Friday, October 31, 2008

Just thinking about it gets me excited!

It’s Friday, October 31, 2008 and with November on our doorstep we will soon be right smack in the middle of the holiday season, perhaps my favorite time of the year. Given our current situation we have no idea exactly how things will play out for our holidays because of being out of our normal residence but God willing, one way or another, we plan to enjoy coming together as a family, like we always do, and to spend time thanking Him and showing love for those who are so near and dear to our hearts. I have some ideas about my annual Christmas greeting newsletter for this year’s edition but given our situation, the mechanics are a little fuzzy at this time. I’ve already received inquiries about it from a number of folks, therefore, I will do my best to send one out, Lord willing.

The cooler weather has added to my anticipation of the coming holiday season and it’s a feeling saturated with memories and expectations. We’ve tried to stay in touch with our boys and their families but it’s been since late August when we last saw Rodney and his crew. I know that’s not that long for some whose children live far away but for us to go that long without seeing our little ones is really tough. Fortunately our daughter-in-law has kept us up to date with photos but we MUST see them all soon. The photos only make me want to see them more. You can see why when you look at these recent snaps of Lexie and our Bray Bray. I have already spoken to Rod and will be doing my best to work something out for this coming Sunday. Grandparents for some reason fear their grandchildren might forget them if they don’t see or talk to them on a regular basis. That’s not likely to happen but old people do think that way. If you don’t believe it, ask one, or better yet, ask me!

I’ve heard some background noise that the boys are talking about plan b and c if we are not able to host in our home as normal. God is good that we do have access to these other arrangements and the main thing is always that we are able to be together to share a time of family, food, and fellowship. I also am missing seeing my mom and dad. I had planned to slip off this Saturday and surprise them but I learned Wednesday evening they are headed for an out of town excursion this weekend. I’m thankful they are still active and able enough to travel and enjoy their golden years. Meanwhile, back on the ranch we have plenty of intense planning, coordination, and scheduling to get done regarding the restoration project on our house. I should be nearing a final completion of the last piece of insurance business after which we can focus on expediting all the construction related activities. Some have shared with my wife about how much fun it must be to be getting a refurbished home with new furnishings and a fresh new look. Hello? Okay, I’ll just have to be blunt. Fun has yet to appear on my radar screen but with the holiday season coming, there is still hope! Have a great Saturday and Sunday and Lord willing I will be back again on Monday. May God bless one and all....and as I drive out of sight I wish all a good night. (A little early for that one but since I was in the mood, why not?) Amen. …More later.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Someday, when I get myself all retired!

You might want to protect yourself because thought provoking thoughts are coming your way on this Thursday, October 30, 2008. Not really, but it did sound pretty good so I decided to get your attention first and then let you decide whether or not there’s anything here worth reading. I think they call that a ‘hook’ or teaser just to get you interested. I do at times think about thinking about other things to write about and perhaps once I get myself all retired I will provide some new subjects and materials for my daily delving into the recesses of those illusive tiny gray cells that in my case mostly stay on recess. I do have some fictional stories lying around somewhere that I might use or some of the really neat Bible stories I’ve adapted for children. I know the children’s stories are pretty good because I read one of them to Little Jimmy, my grandson, and he said it was the finest story about David and Goliath he had ever heard. I think he was maybe nine at the time but the children’s book editors I sent some samples to did not share his enthusiasm for my literary prowess. But when I get myself all retired that’s another ‘to-do’ that’s waiting for my attention.

There are many famous authors whose works were routinely rejected hundreds of times before they caught on. Some of the rejected materials later became huge sellers and even classics. Granted most of them had more going for them than a single grandson’s analysis but their persistence in not giving up, and their willingness to endure the criticisms, get back up, and give it another go, should be an encouragement to us all. There’s so much that goes into what is deemed marketable at any given time. I have investigated self-publishing which by the way is a huge new industry with tremendous tools, capabilities, and potential done almost 100% online! Everything from editing to artwork can be purchased along with the actual printing and distributing of the books themselves. One small issue involves the huge amount of up-front money required but when I get myself all retired perhaps I can figure out ways that this might work.

