How to get ready for winter in the New Hampshire? Usually we average in the neighborhood of 71 inches, and Mount Washington receives 23 feet of the white stuff, along with the very high winds. What about the temperatures? In a word, COLD! With highs in low 40’s and lows from 17 above zero to 10 below zero. The first snowfall is exciting and pretty… but from there on… it is a chore.
Basically, everything has to be prepared for winter. Here is a brief list: 1. Water lines have to have a heating wrap with insulation 2. Tires have to be All Season tires. Tires with studs or chains are not unusual but usually good tires are enough. However, a 4-Wheel Drive vehicle is almost essential when off the main drag. 3. Get out all the winter coats and long johns and put your spring and summer stuff away. 4. Check the roof to be ready for the snow and freezing. Ice cycles are dangerous when they hang from the roof. So, get out your roof rakes and be ready to use them. 5. No car port? No problem. Just get out in the morning and get your snow shovel out and begin. 6. Lawnmowers and other gas driven machines have to be drained and winterized (we call it “pickling.”) 7. Get out your battery chargers and be ready to use them for the sub zero weather. Usually use them overnight on trickle charge setting. 8. Stock up on Gas and additive to keep it good. (Have some for your car/truck as well because today’s “gas” tends to develop water in the tank.) 9. By the way, if you get caught in a winter storm while out driving, it can really be a “pain” so put blankets, AC/DC (not the heavy metal band) adapter in your emergency pack. Got to stay warm so a sleeping bag will help, along with flares, etc… 10. Your screened in three season porch? Well you need to put heavy clear tarp on the screen or the porch is unusable for five months. A porch with this type protection can be heated. (So get out your heaters.) 11. Store all yard furniture or cover with tarp. 12. Get SALT or ICE MELT for obvious reasons… 13. Hmm, I seem to have run out of things… but PREPARATION and FORE THOUGHT are critical because winter in the Northeast… is different.
By the way, if you think of preaching up here, be ready to stay more than the usual two-three years. It takes a while to gain people’s trust and friendship. Aim for a minimum of five to ten years… After that, you might even like it. Springtime is marvelous, summer is hot, fall is so beautiful (at least until all the leaves fall).
Dr. Marshall L. Cook wrote the book “Growing old Isn’t for sissies.” How true is this?! Looking back, I can remember thinking that 70 is OLD, but now here I am at 73, and I am having to re-think some things. I don’t know how you feel, but now I am thinking that maybe 80 plus is “old.” Maybe a good idea just to think of age as “just a number.” Things I have learned along the way… 1. Don’t put ANYTHING into writing before you reach 60. Why? Because “things change!” Opinions change, meanings of words change, most of all, I change. When I was a ‘young’ preacher, I thought I had all the answers. I was a ‘hell-fire and damnation’ type preacher. I pity the small congregations that had to put up with this ‘up-start’ preacher who thought he knew it all. 2. Don’t be afraid to change. Things are changing. You change, I change, we all change. Now the Word does not change, but our understanding of it changes (Lord willing) is we keep studying and pray the Spirit of Truth will guide us, soften our hearts as we surrender our lives daily. Things that can change us: Love Grace Mercy Forgiveness Patience All because of a Person, Jesus. He changes us if we are willing. 3. Put your family ahead of being a preacher. Never offer your family on the ‘church alter.’ Why loose your family to preach? You may say, “Church comes first!” Well, I disagree. Jesus first, Others (including family) second, Yourself last. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn. Using Dr. Wests “B.E.S.T.” plan is very helpful for family… B – Bless your wife and never allow any one (church members included) to put your wife down in your presence. E – Edify your wife no matter what. We love to hear words of encouragement… but then so does your wife and kids. S – Share your feelings, hurts, concerns, with your wife. Mark Gungor(?) has excellent videos for family seminars. He is very funny but straight forward in presenting and dealing with family and personal issues. T – Touch your wife. A touchless marriage is a troubled marriage. Having seen marriages where things got so bad that the wife refused to be touched, the husband had to work very hard and consistently with the B.the E and the S., before getting to the T. 4. Seek help and be accountable is you need it! (Consider Celebrate Recovery). 5. Read and devour James S. Woodruff’s book “Sayings that saved my sanity”.This is manditory in my opinion for Christians in general. I won’t spoil it for you, so get this book! It is good. The title itself should appeal to church leaders. 6.Don’t forget your prayer-life and relationship with Jesus! So important.
