come up with:
“Readers are Leaders.” I’ve used this for years, even to the point of printing bookmarks with this quote on it.
After researching this quote, I found a longer version from President Harry S. Truman:
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

I don’t remember hearing this quote before, and, just now, located the source. While not remembering if I’d ever heard the original quote or not, I do know this: While reading several “self-help/self-improvement/inspirational-motivational books, I did learn that one quality which all successful men share, is that they are readers. So, that must have been where I got the idea, first, for my “short-quote.”

Again, this is not, necessarily, about books, the right or wrong kind of books … just the fact that it is such a blessing to be able to have the ability to read, and, having just this one ability, can lead to so much further blessing, understanding, and action.

So, as I researched this, I did the Google Search:
“What percentage of the world’s population can read?”

The number is somewhere around 80%. That sounds, on the surface, really good. However (why is there always an “however?), this still means that there are well over 700 Million people around the world who can’t read. Closer to home, I also learned that over 32 Million Americans can’t read. There are a lot of statistics out there, but I was especially troubled by a statistic I read that stated that around 80% of US families did not buy a book in the last year.

By the way, yes, I do enjoy audio books. Especially if they are “dramatized versions.” Just thought I’d throw that in. In fact, at some point, the plan is to produce our own audio books.
I am asked, often, how I personally feel about Digital Books. For simplicity, let’s call them “Kindle” Books.

I can appreciate their purpose, and understand why so many people enjoy them. The “night light,” the fact that they can change (meaning to enlarge) the size of the print, and they can carry an entire Library on one, small device.

However (there’s that word again), I guess I’m just from the Old School. I love the smell of the pages. I love the feel of the book. I love turning the pages. I love placing the bookmark, closing the book, and, lovingly, placing the book where I can see it … looking forward to the next time I can get back to it. I love the smell of the pages (I may have already written that). I have even noticed that the smell of the pages have changed over time. The other day, I was going through a collection of books from the 1960’s and 70’s, and, well, of course, I brought the book up to my face, thumbed through the pages at “nose-length,” and … just the memories it brought back.

I really love the Bible on … on … let’s just say, “Audio Bible.” I was going to write “Bible on Tape,” or “Bible on Cassette,” but many of our audience may not know what that is. I even have Sermons on LP/Album/Record … but, I won’t go there, for the same reason.

Here’s a short rhyme I just got:
“God’s Word is meant to be heard.”
Of course, I agree … but, it is also meant to be read.
Pray More.
Study More.
Be More.

A final thought about Digital Bibles: There are many places where someone would be arrested, even killed, for reading a Bible in public. However … in these places, digital Bibles can be read, without anyone noticing. This is a large ministry, worldwide, in those nations (so many, many of them) which are hostile/dangerous to Christians.

Once again, I remind that this is not about freedom, necessarily, but the ability to, read. I’m thinking that that’s something “they can’t take away.”

You know how you’ll go to the Mall, and everyone splits up … to meet again in, like, 3 hours?
I’m the one, who, 3 hours later … is still at the Book Store.
Just drop me off at the Book Store … I’m not ashamed of that. In fact, I’m proud of that.
To hold a book.
To smell a book.
To carry a book into the Repair Shop, and not worry about “how long it takes.”
I’m not ashamed of that. I’m proud of that.
I can read.

Oh … okay … there is one more quote I’d like to share with you. I even have this on a tee shirt, hanging behind me, at the Library.
It is a quote from Mark Twain, and I write it now, from memory:
“The man who does not read good books, has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

I am so blessed … just to have the ability to read. I thank God that “I can read!”
Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here’s a direct link to the entire series so far:
Wealth Stored for the Righteous

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The Power of “Posts:” Part Four

Hi Friends:

I guess it’s about time to share the original idea behind what has turned into this short series.

