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The Old and Curmudgeonly SOAP #1

Okay guys, I recently joined up on an online Bible Study group via Facebook.  There are some awesome godly ladies in this group and I’m excited about being a part of it.  I have already been blessed and looking forward to future blessings.  Part of the accountability of the Bible Study involves posting a SOAP.  Instead of The Bold and the Beautiful, or the Young and the Restless, my soap is titled, The Old and Curmudgeonly.  But really, I jest,  it’s not that kind of soap.   It’s a Bible study method using the SOAP acronym to help spend more time in God’s word and understand what He is saying to us.   S stands for scripture that I’ve read.  O stands for observations that I made while reading the scripture.  A stands for application and how that scripture written many moons ago applies in my life today, and P stands for prayer which is a very personal prayer that I’m letting every one else hear.

I’ve been dilly-dallying around about this Bible study, worried about doing this on my blog, even though I do allow this blog to get all Jesus-y at times. 
But we are here to please God and not man, so I pray that my weekly SOAPS will speak to you in some way.   

God wants to speak to us, I know that fo’sho’.  So I’m going to let Him.

I’ve been reading my Bible through in a chronological way in the order of events as they happened.  So far this year I’ve read Genesis and Job, and now I’m in Exodus.

S—Scripture:  Exodus 3:1-2 (The Message)Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up.

 9-10 “The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I’ve seen for myself how cruelly they’re being treated by the Egyptians. It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt.”

19-22 “I know that the king of Egypt won’t let you go unless forced to, so I’ll intervene and hit Egypt where it hurts—oh, my miracles will send them reeling!—after which they’ll be glad to send you off. I’ll see to it that this people get a hearty send-off by the Egyptians—when you leave, you won’t leave empty-handed! Each woman will ask her neighbor and any guests in her house for objects of silver and gold, for jewelry and extra clothes; you’ll put them on your sons and daughters. Oh, you’ll clean the Egyptians out!”

O–Observation:  Moses was just hanging out being an ordinary person, doing his ordinary day-to-day job of shepherding his sheep when God appeared to him.  He wasn’t anything special, just a regular ol’ Moe.  God approached Moses and gave him a charge:  Go to Egypt and tell Pharaoh Let My People Go!  Which makes me start singing this song right here, which has some pretty awesome dancers in it as well.

And then God begins to tell him in verses 19-22 exactly, step by step, the troubles he will encounter, that God will intervene, and how it will end up when he obeys Him.

A—Application:  God is all-knowing.  God is ever-present.  God is in-the-know.  He knows our past, forgives our sins (after all Moses was a murderer), continues to love us and use us for His glory.  He knows every hair on our head, and each step we are going to take.  Nothing catches Him off guard.  He is not surprised when life throws us a curve ball.  Just like in this scripture passage, God knew that the Egyptians would not be agreeable with His plan.  He knew Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened.  He understood what it would take to change his mind.  And it all came to pass.  Just like in my life.  He’s got my road map in His hand.  He is directing me in the ways He wants me to go.  Even when I don’t understand why events are happening or not happening, He is working behind the scenes, orchestrating my life.  He will use me in my everyday life, in my job, or when I’m doing my thing, I can hear from Him.

P—Prayer:  Dear Lord, help me to always trust in You.  When You speak to me, help me to recognize your voice, follow your ways, acknowledge You in my life.  You have my life in your hands, you are the author and finisher of my faith, your plans for me are for good and not for harm.  Help me not to fear my future.  Help me not to be afraid.

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Got No Power Windows

Let me tell you about my yesterday.

We had to do some work on the chicken coop, so I needed my new, old truck to help haul some old wood for me.  We tore down one side of the chicken coop that was just crappy old particle board hammered together.

We’re replacing it with some rustic looking wide planks that are in a pile of rubble from a torn down structure. 

So me and my niece Ash loaded up in the truck to gather the planks and drive them to the coop.  This was her first time to see this old heap of metal and as soon as she climbed in, one of the first things she exclaimed was how she loved those kind of windows.  You know the kind.  The crank handle kind. 

It took some work to get the truck running.  But once it did, it only died 3 times.  But then it got warmed up, and it was ready to go.  If only I could get it to go, that is.

