Sunday, May 31, 2015

Jesus Chooses His Apostles

 12 At that time Jesus went off to a mountain to pray, and he spent the night praying to God. 13 The next morning, Jesus called his followers to him and chose twelve of them, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon (Jesus named him Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon (called the Zealot), 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who later turned Jesus over to his enemies. Luke 6:12-16, New Century Version

I’ve been working on my next devotional. I’m not sure about the title yet, but it will be 40 days of reading about how Jesus began His ministry and how He called His apostles.

I picture a group of a hundred people, all men and women who have been following Christ, all anxious to hear Him speak and witness His miracles. Jesus looks over the crowd and begins calling names. (“Simon, come on down!”) Did these men know what they were getting into?

As I read over this list of names, I started looking up more facts on these twelve men. All but one were originally fishermen. Quite a few of them were related and many of them knew each other before meeting Jesus. Some of them had families. But every one of them gave up everything they had to become the closest friends of Jesus. All but one of them died tragic deaths. 

If Jesus called your name would you answer? Has He already called your name?

Lord God, thank You for sending Your Son to live among us and to sacrifice His life for us. Lord, send the Holy Spirit into our lives so that when Jesus calls our names we are ready to follow. Amen. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Streets of Hiawatha Heights

On my last walk around my hometown, I ventured through the residential neighborhood which we call Hiawatha Heights when I was a kid. Do they still?

I took a record low 20 pictures on this walk. Maybe I am losing my thirst for photography, or more likely I feel funny taking pictures of people’s yards. Or my eye has just become more discerning. Here is what caught my eye.

I couldn't resist this little horse. There was a dog up by the house guarding his yard, so I shot this picture quickly and kept going. I had enough dogs barking at me in this neighborhood, I didn't need to push my luck.  
 A proud supporter of the our High School sports.
 Land for sale, but I think the owner could be a little bit more proactive.
 All the yards were so neat and well-kept, but somebody left their bone behind. Dino's got two just like it.
 No matter how much I zoomed in, I couldn't make out this random sign in the woods.
 More lawn ornaments. I guess there is never enough.
 Love the wagon, even though there are only wheels on it on the side towards the road.
 Still not happy with my antique map. Some of these roads weren't even on it (Esker Heights Drive and Martin Lane), but I filled them in.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cars, cars, cars

For the past 21 years, my little town has hosted the Main Street Memories Car Show the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. I'm fascinated by all these old cars and other vehicles, but I sure wish I knew what they are. 

Ok, I was going to call this a Jeep, but now I'm not even sure of that. I think they might call this one a truck. All I know is that they haven't changed much over the years.
I know there is a sign on each car, but I don't have it that together. If I did I would have taken a picture of the sign in the window along with a picture of the car.  
 I do believe, though, that this is a Model T.
 This green beauty must be from the 1940s.
 I don't know how old this camper is, but isn't it adorable? Cute inside too. 
 And what country girl could pass up a restored Ford tractor? 
 Nice angle, huh?
 I could see my hubby's favorite author, Clive Cussler, owning one of these. (Ok, Hubby's second favorite author, after me. And no, I will never be able to afford one of these cars from my author's royalties.)
 Some of them are pieces of art. 
 Inside and out. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

What defeats a nation?

Were you with me last week, when I introduced the book of Proverbs? Here are a few more verses, all taken from chapter 11, in the International Children’s Bible.   

2 Pride leads only to shame.
    It is wise not to be proud.
3 Good people will be guided by honesty.
    But dishonesty will destroy those who are not trustworthy.
4 Riches will not help when it’s time to die.
    But doing what is right will save you from dying too soon.
5 The goodness of an innocent person makes his life easier.
    But a wicked person will be destroyed by his wickedness.
6 Doing what is right brings freedom to honest people.
    But those who are not trustworthy will be caught by their own desires.
7 When a wicked person dies, his hope is gone.
    The hopes he placed in his riches will come to nothing.
8 The good man is saved from trouble.
    It comes to the wicked instead.
9 By his words an evil person can destroy his neighbor.
    But a good person will escape by being smart.
10 When good people succeed, the city is happy.
    When evil people die, there are shouts of joy.
11 The influence of good people makes a city great.
    But the wicked can destroy it with their words.
12 A person without good sense finds fault with his neighbor.
    But a person with understanding keeps quiet.
13 A person who gossips can’t keep secrets.
    But a trustworthy person can keep a secret.
14 Without leadership a nation will be defeated.
    But when many people give advice, it will be safe.

I was going to comment on each verse, but quickly came to my senses. Also, what more can anyone really add? 