Meanwhile you are stuck with the mundane meanderings of a fellow struggler who gets up each day and seeks to live out a productive schedule on behalf of serving God and others. I don’t always do either very well but desiring to is certainly a good way to start each day. Believe me, there are many things on my list to do before I leave this temporary home for the permanent one Jesus is preparing for me. (John Chapter 14) Some of these things are written down but much of it exists only on my mental notepad. (Based on my recent confessions about unscheduled memory faults, that mental list may be in danger, however, since I’m not 100% certain of what’s on the list, I would likely never know the ones I lost!) I do know it’s a list filled with hopes, dreams, aspirations, people to see and places to go. Will I ever get to accomplish these things? I don’t really know the answer to that question at this time but I do know that when I get myself all retired I will be able to better evaluate these and many other adventures I’ve not even thought about yet. I will do my best to see that the context will always be based on God’s will and provision but I think having dreams to begin with is a big part of being ready for the next door He wants to open. I am looking forward to it all! Amen. ….More later.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I don't know but I do know Who does!

Greetings and salutations on this frosty Wednesday, October 29, 2008. There are days when you are tired after all the activities are finished. There are days when you are worn out and you feel like there was little accomplished. There are also days whenever you think perhaps you did yourself in by being sidetracked or in spending time on things that were of little or no consequence. But, there are also days whenever you are really zonked but you feel good about it, it's a 'good tired', and that's the kind of days we all like to invest our time in. That's how it went for me yesterday. I did get some things accomplished at work and finished off the day with a great time of teaching and fellowship at our inner city ministry Bible club for children. My brother-in-law preacher who is here to help with our damaged house tagged along and he got a big kick out of seeing these boys and girls ministered to and taught the truth. I always have a greater sense of having accomplished something whenever I get to personally witness to some of the kids. I had a group of six boys last night and did my best to help them with their questions and in their desire to know God and His salvation through His Son.

Yeah, you are still tired but it's the kind where you feel like you have been a part of God working and perhaps He has used that opportunity to change a young life for time and eternity. But that was yesterday. Today is the only one I can do anything about at least at this time, therefore, I need to embrace it, get on with it, and use it as a resource entrusted to me by the God who saved me and made me His own. I have been thinking quite a lot about retirement lately. Not retirement to go lay in a hammock but retirement from the regular routine job to focus on other pursuits that God may have for me. Unfortunately, with all the turmoil in the financial world, it's next to impossible to get in touch with a real person to discuss the details involving the process that needs to be followed in order to make such a change. One day I did get hold of a young fellow who is part of a financial services company that handles retirement for the big company I used to work for. He wanted to make sure that I was reassured about my retirement income because the folks who were managing all of that were very conservative and I should know that it was in good hands. I'm talking to a dude who might be 30 years old and he's telling me that all the billions of retirement investments are hunky dory. I think I felt better about it before he went on and on about me not having anything to worry about.

There are three different entities involved in this process and all of them have different protocols and procedures. I've not been able to take the time to nail down the exact details from each one thus far. However, I have been able to do the only thing that makes sense to me concerning the deciding of what I should do. I can pray about it and ask God to help me to come to a decision that would be the one He would want me to make. I don't want to figure it out for myself because I know my own track record and He always knows best, period, end of story. Even the process of dealing with the pros and cons can tilt me in one way or the other. Many say hold off as long as you can or at least until the economy recovers. Others say get started as soon as you can because it may not be there in the future. I do believe He has a plan and purpose for my life, even the remaining days I have left. Some time ago I wrote out my prayer in detail regarding this matter. Every few days I pull those sheets out and read them and pray them back to God. As things develop and they are developing each day, I know that He will use His own chosen means to provide me with the direction I seek. I trust Him to do this because He has promised to provide for His very own. You can help by joining me in this endeavor. You will not be wasting time when you pray because God has designed our lives around His sovereign working which includes the prayers we and others pray. Powerful stuff for a Wednesday and I commend you to the One who is in control. Amen. Have a really great day and I'll try to have something for you in the morning, (Lord willing.) .....More later.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I do hate it when it turns out like that!

