Thanks Giving Leftovers
At top is the letterhead I use
when I am doing something as an Independent Affiliated Missionary of
the Teaching & Sharing Centers 501c3 non-profit. However, I like to
make the point that I am not truly independent. I am God dependent ó
totally. That is why I split the word independent and put Jesus in the
middle of it. Hence, I describe myself as an in "Christ" dependent domestic
I came up with this Thanks Giving Leftovers newsletter
shortly before Thanksgiving in 2021, and I began it the day after. With
a smaller than usual gathering, we had a lot of leftovers, which is
the same position I had been finding myself in with regard to the
Thanksgiving 2019 to Independence Day 2020 newsletter. That July
3, 2020 communication is what I casually had been referring to as my
"last newsletter." In a sense, it will remain so, since I got out of
the email business in 2020, and will not be sending this "newsletter"
to a mailing list, or anyone. It is simply being placed on this website
for those who go exploring. But, I felt the need to wrap up the other,
in spite of the excess of "leftovers" which had not been added to it
yet. Those will be placed here as time permits.
The image following my letterhead above is the same
one that opens the Thanksgiving 2019 to Independence Day 2020
newsletter. I put it here to symbolize the connection of the two. You
can click on the picture to go directly to that "last newsletter."
Happy are they who mourn
the inadequacy of self, for they shall be comforted with the sufficiency
ó Billy Graham
It is my prayer that . . . .
True instruction will be in my mouth,
and nothing false will be found on my lips.
ó paraphrase of Malachi 2:6
[This is a repeat, but I think it is important
enough to hear twice]
"We have been the recipients of the choicest
bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in
peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power
as no other nation has ever grown.
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten
the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and
enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in
the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these things were produced
by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have
become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming
and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."
ó Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln quotes in
the other newsletter click
[use your back arrow to return when you finish reading them]
Best Tip (Advice) I Ever
"Dampening the toilet paper slightly before
will allow it to clean better and be less abrasive."
I have no idea how that came up in our conversation,
but that advice was given to me by one of my policyholders early
in my State Farm career of 20 years. It was emphasized that "dampen"
was the key word, because getting toilet paper too wet will cause
it to disintegrate in your hand. But, I am ever grateful to him
for his tip. It has saved me a lot of aggravation over my lifetime.
"Charting the unknown possibilities of life."
Sometimes I will hear (or read) just a sentence,
or a phrase, that stirs something inside of me, so I jot it down
on a piece of paper not knowing what I will ever do with it. That
is the case with this above quote. For me it exudes hope, yet
also perhaps adventure, fulfillment, something beyond mundane,
or routine. Its presence here can now eliminate the piece of paper
on my desk.
Once again, the above
graphic is a carryover from my "last newsletter." I kept it here
because I had a couple of notes about "false gods" we deem very
important that are totally artificial ó money, and keeping track
Money is simply a thing we created to keep
track of the values for the exchange of goods, and services. It
has no intrinsic value in and of itself, especially now that it
is often just numbers on a computer screen, rather than paper,
silver, or gold. Not that those are all that much better in truth,
but they at least have some potential functional uses. I often
use paper to help me start campfires. Perhaps that was one of
the uses for Confederate dollars after the American Civil War,
which is an excellent example of the artificial nature of money.
Yet, money is a common "god" in our culture.
Time keeping (clocks, watches, calendars, etc.)
is the artificial system we devised to calibrate change, especially
cyclical change, but also what we deem progression. Daylight Savings
Time is a perfect example of the fickle nature of our trying to
schedule life, rather than harmonizing with it. Speaking of which,
our local newspaper had an article with some interesting trivia
about DST in it late last year (Grand Ledge Independent, November
7, 2021). Here it is:
"Get ready for the 'better' time change
as we end daylight saving time by moving our clocks back one hour
on Nov 7. Unlike when we lost an hour in March to 'spring ahead'
into daylight saving time, most people look forward to autumn
when we 'fall back' into standard time and gain an extra hour
of sleep. That switch happens this year on Nov. 7, when at 2 a.m.
the time officially rolls back an hour to 1 a.m.
Here are some interesting factoids to consider
as we prepare to change our clocks:
Daylight saving time was created to conserve
power and electricity by optimizing the use of daylight hours
during seasonal changes.
The U.S. made daylight saving time an annual
event in 1966 after passing the Uniform Time Act.
The first official use of daylight saving
time was in 1916 when Germany and Austria used a one hour clock
shift to save electricity during WWI.
Daylight saving time was first proposed
in New Zealand by George Vernon Hudson in 1895, but he was unable
to get the time shift approved.
In 1905 a British man named William Willett
proposed an 80 minute time change in fall and spring he called
'summer time.' The plan never made it through Parliament.
Remember, while most of your clocks on cell
phones, computers and other technological devices will change
automatically, you may need to reset clocks on appliances or your
car's clock radio. It is also a good time to change batteries
in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, change vent
filters and other timely household tasks that are often forgotten."