I picked this particular section of the book with Memorial Day tomorrow in mind. Several of these verses made me think of war and how to avoid it. Do any of these verses strike you as such?  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Birthday, Aunt Hi

95 years ago today my Aunt Helen was born. I wrote about her earlier this month and somewhere alluded to the only time I ever saw her angry, or at least angry with me.

Here’s that story.

Aunt Helen and Uncle Bob lived in a two-story house in Tripoli. I loved her house. I loved the huge old Willow tree in the front yard and the laundry shoot into the basement. I loved the stream running past the east edge of her property and how it sometimes overflowed in the spring and flooded her yard. I loved the closet under the stairs where she kept her vacuum cleaner and a stash of toys.  

My sister and I spent the night at Aunt Helen’s once in a while, and we slept in our cousin Gail’s old bedroom. Because it was upstairs, the ceiling sloped to within three feet of the floor. The bed was up against the wall which meant the pitched ceiling was just above our heads.

It was summertime, and like all kids of the time, we spent most of our days outside with bare feet. I was maybe seven or eight at the time, so it didn’t occur to me that feet actually got dirty with this activity. Lying in that bed that night I got the crazy notion to walk my feet across that ceiling. And they left little foot prints behind, which Aunt Helen did not think were as cute as I did. That’s how my foot prints got on her ceiling.

For Christmas 1982, my parents sent me to Alaska with Aunt Helen to visit her son and his wife. Don was (and still is) quite the hunter. Here we are with the antlers off of a moose he had shot. Not a great picture of either of us, but in a quick search of my old photo albums, this is the best I could find. 

Miss you, Aunt Hi. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where to Start?

My story

Two years ago, a coworker thought that she and I should run in our town's 5K on the Fourth of July. I had never run before, as in NEVER. I had flashbacks of trudging around the track at school, coming in last, panting, shin splints screaming. I thought to myself, I cannot do this, what am I thinking.

On my first run, my lungs felt like they would explode after a tenth of a mile. I thought, there is no way I can do this. I turned around and walked home, Dino the Wonder Dog pulling on his lead, disappointed that we were going home so soon.

The next night, I was able to run nearly two-tenths of a mile. I decided I would keep doing this, slowly working up my stamina even if it was only a tenth of a mile at a time.

Before long, I was able to run a full mile without stopping to walk. Two months later I ran in the 5K, running nearly the whole thing, slowing to a walk just twice, I think.

Over this past winter, running on the treadmill in the basement was not nearly as fun or rewarding. But when I was able to run outside again after the snow and ice had melted, I found I could go much further having kept in shape over the winter.

Your Story

Are you a couch potato? Are you overweight and out of shape? Or is your shape a nice round ball? Do you tell yourself, I cannot exercise, I cannot do this?

Start slow. Walk around your house, lift cans of soup while you are sitting in the recliner watching “Dancing with Stars”. Then walk around your house again. If you can’t get outside but have a treadmill, walk on it for five minutes at first, or even two minutes if that is all you can do. But then every week increase your time by a minute. And go as slow as you need to. Don’t think that you are a failure because you cannot keep up a brisk pace for half an hour right off the bat.

The key is to start slow and don’t quit! Winners never quit and quitters never win.

Helpful Hint

Running isn’t for everyone, and actually walking is much easier on your joints and one of the best exercises there is. Invest in a decent pair of shoes, ones specific to running or walking, whichever one you choose.
 Dino says, "let's get going, Mom." Sometimes it helps to have an exercise partner. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Heading off in a new direction

For a couple months now I have been posting various chapters from the Book of Psalms. All very beautiful passages, but I thought it was time for a change. And some wisdom. I thought I would start throwing in some verses from the Book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1, New Century Version
The Importance of Proverbs
1 These are the wise words of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.
2 They teach wisdom and self-control;
    they will help you understand wise words.
3 They will teach you how to be wise and self-controlled
    and will teach you to do what is honest and fair and right.
4 They make the uneducated wise
    and give knowledge and sense to the young.
5 Wise people can also listen and learn;
    even they can find good advice in these words.
6 Then anyone can understand wise words and stories,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Knowledge begins with respect for the Lord,
    but fools hate wisdom and discipline.

What better place to start than at the beginning. If you have never read any Proverbs, I think you will be surprised by how many of them apply to our modern lives. Such as “Wine and beer make people loud and uncontrolled; it is not wise to get drunk on them” or “Gossips can’t keep secrets, so avoid people who talk too much”. And just wait until you see how many times adultery is brought up, along with lying, cheating and stealing. God doesn’t hold back. He lets us know what our shortcomings are and He wants us to change. He wants us to learn from our mistakes, or better yet, from the mistakes of others.

And occasionally there will be a verse which no longer applies. “Good people will be remembered as a blessing, but evil people will soon be forgotten.” It seems like the media wants to remember only the evil people.

