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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Wayne Gerdes of Wadsworth, Ill has some tips for getting more miles per gallon. These are the ones that everyone can use safely.

  • Keep tire pressure at recommended levels; under-inflated tires use more gas.
    Avoid driving at speeds that are higher than necessary, especially on the highway.
    Avoid jackrabbit starts and, when possible, avoid sudden stops.
    Don't carry items in the car that you don't need; additional weight means lower mileage.
    Use air conditioning in moderation.
  • Putting the lowest weight oil in your car helps it work more efficiently.
  • Change your air filter at least once a year. Engines work harder when they have to pull air through a dirty filter.
  • Don’t use cruise control or worry about keeping a constant speed — instead, be concerned with not changing the load on your engine. In other words, it’s acceptable to slow down as you go up a hill, as long as your engine continues to work only as hard as it did when you were on level ground. You’ll make up the loss in speed on the other side of the hill due to the assistance of gravity.
  • Don't drive above the speed limit. The faster you go, the more you increase drag on the car from the wind, consuming more fuel.
  • Turn your engine off if you are idling for more than 10 seconds. Idling is one of the worst fuel wasters.
  • Practice “potential parking.” First, seek out the highest point of a parking lot and, if parking lot topography permits, coast uphill into a spot where you can face out, allowing you to coast right out when you depart.
  • Sweat it out sans A/C. Running a mechanical and electrical accessory like air conditioning steals fuel from the engine and decreases fuel economy. Operating the air conditioner on its maximum setting can reduce miles per gallon by up to 25 percent.
  • Drive as if you hypothetically do not have brakes. Gerdes says that drivers usually burn fuel to get up to an excessive speed, then throw that energy away by slamming on the brakes at a stop sign or red light. Thus, he asks drivers to imagine driving a brakeless vehicle and adjust their driving style accordingly. He recommends accelerating only as needed, and coasting up to red lights and stop signs when possible.
"However, when pushed to the extreme, even elementary techniques can become dangerous. Driving too slowly below the speed limit can cause other drivers to become more aggressive and perform unsafe maneuvers, and the technique of using one’s brakes sparingly to conserve energy can lead to drivers rolling through stop signs. 'When taken to an extreme, hypermiling can become a very selfish endeavor,' (Geoff Sundstrom, director of AAA Public Affairs) says. 'The bottom line is: Saving fuel and conserving energy are important, but so is safety — and preventing crashes.'” -The Pursuit of Hypermileage- by CHRIS DIKEN AND ERICA FRANCIS, ForbesAutos.com

There is a good analogy of seeing your car as a bicycle and it's run by leg power. On that bike you would save your legs and your energy as much as possible by gliding, using the right gears, having the tires at the right pressure, glide downhill to gain speed for going as far uphill as possible before having to put your muscle into it. I understood this analogy, it clicked with me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Running To The Mercy Seat Sung By Vicki Yohe

Exodus 25:17-22 And you shall make a mercyseat of pure gold, its length two and a half cubits, and its width a cubit and a half. And you shall make two cherubs of gold; you shall make them of beaten work from the two ends of the mercyseat. And make one cherub from the end here, and one cherub from the end there. You shall make the cherubs from the mercyseat, on its two ends. And the cherubs shall be spreading out wings above, covering the mercyseat with their wings, and their faces each toward its brother; the faces of the cherubs shall be toward the mercyseat. And you shall put the mercyseat on the ark from above. And you shall put the testimony into the ark, which I shall give to you. And I will meet you there, and will speak with you, above the mercyseat, from between the two cherubs which are on the ark of testimony, all which I shall command you concerning the sons of Israel.

