2018 April 12 in Liberty

2018 April 12 in Liberty Hill Texas

62° at 4:30 when I woke. The moon had just barely began its circuit at that time. By the time for the sunrise it had clouded over.

We both had appointments with one of our cardiologists at eight in the morning in downtown Austin. It is always interesting to drive into the city during the morning rush.

It didn’t take long for the medical staff to update our prescription records, weigh us, check blood pressure, pulse and oxygen level. Then the doctor came in and looked at the report from our c pap machines, gave us two thumbs up, and we were done.

Because we were early in and early out, we arrived very early at the OTHG* before 9:30. No one but the cooks arrive that early. We sat and played games while waiting for others to arrive.

The meatloaf was very good today.

Along with the cake (from the Georgetown senior center) I also brought the remainder of the cornbread, that I’d baked yesterday, to share.

The local law enforcement officers come to the OTHG every Thursday to help serve us and then stay to eat. The fact that there are always cop cars around the building, I’m sure some folks must think that we are an unruly gang of old folks.

But we really aren’t that crazy. Mostly we visit, eat, and play games.

In the evening we went to grandson Beket’s game. Twice here got a base hit then stole 2nd, 3rd, and home.

The sun set just as the game was ending.


*Members of the Over Hill Gang of Liberty Hill enjoy conversation and a home cooked meal at the weekly Thursday luncheon. All seniors, age 50 or older, are invited to attend and participate in the group’s activities.

MUSING – April 12 2018

TOO SMALL

Mark 6:54-56
“As soon as they stepped out of the boat, the people recognized Jesus. They ran all over the countryside and began to carry the sick on cots to any place where they heard he was. Whenever he would go into villages, cities, or farms, people would put their sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch the edge of his clothes. Everyone who touched his clothes was made well.”

Can’t you just hear the excitement in the voices of these people? “The healer had landed at our shoes. Bring the sick to be healed!” And they came running. Really running to be first in line to be healed of their illnesses and infirmities. Relatives and friends carrying those unable to reach him on their own.

And he healed them even if they only got close enough to touch his clothing. The more he healed, the more they came crowding in around him. What power was cracking through the air.

And yet, these people came with too small of reasons and requests. He came to do so much more than make the lane to walk and the blind to see. He came to set free their immortal souls.*

Yes, Jesus cares about our mortal bodies and our daily lives. But how much more concerned is he with our forever-lives?

When you come to the Lord seek first the kingdom of God and the remainder will also be given.**

*Luke 4:17-21 and Isaiah 61:1

**Matthew 6:33

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

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2018 April 11 Wednesday

2018 April 11 Wednesday in Liberty Hill Texas

47° and mostly clear with zero wind. Reached 75° by noon and the wind picked up to between 16 & 25 mph. Going for a high of 80.

Before leaving home this morning, I started some ham and beans in the crock pot. I also mixed the dry ingredients for cornbread.

Once we returned from Grandies* I added the milk, egg, and butter and got it in the convection oven.

There were fifteen members at the Grandies meeting this morning. We mailed eight cards and okayed the purchase of some supplies for children in need. Our pastor joined us for a few minutes and we lifted our joys and concerns to the Lord. We did our roll call where we take the time to stay connected with each other. We then played cards games until nearly twelve.

With nothing on our schedule until choir practice in the evening, Ella and I just relaxed all afternoon.

Walmart has been doing a lot to promote it’s Pick Up Today grocery app so I’ve decided to try it. I placed an order to be picked up Friday mid afternoon. I’m curious as to how well it will work. My hope is that, by keeping us out of the store, it will help us to avoid impulse purchases and save some money. We’ll see.

Have any of you tried this service or one like it? How about the home delivery options that some offer? Or services like Blue Apron that send ingredients for a complete meal?

Choir practice went so well that we actually got done early. We sounded good also. Most of the music we practiced tonight are hymns that we’ve done many times before.

MUSINGApril 11 2018

I’M NOT AS SMART AS I THINK I AM

Romans 11:33-34
“God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep that it is impossible to explain his decisions or to understand his ways. “Who knows how the Lord thinks? Who can become his adviser?”

Ouch! That question about who can be God’s adviser strikes too close to home for me. I am a good problem solver. It is something that I’ve done my whole life.