You are encouraged to respond with your thoughts in this if you wish. Perhaps you can add something that will help someone else.
Thank you for reading, God bless you, Grow in grace!
America and the world has been in shock seeing the genocide and other atrocities resulting from the Russian war on UKRAINE. Putin’s goal is to take Ukraine and make it part of Russia. Thus, erasing Ukraine’s culture, language, and boundaries, their very right to survive! We have seen that any and all options to reach this goal are on the table for Putin. The result thus far has been destruction, pain, suffering and death. Having lived there I came to love and appreciate Ukraine and it’s people. I was witness to how tough and determined they are to defend their nation. However, as you have and will see, THEY CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. Not only does Ukraine need help in fighting the war, they need help in caring for those who are stranded, homeless, hungry, and soon… cold! My goal is simply to introduce a good friend whom I bot to know when we were working there and let him (Roma Prehodka) ‘speak’ to you of their desperate need. From there it is with prayer, up to you.
Roma lives in Kremenchuk, and works as a Massage therapist. He is very active in his church, helping feed and care for many in the area. I will be receiving periodical updates and will post them here. His email: email@example.com if you wish to email him.
The following is his first report from Ukraine…
“Our small volunteer team, which we named in honor of our location “Derevo”, started preparing hot meals for refugees who came to our city of Kremenchuk at the beginning of the war. At first we fed the refugees every day, then 5 days a week, now 3. This is due to a lack of resources and problems in the preparation of food itself, so the house where a young family with two children lives has now turned into a food warehouse and a dining room.”
“We dream of having a separate kitchen for cooking. But we want not only to feed people, but also to communicate with them over a cup of tea, to listen to them, to help them psychologically in order to express our love for them more and thereby calm them down, and show that they (are) not indifferent to us.”
“Autumn is ahead, then winter. This enormously increases costs for products, transport, premises (for lodging). We sincerely want to help displaced people with hot food, psychological help and our love. Our team are people of faith. We believe that people now desperately need not only physical, but also spiritual food!”
Estimated needs for this free service: 1. Folding tables for feeding + chairs + garbage container ($50) 2. New tanks for feeding 3 pieces. ($150) 3. Bluetooth speaker ($20) 4. Permanent consumables, dishes, napkins, gloves ($30 per month) 5. Transport (rent + gasoline) ($110) 6. Utility costs during cooking (light, gas) ($50 per month) 7. New stove ($200) 8. Products on a permanent basis: potatoes,cabbage, carrots, cereals, bread, meat, sweet, fruit ($200 per month) 9. Filling gas cylinders for cooking ($ ???) 10. UFO oil heater or lamp ($200) 11. Renting an apartment or house (for cooking meals + the possibility of inviting refugees to visit for communication) ($100 per month)
So, if you wish more info, please contact either Roman Prihodko by his gmail email firstname.lastname@example.org (Thank you for taking time to read and consider the needs of the Ukrainian people… JHEJR)
Well, something is different! My web builder has been working on this site to make some repairs to ‘broken stuff.’ At first it was thought to be a hack, but later was discovered t be internal problem. It’s technical for sure, so I don’t fully understand it. Just glad to have Earle (Earl’s help desk.com) to work on it. It is a huge (in my estimation) site, and so when something gets out of whack, it creates a domino effect… headache! Again I want to recommend EarlsHelpDesk.com | Remote Access Computer Services. I highly recommend his help as one who is not only good at fixing computer problems, but also an author (check out his web site!)
All this being said, we will be continuing our writing on unfinished series, (Book of John), adding more photos of the Exum family, answering your messages on the site, and adding other things I have been thinking about lately… We hope you will be reading and responding.
