When Unexpected Things Happen

I was jolted awake at 3:15 Sunday morning by a crash in the bathroom. Normally I am a sound sleeper and miss such things as thunder storms, phone ringing and all sorts of night-time doings. Gene had fallen. He didn’t think it was his heart. He wasn’t nauseated or light-headed, just extreme pain in his ribs. His skin was cold and clammy and he was sweating profusely. I helped him up but he immediately “crumbled” to the floor, three times. The last time I couldn’t get him up and had to call 911.

It is a terrible feeling watching your loved one leave in the squad and you can’t go along. They did an EKG and ruled out his heart. We figured the root of the problem was the big bruise on his back. They told me to stay at home, if I went to the hospital, I would be turned away at the door because of covid 19 pandemic restrictions.

Earlier in the week we had a bull get out and as Gene was putting him back into the pen, he slipped and fell as he jumped a ditch and fell on his back on a piece of angle iron. He heard a crack and figured he had either cracked or broken a rib.

He didn’t feel it was necessary to go to the doctor because he knew they would say there is nothing they can do, just be careful. (Just like a broken nose or toe). He developed a big bruise on his back and had to be careful how he turned, but after a few days felt really good. On Saturday, he put forty acres of hay on the ground. He knew he had a narrow window with the weather but because he wraps his bales, he planned to rake and bale on Monday (Memorial Day) and Tuesday. At supper Saturday evening, he commented on how good he felt.

Little did we know the unseen danger that was lurking. It didn’t take long at the hospital to discover that he had blood in his chest cavity. He was bleeding internally. They inserted a drainage tube and drained off over a liter of blood. They ended up moving him to a different hospital that could handle a trauma injury.

I had to take some things to Gene before they moved him and I was allowed to speak to him as they loaded him onto the ambulance.

The next two days were excruciatingly painful but on Tuesday evening he was able to come home. He is resting and on the road to recovery. Today I took him on a “field trip” to check on his cows and see the hay fields that had been baled, without him.

Gene basically makes the hay by himself. He has a friend (Wray) who helps some with the raking when needed. Suddenly we had a big problem. We had 40 acres of really nice hay that needed to be raked, baled and wrapped before the tropical storm comes in Wednesday night. Not just anyone can do it.

It is really neat to watch God work. God specializes in the miraculous, the big stuff, the tough and overwhelming, the seemly impossible. Gene was stressing big time, trying to solve his problem while dealing with unbearable pain. I made a few calls and soon the phone was ringing. Within a few hours I had Wray lined up to rake the hay, Steve to bale, Keith to wrap and Sam to go for more plastic wrap. Luke had volunteered to bale but he had never run our equipment or a computer controlled baler. I called Steve, a good farmer friend and past employee who knew our equipment, and asked him if he could come for an hour or so and help Luke get started. Luke is a farm guy and no stranger to baling hay, just not using our equipment. Steve had his own hands full as he had sixty acres of hay on the ground. He said, “if Luke tedded his hay, he would bale ours”. Steve’s hay wasn’t ready to bale until Tuesday. Suddenly everything felt right and good. The heavy bag of worry I was carrying just rolled away.

Sunday evening Keith got all the tractors filled with fuel and attached to the proper equipment so that everything was ready to roll. Some of the equipment was moved to the field. Monday I just watched the day unfolded. I took pictures and kept saying, “thank you, Jesus”. At 9:05 p.m. the last of the 200 bales rolled from the baler and the tractor parked. About fifty bales had to be wrapped on Tuesday morning. The job was done, thanks to family and friends.

After hearing the many phone calls and texts from concerned people and hearing the offers to help, our grandson who had watched an amazing thing unfold said, “I can’t BELIEVE how many people have offered to help.” He had witnessed what seemed impossible as a community of friends, family and church friends rallied to help. When the unexpected happened, the unexpected happened. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. God is good.

Raking

A beautiful sight.
Baling
A beautiful field.
Wrapping
Just checking on things!

Pandemic Observations

Here are some of my random thoughts and observations during this corvid-19 epidemic and shutdown.

