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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - A Friend's Colorado Mountain Adventure

Photo property of Stephanie Dunsdon, The Enchanting Rose.

Here is a great post by my blogging friend, Stephanie, at The Enchanting Rose. She shared a Jeep trip into the Colorado mountains with us in photographs that are truly worth a thousand words! Enjoy, and please leave her a comment if you have the time. :-)

Let's Go on A Jeep Adventure

Habakkuk 3:19  The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Random Thoughts and Update on the Hurricane

Well Hurricane Harvey turned out to be a much bigger event than was anticipated. For our own part, we had very little storm here. We were on a the northwest side on the very edge of the storm. We only had 3" of rain and some gusty winds. We lost one fair sized branch from a sick tree. That was it. We are very thankful to the Lord for this! Thank you to those who were praying for us.

In less than 48 hours this storm went from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So much can be said about something as tragic as this. So much has been said and is being said. My thoughts don't amount to much, being an infinitely small drop in a storm surge of words and opinions. But, for whatever it's worth...

Here are some more random thoughts.

First of all, there are other disasters going on that should also be noted and prayed for. While I'm happy that people are doing so much to help the flood victims here, there have been terrible catastrophes in other places where there have extensive deaths and severe damages. Even in the U.S. there are places having bad wildfires at present (Montana, Oregon and Idaho) and they should not be ignored. But, our zeal shouldn't all be for America (or wealthy nations). Please also pray for the people suffering from floods and mud slides in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Sierra Leone. Read about it here.


Some people are apparently rather angry at Houston for not evacuating their people ahead of time. There are several things to take into account on that. (By the way, Houston is not the only affected area. There are numerous other towns and cities and areas that are in dire trouble from the flood waters.)

1. The national media and many people were completely obsessed about the eclipse during the first part of the week. Very few people were paying attention to what was going on in the Gulf of Mexico. The media is responsible for ignoring or downplaying a significant threat that likely should have been noted sooner.

2. Houston was not expected to be the hardest hit city. It is over a hundred miles from Corpus Christi which was supposed to be the hardest hit. It wasn't an easy call to make that this storm would be so big and cause devastation over such a widespread area. No one could anticipate that 50+ inches of water would fall in some areas of south Texas.

3. Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S. (not including its suburbs). The only cities larger are NYC, L.A., and Chicago. Imagine evacuating one of these cities with less than 48 hours notice. It couldn't be done, even with a great road system. Furthermore, the whole larger metro area has a population of some 6 million people. You don't evacuate 6 million people easily or quickly.

4. Many in Houston did try to evacuate for Hurricane Rita in 2005. What happened is that they were stuck in traffic for 20+ hours in hot weather and over 100 people died from the heat and traffic problems. People understandably didn't want a rerun. The confirmed death numbers from Harvey have not yet reached the traffic and heat related deaths from Rita at the time of this post.


Another thing I've seen is people blaming this event on "geo engineering," in other words, the government or other conspirators who are allegedly meddling with the weather. This is laughable when we consider that one of the worst hurricanes to hit Texas happened in 1900, long before this so-called government interference of "chemtrails" and HARP and whatever else they claim. Also, that was long before global warming or climate change were invented. I'm amused and disgusted that humans are so easily made to believe that "we" are powerful enough to cause things like this. Truly, they still are drunk on the "ye shall be as gods" line that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 3:5)

After all that Job had said in his own defense, the Lord came to him and asked him a lot of questions that put Job in his proper place before God - as a mere human. Among a lot of other things, He said this, "Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?  Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,  When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?" Job 38:34-38 

Man likes to think man has a lot of power over creation. In reality, he doesn't have nearly as much as he thinks he does.  [If you are interested, here is a post I wrote about conspiracies awhile back.]


There have been lots of encouraging stories coming out of this situation. I've seen comments regarding the noble rescue work and help that is being done in south Texas. Some of the heroic stories are moving and really wonderful. But, one thing that kind of bothers me is the comments that this is the "real America" while it's put forth that the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia was allegedly not. This is a false impression and it also downplays another tragic event. What happened in Charlottesville is sadly also "the real America."

This is the paradox of this country and it has been since its foundation: that while some people in one area may be showing kindness (some early Europeans here did), others are taking what they want by force - whether land (from the Indians) or rights (as with the white supremacists and those who fight violence with violence). We can't claim that one is "real" and the other is not. Whatever the miserable reasons, the hate is just as real as the kindness. Be thankful there is still kindness and that people are willing to show it, but don't use that to claim that the hate doesn't count or isn't "real."

