Posted in BIBLE STUDY, POWER OF POSTS, WEATHER-OR NOT

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.

 

Posted in BIBLE STUDY, POWER OF POSTS, WEATHER-OR NOT

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.

 

Posted in BIBLE STUDY, POWER OF POSTS

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.


Posted in HEROES OF THE FAITH, HISTORY CHANNELS, SCHOOL WORK

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.

 

Posted in THOUGHTS ON SNOW, WEATHER-OR NOT

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.

 

Posted in HOLIDAYS, MODERN-DAY PSALMS

Modern-Day Psalm Classic: “You’re My Yuletide Carol”

Hi Friends:
Just thought I’d share both the “Full Version” and the
“Christmas Carol” Version of this song, along with the Introductions to both, which I included in the book.

Merry Christmas!
R.V.R.

You’re My Yuletide Carol
Introduction

People find it hard to believe, but it’s true: I wrote this Christmas song before I had ever met Carol. I had spoken with her often on the telephone, but we had never met. The first time we met was at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, when she was visiting Georgia to attend a concert given every year by mutual friends of ours. I’ve often written of how “I just knew” that Carol was the one I was to spend the rest of my life with.

Carol arrived on a Wednesday night, and the concert was Saturday. She helped me make changes to the work, and our friends hurriedly put the music together, and played this as a special song at the concert. I’ve always envisioned this as a new Christmas classic, sung by someone like Tony Bennett.

I got the idea a few days before Christmas, as I was getting ready for Carol’s visit. I was playing a favorite Christmas album (yes, I still play albums), and, from out of nowhere, the phrase “Yuletide Carols” just seemed to freeze in mid-air. So, I grabbed it, and wrote this in advance of Carol’s visit.

I was asked to include the song in this volume, and I hope it shows some variety in my work. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this song with you. I hope you enjoy it. And, again, I remind you that it’s ok to love your wife! And, to say you do.

You’re My Yuletide Carol
(Full Version)

You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
You’re my Yuletide Carol
I just want you to know

My Christmas wish comes true
As your plane touches down
I can’t wait, my dear
To show you the town
You’ve been so long in the frozen north
The stairs unfold as my holiday bursts forth

And you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
You’re my Yuletide Carol
And my heart’s all aglow

As I catch my first glimpse of you
At the gate
I know in an instant
That it was worth the wait
As your smile melted the icicles
From around my heart
I just can’t wait
For my holidays to start

My hopes and my dreams
Won’t be dashed through the snow
Cause you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so

The nights are no more silent
My heart’s all aglow
And you’re my Yuletide Carol
And you’re as lovely as a bow

Oh! The sights that we will see
All over Christmas town
I’m so thankful that in your arms
This Yuletide spirit I’ve found
Your love is enough
To last the year round

So much to see
So much to do
A few days left
And the holidays are through
You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
So soon you’ll be gone
Just like the snow

Christmas bells are all ringing
And the skies are so clear
A warm fire is burning
As I hold you near
The light in your eyes sparkle
Like the new fallen snow
The season soon over
Where, oh where, did it go?

And you’re my Yuletide Carol
I just want you to know
You’re my Yuletide Carol
Do you really have to go?
You’re my Yuletide Carol
Let’s just stay under the mistletoe

Time goes by so very fast
If only I could make
Something so wonderful last
You’re my Yuletide Carol
Do you really have to go?
You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
Yes, you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I, yes I, love you so

You’re My Yuletide Carol (Christmas Carol Version)
Introduction

Remember, the “reason” that Carol had come to Georgia, that December, was to witness the Christmas concert, and, certainly, for no other reason, such as to meet me.

So, in advance of the concert, Carol and I got together and shortened the original, to a “Christmas Carol” version of the song, which was performed on stage that following Saturday night.

