This neighborhood continues to amaze me. Our cul-de-sac actually has kids that ride bikes, carry kittens and play games that sound an very similar to the “pretend” games that my friends and I used to play. Grown-ups meander over to say ‘hello’ and check on our progress, or grab their quads to visit other neighbors or haul their kids to homes a little further down in the neighborhood. It is a throwback neighborhood and it fits us well.

This week found us completely changing the front of the house again. When Hurricane Matthew sent a bunch of rain into NC we noticed waterways that were not beneficial to our little home in the woods – maybe to the mosquitoes – but definitely not to us.

Hence – we are completely revamping the front of the house and driveway – once again. Hubby, of course, does the hardest part while I mostly fetch and shovel all my new plants, mulch and dirt that he has dug up into new spots. In true Stumpman style, it is far more elaborate than I thought at the beginning.

Tractor running, stump grinder throwing red clay-crusted stones everywhere, and various hand tools shaped the outline of the new patio and retaining wall while the dogs held their supervisory positions. Although a cut water line was a minor hold up yesterday, we now know where it is and are a little wiser.

Life is good. God is even better. Blessings abound at Eli Covenant.

1942 Daily Ration: Read: Philippians 1:9-14

” ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you.’~1 Peter 4:12

“At Glacier Park, a ranger remarked that the lodgepole pine is the only tree that will grow in the wake of a devastating forest fire. The heat open the cones and releases the seeds which find their way to the soil and new life.

“The enemies of Christ thought they had put an end to him and his teachings forever, but he arose with new life and power. Persecutors have been dismayed to find down through the years that their fires have given new life and growth to Christianity. Born of a crisis, Christianity has found its most fertile soil in the great crises of history. The English martyr, Latimer, being taken to the stake, cried out, ‘We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England, as (I trust) shall never be put out.’

“So in individual Christian experience testings bring to light the unsuspected life and resources. The invalid wife of Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote as they sat listening to the crackling of an oak log on the fire: ‘Suddenly I heard a sweet soft sound, a clear musical note, like a tender trill of a robin. . .The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music, garnered up by the old oak when soft sunlight decked its tender leaves with gold. We are like this log. We should give forth no melodious sounds were it not for the fire!

“Prayer: Help us, Our Father, to pray unceasingly for those who are caught in the fiery trial of persecution today. Bring the comfort of the Holy Spirit to their heart and keep them in thy love. In the name of Christ, Amen.


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