Rudy, a cute little Chihuahua of dubious mixed blood, passed away on the same date that my brother Bob Exum passed on. January 25, 2022 was a hard day, as Rudy’s health had been going down. He was diabetic, needing insulin (morning and evening), heart trouble for which he was given 1/2 of a heart tablet per day, he was for the most part blind due to cataracts, he had arthritis as well. He was almost 15 years old. In human terms, he should have been in a nursing home for dogs I guess. He enjoyed going for a walk, but lately it has been too cold and snowy. It was a chore in some ways to care for him, but all because we loved him. He would follow me wherever I went, much like he did with Bob. I wish we had him for a longer time, because he was company. A real ‘lap-dog.’ So, here’s to our last of four pets we had. Little Bit, Miss Precious. Molly, and Rudy… All gone now.
Text: John 3:14-21
* All through Scriptures we are impressed with the lengths that God has gone to in-order-to benefit and save mankind. It is truly hard to imagine what more He could do.
* Paul said, “You see just at the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
* John concludes the little “sit down” with Nicodemus with this OT comparison…
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”
1. Read Numbers 21:4-9. Summarize the story. ______________________________________________________________________
2. God could have just healed the people who were bitten. What is the point of making a snake and putting it on a pole? ______________________________________________________________________
3. Does this make “healing” too easily obtained?
4. In John 1:12; 3:14, 16, 18a, and negatively in verse 18b “belief” is what is required live spiritually! What is the problem that the author is dealing with in his readers? ______________________________________________________________________
5. What do you say to someone who says, “If God SO LOVES us, then where was God when my son/ daughter/best friend died?” “… when I was being abused?” “Why bad things happen/good people!?” ______________________________________________________________________
6. Did God send His Son to this world to CONDEMN? If not then WHY? ______________________________________________________________________
7. If a person does not BELIEVE IN JESUS, what is his/her situation? What then is the starting place for those seeking life? ______________________________________________________________________
8. Why do many refuse to believe in Jesus? Vs. 19 ______________________________________________________________________
9. Why do people hate the “light?” Vs. 20 ______________________________________________________________________
Text: John 3:1-13
When thinking of “things new” a “new birth” just doesn’t come to mind, normally. Nor is it usually on our “want list.” (Well maybe it is.) Nicodemus must have been shocked when Jesus told him, “You must be born again,” and even though there seems to be some things left out of the conversation, Jesus does not leave out anything important.
– Wealthy (John 19:39)
– Pharisee (“Chaburah” = “Brotherhood”) “They entered this “brotherhood” by taking a
pledge in front of three witnesses that they would spend all their lives observing every detail of the scribal law… There were 6,000 in the “brotherhood.” These were considered “the best in the country.” They were strictly “orthodox” and considered first 5 books as complete will of God. Their goal = PERFECTION by law keeping.
– Ruler (Sanhedrin) = 70 Supreme Court of the Jews. Religious jurisdiction over every Jew in the world. Their duty: Examine every ‘so-called’ prophet – TRUE OR FALSE!
– Our Context shows John 3:3-15 (at least) = spoken to NICODEMUS.
– Came by night – “Why?” – Speculations – Who cares! Why important or not?
– What really matters: He came to the right person, and his life was changed forever.
1. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God…”
What reason did he give for this? ___________________________________________
2. Jesus tells Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” What does this mean?
– Digging deeper: (Gk. “Anothen”) Three meanings not possible to be put in one word:
– “From the beginning” – Completely, radically.
– “Again” – In the sense of a second time.
– “From above” – ie. From God
3. What does the Bible say about the “new birth”? Please list the outstanding point or principle found in:
– I Peter 1:3 ___________________________________________________________
– I Peter 1:22-23 _______________________________________________________
– James 1:18 __________________________________________________________
– Titus 3:5 ____________________________________________________________
– Romans 6:1-11 _______________________________________________________
– I Cor. 3:1-2 __________________________________________________________
– II Cor. 5:17 __________________________________________________________
– Gal. 6:15 ____________________________________________________________
– Eph. 4:22-24 _________________________________________________________
– Heb. 5:12-14 _________________________________________________________
4. What important conclusions do you come to after studying these verses regarding “new birth”? What difference should a “new birth” mean?
