Changing the name doesn't change the content.

I walked into the local discount store yesterday and immediately scrunched my nose. Phew! What the heck is that smell?? I literally paused and looked around. I'm sure the person behind me was wondering what I was doing. I grew up on a farm and have an exceptional intestinal constitution. But man, the smell was strong and in your face (well, actually your nose). Then I looked ahead of me and down on the floor and there it was.....processed cow poop. Fertilizer, lawn food, growth facilitator, plant food, and any other fancy name you want to apply to it doesn't make it smell any better. It is still manure, dung, poop, excrement, crap, feces, and that which comes out of the south end of a nor

Running Diagnostics.

Confession of the day: I once drove a vehicle for about 15 months with the check engine light illuminated. Here are the following reasons why: 1. I was insufficiently funded to deal with a automotive expense (Or so I thought). 2. I was too busy (Or so I thought). 3. The car seemed to be operating just fine (Or so I thought). 4. Subsequent to #3, I was never left broke down along the highway. (Well, at least not with that check engine light.) Why we do or do not attend to auto issues is usually robed in any number of legitimate or illegitimate reasons. Trained professionals in the automotive field share their expertise with common laypeople.

Unexpected Events?

Welp! Time to run and get bread, milk and toilet paper. A winter storm is on the horizon! Just kidding. In the olden days, we never ran to the store for food stuffs. We had shelves of canned goods and a root cellar full of fruit, potatoes, and cured pork for consumption. Is it just me or have the seasons shifted a wee bit? I can remember winter in my growing up years was much different than now. Snow would barrel into our region in November (sometimes mid October) and would not leave till late April (sometimes early May). As a child, I would spend hours outside in April and May playing in the river of melting snow pouring off our hillside. Snowpack would often be 10-15 inches deep. Now,

Things change. God does not.

I used to have such a sweet baby face. I'm not bragging. I was cuter than a speckled pup. Well, take a look and see what you think. I was about two years old here. Time and age has a way of changing things. Bodies and facial features change and battle the effects of age and gravity. I am no longer this little tyke in the fetching plaid trousers. In fact, this picture has some elements I would like to highlight. No longer present is the slight pear tree right behind me. Disease and rot overtook it a while back. The two thorny quinch bushes are still there and still in need of pruning. Mom tried to kill them countless times and they prevailed. Even though you can not see behind those bushes,

Lord, thanks for 6 communion cups.

First thoughts that go through your mind when the 'low fuel' light flashes on your dashboard? And go! Our responses vary from "Oh no!" to "Um, okay." and all thoughts in between. In most cases there is a certain amount of fuel still sloshing around the tank and we generally have a grace period before the engine sputters to a dead stop. In any case, there is a certain amount of angst that springs up in our thoughts. Ideally, we never allow the tank to get this empty for several reasons. 1. The high pressure fuel pump stays a bit cooler in a fuller tank. Empty fuel tanks don't allow the heat generated by the pump to dissipate and could eventually lead to pump failure (Over extended episodes o

Looking for spiritual development in all the wrong places.

The semi sad song "Lookin' for Love in All the Wrong Places" by Johnny Lee was popular in 1980. The premise of the song was that one could look in a million sordid places to find love and each empty space would leave the searcher feeling hollow and unfulfilled. The semi happy part of the song was that another person looking for lasting love crossed paths with the singer of the song. All lived happily ever after. Have you ever read the Bible from cover to cover? Have you ever invested in the spiritual discipline of studying the Bible in small group settings? Have you ever thought of how important it is to be a student of the Bible? I met a man who once coined that phrase and shared it with m

Memorable Moments

Me: I love you. My wife: I love you too. Me: I love you so much. My wife: I love you more. Where does this dialogue end? Who can outdo or surpass the other when it comes to expressing their love for the other? Love should always be growing in each of us and then directed outward to our spouse. We never stop finding words to express this deep-seated heart connection. I would like to introduce you to one who has trumped us both in the "I love you." department. This is mom. She is 85 years young and has lived in the same three story farmhouse since 1959. She doesn't always remember so well and she repeats herself a lot. She has severe macular-degeneration and has lived most of her life with on

One of those Days.

There are times when one just knows it's going to be 'one of those days' and you have to accept it. Like yesterday was one of those days. The weather forecast called for snow flurries. Um, okay, snow flurries are fine. However, snow squalls and whiteouts are not welcomed nor fine. These two things carry an element of surprise and can often strike with sudden fury. Here in our hometown, we had a few flurries, nothing great to speak of. Further away from here was a different story. Here was a Pennsylvania map Friday March 3 at approximately 5:15 PM ( All the little red triangles are working accidents and many of them were multiple automobile incidents due to squalls and whiteout con

Loving Promise, Wrestling Challenge.

Our word today from the word of God comes to us from Romans! I'm excited. How about you? It took a while to convince myself to be excited for this verse, but I did arrive at a place of rest in the matter. After reading it for yourself, you may quickly embrace the text or wrestle with it as I did. This verse comprises ten words, three phrases, and three punctuation marks and is filled with promise and challenge. I like the promises a lot. I'm working on the challenge parts. Come on, really, who doesn't like joy, patience, and faithfulness? Well, the patience thing is something to like in others just not ourselves. Problem is, this verse holds us to a high standard of living and loving both G

Fulfilling our purpose.

How does one spruce up a bland concrete block wall in the garage? I would love to hear how you paint, accessorize, or decorate that one wall in your garage that just says, “Blah.” I’m toying with an idea. Tell me what you think about it. I recently was gifted a 155 piece tool set from one of our sons. It has sockets in metric and standard sizes and two different sizes of drives. There is a 3/8 inch and ¼ inch ratchet and breaker bar. Many extensions and torx bits are included. There are even two different sized spark plug sockets!!!!! The set is so nice, pretty, and shiny. Here’s my idea. I will use some sort of adhesive to attach these tools to that gray bland wall and in some way make th

No connection

There are at least a billion things I do not know. Just watching a show on the History or Science channel reinforces that notion. I'm not incredibly dense, I just don't know it all. I suspect most of the world's population would fit this category. Our information bank consists of a sliver of knowledge and rarely does our knowledge slice expand much unless we seek knowledge or someone shares something with us. So it wasn't a great surprise yesterday when I ran into someone who had never heard of "Fat Tuesday", "Ash Wednesday", or "Lent". I stopped in to buy some church supplies at a local store. As I checked out, I conversed with the cashier. I offhandedly mentioned about going home to eat m

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