Monthly Archives: November 2008

Rejoice, O Israel, for your King sits on His Throne…


…unmoved by the ACLU and academia, politicians and scofflaws.

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

I smile at the efforts yet again by all manner of folk to remove any reference to Christ or Christmas around us, as though a holiday that simply exists for wanton spending and manufactured cheer could stand on its own for more than a month.

I smile too at my brethren and sisteren who get in a froth over these efforts and the commercialization, avarice and materialism run amuck, as though the lost, who normally wouldn’t give a rip about God and things holy, were to suddenly see the error of their ways, if they only saw a “Jesus is the reason for the season” pin on a Target cashier.

I rejoice in all of the mess, the glitz, the lights, the lawsuits, the bans…yeah…all things real and imagined in this holiday.

Why?

Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified is being preached by the “rocks” of this world even as the disciples are silenced by the business and worry of the holidaze. From out of the loudspeakers in shopping malls, dentist offices and coffee kiosks everywhere, come the old hymns of the faith that clearly spell out the hope of the gospel, reissued time and again by pop, rock, disco and thrash metal “stones”.

Don’t believe me?

Celine Dion sings this one…

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Stevie Nicks sings these words…

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth “

Several others sing this…

Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

…words they—and their listeners—are accountable for, even if they only use a verse or two.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Even so…Come, Lord Jesus.

Time to set up the Christmas tree…


…here at the B&MC Railroad shops.

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This year I’ll be taking the regular layout around to several locations that include at least one children’s ward and one nursing home. I’ll be setting up my LGB 0-4-0 Stainz locomotive and two coaches around my own tree this year.

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This will give me an opportunity to place my mother’s handmade ceramic houses under the tree to be enjoyed. She’s also made an exceptional ceramic Santa collection, I’ll have to see if there is room for those as well.

Wednesday’s Word, Thanksgiving Day, 2008…


Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

Squanto – The Pilgrim’s God-Send
from the November 25, 2008 K House eNews issue

“Measured by the standards of men of their time, [the Pilgrims] were the humble of the earth. Measured by later accomplishments, they were the mighty. In appearance weak and persecuted they came — rejected, despised — an insignificant band; in reality strong and independent, a mighty host of whom the world was not worthy, destined to free mankind.” – Calvin Coolidge

Cold and sick, fighting snow and sleet, a motley band of English men and women struggled through their first winter in the New World. Fewer than 50 of the 110 pilgrims and crew that had stepped off the Mayflower survived until spring. On their own, the Pilgrims would have likely all perished their first year on the coast of New England.

God had better plans for them.

In March of 1621, a loincloth-covered native stepped out of the woods and said, “Welcome” in clear English. Samoset, the chief of the Algonquins, had learned English from the fishing ships that occasionally put into the coast of Maine. A few days later he returned to the little Pilgrim village with another English speaking native named Tisquantum (aka “Squanto”).

When the Pilgrims arrived in late 1620, they settled on cleared land that belonged to nobody. Squanto’s entire tribe had been wiped out while he was in England after having been taken as a slave in 1605. After returning to his native homeland with Captain John Smith in 1614 , Squanto was again kidnapped and taken to Spain, where he was bought by local friars and introduced to Christianity. When he returned home, he found his tribe gone and the land that had belonged to them shunned by other tribes. He wandered until he found the Wampanoags who lived about 50 miles to the southwest.

And so, Squanto proved to be a literal God-send for the Pilgrims. He stayed with them and taught them how to stalk deer and catch eels and plant corn the Indian way. He showed them how to refine maple syrup and to discern which wild plants were edible and which were poisonous. He introduced them to trapping beavers, the pelts of which were in high demand in Europe. Without his help, few of the Pilgrims would have survived.

By the autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims were well-prepared for the coming winter and extremely grateful to God, to the Wampanoags, and to Squanto. Governor Bradford declared a day of public thanksgiving to be held in October. They invited Massasoit, the Wapanoags’ chief, to a feast to celebrate their bounty. The Wapanoags taught the Pilgrims the art of making popcorn and the Pilgrims introduced the Indians to fruit pies.

The Pilgrims had additional days of thanksgiving for God’s provision during the next years of difficulty and hunger, but we remember these days of feasting and games and competitions in our Thanksgiving celebrations. God had shown He cared for this little band of persecuted Englishmen in search of religious and civil freedom.

There have been several days of thanksgiving since the time of the Pilgrims.

1777: Samuel Adams made a thanksgiving day proclamation that was adopted by all 13 states:

“It is therefore recommended… to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn Thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor…”

October, 1789: President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the Twenty-sixth day of November to be a day of national thanksgiving to Almighty God.

October, 1863: President Abraham Lincoln announced that the last Thursday of November would be dedicated “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Finally, an act of Congress in 1941 dedicated the fourth Thursday of November for the purpose of thanking our Creator.

Even as our forefathers acknowledged the provision and goodness of God, let us also make this national holiday a very special time to thank Him for our own provision – our families, our sustenance and, above all, our redemption in His Son!

May you and yours have a happy, safe and blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Someone needs this…


…I know I did…

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Tyco GP-20 kitbash, Part III…


Because the Chattanooga represents a small branchline with only one locomotive, I fitted it with plows from Detail Associates fore and aft…

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This resulted in the couplers having to be ooched out a bit further but the effect was very satisfying.

“Been awhile workin’ on this, ain’t ya Br’er Shaygetz?”

Just a hobby, man…just a hobby…could be worse, I could be playing golf (oooooo, shudder)