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Archive for October, 2016

j0438533In the 14th chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus talked with his disciples about heaven. He said, Where I go you know, and you also know the way. One disciple said Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way? At this point Jesus said to them I am the way.

He is the way. If we follow him he will lead us all the way home. If we follow him. If we meet Jesus on the road and strike up a conversation with him and get to know him on a superficial level, we might say later on that we know him,  We have made his acquaintance.  But, after that encounter on the road, if we continue on our way north and Jesus continues on his way south what is going to happen?  That acquaintance is never going to develop into a relationship. Yes, we met him, we talked to him, but no, we don’t really know him. We just know what he looks like and what he talks like. We know something about him, and that is all.

Friend, knowing about Jesus is not enough to get you into heaven no matter what you have been told and by whom. You can not rely on a superficial going through the motions, mouthing the words encounter with the preacher to get you saved. If your heart was not in the transaction, then it was simply an exercise and not the real thing.

Lots of people go to church every Sunday, serve on committees  even teach Sunday School, but don’t know Jesus. Either they have not been told, or they do not believe that a personal relationship with Jesus is necessary to go to heaven. They are on their way to hell.

They have been told that God is love and his grace will get you through. Just sign up here and get your fire insurance.  They think God is a wimp and they can keep on sinning and he will overlook it and just let it go.

God is not in the insurance business and no, He will not wink at anyone’s sin.  The Bible says the Christian  keeps himself. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 1 John 5:18

 Jesus said there would be many who expected to get into heaven who would not make it. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7: 21-23)

If you are continuing to sin, habitually breaking the commandments of God then you are either not saved or you have backslidden, and either  condition will get you into hell if you do not repent and give Jesus control of your life.

I know this is blunt but it is the truth. You need the truth. If you will hear me, it will save your soul from hell if you are not saved. I did not really want to write this article. This is not my favorite subject. Maybe no one will read it. But maybe someone will. And maybe they will consider what I am saying.

There’s a big big highway, eight lanes at least, bumper to bumper, all going in one direction, down, down, down. You do not want to go where they are going. You need to make an exit off the road to death. Take a turn on to the narrow road.

You need to really change; your heart needs to change; your insides need to be emptied of everything dark and ugly, cleaned out, made new. Jesus can do it; only he can do it.  He will lead you through the whole process. It might be quick; it might take a while, but all the while you will be safe in him if you want him and love him and submit to his way. He knows the way. He is the way.

Follow him he asks. Take up your cross he says. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23. Cross out sin, cross out selfishness, cross out greed, covetousness. Lay your life on the altar. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1 It gets easier as you go along, his way. 

Getting saved is not arriving. It is departing, setting out on a journey, following him. He is your GPS

Bad times are coming. You could leave this world in an instant. Be ready. Give your life to the Lord, seek him and follow him, every minute. Abide in Christ. The safest place in the world is in the center of God’s will.new-imagefrom-internet-cross-and-object-in-sky

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Seems that I saw the Magnificent Seven in a movie many years ago. Don’t even remember what it was all about, but the title was obviously unforgettable. So are these pet turkeys.

Here they are: all seven of them.

Here they are: all seven of them.

With the state of our Union being what it is, and with the things happening everywhere, my attention has been on things important, such as being ready to die at any time. We see that it can happen, and without warning. I don’t want to leave this world unprepared for eternity.

But, Jesus said for us to “occupy” until he comes. And that means to be about the business of living. Sometimes I get so caught up in living that I forget him and that I am his, and just loose my composure, not to mention my temper. Then, Oh Lord, I am sorry. But after the words are said, or yelled, as is sometimes the case, they are loose to do their damage. Shame, shame.

I didn’t want to get involved with turkeys. No one does. But I had to. Jack doesn’t have a lot to get interested in or to take joy in these days, but he does love his birds. Last fall, he insisted Tony take him way over beyond Asheville to buy three female turkeys. These young females did nothing all winter but eat, no eggs, no nothing. But come spring they began to lay.

Jack said I had to save all the turkey eggs. I sneaked and ate a few (they are very good, better than chicken’s eggs) but there were still plenty.  We got one of the incubators out and set it up in the living room on a table where Jack could see it and piddle with it. I think there were eighteen or twenty eggs in it but only six hatched. I put the little turkeys in an open plastic box on the little table where the incubator had been. I couldn’t resist reaching in and grabbing one up as I passed by. They squealed, but I just held and rubbed their beautiful fur. In a few days they began to feather out. Four were yellow with brown markings when they hatched; later they began to be spotted; one was all yellow and one almost black. The yellow one turned out to be gray colored and the black one has a little white on his tailfeathers now. His name is Big Peep.

Here are five little turkeys.

Here are five little turkeys.