It’s Tuesday, October 28, 2008 and we are counting down the minutes to the ‘fall back’ reset of our clocks coming up early Sunday morning (ours will be done long before the exact time the official clocks change). That ‘fall back’ is always better than the ‘spring forward’, at least from an immediate gain or loss point of view. If anyone ever needed some fall back relief I think I would qualify. I hate to say it but I think my thinking is beginning to suffer from electrical circuit fatigue or unscheduled disconnects. Last week I accused ‘Ole Roy’, our shop foreman, of not being able to hear and respond to his own pace maker ringing. (Just for the record, he doesn’t have a pace maker.) It turned out to be my very own phone ringing in my very own pocket and I didn’t recognize the ring tone since I had recently changed it. Man oh man, I thought I had put over a good one on him in front of an audience but it turned out to be on me instead. I do hate it when it turns out like that.

I’m not finished yet. Sunday morning I left at 6:30 a.m. to go for early prep for our Church services but I left my cell phone at the place where we are staying. I have an explanation for why I left my phone. I have to keep it plugged in all the time due to the fact that it currently is our source for contact on a 24-hour basis. Plus, I do my very best to tip toe around so as not to bother ‘you know who’ when I’m getting ready. You add all of this together and the bottom line is still the same. I left my phone and didn’t have it to call my mom at 8 a.m. sharp, but my wife did bring it to me and I was able to call her at 8:30 a.m. sharp. I do hate it when it turns out like that.

Yesterday morning I arrived at work at 4:40 a.m. I always go and unlock the shop and other buildings just before 6 a.m. I lock the office when I leave and I did check to make sure I had keys in my pocket and I did. I thought the ones I had were to the office but they were to the damaged house and the temporary storage unit instead. Therefore, I had to set up camp in the shop office and hope that someone with an office key would get to the property before Ole Roy showed up. Of all days, he just had to be in early and there I was sitting at his desk in his office. He said, “What do you think you are doing in this office?” I couldn’t really come up with anything better, therefore, I blurted out the truth and told him I had locked myself out of the office. (This is why there were no images on yesterday’s blog, I sent it from the computer in the shop office.) Two weeks in a row I have contributed to making Ole Roy’s day, week, month, and perhaps have given him a gift that will keep on giving all the way through the upcoming holidays. All I can say at this time is: I do hate it when it turns out like that. Stay tuned because who knows what kind of hilarity lurks just around the next bend? Have a great day and may God bless. Amen. ……More later.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Welcome to Monday, another opportunity for us all to make a difference!

It is Monday, October 27, 2008 and the news on the radio about the world economy is bad, bad, and more bad. How bad is it? It must be pretty bad because I think they have run out of superlatives, adjectives, and other ways to communicate the depths of what may be a very rough ride over the next several months. As for the 700 billion of our tax dollars we've handed over to the Treasury Secretary to pretty much spend as he decides, well, would you believe that folks from every industry known to humanity, from sea to shining sea, are in line to get some of the loot that is going to be doled out? Local governments, state governments, large, medium, and small businesses all see themselves as key to getting the economy back on track, therefore, they see themselves as deserving of some bailout funding. Meanwhile, the average Jack and Jill will eventually get the full measure of this split the loot program and may end up with no pail or no water. BUT, our trust is not in Mr. Paulsen or Mr. Benanke, or in the federal government, or even in what we can see and touch in front of our eyes, our trust is in the Lord our God and we have His word on it that He will never leave nor forsake us and that we will have victory in the end!

Sometime later this morning there will be some sounds emanating from our damaged home that have not yet been heard. It will be the sound of the early restoration process being implemented. FINALLY. You might remember that I used that old proverb that every journey begins with a first step in many of my blogs. Well, we are making that first step and hopefully will be pursuing a schedule that will get us back into our house before Christmas, maybe in early December, Lord willing and the weather holds up. That's not to say there's not but a few million details that yet have to be worked out but at least we see the train beginning to rev its engines in preparation for leaving the station. Our nephew and his dad are going to be the leaders on this project. The nephew is a skilled builder with over 25 years of experience. His dad, my wife's brother, is a man of God, who has served in his calling to preach for 44 years. What a combination! A master builder working with a man who believes in moment by moment contact with the Master. May God bless them as they seek to get this project completed.

