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Starting Over … Again!

This is the post excerpt.

Once again I’m starting over on my blog. There was some difficulty with the previous hosting and none of the 475 posts would show up when RVingFulltimeWithTomAndElla.com was searched for. So I’ve switched to a different hosting platform and am trying to rebuild. Keep in mind that some of these posts go back to 2011.  That is a lot of posts to copy and paste. Please keep checking back. Thanks for your interest and your patience.

 

2018 April 21 Saturday

2018 April 21 Saturday in Liberty Hill Texas

54° and fog. Less than a quarter mile in some places although probably more like three quarters of a mile at homes.

And home is where we spent the day. We continue to work toward packing what we are taking back to Iowa with us. As well as doing some deep cleaning and straightening in prep for storing our RV. I have cut ½” pink insulation to fit all of our windows in hopes of avoiding heat and solar damage while it sits during a Texas summer. I’ve already covered the larger windows.

This includes the bedroom. Ella said she felt as though she were sleeping in a cave. I’m not sure if she meant that as a good thing it a not good thing. So I know is she slept until around nine.

Around eleven this morning it began to rain. It wasn’t a heavy rain but it sure was cold when I stepped out to unlatch the door so that I could close it.

Long about five the sun broke through the fog for the first time today.

MUSINGApril 21 2018

KNOWLEDGE ITSELF IS POWER*

Proverbs 3:21-26
My son, do not lose sight of these things. Use priceless wisdom and foresight. Then they will mean life for you, and they will grace your neck. Then you will go safely on your way, and you will not hurt your foot. When you lie down, you will not be afraid. As you lie there, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the destruction of wicked people when it comes. The LORD will be your confidence. He will keep your foot from getting caught.”

Seek knowledge but moreover seek wisdom. Knowledge may be power but wisdom is the proper application of that power.

Knowledge is neither good nor evil. Wisdom, however, forces a moral judgement upon the use of knowledge.

There are countless examples of educated fools because, “a little learning is a dangerous thing.”

So I encourage you to learn all you are able. Then pray for wisdom. For wisdom is a gift from God.***
So I encourage you to learn all you are able. Then pray for wisdom. For wisdom is a gift from God.***

*Bacon’s Meditationes Sacrae (1597)

**An Essay on Criticism, by Alexander Pope 1709

***Proverbs 2:6

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

2018 April 20 Friday

2018 April 20 Friday in Liberty Hill Texas

55°

Our Grandies* group went to Marble Falls to cash in our aluminum cans $23+.

Then it was to the Blue Bonnet Cafe for lunch and pie.

There is always a waiting line to eat here. And we had a group of eleven for lunch.

They did a good job of seating us all at a large round table

We returned home and did some work toward getting the RV ready for storage.

And this sunset to close out the day.

*Grandies is a ministry for senior citizens who have, since it’s beginning, has mailed more than 3,300 greeting cards to our military, healthcare needs, sympathy, birthday, anniversary, and others.

They also work with the schools and other organizations to provide personal items, snacks and meals to children in need.

MUSINGApril 20 2018

I AM SAFE IN HIS PRESENCE

Psalms 23
The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful waters. He renews my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage. You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the LORD’s house for days without end.”

This Psalm can arguably be called the most familiar chapter of the Bible. I have used a more modern version (GOD’S WORD) here rather than the King James that is more familiar. I find that different versions may give me new insights into familiar passages.

I’m concentrating on the following section of the Psalm. Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage.”

The first thing that pops out at me here is that the Shepherd doesn’t lead his sheep around or away from this valley. But goes with them through the valley of death. Did you hear that? Through and with. He has no fear and because the Shepherd is with them there is no fear in them. They trust in him to keep them safe even in this dark place.

The Shepherd’s tools reassure the sheep that everything will be alright. The rod is a weapon to be used in defense or offence as needed. So the sheep are comforted knowing that the Shepherd has the strength, ability, and tool to protect them from those that would do them harm.

The staff was a long stick with a curved end that could be used as a weapon if needed, but its primary purpose is to protect the sheep from themselves. The staff corrects the path of wayward sheep by gentle nudges or perhaps not so gentle for those more prone to wander. The crooked end is perfect for lifting those who have fallen or become stuck.