While others were seeking to place blame for the situation, I would look for a way to fix it. While others were listing all the things that couldn’t be done, I would look for what could be done, no matter how small, that would get us headed toward a bigger solution.

The first part of fixing something is to believe it can be fixed. Imagine what it looks like in its most perfect state and then work toward that goal,

Way to often when I go to God with a concern, I already have a path laid out. God seldom follows my well thought out plan. Frankly, the way I recognize that the solution came from Him is that it so totally different and unexpected.

William Cowper understood that when he wrote the hymn “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

“God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.”

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8

So, if like me, you are looking to be God’s advisor, try instead to be His follower.

*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.

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

2018 April 10 Tuesday

2018 April 10 Tuesday in Liberty Hill Texas

47° and sunny for a change. Yay! And it stayed sunny all day. It got up to the low seventies in the afternoon. The local weather forecasts are smiling and strutting like they take personal responsibility for the good weather.

Since I was awake at five it seemed to take the sun for ever to rise. I couldn’t wait for it to climb all the way over there trees before I took a photo. And because it was cloudless, once the sun topped the trees it was a very bland view.

When we arrived at the Georgetown senior center we were surprised to find the tables pulled high with baked goods … again. Monday is the normal day for us to receive donated overstock and past sell-by dates bakery items. To receive this two days in a row is rare. We picked up some cakes to share with friends at Grandiesa and the Over the Hill Gangb in the next couple of days.

MUSING – April 10 2018

BE A WATER BOTTLE

John 7:37-39
“Then, on the last great day of the feast, Jesus was standing and crying out, saying: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink: whoever believes in me, just as Scripture says, ‘From his chest shall flow rivers of living water.’ ” Now he said this about the Spirit, which those who believe in him would soon be receiving. For the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

John 4:10
“Jesus replied to her (a Samaritan woman at the well), “If you only knew what God’s gift is and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked him for a drink. He would have given you living water.

In these two verses Jesus speaks of giving Living Water (the Spirit of God) as a gift. It is a gift that is ours for the asking. The LORD is the fountain of Living Water*. And it is He who sends the Holy Spirit at the request of the Son**.

Matthew 28:19
“So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. “

We are to carry the Good News with us and share it with those with whom we come in contact. We have a spring of Living Water gushing from within us. We are the LORD’S water bottle filled to overflowing that others may receive. Go therefore into your world and hydrate those thirsty souls.

*Jeremiah 17:13

**John 16:7-15

aGrandies 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..

bMembers of the Over Hill Gang of Liberty Hill enjoy conversation and a home cooked meal at the weekly Thursday luncheon. All seniors, age 50 or older, are invited to attend and participate in the group’s activities.

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

2018 April 09 Monday

2018 April 09 Monday in Liberty Hill Texas

52° this morning was so much nicer than yesterday morning. But along with the warmer weather came the fog.

The park managers were taking advantage of the can damp weather to burn some trash.

We arrived at the center by nine.

There was loads for breads and donuts piled on the tables when we arrived.

By lunch time we had quite a nice crowd.

We did t’ai chi and played games before lunch.

After leaving the center we went to my orthopedic doctor for a cortisone injection in the right knee.

Then it was a stop at Walmart for Ella’s medications.

It was a grey end to a grey day.

MUSINGS – April 09 Monday

HELP THE HELPLESS

Psalms 146:7-9
“He brings about justice for those who are oppressed. He gives food to those who are hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free. The LORD gives sight to blind people. The LORD straightens the backs of those who are bent over. The LORD loves righteous people. The LORD protects foreigners. The LORD gives relief to orphans and widows. But he keeps wicked people from reaching their goal.

There are dozens of scriptures where God’s people are commanded to care for widows, orphans, foreigners. This three groups are singled out because they have no legal standing in society. They are lower than the low and unable to help themselves. In many places the blind, deaf, and infirm are also commanded to our care.

In Matthew 25 Jesus gives credit to those who care for the needy as though they were doing it for Christ himself.

There are an estimated 553,742 people in the United States experiencing homelessness on a given night, according to the most recent national point-in-time estimate.

Liberty Hill Texas is a small town (967 by last census though it has expand considerably since) in the hill country outside Austin. There are at least three homeless shelters here. Many children in school system are homeless. Outside of the school, they lack many of the basic needs like food, water (drinking and bathing), shelter from the elements. And yet these are more fortunate than those who are even further outside the system.