The mercy-seat was the covering of the ark or chest, made of solid gold, exactly to fit the dimensions of the ark. This propitiatory covering, was a type of Christ, the great propitiation, whose satisfaction fully answers the demands of the law, covers our transgressions, and comes between us and the curse we deserve. We are guilty of sin under the Law of God but Jesus paid the penalty so that we may approach the very throne. We are covered by His sacrifice, the penalty is paid, we have been redeemed (Jesus paid the price to buy us back from the penalty of the death sentence which we deserved), our relationship with God is healed because of Jesus. It is supposed that these cherubim were designed to represent the holy angels, who always attended the Presence of God. His Shekinah Glory hovered over the Ark as a visible representation of His Presence. The cherubim are facing one another but bowed looking down. This represents their submission to Yahweh and their readiness to do His Will. God sits between the cherubim to meet with us there. We could never go near God if it weren't for Jesus Christ! Since I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, I can run to the mercyseat of God and throw myself down before Him and worship!

Sharon's Bean Soup

Sharon's Bean Soup

I made this huge crockpot of bean soup for my family for Friday night. We were having a yard sale at my house on Saturday morning so I knew everyone would be bringing their truckloads of stuff on Friday night so I made it into a party.

2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
2 cups dry black eyed peas, rinsed
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 cup dry peas, rinsed
2 cups dry lima beans, rinsed
1 cup dry navy beans, rinsed
3/4 cup barley
Water to cover
3 slices of raw bacon
3 stalks of celery, washed and diced
1 lg vidalia onion, diced
2 cups fingerling raw carrots, washed and sliced
1 lg can of diced tomatoes
salt & pepper
Fresh herbs, picked, rinsed and chopped:

I put all the ingredients into my crockpot and put enough water to cover. Keep an eye on the crockpot because all those beans soak up water big time. I even had to take some beans out to make room. (For those extra beans I put them on the stove to simmer.) I had them on high for about 5 hours. Served with corn bread.

When I Think About The Lord

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pictures Around the Farm

My sister Melinda, used her camera to take these pictures around her farm.

A Rod Out Of The Stem of Jesse and a Branch Shall Grow Out of His Roots

Isaiah 11:1-5 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: And He shall not judge according to the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and shall decide with uprightness for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. (Honesty and fairness will be his royal robes)

Ruth 4:13-18 Boaz married Ruth, and the LORD blessed her with a son. After his birth, the women said to Naomi: Praise the LORD! Today he has given you a grandson to take care of you. We pray that the boy will grow up to be famous everywhere in Israel. He will make you happy and take care of you in your old age, because he is the son of your daughter-in-law. And she loves you more than seven sons of your own would love you. Naomi loved the boy and took good care of him. The neighborhood women named him Obed, but they called him "Naomi's Boy." When Obed grew up he had a son named Jesse, who later became the father of King David. Here is a list of the ancestors of David: Jesse, Obed, Boaz, Salmon, Nahshon, Amminadab, Ram, Hezron, and Perez.

David belonged to the tribe of Judah: his ancestor Nahshon was chieftain of the whole tribe (Numbers 2:3) and brother-in-law of Aaron the high priest (Exodus 6:23). Salma (Salmon), father of Boaz, is also the name of a grandson of Caleb who became "father" of Bethlehem, the home of Jesse (1 Chronicles 2:51). David was described as being red haired, handsome with beautiful eyes. He would have had to have been in excellent physical shape. 1 Samuel 16:12 and 1 Samuel 17:42 say that he was a healthy, good looking young man with a sparkle in his eye.

David's family had been settled for generations in Behtlehem. His father was apparently not only the chief man of the place, but he seems to have been chieftain of the whole clan to which he belonged - the clan of Judah. Jesse kept his fields and had herds of sheep and goats. David learned how to shepherd from the servants that would take the herds out to pasture. He was often responsible for the safety of herds and had to save them on more than one occasion from wild beasts (1 Samuel 17:34). It was during these young days that David learned how to sling. The shepherd enjoys leisure and solitude for reflection. He learned, while watching sheep, how to play the harp and create music and song. David acquired such proficiency in playing that his fame soon spread throughout the countryside (1 Samuel 16:18). He composed poems and psalms.

David was the youngest of 8 sons. When Samuel found him, he was the youngest in a family living in a small town and he was off tending sheep. But God had led Samuel to Jesse and sent for David. When David came, God told Samuel that this was the next king and to anoint him with oil which Samuel did.