Now I’ve driven a stick shift in my time, and once I re-introduce myself to the gears I can normally do just fine.  So I put this truck in first, it jerked forward a couple times, and then died.  My second attempt in first gear was a repeat of the previous failure.  I then attempted to start off in second gear, and it jerked and died.  I eased off the clutch more carefully, it still died.  I tried and tried and could not for the life of me figure out why I couldn’t get this truck to go without dying.  I studied the gear shift again. 

I wasn’t really sure what L stood for, I don’t recall ever seeing it on a gear shift before.  Ash assured me that it probably stood for Launch, so I slammed it into L, and sure enough that must be what it stands for ’cause away we went.

We gathered the boards up.

Then pulled all the nails out. 

Then we took a drive in the truck.  We rolled, and I do mean literally rolled, our windows down.  We even pushed open that little triangle window that is next to the big window and let the wind blow through out hair as we chugged down the dusty country lane. 

My old truck reminds me of a song that my daddy likes.  It’s called Power Windows.

Louis drives a beat up ’69 Dart.
Swears it’s the statue of Mary that keeps the car from falling apart.
With Gracie right beside him sittin’ closer than a smile.
She’s got her head on his shoulder.
He loves to drive and hold her.

He got no power windows. Got no power brakes.
He ain’t got no power nothin’ but he got what it takes.
He’s got Gracie’s arm around him and a smile on his face.
He’s got the power of love. 
 

That night, as I was saying good night to Ash, she remarked that it was the most awesome day ever.  The most awesome day ever?   How strange.  We didn’t do anything but work.  So I asked her what made it so awesome.

Her response made me smile.  She said just being out at the place, tearing down the chicken coop, driving the truck, and having family fun.

It made me realize that we didn’t spend any money.

We didn’t see anything fancy.

We didn’t have the newest, high-tech $300 gadget to entertain us.

We got no power windows even.

Just the two of us, hanging out, enjoying the sunshine, laying on an old wagon gazing at the clouds, telling stories, singing songs, and enjoying each other.

Which reminds me of another song.  This one my mama used to sing me when I was just a wee one.

Oh, we ain’t got a barrel of money,
Maybe we’re ragged and funny
But we’ll travel along
Singing a song
Side by side.

Don’t know what’s comin’ tomorrow
Maybe it’s trouble and sorrow
But we’ll travel the road
Sharing our load
Side by side.

Travel the road in our old blue truck with no power windows,

Side by side.

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A Special Lady

Today, in just a few short hours, my family will be celebrating my grandmother’s 93rd birthday over in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  I couldn’t  be there, but wanted to send her some happy birthday wishes.

{sending happy birthday wishes now}

Isn’t she beautiful? 

 Her name is Mattie Dimple Calico.  If that isn’t the best name in the world, I don’t know what is. 

She’s a gem. 

The older I get, the more I realize how important family is.  I cherish my grandmother and the memories I have of our times together.

Happy 93rd Grannie! 

I am so thankful to be blessed with you in my life. 

You’re a hoot and a tough old coot, and you’re always making me laugh.  

 I hope when I am old, I look and feel just like you!

I love you!  

 Peace!

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Before and After #2

We’ve been diligently working away on our little trailer house on the prairie.   Several months ago, I showed you our first before and after, and now, several months later,  I have another.  It’s a slow process.

Although the place we bought and are working on is a D-U-M-P, it does have some good qualities.

Like the wonderful fruitless mulberry that I am going to transform into my whimsy tree.  A whimsy tree is a made-up word from my sister Jolea who first created a tree of whimsy in her backyard.  It is simply a tree that is adorned with whirligigs and doodads and thingamiggers and whatchamacalits of all shapes and sizes.    Jolea then began sending me whimsical ornaments to hang in my trees to create a whimsy tree.   I have plenty of trees here where I live now, but none of them are whimsy trees.  They’re either too straight, their trunk is too tall to reach the limbs, or they’re dead.  It takes a special tree to be whimsy tree.  And none of them fit the bill.

But I have one at our Little Trailer House on the Prairie.

A whimsy tree needs adornments hanging from it lovely branches, but I decided to add something to the base of my tree as well.

Base of Whimsy Tree Before:

Base of Whimsy Tree After:

I love my flamingoes!!  A lady from my church named Susan paints these little boogers.  I bought one for myself at a craft show.  I figured if I’m going to be trailer trash, I might as well do it up right. 

Nothing says trailer trash, like flamingoes in the front yard.