Who would have thought the gears of this country and the world could grind to a halt so dramatically and so fast. What will be the long-term affect? How fast will the sleeping dragon be able to awake and stir back into action. Time will tell.

We have worried about terrorist attacks, electrical grid outages, computer sabotage, contamination of major water supplies, and nuclear missiles, but it was a microscopic, unseen virus that got us.

We have been living as if our “wants” are necessities. Shortages and empty shelves are turning us into panicky, selfish hoarders. Our system of supply and demand is very fragile. We expect grocery shelves to always be full and all our “wants” to be satisfied. So many people live on the edge and don’t know how to preserve food or cook. We depend on weekly (or maybe daily) runs to the grocery store. It is shocking how many people depend on restaurants and fast-food for the majority of their meals, including breakfast.

Almost all businesses, retail giants and small, operate on the edge. To close down, even for a week, is devastating. This is really scary. Families live pay check to pay check. There is no reserve. How many business will survive a month or more shutdown?

This worldwide shutdown has affected every country, every nation and every aspect of our life; food, medicine, medical care, recreation, education, worship, banking, transportation, social activities, shopping, interstate commerce and transportation of goods, and even online shopping. We depend on the world for our energy, food, medicine and manufacturing. Every business and job has suffered the consequences-even the essential.

It is amazing how quickly your schedule can go from hectic full to nothing. No meetings, no sports, no appointments, no church, no school or school events, and no family get togethers. Nothing. No places to go, no things to do. Families are starting to reconnect, parents are cooking, cleaning, doing home projects, and helping kids with homework. Suddenly there is the urge to homestead with a few chickens and a garden plot.

Isn’t it amazing how the earth is healing itself? I read and hear reports of smog free air in major cities and countries for the first time in many, many years. All it has taken is a few short weeks of staying at home! I even read one seismology report that says there has been a sudden and dramatic decrease in the earth’s quivering. Who would have thought that all our running hither and yon has made the earth quiver!

It has been difficult for some people to take the virus restrictions seriously. Why do parents take their most precious, irreplaceable possession (children) to stores and with no protection? Why do they flock in droves to Walmart and Lowes for nonessentials and ignore the order to stay home? Why are they still having parties, going to the beach and visiting grandpa and grandma as if it doesn’t apply to them?

How quickly our lives have changed…for the short-term. We wash, scrub, sanitize, disinfect, cover, schedule curb-side pickup, wait in drive through lines, worry about getting within the magical six feet of another human, and won’t leave the house without mask and gloves. We no longer hug, fist bump or shake hands, and Lord help us if we cough or sneeze in public.

Church and worship is a very important part of my life. In fact, I have discovered going to church is the anchor for my week. I find it difficult to keep track of which day of the week it is! It is harder to keep Sunday a day of rest when we don’t go to church. I miss my church family and friends. Worshiping Jesus and following Him does not depend on church but it sure does help. In fact, I think long-term, it depends on it. Listening to youtube sermons is helpful and suffices for the short-term, but it still leaves a void in my life. Giving my church sisters a hug is not the same as a phone call or text message. I know, missing a few Sundays will not be the end of church, but it has helped me to appreciate the freedom to worship in our country and to not take it for granted.

We have had persons at our church going through some difficult things; surgery, death, illness, and hospice. We so desperately want to visit, hug, help and be with our loved ones when they grieve and suffer alone. When we gather around hurting loved ones to pray we feel the loving arms of God through our brothers and sisters in Christ. It gives us strength, peace and care. Leaving a pot of soup or a loaf of bread on someone’s porch is nice, but it leaves a huge gaping hole in our emotional care for them and us.

The natural tendency of people is to complain and criticize. Instead of being grateful the virus has been slowed down due to restrictions, they whine that they have been misled. Instead of praying for our country, President, leaders and health care workers, they mock, belittle, criticize, destroy, and place blame. Instead of giving thanks to God that lives have been spared, they politicize and fear that government is trying to take over their lives. Instead of turning to God in our time of great need, we harden our hearts.