I still envision Tony Bennett singing the Christmas Carol version of the song …

It just begs of being sung …

“And you’re my yuletide Carol
And I love you so”

You’re My Yuletide Carol
(Christmas Carol Version)

You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
You’re my Yuletide Carol
I just want you to know

Christmas bells are all ringing
And the skies are so clear
A warm fire is burning
As I hold you near

The light in your eyes sparkle
Like the new fallen snow
The nights are no more silent
You’ve got my heart all aglow

And you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
You’re my Yuletide Carol
Let’s just stay
Under the mistletoe

In your arms, this Yuletide
Spirit I’ve found
Your love is enough
To last the year round

Time goes by so very, very fast
If only I could make something
So wonderful last

You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
My hopes and my dreams
Won’t be dashed through the snow

And you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so

Merry Christmas!
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

Posted in HOLIDAYS, MINISTRIES WE SUPPORT, PRAY FOR THE PERSECUTED

Christmas 2016 and What I Can “Do More” in 2017

This past year, as never before, I have felt the calling to pray for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters around the globe. And, not just pray for them … but, to also learn more about them. To find out where they are, and what they are going through. Plus, to not only “pray for the persecuted,” but to pray for “the persecutors.” To learn about them. Time after time, as I read the stories of those suffering, read about the tremendous hardships and tragedies they must endure, every day, the same request rings true:
“Pray for the persecutors.
Pray for the persecutors.”

I think about the statement I read from Pastor Rick Warren … that prayer is like a guided missile … which can be launched from anywhere on earth … and, reach the heart of anyone on earth … regardless of where they are located, and, regardless of “who” they are.

This time of year, the emphasis is always on how thankful we should be for the blessings we have, for being thankful for “all we have.” I hope we can apply this same spirit of thanksgiving to every day of the year. We shouldn’t only take time to think about our blessings at a particular time of year, but, it should be something that is part of our daily existence, part of our daily prayers, every day of the year. The plight of those “less fortunate” is also something we seem to focus more on, during “this time,” than at other times. Same rule should apply: The plight of those “less fortunate” should also be part of our daily existence, our daily prayers, every day of the year.

What good is what we have, if we can’t share it?
There is no “greater good” than the “good news” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is no greater purpose in life than to share this Gospel, and to support those who share it.

We often share materials we have received from “The Voice of the Martyrs.” Yes, there are many organizations which support persecuted Christians, and I’m thankful for that. Here I am, sitting downstairs, in front of the pellet stove, in a warm home, at the end of a tough work week.
I don’t know what “tough” is. My home isn’t war-ravaged, my neighborhood isn’t in shambles, and I haven’t been forced to move … just because I’m a Christian.
Tough week?
I don’t know what tough is. Here I am, debating over the “agony” of having to bring out the snow-blower … I don’t know what “tough” is. The losses so many have suffered. The pain and agony my fellow believers live through, every day. I’m surrounded by clean laundry (making use of the pellet stove), and I don’t have a clue what it’s like to be displaced from my home, fleeing with only what I can carry, only to live in a distant “camp,” in a tent … I don’t know what it’s like … I don’t have a clue … seeing family murdered … children murdered … only because “word got out” they had accepted Jesus …

Children … Children … Children …

Yes, we support the work of organizations like “The Voice of the Martyrs”
I don’t mind that there are a couple of common themes throughout my writing, and that I write of them often:
Pray every day.
Study your Bible every day.
Pray for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters every day.
Be thankful for the blessings you already have, every day.
If that’s all you “get” from my writing, I’m ok with that.

It is so important to pray and read the Bible every day. To set aside a time for this, every day.
Often, I’ve written about how important it is to have Scriptural messages, verses, posted around your home (and, even on the visor of your truck) to remind you of great Scriptural truths … things you can’t help but see every day …
It is … after all … about “every day” …

I don’t have a clue about how tough it is for Christians around the world, living in hostile and “restricted” nations.
But … I want to learn more.
I want to learn more.