I giggled with delight when my sweet friend Suzanne gave me the other one for Christmas. 

 

They’re perfect.

And whimsical.

And they make me smile.

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A Chicken Story

I live in my own little world, and it’s safe here.  But occasionally something will happen that rocks my little world, and I’m reminded of the ugliness on this third rock from the sun.

We have some friends who recently bought some chickens.  They didn’t order baby chicks through the mail, but instead went to a nearby town to a fellow’s house where he had too many chickens and needed to get rid of some.  These folks didn’t have a coop, but they had a barn.  The chickens were all over the place.  Every day, the chickens climbed up on haystacks in the barn to lay their eggs, so every day was  like an easter egg hunt just to gather the eggs.  There were so many chickens clucking around, that some of the chickens lived in the trees outside the barn, because the barn chickens had established a pecking order and wouldn’t let the tree chickens in.  Barn chickens vs. Tree chickens.  Following me?

That reminds me of my old middle school bus stop.  We moved to the wrong side of the tracks when I was in middle school and had to start riding the bus.  My sister and I used to catch the bus at a church in our neighborhood.  There were some big boys, high school age thugs, that also rode the bus.  Many mornings it was cold when we got to our bus stop, and on these cold mornings, the wind would cut you to the bone.  Rather than wait by the curb for the bus, there was a little covered porch attached to the church that we huddled in out of the cold.  These big boys (the barn chickens) decided to establish a pecking order and wouldn’t let us younger kids (the tree chickens) on the covered porch (the barn) unless we gave them candy first.  So every day, we had to take candy to the bus stop in order to wait in the barn out of the cold.  This went on until somehow our big brothers got wind of it.  We got off the bus one afternoon and our brothers were waiting there to have a “talking” with those barn chickens.  After that, we didn’t have  to give them candy anymore.

But I digress.  Back to the friends who got some chickens from a nearby town.  Chickens in the barns, chickens in the trees.  Here a chick, there a chick, everywhere a chick, chick.  The owner had a dog, a Border Collie who understood Spanish.  The owner would speak a little Spanish to him, and that dog would crouch down and wait for a chicken to fly  out of the tree, then he would pounce on the chicken, hold this neck in his mouth, pin him down with his paws, and just lie there until the owner got the chicken and put it in a gunny sack.  Then the owner spoke a little more Spanish to the dog, and the dog would catch another chicken to go in the sack. 

Our friend ended up with 9 chickens and a rooster with a crippled leg.  He was a fighting rooster but he had lost his last fight.  The rule is, the owner of the winning rooster gets to snap the leg of the losing rooster and hand him back.  His fighting days are over. 

I can’t believe this sort of sport still goes on.  I mean, I knew there were cock fights.  I just didn’t know they were happening right down the road from my safe little world.  And I never imagined that they would break the losing chicken’s leg.  That just seems barbaric.  I thought we were a civilized people.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Sugar….bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, ah, Honey, Honey

I’ve discovered something that I want to share.

It has to do with the Bible.

And honey.

“If you find honey, eat just enough–too much of it, and you will vomit”. Proverbs 25:16 NIV

This happened to me once, and it almost happened again last night.  I love honey, but eat just one teaspoonful too much and you’ll be ralphing in the flowerbed.

The Bible also says this: 

“My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste. Proverbs 24:13.

 but if you look in The Message, it says it like this. 

“Eat honey, dear child—-it’s good for you.” 

I just love that.  In our society’s search for healthy foods, nutritious choices, and apples on the McDonald’s menu, right there in the Thirty Precepts of the Sages in Proverbs in the Word of God, lies an answer.

I believe in my pea picking little brain,  that our world is generously blessed with cures for many,  if not all, illnesses in the form of foods, flowers, herbs, and other G0d-given gifts.  Simply put, I believe there is something on this earth to cure what ails us.

Among these foods is honey.  Honey has been called a super food.  Raw honey is one of nature’s purest foods.

I try to remember to eat a spoonful of raw honey every day. Except for days like yesterday, when after one bite, I had another, and after a second bite, I had a third.  And after a third bite I got a stomach ache, just like the Bible said I would.  I did actually vomit once after eating too much honey.  It just made me sick.  The Bible knows.  Listen to it. 