The original idea, and original post, was scheduled to be written in time for the New Year’s holiday. It was to only be one “post,”
what I am sharing now … but, as you know … things change when confronted with the keyboard … and the words begin to flow …

Regardless of the time of year, I only hope to be an instrument used to share what I am given, for that particular time … even if I didn’t know I was to share it … which, so often, results in the expansion of one “post,” as now, into multiple “posts.” I hope to continue to be sensitive to what God wants me to share … even if … even if … that over-rides my own, original idea …

So, anyway, it was the end of last year, 2016. I found a great “verse” at the very end of the year … at the very back of the calendar … which, I thought would make a wonderful verse to share with you. A great message to share with you, as we approach the New Year.
Well … today is the 1st day of March … so, maybe, I’m not so far behind …

The verses and quotes on my own calendar, as I’ve written, have meant so much to me, as I go through each month. So often, the verse or quote has helped me, and encouraged me, many times, many days, over that particular month. I still encourage you to give these types of calendars as gifts … You just never know … who is reading them … and, who will read them …

As I’ve written, my new calendar has already blessed me this year. Which reminds me, as I look up at the calendar, it still says February. Guess it’s time to “turn the page.” But, not before one more glimpse of that beautiful Mountain Scene … big, snow-covered mountains in the background …
and, yes, of course … the lake in front … with the mountains perfectly reflected in the lake … (Don’t you love that!!!) …

It’s now on to March … and, guess what? There’s a beautiful mountain scene, with a lake in the forefront … but, no reflection … Why? Because the lake has ripples … knocking out the mirror … because … of the waterfall … on the right side of the picture … I agree … next to the ‘ol “mountains reflected in the lake” scene … I’d have to say a waterfall in the picture is right up there with the “mirror lake” in popularity on these scenes …
I’m glad, because I love them, too.
I now “steal” a glance at the Scripture verse, from Psalms 145:9:
“The Lord is good to all:
And His tender mercies are over all His works.”
That’s a good one!
Oh, man! Another dentist appointment on the 16th!

I’m so glad His works include mountains, lakes, and waterfalls!
He made ‘em all, you know.
By His Word.
That’s awesome. I’m glad I have all four (mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and His Word) on display in my home … every day.
For all to see.
Because … you never know … who may see …

Now, “Back to the Back.” The verse, on the back of the calendar, which my original intention was to share with you, is printed on the cardboard backing of the calendar. I wonder how many people have thrown out this calendar without reading what was written on the cardboard backing. You know I can’t be guilty of this … because … here it is … March 1 … and I still have the calendar in front of me.

The calendar was published/printed by the “DaySpring” Company, one of the leading Christian retail businesses. As a courtesy, I will share a link to their online store. Again, I hope that everyone who purchased this calendar, or, as I, received this calendar as a gift, read the verse/message, written there on the cardboard backing of the calendar.
Here is a direct link to DaySpring:
DaySpring

Quoting directly from the calendar backing:
“Here is a message written by DaySpring co-founder, Roy Lessin.
We hope it will encourage you today.”

When I read the verse/message, I knew I had to share it with you … “immediately” …
The great thing about “Good News” is that … it is Good … and, can be shared any time of the year. After all, I pray God’s blessings on
you, and your family, for every day of the year … not just at certain times …

Here’s the Message, quoted directly from the cardboard backing of this DaySpring 2016 Calendar, as written by Roy Lessin:

Just think,
You’re here not by chance,
But by God’s choosing.
His hand formed you
And made you
The person you are.
He compares you to no one else-
You are one of a kind.
You lack nothing
That His grace can’t give you.
He has allowed you to be here
At this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation.”

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
ECCLESIASTES 3:1

Yes, the cardboard backing ends with the Scripture verse from Ecclesiastes.

I encourage you to read, and re-read, this message.
Now, and always.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Today. And, every day.
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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The Power of “Posts:” Part Three

I can’t wait to “turn the calendar!”
A new Scripture message, a new promise … however …

I must say, this time of year, right now … there is even more to be excited, expectant about … about just turning the calendar over to a new month …

As I write this, it is one degree above zero, with gusty winds. Which would put the wind chill well below zero … turning that calendar over … I can’t wait … We do get a break tonight: Instead of the originally forecast -15 … it will only be near -10 … We had a snow storm yesterday … the day before … with more snow tomorrow, Saturday … and, then, it gets serious for another storm expected to roll in on Sunday, and continuing until sometime early Monday afternoon … I read the forecast again … and again … and five words stand out: “Storm Total 1-2 feet.” I know, I know, don’t worry … we may, just, only, get a foot … I can’t wait to turn the calendar!

Next time, when I “turn the calendar,” there will be one word that stands out: “Spring.”
I can’t wait to turn that calendar … There is also another set of words which make next month greatly to be anticipated: “Daylight Savings Time Begins.” For those in the rest of the country, that means it won’t start getting dark at 3:30 …

By now, I must admit that I have fallen to the temptation to “turn the calendar” RIGHT NOW.
Thank God for the promise of Spring.
We’re making it through another “Tough New England Winter.”
Thank God … period …

The Scripture for next month, March, just happens to be from Psalms:
“The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works (145:9).”
Hey … that’s a good one!

