This day also is Father’s Day. Father’s are a blessing from God. I know mine is to me. I pray that I have been to my three sons, and two daughters too. Our daughters Charity and Monica both have children with their husbands and are both happy and to to be Moms. Two of our sons are Dads and happy and blessed to be so. I am now blessed as a grandfather of nine living, two with Jesus in heaven, and one on the way.
On this Sunday we will be attending church at Carr Lane Baptist, preaching the morning message, worshipping in the preaching and singing of hymns, songs, and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. On this beautiful first day of Summer. What a wonderful day our Lord has wrought.
Thank YOU Lord.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Here in Southwest Missouri we have seen a good amount of Spring thunderstorms. I get the chance to view the activity of some of them. I love watching the bolts of lightning as they flash across the sky, and light up the darkness. Not too many months ago I had just driven out on a nearby highway headed into Cassville about 5:30 a.m. during a storm, and a bolt of lightning came down pretty close to where I was. You talk about a loud clap of thunder, and I let out a whoop. It startled me at first, but then I thought WOW!!!, that was awesome
This morning as I was driving into Cassville, and it was about fifteen minutes later or about 5:45 a.m. and off near the horizon; that I could see; there was a flash of lightning that lit up the whole western sky within the clouds. That was a beautiful sight to behold. It made me think of Nahum 1:3, “The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” (NKJV).
The other night some had heard that a nearby community; the one that I grew up in; was under a tornado warning. Some of our family called to check on us, worried that we might have been near it. I went outside, looked to the south, and southwest, then all around, and there were no low lying clouds, not any that looked threatening at all. A daughter in law called doing the same thing, and her husband, our son, could be heard in the background saying, “Tell Dad to come in from watching that tornado”. My kids know me. I have always enjoyed the storms. I have to admit that should we ever get hit by a tornado I might not be so anxious to see one again, but then I don’t know.
I hurt and weep for those who are touched by the storms; whethere it is by flooding, winds, tornadoes, hail, or lightning it would be a horrible thing. In the midst of all this though we must remember “The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” He is sovereign and in control of even the storms that touch our lives. Even the storms that have to do with sickness, finances, and He especially cares for our spiritual need of knowing Him. This wasn’t meant to be a sermon or even a Bible Study, but I hope any who read it may find encouragement in their storm.
There will be many more storms, much more lightning, more tornadoes, more hail, more straight line winds, and there will be more destruction, and more lives touched by the storms. How we handle them declares our faith in God or our lack thereof.
The next time you see that bolt of lightning, or a flash which I saw this morning, remember who is much more powerful than all the lightning ever lightninged [new word!!!], and the winds that have ever blown, all the tornadoes that have ever twisted their way through cities, farms, towns and homes, and more powerful than all the floods that ever flowed. His name is Jesus. To that I say WOW!!!!!
The past few days here in Southwest MO. has been wet. Wet may not be big enough word for it. It has been downright in the, at least next to the Noahic Flood proportions. That is probably slightly overstating the situation, but I know that is how some of us have felt. Some have even accused me of building an “Ark” and getting ready to float away.
Life sure is interesting at times. One week we are dismissing schools due to snow, ice, and winter storms. The next week we are getting out of school early due to flooding rainfall. Letting out early so as to be sure we get the kids home without buses getting cut off, and such.
Well! Welcome to the second day of Spring 2008. It is great. I have never made any secret to Spring and Summer being my two favorite seasons of the year. It seems that I am especially appreciative of this Spring. Snow, ice and cold just doesn’t do anything for me. I don’t complain about it. It is the days our Lord have given us, and they do have their function and purpose, and they too give glory to their Creator.
Let me tell you about my last two or three days of Winter with Spring affects. Monday night March 17 we received a large amount of rainfall. Tuesday morning when I drove down our driveway toward the road I was wondering about my ability to cross the branch which crosses the road on both sides of our access. When I got to it I saw it deeper than any other time I had crossed; I looked and debated with myself whether it would be the right thing, and safe thing to cross or not, and finally decided I would cross. I did, and made it across in good shape. Upon returning home the branch had risen considerably, with the waters wavy rolling across the crossing. I decided not to cross in the car, but to find a fallen tree across it upstream or something. I walked upstream for awhile until I found a mangled mess of two or three trees which reached across. It was still raining, I crossed, walked to the house, soaked and ready to get my jacket off and my feet dry.
The School called me about noon, and told me they were lining up the buses at 1:15 p.m. to take the students home. The water was still rising. The rain was still falling, and at times in record proportions. As I walked back to the car, I once again crossed the mangled trees, got successfully to the other side, jumped down on the bank, at which time that bank collapsed and the bank and myself went down into the stream up to my knees. I crawled out even wetter than I hoped I would be, went on to the car, and went and drove my kids home.
When I came home that afternoon, the water was higher, and I decided to keep the car on the side it was on and just wade across the low water bridge. I have been around these waters around here for a long time, and I know what it can do so I was very cautious in doing it. I slowly put one foot in front of the other, through the water, got stable in the fast moving water, then would move the other. By the way, it was only about knee deep, but there is a whole lot of power in knee deep water moving with any speed. I made it safely home, took off my wet shoes, socks, and clothes and got comfortable.