There are a couple of resources, offered at a minimal price, through “The Voice of the Martyrs,” which I plan to use-every day-of the next year.
I want to learn more, and I’ve already learned so much about what’s going on “over there” through materials I’ve already received from them. I’d just like to share a couple of those with you, a couple of resources I am planning to use, in the year ahead.
I will include a link at the bottom of this post.

One is a “Prayer Calendar.” I love the 2016 calendar I have (which I think was bought at Walmart, on sale), which includes verses and quotes, so often helping me in exactly what I am going through at that particular time.

But … maybe it’s time to not think about me when I look at a calendar … maybe it’s time to think about others …

I will be using their 2017 Prayer Calendar, and here’s why, as I use text from the VOM website:
I will “be guided to pray throughout the year, with a new prayer request for each day of every month. The calendar includes prayer requests for the specific needs of Christians living in hostile and restricted nations as well as prayer requests for their persecutors, that God would change their hearts. When VOM staff travel to meet Christians in hostile and restricted nations, we often ask how American Christians can help them. Their first answer is always ‘Pray for us.’
By giving your Christian friends VOM’s 2017 Prayer Calendar, you will be helping to fulfill the request of our persecuted brothers and sisters every day in 2017. Specific prayer requests are provided for each day of the calendar year, including reminders to pray for the persecutors as Scripture instructs.”

The other resource I will be using is a Daily Devotional called “Extreme Devotion.” Talk about something I can use every day:
“This engaging devotional includes 365 stories of persecuted Christians along with devotionals based on each person’s life. You will be encouraged in your daily walk with Christ through the examples of believers from around the world who have shown extreme devotion in sharing their faith with others.”

Prayer and Bible study.
Remembering our Christian Brothers and Sisters.
Every day.
Every day.

I want to pray more.
I want to study more.
I want to learn more.
I want to remember them more.
I want to do more.
Here’s the link to help you do that:

The Voice of the Martyrs

 

Posted in AT THE ATM, HOLIDAYS

At the ATM, It Happened Again: “Triple Debit Indebtedness”

Not too long ago, I wrote about how, in just over a month, I had found 2 Bank Debit/Credit cards, and how it made me realize how blessed I was to be “raised right.” To do the right thing.
That particular writing was called “Double Debit Indebtedness,” and told the story of how I had found the cards, well over 100 miles apart: One in August, and one over the Labor Day Weekend.
Well … this past weekend was Thanksgiving Holiday weekend …

It is a weekend I look forward to, all year. 4 days off, and, yes … lots of football. So much to be thankful for, and the joy I take in hearing others just talk about what they are thankful for.
The word “Veteran” came up a lot, and, on Thanksgiving Day alone … I heard our National Anthem on 3 separate occasions, from 3 separate states.

We have so much to be thankful for.
Among our greatest blessings has to be the examples we’ve had, starting with our parents, and continuing throughout our lives, with great examples we’ve been exposed to, that God has brought into our lives.

So … back to the weekend. True to my word, I didn’t leave the house until early Saturday morning, to trek to the grocery store (something I’m also thankful for). Seemed that most of the population was still exhausted from Friday (which is called “Black,” yes, like the Plague), so not many people were out.

Back to work on Monday, and I had to stop by the local bank’s ATM to pick up some cash, to have for the next day, for a collection they are taking up for, at School. Since I don’t carry cash, I never have money to give on the “same-day.”
Anyway, it was Monday, after School, and I was exhausted. I drove up to the ATM, put my card in … and, you guessed it … it wouldn’t go in. There was another Bank card in the machine, left by the previous visitor. I first thought was, “No, can’t be. Not the third time in 3 months.” But, there it was. I took it out, looked at the name, which was hard to see in the twilight. Man! It gets dark early up here!
Plus, even my eyes were exhausted. It never occurred to me that the bank was open, and I could have just pulled around, walked in, to give them the card. Or just pull up to the drive-through. I guess my only thought was getting home to the recliner, and my much-anticipated nap. I did call the bank, first thing, and, yes, they did ask if I could bring the card in. I explained I was already home (hoping they could sense the exhaustion in my voice), and would bring the card in the next day. They said that was ok, just deliver it through the drive-through, which I did, immediately after School the next day.

