"The Carol of the Drum"

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

This song is completely filler. The poetic license is incredible. But, it tells us a story that is completely in line with who Jesus is and the message he brought us during his visitation to our tiny blue planet.

There were kings bringing expensive, impressive gifts because he is the king. But, this boy had nothing to give him except what he had. Jesus accepted his gift. This is how he accepts our gifts to him. None of them are significant enough to warrant even his slightest awareness, but his grace is way beyond the pride of other, lesser kings. He not only accepts our poor gifts, but he deems them acceptable.

Someone may accept a gift from you, but think it not an acceptable gift. They are just being nice. But, Jesus says that our pitiable gifts are acceptable to him and to God.

This tells us a story of living with the gifts and place in life that God has given us and offering that to God.

It is God who made us. He has given us the gifts we bear and he loves that we return to him the grace he has given to us. He isn't concerned with great oratories, gold, silver or numbers of people that we may influence. He is concerned with who he has made us to be and where he has made us to live and what he has given us. These are the things that he calls acceptable when we return the grace he has given us by giving to him of what we have even though others may consider it to be nothing fit for a king.

This may be more to your liking:

Besides all of this, it is the only Christmas Carol that I know of that is this personal with the interaction between this boy and Jesus and his family.

Category: | 3 Comments

God made man. He gave the man orders to take dominion over the earth. But he did not make the man the king or the judge over the earth.

Then, God found that man was alone and needed someone to help him. So, he made woman to be his wife. He, again, did not tell the man to be in charge over the woman.

But, they sinned. When they were put out of the garden, they were told how they were going to live. The curse was that man would rule over woman.

When they were sent out of the garden, God said, “The man has become like one of us, knowing good from evil.” The temptation that Satan set before the woman was that her eyes would be opened and she would be like God because she would know the difference between good and evil.

So, after man determined his own fate and found that he could be the judge of good and evil. This was “being like God.” Both God and Satan said that when man knows the difference between good and evil, he is like God.

Because man knows the difference between good and evil, he makes his own decisions on what he should or should not do. Those decisions are based on his knowledge of the difference between good and evil. In this way, he needs not inquire of God. He is perfectly capable of deciding for himself what is right and what is wrong, what is left and what is right, what is good and what is evil. But he gained this autonomy at the cost of his life and his relationship with God.

God used to walk in the garden with man. Man used to walk with God in the garden. But, now that he has gained the ability to be the master of his own life, he has become hostile to God.

Sometime later, God found a man who walked with him. That man was living in faith. His name was Enoch. After walking with God for 300 years, God took Enoch. He did not die because he pleased God. Genesis says that he walked with God. Hebrews says that he pleased God. Walking with God is pleasing God and Enoch was the only person after Adam who was reported to have walked with God since man became knowledgeable of the difference between good and evil.

Up to this time, there is no record of any human king.

After the flood, God chose Abraham to live in the wilderness we now call Israel. During the life of Abraham, there were kings and kingdoms all around them. He even walked through some of the kingdoms when going about his business and he related to them. Abraham fought with one king and honored another. But, there was no king over Abraham, of whom God chose and set apart for himself.

The tribes of the clan of Abraham lived with elders in their clan and eventually, through a series of unfortunate events, were put into slavery by a king. This was the Pharaoh of Egypt.

After several hundred years in Egypt, and after they became slaves to Egypt, while they were helpless and miserable, Moses arrived on the scene. When he had realized his identity, he decided one time to judge an Egyptian for being too harsh on one of the Israelites. The next day, he decided he could be a judge between two Israelites and found that he didn’t really have that authority.

When Moses had run off for forty years, God came to them and rescued them from the hand of the king. Moses became subject to the king of creation. And once he did that, he found that the king would make the judgments and determine the punishments. Moses wasn’t the rescuer of Israel. He wasn’t the judge of Israel. He was the voice of God to the people, but it was God acting out his own word as the king. Moses was not to respond to the people out of his own initiative. His orders were clear and when violated, they were addressed by God. Moses was not the king.

For four hundred years after Israel took their land that God promised them, they had no king. Instead, when trouble arose in the land, God would call forth a person termed “judge” who would, in some way, solve at least some of the problem by providing judgment from God. These problems were mostly in relation to outside influences. The Israelites had elders who guided their individual clans. But they had no king. When there was some problem that arose, God would solve the problem, either by supernatural means or by the hands of the judges.

