This Is My Father’s World…

I love music…in almost any form. I have a tremendous appreciation for those that play musical instruments, and those that have been gifted with voices to sing. (There are those of us that sing anyway!) 😉

I have written before about the few years that our children and I had a family group of mostly blue grass and gospel. This was because of our children’s musical talents. I was just along for the fun ride. Our son learned guitar, our daughter played the mandolin and just about anything else you tossed at her for a few seconds. Our son could handle that aspect pretty well too. I watched them with amazement. Our second oldest wrote a couple songs that we used in our concerts. Well, we used one of them. The one that was happy and uplifting!

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When our son and daughter went away to Cornerstone Bible Institute in South Dakota, our little group was no more. Children grow up and want to have their own lives for some reason…and that makes me a bit sad. But, I have wonderful memories, and they still share their lives with us. I am very thankful for that!

If I am remembering correctly, I’ve shared a little about our son, and why it is even more special that he has the musical talents that he does. In his mid-to-late teens, he was diagnosed with cholesteatomas in both ears. Since he did not have chronic ear infections while growing up, the doctors said they were congenital. Since he had other difficulties at birth, this was not a surprise to us. Nathan had surgery on one ear just before he left for Cornerstone Bible Institute. Because of repeated surgeries on both ears…several on each ear, he missed his last semester of school. He is now at Cornerstone completing that year.

We were told the cholesteatomas were very bad, and each surgery came with lab work to  assure they were not cancerous. A couple times, the growth had come very close to crossing into the brain. We were told he could completely lose his hearing.

Nathan is now at Cornerstone, finishing what he began several years ago. He did not lose his hearing, but he does have implants behind each ear that help him hear. And he still plays the guitar and harmonizes beautifully. God has gifted him with these talents. He is also our electrician and carpenter when he is home…so he is greatly missed in many ways.

It was an honor for Nathan to be asked to do the video (that I will share the link to) with Luke E. Boy. https://www.facebook.com/LukeEBoyArt/

Luke is another very gifted young man that Nathan met through Cornerstone. Luke and his siblings have also attended the Bible Institute. He builds tiny houses, makes his own instruments, composes his own songs, does his own photography…and the list goes on and on. I do apologize to Luke if I missed anything! You can check out his Facebook page above. Please like it and check out his links. He has some interesting things on there.

Now here is the video of Nathan and Luke…two very talented young men. We hope to be hearing more from them in the music area! Traveling mercies to Luke as he travels across the United States once again, and shares all that he is doing with his beautiful photography, art and music. And to God be the Glory!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/NKhwc69UH9w

 

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I Will Fight, if You Tie Me Down!

At one time, (unless you are under the age of thirteen and reading this,) we have all been a teenager, or have raised teenagers. Maybe I should rephrase that and say that we have lived in the same house with a teenager. Basically, by the time your sweet, adorable child enters the teen years, it’s a done deal. As a parent, you kind of wait it out until they enter their twenties, and hope and pray that they will turn back into a human.

Don’t get me wrong here. There are some great attributes about your child reaching the age of thirteen. Generally, they can take care of themselves. They should be able to shower, feed themselves, and clean up their messes. At least these actions are within their physical capabilities. As to whether or not they do them, that’s another post.

Think back to when you were a teenager. I know it may be a bit foggy for some. My years there are disappearing into the mist. Or, if you are privileged enough to have at least one or more residing in your home at this time, think about this question. Do they like restrictions put on them? Did you like it as a very young adult?

Now, concentrate on this question before you read the rest of this post.

Did those restrictions keep you on the straight and narrow? 

For some, the answer will be ‘yes’. Your parents, your teachers, the law, etc. had a set of rules that you were to follow and obey. And you did. Some did it with a happy heart, others rolled their eyes and groaned, and a few dragged their feet, doing only what they had to so as not to be in trouble.

Then, there were those that had the same rules and they followed none of them. They balked at the constraints, lied, manipulated, and basically did anything they could to rebel at the rules placed on them and their domain. We all knew a person or two like that…we may have been that person.

If I may use that last person as an example…if additional rules or laws were placed on them, did they obey better? Did they submit more? In my experience, not usually. And if they did, it was not a true repentance, (changing of the heart). It was an outward showing to get the person or people imposing the rules and laws off their backs.