Once again, it made me realize how thankful I am, to have been raised to be honest. As I write this, it strikes me that I am also thankful that I had 20.00 left in the bank … after the Holiday!
And, as much as I may disagree with some of their policies, I am thankful that we do have banks. And, that we can bank, can do business with, any bank or financial institution we choose. This is another one of those “freedoms” we have, which we take for granted so often. I am also grateful for many of the services they offer, like the ATM, and the technology which exists, which allows us to “use our debit card just like a credit card” (sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it?).

I’m thankful I could write this in the earlier post:
“I was so glad I was “raised right.”
Raised to be honest.
And, that I was taught the difference between right and wrong.
And, yes, taught to work hard.
By the living examples of those who raised me, who were as hard-working as they were honest.
I may have strayed, but they never did.”

Let’s see … A found card over Summer Holiday, a found card over the Labor Day Holiday, a found card over the Thanksgiving Holiday … guess I’ll have to go back to the ATM over Christmas …

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

Here’s the link to Double Debit Indebtedness

 

Posted in HOLIDAYS, PRAY FOR THE PERSECUTED, WEALTH STORED FOR THE RIGHTEOUS

So Thankful: Yet, so Failing, so Often, to “Get the Word Out”

Hi Friends:

So often, we think, and write, about how thankful we are for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. Blessings we enjoy every day. Every day.

And, that, so many of the blessings we enjoy here in the United States are a direct result of … just where we live … in the United States.

Especially in this past year, God has really placed it on my heart to learn about, and to pray for, our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who, simply, just don’t have these freedoms and blessings we so easily take for granted “over here.” And, I mean the basest, the most elemental things we take for granted. Like this word “freedom” we so easily toss around, not realizing how “strange/foreign” this word is, to so many.

Let’s not forget-ever-why we have these freedoms … the sacrifices made, and being made, in order for us to, just, “be free.”
But, let us also not forget those who don’t enjoy these freedoms. Just because of their belief, they are persecuted. Yes, we may all have an idea of what “persecution” is … but, I’ll admit … I don’t … I don’t know what it’s like to live in constant danger, every day … just because I am a Christian. Just because I am a Christian. I don’t pray enough … I don’t give enough … I don’t think enough … about my Brothers and Sisters in Christ … who, plain and simple … may not live to see tomorrow … just because “word has gotten out” that they are a Christian.

This makes me think about the way I act. The way I talk. The things I do. Based on my actions … my actions alone … Has “word gotten out” that I am a Christian?

Based on what others see in me … will they report that I am a Christian? Yes, I’ve heard the question, and it’s still a good one:
“If I was on trial for being a Christian … would there be enough proof to convict me?”

Funny … just thinking about that … I already feel “convicted,” but in a different way.

The thought occurs to me now that, if I truly am a Christian, one of the things I must do, I have to do … I must be compelled to do … is to “remember those in bonds, as if I were there with them.”

Let me say again, that, if I really am “what I say I am,” I must not forget to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. These are men, women, and children … yes, so many children … who, while inside, they know what “being free” really is … do not know what “freedom” in their world, outside, looks or feels like. Every day brings new challenges, just to stay alive. They’ve had to move, or be moved, relocated … because they “refused to move.” Men, women, and children … murdered … yes, murdered … just because “word got out” they chose to follow Christ.

I’m writing this on Black Friday. I won’t go out. I think about what others are thinking about today. Maybe “praying” for a good parking spot. Maybe “praying” they won’t run out of money.

I’d like to just think today about those whose time has “run out” because “word got out” that they were the “real deal.”
The “real deal.”
What a thought for this weekend. A “real deal.”