5. The new birth indicates that there be a radical change which is based on a new relationship VERTICALLY (ie. With God). How does the new birth relate to:
– The kingdom of God? (Col. 1:13) __________________________________________
– The family of God? (I Tim. 3:15; Matt. 18:3) __________________________________
– The body of Christ? (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; I Cor. 12:12-13) ____________________
6. “Pneuma” in Greek means “spirit” or “wind.” What do we not know about the Spirit (as
compared to “the wind?” Can you give some examples of this “Spirit activity” in the book of Acts? _______________________________________________________________
– What conclusions can we draw from the surprising activity of the Spirit? ___________
7. What are the elements of the new birth? Jno. 3:5; Col. 2:11-13; Acts 2:36-39
– Purpose of the ____________ is __________________________________
– Purpose of the ____________ is __________________________________
8. What is the danger of over-emphasizing one element (water and Spirit) above the other or to the exclusion of one or the other? (What do you think about this statement: “A waterless Spirit birth is no more effective than a Spiritless water birth.” ______________________________________________________________________
9. How does this effect what you have previously thought about the “new birth?”________________________________________________________________
10. Why is this important to you and your life on a daily basis? ______________________________________________________________________
(For more study on this topic please refer to Series “Holy Spirit” and “Amazing Grace” in this website. Hope this helps.)
Sunday Class – Book of John – Lesson 5 – “Cleaning out God’s house”
Texts: John 2:13-25 (cf. Mtt.21:12-13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45-46)
Some things to remember:
– John is not focused on chronology as much as his overall purpose and goal. (John 20:31)
– Jerusalem: The center of Jewish culture, government and of course religion because the temple was there. In fact, all three of these things were closely tied together.
– Passover – Commemorates Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 11-12).
– Every adult male within 20 miles = required to attend and participate.
– Barclay records: Sometimes 2.25 million assembled for the Passover feast coming from all areas of Roman Empire
– A Temple tax was required for entrance (one half-shekel/ two days wages)
– “Money changers” – Exchanging of currencies because foreign currency was considered unclean. Extra chargers resulted in profit for changers and hardship on people.
– Animal sacrifices – Inspectors appointed/ Fee for inspection/ Animals bought outside = half the charge of purchase in temple area/ Animals bought o/side were certain to be rejected/ Resulting in “extortion” of the poor/ All in the name of pure religion!
– “God dwells in temples not made with hands.” Yet over the Centuries more and more attention and money has been given to the PLACE where one “connects” with God, with more and more regulations as to what can and cannot be done inside and outside these buildings. What you think? ________________________________________________
The anger of Jesus – Discussion Questions:
1. Was Jesus over-reacting in verse 15? What about “Be angry but do not sin.” (Eph. 4:26-27) What is “righteous anger?” _________________________________________
2. What are some examples where it is “right” to be angry? ______________________
What makes “anger” sinful (and dangerous)?__________________________________
3. Jesus drove all out of temple area, but to those who sold doves Jesus says, “Get these out of here! Stop making my Father’s house into a market!” Why?
4. Is this the same as having a “Yard Sale” on the church parking lot? BBQ/Games/Kitchen/Dinners/Girl Scouts/N/A/ CR/ Weddings/Funerals and other activities on church property? Why? Why not? ________________________________
5. What is God’s house? Where is the “sanctuary?” What would desecrate “God’s house” today? __________________________________________________________
6. There were two responses mentioned regarding Jesus’ actions: “DISCIPLES REMEMBERED and the Jews REQUIRED A SIGN of authority. (Vs. 17-18)
– How does Mark 14:58 help clarify John’s record? _____________________________
– What do you think the disciples thought when Jesus got angry and cleansed the
temple area? ___________________________________________________________
– How does this incident help disciples after Jesus was raised from the dead? (Vs. 17-22) __________________________________________________________________
7. Does Jesus offer more (in signs) than what He offered in vs. 19? (Cf. vs. 23)
8. Vs 24-25 What did/does Jesus know about “people” in general?
9. What life and or spiritual principles can we gain from this episode in the life of Jesus recorded in John’s gospel?