On Saturday we spent most of the day getting stuff ready to be stored in one of those temporary containers. Those 16 foot boxes do hold quite a bit of stuff. We had at least sixty large boxes and other miscellaneous items to load but before we got that done we called our middle son and more or less told him we had a need for a break and would he please bring his four offspring over to see their MiMi and Poppy. He did, they came, we hugged and loved on our little ones, we took them to McDonalds, we soaked up as much of their energy as we could, then they went on their way, and we returned to the task at hand. Our eldest and his wife showed up and literally provided much of the back breaking labor required to load all of this up. Needless to say, we didn't have to be rocked to sleep Saturday evening. Yeah, we have too much stuff. Most people do. A tremendous amount of what we have is sentimental memorabilia. Box after box of memories. I told my wife last evening on the way to our local Church services that perhaps coming out of all this we will do something about trying to live with less stuff, a more simple life, without so many items, and decorations and other such junk. It was a good thought and we might do something but we likely will end up filling up the restored place in no time at all. Have a great week and remember God is at the wheel and we should most definitely leave the driving to HIM! Amen. ...More later.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Better get that jacket but it does feel good!

Good morning on this very cool Friday, October 24, 2008. That's right, it is 42 degrees and it not only feels good but it also makes autumn seem to be more of a reality. My youngest son went on a special hunt last weekend on some type of game management project out on the lease where his company partners with others. I think they have over 15,000 acres and hearing him talk about their hunting brought back memories of how we used to do it when I was a kid. Also, yesterday before work started a number of the fellows were out around the coffee pot discussing the same thing. I used to listen to the older fellows give their rendition of how it was way back then. Now, I'm in the category of being able to tell the younger dudes how it was way back then. Funny how that works, isn't it? One day you are the young guy listening, the next thing you know, you are the old fuddy duddy spreading stories from the good old days.

We were all laughing about how much hunting has changed. When I was a kid we pretty much wore our regular clothes, perhaps with some extra padding if it was really cold, and made do with what we could find. Today, there are hunting outfits, all kinds of camouflage, different scents, all types of communications equipment, deer stand comforts, and the list goes on and on. My grandfather would have a good laugh about all these newfangled ways to hunt. We more or less had the basics. We had our guns, shells, food, and enough utensils to cook up a meal. If we spent the night, we typically slept in the back of my granddad's pickup truck and wrapped up in a bunch of homemade quilts. I noticed my car this morning was dripping dew. That same dew on a 40 degree morning would have saturated those quilts. You were damp and too cold to get up and too cold to sleep. But my grandfather would have already been up very early and he would have a big fire blazing and the smell of breakfast was in the air. No propane heaters for us but did we ever enjoy our times! I can smell that fried squirrel and eggs as they popped in the grease along with that boiled coffee as a most wonderful way to greet the day. Do people enjoy hunting with all the comforts many have today? Yeah, I think they do because that basic instinct is still there. However, nothing will replace my memories of so many wonderful times we had doing it the old fashioned way. Of course my granddad's granddad would probably have told us how it used to be in his day. And, so it goes.

Okay, here we are on a Friday and we have so much to be thankful for. Those memories I mentioned are something to be thankful for. I could tell you some tales. But, I have already and will only say that making good memories for our children is something we should take seriously. Lord knows they will get plenty of bad ones along the way as a part of living in this fallen world. While my brothers and I enjoyed our time out in the woods going on a hunting excursion, it required a lot of time, effort, and preparation by my granddad. He could have gone by himself and not even had to worry about all the cooking stuff, and other details needed to have us tag along. We didn't recognize he had gone to any trouble at the time but looking back through the lens of experience, I know he did, and I am so thankful he chose to do so. I wouldn't have near the stuff to write about if others hadn't gone out of their way to provide me with the memories I cherish today. This is a good time to encourage us all to think about what our children and grandchildren will be writing in their blogs some forty or fifty years from now. Enjoy your Saturday. Attend a local worship time on Sunday. And, plan on meeting me back on Monday with some more of these weebly wobbly stories. Until then, may God bless and keep you and yours. Amen. .....More later.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Funny how time slips away!

