Category Archives: Wisdom

Compost Bin

I just started a full size compost bin and am excited about what it will create in a few months.  I have had a small tumbler bin and one in a Tupperware tub, but never one of this size.

We are planting more fruits and berries this year and I am learning about organic growing, so having compost is of utmost importance.  Might as well make it myself!

Here are a few pictures from start to finish of my new compost bin.

 

I started with a little space next to our dog lot.  It is a space not being used in the yard.  I also had my grey tub of compost that I started ready to add to the new pile.IMG_0003

Dad helped me secure two pallets that he had laying around at their place, and Austin gave me the other.IMG_0004

I secured them together with four hinges.  I thought this would make it easy to maneuver if needed, and give some good stability.IMG_0005

I bought some 1″ chicken wire at the coop to keep the compost material mostly within the bin, and the holes will allow for airflow through the pile.IMG_0007

I used my staple gun to secure the wire to the pallets.IMG_0012

Once the bin was together I laid down cardboard to keep out weeds in the bin and around the pallets where they sit on the ground.IMG_0015

Now I was ready for some material!  The leaves have just started to fall so I have plenty of brown material.  In my grey tub I had way too much green material and not enough brown, so combining them now should get things started on a good note.IMG_0017IMG_0018

Layers of green and brown material now make up the compost bin.  I am ready to add more.  In the spring I will add a second bin so I can keep one going at all times.IMG_0022

 

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Thinking of LOVE

LOVE – it has been the topic of many songs, books, poetry, plays and movies.  We all talk about it, but do we really understand what is love?

I love my wife.  I love my mom.  I love blackberries.  I love my guys in our Bible study group.  I love to sleep in on Saturday mornings.

Tina Turner sang about love….

What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion

-Tina Turner

Can all of these be using the word love in the same context with the same meaning?  I don’t think so.  I understand love to be more than just an emotion it is an action we do for someone.

We show our love by actions – not by words.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary love has the following definitions:

  1. strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
  2. attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers
    After all these years, they are still very much in love.
  3. affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
    love for his old schoolmates
  4. warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion  ::love of the sea
    the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration :: baseball was his first love
  5. a beloved person : DARLING —often used as a term of endearment
  6. unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: such as
    1. the fatherly concern of God for humankind
    2. brotherly concern for others
  7. a person’s adoration of God
  8. a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love
  9. an amorous episode : LOVE AFFAIR
  10. the sexual embrace : COPULATION
  11. a score of zero (as in tennis)

These definitions do describe how we understand love in modern day America.

However, in studying my Bible I read in the New Testament that there are several Greek definitions of the word love which give the word a deeper personal attachment.

Eros – represents the idea of sexual passion and desire.  It was not always used in a positive way either.  Eros had the idea of a dangerous and irrational form of love that could take hold and possess you.

Phila – was considered a friendship that developed between brothers in arms who had fought side by side on the battlefield. It was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them.

Storge – is the love and affection that is naturally shared between parents and children, and to other siblings.  It is a family love.

Ludas – is a playful love.  This can be seen in childlike love or the early stages of a relationship.

Pragma – is a longstanding love.  A love that is considered in making compromises over a long period of time for the good of the relationship.

Philautia – is self love – what we would consider on one hand a narcissist, but on the other hand a satisfaction of loving who you are and where you are.

Agape – is the most radical of love in that is unconditional.  God has an unconditional love for humans.  We can’t earn it and we can get away from it.  He loves us no matter what we do!

From what I read and understand about love I like to think of love as an action – something you do for somebody.  Yes I know that I still love blackberries, but I have no other way of saying that.  Other than I really like the taste of blackberries.  Correct it is, but not as short of a way to say it.

I found this quote somewhere and I use it often.  Love always does what is best for others.

Think about that.  When you say you love someone, do you do something for them that is best for them – sometimes over even your own comfort or desires?  To me that is love.

In John 15:13 Jesus said “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.”  Then He went on to demonstrate that love toward us – He set the perfect example of love.  In our world today, to me the ultimate display  is to give the very core of who you are right now – your life – for someone else.  That is the ultimate high bar setting that we can only look to achieve.

So when you think of love, I hope you think that there has been a high bar set and that love is more than an emotion it is an action word.

Go love!

 

Completely Obedient

This past week we had our men’s Bible study from Genesis 22.  I wanted to share with you the lesson that I learned from this passage.

This is the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac by God.  Abraham finally got the son he had asked for.  Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife Sarah was 90!  Talk about waiting till the last minute for a great gift!

So the most precious gift that God could give Abraham was in the form of this son Isaac.  Not cattle, not land, not money or fame – no the most precious gift was a son.

So one day God asks Abraham to sacrifice this precious non-renewable gift in his son.  I have one son in Austin, and I tell you – I would struggle greatly if I was asked to sacrifice my precious gift.  I can only imagine the thoughts that went through Abraham’s mind.