What is the difference between raw honey and “regular” honey?  Raw honey has nothing added or taken away.  It contains pollen, propolis, honeycomb, and live enzymes.  It hasn’t been heated or strained.  Basically, it is honey from the hive straight to the jar.  Plus, it’s way more expensive.  But worth it!!

When you open a jar of raw honey, you will find a very hard, crusty, layer. 

It may gross you out at first, it did me, so prepare yourself.  These are called honey “cappings” and they are crunchy bits of honeycomb, pollen, and propolis.  According to Wikipedia, propolis is “a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimeters (0.2 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax.”

This crusty capping is hard and you have to break through it with your spoon. 

The first time J-Dub looked at it he remarked, “that looks like vomit.”  And then we remembered that honey is actually a form of bee vomit, something they’ve regurgitated, but you just can’t think about that!  So stop, right now! 

These cappings are a little hard to handle the first time you put them in your mouth, especially if you’re a texture person.  My jar of honey says you can chew them like gum, and that just sorta turns my stomach.  I try to mix mine up so it isn’t extremely concentrated, but after a while I got used to it. 

Honey is antiseptic, antibacterial, antibiotic, and antifungal.  Plus it never spoils. It has been used as a medicine since ancient times, probably way back when the Dead Sea was only sick and Moby Dick was just a minnow.

Health benefits of raw honey:

  • Aids stomach and digestion
  • Can be used on cuts, burns, wounds, and rashes
  • Treats allergies
  • Soothes coughs and sore throats
  • Natural source of energy

 Some studies have even shown honey to contain anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.

So sugar, what are you waiting for?  Go eat some honey!

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My New Old Truck

I’ve been on the hunt for an old truck.

It’s on my list.

[IMG_0700.JPG]

#6 says “Drive a restored classic pick-up.

I had an idea for something like this.

Or even this:

But instead, I got this:

when my husband came in the other day and said, “Hey babe, I got good news for you.”

Of course my interest was piqued right then and there.

“My buddy, Ol’ Earl is going to give you a pick-up.” 

Give is the operative word here.  At this point, I should have come to my vehicular senses and realized that a truck that is going to be given away probably didn’t win first prize at the Car Show last weekend. 

J-Dub says it’s nice, as he draw the word out for emphasis.  There isn’t a tear in the seat, it’s clean.  It’s niiiiiiiiiiiice.

We go to pick it up.  Rather, we attempt to pick it up.  J-Dub grabs a can of starter fluid ’cause Ol’ Earl says it’s a cold natured bleepity bleep.

I crawl behind the wheel.

The problem with these old trucks and me is even with the seat pushed all the way forward, I can barely get the clutch all the way to the floorboard.  I’m going to have to put a pillow behind my back or something.

J-Dub gives it a squirt of starter fluid.  I pump the gas and turn the crank. 

It rr-rrrr-rrr-r–rrrrr-r-r–rrrrrr-‘s for a while. 

But nothing.

So J-Dub gives it some more squirts.  I pump the foot feed some more and crank it over.

Rrrrrr–rrrrr-rrrrr-r-r-rrrr-rr-rr–r-r–r-r-r.

But nothing.

So J-Dub gives it some more squirts.  I pump the gas and  turn the key, and pump the gas some more.

And then we catch it on fire.

I mean literally.

Not that it fired up, but now I think I know how that term originated, but it caught on fire. 

We (I mean Jason) put out the fire with a couple bleepity bleeps as I rushed for my camera.

We don’t give up easy however.  A measly old fire isn’t going to deter the two of us.  We tried some more, with no success, and then gave up.

Within the next few days, Ol’ Earl changed the fuel filter.  He’s niiiiiiiiiice.  So tonight we went out for Picking up the Truck:  Take Two.

It had been sitting on a battery charger, so my hopes were high.

After hunting for the key for a good 10 minutes, and a few more bleepity bleeps out of Jason, a few more pumps on the gas, a few more turns of the key, a few more rrrrrrr—r-rrrrrrr–r-r-rrrrrrrrrrr–r-rrrrrrrrrr’s and it fired right up.

Then died.

Then a few more pumps of the foot feed, a few more turns of the key, a few more rrrrr-r-rrrr-r-r-r-rrr-r-r–r’s and it fired up again.

And died.

Third time is always the charm.

So now I’ve got a truck.

It’s not restored.

It’s not classic.

Heck, it’s not even legal.

But check out the stereo system in this thing.

Now that’s what I’m talking about.