After that 400 year period, the people cried out for a king. God gave them what they wanted even though God reported to Samuel that it was God who was being rejected as the king in this request. God compared this request for an earthly king as a rejection of himself. He compared it to all the other times that the people forsook him and served other Gods. This was not what God wanted. He wanted a people who would recognize him as the king and serve him alone.

It appears that since Samuel appointed his sons as judges over Israel and they did not follow Samuel’s ways, the elders did not want to subject themselves to those men. Instead, of asking that someone else be appointed, they asked that a king be put in place. Asking for a king to rule over them was just one more way that the people rejected God as their king.

The first king stank to high heaven.

The second king was David. This was a man after God’s own heart. The prophecies of the coming messiah refer to this person as the king who would sit on David’s throne. David was extremely unusual when it comes to the kings of Israel. From there on, they only got worse. They divided Israel into two kingdoms. They made rules based on jealousy and fear. They turned to other kingdoms for help instead of God. With few exceptions, God was very much displeased with the kings of Israel. So, he took away the kings.

When Israel and Judah went into captivity to foreign governments, the kings were deposed. There was never really another king in Israel after that. After a while, God brought the people back to Israel and kings and governors were assigned by the ruling governments. Even in the time of Jesus, there was a king over Israel. But this king was really only a subject of the Roman Caesar and not a king in his own right.

Then Jesus came. We have two genealogies recorded for Jesus in the NT. One of the genealogies links him to Adam. Adam’s king was God. The link to Adam assured us of Jesus’ humanity.

The other genealogy links him to King David. That link assures us that he is the promised messiah who is to sit on the throne of David in the coming kingdom.
Jesus’ message of good news was that the kingdom of God was near them. He even declared it to be in those who followed him. Jesus’ good news was not freedom from the kingdoms of the world. His good news was that the king that we rejected all those times is coming to establish his kingdom among us once more. He hasn’t given up on us. He hasn’t decided to just destroy us as his enemies. Instead, he has provided a means for us to submit ourselves to him as we should have always done.

Peter’s conclusion to his speech on the day of Pentecost was:
Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,[f] that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,

" 'The Lord said to my Lord:
"Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet." '[g]
"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

From that day, the church began to grow to be more than that 120 people who were in the upper room to thousands. These thousands of people who were added to their numbers were subjecting themselves to the king and messiah. This was Jesus that they submitted to.

The number of followers of Jesus as king continued to grow in Jerusalem until persecution and famine drove them from that place to others places. Wherever they went, they spread the news of the king of Israel who had died and rose from the grave as predicted by the prophet and king, David.

Category: | 0 Comments

I don't know how I could possibly sum up the years for Old Old Grandma.

I love what LaFonda said about her. She knows how to capture in one story what I have seen and known over decades.

I remember that she would run out to meet us as kids like she did with our kids. Her face would be all smiles and her hands out open to grab us. I remember that she would cry when we left to go back home. Most of the time we lived very far from her and it doesn't seem like we saw her and grandpa enough. There were times that we stayed with them for long stretches at a time though.

I know that when we came over in the summer, she made us lemon-aid and milk shakes. And that she baked us cookies for afternoon snacks.

In the evenings we would set in the living room. She would knit and grandpa would pretend to watch Gun Smoke - but his eyes were closed. So, we knew he wasn't really watching it. She just kept the TV on and continued knitting until it was time to go to bed.

We, the grandkids, pretty much had the run of the house and the farm while we were there. Sometimes she would go out with us and help us find the eggs for breakfast. Sometimes we would go out with her and "help" her change the irrigation water. While we were there - we were there - and she was with us.

LaFonda also posted a blog about Old Old Grandma here: Old Old Grandma
My niece, Amanda, also posted a blog for her as well: Cicada Songs and Cricket Chirps

Category: | 0 Comments

Mary Miller has been lovingly called Old Old grandma.

When my husband and I married I already had 2 daughters. On our first visit to meet his family, I was more than a little nervous. I wondered how his family was going to accept this already existing family.

Upon approaching the gate at the back of grandma and grandpa Miller's house, we were met with this lovely little giggly, white haired lady. She was soon to become our dearest of all grandmas! As this little spit fire of a woman came racing at us she was verbally claiming these beautiful little girls as her very own great grand daughters. Wow! What a surprise, what a blessing!

She loved us like we had always been part of her family. On our next visit she was introduced to our third daughter, this one was the first great grandchild by blood. I admit that I was wondering if she would be more partial to this child since she was from blood, but I soon found out that she was just grandma. She loved them all and received them all the same.