1 Samuel 16:13-14 Samuel poured the oil on David's head while his brothers watched. At that moment, the Spirit of the LORD took control of David and stayed with him from then on. Samuel returned home to Ramah. The Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD was terrifying him.

In 2 Samuel 1, David learns of Saul and Jonathan's deaths in battle. It was after this that he became king.

2 Samuel 7:10-16 (The Lord speaking to David through Nathan) "I have given my people Israel a land of their own where they can live in peace, and they won't have to tremble with fear any more. Evil nations won't bother them, as they did when I let judges rule my people. And I have kept your enemies from attacking you. Now I promise that you and your descendants will be kings. I'll choose one of your sons to be king when you reach the end of your life and are buried in the tomb of your ancestors. I'll make him a strong ruler, and no one will be able to take his kingdom away from him. He will be the one to build a temple for me. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I'll see that he is corrected, just as children are corrected by their parents. But I will never put an end to my agreement with him, as I put an end to my agreement with Saul, who was king before you. I will make sure that one of your descendants will always be king. Jesse was the father of King David. God had promised that".

David was the greatest King that Israel ever had. He was only Israel's second king with King Saul being it's first king. The people had demanded a human king rather than continue with a theocracy. The Prophet Samuel tried to dissuade them because it showed a distrust in God.
Samuel, the last real theocratic leader, established the kingdom by following God's instructions in annointing Saul as king. Saul was, at first, a good king who consolidated the tribes and led them in victories over their enemies. But, his power began to corrupt him and he began to diverge from following God's instructions and going his own way. This resulted in disasters on the battlefield and in his reign. The Prophet Samuel had to confront and rebuke him. Instead of being truly repentant and actively seeking God's ways, he would say the right things but he became sneaky and continued in his own ways. There wasn't true repentance. The Bible says that the Spirit of God departed from him. His mental state began to deteriorate and he suffered from depression and paranoia which he took out on David. If you read about his life, it sounds like he was manic in his mood swings...going from complete indulgence and forgiveness to murderous rage and irrationality. God sent the Prophet Samuel out to find the next king to anoint and it was David.

David suffered from his own human condition. We know of his fall into adultery, his murder of Uriah, his spoiling and weak handling of his children, his fall into depression at times. He made some serious mistakes but the difference between David and Saul was that David truly repented and turned back to God. He didn't just say it, he lived it. Once confronted with his sin, he would realize it's enormity and it's consequences and he would turn to God for mercy. He was truly humbled and he would submit to God. It was this humble attitude of spirit that made him different from Saul. It was sincere, honest.

After David died, his son, Solomon became king and reigned a long time. After Solomon, the kingdom began to crumble. It divided into two separate kingdoms, Judah and Israel. The people always tended to fall into idolatry and fall away from Jehovah. God would send messengers (prophets) to try and get their attention and get them to turn back to Him but many times they continued on in their sins and God would allow some enemy to take over their country. Finally, the Assyrians decimated them and the survivors were sent into exile.

Isaiah 10:5 The Lord says: "I am furious! And I will use the king of Assyria as a club"

By the time of Christ, the Romans were in control. Where was the mighty kingdom of David and Solomon? Where was the mighty warriors who had established the kingdom and maintained it's borders? Where was the Temple of God that was one of the world's wonders? What about the promise of God to have a descendant of David always on the throne?

2 Chronicles 13:5 The LORD God of Israel has made a solemn promise that every king of Israel will be from David's family.

When the royal family was cut down and almost levelled with the ground, it would sprout again. The house of David was brought very low at the time of Christ's birth.

Hosea 3:5 But later, Israel will turn back to the LORD their God and to David their king. At that time they will come to the LORD with fear and trembling, and he will be good to them.

Prophecies of Jesus, as the Branch, the Root of Jesse
Ezekiel 34:23-24 After that, I will give you a shepherd from the family of my servant King David. All of you, both strong and weak, will have the same shepherd, and he will take good care of you. He will be your leader, and I will be your God. I, the LORD, have spoken.