But Abraham was obedient, and got up early the next morning and let out with the sacrifice – his son.  They made their way to the place where God led them to and built an altar.  In obedience Abraham laid Isaac on the altar and was about to kill him when God intervened and provided a ram for an acceptable sacrifice.  Abraham did not stop in obedience – God stopped him after his obedience.

The lessons I learned this week from this passage are these:

  1. More important than the sacrifice God just wants me.  I have things to sacrifice and give to God (money and talents), but the real deal is those things are already His.  I am His also, but that is what He really wants (time).  Just like how I want my son spending time with me – that is what my Heavenly Father wants from me.  Spend time with Him.             I have been listening to a song that really brings this into focus.  Listen to CT and Becky Townsend sing “When I Lay My Isaac Down”.
  2. I got to thinking about what obstacles are keeping me from spending time with Him daily?  Work, wife, family, TV, yard work, selfish desires and social media.  All of these can be good things in my life, but they also play a hand in keeping me from giving Jesus the #1 slot in my life.  I have to focus on Jesus 1st thing in the morning, and the last thing at night.
  3. What is it that God really wants from me?  I believe He wants me to simply…
    • Read my Bible daily asking what Jesus wants to say to me
    • Pray asking what Jesus wants me to do today
    • Go out in my day and be obedient to what He has told me
    • Sleep – repeat the next day

When you read Genesis 22 – what does God say to you?

 

Look Again to Understand Better

Sometimes in life we may look at something and might not understand it’s importance or value.  Sometimes we need to look at that thing again to better understand.

Take my old hat.  (no don’t really)  But you probably wouldn’t want it anyway.  Just at first glance at my hat you would see that it is just a worn out old hat that doesn’t have much value.  And you would be right, but let me help you look at it so to better understand why it means so much to me.

You see this old hat was given to me at a trade show.  A freebie!  Probably had to listen to a sales pitch at the time, but for the most part it was free.  I brought it home and would mow with it occasionally.  Then I took a mission trip to Guatemala and decided to hand sew the John 3:16 tab over the original logo.  So as to “look” like a Christian.  That’s what we do on our first mission trips – at least I did.  So the hat made three trips to Guatemala and one trip to Montana.  It has been on several hikes and been my shield on during many blackberry picking adventures!  And yes still tries to keep the red neck out of me when mowing (but that is a whole nother story).

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So you may not appreciate my hat any better, but by looking at it differently you see that it means a lot to me.

We all have items, keepsakes, family and friends that mean a lot to us, but even they can surprise us sometimes when we look at them differently.

This brings me to my daughter Danielle.  When Cindy and I married in 1996 Danielle was 5 years old.  Her birth father was never really part of her life after that, so I got to do all the good things with her growing up

I participated in the PTA in elementary school.  I was a youth leader of her youth group at church.  And I just generally watched her grow into a fine young woman.  I consider her my girl – and I just know her.  I thought….

After her senior year in college she went with me on a business trip to Maine.  When I wasn’t working we spent a great week looking for great places to eat lobster and drink coffee.  We went exploring for water falls and perfect ocean views.  We even rode bikes on the beach (for just a short time – but ask her to tell you that story).fullsizeoutput_7d

What I found out about Danielle on that trip was about her big girl decision making.  I found out what really makes her tick by letting her make some of the decisions on what we would do every day.  I was able to look at her in a different way to better understand her that week.

Then she came home with “the” man.  Well she actually picked a good one I have to say (hope he doesn’t read this and get the big head).  Tommy and Danielle were married in June and were good for each other.  They compliment each other, and strive toward the same goals.  Then around Thanksgiving they shared that they were expecting a baby!

So I thought I knew Danielle and I am learning Tommy, but during the delivery of our little grand baby I saw something in both of them that helped me understand them better as a couple and parents.IMG_0028

In Danielle through the labor pains I saw two characteristics that made me proud: Toughness and Determination.  Danielle went through a lot of pain during the process.  She took it so well.  I was surprised and comforted to see how tough she was.  I also saw that she was so determined to not take any medication to help with the labor – she wanted it all natural.  She had already made that decision, and she was sticking with it!

In Tommy I saw a couple positive characteristics after his nervousness wore off: Encouragement and Coaching.  He was consoling during the early parts of labor.  Always telling Danielle what a good job she was doing, keeping her calm and was attentive to her needs.  Then when the pushing got tough he turned on his inner coach!  He remembered what they had learned in preparation and knew what he need to do to get her through the last stages.

Then on 7:38pm on that July day Adelyn Grace was born into this world!  I think she was the prettiest baby I have seen since Austin came into the world!

She is a good baby.  She eats good, sleeps good and man can she poop good!  Cindy and I are both looking forward to seeing her grow and become all that God has designed her to be!

And I just know that one of these days she is going to look up at me with those beautiful eyes and say “Granddad, why do you wear that old worn out hat?”

And I’ll say, “let me help you look at it so you can understand it better”.

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New to Toastmasters

Well I have started on a new journey in my life.  I have joined Toastmasters!

