Monday, September 29, 2008

...Waves...of Circus Dreams

October through May, months and months of work in the big (c)old barn! It takes real dedication to work through the frigid Pennsylvania winter in a building with no heat. And when he was all done, our artist friend, Ron, dismantled his creation and transported it to the convention center some 30 miles away and reassembled it.
Let's see...this thing goes somewhere around here...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Zzzzip, there goes another week; it was a wonderful week though. As predicted we had beautiful weather. It's supposed to rain later today, and that's fine too -- except it may keep us from working in the tree fields on Saturday. Oh well.

I made a quick trip this week, a few hours southeast, and the scenery along the highway was fabulous. The mountainsides were all shades of green dotted with red and orange. Simply gorgeous. The splendor of God's handiwork never ceases to amaze!

Speaking of handiwork... an artist friend of ours set up shop in our barn about a year ago. He was working on a huge sculpture and needed big space, high space, lots of space. It was so much fun to watch his creation take shape. But that shape made out of wood and metal, rivets and screws, would be hard to describe. He's an abstract, modern artist. The title "Riding Waves in Pursuit of Circus Dreams" is its description. Imagine splashes and bubbles and amusement park rides done up in bold happy colors. I'll see if I'm allowed to post a picture of it and you can see for yourself. After it was built, painted, polished, numbered, dismantled, transported, and reassembled at its real home, a convention center--9 months worth of fiddling around...I mean working on--we were going to be sad to see our artist friend pull up stakes. No worries. He's taken on more b-i-g projects and still comes by. We call him our resident artist. Who knows, maybe he'll pave the way for our artist son to move close by and set up a studio in the barn. You never know, it might happen.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Last Saturday it rained all day, and the forecast called for rain all this week. But it was w-r-o-n-g. How great is that? Hot, sunny, and a bit muggy on Sunday, perfect for enjoying another day around the pool. And it sure wasn't wasted. The neighbors came over with 6 kids. What fun!

Then, as predicted, the winds began to blow in the evening. (But not until our church picnic was very nearly over -- wasn't that considerate?) It was a fierce windstorm, knocking down trees and causing power outages and phone outages. Nothing but inconvenient for us, and only a little inconvenience at that.

Leaves fell like crazy. It's not fall yet, but they fell anyway, carpeting the lawn and filling up the pool. Tom spent more than an hour scooping the worst of the mess out of the water before letting the automatic cleaner and filter take over. He's so diligent and patient that way. Me? I was crying the'll never look nice again! But guess what? I was w-r-o-n-g. The pool is as pristine as ever and we're still swimming. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were gorgeous days. Today...fabulous.

AND the forcaste says we'll have beautiful weather through Sunday. Here's hoping it isn't w-r-o-n-g!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rainy Day

I'm not complaining. Watching the news I wouldn't dare complain -- my heart goes out to all those people who have been evacuated. I'm so sorry for what they'll have to return to...devastation. The storm is heading our way but it'll be nothing more than rain and wind by the time it gets here. We're supposed to have rain all week long. Still, I'm not complaining.

It was in the 70's today and rather muggy. Tom couldn't work outside so he helped with housework. Good deal for me! Then in the afternoon we went for a swim. After a few laps in the pouring rain, I thought, gee I better get out, I'm getting all wet! Wait a minute???

Yeah, that's right I usually do get all wet when I swim, so???? Swim away. It was really refreshing and invigorating. And considering the alternative...I certainly wasn't going to get exercise by going for a walk!

Now off to bed. Tomorrow is Sunday. I can't wait. Church is awesome, good friends, good times sharing and singing and always a good message. It's refreshing to be together with church family in God's presence. I bet He likes it as much as we do! I hope our worship makes God smile tomorrow. Maybe my anticipation is making Him smile even now.

Good night all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's More Funner than Politics?


Like... sitting on the porch swing and watching deer in the front yard.

Or looking out the bedroom window and seeing wildlife in the back yard.

Most fun of all,
............watching a little guy enjoy the pool!


But I don't know,
.............eating an ice cream cone is pretty fun too!

No one ever gossips about another's secret virtues (Bertrand Russell)

An excerpt from David Brickner's Jews for Jesus Newsletter (click here to read the entire article):

Proverbs 18:21 tells us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." How true! Words that roll off this two-ounce slab of muscle and mucous membrane have an inordinate capacity to affect lives. Consider for example, the speeches of Nazi miscreant Adolf Hitler, contrasted with those of statesman Winston Churchill, during the Second World War. Both were eloquent orators. Hitler, on one side of the Channel, used his words to lead a nation into devilish crimes against humanity. Winston Churchill, on the other side of the Channel, used his rhetorical skill to lead a nation to the highest and most noble sacrifice, to England's credit in her finest hour.

