Markland News 3-28-13

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Hey friends, here we are just about the end of March…already.  Happy Easter to all my wonderful friends and to our Latino amigos, Feliz la Pascua. I haven’t noticed that ‘time’ is slowing down any this year have you? Isn’t that odd?

Last Wednesday (20th) was the first day of spring, not that you could tell by the weather: Saturday I had 62 degrees and sunshine, Sunday three and a half inches of snow with a howling wind that let icicles hang off the end of my nose, and Monday over an inch and a half of rain, Tuesday and Wednesday, colder than a well-digger’s fanny in the Klondike (as my mother used to say), Friday and Saturday, still chilly but at least, with sunshine.

That old tale saying that if you don’t like the weather in Indiana, give it a few minutes and it will change seems to be proving itself especially true this year – of course that didn’t say it would change for the better.

Most of you know that the first day of spring (and thus Easter) is predicated on the vernal equinox and varies a little from year to year, doesn’t depend on the weather at all (bet that didn’t surprise you.) Even though ‘ole man winter’ is stubbornly sticking around, many of the very hardy plants are coming up and the faithful daffodils are waving their beautiful yellow flags, heralding the coming of warmer temperatures. Take hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Rita Green told me a joke that son Sam (the truck driver) thought was hilarious. A semi driver was coming down the highway and being too tall, got stuck under an overpass. A gentleman in the car behind him came up and was making conversation with the truck driver about the problem when an obliviously fresh, brand-new patrolman arrived, and over stating the problem, said to the trucker, “Seems like you got stuck under the overpass.”

The trucker instantly came back with the reply, “Why no officer, I was hauling an ‘overpass’ down the highway and ran out of gas.”

In our family, sons (and all teenagers), always have a ready comeback, in every situation, in many of which it would have been better if they kept their mouth shut. The boys all tell me they can’t help it, that it is a genetic condition – they got it from me.

Patty Miller (Mrs. George) came out to spend the day with me on that ‘nice’ Saturday (I teased her saying that she didn’t move unless it was approaching 70 degrees – to which she replied, “Yes and the sun has to be shinning too.) Then son Sam and wife Cyndi Carr dropped in and we had a ‘clean-out-the-frig’ dinner; it actually turned out pretty good. Everybody enjoyed it and I got the ‘frig’ cleaned out. In between visiting and lots of laughter, Sam and Cyndi did several chores for me.

This past week was ‘spring break’ for most of the school kids; grandson Josh and his friend Matt Green, popped in to move a lot of concrete blocks for me (they were half buried in the ground so it was a job and a half.) I fixed a big pot of spaghetti for them and boy could that Matt eat; he could have put a starving lumberjack to shame. Any cook will tell you that it is a pleasure to cook for anyone that eats like that; it makes cooking fun. I had fun.

Josh was telling me that several band students of Mrs. Beitzel have been nominated to represent our school in a band event in Indianapolis (hasn’t Mrs. Beitzel done a fantastic job with our band; kudos to you Mrs. Beitzel and to the students that you have taught and inspired.) Josh was one of those nominated, naturally the family is proud of him.

Mary Martin stopped in one evening after work and had supper with me; she enjoyed the dinner and I enjoyed the visit.

The next few paragraphs may seem like a litany of woe…but they are not. Read on and see how God has met each individual need.

One, due to poor economics (both mine and the nation’s), I had to give up my phone (that is why you cannot reach me by telephone); however I did qualify for a free cell phone provided for seniors and the disabled (both physically and financially.) So I do have a phone for emergencies like calling 911, accidents, falls, etc. It provides me with so many minutes of ‘free’ calls but I do not give out the number for that reason – the minutes do not last that long. God met the actual need.

To reach me, please drop me a line (old school, snail mail) at 10128 Markland Pike, Vevay, IN, 47043; I apologize for the inconvenience.

Two, the furnace quit. A gentleman came out to repair it and it worked for about a week, then quit again; this was a couple of months ago and I just figured the furnace was a ‘goner’. I have a fireplace in the living room, and my family, both biological and spiritual, have kept me supplied in wood and that keeps the upstairs warm. Downstairs (bedroom) I have an electric heating mattress cover that takes care of the night. God met the actual need.

Three, the computer went bananas…again. Mike got part of it fixed but part is still unusable. The part I have to have to get the column out is still there. Again the need was met.

Four, with the high cost of fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc. it is no longer possible for me to afford having a car. My daughter-in-law Cyndi will take me to town once a week to do business chores and visit some friends, Mike and/or Mary will take me to church, and a host of good friends have volunteered to take me other places. God continues to meet the need.

Naturally living in the country without having a car, presents a few problems but not insurmountable ones. Our bridge group will pick me up for the games (the only other solution was to always having it at my house – fortunately, they vetoed that, haha.) Other problems I will solve, with the help of a loving family and wonderful friends – God does meet our needs.

Wilma and I were downtown Wednesday (it was cold); we picked up some fresh doughnuts at the Cash Saver Market and went to Patty’s for coffee. We had a real nice visit and got caught up on family/friends news (ok, so we gossiped a little.) Then Wilma and I did all the chores that brought us to town in the first place; somewhere along the line, Wilma lost one of her gloves and on Thursday she was still looking for it.