You, good people, are commanded to help. Churches and other organizations are good places to start. Donate or volunteer your time. Would it be totally unreasonable for you to feed a beggar by handing them some food, taking them to a restaurant, or perhaps your home? Jesus didn’t think so.

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

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2018 April 08 Sunday

2018 April 08 Sunday in Liberty Hill Texas

41° and overcast to begin the day. By three o’clock the sun came out and the temp had climbed to 60°, which was the warmest it has been since late Friday night.

My grey truck had a decidedly yellow tint this morning. The live oak pollen count is extremely high today. We made it through “cedar fever” season when the cedar trees (really juniper trees that grow like giant weeds in this area) fill the air with so much pollen that it looks like fog. However, the oak sets me to tearing my eyes out because of the itching.

Did you know that the Sunday following Resurrection Sunday is one of the least attended worship times of the year? Neither did I until out associate pastor Judy said it this morning in her sermon.

Coincidentally (?) it is also associate pastor Sunday when there senior pastor gets a break from all the stress of preparation f from Lent through Easter.

Now having said all that, we had a decent turnout for worship today.

Neither Ella nor I had made any preparation for our Sunday dinner (lunch) so we went to Subway® and head the daily special of roast beef. We pulled them high with cheese and veggies and spent just under eight dollars. Not be bad. Not bad at all.

I’m a morning person. By eight a.m. I feel like half my day is done. But today I had troubles waking up. On the way home I told Ella that I just couldn’t shake the sleepys.

After eating our sandwiches, we played a game of Canasta. I started to pick up the discard pile and Ella said, “You have to lay down (cards) first.” To which I replied, “That’s what I’ve been telling you. I need to go lay down.”

We finished that hand and I went to the bedroom for a nap. I slept until three. That is not like me. It must be the allergies.

MUSINGSApril 08 2018 Sunday

THESE ARE NOT SUGGESTIONS

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God. The LORD is the only God. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up. Write them down, and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

The ten laws were not suggestions, they were commandments. They cover the essentials of how to have a proper relationship with God and man. After the congregation of Israel were given the ten commandments they were told to obey them, talk about them, reach them, write them down, and put them in places where you are constantly reminded of them.

If I were to conduct a survey among those who call themselves Christians, I wonder how many could even tell me each of the ten commandments. Could you? How about the way that Jesus summarized them in Matthew 22:37-39?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’

How often do you remind yourself of God’s most important laws … and follow them?

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

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nap. I slept until three. That is not like me. It must be the allergies.

MUSINGSApril 08 2018 Sunday

THESE ARE NOT SUGGESTIONS

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God. The LORD is the only God. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up. Write them down, and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

The ten laws were not suggestions, they were commandments. They cover the essentials of how to have a proper relationship with God and man. After the congregation of Israel were given the ten commandments they were told to obey them, talk about them, reach them, write them down, and put them in places where you are constantly reminded of them.

If I were to conduct a survey among those who call themselves Christians, I wonder how many could even tell me each of the ten commandments. Could you? How about the way that Jesus summarized them in Matthew 22:37-39?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’

How often do you remind yourself of God’s most important laws … and follow them?

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

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2018 April 07 Saturday

2018 April 07 Saturday in Liberty Hill Texas

42° and feels like 34° with the wind. Yep a child front came through the Texas Hill country overnight.
Yesterday’s high was 83°. Today we reached 42°. The high for the day was officially 59° but that was at midnight and it just got colder as the day went on.

We stayed home and inside today. It was a perfect day to bake bread. So I did. I also boiled a ham bone down to make stock.

No sun do no sunset photo today.

MUSINGApril 07 2018

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS NEAR*

2 Peter 3:11-15a
“All these things will be destroyed in this way. So think of the kind of holy and godly lives you must live as you look forward to the day of God and eagerly wait for it to come. When that day comes, heaven will be on fire and will be destroyed. Everything that makes up the universe will burn and melt. But we look forward to what God has promised–a new heaven and a new earth–a place where everything that has God’s approval lives. Therefore, dear friends, with this to look forward to, make every effort to have him find you at peace, without spiritual stains or blemishes. Think of our Lord’s patience as an opportunity for us to be saved.”

Google “God is patient” and you will find over and over in scripture that we are assured that God is patient but that His patience is not endless with man’s wickedness.