Lansing State Journal
USA Today Network Ė Michigan
Sunday, November 7, 2021
As if I do not have enough
stuffing already set aside to place into this "leftovers" newsletter,
I keep running across items I deem worthy of sharing. The "sending
song," which refers to the final song sung at a service in my
wife's church, last Sunday was one that I could not remember ever
hearing before. Yet, it is an outstanding explanation, and perhaps
a little bit of rebuke to our culture, stating what constitutes
"the true church."
"The Church Song"
Refrain: We are the church, the body of our Lord; We are
all Godís children
We have been restored.
The church is not a building where people go to pray;
Itís not made out of sticks and stones, itís not made out of clay.
You can go to worship but you cannot go to church;
You canít find a building thatís alive no matter how you search.
The church is not a business, a committee or a board;
Itís not a corporation for the business of the Lord (refrain)
The church, it is the people living out their lives,
Called, enlightened, sanctified for the work of Jesus Christ.
The following Sunday I was questionably mentioning
to my wife I wonder how many people actually pay attention to
the words they are singing, reciting, or saying in response, during
a worship service. I had just used The Lord's Prayer as
an example since it is often a weekly part of worship services,
especially in the liturgical churches. The version I am most used
to reciting says, "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive
those who trespass against us." I proposed that every time
we speak those words we are asking God to treat us the same as
we treat others. That should cause a heart to pause, if we truly
realize that. Then the song "Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service"
came up as a communion hymn. The third verse particularly
caught my attention.
Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service
3 As we worship, grant us vision,
till your love's revealing light
in its height and depth and greatness
dawns upon our quickened sight,
making known the needs and burdens
your compassion bids us bear,
stirring us to ardent service,
your abundant life to share.
I perceive the words of the song have more
than one way of being interpreted, yet it seems to me it is focused
on "others." This would mean, we are asking God to make known
the needs and burdens of others, so we might be stirred to "share."
Are we paying attention to the words that come out of our mouths.
I suspect God is. Matthew 7:2 frequently comes into my mind.
An email "leftover" from 2013 I ran across
in my folders on 1/10/23.
Sent: Thursday, May 9, 2013 1:17 PM
To: IGG Golf Group
Subject: Mom's Empty Chair
Thanks to Dale S. for passing this on. Nice
thing to remember
MOM'S EMPTY CHAIR
A woman's daughter had asked the local minister
to come and pray with her mother.
When the minister arrived, he found the woman
lying in bed with her head propped up on two pillows.
An empty chair sat beside her bed.
The minister assumed that the woman had been
informed of his visit . . . . 'I guess you were expecting me, he
said. 'No, who are you?' said the mother. The minister told her
his name and then remarked, 'I saw the empty chair and I figured
you knew I was going to show up . . . .'
'Oh yeah, the chair,' said the bedridden woman.
'Would you mind closing the door?' Puzzled, the minister shut the
door. 'I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,' said
the woman. 'But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At
church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went
right over my head . . . . I abandoned any attempt at prayer,' the
old woman continued, 'until one day four years ago, my best friend
said to me, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation
with Jesus. Here is what I suggest . . . . Sit down in a chair;
place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on
the chair. It is not spooky because he promised, 'I will be with
you always' . . . . 'Then just speak to him in the same way you're
doing with me right now.'
'So, I tried it and I have liked it so much that
I do it a couple of hours every day. I am careful though. If my
daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she would either have
a nervous breakdown, or send me off to the funny farm.'
The minister was deeply moved by the story and
encouraged the old woman to continue on the journey. Then he prayed
with her, anointed her with oil, and returned to the church.
Two nights later the daughter called to tell the
minister that her mama had died that afternoon.
'Did she die in peace?' he asked.
'Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock,
she called me over to her bedside, told me she loved me and kissed
me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I
'But there was something strange about her death.
Apparently, just before mom died, she leaned over and rested her
head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?'
The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, 'I wish we could
all go like that.'
Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.
And, from five years earlier
. . . .
Sent: May 20, 2008 12:43 PM
To: Patricia F
Subject: Handy little chart
When You Say
"It is impossible"
All things are possible
"I am too tired"
I will give you rest
"Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you
John 3:16 & John 3:34
"I cannot go on"
My grace is sufficient
II Corinthians 12:9
& Psalm 91:15
"I cannot figure things out"
I will direct your steps
Proverbs 3:5- 6
"I cannot do it"
You can do all things
"I am not able"
I am able
II Corinthians 9:8
"It is not worth it"
It will be worth it
"I cannot forgive myself"
I forgive you
I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1
"I cannot manage"
I will supply all your needs
"I am afraid"
I have not given you a spirit
II Timothy 1:7
"I am always worried
Cast all your cares on ME
I Peter 5:7
"I am not smart enough"
I give you wisdom
I Corinthians 1:30
"I feel all alone"
I will never leave you or forsake you
There are any number of
wonderful old hymns in the Christian tradition. As a person who
did not grow up religiously, I had heard some over the years,
but it was not until my middle age that I began to search for
God, and started listening more closely to the words of the songs.