You are kidding aren't you? Can it be Thursday already. What's that you say? It is already October 23, 2008! Willie Nelson wrote that song, 'Funny how time slips away.', back in the early 1960's. He actually wrote many songs that became big hits including the one that pretty much defined Patsy Cline, 'Crazy'. But time does seem to slip away, but I assume most of you have noticed that. Today is one of those days that starting out I feel like I'm in one of those shots where all the cars are crossing the finish line and you have to use a photograph to see who won. We've all seen those pictures taken of moving action that come out blurred. Well, that's the roller coaster ride we've been on lately. I'm not complaining because we know that God is working all things out according to His plan and for our good as we identify ourselves as those who love Him and wear the badge of being His very own called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) We would be foolish to do what some do in projecting a life without issues, problems, troubles or trials. The key is to be found in Christ and He will be with us wherever we go and whatever we go through.

Last evening the brother speaking at our Wednesday night Bible study used the life of Joseph as his subject. Joseph was the favored son of his dad, Jacob. His dad went out of his way to show this favor including giving Joseph a special coat that indicated Joseph's position of honor and authority within the family. The brothers did not like this at all. When the opportunity came they threw Joseph into a pit, an abandoned well, and then put animal blood on his special coat and told their father that Joseph had been attacked and killed. Joseph was sold into Egypt, therefore, he had gotten out of that first pit, made up of envy and hatred. He became elevated as a purchased slave of a very important man in Egypt. However, this man's wife wanted the handsome Joseph to be her love toy and he refused. She lied on Joseph and he went to prison, back into a pit brought on by the vengeance of a lying woman. In the prison Joseph was once again elevated and became administrator of the prison. After giving an accurate interpretation of a dream to an incarcerated dignitary, the man was set free and promised to make certain that Joseph was remembered. But, the man forgot and Joseph continued in the pit, this time a pit of being forgotten. Eventually he was released and because God was with him he was able to rise to the position of second in command to the Pharaoh himself. Later, he showed mercy and forgiveness towards his brothers, thereby avoiding the pit of bitterness and revenge. And, it could go on and on. (You can read this fascinating story when you go back to the beginning, the Book of Genesis.)

Pretty good lesson for a Wednesday night, don't you think? Some pits we dig for ourselves. We go into others because of the actions of others. Some of the pits we find ourselves in seem to come from out of the blue but we all, that's right, every single one of us, will face these kinds of challenges in our lives, period, end of story, no exceptions. God knew about the famine coming and how that Joseph would be the man He would use to save that part of the world and most especially His chosen people, the descendants of Abraham. Joseph didn't know about all these things and he could not control what happened to him but he could do something about how he responded to what happened to him. And, that's about all you and I can do today. We can't always change the circumstances that cause us to be down in the pit looking up for help. But we can keep on believing, trusting, serving, and being faithful to God because His plan will ultimately set us free from all the pits we end up having to struggle with. To be honest, I not only enjoyed that lesson but it also spoke to my heart. I almost wasn't there to hear it. Why? It was a very stormy night and I was way too busy, too much on my plate, I had things to do and people to see. However, I am so glad I went because I needed to hear from God in the way that He only speaks whenever we attend a service together as a local body of believers. Yeah, that's right. He does speak in a special way whenever we meet and He joins us in our meeting. That's one reason I harp on encouraging people to find themselves in their local Church meeting place, fellowshipping, worshipping, and most importantly, hearing from God! Amen. Have a great day and may God bless us all! ....More later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tricked not treated!