There rod to protect from outside threats and the staff to protect them from themselves.

Truly ,I fear no harm, for he is with me.

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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2018 April 19 Thursday

2018 April 19 Thursday in Liberty Hill Texas

49° at five this morning. Predicted high was 71°.

As I was sitting, waiting for Ella to be ready to go to the Over the Hill Gang* this morning, the trashmen came to empty the trash container here at the Stocktank RV park.

I didn’t see them but I heard all of the sound associated with this procedure. First I hear the CRUNCH of tires on gravel as they enter the campground. Then there is the KA-CHSSS sounds of the air brakes. Next a dull metallic KACHUNK as the truck connects with the bin. The engine begins to rev and there is the SQUEALIN, toured CRY of metal slowly rubbing on metal as the maw of the truck’s compactor slides open and then a solid THUNK as it stops. Again the engine revs while the bin is lifted high above the gaping mouth of the compactor. The doors make dull plastic sounds as they pop open. Then garbage like an obscene waterfall begins to tumble down. Cans and bottles KLINK and KLUNK. The trash bags come with soft CRINKLE and soggy SPLATS. The operator jams the lever up and down in rapid order causing the bin to BOUNCE and BANG to completely empty its trash. Downward comes the container with the lids falling into place with a RINGING, SLAMMING concussion.
Finally the bin makes an almost soft THOOMP as it settles back on the ground. The hydraulic ram beings to mash, the contents with PINGS, POPS, SNAPS, and explosive BANGS. Once more the truck revs and the tires CRUNCH gravel as it leaves.

I’m so glad I’m already awake when the garbage truck comes.

Then it was of to play and eat with friends at the OTHG*.

After lunch we played Canasta with Debra.

Leaving OTHG we checked our mail box to find… nothing.

Then it was a stop at the doctor’s to set an appointment for Ella.

Busy day so far. But there is still a baseball game to go.

MUSINGApril 19 2018

THIS IS MY SON, LISTEN TO HIM!*

1 John 3:21-23
Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we can boldly look to God and receive from him anything we ask. We receive it because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. This is his commandment: to believe in his Son, the one named Jesus Christ, and to love each other as he commanded us.”

How much is your immortal soul worth to you? Don’t let it become malnourished. Feed it every day. Read the Bible. Listen, I’ll say it again. Read the Bible. Read it all. Read some every day. Find a reading plan to read it through in a year or two or … Pay special attention to the red letters in the new testament, the words of Jesus. We are commanded by God to listen to Jesus*. In case you haven’t gotten the message yet, he speaks to us through the Bible.

Pay special attention to the red letters in the new testament, the words of Jesus. We are commanded by God to listen to Jesus*. In case you haven’t gotten the message yet, he speaks to us through the Bible.

Don’t trust any teacher, preacher, evangelist, prophet, author, or me with your eternal life without fact checking them against what the scripture says.**

Know the truth and be free.***

*Matthew 17:5

**Matthew 24:5-11

***John 8:31-32

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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2018 April 18 Wednesday

2018 April 18 Wednesday in Liberty Hill Texas

68° at 5 a.m. when I awoke. I started searching my Bible (app) for my morning devotion and was lead to the story of Gideon. (Read the musing below) one of the things that struck me this morning was the parallel between Gideon and a young friend of ours. This friend, call them X, has had some rough years. Family turmoil, upheavals at school and home, being bullied, self harming, and self esteem issues.

The remarkable thing is that X is so bright, capable, and articulate. We see so much strength and depth of character in X that it seems incongruous for them to be so focused on their perceived weakness.

This friend, call them X, has had some rough years. Family turmoil, upheavals at school and home, being bullied, self harming, and self esteem issues.

The remarkable thing is that X is so bright, capable, and articulate. We see so much strength and depth of character in X that it seems incongruous for them to be so focused on their perceived weakness.

Gideon is greeted by the LORD calling him a mighty man of valor. While in Gideon’s eyes he is less than nothing and he tries to convince the angel of the LORD of that by, in effect, saying, “ My tribe is the least in the nation, my family is the least in the tribe, and I am the least in the family.”

