Wednesday, December 19, 2012



THE CRY FROM RAMAH

Jeremiah 31:15       Matthew 2:18

I once heard a rendition of the old Irish protest song, 
"The Wearing of the Green".It is seldom heard in these 
days of political correctness and is virtually outlawed
in the British Isles. 

I was intrigued enough to go to Google and read more 
about it.It was written during the Irish fight for 
independence from England and became
the anthem of that movement.

For days after that , I could not get its catchy tune and 
biting words out of my head. 
Somewhere along the way, the phrase,


        "Oh Paddy dear,have you heard
         the news that's going round?
         The shamrock is forbid by law 
         to grow on Irish ground;...."

became,

        "Oh, Rachel dear, have you heard          
         the news that’s going round?
         The slaughter of the innocents 
          in this and every town..."

Over many weeks, other phrases began to fall into place.  
It was not a pleasant process but I felt that I had to follow
 it to its conclusion. I often had to stop just to rest my 
emotions.

A presentation about CHOOSE LIFE at our church gave 
me the push to bring it to a conclusion.  I think it is finished 
unless the Spirit moves me farther, but some adjustment in 
wording and meter may be necessary.  Anyway, this is the 
current version:

Oh, Rachel dear, have you heard the news that’s going round?
The slaughter of the innocents in this and every town.
They talk about the right to choose, it makes me shed a tear?
They’re killing unborn babies, a million more each year.

I dreamed of the Babe, Mary, Joseph down in Egypt Land,
They asked,”How is blessed U S of A, just how does it stand?“
Ah, ‘tis still greatly blessed but in the throes of decay,
Herod’s spawn has been set loose, what more can I say?

An industry of blood, they are feeling no more guilt or shame.
Mothers, Doctors, Judges, Press, seem to think it’s just a game.
How can there be a right to end those little lives so dear?
Insist there’s a higher law and you’re met with a sneer.

A woman’s right to choose trumps the children’s right to life. 
Gestation’s fruit, inconvenience, ended by a surgeon’s knife.
Once, there were laws against such dastardly deeds and crimes,
But misguided judges distort the law in these modern times.


There’s no sanctity of life; it’s written in the law, so they say. 
Can these laws be changed if we just vote, preach, and pray?
No, the change that’s needed is in the darken hearts of man.
So we, each, must spread the love of JESUS everywhere we can.

“It’s a baby not a lump of clay.” Remember this as we vote.
And from the pulpits, we must proclaim what GOD has wrote.
Falling on our knees with love and hope, earnestly, lift up 
In love, those who feel they must drink from this bitter cup.
Copyright © 2009 Willie E. Weaver

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Surprise Christmas


A Surprise Christmas

What if Christmas took us by surprise,
One morning, it was there with the sunrise!
No time for anxious planning or hurried shopping,
No crowded shops, depleted stocks or endless traffic.
No subtle hints, card lists or postal hassles,
No elaborate feasts, flashy pageants or riotous celebration.

Only time to welcome the day and exclaim,
" 'Tis our Lord's birthday!"
Time to give thanks for love sent into the world,
Time to share that love with those we meet
And, perhaps, bring a hungry soul to His table.

Time to commune with God through His Word and prayer,
To stand with our hand in His, our dear friend,
our older brother, our Lord.
Just time to share love; God's love for man,
our love for each other.
Time for a smile, a kind word, a hug.

Oh!, may Christmas surprise us every day.

Copyright 2002© Willie E. Weaver 
All rights reserved.  Its is unlawful to reproduce 
this in any form without the express permission 
of the author.
You are welcome to post comments to My Blog.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The White-Faced Bumblebee


The White-Faced Bumblebee

The white-faced bumblebee does not sting.  I know this is true because Nancy told me so.  To prove her statement she took a bee out of the jar and, gently restraining it from flying away, let it crawl around her fingers.  

After this demonstration I questioned, “If it doesn’t sting, does it bite?”

“Yes, it does bite a little, but it can’t hurt you, see”, she said as she placed a finger tip against it‘s mouth and it nibbled with no ill effects.