Isaiah 53 Has anyone believed us or seen the mighty power of the LORD in action? Like a young plant or a root that sprouts in dry ground, the servant grew up obeying the LORD. He wasn't some handsome king. Nothing about the way he looked made him attractive to us. He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, "He is a nobody!" He suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought his suffering was punishment from God. He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well. All of us were like sheep that had wandered off. We had each gone our own way, but the LORD gave him the punishment we deserved. He was painfully abused, but he did not complain. He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher, as quiet as a sheep having its wool cut off. He was condemned to death without a fair trial. Who could have imagined what would happen to him? His life was taken away because of the sinful things my people had done. He wasn't dishonest or violent, but he was buried in a tomb of cruel and rich people. The LORD decided his servant would suffer as a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others. Now the servant will live to see his own descendants. He did everything the LORD had planned. By suffering, the servant will learn the true meaning of obeying the LORD. Although he is innocent, he will take the punishment for the sins of others, so that many of them will no longer be guilty. The LORD will reward him with honor and power for sacrificing his life. Others thought he was a sinner, but he suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us.

Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise to King David. Jesus would reign as King forever! He was the son of God and Mary and the legal (adopted) son of Joseph. Mary and Joseph were from the lineage of David. That is why the genealogies are included in Matthew and Luke. The Jews knew that the Messiah would arise from the house of David.

Luke 1:30-33 Then the angel told Mary, "Don't be afraid! God is pleased with you, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end."

Matthew 21:7-9 They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on. Many people spread clothes in the road, while others put down branches which they had cut from trees. Some people walked ahead of Jesus and others followed behind. They were all shouting, "Hooray for the Son of David! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hooray for God in heaven above!"

Matthew 22:41-46 While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them, "What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from?" They answered, "He will be a son of King David." Jesus replied, "How then could the Spirit lead David to call the Messiah his Lord? David said, 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right side until I make your enemies into a footstool for you.' If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David?" No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions.

Acts 2:23-32 (Peter preaching the first sermon) "God had already planned and decided that Jesus would be handed over to you. So you took him and had evil men put him to death on a cross. But God set him free from death and raised him to life. Death could not hold him in its power. What David said are really the words of Jesus, "I always see the Lord near me, and I will not be afraid with him at my right side. Because of this, my heart will be glad, my words will be joyful, and I will live in hope. The Lord won't leave me in the grave. I am his holy one, and he won't let my body decay. He has shown me the path to life, and he makes me glad by being near me." My friends, it is right for me to speak to you about our ancestor David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is still here. But David was a prophet, and he knew that God had made a promise he would not break. He had told David that someone from his own family would someday be king. David knew this would happen, and so he told us that Christ would be raised to life. He said that God would not leave him in the grave or let his body decay. All of us can tell you that God has raised Jesus to life! Jesus was taken up to sit at the right side of God, and he was given the Holy Spirit, just as the Father had promised. Jesus is also the one who has given the Spirit to us, and that is what you are now seeing and hearing. David didn't go up to heaven. So he wasn't talking about himself when he said, "The Lord told my Lord to sit at his right side, until he made my Lord's enemies into a footstool for him." Everyone in Israel should then know for certain that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ, even though you put him to death on a cross. "

Jesus came from the "root of Jesse" because Jesse lived and died in meanness and obscurity; his family was of small account just as Jesus was born to an inconsequential couple named Mary and Joseph, in a small town, in a poor situation. Jesus was not a "son of David" but, rather, David himself. David had been a foreshadowing of Jesus, a type of Christ. David was a sign pointing to One who would come who was greater than he was. David came from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest kings. Jesus was born into humble beginnings, but through His sacrifice, He would be highly exalted and reign above a perpetual kingdom that will know no end! The everlasting deliverance under Messiah’s reign, not merely His first coming, but chiefly His second coming! The twig which is shooting up on the ground will become a tree, and this tree will have a crown laden with fruit. Consequently the state of humiliation will be followed by one of exaltation and perfection.

