Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Unfailing Love

          I mentioned in a previous blog that I have been using a publication from David Jeremiah on Psalms and Proverbs.  It includes daily readings from both of these Bible books.  The readings are in the New Living Translation and are very easy to read.  This version has helped me to better understand these chapters which I have often read before.

          I quickly noticed a new theme that I had never caught in previous readings.  The chapters in Psalms use the term "unfailing love" 73 times.  It is used 121 times in the entire Bible.  Now I probably missed that before because other versions use a variety of other terms - loving kindness, steadfast love, multitude of mercy, faithful love, great love, gracious love, great mercy and great faithfulness, just to name a few.  I believe that hese terms help define unfailing love.
         As we are in the Thanksgiving season, I am especially thankful for God's unfailing love which I have experienced throughout my life.  Certainly His love has never failed me and never will.  Here are a few of the references to it from Psalms.
         "But I trust in your unfailing love."  13:5
         "Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways."  17:7
         "Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life"  23:6
         "Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past."  25:6
         "Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord."  25:7
         "The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands."  25:7
         "I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul."  31:7
         "Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord."   32:10
        "Lord, don't hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me."   40:11
        "But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life"   42:8
        "Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love."   51:1
        "For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds."  57:10
        "But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress."  59:16
       "O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love"   59:17
       "Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!"   63:3
       "O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help."  86:5
       "I will sing of the Lord's unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness."  89:1
       "Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives."   90:14
       "For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation."  100:5
       "For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth."  103:11
       "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness."  115:1
       "Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you."  143:8
       "The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love."   145:8
          And these are just some of the many references in Psalms to God's unfailing love.  It is there for us in times of joy, victory, peace and contentment.  But it is also always there for us in times of fear, loneliness, illness, sadness and despair.  Hopefully you are experiencing it in your life.  This season, and every day throughout the year, take time to give Him thanks for His unfailing love to us.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Older Than Dirt?

          Nobody wants to admit that they are getting old.  We all like to think that we are still young, younger than we really are.  But sometimes when we try to do some of the physical things that we used to be able to do, we know that we are aging.  People say that you are only as old as you think you are.  But often our bodies betray our thinking.
          Now I do admire those seniors who still have physical strength and stamina and can win or at least compete in the Senior Games  I admire those whose minds are still sharp and can remember names and dates from long ago.  I admire those who are still very active and look much younger than they really are.  The Lord does bless some with those characteristics.  But then there are the rest of us who, no matter what we think or try to do must recognize that the days of our youth are gone forever.  Now many of us enter a new stage of life where we can do different  important things and still lead very useful lives.
          One way to see how old you really are is to take a test.  So let's see how you really do on what is called the "Older Than Dirt Test".  In the following list you are to count all the ones that you remember -  NOT the ones you were told about!  I dare you to give it a try.  By the way, if your brain can't handle the arithmetic, feel free to keep count using your fingers and toes or a calculator.  Good luck!

1.     Blackjack chewing gum
          (I sure would enjoy some again)
2.     Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
          (As a kid who worried about sugar content?)
3.     Candy cigarettes
          (They were a no no in our house)
4.     Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles
5.     Coffee shops with table side jukeboxes
6.     Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
          (Our former milkman, Al Charles, recently graduated to
7.     Party Telephone Lines
          (How did we ever live with these?)
8.    Newsreels before the movie
          (Actually we didn't attend movies when I was growing up)
9.     P. F. Flyers
10.   Butch wax
11.  Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Olive 4 - 6933)
          (Ours was MAdison and in Sunbury it was ATlantic)
12.   Peashooters
13.   Howdy Doody
          (Clarabelle, Princess Summerfallwinterspring, Mister Bluster,
          Buffalo Bob and friends)
14.  45 RPM records
          (i still have many of these.  Where can I sell them?)
15.  S&H Green Stamps
16.  Hi-fi's
17.  Metal ice trays with lever
18.  Mimeograph paper
19.  Blue flashbulb
20.  Packards and Hudsons
21.  Roller skate keys
22.  Cork popguns
23.  Drive-ins
         (Movies or fast food?)
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

So here is your scoring sheet.  Be honest!  
* 0-5 = You're still young
* 6-10 = You are getting older
* 11-15 = Don't tell your age
* 16-25 = You're older than dirt!

         Now I will admit that I am older than dirt.  I guess it is good that I still remember a few things from my youth.  Now if only I could remember what happened yesterday.
         Keep a youthful attitude but also remember that there are many advantages to growing older - like senior citizen discounts.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


          In his book "A Life Beyond Amazing", Dr. David Jeremiah shares a story in his chapter on "A Life of Integrity" that spoke to me enough that I want to share it with my readers.  Here is the story.