We need to be discerning about what we listen to and what we are quick to believe. The Talmud asks, "Why do human fingers resemble pegs?" and then answers, "So that if one hears something unseemly, one can plug one's fingers in one's ears" (Ketuvot 5b).

We need to be especially discerning when it comes to negative or critical remarks, because those are the ones that people love to repeat. Bertrand Russell once dryly observed that no one ever gossips about another's secret virtues.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

They'll know we are Christians by our love

I got an email today. It was a smoke-screen, nasty attack on Barack Obama's family. It had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with prejudice. Isn't that a shame? Did you hear Barack's response to the news of Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy? He was a gentleman. The favor was not returned in regard to his own family history.

To my Christian friends who want to expound politically and enlighten me, please stick to good reasons like Obama's stance on abortion, anything not based on the color of his skin, his relatives' beliefs, his childhood, his mother's sins, and his name. To use his family pictures in a hateful way is an inexcusable thing for a Christian to do. It is possible, and more effective, to state your convictions without sharing dirt or taking cheap shots. If people will know we are Christians by our love, make no mistake, they'll know we are hypocrites by our lack thereof.

While campaigning against Jimmy Carter in 1980, Ronald Reagan asked, "Is our country better off than it was 4 years ago? Are you better off?" The answer for most Americans was apparently, "No." And he won the election handily. I'm using that question and changing 4 years to 8 years, and the answer is a resounding NO. (My previous voting revolved around the single issue, pro-life. There are no fewer abortions for having a pro-life leader all these years. We have to think of a better way to save babies than relying on the lip service of politicians.) So hey, it's a free country. I'm going to exercise my freedom and vote for a change in party leadership.

I'm still avoiding sharing my good reasons...for now let's just say I'm audacious enough to hope.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Sun Will Come Up

Every day, and every day...the sun comes up, and all things look fresh and new. Tom gets up to see the sunrise frequently. Sometimes he walks to the top of Yankee Hill Road where it meets Henry Road and watches the sun come up. I'm in bed finishing the last minutes of a delicious 8 hour he brings me pictures.

Isn't it amazing?

Someday I've just got to get out of bed and go see that for myself. Do you think Tom would like my company? Probably not, because, once in a great while he wakes up Grumpy. But most days he just lets me sleep.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shocking, Isn't it?

Yes, I'm a Barak Obama fan. I have my reasons, and they are well thought out, prayed through, good reasons. I'll share them now and then on this sight. And if you're the kind of person who gets all red in the face because someone doesn't agree with your politics, shame on you. To all you McCain/Palin supporters, we can still be friends if you want. Unless of course you insult Barak or his wife or his kids (Or, heaven forbid, ME!). I'm only into polite political exchanges. Like Thumper's mom says, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Maybe it was Flower's mom, or Bambi's -- right story, not sure which character.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

People Change...

but not much. I laugh every time I hear that quote by Will Rogers. Then, after my little chuckle, his words haunt me. People do change...some for the better, some for the worse. Heck, some people go from good to bad and vice versa. But maybe that's the point. When a good person goes bad because of circumstances or whatever, were they really good in the first place? And if a bad person rehabilitates, were they really that bad? So I guess you'd have to say they changed...but not much.

On the other hand II Corinthians 5:17 says that when you become a Christian you're a new creation, everything has changed, everything about you is new. God reconciles us to himself through Jesus AND makes us agents of reconciliation. So, how come we don't see huge, dramatic changes in ourselves and others who get saved? Yeah, yeah, I know there are absoultely stunning miraculous changes in some people upon conversion (Paul of Tarsus comes to mind), but that's not the norm. When minimally bad people like me (tongue in cheek) get saved, no one but God can see our hearts, so who would even know I am (we are) brand new? Really, a whole new creature. There's a verse in Romans that says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Yep, all, as in everyone, which includes me. I know...that's hard to believe. Then again, I remember little ole me, years ago before meeting Jesus, next thing to goodie-two-shoes I was. Remembering. Remembering. Oh yeah, all of sinned!

Today I'm feeling particularly grateful for GRACE. The grace of God that overlooks and forgives my shortcomings (okay, sins). The grace of others who overlook and tolerate my peculiarities (okay, sins). The grace of family and close friends who encourage me and tell me I'm okay. Even though we both know sin isn't okay. Thank God, Jesus died for that. Thank God, I'm a new creation, good enough for Him, but not because of anything I did. No boasting here, you can be sure of that. By grace I have been saved, through faith. I changed...a lot...internally and eternally speaking.