Welcome to Wednesday's pre-Halloween special treat on this October 22, 2008. The greeting was actually a trick and not a treat but for those who are tuned in to the pre-holiday festivities, I thought you might enjoy that as a way of getting started today. Those who know us realize that we are big into Christmas and we love the Thanksgiving Day family get togethers. We celebrate Resurrection Sunday, called Easter, and we observe the 4th of July and other remembrance days. However, we are not big on Halloween. Growing up we always dressed up and went from door to door to fill our bags up with candy. Back in those days we had never heard about people putting poison, razorblades, or laxatives in children's candy. There are some folks who dress up their houses and yards like Halloween is one of the major happenings of the year. We all know there are some dark sides to this holiday but I believe most people do it just for the fun. For years we have had a children's alternative activity at our local Church and sad to say, that appears to be one of the few really safe choices in the world we live in. We all love seeing the little ones all dressed up in their special costumes as they express themselves into the character they choose. Back in the day it was much more difficult because we typically had to come up with stuff we already had along with some of mom's makeup to disfigure our appearance. Sitting here today I can't remember any mischief I got into on Halloween but that doesn't mean I didn't. I was certainly capable of such and by now I may have filtered out those recollections.

I will be cutting my blog a little short today. I have truly tried to not let this house situation get me down. But, I will confess taking 2 steps forward and 3 back in trying to get on with it does tend to wear one down. I am still committed to maintaining my testimony for the Lord but when dealing with the insurance folks it does get dicey at times. I have a ton of stuff to get together today as a follow-up to our initial estimates on the repairs. What was once described as a simple procedural process in getting additional funds appropriated has now become a major review activity. I know there's those who have said all along that's how it always works. But, even now, with all this additional coordination effort on my plate, I'm still not convinced that there will be any huge problems, it's just wearisome to have to deal with it via telephone tag, emails, and spits and sputters. Yesterday was one of those wearisome days but today is a brand new day with a brand new opportunity to make progress. God is going to get us where we need to go and He will work all these things out, in His own time, and if I cooperate with Him, it will all be done in a way that is pleasing to Him. That doesn't mean it will be easy and it doesn't mean it will not involve challenges to my stamina and my testimony. I've seen both already on a pretty regular basis. In the end, however, we are the ones who are blessed because we are working through issues and details that pertain to making sure we receive the coverage provided for in our policy. Every day I hear stories about folks who have no coverage and no where to go. Therefore, I need to be thanking God all along this journey for even our greatest challenges in our project pales in comparison to so many others. Pray for us that we will keep this in mind and I pray that you and yours will have a most excellent day! Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thanks for showing up today!

It's Tuesday and all is well or about as well as can be expected given the circumstances on this October 21, 2008. That sounds kind of negative but I just threw it in because we always have that 'knock on wood' disclaimer to just about anything and everything we say or do. There's no agreement about how knocking on wood came to supposedly bring good luck or deal with fateful outcomes, therefore, it may be of pagan ritualistic origins or something that grew from children playing tag and being safe when they were touching wood like a tree. Wherever it came from it has become a very commonly used phrase added to just about any and all predictive statements. A lady Sunday encouraged me to knock on wood after she asked and I told her I had my diabetes under control at this time. I wouldn't say it is out and out superstitious but if you really think that rapping your knuckles on anything wood somehow does something to improve the odds of a good thing happening, then I would just add another old saying, you are surely barking up the wrong tree.

You just knew I had to give you something on barking up the wrong tree. I've actually hunted with dogs that became confused where the squirrel had gone and they ended up barking up the wrong tree while the target was well on his merry way. We use that saying to indicate that we are wrong in our assumptions or that we have arrived at the wrong answer or wrong place. Therefore, if we are knocking on wood or crossing our fingers or any other seemingly harmless action but actually have begun to believe they make a difference, then we too have missed out on where truth really is found. I have been surprised over the years at the number of believers who carry with them long held superstitious quirks. They might laugh them off as being childhood habits or amusing add ons but far too many have a deep seated seriousness about them. I'm not making fun of them but only to say that our faith in God is the answer to all our needs, our hopes, our dreams, and our sense of well being, all the time, yesterday, today, and forever.