And sometimes we think of something else when we see a certain word. “The Lord hates dishonest scales, but he is pleased with honest weights”. I know this is talking about scales used to weigh items for sale, but doesn’t everyone first think about their own weight. Every day, at the clinic where I work, at least one patient will tell me that the clinic scale isn’t right and that they like their scale better.

Ok, enough for today. More proverbs coming soon. 
(The only picture I could think of to go with this post was a scale, but I was too lazy to get up and take a picture of mine. The next thing I thought of that had to do with measurements and lying was fishing stories, so I went to my son's fishing trip pictures. This one doesn't have a thing to do with weights and measures, but isn't it pretty? And one other thing, the Book of Proverbs says a lot about laziness. Just thought I would mention that.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Night out on the Town

Hubby and I have talked a lot about going to a play or a concert at the Grand Theater. This past January, I looked up their upcoming schedule of events and was excited to see that they were hosting an Eagle's tribute band on May 13. I was even more thrilled to see that the Hubby was off of work that day and the next. (I mentioned this here.)

The big day arrived. I got done at work right at 5:00 and hurried home. Hubby was ready and waiting, so I changed clothes and we headed to the door. We thought we would even have time to go out for a nice dinner beforehand.

I got to the door and announced, "I almost forgot the tickets." The day before I had thought about getting them out so that I wouldn't forget them. But I knew right where I had put them back in January.

I went to that spot. And the tickets weren't there. Oh, let me look in that one other spot where I am sure I put them. Not there. Nor in the next place I looked nor the next. Hubby came in to help. "Check the safe." That would make sense. Not there. "Check your dresser." I had already checked there. "Can you pull them off of the confirmation email the theater sent you?" No, the email just confirms payment.

I had to ask, "Do you think someone broke in the house and stole them?" That would make perfect sense, since the TV, computer, and other more valuable stuff is still all over the house.

I refused to panic. Worse case scenario - we don't find the tickets and we stay home and watch a movie. And I hope that no one at work remembers where I was supposed to go and asks how the concert was.

I was tearing apart my office for the second time, when Hubby announced. "I found them. Right where you put them for safe keeping."

Of course, that is indeed where I put all important stuff I want to save. I think I am losing my mind.

By now we didn't have time to go out to a nice restaurant, but the China Buffet was ok and is quick. 

The concert? It was good. I was happy with it. Brought back lots of memories, which even though they are happy memories, they make a person get misty-eyed. 

I’ll have to get tickets to another show some time soon. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Road Lake Run

Sunday morning, in preparation for running in the 5K on the Fourth of July, I ran around Road Lake, which is just three miles. Ok, I didn't run it all, or even most of it, as I stopped to take lots of picture. Plus I just am not "there yet". I will be though in less than two months. I promise. 
Since there is no public access to Road Lake, it is hard to get a good picture of it. This is off of Highway S.
Little crosses on the side of the road always make me sad. 
Back in my day, this was Bielke's supper club. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago. No matter what the name, though, the moose has always been there.
Because I just mentioned one supper club,  I thought I should mention another. Back in the shrubs is the sign which used to announce The Road Haus supper club (again, back in my day), more recently it was The Entertainer. Last I heard the property was apartments, but I haven't been down the road in a while, so I can't tell you for sure. On my next run, I will have to check it out.
And this building once housed The Watergate supper club. I know, how crazy that this many eating establishments were on this small stretch of road. 
I sure wish my garden shed looked this nice. 
I really wish my garden looked this good. 
Oops, would those be tent caterpillars? Yikes!
The Highway 51 bypass. Pretty quiet on a Sunday morning. 
Last view of Road Lake before I head for home.

For more about Road Lake history, click on this link.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she cried for him. 27 After she finished her time of sadness, David sent servants to bring her to his house. She became David’s wife and gave birth to his son, but the Lord did not like what David had done.
2 Samuel 11:26-27 New Century Version

Last week, I gave you an assignment: read 2 Samuel, chapter 11. If you didn’t get around to it or hadn’t read my blog last Sunday, here is the short version of the story.

King David sent his troops off to war but he stayed behind. One day he was hanging out on the roof of the palace when he saw a beautiful woman bathing on her roof next door. David was so taken with her that he invited her over, they had sex and she got pregnant. David tried to resolve this, but the woman’s husband did not cooperate. So David sent the woman’s husband to the front line in the war he was fighting and so he was killed in battle. After the woman mourned for a while, David invited her to live in the palace with him.

Wow, it’s bad enough to have a fling with a married woman and even worse if she gets pregnant, but to see that her husband dies just to cover up your indiscretion, that seems like a new kind of low. It always makes me laugh to read the line “the Lord did not like what David had done”. Doesn’t that seem like an understatement? Yet every version of the Bible said it just about the same way – “God was not happy”, “God was displeased”.  