          "Several years ago I read a tale about a group of salesmen who were leaving a Chicago convention and were late getting to O'Hare Airport for their flight home.  As they hurried into the terminal, they heard the last call for their flight.  They began to run through the busy airport, dodging and weaving through the crowd, their carry-on luggage careening behind them.  Two of the men crashed into a table stacked with beautiful baskets of apples, overturning it.  Apples bounced and rolled everywhere, but the men kept running.  They reached their gate just as it was closing and managed to board the plane.
         All except one man.  He stopped and told his companions to go on; he'd catch a later flight.  Conscience-stricken, he turned back and found the young boy who managed the apple stand on his knees, in tears, groping for the scattered apples and baskets.
            The salesman got on his knees beside the boy, gathered apples and baskets, and helped him set up his display again.  Some of the baskets were damaged, many apples were bruised, and a few were missing.  He opened his wallet and placed three large bills in the boy's hand.  "Here, take this," he said.  "It will more than cover the cost of the damage.  I'm very sorry we messed up your day.  Are you okay, now?"
            The boy nodded his thanks through his tears, and the salesman turned back to the lobby to arrange for a new flight home.  He hadn't walked far before the boy called out, "Mister …"  As he paused and turned around, the boy said, "Are you Jesus?"
            No one could receive a greater complement than to be mistaken for Jesus.  It happened to this man because he allowed himself "to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29).  That is the call laid on every Christian, and when we respond to it, we become faithful to the will of God and reflect His character.  That is what it means to be a person of integrity."
            "The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them." Proverbs 20:7  NLT.
             When is the last time that someone thought that because of our actions that we might be Jesus?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Week To Remember

          There are particular days in your life that you never forget. For me, I will never forget the events that happened this weekend 24 years ago.  Please allow me to reminisce.

          On Friday night, November 5, 1993, we went to Lititz to visit my mother.  It was her birthday.  It turned out to be an extra special day for her because all of her children and grandchildren happened to stop by that day to visit her and that actually was unusual on her birthday  We had a very nice evening with her.
          On Saturday my wife and I headed to State College where we enjoyed the Penn State  vs. Indiana football game.  It was an exciting game, won by PSU, and we had a great time.  When the game was over we headed to Shamokin Dam to visit my wife's parents.  Her mother was in the hospital and we especially wanted to see her.
         But when we arrived at their home, about 6 pm, my father-in-law said that I had to immediately call my oldest son.  He didn't tell us why but he insisted that it needed to be done right away.  When I reached my son he informed me that my parents had been in a bad accident and that my mother might have died in the accident.  We were stunned, to say the least. We immediately left to make the two hour trip back to Lancaster.
          That trip was a blur and, fortunately, I did not get stopped for speeding.  When we arrived at the hospital most of our family were already there and mother's death was confirmed.  Soon my brother and his wife also arrived.  They had been on a weekend retreat at Sandy Cove.  We were told that a teenage boy, on his way to work, ran a stop sign and hit my parents broadside on my mother's door.  It is interesting that his parents quickly removed him from the accident scene so that he couldn't immediately be tested for drugs or alcohol.  We later heard that he hadn't been drinking for several hours before the accident.  I don't know how he legally avoided being tested.  I can't help but wonder if he was drunk, but at this point it no longer really matters.
          Dad wasn't seriously injured, but they decided to keep him in the hospital for several days just to be sure.  We spent several hours with him and I still am amazed at how he outwardly took the tragic news.  Later they gave us a chance to view mother and looking back I often wish that we hadn't done that.  I will probably never forget the images that are in my mind of how she looked.
          The next few days were also a blur as we made service arrangements and cared for dad.  But what I do remember is how close we all became as a family.  We all pitched in and shared all that had to be done. In a time of tragedy we were all drawn together like never before. We were also blessed with all the food that folks provided for us, enough that we didn't need to worry about any meals during that time.
          Dad was released from the hospital and we could then finalize service plans.  Together we decided to have a private service and burial and we invited our relatives and some very close friends to attend.  We had an open casket at the service. The casket was a wooden one representative of those that her father made for many years working in the casket company in Sunbury.  My brother was able to purchase a lot in the Moravian Cemetery, just a block from my Dad's home.  In fact, the plot almost overlooked his home.  
          The burial was followed by a luncheon at our church.  Then we had a memorial service in the evening following a time for family visitation  And the church was packed with a very long line of folks waiting to greet us.  Mother had so many friends who loved her.  We finally had to stop the visitation or the service might have been several hours late.  It was a beautiful, God honoring service that was fitting for such a special woman.  Unfortunately, some were disappointed that we didn't have an open casket so they could say good-bye.  But even today I have no regrets that we had decided to first bury her earlier that afternoon.
           Mother had touched many lives and she was greatly missed.  One example of this were the city kids in our Awana program who cried when they learned of her death.  She had been like a mother to them as she listened to them say their verses each week and they really missed her.
          Now I still miss mother, especially in November, and that November weekend was so difficult.  But as I look back I thank the Lord that mother never had to suffer the physical and mental problems and nursing home experiences that so many seniors must endure.  Now she had her share of physical problems that no doctor seemed able to diagnose and treat.  I admit that at times I thought her problems might even be imagined, but now I know otherwise.  I guess I am now my mother and am facing many of the same challenges that she faced. I am so sorry for ever having those doubts about her. I now better understand the frustrations and pain she faced.  But God immediately healed her when she stepped into His presence that Saturday night in November.
          Dad suffered, usually silently, but often the tears quietly flowed.  They loved each other and had built a wonderful life together for 53 years.  After mother's death dad always refused to even date another women.  God had given him a special mate who could never be replaced.  And he spent 16 years without her until the Lord finally took him home one February morning.  Those years he spent continuing to serve the Lord and set a Godly example especially for each of us in our family.
          We were blessed to have such wonderful parents.  Thank you, Lord!
50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner