Monday, April 30, 2012

At first glance, most of you will think,
"Ken's found another snake." But in
actuality, Judy and I happened upon
a different wonder of nature.

Take a closer look and you'll appreciate
the magnitude of this oddity of nature.
It's a chain of those spiny caterpillars
that are commonly seen singly all around
yards, gardens, and woods. 

We encountered this eye-catching phenomenon
just in front of Judy's Aunt Elsie's front door.
Judy said they looked like circus elephants
marching with trunks-to-tails.  She was also
concerned I might get in serious trouble for
posting these pictures if they were actually
"propagating" their species while "marching."
However, all activity seemed innocent.

In this short video, you can observe these
creatures marching to the steady beat of an
 unseen drummer in an orderly, purposeful way.

And I might add, would God look down on
us, in our typical daily activities, and see us
going about our business in an orderly,
purposeful manner?  I'd like to know that I'm 
fulfilling God's purpose for me and my life
as well as these supposedly "lower creatures."
Judy and I both just finished reading a book
for youths called The Seven Wonders of
Sassafrass Springs.  In it, a young boy who
finds his town boring is challenged by his
father to find seven "wonders" in seven days.
They are to be local and man-made, along
the lines of the ancient Seven Wonders of
the World.  It's a fun, clever, and thought-
provoking book.  And it reminded me yet
again how the extraordinary is often right
alongside the ordinary. But we have to keep
our eyes open.  And that's true in both the
physical and spiritual realms.
When we departed from Elsie's house after our
 visit, the mysterious larval parade had vanished.
But they had taught their lesson for the day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A week ago, Manor Care Health Services
held a nice luncheon for its many volunteers.
My relationship with Manor Care goes back
32 years, when Beulah Hill Baptist Church
began its nursing home ministry.

Countless people have tirelessly and selflessly
given to this ministry over the last three decades.

Seven of them were able to attend the
volunteer recognition luncheon.
Left to right are: Margie, Jim, Melissa,
Johnny, Jane, Ken, [Chipper], David
I could tell you volumes about the love
and dedication of each of these fine folks.

Johnny and Jim converse with other
long-time volunteers, Roland and Caroline.

Several tables of wonderful folks from all
over Moore County enjoyed a delicious 
meal together, including wraps, veggies,
potato salad, and ice cream cake.

Here's Margie with Brenda, assistant
activities director.  Brenda is very supportive
and assists us with filling the dining room
for our church services or for my 
monthly singalongs.

Kristen is the activities director and a
dynamo of ideas and creativity.  She
thinks I won't photograph her silliness.

But like me, she will sometimes behave.
She and the entire staff are wonderfully
encouraging to those of us who visit.

Meet Aaron, who assists at our other
ministry at Pinehurst Nursing and Rehab.

Donna frequently helps out at
both locations.

Jim (center) regularly leads and shares
devotions for us at Manor Care.  He had
to work on the day of the luncheon.  Jim's 
family has often provided special music
to enhance our Sunday services.

Faithfully serving in this ministry since its
inception in 1980 are my in-laws, Jack and
Thelma.  They have now passed the reins
on to fellow laborers, and the Lord continues
to supply workers who have a heart for 
the residents of these homes.

Here is Margie with Ray.  Ray passed away
in December and is greatly missed by all
who knew him.  For several years he was
my constant companion and sidekick at
the Sunday services as well as my monthly
singalongs.  Ray had a tremendous heart for our
 friends -- and he could play anything on guitar!

Rest home ministry is very rewarding.
You meet some of the most remarkable 
people.  They are deeply appreciative of
time spent meeting their spiritual needs.
I'm thankful to be a part of this endeavor.
The residents, staff, and my co-workers
are all a blessing to me.  And each time
we gather, God's love and presence are
evident in the relationships and special 
moments we share.

Here is our regular schedule if you would
ever like to drop in and join us:

Church Services
 Manor Care: 2:30 each Second Sunday
 Pinehurst Nursing: 2:30 each Fourth Sunday

Singalongs with Ken and Friends
Manor Care: 2:30 each Fourth Monday
(though this month it will be April 30)
Pinehurst Nursing: 2:00  each Third Thursday

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

It is well known that I'm a collector of
many things.  As a history buff, I like to
delve into the stories told by artifacts.  After
35 years, retirement has finally given me time
to investigate decades old trash heaps deep
in the tangled woods of our own property.
There was once a house even older than ours
back in those woods.  Now gone for decades,
the lives of its occupants are told only through
the piles of refuse they discarded in the days
before landfills.