I want to be reminded … I love to be reminded … and, yes, I need to be reminded that “The Lord is good to all.” I love to read, and see, in writing, words about His tender mercies.
Since this series all started with what was going to be one, simple “post” about last year’s calendar, I can’t resist looking for what the quote was for last March’s calendar.
It was a quote from Nikos Kazantzakis:
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.”
That’s pretty good to hear anytime.

By the way … I cleaned the pellet stove last February 24 … I look ahead to last year’s calendar, the month of April, and guess what? It features a scene with mountains, and yes, there it is … a lake …

God has just impressed upon me how a calendar is a microcosm of our lives, in direct relation to His promises and His Word: Yes, there will be Winter, but Spring is promised to come … Summer is promised to come … Some Winters may be harsher than others … but, the promise of Spring, of Summer, is always there … Sometimes, even Summer can be harsh … but, it will only last for a “season.” Even Spring can have its bad moments, but, just look ahead … And, it’s not just looking ahead … How about behind? Here it is, February … Storms coming … Storms just left … Didn’t God just pull us through January? We made it through January. Yes, we did. Proof that God is with us, helping us every step of the way.

Guess what? God ordained the seasons. Yes, He did. So, Who better to lean on? He was the One who put Spring, and Summer … directly after Winter …
Guess what? God even gave us the Autumn … the Fall … to get ready for the Winter ahead. If we’re not prepared for what’s coming … well … whose fault is that???

So, the calendar can serve as a daily reminder of what God has done, what He has brought us through, and then … also … at the same time … regardless of how rough a season we are going through … He reminds us of the promise of what is to come … Isn’t Heaven just like that? The promise of Heaven? God certainly, yet again, knew what He was doing, in just setting up the seasons …

I enjoy looking at the history of certain phrases we use in our everyday language. I tried to find out the origin of the phrase “turn the calendar,” but I couldn’t find anything about how that got to be such a popular phrase.

For reasons I can’t explain, the words of the classic Byrds’ song came to my mind … I can’t explain it, but there they were …
“To everything there is a season … turn … turn … turn …”
This song was quick (and unashamed) to give Scriptural reference to Ecclesiastes 3:1.

I love the idea of a calendar being an example of our lives as God’s children. The look back at what He’s already done. The look ahead of future promises. Both just as sure. Both just as true.
And, the realization of what He is doing now. Below zero, and all I can do is think about how blessed I am, right now. What He is doing for me, in my life, right now.

Yet, because of God’s Word and His promises, I can “turn the calendar,” even now … even with “1-2 feet” on the way … I can sit here, warm and safe … and, turn the calendar to what lies ahead in March … in April … in May … in June … in July … in August … God is there, on every date … regardless of what the date is … regardless of what the season is …

All seasons hold the bounty of God’s blessings.
All seasons hold the promise of God’s Word.

I hope this helps. I know that many of our friends would be happy to just have a simple snow storm to go through, instead of the weather they have gone through.
I hope this helps, in some way, to encourage you. That this will fulfill the words of Proverbs 15:23, that “a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”

I continue to encourage you to, every day, especially first thing in the morning, as you “turn” your daily calendar, to read your Bible, and pray:
“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned (Isaiah 50:4).”

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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The Power of “Posts:” Part Two

Hi Friends:

There is just no way to understate the significance, every day, day-to-day, day-by-day, of “posting” God’s Word around the house … where you … and, others, visiting … will see it … You just never know …

How often I have caught a glimpse of a profound message, even a bumper sticker on a passing car, which seemed to be “just what I’ve needed to hear” … Needed to see … at that exact moment in time …

One of the great things about “posting” these messages around the house is that, not only does it encourage you, but, it can also be a “witness” to someone visiting your home. Don’t ever … ever …. forget the power of that.

I just want to pen a few words about how large an impact, such a “small thing” as just having a calendar with Scripture verses, can have. There is a multiple-blessing potential here. It blesses you, and it blesses your visitors. Plus … I can’t think of a better gift you can give someone, than a calendar … something they will actually use-and see-every day of the year. Yes, a calendar with Scripture verses. Another set of multiplication comes into play: You bless them, the fact that you have blessed them blesses you, they have a constant Scripture reminder in their home, and their visitors will see the verses, too! Think about the power of that! You just never know.