On one of our following visits she got to meet our fourth daughter, this time I had no wonders and no worries. I knew she just knew how to love. This is when she was given the name that has stuck with her all these years.

This name was given to her by her third granddaughter who was about 2 and 1/2 years old. Since we also visited Art's parents when we came to visit grandma the children had two grandmas and grandpas. So in order for our 2 and 1/2 year old to communicate which grandma she was talking about she lovingly named grandma Miller "Old Old Grandma".

You would have thought grandma had been given jewels for her crown by the way she received, embraced and, yes, even delighted in her new given name! Some Grandmas would have corrected the child because of the "OLD OLD" part. But not our grandma. This was a crown given to her by her great granddaughter and she wore it with Pride!

She has since been referred to as Old Old Old grandma because of the blessing of having Great Great grandchildren.

Soon after I joined the family, grandpa became ill and was bed ridden. This is where I got to see the strength in this little woman. I am still amazed at what grandma as a woman of her age, actually for a woman of any age it would have been an extremely heavy load. But grandma, even as an Old Old grandma appeared to carry this load with an ease that I can't explain.

At this same time Grandma was doing child care for 2-4 children, keeping her home in tip top condition, doing extra laundry that was required because of grandpa's needs, keeping the coal-fire burning, making meals and waking up every 2 hours through out the night to give grandpa a drink and turn him.

Because of her diligence turning grandpa, he never got a bedsore while on her watch (there were a couple of times when grandpa did get sick and have to be put in the hospital for short stays and when he would return home he would have bedsores. She treated them until they healed.).
I still can't fully wrap my mind around how she did it but she did, and she did it WELL.

After Grandpa died, life changed for grandma and she decided to sell the homestead. She made the decision to purchase a manufactured home and live in a mobile home court in Buhl.

Even though this was a big change for grandma, when we would ask her if she was happy, she answered, "I decided when I made this move if I wasn't happy no one would ever hear me complain about it." As far as I know she kept her promise. Grandma wasn't a complainer.

When grandma was making the step from living alone to living in a group home, her family tried to get her to move closer to them. We didn't care which part of the family she would go with but it was our desire to have her next to the family. Grandma choose to remain in Idaho. We believed it was important to let grandma make her own decision, and we honored her decision even though it was difficult to see her life as we had known it fading away...

Grandma now has left this life for a much better one. Even though we would never want to say good bye to her, her family believes she is in a better place, a peaceful place, and a place where we will meet again someday. So until then, Old Old Grandma, know that you are loved by the generations you have left behind.

Category: | 1 Comment

Last night we heard the news about our friend in Uganda who had been shot. It was early in the morning for them, but late at night for us. We were asked to pray for him since the hospital there in Jinja didn't have blood to supply Abe for what he had lost.

LaFonda and I knew him in 2006. He drove us all over the place and spent lots of time with us. Like our other friends in Africa, we cared for his well being.

Africa is such a violent place at times. It is a place where people die needlessly all of the time. People who are otherwise healthy will turn up with malaria and be dead a little time after that. Today, we have another jolt of that reality of the Africa we love.

Even though we are far away and we don't see everyone there as often as we would like to, we care deeply for them and hurt with them when they hurt.

The last time we were in Africa, I left LaFonda for a few more weeks while she finished up what we were doing. During that time, another of our friends died of Aids. I think it was the year prior to that when the lady we were supporting died in her village.

I've read articles that indicated that the Africans don't have any kind of respect for life. But, what I have found is that they don't have any respect for death. Death seems to be much more prevalent there than here in the States and most of it seems to be avoidable in some way and so it seems pointless.

We are going to miss Abe and we are full of sadness at his departure. But we also know that he has not died. Jesus said that even though he dies, he will still be living. He passed from life here to life there and he is resting and waiting with the others for our homecoming.

Category: | 1 Comment

This was the question asked of Jesus some 2000 years ago. It was in response to Jesus stating that he had come to bear witness of the truth. Earlier Jesus had stated that he, himself, is the truth.

This is a continuation of my recent blog about the meanings of words. Truth is one of those words. Of course, I am only speaking of English words. In other languages, there may not be a problem like in English.

The problem as I see it starts with defining truth as the confirmation of a fact. You see, I see the truth as an interpretation of a fact. The opposite of the truth is a lie. The opposite of a fact is fiction. Fiction isn't a lie, while a lie could be referred to as fiction.

The difference between fiction and lying is the intent. I am lying if my intent is to deceive. So, if I tell fiction for the purpose of deceiving, then my fiction is lying.