In this life, people are human. We all have areas that we naturally gravitate to when we express our rebellion. Some outright break the law and commit terrible acts against others, while some steal a cookie and set the lid back on the jar as quietly as possible. Both are wrong. But establishing and implementing more rules and laws, does not make a person more law-abiding. It is what is in their heart.

A parent’s home is where a child learns right from wrong. This is the parent’s responsibility. A parent is to teach a child to respect others, and to listen and obey. Each family has a set of rules that they believe is best for their family. In most circumstances, if a child is loved, cared for and taught respect for others, that carries over into their school life, their social network, and they way they interact in the work environment. I also firmly believe that there are cases when this has been carried out successfully in a family, and that child has rebelled. They have made a decision to live their life separate from the rules, laws and obligations that they have been taught. Placing more rules an laws on that individual probably will not change them. It is a heart/soul flaw that the person is not willing to change.

The mass shootings and deaths over the past few weeks have been horrendous. We all gasp and wonder how an individual can be so cruel and evil. What kind of a home environment did they have? Were they abused as a child? The lists of ‘reasons why’ go on and on. We are human, and we want answers. And we want it to stop. As a parent, when your child is doing wrong, you scramble to correct it. As a world, we are wanting the same.

But establishing and implementing more rules and laws will not solve the problem.

Just as it did not for that rebellious teenager. The rebellious, lawless person will still find a way. They will fight if you tie them down.

 

All Hallow’s Eve

It’s October 31st, the last day of the month. For me, even as a child, I greeted this day in the hope that it would pass quickly, and the anticipation for what I think of as the holiday season. It always seemed as though the end of October signaled the beginning of winter, and a slower way of every day life.

Halloween has never been a favorite day of mine. When I was young, our family did dress up in costumes and our father walked us around the neighborhood to only those people we knew. Even in the early 1970’s. We always carved a pumpkin or two, setting it outside our door. Our maternal grandparents came over, bringing donuts and apple cider. That was never a good mix for me! You would think I would have learned after several years to go with one or the other. But not me. I had to go to bed with a tummy ache every year.

Fast forward to our teenage years. We were living in a little town called Crown Point in upstate New York. Our house was huge. A gorgeous home built by the town banker in the late 1880’s from what we were told. His name was A.J. Wyman, and he began a banking business in April, 1881 in Crown Point.  My mother loved older homes, and she has always done a fantastic job of making them look beautiful. Well, of course this was a great place to have a Halloween party for all our friends. This included a scary trip through the barn, and probably the attic of the house. This same attic was filled with bats every summer. I’m not saying a couple, I mean thick with bats. I’m pretty much terrified of them today. October 31st in upstate New York wasn’t great for bat activity. They were either gone or sleeping by that time. But none-the-less, the attic was a scary place to be with the lights off! I remember the night being fun…hands through spaghetti and that kind of stuff. Nothing like what you see today. We had refreshments, probably played games. I remember having a good turn-out. Those were the years of big celebrations for birthdays, etc. I had a couple sleep-overs in that house, inviting all the girls in my class. It was a very small school, our class of 50 being the largest at the time. Here is a picture of the house, the photo my parents used for our Christmas cards that year. It was taken on Thanksgiving Day! Yes, we had a lot of snow that winter.

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Our family didn’t talk about it with most people at the time, but that house had some strange things going on. I won’t go into all the details, but when my sister toured the house many years later as an adult, she asked the owners if they had noticed anything, and they had. The house was being used as a bed and breakfast at the time. So of course he didn’t want to advertise too much! I will tell you this little bit because it was very strange, and it involved the family pets. So it wasn’t just us humans noticing odd things! Every day, around four in the afternoon, if I recall, my brother’s bedroom would smell of fish. I don’t mean like fish cooking. It was if you were at the wharf. The cats in our house would go in and sleep on his bed, enjoying the aroma. After all, fish is a cat’s best friend. Then about an hour later, the smell would be gone…no trances remaining.