Well I petted my baby turkeys until I had to move them to a diddle cage in a room at the end of the chicken house. Jack made the diddle cage several years ago of wood framing with rat wire for the floor and poultry netting for the sides. The top is plywood, hinged to open and shut. By the time the little turkeys moved to the diddle cage Jack had hatched another setting of eggs, but unfortunately, only one little turkey made it. I called him Little Peep. He was black all over. I spoiled him of course, since he was the only one in the house.

The little ones in the diddle cage were growing and so beautiful. Turkeys ARE beautiful, IF you don’t look them in the face. Just notice their marvelous shape and their pretty feathers. All spring my therapy consisted of going down to the chicken house and spending time petting my little turkeys. In a few weeks I let them out of the diddle cage to run free in the little room where the cage was, and I moved Little Peep from the living room to the diddle cage. I let him stay there a week or two while he and the older little turkeys got acquainted.

This is Little Peep. Well, I did tell you about looking them in the face!

This is Little Peep. Well, I did tell you about looking them in the face!

They would look in at him as if to say “What are you doing in there?” I was afraid that when I took him out of the diddle cage the others, being a few weeks older and bigger than him, would terrorize him, but they did not, probably because they already knew him.

By late July or August I turned all seven of them out to the chicken yard. They had no sooner hit the ground than the males began to fight each other. As far as I know there had been no feuding in the chicken house, but they really had it out that day. And then they settled down.

Chickens will go back into their house at night without any encouragement. Turkeys, not necessarily. Our big turkeys always go back in at night. But these – for some reason they wanted to roost outside. They still do. Mostly they roost in a cedar tree at the back of the house, but sometimes they choose a limb of a walnut, or a fence post. When daylight comes they fly down and the whole bunch goes rambling, sometimes far away. One morning I thought a coyote had gotten them, but about 9:00 o’clock all seven of them came traipsing out of the woods.

Even though they are nearly grown now, they are very tame and friendly. If I (or anyone else for that matter) sit at the picnic table they will come up to talk; the dominant males strut around so I can see how lovely they are, even consenting to let me pet them if I rub their feathers in the right direction. Little Peep comes and sits at my side. He is a male also, but he is not letting anyone but me know. He was strutting when he was little, but now he has quit. He is biding his time.

You think I’m kidding?  No. Some males do not develop as early as others. Our black and white male was sold to us as a female, and it was a long time before we found that he was a tom. Also, I think some turkeys, such as Little Peep, have sense enough not to let their testosterone get out of control. They don’t want to pick a fight until they are sure they can win.

That surely applies to the gray one.  He was always more aloof than the other six. I had to run him down to stroke his feathers and it never seemed to please him very much that I did. I noticed he didn’t join in the fight that occurred the first day I turned them out.  I thought he was a duplicate of Madam Gray, an older female we have. I named him Miss Gray.

A couple of weeks ago I was walking on the road behind the shed all by myself when I came upon Miss Gray, who happened to be there alone, digging up bugs. What a show that turkey put on for me! It was as if Miss Gray knew I thought he was a girl and he was glad for this private audience with me so he could set the record straight. I watched in amazement at the transformation. When he saw me he tucked his head up against his neck, and fanned his tailfeathers in a perfect arc. He fluffed all the small feathers on his back and sides straight out. He spread his wing feathers apart and dropped them to the ground, scraping the dust with them as he thumped and puffed at me, strutting up and down as if he were the king of the hill. I would not have believed it if I had not seen it. I had no idea. I had to apologize.

When he was satisfied that I had gotten the message he went back to being a shy and mild mannered fowl, just picking bugs. I have seen no further evidence from him that he is a male. But he is! I would not have known it but for that private encounter.

We have five younger turkeys that have just been turned out. They did not get the petting and attention that I gave these seven and they are wild and no fun at all.

But these seven have been friends. And not just my friends. They cull no one. Give them a little attention and they’ll follow you to the jumping off place. They are a nuisance sometimes, especially when they get on the porch and look through the windows. They wouldn’t do it if they were not crazy about me and they know I’m in there somewhere. The other turkeys never notice the porch.

Earlier this evening I brought Little Peep in for Jack to see how he had grown.  Jack grinned, not at Little Peep, but at me, and he said “You love them turkeys, don’t you?”

I have to admit that I do.

Update: Feb. 2017.  Well, I am going to have to eat crow (turkey). You can not always tell a turkey’s sex by whether they strut or not. I will spare you the details, but to make a long story a little longer you need to know that a more accurate way to determine whether a turkey is male or female is by the wattles (the flap of skin under the beak)  and the bumps or caruncles in the throat region. These are far more predominant in the male at maturity. Before then I guess you just have to wait and see.  Sorry. I learn something new about every day.

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