The Midianites have been bullying not just him but his entire nation. So when the LORD tells him to go in his strength, he tried to deflect the narrative with questions. The LORD ignored the question and repeats his command to go. And reminds him of who sent him.

And, if course, against all odds Gideon overcomes. I pray that X will come to understand that God sees in them their true nature which is not the weak and fearful person they think themself to be.

Since it is Wednesday, it is Grandies* day. We had 15 in attendance today.

All was quite until chior practice in the chapel in the evening. We did raise our voices there.

*Grandies is a ministry for senior citizens who have, since it’s beginning, has mailed more than 3,300 greeting cards to our military, healthcare needs, sympathy, birthday, anniversary, and others.

They also work with the schools and other organizations to provide personal items, snacks and meals to children in need

MUSINGApril 18 2018

GO SAVE YOUR PEOPLE

Judges 6:11-16
Then an Angel of the Lord arrived, and he sat under an oak tree, which was at Ophrah, and which belonged to Joash, the father of the family of Ezri. And while his son Gideon was threshing and cleaning the grain at the winepress, so that he might flee from Midian, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and he said: “The Lord is with you, most valiant of men.” And Gideon said to him: “I beg you, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why have these things happened to us? Where are his miracles, which our fathers described when they said, ‘The Lord led us away from Egypt.’ But now the Lord has forsaken us, and he has delivered us into the hand of Midian.” And the Lord looked down upon him, and he said: “Go forth with this, your strength, and you shall free Israel from the hand of Midian. Know that I have sent you.” And responding, he said: “I beg you, my lord, with what shall I free Israel? Behold, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in the house of my father.” And the Lord said to him: “I will be with you. And so, you shall cut down Midian as if one man.”

The story of Gideon in Judges chapter six through eight has always fascinated me. I recommend that you read it for yourself. There are a lot of things going on in this account that can reassure you when the odds are against you.

However, the part of the story that intrigues me the most is the greeting Gideon received from the angel of the LORD. The Lord is with you, most valiant of men.” what makes this interesting is that Gideon is hiding in a wine press so that the Midianites don’t see him and come, kill him, and take the wheat.

The Midianites came like a plague of locusts. Year after year an innumerable multitude of men would come and steal or destroy everything, devastating whatever they touched.*

So, with good reason, Gideon was hiding when the LORD appears to him with that remarkable greeting, most valiant of men. Valor is not a common place term anymore so here is what it means, “great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.”

While Gideon viewed himself as the least of the least, the LORD saw him as the right person to free his people. He is sent in his own strength plus that of the LORD’s and it is more than enough.

It is your turn. Go in your strength and the power of God to save your community, your state, your nation, your world.

*Judges 6:5

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

2018 April 17 Tuesday

2018 April 17 Tuesday in Liberty Hill Texas

58° with gust up to 31 mph at 4:30 this morning. I got busy with other things and forgot to get a sunrise photo.

Around 8:30 we left for the twins one mile drive to the senior center in Georgetown.

Upon arriving Ella and I started a game of Rummikub and invited others to join in. But no takers. Then at ten thirty it was time for Bingo. They have quite a fancy setup with a machine and electric scoreboard. We played six or eight games with the last one being Black Out. It is continued until everyone has won a prize.

Then it was time for lunch.

_MUSING – April 17 2018

THE RIVER OF GOD’S PLEASURE

Psalms 36:7-10
Your mercy is so precious, O God, that Adam’s descendants take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They are refreshed with the rich foods in your house, and you make them drink from the river of your pleasure. Indeed, the fountain of life is with you. In your light we see light. Continue to show your mercy to those who know you and your righteousness to those whose motives are decent.”

The psalmist in a few words paints a beautiful picture of the paradise of God’s presence. In the shadow of his wings speaks to the loving protection of our LORD. Held close and sheltered next to Him no harm can come to us.

We come to His table and are treated to the best foods and drinks. I have dual images in my mind here. The image of a large family gathering around the dinner table laughing and taking and enjoying each other’s company as they eat their fill. The other image that comes to mind is the communion table where we dine on the greatest meal ever prepared, the body and blood of God’s holy Son.