Every year, I am blessed to receive a calendar with Scripture verses. As soon as January 1st hits … it goes on the wall. Now, I know that puppies and horses are cute … and a ton of other calendars are available … but, I look forward, every year, to getting that calendar. Often, it is a calendar featuring Psalms. Awesome! Sometimes, it is a mix of Scripture verses and inspirational quotes. Both “hit home” for me. Plus … they always have a beautiful background.

For example, my new calendar, for January, has a beautiful mountain scene, with snow-covered evergreens in the forefront, huge mountains in the back, and has this verse from Psalm 65 (verse 11): “Thou coverest the year with Thy goodness.” That’s a good one! Perfect for every day … day-to-day, day-by-day …

Whoops! That reminds me: I still have January’s calendar showing, and, here it is, February 3. That’s ok. It’s a beautiful scene, with a beautiful verse. OK! OK! I’ll turn the calendar over:

Beautiful! A lake, surrounded by mountains … with, you guessed it … the reflection of the mountains … in the lake!!! “Posted” above the mountain peak on the left is 1 John 3:1: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” Hey … that’s another good one. Yeah, I could go all month looking at that … reading that … being reminded of that … being blessed and encouraged by that … Get the idea?

Man, I never get tired of the old “mountains reflecting in the lake” scene.

I never get tired of reading how much God loves us.
Get it?

Boy, am I tempted to look at March …

Well, the whole idea for this series came from a message I read from the back of last year’s calendar … looks like I’m not going to get to that right now …

Man, I never get tired of the old “mountains reflecting in the lake” scene.
I never get tired of reading how much God loves us.

By the way, this calendar is the one I use in the office, here at home. It’s the one I am “posted” in front of, for so many hours a week. It’s the calendar I write in front of, including this. It’s the calendar we use to note important appointments … even a “pay-by” date of certain bills … it is the “go-to” calendar. It’s the calendar I sit in front of as I work on “the business.” It’s the calendar I sit in front of as I check the weather, online. It is the “office calendar.” I’m glad it has Scripture verses. When I am doing all of these things, here in the office, I am glad I always have something so beautiful to look at. Things like mountains, lakes, snow-covered trees, and, later, sun-drenched landscapes and sunny scenes. Things like God’s Word. Things like God’s promises. His love. His grace. His mercy. So, it’s not just today … but, every day, in the future … every day of this year … I have all of this to look forward to …  

By the way … I have a dental appointment, I see, on February 22.

I need God’s Word. I need to be reminded of His promises.
I want God’s Word. I want God’s promises. After all, they are for me, too. Every day.

After a long day at work, sitting here, I sure love looking at that calendar. I sure love God’s Word. I sure love looking at the beautiful world He created. By the way … He created it … by His Word …

So far, upon returning home from School, to “the office,” I’ve done business in Washington State, in Utah, and on the East Coast. And, it’s early, yet. I have also worked on two loads of laundry. I’ve swept the snow off the deck … I can’t remember how many times … I go back in, I work a little, go back out, and I have to sweep the snow again … Are you sure I can’t look ahead to June???

I look now at the calendar. I see the beautiful scene, with the mountains reflected in the lake. That never gets old, does it? I look up and read God’s Word. I behold God’s beauty … I behold his love … I “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.”

I have proof … I see it every day … many times a day …that God covers the whole year … every day … with His goodness …

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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The Power of “Posts:” Part One

I try to not miss an opportunity to encourage you to remind yourselves, every day, of God’s great promises, by simply putting up Scripture verses around the house. In places where you will see them every day. Because, let’s face it … we need encouragement, every day … need reminders, every day, of God’s great love, and promises He’s made to us …

Yes, places like the refrigerator, on top of the dresser (you may call it a bureau), yes, by the bathroom mirror is always a great place … the sun visor of your vehicle … in front of you on the computer desk … etc.

I know we are supposed to “hide” (that means “deposit) God’s Word in our heart, so that it is always there, which should always be the first place we “have” God’s Word … but, there is a special power behind seeing God’s Word by our eyes, by reading His Word … And, not just doing your “daily Bible study” (which you should always do), but having God’s Word “posted” around your home, where you will see it, read it, be reminded of it … even when you are not in a “Bible Study.” There is power in that. Real power.