I took the bee into my cupped hands and felt it crawl around inside.  Not an unpleasant sensation, but somewhat disconcerting for a very squeamish little boy.  With the continuing irritation and a desire to see the bee in my own hands, I attempted to make the transition from the hollow of my hands to holding it in my fingers as she had done.  Needless to say, in the process, it escaped and returned to feeding on the many flowering shrubs that surrounded our log house, but no harm was done.

There were several more white-faced bees in the jar.  She promptly extracted another one and offered it to me, reminding me that it was the white-faced ones that did not sting.  I do not remember how many bees I let escape or how many my unpracticed fingers injured, but soon I could take a bee from her and let it move about my fingers without losing or injuring it.  I even became brave enough to offer it the tip of my finger for a few nibbles. 

Obtaining the jar of bees had been simple enough.  After watching the many bees gathering nectar for a while, we went inside where Nancy asked our mother for a jar with a lid so she could catch some bees.  With the jar we returned to the yard where Nancy quickly caught more than a dozen bees by holding the jar under a feeding bee and coaxing it into the jar with the lid.

[NOTE:  A bumblebee, if dropped into an open jar, 
will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. 
It never sees the means of escape at the top, but
persists in trying to find some way out through the 
sides near the bottom.]

I never became very adept at capturing bumble bees this way, nor could I capture them directly as Nancy often did by reaching out to lift a feeding bee from a flower with her bare hand.  Sometimes she would hand me a white-faced bee while she would take a black-faced one.  “Remember, you can only play with the white faces, because they don’t sting, but I can play with either.”  From later experience I know that the black faced bees do sting, but I do not remember one stinging her.  

When we tired of playing with the bees, Nancy would remove the lid from the jar and turn it over and let the remaining bees return to their task of gathering nectar.

I assume today that she had learned from experience which bees stung and which did not, but then little brother never questioned where older sister had learned all the things that she was teaching him.  She had a world of knowledge and was always eager to share it with me.

“Don’t climb on the pig pen, the pigs will bit your toes off!” 

“You can climb up and bump your head on the ceiling in the corner of a log house.” (She would demonstrate this for me by backing into a corner, placing her hands and bare feet on the logs on each side of the corner and working her way up the wall.  I was never brave enough to get more that a couple of logs above the floor).  When she started school, she continued to share her newly acquired knowledge with me, but school was a short lived experience for her.

I felt my sister was a very special person, always protective of me, always eager to teach me new things.  But very early, I knew that Nancy was different.  She had seizures.  Within the family we called them “spells.”  Unkind children and even some adults would say she had “fits.”

A grand mal epileptic seizure is not a pleasant thing to watch, but if it has always been a part of your life, you do adjust.  It never becomes common place and it is always heart rending for those who must be on the scene and for those who provide care.  You learn not to react outwardly and to go on with your day, but you never learn not to care.

By all accounts, Nancy was a brilliant child, eager to learn and eager to know life.  But, by age 10 it was apparent that the deprivation of oxygen during seizures and the heavy medications were taking their toll, both physically and mentally.

As she grew older, nerve damage and crippling arthritis caused her to lose the ability to move about on her own.  She lost the ability to put together clear-complete sentences.  She lost the ability to properly chew and swallow her food.  Several years after our father died it became obvious that my mother could no longer care for her at home.  So with heavy hearts we placed her in a nursing home.   There my mother sat with her almost every day and many family members and friends visited her on a regular basis.  

Although she became more and more impaired, she never lost her knowledge of and love of Jesus.  She was sure that one day she would go to heaven where she would be reunited with her Daddy and where Jesus would give her a new body.

She never lost her knowledge of and love of friends and family.  She recognized every one who came to visit and called them by name even if she had not seen them for many years.   With a little questioning, she could always tell me who was kin to whom in our family or community.  

Of course, as I grew up my attitude was not always charitable.  Many times I wondered why my sleep must be disturbed or was concerned about what my friends might think.