The next morning going back to drive the School bus, I did the same thing. It had gone done an inch or two measuring on my knees, but was still a bit swift. I almost lost my balance, but managed to regain it. I sure didn’t want to fall down; I don’t think I could have stopped too quickly. On my return home the stream had receded some more, and I drove the car up to our house. I was glad.
I have had quite the adventure. I like adventure. I am thankful that the Lord is my Caretaker, and that He is still watching over all who are His, and over those who are not His. I am so glad that it is Spring, and that the grass will begin turning green, the easter lillies are blooming, the birds are singing the peepers are peeping. It is so good to know that “The LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet” (Nahum 1:3b).
-by Tim A. Blankenship
It has happened once again. The State of Missouri has been hit with an ice storm again. I think this makes the third one in the past 13 months. In January of 2007 several thousand homes were without power, and for quite some time people were hurting without heat, and the comfort of their homes.
I don’t know of any in my area who have lost power. I must give our Electric Cooperative applause for their maintenance of our electric lines. The Barry Electric Cooperative is very good at keeping the wires cleared of timber and brush. Even that though, sometimes is not enough. This ice can grow quite heavy as it builds up on the lines. These men are ever vigilant to keep the power on and for that I am grateful to them, as should be all their customers. Let me make one thing clear before I continue with this post; I am not an employee of the cooperative, but only a customer, and I guess since it is a Rural Cooperative I am a member as well, who is very proud of these men and women who keep it going.
This is being written on the second day of school cancellation at the Cassville School District. My usual departing time for the morning – to go and drive the school bus – is about 5:15 a.m., and it takes me approximately 30 minutes to get to the bus garage. When I left yesterday morning it was about that same time. There was ice on the car, which I had to break loose from the door, then started the car, took the ice scraper to the windows, then departed. I had gotten nearly half way to Cassville when my wife called my cell phone and told me that my Supervisor had called with his automated call, and informed all drivers there was no school.
I found a place to turn around, and I came back home. The roads were getting “slickery”. That word “slickery” is a word I learned from my four year old grandson. I liked it so I use it here. They were icing, slushy, and driving carefully is required in such conditions. When I found a good place to turn around I came home. Then, it continued to pile up some more.
The temps are not bitterly cold, but it is still Winter, and I am still waiting for Spring to arrive. I have never made it any secret that Spring and Summer are my two favorite seasons of the year. I am, however, very grateful to our God and Creator, for everyday of life and living. It all comes from Him.
Since I last posted Winter has arrived, and in some parts of our Nation, with a vengeance. We have had a bit of cold weather, into the lower teens, but that isn’t too bad. Besides that it didn’t hang on and last forever. The longest spell of below freezing we have had was about three days, and that was just at the beginning of January. I am, however, already looking forward to Spring.
I went to the cardiologist in early December to have him tell me that the EKG showed “no significant sign of a problem”. I do have an appointment to return on the twenty third of January for and ECG.
The family and I had a wonderful Christmas. The wife and I’s kids went together got us a Crossley entertainment cabinet. It is an old style look radio, with CD player, audio cassette player, and turntable for 33, 45’s and 78 records. That was a really pleasant surprise and gift for us. We have been enjoying it.
Back before Christmas the Eastern part of Southern Missouri was hit pretty hard with an icestorm, which left a lot of people in the Joplin area without power, no lights, no heat, no television (Oh no!). Our son James and his wife Amber were in the thick of that, and were without power for about 9 days. They did get to come for Christmas. Their power was on shortly before that.
On Tuesday a friend and I went to Branson to see a mutual friend in the Skaggs Hospital there. As we were about to get off the elevator on the floor he was on, my cell phone rang, and it was my sister Judy. “Guess what Dad just did”, she said. I said, “I wouldn’t have a clue”. She said, “He rolled his truck”. My answer to that was, “WHAT?!”, and I know I placed a question mark and an exclamation mark after that, because I am not sure which it was. Yes, he had rolled his old blue Ford pickup truck. He wasn’t injured any, except maybe his pride. Evidently he has experienced no pain from bruising or anything either. He has been trying to get used to a prosthesis on his right leg. That may have played some part in the incident. It also was on the farm away from any major roads.
At the beginning of this week, Tuesday evening and into the early hours of Wednesday morning there was a consistent storm of tornadic activity hitting in the Northwestern part of Barry County. We live in middle Eastern part of the said County. That storm is very hard to describe. It took a path in a straight line. One tornado warning would come to a town, and then after it passed another one on the same path would be right behind it. Homes, businesses, and some lives were taken in areas further from us.
Near 3 a.m. my wife and I were awakened by a strong straight wind. It was near time for me to get up for the day, so I just got up, and Madge went back to bed. The wind died down and everything proceeded as normal the rest of the day, at least for us. May the Lord help those who were touched and harmed by this storm, and especially those who lost loved ones.
There is no one who is not touched by some sort of storm in their lives. If they are not presently they shortly will be.