This applies to the truth and facts. Facts can be used to deceive. When they are, they are not the truth even though they are factual. Facts can be presented in such a way that they are lies. So, truth and facts are not the same thing.

We see facts used as lies in the media, advertising and when people talk to each other. A person will swear that something is the truth. It can actually be a fact. But, when that fact is representing a lie, it is not the truth.

Truth can be presented by facts or by fiction. A fiction story can result in the hearer understanding the truth of a matter. Presenting a line of facts can lead a person to a truthful conclusion. So, facts are not necessary to know or to find the truth.

My point in all this is to say that knowing a list of facts does not guarantee that we know the truth. It is the same as knowing a person. To know facts about the person is not knowing the person.

As an example, lets say that I went to the store with Clyde and bought some screws. When we returned home from our trip to the store, Clyde was approached by Edna. She asked him, "Did you pick up some milk at the store?" His answer, "They didn't have any milk," a fact. But it was also misleading. Since I experienced the facts with Clyde, I know the truth revealed by the facts. But those who only know the facts, don't know the truth.

If I read all I could about the President of the United States, I would have acquired a list of facts. But, without interacting with him in life, I won't know him. I could feel like I knew him after learning the facts. But, if I met him and lived life with him, I might find that I was seriously mistaken.

This applies to knowing God. Jesus came to bear witness to the truth. He claimed to actually be the truth. But, knowing facts about him, doesn't mean we know him. He is the truth and knowing facts about Jesus doesn't mean that we know the truth or that we know him. To know the truth and to know a person requires experiences that align with the facts. The resulting knowledge is the truth.

To know the truth about God is to know Jesus. Knowing the truth doesn't mean knowing facts. It means experiencing life with him. The facts are always there to read about and discuss. But the knowledge of the truth only comes as we involve our lives with his.

Take an Inexpensive Cruise Vacation Advertisement
Luxury Cruise Vacation Advertisement

Category: , | 5 Comments

Anyone who knows me knows that words are an important thing to me. But it is really the meaning of the word that matters. If I say, "I'm going shopping," it may mean something entirely different than if my wife says, "I'm going shopping." The result of my statement could take an hour or two depending on the distance I have to travel, while the result of my wife's statement could mean an all day excursion. The part of the sentence above that changes the result is the difference between what I consider to be "shopping" and what my wife considers to be "shopping". 


This section may be difficult to follow
If you live for any number of years past ten, you are probably aware of words that have changed their meaning during your lifetime. If you are not past ten years of age, you are probably just not aware of the words that changed meaning during your lifetime. Sometimes the words change because they have fallen into the hands of a group of people who don't know of another way to say what they are saying, so they use a word that doesn't mean what they are saying to say it. The word changes meaning after it becomes common to use the word that way.

Some words are changed because it is to the advantage of some that they change. I once read an article where the person started out redefining some pretty common words and terms. Even though I didn't agree with what he was saying, I found myself being less disagreeable as he continued to use those phrases and words to make his point. The reason I was more agreeable is that the meanings only changed in my head and not in my person. He wasn't really saying what he was saying no matter how you looked at it.

Danger Over

Although this doesn't have anything to do with the last paragraph, it is a fun and convenient example. Tonight, LaFonda came home and told me that our friend wasn't feeling well, so she and her husband were not going to be coming over. The result of that was that we were, then, without a meal since she was bringing it. So LaFonda was going to go up and make one. I told her that a simple meal would be fine. Here is where the words come in. What does "simple" mean to you?

When I am home alone for dinner I want a simple meal. I will pull out some peanut butter and bread for a sandwich. I may have an apple and will certainly have something to drink. This will keep the dish usage down and the amount of preparation to a minimum. LaFonda came down after preparing her simple meal.

She brought one plate with a cluster of grapes in one corner (square plate), a pile of turkey breast in another corner towards the center, with a small bowl of fancy mustard in the actual corner. There was a small bowl of sliced bread and butter pickles in the opposite corner with a small pile of sliced cheese in the center. The final corner had some cream cheese with a salsa laid over it. We ate this with crackers. It was eye appealing, and satisfying. That is LaFonda's "simple" and my "simple" in a nut shell.

Take an Inexpensive Cruise Vacation Advertisement
Luxury Cruise Vacation Advertisement

Category: | 2 Comments

This is just a note to solve a puzzle that has occurred between my daughters.

As it turns out, I have four daughters. Their names are (in order of appearance) Summer, Helen, AmberLee and MaShayla. As far as I know, though, only one of them has a blog. She would be Helen.