Many could be toward the top of any list of favorite music I might
However, having said that, the songs that would
definitely be in the top ten of my very favorites are relatively
new by Christian hymn standards. One of those was a part of the
January 8, 2023 worship service at Immanuel Lutheran Church where
my wife is a member. I have sung "Borning Cry" many times in my
28 years as a domestic missionary, so its words are familiar to
Yet, when I began to get choked up, as I always
do, while singing the last words of verse three, I decided I needed
to share the song here for others who might not be familiar with
"I was there to hear your borning cry,
I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized
to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child,
with a faith to suit you well;
in a blaze of light you wandered off
to find where demons dwell."
"When you heard the wonder of the Word
I was there to cheer you on;
you were raised to praise the living Lord,
to whom you now belong.
If you find someone to share your time
and you join your hearts as one,
I'll be there to make your verses rhyme
from dusk till rising sun."
"In the middle ages of your life,
not too old, no longer young,
I'll be there to guide you through the night,
complete what I've begun.
When the evening gently closes in
and you shut your weary eyes,
I'll be there as I have always been,
with just one more surprise."
"I was there to hear your borning cry,
I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized
to see your life unfold."
When I meet someone new,
I usually try to remember to share with them a little about my
website, and give them the address so they can find it online
(I hope you do also). I emphasize there is nothing for sale on
my site, everything is freely shared. However, the reason I tell
everyone I can is because an online search would seldom list my
site anywhere close to the beginning on those hundreds of pages,
or thousands of entries, I typically get when I do a search.
Unless someone was very specific with the search,
like "a touch of william" rather than a more generic poetry by
william, or photos by william, my site would be buried deeply
within the results.
For example, many years ago I did searches
just to see where I would show up. Very few people would know
the complete name of Cherokee Bill's Teaching & Trade Center.
So I listed "Cherokee Bill." Turns out there was a rather notorious
outlaw in the 1800s who used that name. What a surprise that was!
I do not remember if I showed up at all.
There is a piece of the
worship service in the liturgical denominations referred to as
confession and forgiveness. Over the years of attending such
services, I found the confession part consistently generic, and
pretty routine. I have noticed for quite a number of months at my
wife's church, that the wording has been changing. It might remain
the same for several weeks, or a season, but the confessions seem
more specific these days. I do not know if the other denominations
are also doing this, but I think it is a step in the right
direction. The earlier, more generic versions, never seemed to
inspire me to think about what I was reading, or reciting. These do.
Here are some examples . . . .
Sunday November 27, 2022 (First week of Advent)
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be Godís name forever. Amen.
Beloved, now is the time to wake from sleep. Let us confront our sins,
and confess them to the One who is merciful and just. Silence is
kept for reflection.
God of new beginnings,
we confess that we have not welcomed your holy reign. We have strayed
from your paths. We prepare for war instead of peace. We dishonor one
another and your creation. Purify us with your refining fire and set
us again on your way of love, that we may bear fruit worthy of repentance,
and welcome your coming among us. Amen.
People of God, a new thing is growing in our midst, a tender branch,
a living sign. By water and the Spirit you are joined to this wonder.
You have put on Christ, and your sins have been washed away. Rejoice
in the way of the Lord. Amen.
Sunday January 1, 2023
promise good news of great joy for all people, and call us to be
messengers of your peace. We confess that too often we hoard our
joy, our resources, and our security. We nurture conflict and build
barriers. We neglect the needs of our neighbors and ignore the
groaning of creation. Have mercy on us. Where we are self-centered,
open our hearts. Where we are reluctant, give us courage. Where we
are cynical, restore our trust. Renew us
with your grace and give us again the hope of eternal life in you.
And some undated others moved
here from my In His Steps
pages . . . .
God for whom we wait, in the presence of one another,
we confess our sin before you. We fail in believing that your good news
is for us. We falter in our call to tend your creation. We find our sense
of self in material wealth. We fear those different from ourselves. We
forget that we are your children, and turn away from your love. Forgive
us, Blessed One, and assure us again of your saving grace. Amen.
Let us honestly and
humbly confess that we have not lived as God desires.
Loving and forgiving God . . . we confess that we are held
captive by sin. In spite of our best efforts, we have gone astray. We have
not welcomed the stranger; we have not loved our neighbor; we have not been
as Christ to one another. Restore us, O God. Wake us up and turn us from our
sin. Renew us each day in the light of Christ. Amen.
Drawn to Christ and seeking Godís
abundance, let us confess our sin.
God, our provider, help us. It is hard to believe there
is enough to share. We question your ways when they differ from the ways of
the world in which we live. We turn to our own understanding rather than trusting
in you. We take offense at your teachings and your ways. Turn us again to
you. Where else can we turn? Share with us the words of eternal life and feed
us for life in the world. Amen.
Have mercy on us, O God.
We confess that we have sinned against you and against
our neighbor. We have built walls instead of tables and have turned away the
stranger. We have sought glory for ourselves and have treasured that which
does not satisfy. Help us to love as you love, to welcome those you send,
and to treasure mercy and justice. Turn us from our ways to your ways, and
free us to serve those in need. Amen.
I am still working
on this page.
The index link
at the bottom
of the page is functional.
Beyond this point
there is just structure, most of which you cannot see except
for random words to preset fonts, and some carryover graphics
I might keep in this newsletter.
And more of my
personal works below the william's works header