Category Archives: personal

The Choice…

Thankfully, by virtue of my position elsewhere, I cannot publicly come out for any one candidate. However, I can state what motivates my vote.

One is my obligation as an American citizen, a special grace given to me by God’s Sovereign will as part of His purpose for me as an individual, being ever mindful of the responsibilities great and small that go with that, and that I will be accountable for on that Great Day before His Throne.

Another is my obligation is not to stand behind any one candidate, but to propagate The Gospel of Jesus Christ within my sphere of influence. In America, my vote is part of that obligation, an opportunity to ensure that my ability to propagate The Gospel continues unimpeded by the ideology of those who oppose it and everything that goes with it.

With those and other elements in mind, I know who I will vote for, with a clear conscience and a fullness of heart that can only come from knowing The One by Whom all things were made and in Whom all things consist, and in Whose Hands kings’ hearts are turned at His will to perform His good pleasure for His eternal purposes, not all of which are known, or that can be known by me.

Yup…still here…

I could say that it has been a hard six months, but my missionary family in Nepal and my immediate family in Baltimore might beg to differ.

I had a career move go bad back in October, leaving me to work at the bottom rung in a trade where I used to be the top dog. I literally wept when I realized for the first time that I was back on 24/7 emergency call once again, a duty that never failed to remind me that it came with an 80 mile round trip commute, and at the oddest hours one could want to work, and in a part of town not known for its hospitality at those hours. The physical demands were taking their toll as well, upwards of 4 hours of my day was just the commute, not including any emergency calls. I put 10000+ miles on our only vehicle in 4 months, one that has way too many miles on it already.

As of yesterday, I no longer work there. When my employer found out that I was still scouting another job back in February (read that: a much shorter commute), the hunt for my replacement was on, with me staying around until they found one, or until I found a new job. They won that race, as I am currently still looking for work.

The whole thing has left me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted to a point I have never been before. My well of tears has run dry, and any desire for the pulpit has been thoroughly beaten out of me–I don’t even want to do a Sunday School class, and my Bible reading and study times are at the barest minimum at the moment.

These are by no means complaints or murmurings, they are just an explanation of where I’ve been these last six months. I’m still modeling, just not at the pace I used to, and that wasn’t a lot then. I’ll just post the bigger projects from the last 6 months for now, in the hopes I can chronicle them individually and in more detail later, should time permit…

I was given a Bachmann 4-4-0 “Jupiter” with a drive that was too damaged and too difficult repair, but that was cosmetically complete. I turned it into a flat car load, after removing the motor and sheathing in the fuel bunker. Once done, I chained it down after building some lathing for it on the flat car decks…

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I received a batch of slightly damaged cars that I repaired with various items, including bits of wire, scale lumber, and…toothpicks…

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…this old Revell Beano crummy was a nice rescue…

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I am still converting toy diecast into reasonably accurate models as well. This Majorette RV was a simple fix with some scrap wheels from long lost HO trucks…

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This Kibri truck kit was purchased second hand, only to find during its assembly that the wheels were missing. Wheels salvaged off of Reader’s Digest fire trucks fixed that in short order…

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Several kits were finished, including this Roundhouse kit from a series made in memory of John Allen’s famed Gorre & Daphetid R.R….

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…and this old Comet kit from the ’40s of an outside braced auto parts box car, complete with a set of Baker couplers, the type John Allen used on his road. I plan on building a short consist using these couplers and other 45+ year old kits I have on hand…

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I did some flat car loads…finally.

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Lastly, I started a Fine Scale Miniatures kit, “Water tank and tool shed #125”, one of 6 FSM kits I recently purchased from a fellow modeler’s estate. After informing the executor of the estate of the value of these, he still wanted to sell them to me at an excellent bargain, feeling that that is what his friend and his friend’s widow would have wanted, especially seeing how knowledgeable I was on their history and intricacy. I well remember slavering over the color ads as a teenager, and now I will likely be kept occupied with them for some time to come…

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With that, I bid you all God’s greatest blessings, grace and peace found only in Christ, may your hope be only in His Cross, and may this only ever be your hobby and not an unholy affection.