Many times I asked God to make a change but accepted it as an unchangeable part of my life, just like the weather and just as unpredictable.  

As the years went by, I often asked God. “WHY?”

“Why must she suffer so?

“Why must she be such a burden on my mother?”

However, I eventually took a cue from my mother and learned that I was asking the wrong question.  

The right question goes more like---”How can I best serve and minister in this situation?”

For many years we all grieved for the NANCY that was trapped inside that disabled body and confused mind.  Then at the age of 63-1/2 and after 22 years in a nursing home, Nancy passed away with aspiration pneumonia.  Like the bumblebees which we had confined in a jar for a little while and then set free, she was set free from the suffering of this earth and went to be with her Daddy and Jesus in heaven.

Copyright 2012© Willie E. Weaver 

You are welcome to post comments to My Blog.

Friday, June 15, 2012

In The Garden



One Day, in the late fall, I was out trimming the shrubbery along the front of my house.  It was a job that I should have finished several weeks ago.  Now the miss cuts that I made will not have time to re-grow and will be visible until the spring re-growth.  As I cut, I mumbled to myself about retiring to a house with so much yard upkeep.  An acre of grass to mow, the leaves from 29 trees to rake and bag, and, of course, 150 feet of shrubbery (front, side and back) to keep shaped to perfection; what was I thinking? 

 I am not complaining and I am not having second thoughts about our selection of this place.  The effort involved in tending the grounds  keeps me active and gets me out in the fresh air.  I guess I could hire someone to take care of the yard or I could have retired to one of those places where all the work is done for you, even the cooking and dish washing, or I could have retired to a resort area and lived a life of total leisure.  However, that really does not fit my temperament.  I do a lot of reading and some writing; that keeps my mind busy and I hope nimble.  The yard work and my shop keep my body active and nimble but also produces some aches and pains.  The aches tell me that I am still alive.

 As I proceeded with the trimming, a few aches developed, a few bugs hovered about, and although the weather was mild, I began to perspire.  However, I was intent on keeping the cuts straight and in finishing up while the light was still good, so these were only minor irritations.  As I continued to cut, a verse from chapter 2 of Genesis popped into my mind.

 - And the LORD took the man and put
 him into the Garden of Eden to 
 dress and keep it. - Genesis 2:15  KJV
or
 - The LORD took the man and put 
 him into the Garden of Eden to work
 and take care of it. - Genesis 2:15  NIV 

 If I understand this verse from Genesis, even in paradise, Man had “yard work” to do.   Apparently theirs was not a life of total leisure.  In addition to taking care  of the garden, Adam was also responsible for naming all the animals (2:.19-29)  So, why should I fret about my little yard.

 I think that there are lessons to be learned here.  Otherwise, why would the Spirit have brought this verse to mind.  When we enter the Christian Life by accepting Christ we should not expect to sit around just singing and listening to good sermons. There is that thing called “The Great Commission”.  That commission views the world as God’s garden and  assigns us to tend it.  So we should find out what and where our assignment in God’s garden is and work it with all of our heart, mind, and body.
  
We often think of Heaven as being like the Garden of Eden.  It will be a beautiful place and it will be filled with the presence of God.  I think that just as in  Eden and in the Christian life, God will have assignments for us in heaven.  I have no idea what those assignments could be, but it will be great working for the Lord of the Universe along side of our Savior!

Copyright 2012© Willie E. Weaver 

You are welcome to post comments to My Blog.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Salt of the Earth



Matthew 5 (NIV)
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness (KJV: savor), how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

I have heard many sermons preached and many bible studies explaining verses 14 and 15 in ever detail possible.

The most I have ever heard about verse 13 and christians being the “salt of the earth” is that our presence in the world acts as a perservative and makes the world more savorable. There seems to be general agreement on that thought. Our experience and history bears out that christians and true Christianity mitigates much of the evil in the world and has made the world a more pleasant place to be.

However, I believe that there is more to verse 13 than that idea, especially the part about the lost of savor. To fully evaluate the statement of Jesus about salt we need to learn more about salt and especially salt in the year 30 AD.