As I said earlier, Halloween was never my favorite day. It could go by with no notice from me. When I was younger, it was fun to dress up and get candy, but as I grew older, probably around my 30’s, I really began to be uncomfortable with it. I have never believed in ‘ghosts’. I do believe there are fallen angels and demons. I won’t go into a theological discussion here on whether they are the same thing or different, but only that they are real and not a good thing. My personal belief is that given an opportunity in your life as a Believer, they can and will play around. As a non-Believer, you are on extremely dangerous ground. I believe this is the ‘ghost’ activity that is spoken of, and I do believe it is very real. And that is why I am uncomfortable with dabbling in things that are borderline evil or just plain evil. In a verse that I have shared here before:

Philippians 4:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

I believe that as a Christian, your life should be filled with what that verse says. I think this can be applied to our speech, our actions, the books we read, the music we listen to and the shows we watch. All things should be honoring to God. As a Believer, if you are attracted to ‘stuff’ that is not good, you should be knowing why. Why is your soul seeking those books, movies and activities that are not uplifting? I know that in my own life, those times come when I am not in fellowship with God, the times that I am not continually seeking Him. An analogy I would use is this: You fill your car with gasoline. If it is full and rich in what your vehicle needs, it runs well. If you purchase watered-down gasoline, or add something you shouldn’t, your car will chug down the road, get poor gas mileage, etc. It is the same in our Christian walk.

Personally, I will be glad when today is over. November 1st begins a long month of many birthdays in our family. It’s the month I really start thinking about fall decorating, baking and celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s the month when my life begins to take a slower pace, relishing of the days when the cold, winter wind blows and we are snuggled up inside. I wish the same for you.

Wednesday Verse

It is autumn and the geese will be making their journey. To me it is amazing that these rather small creatures, can fly day after day for such long distances. They know where to find food, and the best places to rest their tired wings. God has designed them this way, and they are content with what they’ve been given.

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I’m not comparing our lives to that of a water fowl. But it gives you pause to think when you read this verse.

Philippians 4:12-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 

13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

Suppertime

I think I may be on a Jim Reeves roll. When I was searching for hymns, I kept gravitating to the ones he had sung. Again, I love his voice!

Meal times at our house were always an important part of our day. We always sat down at the table, and we took our time to some extent. Saturday morning breakfast wasn’t as rushed, usually having pancakes, or something that took a bit longer to make. Rarely did we sit down for breakfast on a Sunday morning. I do regret this, but they were so rushed with getting out for church, we usually had a bowl of cereal, or a banana with peanut butter on it. I think several of our children hate bananas to this day because it was my go-to snack. In more recent years, with the leaving of several children, a burrito on the way to church was the norm. Sadly, my husband missed out on many of those years since he drove over the road. I need to make this a priority in our lives once again, even if it’s just the three of us!

I chose this particular video because I love the pictures in it. Kiddos to the person that put this all together. No copyright intended, just sharing a beautiful, heartwarming video. Suppertime was once a gathering for the family. A place of refuge after a hard day’s work, a coming home of a group of people that loved to be together. I think the pictures in the video depict that in a beautiful way.

Happy Sunday to you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dK85MBqsLw

Wednesday Verse

So many times as Believers, we think a little bit of complacency with our Christian walk is just fine. Dabbling here and there in sin is no big deal. I know, I’ve done it myself…many times. None of us walk a perfect path in our day-to-day lives. We slip up, we make wrong decisions, we continue on in bad situations. We are human, and this will happen. The key is to get back on track as quickly as possible. ( I John 1:9) This verse in Philippians is always a check-point for me. When you apply it, it sifts out a lot of stuff that we think is okay…won’t hurt this time. Fill your life with this verse, use it as a ruler for your day-to-day walk with the Lord.

Philippians 4:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Tuesday Teaser

We humans are a prideful lot. If our feelings are hurt, we can stew for days, simmering just like a pot on the stove. Pride can keep us from forgiving a wrong done. Sometimes, this can take us a lifetime to get over. And then it may be too late.

There is a reason we are told not to let our anger go past the setting sun. Forgiveness heals our soul, is a balm to past hurts and injustices. It takes away the bitter taste of ‘being right’. It only takes you.

Tuesday Teaser - A Place to Heal