In the past humanity had become so lost to sin that the LORD destroyed it except for Noah, who found favor in His eyes. So Noah and his family were saved.**

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed when not even ten righteous people were found.***

Don’t be deceived God judgement will come. He is waiting for our sakes. Here is unwilling that any should perish so He is weighing us on the balance scale of judgement. And awaiting for His people to turn to Him or from Him in numbers known only to Him. But when that judgement comes, this world will be replaced with a new heaven and a new Earth.

So live your life as holy and godly while praying, “Come, Lord, come quickly.”

*Matthew 4:17

**Genesis 6:7-8

***Genesis 18:32

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

2018 April 06 Friday

2018 April 06 Friday in Liberty Hill Texas

68° and cloudy and headed for 84°.

Overheard conversation: “Hey, Bud, y’all look like death warmed over.”

“Waal ever since the gov’ment ordered the sun ta slow down, I ain’t slept for $#1+!

Somewhat of a sunrise photo.

We left home at about 8:30 and headed for the senior center in Georgetown.

We were the first to arrive and for a while we thought that we might be the only ones. We played a game or two of Rummikub and then switched to Fast Track. We were just finishing a game where Larry arrived. The only thing he plays is plain old dominoes. So we switched to playing dominoes.

After a while a few others came drifting in. Jay and Jim and Malinda (?) joined us at our table and a few others, that I don’t know the names of, say at other tables.

Lunch was chicken Parmesan on a bed of noodles, lettuce salad, broccoli cauliflower mix, and a red velvet cake.

Since the orthopedic surgeon said I needed to lose at least 60 pounds before he would conceded doing knee replacement on me, I’m trying to follow a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Which means that when they brought donuts around, I passed. I ate my chicken and veggies but not the noodles or garlic bread. However, as a treat for being such a good boy, I ate the cake.

Last night on the way home from Beket’s game, I noticed that my low beam headlights weren’t very bright. Upon arriving home we discovered that the driver side light was out. So we stopped at O’Reilly Auto Parts for a replacement bulb. But as I started to remove the bulb, it lit. So I just tightened it back in the socket and left.

Our next stop was Walmart for some RV related supplies that we’ll need before putting it in storage for the summer.

Next began our hunt for a large tarp. Our first stop was Georgetown Farm Supply and completely struck out. By the way the customer service went like this, “If we have it, it would be in that corner.” No points from me. We needed to stop for gas before gotten to Winkle’s Hardware in Liberty Hill. (I would give a link to their website but it doesn’t seem to be working.) I love shopping here they have everything including large tarps … just not quite large enough. So it was a short trip across highway 29 to Tractor Supply. They had the tarp in the correct size but at a lighter weight and twice the price for what I’d found in Amazon. Guess where I ordered it. Yep. Free shipping and delivery by Monday.

MUSING – April 06 2018

WHO KNOWS WHAT EVIL LURKS IN THE HEART OF MAN

Psalms 75:6-7
“The authority to reward someone does not come from the east, from the west, or even from the wilderness. God alone is the judge. He punishes one person and rewards another.

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”, was the introduction from The Shadow radio program which I listened to as a kid. (Ya I know, I’m older than dirt) But that creepy voice always sent chills through my young body. The Shadow will hunt down the evil doers and exact justice … or vengeance.

Of all the superpowers that I drempt of having (yes, I loved my comic books), “knowing the hearts of men” was never on my list. I didn’t even want to be able to read minds let alone know their secret desires and motives.

And as human beings we are guilty of judging people by how they look, or talk, or act. Paul wrote, “I have a clear conscience, but that doesn’t mean I have God’s approval.”* if saint Paul could wright that about himself how much less can we claim to have God’s approval? No wonder we are warned to judge not lest we be judged.**

The best analogy that I can see is judging a sporting event. We may feel sure that we know the outcome of the event but we don’t actually know until it’s over. As humans we can, at best, judge people by their past and their present. God however judges past, present, and future … as well as what lurks in their hearts. But even that is not final because not only is God just he is also merciful as had provided us a way of repentance and forgiveness. Through the sacrifice of Jesus our sins can (if we accept the gift) be covered in his blood so that when the Father looks at our lives, all he can see is Jesus.

So be kind to one another. Lift each other in the love of God, for we do not know what evil or greatness lurks in their heart.

*1 Corinthians 4:4-5

**Matthew 7:1

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