It strikes me now, the command of the Old Testament, of placing God’s Word, not just in your heart, but physically placing it … in places where you will see it … where it will be “posted” for you to see. Why? To be reminded of God’s Word and His promises. I’m specifically thinking of “the door posts,” the “lintels” of your home. Perhaps it meant placing something, something you could clearly see, that would serve as a reminder of God’s promises, and His provision … Yes, I am thinking of the first Passover also … that it was important for … not only you to be able to see something that symbolized God’s Word, provision, and promises … but … placing something which He would be able to see … something that symbolized His Word, His provision, and His promises … He would be able to see … as He “passed by” … He would be able to see something which you specifically placed … on purpose … for one reason, and one reason only … to serve as a “Testament,” if you will … as a reminder … as a visual symbol … of His great love, His great mercy, His promises, and His Word …

That is powerful!

So, this idea of “posting” things which will remind you of God’s love … His promises … His provision … is not really such an original idea at all is it? Yet … it still carries Power … real Power … the Power of His Word … His Promises … displayed, yes, “posted,” throughout your home … visual reminders to all … not just for you and your family … but, to also serve as a witness to all who may visit your home … or, just pass by …

Just think: If “Someone” had the ability to see inside your home … even as they just “passed by,” would they see reminders of God’s love … His provision … His promises … Would they see constant reminders of God’s great faithfulness … reminders of His promises … reminders of His Word …? Yes, this idea of having reminders of God’s Word, even if Someone was “passing over” your house … seems to go back quite a ways …

Still a great idea, don’t you think?

I must say, that in all the times I have written about how important it is to have God’s Word “posted” around the house … even in your truck … or van … or car … I have never, ever, not even once, been given the comparison which we’ve just shared. It had never occurred to me, until I sat down now, and began to write …

Frankly, this revelation strikes me so deeply that I can’t add to it …
So … I’ll “page up,” and, type a “Part One” in the title … I sat down to write a different message, a different title, and a different series …

Something else:
It now just “hit me” that, when we share a message with you through our online ministry …
it is called a “post.” Or, by doing that, it is called, “posting.”

Oh, boy … I am just reminded that in the “early days,” when an important message was sent, it was called a “post.” Even our everyday means of sending communication today, is through the “post” office … Oh, man … I am really getting this … a “post” required a sender … and a receiver … if an important “post” was sent … it could mean life or death …

Because of the world we live in, I just feel compelled to add, in reference to this “life and death” scenario … in recent years, a new phrase has become part of our language, and it strikes me now, in light of this: The phrase, “Going Postal.” Just think about it.

In many cities, the important news of the day, written on paper … a “news” paper … many of these publications carried the word “Post” in their title … And, not just on “Saturday Evening.”

The word “post” and “important message” have been related for a long, long time.

If Someone sees what I have “posted” throughout my house, even on my truck visor, I want them to know that I am aware of … and, fully believe … God’s promises, His provision, and His Word.

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Prayer Returns to Public Schools

Hi Friends:

This is another one of those times when I ask you to place the title in context.

There is a thought which says that prayer isn’t allowed in Public Schools.
There is also a thought which says that God isn’t allowed in Public Schools.
Both are just not true. Why?

I go to School every day.
I pray in School every day.
I bring God with me to School every day.
I am reminded of a story told by Evangelist R.W. Schambach:
A man enters a church, sits down, and remarks to the lady sitting next to him, “God is in this place.”
The lady turns to the man, and in a voice which only Rev. Schambach could replicate, says, “How do you know that?”
The man answers, “Because I brought Him with me.”

Yes, there are two distinct problems surrounding this “prayer in Public School” issue.
My Pastor once said that he sent his kids to School to learn about Science, Math, English, etc. Not to learn about God. Again, think of the context. They were supposed to learn about God at home. From Godly parents. I think you can see the problem there.
Then, let’s go back to this “I bring Him with me” issue. The ones who have learned about God, even know God … don’t act like it, once that bell rings. Again, this won’t fit everyone, but please understand the context here.

So, here it is, today. January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day here in the United States. What I wish is that everyone in the United States would learn about how governments are in other countries around the globe. That every American citizen would learn about what is happening “everywhere else.” Again, context. How so many nations are in political turmoil. How Christians are being killed, just because it was “found out” that they were Christians. How, in so many countries, it is illegal to convert to Christianity … how much suffering is going on … and, hopefully, everyone would realize how “good we’ve got it” over here. How many countries have their media “state-run.” Etc.