I leave us all with a challenge to seek God with all our hearts and not take for granted the freedom we have to worship freely. Pray daily for our President and leaders as they carry the weight of our nation and the world on their shoulders. Respect and obey our leaders as they give guidance through this difficult time. Confess our sins as a nation that times of refreshing and healing can come. Humble yourself before God. Be grateful and give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy. Show kindness and care for one another. Reach out in appropriate ways to a neighbor or friend. We have all received a wound from this battle, some more than others. the wound will heal and maybe a scar will remain. Will you let it make you stronger, wiser and more caring and appreciative of your many blessings? Remember, this is for the short-term. God be with you dear friends.

They Sang A Hymn

My thoughts and pondering this Easter morning……

Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 add an interesting tidbit to the story of the Last Supper. “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives”. Have you ever wondered what hymn they sang?  No other place in scripture records that Jesus or his disciples sang. What do you think they sounded like?

This song was at the end of a very troubling, sorrowful, unsettling, full of questions, Passover meal. Jesus had shocked their social culture by washing their feet. They could hardly bear it. He served them bread and wine and said that this was his body and blood. He revealed some troubling news about his imminent death and asked if they had a sword. They swore that they would die with him. Judas had been singled out as the one who would betray their beloved friend and teacher and fled into the night to do his evil deed. And so they sang. There is no explanation of significance for us Gentile believers decades later.

I suspect it was mournful, sad and subdued. But when we dig a little deeper, there is a little more to this hymn that just the statement “they sang a hymn”.

The Greek word used for this word hymn is “humnos”. Humnos was used to speak of the Psalms of Israel. From ancient times it was ordained that the Passover Seder would always end with the singing of songs, specifically the Psalms, and a very specific set of Psalms called the Hallels. The Passover would end with the singing of the last of these, Psalms 118.

Take a few minutes to read Psalms 118.  Verse 22 says “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”  Rejected also means despised. Who was to become the despised, rejected stone? Isaiah 53 says, “He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by man….”. For two thousand years that song was sung, the song of the rejected stone at the end of every the Passover meal. On this very Passover, within hours of singing, it would be fulfilled.

Immediately after singing that hymn, Jesus took his disciples to the Mount of Olives where in great agony of prayer, he yield to the will of his Father. Soon afterwards, Jesus was arrested, despised, and rejected. Jesus, “the stone” was cast away to be crucified. The despised, rejected man on the cross would end up becoming the “cornerstone of faith” for all people, all civilizations and all of history. In God, the object of man’s hatred becomes the center of His love, and the object of man’s despising becomes the vessel of His glory. How amazing is that? And it was all there that night in the song of the stone, sung by Jesus and his disciples at the close of the Passover Seder.

(Thoughts and some direct quotes were taken from “The Book of Mysteries,”  Day 99, by Jonathan Cahn).

Note: I have been using “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Cahn this year for my devotions. It is a powerful study of the words of scripture making them come alive, just like this example of the hymn. I had never given a second thought that there was meaning and purpose behind it. Pat

Insanity

I went to Food Lion today and couldn’t believe my eyes. I got in line to check out and decided to take another stroll through the store and take pictures of the insane, unbelievable panic buying because of “Corona Fever”! I just had to document this and show Gene what it really looked like.

Apple Section
I think this was bananas.
Onions
Potatoes
Packaged lettuce section
Most of the rice section-gone
Canned Fruit
Only large size coffee left.
Sugar
Flour. I thought I would pick up a bag of bread flour just in case I needed to make bread. GONE!
No poultry but there was beef. I didn’t notice the seafood section.
Soft Drinks.
Tissues. I guess I helped with this yesterday when I went on a search for toilet paper and there was NONE! It wasn’t that I was hoarding, it was because it was on my grocery list and there was none when I did my main shopping on Monday. I went looking on Friday a.m. early-I was hoping before the hoarders got there. NONE. Decided to buy 5 boxes of tissues just in case. My personal restocking need was getting urgent!
Laundry deterent.