Micah 6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?


Finally, if there is something you can do to help in addition to praying, please do - for Texas, for the people where there are wildfires, for India or Nepal or Bangladesh or Sierra Leone. Give through reputable organizations if you are able.

Acts 20:35  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Galatians 2:10  Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Thoughts from the Past - Two Kinds of Trees

Roane County Park, Tennessee

Two Kinds of Trees

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

A pastor friend of ours preached at both a funeral and a wedding on one weekend. He was highly praised by various people after both events. This is not because he's some kind of Baptist wonder boy or the next John MacArthur. His strength is only in the fact that he trusts and hopes in the LORD, so he has access to the water. He strives to be faithful in giving God's word to saints and sinners because of that.

Those flatterers - and it was nothing but flattery, for as he put it, "somewhat less than one" of them showed up Sunday at the church fellowship he pastors - but, those flatterers' problem is that they trust in man and the arm of flesh, and have departed from God. They are in a desert spiritually. They get all excited when someone passes by and spills some water on them from his full bucket, but the next day or so they've forgotten all about it.

Now if you ever tried to water plants in a desert area you know how that works. Parched ground in a desert place can absorb water with great speed and require more again tomorrow or it "forgets" it had any. And, when a large amount is dumped on it at one time, it often runs off at a fierce rate and leaves little lasting benefit.

Proverbs 30:15 …There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: 16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

So it is with those who trust in man. They recognize the water when it comes near them, but no lasting benefit comes from it. Their roots are in parched places. They seem to drink it up but in a day or two they're as dry as ever. (By the way, there a lot of people like this, and they are not all in dead beat churches!) 

[As a side note:  God’s word does not return unto Him void, Isaiah 55:11.  It will accomplish something for Him.  Maybe some of these people will one day have a desperate need and will remember where the water is, or perhaps it will serve for “evidence for the prosecution” when they stand in judgment before God.]

In the Arizona desert south of Tucson there are many mesquite trees. They are usually rather runted as trees go. They are scrubby and not usually well developed. They survive in that dry, hard soil and they are better than nothing, but they aren't much either. They provide a little shade and a little food for animals.

My parents, though, once had the opportunity to see what mesquite trees could do when planted by water. They found a spot where the trees are growing right by a river where many gallons of water must be available to their roots. Never had they seen such mesquite trees as those! Big, huge trees like oaks - well developed and beautiful. Obviously they never suffer from drought.

The trees up on the desert plain have no idea what good things an abundance of water would do for them. The ones in the river bed have no concept of drought. The ones in the desert are small and emaciated both to preserve water and from the lack thereof. The ones by the waters know not heat nor drought. They flourish.

And so it is with people. Those who have walked away from the Lord, His word and His ways and are trusting in man and the flesh, live in a barren wilderness but cannot realize it. Those who trust and hope in the Lord find continual water to bear fruit and green leaves even in these days when spiritual drought has covered the globe! May God grant us the strength to follow hard after Him, to hope and trust in Him, that we may be among those who do not feel the heat or drought of these times!

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water... 13 ...Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Written Sept. 5, 2006; edited Sept. 2012.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Evening Song - Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Lamentations 3:22-24  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Friday, August 25, 2017

We Interrupt this Broadcast....to Request Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:25  Brethren, pray for us.

Proverbs 21:31 ...safety is of the LORD.

As some of my readers know, we live in Texas. Tonight, as many know, there is a category 4 hurricane making landfall on our coast. We ourselves are many miles from it, although depending on which way it goes and how long it stalls, we could see some heavy rains here along with wind gusts. But on the coast and inland from it, things are looking really bad.

I decided to break my usual schedule and ask my readers to pray for the parts of Texas that are being so heavily affected by this hurricane. A Cat 4 hurricane is a bad one, so there will be significant damage. Also, since the whole thing came up rather suddenly and it increased in strength at the last moment, so to speak, there were probably a lot more people that decided to stay than there should have been.

Also, please pray for our area and Austin as there could be significant winds and rain, especially in the Austin area. Where we live we are under a Flood Watch. (A Flood Watch is less than a Warning, and we ourselves live above a fair sized ridge and valley, so we are not in any personal danger from flooding.) Since we are so far from the coast, there are no doubt more houses and other things that are not made to withstand hurricane winds. Some people may have problems due to this if the winds prove to be strong. Heavy rains pose their own set of problems no matter where they fall.