What I am getting at, is how blessed we are, to have a day like today. Something we’ve heard so many times, but take for granted: “The peaceful transition of power.” The peaceful transition of power.

I am hopeful that many Schools … I would think that all Schools … carried the Inauguration today. I’m not speaking about the Inaugural Address here. I’m writing about the ceremony. Boy … governments love ceremony … Anyway, I would hope, because of the great opportunity to see history, right in front of our eyes … that many Schools carried the Inauguration ceremony today.

Let me get this one out of the way right now: I’m not speaking as a Republican, or a Democratic. I am speaking as an American. An American citizen.

Here goes: I remember, back during the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, as the President was being prepped for surgery, President Reagan looked up at the doctor, which was getting ready to operate. President Reagan said, “I hope you’re Republican.” The doctor answered, “Today, Mr. President, we are all Republican.” I heard this from President Reagan himself.

That’s what I mean. Today, we are all Americans. A remarkable thing has happened. And … it happened right in front of our eyes.

Back to the School … I’ve written how, in our Library, we have a large-screen television, which I use, sound muted and CC on, to carry news, weather, slide shows, and, especially, important news coverage of events happening “right now.” Certainly, an historic event like the Presidential Inauguration, qualifies for “live, streaming” coverage … with sound …

So, that’s what we did today. First thing this morning, I tuned the television to continuous, live coverage of the events, with sound … I must admit, I learned a lot, and was captivated by the historical tidbits the news anchors shared … I learned a lot …

If what I saw, and heard, happened in every Presidential Inauguration, then I may be saying too much about something that happens every Inauguration. But, for some reason, this one seemed different. The amount of prayers. The mention of God. And, especially, the mention of “the name of Jesus.” I mean … I heard Jesus mentioned a lot. Even “the powerful name of Jesus.” Somehow, it seemed like God was mentioned more this time … there were more prayers … the name of Jesus … more than any Inauguration I can remember.

So … innocently … and, I do mean innocently … there I was, with the television on, loud enough to be heard throughout the Library … and, as the ceremony got underway … time, and again … I heard a prayer … I heard Scripture being read … live on television, beaming out to the world … including Schools … prayers … Scripture being quoted … God being mentioned … a lot … Jesus being mentioned … a lot … the name of Jesus … being called on … in front of me … in front of the School … in front of audiences all around the globe … the name of Jesus … “in the name of Jesus” being said on many occasions … right in front of me … on television … in public … at a government ceremony … right in front of me … on television … in Public School … my School … it seems like there were three separate prayers before the Inaugural Address, and three prayers after the Address …

I heard “America the Beautiful.” I heard prayers. I heard Scripture being read. I heard our National Anthem. Ok, I’ll say it … when was the last time you heard these two songs during the same program? Yes … I heard our National Anthem many times last weekend … Football, remember?
I heard … yes, I heard and saw … the Mormon Tabernacle Choir … When was the last time, on National Television, you heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

Quickly, allow me to mention this: One of my teacher colleagues, who is not a Donald Trump fan … I heard him proclaim, after the Republican Convention, “If he gets elected, I’m moving to Canada” … this same teacher, as an American citizen, could not believe that there were government officials who were not going to the Inauguration … this same teacher, who understands the importance of this “peaceful transition of power,” regardless of political beliefs … joined me, in the Library, during the Inauguration Ceremony … when the announcement was made to “please stand and honor our country during the singing of our National Anthem” … this same teacher, stood with me, side-by-side, during the singing of the National Anthem … I’ll never forget it … I also have made the decision, during televised sporting events, regardless of how comfortable I am, to stand during the Anthem … and, Monday, I plan to just walk up to him … and shake his hand … because he “gets it;” it’s not about “me,” but about “us,” as in United States …

So, today, there is a School-wide event, so I leave the television on in the Library, lock up, and head to the gym … When I left the Library, the Inaugural Address and benedictions had ended, the former President and First Lady had left the ceremony, and the Parade would follow … I lock up, again, leaving the television on, and enjoy the School event in the gym … When I return to the Library, as I enter, I can hear the television … but … it’s not coverage of the Parade being covered … it’s rioting, taking place, just a couple of blocks from the White House … rocks are being thrown at police … businesses have been damaged … a riot is taking place …

I don’t know what to say, or think … this is the United States, this is Inauguration Day, and this is less than 2 blocks from the White House … I hear, and see, reports about rocks being thrown at police … rocks being thrown at police …