Isaiah 11 describes Jesus and His kingdom, His reign and what a future of glory will be for His people. If you don't know Christ as your personal Savior, if you have not accepted His free gift of salvation, if you haven't submitted to His kingship...please do so now!

Acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God; that He came to earth as a man in order to live the sinless life that we cannot live; that He died in your place, so that you would not have to pay the penalty you deserve.
Confess your past life of sin -- living for yourselves and not obeying God.
Admit you are ready to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
Ask Jesus to come into your heart, take up residence there, and begin living through you, become your ruler.

Prayer of Salvation
Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, here are a few words of advice.

1) Tell someone that you are saved and Jesus (through the Holy Spirit) now lives in you and will begin training and teaching you how to become a Christian. Something happens when you speak it outloud to someone else. It seems to make it more real to you. It is the confession with your mouth that Jesus is Lord of your life and there is something powerful about that confession!

2) Get a Bible that is an easy translation for you to understand and begin reading it. Each time you read it, pray a little prayer asking God to help you to understand what you are reading.

3) Get into the habit of prayer. It's not hard. It's simply a conversation with God. Jesus makes it possible for us to actually speak directly to God. Ask forgiveness for your sins (because we, unfortunately, continue to sin), praise God, thank Him, ask Him for help for yourself and others, ask Him for guidance or wisdom in making decisions, etc. It's through Jesus and by His authority that we come to God and speak to Him so we ask all "in Jesus' Name."

4) Look for and join a Bible believing church. Make sure the church believes the Bible is the Word of God and Jesus is the only way to salvation. Going to church and Sunday School and Bible studies will help you to understand the Bible more and more. It also gives you a community of believers who can help support, mentor and pray for you. Find a church you feel comfortable in. But remember, churches are made up of human beings just like you. You aren't perfect, they won't be either. We are all in the process of being sanctified...we aint' there yet! So keep your eyes on Jesus and don't be surprised when a Christian hurts your feelings or does something really stupid. It's part of the human condition. It's Christ that you follow, not another faulty human being! So just keep going. If it doesn't work out in one church, find another one.

God Will See To It...

God will see to it that His children develop Love.
Might He allow you to spend time in the presence of someone you consider unlovable !?
Love is a fruit of the Spirit that can only be developed in the stuff of real life. There's joy and hope to be found in simply knowing that.

God will see to it that His children develop Joy.
Might He allow you to go through a situation where all you can count on is the joy of your salvation !?
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit that can only be developed in the stuff of real life. There's joy and hope to be found in simply knowing that.

God will see to it that His children develop Peace.
Might He allow unbearable chaos in your life because He wants you to rely solely on the peace of His presence !?
Peace is a fruit of the Spirit that can only be developed in the stuff of real life. There's joy and hope to be found in simply knowing that.

God will see to it that His children develop Kindness.
Might He allow for you to encounter people where to you -- being kind is a struggle !?
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit that can only be developed in the stuff of real life. There's joy and hope to be found in simply knowing that.

God will see to it that His children develop Goodness.
Might He allow for you to be so hurt by another person that to you -- goodness is not even a fleeting thought !?
Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit that can only be developed in the stuff of real life. There's joy and hope to be found in simply knowing that.

God will see to it that His children develop Faithfulness.
Might He allow you to be so busy that to you -- faithfulness seems to be just one more thing to do !?
Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit that can only be developed in the stuff of real life. There's joy and hope to be found in simply knowing that.

God will see to it that His children develop Gentleness.
Might He allow ugliness in your life where to you -- gentleness seems like weakness !?
Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit that can only be developed in the stuff of real life. There's joy and hope to be found in simply knowing that.

God will see to it that His children develop Self-control.
Might He allow you to be tempted so badly that to you -- self-control seems impossible !?
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit that can only be developed in the stuff of real life. There's joy and hope to be found in simply knowing that.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

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