Friday morning, Ana Slover came over to chat and we went over to Cyndi’s to pick up farm eggs for Ana. We stopped and visited with Debbie Turner on the way back (Debbie has her shop closed until the weather gets a little better.) Debbie told us that son Alex will be going to Europe this summer on a school-sponsored event. Alex is looking forward to that.

Ana told us that last weekend she had a ‘gaggle of girls’ at her house, after a lot of laughter, she said that granddaughter Hannah Slover (Addam and Jennie’s daughter) came in from school at Muncie during the break and spent the night with her and Bob. Jennie and the girls took Ana to see the “Les Miserables” movie; Ana said it was really good. Ana said she and Bob had a good time visiting with the girls but they did have an awful lot of energy.

A few days ago, two gentlemen from the Jehovah’s Witness knocked on the door and subsequently left a brochure for me. I personally disagree with several of the fundamental tenets of the JW’s but I do admire their dedication.

There was a statement in the brochure that I found very intriguing. It said that Christ’s crucifixion was 1,980 years ago and the anniversary would be March 26th, 2013. Whoa, isn’t that interesting, not vitally important but surely interesting. Naturally I started calling around to check on it. I called Bob Slover (a good Biblical researcher), a couple of other good friends, and a preacher or two. After much conversation, study, and a little controversy, the general consensus was that it is quite probably true.

Bob’s research came up with (and agreed with most of the rest of us) that our current Christian calendar is wrong due to a mistake a monk made in the middle ages. The calendar in use for most countries today is the Gregorian calendar that Pope Gregory XIII instituted in 1582 to correct many errors of earlier attempts (solar, lunar Egyptian, Roman, Julian, [just to name a few]) at a universal calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the one that we basically use in the USA, as do many other countries. Muslim countries use the Moslem calendar based on the lunar cycles. At any rate, it is no wonder the poor monk made a mistake.

The Crucifixion occurred during the Jewish Festival of Passover (Jewish calendar is also different) that is always celebrated beginning the 15th day of the Jewish month of Abib (our March/April period); therefore March 26th seems to be about right. Christian tradition celebrates Easter on the Sunday after the first full moon on/after the first day of spring (remember spring is predicated on the vernal equinox and is not fixed and varies but is always within the Jewish month of Abib.) Christian tradition also celebrates and honors the birth of Christ on December 25th, not that we believe that He was actually born on that day but is a date we have chosen to honor His birth. My thanks to everyone that contributed, and conversed, about this subject; I enjoyed all of it.

The actual date that He died, or was born, is not crucial to our Christian faith, only the fact of His resurrection is crucial. If the fact that He died on the cross…and that ended it, it would make Christianity futile and actually non-existent. He would have been, as the Muslims believe, a prophet and a great man, but that would have been the end of it.

Instead, after having died and been buried, Christ arose from the grave and provided hope and assurance to every Christian ever born. It is the resurrection of Christ that we honor and celebrate on Easter.

Any person that believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God, accepts the sacrifice personally that Jesus made by dying on the cross, realizes that he/she is a sinner and repents (is sorry) and asks God for forgiveness, accepts Christ as his/her Savior, will be accepted by God as His child with all of his/her sins completely washed away and forgotten by God. That person will receive eternal life; praise be to God.

There will be a sunrise service at Markland Baptist (as at many other churches in our community and I know you would be welcome at any of them); MBS will begin at 7:15 and will be followed by a congregational breakfast. There will be no Sunday school but the regular Worship service will be at 10:45; communion will be served on Easter. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt after the Worship service.

We had several folks on our Prayer List this week: Peggy Eckerty is having medical tests run at the hospital, Dana Carter’s due date was the 16th (I haven’t heard if we have a new citizen or not yet), Suzie Ashcraft’s home burned to the ground (she lost everything – Suzie is a 911 operator in Ohio County), Eric Dunning was in a car accident, Betty Williams and family, and Kali Carfield and family and Jeanne Bragg with Sally Nay and sister, are all traveling, Dale Miller and wife (medical problems), Betty Mishler, prayer for Ruth Lohide and Jan Rayles for their continued wonderful good progress, Chuck Byrum and family, Denny Brown, Lucinda Mangold, Eldric and Joy Hazeldean, Louise Rayles, Mary Davenport, Vandora Bennett, Unsaved loved ones and Unspoken requests; we lift all these petitions up to God.

Lots of folks will be having big dinners to celebrate the holiday…and that means leftovers. Drop me a line and let me know what some of your favorite leftover recipes are. After I try them, I will share with everyone else in the column. Some of my favorite leftover recipes are layering different foods in a casserole dish; this can cover a lot of variables: layer of cooked noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes, layer of meat (cubed, it has already been cooked), a layer of something green (like cooked broccoli – maybe cheese over it) a layer of dressing (have to use some melted butter and some liquid in the dressing), a can or two of some kind of ‘cream of’ soup, top it with bread crumbs, crushed crackers (corn flakes makes a good topping too), or maybe crushed potato chips, then bake the whole ‘shebang’.

I should mention that sometimes I have to feed my creations to Cyndi’s chickens or to the neighbor’s dogs but most of the time, they are edible.

Until we talk again, may the Lord cause His face to shine on you and to keep you safe from harm; may He lift up His countenance and give you heart-peace. Amen.