We will be refreshed by the crystal clear living waters of the Spirit that fills us.

As we stand in His light, where no darkness can be found, we see true light for the first time. This light does not cast shadows it destroys the darkness completely.

Oh how I long for this. Come Lord. Come quickly. Amen.

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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2018 April 16 Monday

2018 April 16 Monday in Liberty Hill Texas

48° at five this morning.

We were at the Georgetown senior center by nine this morning and four others were already there. We forgot to bring out bag of games. I found a couple decks of cards so we played Canasta for a while.

Then Ella remembered that she had dice with her, so we played Yahtzee.
There were several packs of dominoes so we broke out the one that said it was a double twelve set. We started playing and soon realized that there were duplicate dominoes. In fact there were two complete sets of double nine dominoes in the same box. Once we understood that, we just went ahead and played.

The senior center is also the kitchen for the areas Meals on Wheels and many volunteers come every weekday to gather up insulated packages and their route maps.

Speaking of maps, I knew I was going to take a longer, winding way home. To document my drive, I started a jog tracking app.

Our first stop was the local Walmart. As we were getting out of the truck, Ella realized that she had left her purse hanging on a chair at the center. We finished our shopping and then returned to retrieve the purse.

Toward the end of our journey we stopped at the post office.

Other than checking on our mail, I was hoping to be able to pay the rent on the OTHER post office box back in Iowa. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to accomplish it here. However, they have me a form that I can fill out and mail with a check to the Iowa post office.

The rest of the day was indeed a rest day.

MUSINGApril 16 2018

HEAVENLY LIGHTHOUSE

Psalms 37:1-6
Do not be preoccupied with evil doers. Do not envy those who do wicked things. They will quickly dry up like grass and wither away like green plants. Trust the LORD, and do good things. Live in the land, and practice being faithful. Be happy with the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Entrust your ways to the LORD. Trust him, and he will act on your behalf. He will make your righteousness shine like a light, your just cause like the noonday sun.”

I watch the news and I become stunned by the evil that is loose in this world. I use the word stunned on purpose because it means “astonish or shock (someone) so that they are temporarily unable to react.” That is how I react or fail to react to man’s inhumanity. Their godlessness overwhelms me.

This inability to act is a trick of the evil one. He wants us stunned into inactivity. This is not the will of the LORD. His perfect will is that we:

  • trust the LORD,

  • do good things.

  • Live in the land

  • practice being faithful.

  • be happy with the LORD.

Then will we become beacons of light in this dark world. Become a lighthouse that leads others safely into His presence. AMEN

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

2018 April 15 Sunday

2018 April 15 Sunday in Liberty Hill Texas

42° and clear to start the day. It reached 71° by mid afternoon.

There was just a promise of sun when I snapped this photo.

When we stepped out from worship at eleven, it had become a beautiful 60° spring day.

We went home and stayed home. No excitement.

Not a very dramatic sunset. But for some reason I’m now craving Orange Crush.

MUSING – April 15 2018

UNDERSTATED SCRIPTURE

Joshua 5:10-12
The people of Israel camped at Gilgal in the Jericho plain. There they celebrated the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month. On the day after the Passover, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened bread and roasted grain. The day after that, the manna stopped. The people of Israel never had manna again. That year they began to eat the crops that grew in Canaan.”

At first glance this section of scripture seems so bland, so ordinary that you could easily miss the revolutionary things that are happening.

First thing of importance is the fact that they are about to enter the Promised Land. The reality here is that they are about to go to war. This is a war nearly forty years in the making. If the previous generation had been obedient when they first came to this spot, God would have cleared the land before them. But they chickened out. Now this generation were going to have to fight their way in.

Secondly they just celebrated the Passover for only the third time since the flight from Egypt. For all those years of wandering they had not offered the sacrificial lamb. Truly this was a historic moment.

The third thing of note here is that God was no longer going to be directly feeding them. Their infancy as a nation was over. They were now on their own two feet … but God would still hold their hands.

Remember when you read these seemingly unimportant passages that all scripture is given for a reason.*

*2 Timothy 3:16-17

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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