We have some of these things deeply rooted in our minds. I know even when a black cat runs out in front of me, I immediately think about bad luck. I do not for a moment believe that black cats do anything at all to impact our destiny, ever, unless maybe one thinks they do and they swerve their car trying to miss the cat and hit a tree and hurt themselves. But it's the fact that all our lives we hear these things and we are around people who do believe in them, therefore, whenever we come in contact with them, we immediately think about the symbolism involved. I've known plenty of people who would always go out of their way to avoid having a black cat cross in front of them, or they would never even think about walking under a ladder, or any other number of things thought to bring bad luck. The Apostle Paul said that when he was a child he thought like a child and acted like a child, but when he became an adult or reached maturity, he was required to think and act in a mature way. He was dealing with the concept of spiritual growth but I believe it is a good lesson on the subject of putting aways childish things that actually distract from our walk as one who, moment by moment, breath by breath, is in the hands of the God we believe in and serve. These are some randomly generated thoughts thrown up against your wall and perhaps something stuck and you can use it. If not, at least you can make a wish and blow out the candles on my today's blog! Smile, it is good for whatever ails you! May God bless. Amen. .....More later.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Trying to have a meaningful Monday!

Mind you it's Monday and time to get back into your daily routine on this October 20, 2008. I spent most of Saturday over at our damaged house trying to get things arranged to begin construction. We still need to get rid of some furniture and get stuff packed up to go into storage until after the restoration process is completed. I remember the insurance adjuster saying that we sure had a lot of stuff. I told him it was accumulated in that house for over twenty four years and actually some of it is much older than that. We have a pump organ that still works, just ask the grand kids, and it was built in 1899. One of the things you most likely would guess is that if you have room you are prone to not throw things away. It has now come time to deal with this challenge. I most likely have records that go back to the 1960's. One would hope the statute of limitations has been up for many years by now on much of what we have retained. I also have loads of stuff from my nearly twenty four years with the same company. Most of this can probably be gotten rid of. Getting rid of things is a very tedious process for me. I have notes from my Bible studies that go back for years. Some of them fill up many note books. I have gone back and read some of them on occasion but for some reason I don't like to throw things like that away. BUT, there comes a time when it must be done and that time is now!

As we think about the future I've tried to get hold of some frame of reference for a master plan. First and foremost I believe we should keep in mind that material things in this life are very temporary and we should seriously consider this as we make decisions about refurbishing and refurnishing our home. In addition to that we should also bear in mind the fact that we may not always be in that particular residence since we no longer have need for that much space. In talking to a real estate agent at Church service last night he said they were predicting a fairly healthy market for our particular area within the next 12 to 18 months. This may or may not happen but it is something we should consider in terms of making the house attractive if we think we might want to sell it. We are well aware that planning is just that, planning. James, the writer of the first preserved letter in the New Testament said that we should always frame any and all of our plans with a clear connection to God and His will. He said we should always say we will do this or that, today or tomorrow, IF God wills. Therefore, this will be our fundamental basis for how we proceed in that we will do our best to plan as God provides.

I don't know about you but we have a busy week of activities already on the books for this week, if God wills. We have several things to get done regarding getting construction started on our damaged home. These, of course, are subject to change and often they do. My wife plans to be off a few days to finish packing stuff up for storage. I will be working to finalize the bidding process and getting a contractor selected and started. In addition, I will need to work with the insurance company on dealing with the variances between their estimates and the actual bids we have received. That should be fun! By the way, all of these things, just like our plans, are in God's hands as well. They may not go smoothly but they will be opportunities for us to either live up to our identity as those who carry the name of Jesus, or we will become frustrated and angry and end up perhaps tarnishing our testimony. I've most likely already experienced at least some of the latter but I am committed to doing my best to come through all of this with a sense of my duty to represent my Lord at all times, even when things don't go my way. That's a pretty good goal for us all and one I will need God's help if I am to see it accomplished in my dealings each day. Have a great week. Seek the Lord while there is yet time and remember to thank Him for all that He has done, is doing, and will do as we pursue the life He has given to us! Amen. More later.