By now I was starting to feel silly and in a very jolly mood. Everyone was talking to everyone, shaking their heads, and talking about “the Virus”. But there is more…..

Water, oh water, where are you!!! Ok, folks. Take a glass from your cabinet and turn on the faucet!
Chlorax section.
Bacon, bacon, who has the bacon?
Some bread-mostly empty but a “bread delivery man” was there trying to restock. He quipped, “you people need to go and get the rest of your groceries and let me get this up. Then come back!”

By now I have seen one of the managers and talked to him. He said, “This has beat all snow storm predictions records and that does not include today which tops all the days so far.”

The good 2% milk was gone.
Popsicles. Folks must be worried about their bored kids. Maybe if there was a quarantine on cell phones during this month long stay at home from school, sports, church, etc. kids would get bored enough to play outdoors, ride bikes, climb a tree, talk to a family member, clean their room, run barefooted in the grass, play a board game, bake cookies and discover the joy of being a kid!
Ice Cream bars and sticks.

But guess what…… these two aisles were fully stocked, almost looked untouched. Amazing. Either they are keeping it fully stocked or people haven’t been driven to drink…yet!!!!

I didn’t see any mass panic today or hoarders with huge shopping carts full. The parking lot was extra full of cars but people were in a relaxed, jovial mood talking to each other (even strangers)-mostly in disbelief at what they saw. The young fellow checking out my groceries was in a good mood, laughing and joking in a pleasant way with all his customers. I complimented him on his attitude. It was contagious!

I wasn’t going to buy anything that wasn’t on my list but on my picture taking round of the store I decided to pick up a couple of “extra” items, just in case…..a jar of Mayo, box of salt, bag of flour, box of Mucinex and a jar of coffee. This isn’t just happening in the grocery store a mile up the road. It is happening nation-wide and across the world.

It is going to be interesting to see how all this plays out. Personally, the concern for me is not food, but pharmaceuticals. I know that some of our food does come from overseas, but they are saying 98% of our drugs are made in China. With the tariff situation and now the corona epidemic, if we run out of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, we will get in trouble with health care really, really fast and that will affect more than just corona patients.

Maybe this will be good for all of us to have to stop and slow down. Enjoy the simple pleasures of life with your family. Stay at home. It is not boring. Do things you haven’t done in a long time. Clean a cluttered corner, fix a good home cooked meal-from scratch, bake cookies with your kids, read a book (better yet, read a book to your kids), play games together as a family. Enjoy the home time and DO NOT complain about being bored. Be grateful for the blessings you have.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

After noticing a box of delicious looking bacon-wrapped shrimp in the frozen food department at Food Lion, I went looking for a recipe. I just can’t bring myself to pay the price for ready made food that I can make myself! I found several recipes online and finally settled on the one from pinchandswirl.com with a few tweaks of my own. They are easy to make. You can make a batch and put them in the freezer to save last minute work or have them handy for a meal.

These are delicious. The first two times I made them in the oven but the last time I cooked them on the grill. In the oven was good but on the grill is awesome!!! They are so good you don’t even need a sauce to dip them in!

Print Recipe
Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Great appetizer or main meat for a meal. It is great for those on a keto, diabetic, glutton free, or low carb diet.
Cook Time 25 mins On the grill
Servings
Ingredients
Cook Time 25 mins On the grill
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange bacon slices on wire rack on cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10 mins. (Depends on thickness of your bacon). It should still be pliable and will still look raw.
  2. Let the bacon cool just enough to handle and wrap one piece around each shrimp and secure using a round toothpick. It is after this step that I put the shrimp in a container and freeze for finishing to cook later.
  3. To complete the cooking process in the oven...., sprinkle frozen bacon-wrapped shrimp with salt, pepper and garlic. Return to oven for another 20 minutes until the bacon is done. You do not want to overcook and dry out the shrimp. Serve hot.
  4. To complete the cooking on the grill instead of the oven...., sprinkle the frozen bacon-wrapped shrimp with salt, pepper and garlic. I simply laid the bacon-wrapped shrimp on the preheated grill.
  5. Grill on high for about 25 mins-until bacon is fried just right. The flavor is awesome. I highly prefer this method of cooking over the oven.