In March I joined a local Toastmasters club to improve my public speaking and to network with like minded individuals.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our organization has more than 352,000 memberships. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 16,400 clubs in 141 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations.  To learn more about Toastmasters click here.

On July 2nd I prepared and delivered my first prepared speech – the Ice Breaker speech.  In this speech you are to introduce yourself to the club and speak 5 to 7 minutes sharing details of your life you want to share.

For me five minutes was not near enough!  I can talk all day about me.  I am a subject matter expert on myself don’t you know, and have a few years with myself as well.  But for the sake of the other members I shared in less than 7 minutes.

Now I have been a leader, teacher, singer, master of ceremonies and coach for most of my life.  I really don’t have a problem talking in front of other people, but this crowd is different.  They all are trying to better their speaking abilities and know when I am messing up – they are just looking for it!

There is someone at the meeting who counts the number of times you say – uh, ah, so, and so, use improper grammar and repeat yourself.  This person had a field day with me.  I know I have a problem with my dialect and use of the English language, but I don’t care to stand up and share what I know.

My speech was titled “Blackberry Wisdom”.  Wonder where I got that idea.  Through the speech preparation I found my life can be best summed up by sharing a few details from the different seasons of my life.

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So now with the 1st speech behind me, I am ready now to aim toward becoming a Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM).  Let the journey begin!

 

 

Yes – Jesus still heals!

Do you believe that Jesus still heals people?  I certainly do – because He healed me!

I had hurt my neck and shoulder from doing some yard work and was in some kind of pain.  I could not get comfortable to sleep at night and it hurt me during the day to the point of affecting my work.

The week after we happened to be in revival services at church and I was in our prayer room with a few good men.  After we prayed for the revival and for others, I asked if they would pray for my neck and shoulder.  They agreed and anointed me with oil and prayed for my healing from the great physician.

I went to bed that night already feeling better and prayed as I went to sleep that the Lord would continue to make my shoulder better.  He told me that He would heal me, and that I needed to do three things:

  1. do pushups in the morning
  2. thank the men who prayed for me giving credit to Jesus
  3. write this article

So here I am- thank you for reading.  And I do want give Jesus all the praise for healing – even if it didn’t happen to me.

About 5 months ago I was doing yard work of a different sort and I hurt my elbow.  It limited some movements that I do such as even picking up a coffee cup.  So I finally went to the orthopedic doctor and he gave me some meds and said that I had tennis elbow and it would eventually go away.  Actually the elbow was still hurting some when my neck and shoulder became aggravated.

So when I hurt my neck and shoulder I just knew I would be in for another body part that would be drawn out with ache and pain.  I just could not go through this kind of pain for very long I felt

You can imagine my excitement when just a few days after hurting my neck and shoulder it was actually feeling better from His healing.  I was for some reason surprised.

Then I got to thinking about why God chose to heal me.  Why did He give me three specific things to do in response.   And how did Jesus heal while He was in body form here on earth.

I believe that Jesus does heal.  Even today.  The examples we learn in the Bible show us that He heals and it is over, and sometimes He heals and expects the person to do something to accept the healing.

In Luke 22:51 we see that Peter cut off the ear of a soldier who had come after Jesus.  Jesus rebuked him for his retaliation and healed the soldier’s ear.  He just did it.  The soldier did not ask for it and neither did Peter – but Jesus healed.

Then we see plenty of examples where Jesus heals and tells the person to do something that I think make them accept the healing by asking for it or an action after the healing.  We see this in John 9:7 where Jesus heals the blind man, but tells him to go wash in the pool of Siloam.  When was the man healed?  When Jesus put spit and mud on his eyes, or when we washed it away?

I know that Jesus doesn’t always heal either.  We don’t always understand why He does or doesn’t heal.  But I do think He expects us to demonstrate our faith in Him.

Are you in need of healing?  I suggest that you pray to Jesus asking for specific healing and then listen if He wants you to do something to receive that healing.  If we don’t listen and then respond I am not sure that He will heal as we have asked.

 

October blog reviews

THESE ARE SIMPLY THE

HOW TO PRAY A PSALM – Great explanation

Gospel-Driven Humility – yes, we all need to be reminded to be humble in all situations.

Is Politeness Killing Your Prayer Life? – I agree.  Prayer is not about saying the right things to God, it is being honest and listening to Him.

Does Porn Use Disqualify a Pastor? – Strong but correct advice from Dr Piper.

FAULTS TO AVOID IN PUBLIC PRAYER – Ok, I offer this post up for consideration, not that we have to follow any kind of rules when praying to God.  I do believe some folks need a little guidance so as not to bring attention to themselves during public prayer.

Chick-fil-A  – the most polite restaurant chain in America.  Just another reason to love Chick-fil-A.

3 Awful Features of Roman Sexual Morality – wow, what an eye opening look at the Roman culture and how it resembles where America is heading.

Greatest Leadership Questions – these are good to keep on hand if you are a leader

4 Great Reasons to Read Romans – We are starting to read Romans this week at church – what good timing!