Things Learned From a Study of Salt Production

Salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) production was a major industry in the Roman Empire. Salt was so valuable that the Roman soldiers were often paid with salt. (Thus, the old adage about a person being “worth his salt”). In that day, most salt production was from salt flats along the shores of seas and lakes.

All salt contains impurities in the form of insolubles and other minerals. The insolubles are silt (very fine grains of various soil and and organic matter washed down stream into the lakes or oceans) which ranges from 1% to 10% of the total volume of salt. Unwanted minerals, along with the salt, are also leached out of the ground by the water as it flows across the land. These range from 1% to 3% . Modern analyses of unrefined salts shows that the major unwanted minerals are calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and magnesium chloride. Some salts also include traces of calcium chloride, sodium sulfate, potassium chloride, and sodium bromide.

In Jesus’s time, the purer salts were reserved for government officials and the rich. As you moved down the economic ladder, the salt you could afford was more and more contaminated. The salt in use by the common man of Jesus’s day was probably in the 13% contaminated range. In the salt flats, the purist salt was on top and became more contaminated the deeper the shovel went. Unscrupulous salt gathers might dig deeper than they should so that the poorest of the poor might have been using salt 25% or more contaminated.

The more the salt was contaminated, the more the flavor of the other dissolved minerals would be present and the more mud and grit you would find in the bottom of your cooking pot. To get rid of the mud and grit, the salt would be placed in a cloth bag and some water would be poured through it and the resulting brine used in cooking. Eventually, all salt and disolved minerals would be leached out and only the mud and grit would be left in the bag.

The impurities in salt (the fine particles of soil, organic matter, and unwanted minerals) are contained in 3 distinct ways:

1 - Mixed in among but not attached to the grains of salt.

2 - Attached to the surface and stuck in cracks in the salt grains.

3 - Encapsulated within the grains of salt.

Down thru the years, the efficiency of salt processing has changed along with other industrial advances but the basic techniques used 2000 years ago are, with many refinements, still in use today.

Freshly mined salt, from underground deposits or from salt flats, is placed for a time in low humidity storage. There, the water content drops by sublimation from around 3% to less than 1%. As the water leaves the salt, it carries with it some of the unwanted minerals described in items 1 and 2 above. During this process, some of the soil and organic impurities trapped in the cracks of salt grains is loosened.

Salt with high levels of encapsulated contaminates must be crushed to release the entrapped materials. Years of experience have shown that for the best results this crushing must be performed with just enough pressure to crack the grains but not enough to pulverize the grains. Pulverized salt is less desirability on the market.

The next step is to wash the salt to remove the remaining minerals and debris mixed in with the salt grains. This is accomplished with saturated brine (water so saturated with salt that it will dissolve very little of the salt being washed). The brine is forced up thru the vats of salt and carries the unwanted minerals and debris with it out the overflow vents. Like the crushing process, this step is critical. Both the temperature and pressure of the brine must be carefully controlled.

Even with the best modern processes our best salts for both table and industrial uses still contain some traces of contaminates. Table Salt is better than 99 % pure NaCl Some industrial and scientific applications must have salt purer than 99.99 %.

Applications and comments:

-The condition of Judaism at that time.
-The use of water to extract the salt from the bag.
Note: Unwanted minerals would also be leached out along with the salt(sodium chloride, NaCl).
-The current condition of the institutional church.
-The use of drying (waiting), crushing, and brine (salt and water) to take contaminates out of the salt.
-The careful applications of crushing force, temperature, and brine pressure.
SYMBOLOGY

SALT - Christians, The Church.
SILT - Unsaved.
MINERALS - Pretenders.
WATER - (poured thru the bag) The Spirit-separating church
from the world.
WAITING - Giving God a chance to do some weeding, prayer.
CRUSHING - God controlled circumstances breaking up relationships
and attitudes that hold us back.
WATER - (with controlled temperature and pressure) The Spirit
continueing to purify the church.

Copyright 2012© Willie E. Weaver 

You are welcome to post comments to My Blog.