Full Worm Super Moon – March 9, 2020

I love taking pictures of the moon. Tonight was no exception. It is technically called the Full Worm Super Moon, named as such by Traditional and Native Americans. They had a name for each full moon to help track the seasons. In March as the ground began to soften, earthworms would appear, drawing more birds to feed.

Then God said, "Let there be light", and there was light. 
And  God saw the light, that it was good; 
and God divided the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. 
So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:3-5

The Recycling King Hits Again

How tell me, what would you do with a 2-drawer metal filing cabinet that’s sitting around doing nothing? Take it to Goodwill? Give it away? Put it on the junk pile?

My hubby found a very ingenious plan for it. He turned it into a waterproof cabinet for his solar fencer and battery.

On top he install the solar panel that charges the battery which powers the fencer.

The battery and fencer he put in a drawer that he insulated. He drill a hole in the side of the cabinet for the ground wire and the wire that connects to the fence.

He now has a nice fencer station and everything is in the dry. It is behind a fence that the cows do not have access to. The meter for the solar panel is attached to the back of the panel.

Rather ingenious, don’t you think? I have been amazed so many times the “junk” he finds ways to put to good use.

Fence Walker

I noticed this dirt path all around the fence behind the house and when I mentioned it to Gene he said, “It is the bull, he’s walking the fence.” I began to watch and sure enough, every day the bull spends a good portion of his day walking the fence. Today I went to take his picture and caught him resting on his walk.

Now you have to understand, he is not a slighted or mistreated bull. He has his own green, grassy five acre paddock with a harem of ladies at his bidding with no competition. But, up and down that fence he paces with his gaze fixed on the other side of the fence.

I wonder what he is thinking. Does the grass look greener on the other side of the fence? Is he not satisfied with his group of heifers? Does the pasture on the other side look lest restrictive? Is there not enough activity for him? Is he just plain restless? Or, does he not like the restrictive fence?

He just looked at me with his big, sad eyes.

Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from Mr. Bull.

I wonder….am I content with my lot in life? Does the grass look greener on the other side of my fence? Do I wish for what is not mine to have?

What about the restrictive fences in my life? Do I resist the fence thinking that there is more freedom is on the other side without stopping to realize that I would be looking a the same fence, just from the other side.

We all have restrictions and boundaries in our lives but when we push on them we almost always get in trouble and create chaos. If we move the boundary fence on our property, the neighbor will get upset. If we take what does not belong to us, it is stealing and we are in trouble with the law. If our eyes lust after another partner, we break our marriage vows and destroy relationships. If we do not obey the laws of the land, we will end up in jail. If we do not follow the moral code of the Bible, our lives are filled with destructive behavior and conflict with God and neighbor.

One evening about dusk, King David took a stroll on his rooftop and peered over the fence to his neighbor’s place, a trusted official of his army. He saw Uriah’s wife taking a bath. As he gazed, lust filled his heart and he desired what was not his to have. He summoned Bathsheba to come for a visit and then he violated moral law. Bathsheba became pregnant which cause a downward spiral in David’s life. (II Samuel 11).

Fence walkers see the fences as restrictive. Pasture dwellers are contented and free because they only see the fences as boundaries.

Are you a fence walker or a pasture dweller?

I Am So Grateful…

This morning as I was praying, I found myself expressing my gratitude to God for who He is and what He does. I am so grateful……