This event will continue throughout the weekend and probably longer. (I have pre-scheduled posts through next week, so even if we lose power there should be posts here.)

Thank you for praying with us.

Isaiah 41:10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Meanwhile Elsewhere - The Elephants that Came to Dinner

Psalms 104:24  O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Creatures Great and Small - Take It Easy

Cat Kisses

Sandpaper kisses
On a cheek or a chin -
That is the way
for a day to begin!

Sandpaper kisses
A cuddle and a purr.
I have an alarm clock
That's covered in fur!

Author Unknown

This picture is one of my brother's cats. The poem does not apply to our cat, but I thought it was cute.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Old New Thoughts – A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Ecclesiastes 1:9  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

I first posted this in 2012, but I felt it would be good to repeat it now. There has been a lot said recently about the Charlottsville, Virginia event and the removal of statues and people's opinions of those. In watching reruns of history playing themselves out, I thought about writing something, but I remembered this poem and after revisiting it, I decided that this was going to be my comment on those subjects. I think it is enough at this point.

The Old New Thoughts

“New thoughts for old,” the eager world is crying,
That ever seeks to tell or hear the new,
Though in its haste to change it grasps too often
Mad thoughts for sane, and false thoughts for the true.

All vanity—its seeking and its finding;
The thing that is, is that which hath been done.
False gods, false science, aye, and false religion,—
There is naught new beneath the ancient sun.

And these are old—the thoughts that loud world blazons,
The sons of Adam walk in circles still;
Old as the world, as man and man’s first sinning,
Old as the Demon pride that said, “I will.”

It is not new—the superman excelling
Who dares with impious foot the height supreme;
“Ye shall be gods, both good and evil knowing,”—
This is but Eden’s unforgotten dream.

Some few, bewildered with Earth’s many voices,
Grown weary of the circles where they plod,—
This modern Babel, clamorous, confusing,—
Some few there be who seek the thoughts of God.

High as the heavens above the earth outspreading,
Wide as His vast creation’s utmost span,
As countless as the stars the heavens filling,
The thought of good that God has thought for man.

And once—a shout through dreary silence ringing,
A star of hope above the world’s black night—
God’s oldest, greatest thought of all was spoken
In one clear Word of love and life and light.

Against that Word of glory and of power
Man’s frothy babblings pour themselves in vain.
His bubble thoughts in nothingness shall vanish;
God’s everlasting thoughts, unchanged, remain.

- Annie Johnson Flint

Psalms 94:11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 55:8-9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Evening Song - Until Then

1 John 3:1-3  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Creatures Great and Small - Dragonfly

Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Monday, August 14, 2017

Writing Challenge #7

Some of you may possibly have noticed that I haven't done a writing challenge for awhile. I took July off intentionally, but August has just gotten away from me. Due to the fact that the month is half over at this point, I'm going to give what will hopefully be an easier challenge. It was for me, at any rate.


Find something you wrote three or more years ago and edit it or rewrite it.


It's always interesting to me how many mistakes I find in things I've written when I go back to read them. I also usually notice ways I could improve them, and sometimes I even have more information to add that will be helpful or important to the subject. Sometimes it's just a pleasure to clean up and tighten the wording or thoughts.

This doesn't have to be something you wrote online. It could be an old journal entry or a poem you wrote. Whatever you like, and however private you want it to be. :-)

My effort is the article I posted Sunday, although I have been working on other things along this line as well in recent months, this one is actually completed and reposted in its improved form.
Jacob - Family Troubles.

[Photo by Rudolf Duhrkoop, 1909.]

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jacob - Family Troubles

This article is part of a series of articles I started some years ago on various Bible characters who suffered from depression, anxiety, or something similar. I re-worked it and am now posting it for the first time on the blog.


Family troubles can be so discouraging and painful, triggering depression and anxiety. They can also cause eating disorders.

Jacob had family troubles from the day of his first wedding when Laban tricked him into marrying Leah instead of Rachel. He eventually was the head of a large family that caused him much trouble at various times. Leah and Rachel fought among themselves to gain his attention - and more children. His daughter, Dinah, went out "to see the daughters of the land" (Gen. 34) and ended up in fornication or raped (depending on your interpretation). Two of his sons used the occasion to kill a whole city of men, thus causing Jacob to fear for his family's safety. Jacob's sons were also less than shining examples of godliness in other incidents.