I love my daughters.

Take an Inexpensive Cruise Vacation Advertisement

Category: | 1 Comment

Today, my daughter, who has her own blog site informed me that my previous blog posts are not very lively. In fact, Google advertisers chose my blog to advertise cremation services. I thought I was being positive, but somewhat on the serious side. It seems that when I want to type something out, something that is on my mind, it usually gets to be kinda serious. Although, there are humorous parts to it. But I don't know why Google thinks that I would attract people who would want cremation services.

I wonder if it is my age? I didn't mention any illnesses that I have or even those that my friends have. The one blog where I mentioned my friend who has lots of Saturdays doesn't mention why she has lots of Saturdays. So, how does a computer know what happened to her? Is that what happened? Google read my blog and decided that someone needs to be cremated? Wow! They're better than I thought. I'm sure they are going to get a lot of hints from this blog since I am mentioning illnesses and such. Hopefully, this isn't too much of a downer...

There are several possible things that I may be blogging about in the future. I just don't know exactly what they may be. I started this because it is good to have one when you are trying to sell things on line so that you can get found by the Google spiders. I am starting to sell things on line. I don't have much yet and I haven't really got set up in all the ways I should in order to be successful, but different things seem to take my time.

I made a web page artthemiddleman.com and wrote one article, http://www.squidoo.com/pistolsnprincesses. The article was to practice doing the things I have been learning to do on Wealthy Affiliates (The Wealthy Affiliate link will result in me getting paid if you follow it and purchase a membership) while I didn't really have anything yet to sell because I was waiting for my business name and my domain name. I have those three things now, so I should be writing my own article to lead potential travelers to my site so that they can go on luxury cruises, rent cars, get motels and such. It's a start.

I haven't earned any money yet. But, I only just started this last week. So, I am not disappointed. I am actually encouraged that I was able to get the things done that I have done.

Was that uplifting?

Category: | 1 Comment

Just a small note for today.

I always think about why those days when I was young seemed to be so long. A summer used to be a  VERY long time. Not any more.

Today, after getting back to work, since my 10 days off, I realized that the past ten days seemed like it was a month. When we took that trip across the Pacific from Mexico to Hawaii, it seemed like a very long time again. When I am at work and looking back to the time off, it seems like that was a life time. At work, the days all mix into one day as each day is the same.

Maybe it is the same day-to-day routine that makes life short. A year seems like a few short days because they are all the same. When I am not in those routines I experience the days of youth where each day is the beginning of a new adventure and not just another day going down the same roads to the same building, doing the same thing for several hours only to repeat the same thing the next day.

Saturdays with LaFonda are the times I look forward to and I hope to have more of them, more frequently as time goes on.

Category: | 4 Comments

A friend of mine and I were always in complete agreement on this. If you have a day off and you have to do something, it isn't a day off. So, generally, Saturdays are my days off.

She was a teacher, so she had the wonderful experience of having nearly 180 Saturdays between when school was out in June and when it started up again in September. She was very good at pointing out to me that she has had 15 Saturdays this month. She has only Saturdays now.

Well, my last Saturday for this string of Saturdays ends tomorrow. I started my Saturdays on Thursday, the 22nd. During this time my wife and I went to the beach where we had saved aside three condos for our family to use for the week. We were blessed to have three of four of our daughters and their families stay with us. We really had nothing we had to do except eat together and play games, so they were Saturdays for sure. Sadly one of our daughters moved the day we started this string of Saturdays and wasn't able to join us.

During this time, I have had many hours to read and research this on-line marketing adventure that I had started to look into. Now I have a blog (here), and one article I wrote on squidoo.com  as well as a business license and a domain name.

A lot can get done if you have a lot of Saturdays. So, I'm guessing Becky is getting a lot done.

Her Saturdays began in earnest December 24, 2008.

Category: | 1 Comment

This should prove interesting. I think that those who know me think it will be interesting in any case.

This blog doesn't have anything at all to do with fishes. But, I thought that it was a better starting point than to say, "In my mind" or "In the Mind of Art", or "Let's See What Art is Thinking Today!" and I think that blogging has more to do with someone expressing themselves rather than expressing something that is interesting to others.

So, if you got here thinking that I am going to be talking about fish and you have your heart set on that, you may want to block this blog so that you won't mistakenly come here in the future. But, before you do - keep in mind that since I don't really have a target audience in mind and I don't have a subject matter I want to blog about, I may, in some future time, blog on fish and I may even blog on what I think is in the mind of a fish.

Category: | 3 Comments