Monthly Archives: November 2009

Luke 1:5-25…


There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men…

Anson 1:18 scale 1932 Cadillac Sport Phaeton…


Father Bill was a retired parish priest who lived on my property. He didn’t start out as a priest, but became one in his 40s after being a lay minister in the Catholic Church. Before that, he served in the Army as a tanker and did a stint in Korea during the Korean Conflict.

He collected antique firearms and had a small collection of diecast cars which become our point of commonality. He had a car in particular that caught my eye, this Anson Cadillac, a model of a car, not designed in the halls of Congress, but by folks who knew what “Sweet Ride” meant. While no Franklin Mint special, it is an attractive model, even with its missing side wind deflectors and hood ornament.

I mentioned to him that I had a blog and would like to take and post pictures of it someday, an idea he seemed to enjoy. Sadly, that day did not come until I found myself assisting the people settling his estate, as he had passed away earlier this month. It now is a part of my collection of cars and posted in his memory…

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“Thank you for the fleas…”


“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  -1Thess 5:18

It’s simple to thank God when He does miracles and answers prayers just the way we want them answered. It’s also pretty easy to thank Him when we can look around and see many blessings in our lives. When our situation seems awful, though, and we’re struggling through tragedy or just plain hard times, it can seem hard to believe that God is really there taking care of things; it can be hard to say, “I know You love me. Thank you for what You are doing even now.”

Jobless rates in 29 US states rose last month, with Michigan suffering the worst rate at 15.1 percent and Nevada and Rhode Island close behind at 13 and 12.9 percent respectively. In California alone, payrolls have dropped by 687,700 workers in just the past year. It’s a very difficult time for a lot of people across America and around the world, and giving thanks to God may be the last thing in the minds of those who don’t know how they’re going to pay their electric bill or put gas in the car.

Yet, it’s good to know that the economy does not have God worried. His arms are not tied. The One who looks after the sparrows is fully capable of looking after each one of us as well, and even the rotten things that happen in our lives are in His hands. Jesus says, in Luke 12:7, “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

Jesus never promised us gardens of roses or even daisies in this life. He did promise he would never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5).

Thank You For The Fleas:

In her book The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom tells of a time she discovered that God was working even in the most horrific circumstances.

Corrie and her sister Betsie had been imprisoned by the Nazis for hiding Jews behind the wall of their Holland home, and Nazi prison conditions pretty well unbearable.

Corrie writes:

“Barracks 8 was in the quarantine compound. Next to us–perhaps as a deliberate warning to newcomers–were located the punishment barracks. From there, all day long and often into the night, came the sounds of hell itself. They were not the sounds of anger, or of any human emotion, but of a cruelty altogether detached: blows landing in regular rhythm, screams keeping pace. We would stand in our ten-deep ranks with our hands trembling at our sides, longing to jam them against our ears, to make the sounds stop.

“It grew harder and harder. Even within these four walls there was too much misery, too much seemingly pointless suffering. Every day something else failed to make sense, something else grew too heavy.”

Yet, in the midst of the suffering, the women prisoners around Corrie and Betsie found comfort in the little Bible studies they held in the barracks. Corrie writes they gathered around the Bible “like waifs clustered around a blazing fire…The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.”

When they were moved to Barracks 28, Corrie was horrified by the fact that their reeking, straw-bed platforms swarmed with fleas. How could they live in such a place?

It was Betsie who discovered God’s answer:

“‘”Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” That’s it, Corrie! That’s His answer. “Give thanks in all circumstances!” That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!’

“I stared at her; then around me at the dark, foul-aired room…”

They thanked God for the fact they were together. They thanked God they had a Bible. They even thanked God for the horrible crowds of prisoners, that more people would be able to hear God’s Word. And then, Betsie thanked God for the fleas.

“The fleas! This was too much. ‘Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.’

“‘”Give thanks in all circumstances,”‘ she quoted. ‘It doesn’t say, “in pleasant circumstances.”  Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.’

“And so we stood between tiers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong.”

It turned out that Betsie was not wrong; the fleas were a nuisance, but a blessing after all. The women were able to have Bible studies in the barracks with a great deal of freedom, never bothered by supervisors coming in and harassing them. They finally discovered that it was the fleas that kept those supervisors out.

Through those fleas, God protected the women from abuse and harassment.  Dozens of desperate women were free to hear the comforting, hope-giving Word of God.  Through those fleas, God protected the women from much worse things and made sure they had their deepest, truest needs met. 

We all have “fleas” in our lives. We all have those things that we can see no use for, things that are obviously horrible, unpleasant, painful things that we want gone. No life is free of “fleas”, but if Corrie and Betsie can be our examples, God can use even these nasty insects for our protection and blessing. As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, lets thank God for His constant care and provision, and for His hidden blessings that come in ways we can easily overlook.

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May you all have a blessed and safe holiday…


See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:15-21)

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation…

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

For my International readers, may you have a blessed and safe journey for the remainder of this week.

Bachmann HO scale Union Pacific 2-8-2 Mikado…


I owned one of these some time back and really wished I hadn’t sold it. It has a delightfully chunky, all business look with its wide Wooten firebox, Elesco feedwater heater high on the nose (neither of which is a UP feature BTW) and piping detail that would shame brass locomotive manufacturers not too long ago. It appears to me that they did some modifications to their 2-8-0 mechanism from the 1970s and applied a trailing truck as it looks like it was just stuck in there. The firebox is short enough to do without but that’s just another part of its appeal to me.

Sometime during their production, Bachmann improved the drive on them because, unlike my first example, this one is a smooth, powerful and quiet runner with a billowing smoke feature. Its original owner mounted Kadee couplers to it—and—failed to tell me about the broken clips for the tender trucks…sigh…but it was inexpensive enough that I would have picked it up anyway. I purchased it, along with several other low priced goodies I’ll be posting later, at a swap meet this past weekend…

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