Boy, does our country need prayer. Need to hear the Scripture. Need Godly examples. As I write this, I don’t know how all this turned out. I do know this: Many people can’t handle freedom. Even “the peaceful transition of power.” There are people who don’t have “peace within;” didn’t have it then, don’t have it now … won’t have it later, until they know this “Prince of Peace,” this “Jesus;” the One of whom so many heard the name of today … in the Library … in Public Schools … all across the globe …

Here goes: The Inauguration happened in Washington, D.C. If it had been held in any other city, yes, any other city, there would have been people to “show up” there as well … there will always be “those people” who can’t wait to throw rocks at police, or throw a brick through a business window … they’ll even travel for the opportunity … if this is a “demonstration,” it certainly is … let’s say that again … if “making your point” involves the destruction of property, or throwing projectiles at police … it certainly does “demonstrate” something …

Just 4 days ago, we celebrated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral; begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it … Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness … War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.”

God, help us. As I heard in the Inaugural Address, as all the world heard … as Schools all over America heard, from our President, the most important “help” we can get … is from God …

Blessings to you, and your family.
And, God, please, bless America

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Looking Back, Looking Ahead … But, Not Too Far: Blizzard Ahead

Hi Friends:

What a difference a year makes! Up here in the North Country, so much of how we gauge a year’s events is weather-related. How much snow, how much rain, how cold, how hot. How much oil, or pellets we used last year verses this year. We seem to never be far from an extreme … good or bad.

Most writers seize the time between Christmas and New Year’s to reflect back on the past year, with an eye on what they are hoping for in the next. Whatever plans I, or we, may have had, as we approach the “New Year’s Weekend,” changed dramatically, with the mention of one word … and, of course, it’s weather-related.

The word is “Blizzard.”

Last year (2015), we had a milder Winter, or at least it seemed, until later in the season. I remember painting during November, and doing concrete work in early to mid-December. The temperature has to be at least 40, minimum, to set concrete properly, and I was working on concrete around December 15. This year … well … different. Here’s an excerpt from a letter I wrote to my Dad, the week before Christmas:
“Well, it’s below zero here, and about half a foot of snow on the ground. Our high temperature today was around 5 degrees, and when I got home from School, it was right at zero. A big storm is coming tomorrow, Saturday. Last night, it was around -15 degrees, and the wind chill was somewhere between 35-40 below zero. At least we don’t need to go up Mount Washington to “feel the chill” and those winds. Still one week to go before “Winter.”

The weather in Northern New Hampshire is, in one way, the same as anywhere else I’ve lived:
You wish the Springs and Autumns were longer. And, regardless of how many Winters you’ve been through, when Winter hits … we always seem to be caught off guard, surprised. Like we’ve never been through Winter before, and we’re just not ready. Up here, there is a time, each year, late-Autumn, when you just, simply, put everything else aside … and, “get ready.” Being people, of course, we wait until the last minute … the day before “the storm.” For me, this means things like putting weight in the back of the truck. I have the front of the pick-up truck bed, against the cab, lined with 5 gallon buckets of sand. Behind them, between the wheel-wells, I have 2 heavy-duty 4 x 4 pallets. Between the pallets and the tailgate, I line the bed with concrete blocks. Heavy, I know, but necessary up here. I’ve had the truck bed “weighted down” for a month now, and I’ve needed it since the first day. We’ve had a lot of ice up here, and I mean a lot. This is due to, yes, warmer temperatures (usually it just snows, and that’s it), but after a “warmer day” with rain, it’s back to normal at night, with freezing temperatures. A lot of ice this year.

One thing for sure in the North Country: Every year is different.

Hey … on Tuesday, it was sunny and over 40 degrees. What does this usually mean?
Storm’s coming.

We’ve lived here for 10 years now, and I can’t remember but, maybe once, the word “Blizzard” mentioned in the forecast, and I think it was something like “Blizzard-Like.”

Well … can’t say that anymore.
Just like I learned to never, again, say, “It’s too cold to snow,” or the old, “Yeah, with small snowflakes like that, it won’t lay much.”