Joseph, his favorite wife's first son, was Jacob's favorite and Jacob did not hide it. Because of this and several things that had happened, Joseph's brothers had become bitterly jealous of him. Genesis 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

Jacob's sons were herdsmen by trade. At one time when they were keeping his flocks in a place away from the central home, Jacob decided to send Joseph out to check on their welfare. Genesis 37:14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Joseph finally located them, but as he was approaching them, they recognized him. Their hatred for him was so intense that before he got near some of them conspired to kill him. Now Reuben, being the oldest and no doubt feeling his sense of responsibility to his father, interceded for him and suggested they throw him into a pit instead of murdering him outright. His intention was to rescue Joseph later and restore him to his father.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Evening Song - The Stranger of Galilee

Matthew 4:23  And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thoughts from the Past - The Perfection of God’s Word

photo credit below

Psalms 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

One of the old time preachers once said something to effect that God’s word is like a bed that is so big you can stretch out on it and not feel the edge in any direction. I’ve thought about this so many times. It is impossible to exhaust the word of God.

[Now when I speak of the perfection of God’s written word, I’m speaking of the Authorized King James Version for English speaking people. The reason I clarify this is that some of the modern translations and paraphrases are no doubt exhaustible.]

The perfection of God’s word is so broad that we can never outgrow it. We can never learn all that is there. Even if we start reading it and studying it from our youth we will never get it all, we will never understand it all, we will never get beyond it – if we are honest.

The perfection of God’s word is so broad that no matter what subject we can come up with there is always something that will answer it. God was not shortsighted when He gave His revelation. I have been amazed in my finite mind at things written in God’s word that answer so perfectly and directly some issue that has come up so many thousands of years after the scriptures were complete, as if the verses had been written for that very question – and perhaps they were. The broadness of this perfection is marvelous.

The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it can give milk to the unskillful and meat to the those of full age.

Hebrews 5:13-14  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil
It can take a new born Christian and feed him with milk (yes, even with the “hard words” of the King James Bible, it can feed and instruct him at a level he can grasp; and don’t worry about those “hard words”, he’s supposed to be unskillful!). Yet, it can challenge the saint who has walked with God for many years and exercise him with the strong meat that will keep him growing. Such broadness of spiritual diet all from the same book is stunning, especially when one compares this to the writings of other religions.
The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it can divide the soul and spirit, discern the thoughts and intents of the heart and also divide the joints from the marrow. This, of course, is rather mind boggling because it speaks of both spiritual and physical actions from His word. I think that we may not fully understand the dividing of the joints and marrow till we see Jesus Christ smite the nations with the rod of His mouth.

Revelation 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it upholds all things. Yes, ALL things.

Hebrews 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

And, speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, another amazing broadness of the word of God is that it can be an abstract – a thought or idea; a concrete – a book we can hold in our hands; and a person – the Lord Jesus Christ; all at the same time. John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth

Somehow I doubt that we can get our minds around this last thought.  It is too big and broad to fit inside our tiny brains and thought processes.

Speaking of which, if there are things in the word of God that we cannot understand nor explain, and there are, this does not make God’s word too hard nor too complicated, nor does it mean that we are too stupid and shouldn’t bother with it. It simply proves that it is God’s word. Were it not broader, bigger, mightier and beyond the scope of our human thoughts, it wouldn’t be the word of God. Anything less couldn’t be trusted. 

Isaiah 55:8-9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Does this mean we should give up trying to understand and grasp more of this great thing called scripture? Not at all! What it means is that we can dive into it without fear of hitting bottom. We can devour it without fear of running out of food. We can mine it for jewels and treasures without fear of exhausting its resources. We can share it without fear of lack to ourselves.

We can stretch out on it without the slightest fear of ever falling off the edge! :-)

Praise GOD!

Jeremiah 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Photo taken in Tanzania by my grandfather, Glenn Hoover, sometime in the '50s or '60s.
This post was originally published here in June 2012. Edited.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Evening Song - Lord, I'm Coming Home

Luke 15:17-24  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August - A Poem

Queen's Wreath - Coral Vine


No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
On either side, smitten as with a spell
Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
A silken web from twig to twig. The air
Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.

- by Lizette Woodworth Reese

Wild Sunflower