Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hodgepodging July in Wisconsin

I don't know how I could have lived in this area for so many years and not known that the red barn above even exists - and right in a residential section of Rice Lake. I'm sure that it was part of a farm that has long since been replaced by homes, sidewalks, curb and gutter. I hope the cute little weathered barn stands for many years to come. I'll check in on it from time to time. I'd sure hate to see it disappear. For any who know Rice Lake, it's just a little NE of the armory.

Join Joyce and the Gang

 She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
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1. We've reached edition number 315 here in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So tell us, what were you doing at 3:15 yesterday? Is that typical? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) what's your energy level usually like at 3:15 PM?

First of all, Joyce, it is amazing that you have come up with 315 weeks worth of Hodgepodge questions. That is quite a feat. And I know we all appreciate your dedication! Thank you!

I have no idea. That was about three weeks ago - it seems. It's been a busy week already. I was probably eating some almonds and a bite of very dark chocolate. On a scale of 1-10, my energy level at 3:15 PM is about 6, with it dropping to -5 after eating dinner, often with an ensuing nap. I pretty much sleep in installments, rather than one long stretch. That's why it's nice to have my Kindle close at hand at 4 AM.

2. A frisbee, a tantrum, a towel, a party, a punch, or a curveball...which have you most recently thrown or had thrown at/for you? Elaborate.

No tantrum, no throwing in the towel, no parties until August 5, etc. etc. I can't think of anything I've thrown anywhere, except for throwing clothes into the wash.

3. What are three things that would help you right now. Tell us how or why.

1. Self-cleaning floors
2. Self-cleaning bathrooms
3. Self-linens-changing beds
Family coming.

4. Do you think you're strong? Why or why not? What makes you strong?

I'm probably strong in most ways except physically, but that's improving. There is an exception, however, when Mr. C. walks into the room unexpectedly (SNEAKING IN) and I'm reduced to a 'mass of screaming, quivering jelly,' I think he calls it. I know he loves doing that, but of course he says it's completely unintentional that he scares me half to death! If that's true, then why does he ALWAYS have a grin on his face afterwards?? 

But I'd say that any strength emotionally that I might have is because I believe in a sovereign, loving God.

5. Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What's your favorite book set sometime in the past?

Fiction isn't my favorite thing. I've forced myself to read some of it and enjoyed Jane Austen and others, but it's not my first choice. However, if I read fiction, it would be historical fiction. My recent favorite that I can think of right now is Pillars of the Earth about the building of a cathedral (like Canterbury Cathedral.) It was a lot of fiction but also in an historical context and was entertaining, plus I haven't met a cathedral I didn't love. I just started reading the sequel, World Without End - in between non-fiction stuff.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

 times two

I've just committed to renting two pontoon boats for the afternoon of the birthday party weekend. Should be fun. In August we have our family reunion, a bridal shower for our granddaughter, a wedding, and the next three or four weekends after that are also busy. This is Wisconsin in the summertime. We cram everything into the summer (six birthdays in July and August!) so we can spend all long, cold winter doing nothing at all except complaining about the icy roads and ash from burning wood and having to go anywhere after dinner. It's DARK.

Backyard, Christmas Day, 2013
And of course it just accumulates until sometime in March or April
I really dread this. 

Linking to Maggie's Mosaic Monday
and Eileen's Saturday's Critters


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Enjoy the rest of your week!


'Get him off me! I was here first!!!'
(Tommy & Smokey)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

The Example of Jesus

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

When visiting Westby last week, we stopped out at Coon Prairie Lutheran Church cemetery (about two miles from town) to look at the gravestones of the ancestors. It's a wonderful thing, I think, to have a graveyard adjacent to the church. Anyway, Mr. C's grandfather, great grandfather, and great great grandfather are buried there, and any ancestors before that time would have been buried in Norway.

While walking through a graveyard like the one above, the verses from Hebrews always come to mind - those who put their trust in Jesus, although their bodies are buried in the cemetery, are with the LORD now until the Great Resurrection, when Christ will return to reign on the new (renewed) earth and those who died 'in Christ,' along with those who remain at his coming, will be changed, given new, indestructible physical bodies. As someone said, 'Right now, we are mere shadows of our future selves.'* Like Abraham and Moses and David and Rahab and all the others who loved God, the ancestors who died 'in Christ' are also part of that great cloud of witnesses.

I'm posting the entire chapter 11 and then verses 1-2 of chapter 12 in case you'd like to read them. They're such an encouragement for the believer.


Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Indeed, by faith  our ancestors received approval.  By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

The Examples of Abel, Enoch, and Noah

 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks.  By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.  By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.

The Faith of Abraham

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.  By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.  If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son,  of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.”  He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.  By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau.  By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, “bowing in worship over the top of his staff.”  By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.

The Faith of Moses

 By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.  By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter,  choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.  He considered abuse suffered for the Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward.  By faith he left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s anger; for he persevered as though he saw him who is invisible.  By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

The Faith of Other Israelite Heroes

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned.  By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days.  By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—  who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,  quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.  Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection.  Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

The Example of Jesus

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us  looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the  joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. -  HEBREWS 11:1-12:2 NRSV - copied from

 We've been visiting that cemetery for years.
The little boy and girl in the photo above
are now 47 and 43.

*C.S. Lewis or N.T. Wright, I don't remember which.

Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends!



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