Yes…it has been a long time….

Where do I start?  A job that has me walking in spiritual poverty and filth day in and day out?   Mental, physical and spiritual exhaustion to nervous breakdown levels?  How about a teaching series that has left me preferring to be accountable to God for a thousand lifetimes of my worst debaucheries rather than any thirty seconds of me playing preacher?

I do have my beloved, my right hand, my bride.  I have my kids, safe and schooled at home.  I have my little farm, slowly coming together and way out in the middle of nowhere.

Oh yes…did I mention that I hope never to hear another word on Calvinism–for or against–ever. I do fear the next poor unwitting soul who finds this out too late and will have already had me remove their theological heart with an ice cream scoop.

The only Word I can offer right now is the only word I’ve ever held to thru it all…

And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen… –(Luke 24:5-6a)

…just sayin’…

Others may; but you cannot…

by G. D. Watson (1845-1924).
If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life
of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience,
that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by
other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other people do
things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful, may
push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans,
but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will meet with such
failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, of
their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such
thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification
that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy
left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants
you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence
upon Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by
day out of an unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden
in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for
His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let
others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him
and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without
knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more
precious He may let others get credit for the work which you have done,
and thus make YOUR REWARD TEN TIMES GREATER WHEN JESUS COMES.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and
will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time,
which other Christians never feel distressed over. So make up your mind
that God is an Infinitely Sovereign Being, and has a right to do as He
pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which
puzzle your reason in His dealings with you, but if you absolutely sell
yourself to be His love slave, He will wrap you up in Jealous Love, and
bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those who are in the
inner circle.

Settle it forever, then that you are to DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE HOLY
SPIRIT, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or
chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem
to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God
that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this
PECULIAR, PERSONAL, PRIVATE, JEALOUS GUARDIANSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OVER YOUR LIFE, then you will have found the vestibule
of Heaven.
_______________________________________
(-from Faith, Prayer, & Tract League:
Tract #76; Grand Rapids, MI 49504)

James 3

Tomorrow I start teaching my first series of studies in the book of Ruth to the Bible class we attend as a family.  To my brethren and sisters…pray for me….

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

 

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

1:34 First Gear Mack Granite tractor w/ dump trailer #19-3301 circa 2004…

You would think paying $10 for a model that retails for $170 would make my day.  What if I told you that I could have picked up two more for a total retail value of just over $570…for less than $35–including tax?  What if I told you that two of those models were found in the toy aisle at a local thrift store and that the kids had already found one and proceeded to play with it as though it were a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle rescue vehicle?

How many of these are now finding a wall at the hands of children who have no clue what they have, given them by parents who just wanted them to shut up so they can shop?

How did they get there except at the hands of a family palming off Pop’s estate of “toy junk”, not knowing they had a sizable chunk of money to get, if they simply had the patience to look them up on eBay and sell them there?

How about a Christian thrift store ministry that had no clue they had a treasure trove of dollars waiting for their work, if they’d only draw from knowledgeable brethren an idea of how to maximize this endowment?

In my line of work I walk among millions in wasted dollars every day.  Being in debt up to my eyeballs in incidentals makes this a soul crushing venture.  The mental exercise of “What I could do with that money.” is quite disheartening, I’m at a loss.  To see the Church unwittingly fritter it away makes it all the worse.

“But Br’er Shaygetz…why don’t you offer your services to these folks?”

 …because the offers are often at best ignored or received with a polite pat on my head or, at worst, viewed with suspicion…I’m often left with a sense of distrust on their parts towards me, after all, who would willingly tell a ministry that they can get more money for what they’re selling?

1973 AMC Gremlin, Malibu Classics HO scale diecast…

Just thought you’d want to see how it’s built in this ad from 1973…

I well remember them…along with the Ford Pinto and the Chevy Vega, all products of the gasoline crisis of the day, when I watched long lines at the pump and gas go from 35 cents a gallon to 79 cents.  Yeah, go figure.  You know you’re getting old when you wax nostalgic for one of these beasts.  Still trying to figure out why I’d want more headroom in the trunk…?

“Leave the gun…take the canolis…”