For a couple of days now, heading right out of the Christmas weekend, the forecast for later in the week was, for the first time in my memory, just the one word:
“Blizzard.”
The storm starts today, which, relatively speaking, should be a “piece of cake:”
32°HI
Periods of snow, accumulating 2-4 inches

No Problem! But, it’s not today that’s the problem … let’s look at tonight’s forecast, and notice the first word:
29°LO
RealFeel® 5°
Blizzard, accumulating an additional foot; heavy wet snow may bring down trees and power lines
NW 29 mph
Gusts: 50 mph

Notice the sustained wind speed is 29 MPH … but, notice the gusts of 50 MPH. Yeah, the low will be 29 … but … of course … it will feel like 5 …

Of course, I looked up the definition of the word “Blizzard,” from merriam-webster.com:
“a long severe snowstorm; an intensely strong cold wind filled with fine snow; an overwhelming rush or deluge; a large amount of something that comes suddenly.”
Then, I looked up the history of the word:
“The earliest recorded appearance of the word blizzard meaning “a severe snowstorm” was in the April 23, 1870 issue of a newspaper published in Estherville, Iowa. Blizzard shows up again during the following years in several newspapers in Iowa and neighboring states, and by 1888, when a snowstorm paralyzed the Eastern seaboard, the word was well-known nationally. The ultimate origin of the word is still unclear.”

By the way, a “good day” up here is a day in which you don’t have to snow-blow the driveway. If you can get several of these days together … it is a “special occasion.” A few short years ago, I remember a big snow storm before the end of October. I think that was the year we broke the all-time record for snowfall …
The Winters here are long, and always seem like they’re never going to end. You seem to just go from one storm to the next, always preparing for “the next one.”
But, this coming storm seems different. So, yesterday, like so many others, I, too, put aside all plans I had (including writing), to get ready for the storm … the Blizzard. Make sure the snow-blower was all gassed up, etc.

What I thought would be a 10 minute job turned into 4 hours. I started the snow-blower (or, “cranked” as I still say it), and pulled it out to the front of the garage, to put gas in. As I tested the augers (the spinning blades), I noticed that the right-side blades weren’t turning, weren’t spinning. Never mind what I said. A rock had wedged itself between the blade and the frame, and had torn off the “shear pin,” which is the bolt which fastens the blades (augers) to the axle. Yes, there are made to break, to prevent damage. Easy enough, I just crow-barred the rock out, and consulted the manual to check on how to replace the shear pin. I’d had this happen before, but couldn’t remember what to do. Simple … just drive the shaft of the old pin out, and replace it. Ever tried to find a center-punch, when you don’t remember where you put it? Never mind what I said. By the way, it was freezing cold, and getting dark. Anyway, I bent a couple of nails trying to knock it out, but to no avail. It just wouldn’t come out. Never mind what I said. The only choice I had was to try to drill through the bolt, to get it to budge. I broke 3 drill bits (never mind what I said), and finally got it to come out, removing it from behind the blades. By the way, it was freezing, dark, and, working with small parts, I had to remove my gloves. Boy! Those blades are sharp! Ouch! You got it … never mind what I said …
I put the new bolt in (I had gotten extra pins last time), and just needed to get an 11 MM wrench to hold the back nut, as I tightened the top nut. You guessed it: Lined up the MM wrenches … so nice … 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 … Want to guess which wrench was missing? Never mind what I said. I was finally able to use a pair of pliers, and tightened it as best I could. Perfect! So, as I’m trying out the new shear pin, making sure the blades would spin … keep in mind, you have to use the lever on the handle to turn the blades, and you can’t see the blades from there, and the blades stop spinning by the time you run to the front of the machine … Smart me … I use a bungee cord to wrap around the handle, to keep the blades turning while I inspect them. Guess what? The bungee cord broke … never mind what I said …

Anyway, we are as ready as we can be.
Thank God, and I mean this, for having a garage, and for having a snow-blower. And, thanks for the hardware store, which was open this morning. And, thanks for my new titanium drill bits, for my brand new center punch … and, for my brand new 11mm wrench (the last one they had.)

Even with a storm, and even a blizzard coming, we have so much to be thankful for. So much.
I always make it a point to pray for the men on the garbage and recycle trucks. How tough their job is, and it’s always about the weather. I also am thankful for the mailman, and how tough their jobs are. We take so much for granted.

As I was taking Carol to work today, we were, of course, talking about the Blizzard, just ahead. She said what I was thinking, but put it in a way only she can:
“The only blizzard I want to see is at Dairy Queen.”
Well, the closest one is about 30 miles away … and, it’s closed for the Winter.

Blessings to you, and your family.
Now, and always,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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