Let me write again: As a professing Christian, has “word gotten out” that we, yes I, that we, are “the real deal?”

If they begin to round up the “real Christians,” would my name be on the list?

I just walked onto the front deck. I live out of “town,” in what’s called the “Swedish Village.” It was quiet, as a looked around, through the falling snow (yes, we’ve got snow on the ground), and
it was so peaceful. Passing in front of me, walking down the street, no cares in the world, was a deer. He looked so peaceful. Just strolling down the street, a deer walking down the road of a quiet, peaceful village. I thought about so many of our Brothers and Sisters, whose village has been decimated, whose village is no longer a “village,” but a war zone. I didn’t have to worry about ducking down, afraid I’d be seen. I didn’t worry about binoculars focused on me … following my every move. I didn’t have to worry about neighbors, watching … watching … waiting for an opportunity to “strike.” Watching, and reporting, my every move. That deer … strolling down the street … without fear …

Well, I sat down to write something totally different.

Let’s remember those whose lives are so “totally different” from ours. Who can’t just walk outside, without danger. I pray that, while our lives, and circumstances, are totally different, our faith won’t be different.

Let’s pray that our faith won’t be different.

Let’s remember that we have others to think about. To pray about. And, to support.

While this freedom we enjoy gives us the chance to act, and live, pretty much any way we want, we have the freedom, and I’ll say it … we have the freedom to live any lifestyle we choose, even lifestyles that, not so long ago were abhorred, not glorified … included in that freedom is to “get the word out,” and the freedom for “the word being gotten out” about us.

When Jesus returns (and He will), I don’t want to be “left out.”
Lord, please help me to “get the word out.”
To be “one of the ones” about whom “the word has gotten out.”

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

Posted in MINISTRIES WE SUPPORT, PRAY FOR THE PERSECUTED, VIDEOS, POWER POINTS, AND PHOTOS TO SHARE

Pray for the Persecuted: “I’ve Been Remembered”

Yes, Sunday, November 6, has been designated as “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.”

I can’t implore you strongly enough to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. I urge you to include these men, women, and children, and their families and churches, as part of your daily prayers.
We must, every day, heed the words of Hebrews 13:3:
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

Please. Every day.
Pray.
Please.
God can open doors no man can close.
God can close doors no man can open.
There is nothing He can’t do.
There is nothing too hard for Him.

How often I write, is such series’ as “Wealth Stored for the Righteous,” how blessed we are, right now … So much of our daily blessings are the result of … just where we live …

Again, I urge you, I beseech you, to pray for those who don’t enjoy the freedoms we have.
I always include a video to go with this annual observance, and, for weeks, I had planned to share a particular video. Now, as I sit here on a Friday night, home from School, before the weekend, the laundry sounding in the background … I discovered this video, from the ministry of “Open Doors.”

I found this song.
This song.

This is the only song I have played on this Friday night, and I must share it with you.

The words of Jesus.
The words of Paul.

Numbers I’ve seen, yet, here in this country, find so astounding:
The percentage of the world’s population who are living under persecution.
As I’ve written so many times:
“We don’t have a clue.”
“I don’t have a clue.”
How many people, worldwide, in other countries, “over there,” who live, every day, with the threat of imprisonment or death, just because they choose to believe in Jesus …

73% of the world’s population live under persecution … Most of them are Christians …
That is hundreds of millions.
Yes … hundreds of millions.
Every day.
That’s hundreds of millions.

The words of Jesus.
The words of Paul.
The words of this song.

The words of this song:
“I’ve been remembered by someone far away …”

“My heart sings with the knowledge that I do not stand alone … We are truly connected …”

The prayer at the end:
“We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who share our faith … but not our freedom …”

One more time:
“We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who share our faith … but not our freedom …”

I’ll share 2 important links:
http://live.opendoorsusa.org/idop/
https://www.persecution.com/

Blessings to all,
Richard.Vincent. Rose.