  • For the variety, intricate detail, and exquisite color of creation (Psalms 8).
  • For giving us the Bible, His inspired, living Word, so that I can study and more fully know him (II Timothy 3:16).
  • For not only forgiving me (Romans 10:9, 13) but also removing my sins as far as the east is from the west. We can plant our feet on the North and South Poles but we can never catch up with the east or west (Psalms 103:12).
  • For His faithfulness that is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22).
  • For His tender mercy and steadfast love (Lamentations 3:22).
  • For hearing and answering my prayers (Matthew 7:7-11 and James 5:15-16).
  • For being willing to give His only son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for my sins so that I can have forgiveness of sins and live in relationship with a Holy God (John 3:16).
  • For feeling my sorrow and grief (James 5:11).
  • For always walking beside me in my times of testing and walking through difficult times (fire & water). (Isaiah 43:1-3 & Psalms 66: 10-12).
  • For being my refuge and strength in times of trouble (Psalms 46:1).
  • For being my strength when I am weak (Isaiah 40:29).
  • For never tempting me but when I are tempted by the evil one, provides a way of escape (I Corinthians 10: 12-13, II Peter 2:9 and II Thessalonians 3:3).
  • For desiring a relationship with me as my Father (James 4:8).
  • For knowing me as a unique person, created by God himself (Psalms 33:13-15, Isaiah 43:1, 7).
  • For holding the hearts of kings in his hand (Psalms 33:10 and Proverbs 21:1).
  • For being my rock, my shield, my hiding place (Psalms 18:2).
  • For being with me in my darkest moments (Psalms 40:1-2)
  • For being my refuge and strength in times of trouble (Psalms 46:1)
  • For promising to be with me even in death (Psalms Psalms 23:4 and 48:14).
  • For being a God of peace and speaking peace to his people (Psalms 85:8).
  • For living in me in the form of the Holy Spirit (I John 4:13).
  • For providing angels to guard and protect me (Psalms 34:7).
  • For preparing a home in heaven for those who love you so that I can spend eternity with you (John 14: 1-4).
  • That one day you will say, “enough is enough” and crush the head of the serpent (Satan) and win triumphantly over evil (Revelations 11:15 and 12:9-12).

The message at church today focused on Psalms 91. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty God”. The Hebrew word for Almighty is “El Shaddai” which means God-the enough.

What an amazing God we serve. He is Almighty God-the enough and I am so grateful.

Red in the morning….

"Red in the morning, sailors take warning. 
Red at night, sailors delight." 
(Ancient rhyme often repeated by mariners)

I knew it was falling weather and probably going to rain today and I didn’t need Jim Duncan (channel 12 news) or the Weather Channel to tell me. Monday morning the eastern sky (above & below pictures) was a canvas of brilliant colors. I love taking pictures from my kitchen window with my proud, crowing rooster silhouetted. Red in the morning means in three days there will be falling (or a change in) weather. This morning (Wednesday) started out as a warm and spring-like sweater day. It didn’t take long until gray clouds hide the sun and a gentle breeze brought in cooler temperatures.

Did you know that long before the above quip was penned, the Bible revealed how to discern the same truth. Jesus himself told the Pharisees and Sadducees one day when they came testing him by wanting a sign from heaven, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening’ (Matthew 16: 2-3).

There are many weather signs in the heavens. The Jewish calendar is based on lunar months, while years are based on solar years.. The rotation of the moon and sun determines day and night. Tide is determined by the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun, and the rotation of the Earth.

The direction of the wind determines whether it will be hot and dry or whether rain is coming. Luke 12:54-55 “When you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say; ‘A shower is coming’ and so it is’. And when you see the south wind blow, you say ‘There will be hot weather’, and so it is”.

A funnel cloud and an eerie green tint to the sky means a tornado is imminent. Menacing dark, swirling clouds warn a storm is brewing.

The stars can be used for navigation. Remember the wise men who came looking for baby Jesus by following a star.

It is so fascinating and amazing to me how God created the world with precise detail and even signs so that we can know and understand the weather.

Jesus also lamented that people can discern the face of the sky and of the earth and yet refuse to discern the signs of the times in which they live (Matthew 12:56). Just as he gave many clues and signs about his coming as a baby, so he has given many clues and signs about his second coming. We can’t know the day or hour, but we can understand with clarity many clues to his second coming if we know how to read the signs.

Take heed to Jesus words, “Watch therefore…. for the Son of Man is coming…” (Matthew 24: 42 & 44).

Newer entries » · « Older entries
%d bloggers like this: