YOU’RE IN THE DOG HOUSE NOW!

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 

I hated it. I know, I know, as a Christian the only thing I’m supposed to hate is sin. However, this story is about the Smith family pre-salvation. Somehow, someone got our family the “cute” little doggies that hung on little hooks next to a “dog house” with the sentence above it: “Who’s in the dog house now?” 

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DON’T LOOK BACK

As a new Corrections Officer, I got fooled by inmates. A lot. I would search a cell and find contraband (papers, tobacco, matches) and set in on the walkway while I continued to the next cell. I would come out and the floor would be empty of all the stuff I had found! 

One morning, as I was releasing inmates to the school, Correctional Industries, kitchen, etc., I had 3 or four who came up in the line and said, “D.W.’s office” (the Deputy Warden). I marked “DW” in the square by their names for the purpose of “count” so that I knew where they were. 

Unfortunately, they didn’t have permission to go to the DW’s office! The next thing I know they all came up the stairs to the unit door, laughing, snickering, and making fun of the “fish” (fresh meat). I got a visit from one of my sergeants and a phone call from the other. 

I can guarantee you, that I never left contraband out in the open and I checked the roster more carefully before letting people go! Yet, for days afterward I let these things get to me. And it made me irritable because I let myself become fooled. 

Finally, one of my training officers told me, “don’t count your losses, only your wins because it will depress you.” 

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TWO STORIES ABOUT SINGING THE LORD’S PRAYERS

A beautiful interpretation of “Our Father” sung by many. The best version, in my opinion, was done by the Italian tenor, Mario Lanza. 

          I did a summer internship under Velmer Dewey in the town of Edgerton, WY in 1977. At the time Pastor Dewey was preaching at 3 different churches on Sunday mornings. The first service was at a church in Midwest, WY just across the highway from Edgerton, then he would come to the church in Edgerton and preach followed by another church (do not remember which town, but it wasn’t far). 

          Knowing that I loved to sing, he asked me to work with the piano player for the church in Midwest for a special. I chose The Lord’s Prayer and it was a favorite of the pianist’s too. She was excited to accompany me and had laid out the sheet music, about 10 pages worth, across the top of the piano. 

          Came the morning of the special and I stood beside the piano confident in my abilities, she, the pianist, looked up at me, smiled and began to play. I began to sing and the congregation looked on with joy. 

          Just before we got to the portion that said, “as we forgive our debtors . . .” she went to turn the page and . . .  

Every 

Single 

Piece of 

Her 

Music 

Fluttered to the floor!! 

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TOO HOT TO HANDLE

       And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking:                  and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 

            And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.                              Exodus 19:18-19 

 

          I was in the 7th Grade in Port Hueneme, CA in 1964/65 and our Science teacher was performing an experiment with various metals. He had a solid metal ring (about 2 inches in diameter) and attached to it were round bars of steel, iron, zinc, bronze, tin (3 or four inches long and about a ½ inch in diameter) and a couple others (no gold or silver!). 

          He had members of the class come up and just grasp the end of one of the bars while he heated the metal ring over a Bunsen Burner. He instructed us to let go of our bar when it got too hot to hold. 

          I don’t remember the order of which bar got the hottest first, second, etc. but for the first 3 groups of us, it was the same. When my turn came, I was given a bar that had been toward the last of the bars to get too hot. 

          I held on to the bar as the teacher held the ring over the open flame and one by one my fellow students dropped out. Suddenly, though, my bar grew too hot for me to hold so I let it go – out of order! Of course, some of the students began to make fun of me for being weak, but the teacher stepped in and reminded us that not everyone senses heat/cold the same. 

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SLAP PACK

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.Psalm 34:6 

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.Hebrews 13:6 

 

When I was going through the corrections academy for Idaho in 1989, we were shown some of what the line officers were using for protection. Simple things like key keepers with a leather flap to keep your pants from getting pulleys in the fabric from the keys rubbing on them, to something called a “slap pack”. 

The slap pack was a piece of equipment that the state had just brought in to be used by officers in case of emergency. It was attached to the duty belt and it had a button you could push (slap – hence the name “slap pack”) which would send an alarm to central control letting them know you were in trouble. 

There was also a feature that would send out the alarm if the officer were knocked out or laid out on the floor (because the pack was laying horizontal). That sensor not only sent an alert to control but also had an ear-splitting alarm – or so the instructors told us. 

Come demonstration time, one of the instructors, telling all of us trainees, that if anything should happen to us and we were flat on the floor, then this would happen and other C.O.’s would come on the run! With a great flourish he laid down, and we waited. 

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IMITATION

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. I Corinthians 11:1 

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. Ephesians 5:1 

I developed a talent in my 20’s. I found that I could imitate people! I could talk and sound like Ed Sullivan (“Who was he Grandpa?”), several of my supervisors (in the Air Force), college professors and some past presidents. 

And, yes, there were times when I embarrassed myself. Many times! I would go into my act and my fellow troops and friends would laugh and then suddenly get quiet. Did I catch a clue? Oh, no, not Mario! I just it louder not realizing that the supervisor had walked up behind me. 

One of professors came up behind me as I was imitating him for the class, “So, I said to myself, ‘Self’ . . .” at which time he said, “So, Mario, what did I say to myself?” Then the class broke up. 

On the other hand, many times, when I would play and sing music from Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, or John Denver, people would comment that I sounded just like them. That was a great compliment as I did try to imitate them. 

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STRANGE FIRE

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:1-2 

   I was working on the work barge in the oil fields and our hand-held grinder needed to be replaced. We told the clerk in the office at the platform and a few days later our new grinder arrived.A little later that day we put the spuds down on our jack up barge (see drawing) next to a well and started working. The welding machine was turned on and the welder started fabricating.When he got done, on of the work crew took the new grinder, plugged it into the welding machine and started to grind the welds. In short order the grinder stopped working. Our gang leader was not happy or impressed with the company that made the grinder and ordered another one.When it came, we tested it upstairs in the warehouse and it worked fine. Got out on the barge and motored out to another well we were working on and started up the welding machine. Again, within just a minute, the grinder stopped working.By now, those of you that are reading this, having some experience with electronics, know what the problem was. We were using a grinder that was made for alternating current (AC) but our welding machine was direct current (DC).As a rule of thumb, DC is preferred for welding because: It produces a smoother weld and there is less spatter because of the constant linear direction of the current. It maintains a constant and stable arc and is thus is easier to handle and more reliable than AC current. (Cromweld.com Jun 29, 2020) Read more…



ANOTHER “NO COINCIDENCES”

 In 1987, Bonny and I worked for a janitorial firm in Eugene, OR and we cleaned the first 2 floors of a business building that held a multi-national food business. I have written before (“I Bring Messiah”) of some of the people we met as we cleaned their offices. 

          Two people, Mr. R. Plant and Miss M. Bible were preparing for their wedding in the summer. I was cleaning her office and she and R were talking how the singer for their wedding had bowed out (this was only a week or so before the wedding) and they didn’t know anyone who could sing the song. 

          I asked them what song they were having done and they said it was The Lord’s Prayer. I told them I was vocally trained and would be glad to do it. I gave them an impromptu demonstration and they were excited and very happy that I would do it for them. 

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POTS AND PANS TEARS

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isaiah 43:25 

Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot
to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

A story that Bonny tells is of when she was helping to take care of her grandmother and was washing the pots and pans. As Bonny set them to the side to dry, her grandmother would come in and see drops of water still on the metal and in some cases where it had moved down the pot/pan leaving a trail before drying. 

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DON’T LEAVE TILL YOU’VE LEFT!

In the military you would hear the term, “Short!!!” which meant the troop saying it had almost completed their time at (especially “isolated” duty where family wasn’t allowed to come with them) that base. 

          “I’m so short I can sit on a piece of paper and dangle my legs!” 

          “I’m a two-digit midget!” meaning they had less than 100 days in country (considering most assignments in the 70’s to South East Asia were 1 calendar year – 365 days). That would be followed by “Single digit midget!” – less than 10 days in country left. 

                   Often their attitude about their job would really go downhill because they were leaving so their job performance would suffer.

          Don’t leave till you’ve left! 

          Many people, when giving a 2-week notice, in today’s job world have the same sort of attitude. “Why should I do any more than I have to? I’m leaving this job, so I really don’t care.” 

          Don’t leave till you’ve left! 

          We have all seen people like that. Well, sometimes in the Christian world it happens as well. In his book “Heritage and Horizons” by R. Bryant Mitchell, which is the history of Open Bible Standard Churches, he remarked that with the revivals of the early 1920-30’s, so many people focused on the imminent return of Jesus (the Rapture) that the church forgot to live for today! 

          Don’t leave till you’ve left! 

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