Wouldn’t you think that God would have been wild? Don’t you think He would have kicked David out? Taken away his kingship? But God knew what was in David’s heart. God was able to forgive him, no matter what his sins.

And it is the same for us. No matter what we have done, no sin is so great that God won’t forgive us. All we have to do is ask.

Lord, God, Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to die for our sins. Thank You for granting us forgiveness so that one day we may join you in our eternal home. Amen.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Have a Great Day

Once again, I find myself behind and completely without focus. I thought I would just go with it, though, and ramble a bit today. 

I have been working on getting ready for our rummage sale, as well as wasting a lot of time on the internet. From conversations I hear among others, most people watch TV in their free time. I always say that I don’t have time for that, yet I easily spend three or four hours a night on my laptop, not accomplishing much except for sending and answering emails, checking the weather and the news, and scrolling through other people’s posts on Facebook. And getting upset with them because they don’t have a life. Yet what am I doing with my spare time? I know. Not much.

I’ve been running a mile three or four times a week, but really need to start upping that if I am going to run a 5K in less than two months. I don’t know what I was thinking. Well, actually, I was thinking that my heel would stop hurting by now or that I would find the time to ask one of the doctors I work with what I should do about it. The new heel orthotics I just put in my running shoes have not done too much. Maybe I am just too old for this.

Watching the Kentucky Derby this weekend was inspiring as always. It makes me think that I can do anything I put my mind to. I just have to push myself. Of course, I also was not purchased for one million dollars, my trainer is not paid a lot of money (or any, or exists), and my blood line doesn’t have a lot to show for itself except cancer, heart disease and dementia. That paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it?

But I still believe that anyone can do anything they put their mind to. It’s just a matter of getting up every time you fall. And listening only to those who would inspire and not to those who would run you down.

Now I am starting to sound like a country-western song, so I guess it is time to end this thing and save other ramblings for another time.

Have a great day. 
Anyone need any Beanie Babies? I'll have some for sale, cheap, at my rummage sale this weekend. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

In the Spring of the Year

In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants and all of the Israelites.
(2 Samuel 11:1 New Century Version)

This line always cracks me up. It’s as if baseball season just started. “Ok, all you kings, it’s war season, get out there and lead your troops”.

I was talking to someone this week about this verse. We had to ask ourselves why there was so much war in the Old Testament. Didn’t men have better things to do? Shouldn’t they stay at home and make a living, provide for their wives and children? Most of these men were probably single, but from this chapter in Samuel, we know that some of them were married.

Also, if you ever look at the numbers, thousands upon thousands of people (men, women and children) were killed in these wars. The Earth’s population couldn’t have been that great four thousand years ago. All this fighting could have wiped out the human race. And without our modern conveniences, day to day living was hard enough, but then add constantly fighting to it? How did anyone survive?

For me, it is the difference between the Old and New Testaments, the time before Jesus and the time after. Before Jesus Christ walked the Earth, life was about death. After He died for our sins, life was about life. And life should continue that way. It’s not okay to kill other people in war or for any other reason. It’s not okay to kill unborn babies. Maybe in the Old Testament, killing was okay, but today, God is the one who calls the shots on who lives and who doesn’t. And that’s all just my simple, uneducated opinion.

But there’s more. I have an assignment for you. 2 Samuel 11 not only starts with this crazy verse, it ends with one too. So if you are not familiar with this story, drag out your Bibles or go to Bible Gateway or another on-line Bible and read what David does instead of going to war. I’ll be back next week to discuss it with you. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Flashback Friday with the Family - Aunt Hi

May Day! May Day! I wonder why they use that as a call for help. Isn’t it really a call to celebrate spring, to plant flowers or watch last year’s daffodils return to life, to frolic around the May Pole, to suck in the smell of damp earth. Well, that’s what I think. May is a time of year for animals to be born as well, not just cows and other barnyard animals, but apparently for us humans too. Quite a few of my relatives were born in May. Today I will pay tribute to the one born on May 22, 1920.

I don’t know if I have an older picture of Aunt Helen, my mother’s older sister, but here she is on her wedding day. It is pretty obvious that Uncle Bob’s best man was his brother, Jack. The maid of honor was Aunt Helen’s cousin Tudie. Jack and Tudie were already husband and wife, so cousins married brothers.

In May of 2000, the family had an 80th birthday party for her. Her youngest son Philip had already passed away and Dick, in the wheelchair, passed away in June 2004. Aunt Helen had not had an easy life. 

Here is Aunt Helen at a wedding in July of 2004. Isn’t she a cutie? I have had many adventures with her over the years. She had always been like a second mother to me.

I’ve written here before about the day Aunt Helen left us. I live in the faith that I will see her again someday.