I've worked through the summer to clear
away rusty cans and metal scraps and 
broken glassware of every description.
In the same way that I've recently blogged
about reminders of God in nature, I've 
likewise found reminders of well-known
scriptures in artifacts from the trash piles.
"... But store up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where moth and rust do not 
destroy, and where thieves do not break
in and steal.  For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6: 20-21

Here's an old three-sided file I discovered.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one
man sharpens another."
Proverbs 27:17

This old lantern was not ornamental, but
a daily necessity in bygone days.
"You are the light of the world.  A city
on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do 
people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives
light to everyone in the house.  In the same
way, let your light shine before men, that
they may see your good deeds and praise
your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5: 14-16

One of my favorite treasures is this glass
kerosene lamp, with wick intact, preserved
unbroken. How practical, but inexpensive.
"Be dressed and ready for service and
keep your lamps burning . . . . Because
the Son of Man will come at an hour you
do not expect Him."
Luke 12: 35a, 40b

The lamp also recalls one of my favorite
children's choruses:
"Give me oil in my lamp,
keep me burning,
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray,
Give me oil in my lamp,
keep me burning,
Keep me burning
till the break of day."

Among the volume of broken rubble, I
have salvaged dozens of unbroken jars and
 bottles of all sorts.  They once contained
common items of daily use.
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of
darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts
to give us the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Christ."
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to 
show that this all-surpassing power is from 
God and not from us."
2 Corinthians 4: 6-7

This brass door knocker once alerted a
family to guests at their front door.
"Behold! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the
door, I will come in and eat with him,
and he with me."
Revelation 3: 20

Do you recall the children's song that begins
"Behold, behold, I stand at the door
and knock, knock, knock"?
Such songs are laden with biblical truth.

The last time I used a true "fountain pen,"
the type you had to fill from an ink bottle,
I was in elementary school learning cursive.
My own children and grandchildren never
used one and may have never seen one.

"I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth
disappear, not the smallest letter, not the
least stroke of a pen, will by any means
disappear from the Law until everything
is accomplished."
Matthew 5: 18
This pen from antiquity brings to mind
words from the song "The Love of God."

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Now you might think I'd be hard pressed
to find a biblical reference to this toy truck cab.
Well, this isn't directly from scripture,
but in the '70's someone added a verse
to "Give Me Oil in My Lamp."
"Give me gas in my Ford,
Keep me truckin' for the Lord."

Yes, reminders of our God and the
Lord Jesus Christ are on every hand
in our world.  Not just through the 
wonders of creation, but even the works
of man's hands are tied to countless 
scriptures, parables, and teachings.

Let me close with one of Paul's benedictions
found in Colossians 3: 15-17.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called
to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ
dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one
 another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, 
hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your
hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in 
word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Up to date -- FINALLY!

With this post, I'll be caught up on photos--
at least until Tuesday-- haha.  This is the
FOURTH post of the day-- I'm rockin'
and rollin', so if you haven't seen them 
all, keep on scrolling down (if you have time).

Lately, when we go to Hunter's house, I 
take this car along, because he can really
zoom on those hardwood floors.  Our
house has quite a few more obstacles.

When Grandma's around, reading a good
book is always a popular option.  And
sometimes, Bri reads the book-- her way.

Little Miss Daredevil

Bri suggests a snack of Clementines.
Counting slices becomes a math lesson.

When Judy read a book about a
ballerina dancing on her toes, Bri
trotted off and came back with her
bunny slippers, so she could 
do a ballet demonstration.

Now it's tunnel time.  Who's that coming out?

The next day, Claire and Evan were back
at our house.  They love this folding seat
for story time or video time.

And sometimes they're a little shy
when they're picture's being taken.

Claire's surrounded by several favorite
things: an airplane, Curious George, Sammy
the Seal (the book), her blanket, and a
fiber optic angel Margie recently gave Judy.

Evan has other interests and decides to 
provide a little music.  Everybody wants to
play the harmonica to be like Grandpa Loyd.

It's a great way to get your aerobic exercise.

Evan's all about having fun on this day.

And Claire has decided that the fiber optic
angel is her new favorite.  Thanks, Margie!
There may be some videos coming up soon,
but at least I'm caught up on pictures.  Not for long!

Still More Fun at the Loyd Place

These pictures are from the same afternoon
as the previous blog. Be sure to check it out, too.

Evan and Hunter spent quite a while racing
balls and cars down this track.  Uh-oh.
Hunter, didn't anyone ever tell you it's bad
luck to crawl under a race track?!

Calamity of calamities.The giant Easter egg 
won't fit in the basketball goal. 

When Hunter pulled up a chair to drink
his juice, Evan dragged one right alongside.

Judy and I thought this looked like a couple
of old men sitting around a barber shop.
They sure do want to be grown up.

Have shovel, will dig.

Evan hit the ball so hard Grandpa
had to resort to duct tape on the bat.

We have never, ever run out of things to do.
Grandma Judy starts up a game of "Hide
in the Sheet." Claire's disappearing.

Bri is practicing her new skipping.

This sheet is a moving target.  It was a very
 windy day, which made the game more fun.

Aha!  I've got you AGAIN!

Will Hunter become the hunted?
Only if Evan would rather chase him than
play in that big hole.

The fascination of "the hole" wins out and 
Bri joins him.  Hunter says, "Well, if you're
not going to chase me, I'm coming back in."

Free-for-all!  3 on 3.

As far as Kitty Cat is concerned, the children
can wrestle an tumble all afternoon.  Just
don't interrupt his nap, please.
Nope, this still isn't the end.  Another 
post full of pictures coming up.