Lessons From The Beaver

BEAVER – “A large semi-aquatic broad-tailed rodent that is native to North America and Northern Eurasia. It is noted for its habit of gnawing through tree trunks to fell the trees in order to feed on the bark and build dams.” “Beaver” can also be used to refer to “hard work.” For example: “Bridget beavered away to keep things running smoothly.”
What do they do for ‘us humans?’ “They store water and improve hydro-logic conditions. They increase water storage on the surface as ponds are created and increased in size. This water filters down into the water table and recharges the ground water too.” (https://kingcounty.gov/environment).

Well, last year was my first encounter of this ‘third kind,’ and at first my wife and I were thinking “how cute!” When the lake froze of course we couldn’t see the beavers that much, but then came the springtime and the thaw along with the flooding of streams… and it flooded. The water came under the road and through the conduit so fast that it washed out the beaver’s efforts, which damage the neighbor’s dock.

Fast forward… the neighbor replaced his dock, and now preparing for the wintertime, the beaver started up again building its dam. This time it is a little further down towards the neighbor’s new dock. He is not pleased. Well, we had a sunny day, and I dawned my fishing rubber waders and into the lake I went, and with my four pronged digger proceeded to do some damage to the dam. I quickly learned respect for the beaver’s building abilities. Pulling away some unbelievably big branches , sticks, a 2X4X8, mud-packed roots and vegetation, stones, twigs, and all this on top of a base I have yet to figure out.

I was and am amazed at this beaver’s instinctive abilities at providing a home and a dam to provide an area for swimming and feeding for its family. Now I forgot to mention the huge home this beaver provided for its female of the species, and for the children. (Just a passing thought, I also learned that this thing seems to be a “one female for life beaver.” He is also the beaver of the ‘house.’ She seems to just be content with raising and feeding and caring for the little ones.)

Back to the dam! Ok, so I pulled, tugged, slipped, tossed and threw all kinds of stuff which Mr. B., had used to build this thing and got 6 feet of the pretty clear. WATER WAS POURING THROUGH. I was proud of myself. Took pictures. Bragged a bit on Facebook. (Big mistake!) Then someone wrote back saying, “It will be built back by tomorrow.” (“Never a discouraging word!)

I looked the next day and THE BEAVER HAD NOT WASTED TIME. (Another lesson learned!) “See something that needs done… get to it.” Another lesson, “If you don’t know where to begin… just start where you are, and some order will come.” The dam was completely repaired and the dam complete! ONE NIGHT!

Anyway… I “put up the white flag,” and I left the dam, determined to learn more lessons from this animal! For example, just because you run up against opposition and hardships caused by others… don’t give up! Yes, I am amazed at “Mr. B.”

I am more amazed at God’s creation. “In the beginning God created… and He saw it was good.” Genesis 1.
Let me know of lessons you learned form animals which you want to share.

Grow in grace friends.

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Getting Ready For Winter

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).

Grow in grace friends…

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One Day At A Time At 73

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:
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!

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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: romanprihodko22@gmail.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 romanprihodko22@gmail.com
(Thank you for taking time to read and consider the needs of the Ukrainian people… JHEJR)

Roma with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky
Teaching about Jesus while people wait to get food
Feeding refugees in Ukraine. The need is even more urgent as winter is coming. Winter temperatures reach down to -30 degrees. The people are ‘used to it,’ but then they had homes to go to then. Not now!
Roma on the right.Loading food and drink and other supplies to care for refugees.
If you can help out, please contact Roman Prihodko. His email is at the top of this article.
“Received groceries from an American family today. Thank God for them.”
Perhaps you can do this. These supplies are life saving for Ukrainians.
Thank you.
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Back In Business 2022

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.

Thank you for your patience. Looking forward to

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RUDY (aka Rudimous)

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.

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Our “Miss Precious” Is Gone

Miss Precious

Miss Precious (Mom and Dad’s poodle) lived for 16 years… She will always be in our family’s memory.
Passed away May 2018.

It has been a day now since she was gently put to sleep. Tears were shed and “good-byes” said to a sweet little Toy Poodle that had lived and been loved for 16 people years (80 doggy years). This means she almost lived as long as Dad did (he lived 81 years.)
Mom and Dad were feeling something was missing in their lives and so they went “dog hunting,” and they found a playful snow white little poodle. Of course Mom said “She was “just precious.” The name “Miss Precious” stuck, and they brought her home to their place in the Eastside Village in Lake City, Florida. Miss Precious was playful, spoiled, picky and quite feminine in her doggy ways. She slept with mom and dad each night, and had to be fed at a certain time of the day. She was indeed a one owner dog, and when left alone after Mom and dad passed, she changed, her world changed. For a short time she and Molly (their cat) stayed in Mom and Dads house until Wiwik and I adopted them both into our family. “Molly,” is still with us, and sweet as ever. Both Miss Precious and Molly were “greeted” by our own dog (a Weenie dog) named Little bit. Later came “Rudy” (Bob’s dog). It just seemed that we were the ones who ended up with animals left behind. Our family changed for sure.
Miss Precious was never really a “fighter.” We had to do her fighting for her, and eventually Little bit accepted her as part of the family.
So from 2010 till 2018 we were blessed with this sweet little Poodle. Eventually she was afflicted with spasms like epilepsy, and with tears we had to put her down. The picture above is her last picture. Sorry about this being such a short article, but memories of her last days are just painful. I will see if Dad has something he wrote about her.
I guess one must accept what comes our way when it comes to pets.
God is Good!
Grow in grace!

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SPECIAL: MP3 (Long Play Album) “Winning Over Worry”

Here is the first LP lesson which the author made back in 1972. It has been digitally formatted into MP3 for easy listening ‘on the go.’ This lesson is still desperately needed today and I can’t wait till the word gets out that it is available thru this website. It is a message of hope and encouragement for all who suffer with anxiety, who constantly wring their hands and wonder if they will make it thru the day.

(The following is from the back cover of the album.)

“Millions today are saddled with the problem of anxiety and worry. Barrels of barbiturates and tons of aspirin are consumed daily by those unable to cope with life. In fact, the total annual cost for 100 million prescriptions for ‘pill packing Americans’ is nearly 2 billion dollars  We are paralyzed by fear. People need help and need it desperately.

Books, articles and speeches, seem to be restricted to diagnosis. We suffer from the paralysis of analysis. We need prescription. We need the answer in terms easily understood and readily applied.

Jack Exum presents on this recording a message which has thrilled audiences around the world. The message comes from God’s Word and from a burning and burdened heart. A heart that understands the “worry is a prayer to the wrong god – it is listening to the voice of fear instead of the voice of faith.”

YOU CAN WIN OVER WORRY. There is an answer – there is a way: A Biblical formulae for victory over the vicious problem of worry. “Winning Over Worry” is a record of hope with a faith approach to life. It deals with problems – not pills. It is down-to-earth, easy to understand and listen to and is a must for those who seek the key to successful living.”
Cover design by: Jerry Harris
Written material is by: Bill Tyner

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