"And that knowing the time, that now is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying." -- Romans 13:11, 12, 13
The rainstorm we had this forenoon seems to have moved on. Actually, on this late Tuesday afternoon, it is clearing off. But not soon enough for me to do laundry. I don't believe the stuff would dry very well. The humidity is really heavy now. I sure wish I would have got our rain gauge set up. We must have gotten at least two inches, possibly more.
What is really kind of sad is our second cutting of hay is mowed. It got a good rinsing, that's for sure. I don't know how much, if any damage was done.
We were on the road through most of the rainstorm. During the very worst of it, we took refuge in neighbor Mervin and Mary Kay Millers' barn. The big door was open, so we just drove right on in the barn. We certainly were thankful for the shelter. Also, it was good his barn isn't as cluttered as ours, or we couldn't have got in.
At least this rain didn't come on Sunday. Our neighbors, Ray Chupps had church services and we could walk. It was really nice to walk.
We had a really interesting and inspiring sermon, although at times my mind kind of wandered. I was facing the west windows. Delilah, Mrs. Ray, has garden Phlox planted by those windows. They were beautiful, they have large flower heads that stuck up just above the window sill. There was a slight breeze blowing, just enough so that these flowers bobbled and swayed.
To me and my imagination, it was like a group of children peering in the windows, nudging each other, trying to figure out what is going on inside.
Then my eyes would stray to this other article of interest in one corner of the room.
I must confess, I committed the sin of envy when my eyes landed on that thing. I did ask the Lord to forgive me, I really didn't mean to.
The article of interest was an old fashioned weed burning cookstove. Someone had given it to their son John and he restored it. It truly is beautiful. I've always wanted one. But, of course, now, at this stage of our life, I would not have room for one. And it would not even be feasible to have a usable one. I'm not even sure this one is usable. Maybe it is just for show.
But then I did pay attention to the sermon. Then again, my thoughts took wing.
The preacher was talking about the second coming of Christ and how everyone will be weeping, some in utter despair, if God says, "Depart from me. I never knew you." Others weeping for joy if they are recognized as faithful servants and can live with our Savior eternally.
He commented how we probably have done both here on earth, although, I don't think anyone would have felt the degree of despair or joy one will feel at that time.
But my mind went to two instances in our life, the despair when we thought we missed the bus going to Ohio for the wedding of a nephew.
We did meet the bus and it waited for us. But on that last day, if we miss it there will be no waiting and the despair will be beyond comprehension.
On the other hand, we probably have had joy that brought weeping.
My mind went back to the time when my niece, Beth Gingerich, now Slabaugh, was just a wee tot and was lost in a corn field.
After hours of a lot of people searching for her, I found her in my row. I grabbed her, held her tight and just cried my heart out. With joy!
But that joy is not even comparable if we make it to the other side and can live with Jesus eternally.
It isn't always easy and it takes sacrificing. But, after all, that is what it's all about, isn't it? Jesus sacrificed His life for us.
In closing: You can't have joy without peace and there is no peace without God.
I believe this week we'll try this pizza recipe. You could probably jazz it up with some pepperoni if you wish.
4 cups macaroni, cooked
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 lb. ground beef, browned
3 cups pizza sauce, divided
1 lb. shredded cheese, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp. oil
1 cup milk
1 cup Bisquick
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
Mix macaroni with the cream of mushroom soup and set aside. Place ground beef in bottom of a nine-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Top with half the pizza sauce, then half the cheese. Layer on the macaroni mixture. Top with remaining pizza sauce and cheese. Mix together eggs, oil, milk, Bisquick and butter to make crust. Pour carefully over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.