“If I never had a problem, how could I know that God could solve them.” Isn’t that in a good old song or something.
In a couple of the past post, as a matter of fact the last two; I may have seemed a bit discouraged. I was. Discouragement is a horrible thing, but one thing I can say about it is that when you get lifted out – you really know it.
There have been a really great event of news that has not gotten out a long ways, and that is Madge and I are going to be grandparents once again. I won’t say which of our kids yet, but it is supposed to be due in early July. Used to you didn’t even know you were expecting that quick, but technology has a way.
I also returned to the doctor today to see about my BP, and surprise of surprise, he released me to return to driving the School Bus. That tickled my goat. That is a good thing. Most adults would not think of another adult being glad to get back to driving a School Bus. People in their right mind wouldn’t be driving a School Bus; or so I have heard and as we bus drivers often kid around about. I drove the evening route today, and was glad to be back, and the other drivers were glad to see me back.
One of the things that helps me enjoy driving the Bus is the other drivers, the supervisor, and mechanics, and the School Administration and Board. Cassville School District is a pleasure to drive for. They pay the drivers the best of any School District in the State of Missouri, provide health insurance, sick days, get 2 personal days per school year (paid), and paid holidays. Not many School Districts provide such a good package. The best thing is the people I work with. Mostly a lot of fun to be around.
I am thankful to be back to driving the bus again, and I pray God will use me to be a faithful witness for His glory, and will bless the Carr Lane Baptist Church greatly too. I want to express a word of thanks to all who prayed for me these past two weeks. God has answered and heard you. Bless the holy name of Jesus, Son of the Living God, and who is God incarnate.
When I was in school, whether it was Elementary or High School I hated tests. it really didn’t matter what kind of test; I just hated them.
Entering into the grown up work force and life’s reality I learned that every body has tests, even we adults. The problem with life’s reality tests is that sometimes you don’t know you are taking the test. There is no one who will tell you, “We are having a test tomorrow over the studied text”, and you sometimes have no way of knowing what’s going to be on the test.
Since my last article here at “To Everything…A Season” where I wrote of the song “I Choose”, and how it had been a real encouragement to me. If you don’t remember read the previous post. I do know the chorus a bit better now, and I did notice that I used the wrong word for a song chorus, and wrote “course”. I knew better I just didn’t catch what I had written.
The song’s chorus is this way; “I choose to believe You are faithful, and my heart is in your hands; that this mystery I face today is part of a greater plan. I choose not to be discouraged when the sun will not break through. I have the choice of trusting You; so Lord, this is what I choose.” It is still a source of encouragement to me.
The only thing that has changed is that I have been and I am presently being tested to how sure and true this is to my life. Sometimes I just wonder if I missed God’s real calling for my life. I do believe, having studied the Scriptures for over 33 years that every Christian has a calling in their life. That doesn’t mean being a pastor, missionary, or anything like that. It just means some Christians are called to be farmers, school teachers, policemen [or any form of law enforcement], soldiers, dog catchers, doctors, nurses, carpenters, bus drivers, and you could add your own occupation or vocation here.
Whatever it is God has called you to be content in doing it. And, do it as unto the Lord. I do know one thing for sure. If you believe God is calling you to a work, then, you better go to it as soon as He calls. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Think about what happened to Jonah.
I still dislike tests, but today I have a better understanding of why we have them. They strengthen our resolve to get done what we know we need to get done. They also show us things about ourselves we didn’t know before. Like, how durable and faithful we really are. Then, we can give God the Son and His Father all the glory.
The past two weeks have been pretty busy for my wife and I. We have enjoyed the days though. On the fourth of July we had our Blankenship family, friends and neighbors celebration down at the swimming hole, with picnic, fireworks and all. On the weekend preceeding the ninth we had our kids and grandkids at the house for our annual family get together.
My previous writing was concerning produce in our garden, which has been greatly neglected. With the rain and lack of time to get to it it has only been tilled one time. Yet, it is producing. My wife Madge and I went on Friday and dug some new potatoes, picked some green tomatoes, some bell peppers and some cucumbers.
On the ninth Madge and I headed to Mt. Vernon, MO. to join others in the kitchen of Baptist Hill Campground for Barry County Southern Baptist Association’s annual Children’s Camp. We were about a dozen strong doing kitchen work, cooking, distributing salads, drinks, cereals, and such as that. It was a long day for about four days. The day started for me at 4 a.m. with my regular devotion times, then, at 5 would go to the cafeteria where some of the men would have a cup of coffee and fellowship a few minutes before getting breakfast started.
As soon as breakfast was over and the pots and pans were clean we started lunch, then as soon as lunch was over we started preparing for supper (dinner). There was rarely a time to relax. I don’t mean that as a complaint. The time flew by. It was also a joy to see those 280 campers come by getting their meals. Many of them were saying “Thank you” as they went through the line being served the food for that meal. That was a great thing.
One of the best things was having a young lady tell of her receiving Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. An update from our Director of Missions was that there were 20 decisions for salvation. That is sure one of the worthy affects of camp. We praise our God of grace and mercy