Long live the Amish! – Off the grid.

It is March 6 2019, a cold morning in Intercourse, Pa. The temperature is 19F and the snow is still deep. There it is! A recently built Amish homestead with the telltale clothesline, but also a small wind turbine and four solar panels to provide

electricity. Contrary to popular opinion the Amish do not shun electricity, they just want to be left unconnected to the “English”, in other words, live off the grid. Their desire to be independent force them to be resourceful and innovative, since they also follow the law of the land whenever possible. So it was, when the farms were mandated to refrigerate the milk before pickup they installed electric coolers. The electricity was generated by diesel generators, so bingo, they could get electricity for their workshops as well, and turn from primitive hand work to fully modern wood workshops, I know, they provided a first class kitchen for our home in Intercourse. They had a problem, federal law mandated headlights on their buggies to be street legal. The propane lights with gas stockings burned well, but were too fragile to last the bumpy buggy rides so they installed car headlights running on car batteries. They had to be charged often, and it became quite expensive, so the Amish in 2003 made the first commercially available LED headlights for their buggies, thereby extending battery life nine-fold for a marine deep-charge lead-acid battery, from six hours to 100 hours.

Even at 120 dollars a piece it made economic sense. How do you charge batteries? This is where the solar panels come in, they are used to charge the batteries. When the sun doesn’t shine the wind may blow, a reasonable backup. Now they have 12 volt electric power. The next step was to wire the house and install 12 V LED lights and provide 12 volt DC or 24 volt AC outlets for small appliances. The lights are done, the appliances are still run the hard way, diesel engines providing compressed air, which run their wells with jet-pumps and in their hand mixers they take out the motor and replace with a compressed air motor. The LED lights beat kerosene lamps any day for efficiency, and even a compressed air driven refrigerator is much more efficient than a kerosene driven refrigerator.

So if the grid goes down for an extended period of time, who is better off? The Amish are far ahead of us in preparation for catastrophes.

https://lenbilen.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/amishpanels.jpg

And the Amish do get together and fellowship for any reason, but mostly for their Sunday services, which are held in the upper room of their workshops, or in the kitchen for the women and the basement for the men. The horse-drawn pew-mobile is in the picture above, to the right. This is a tell-tale sign who has the service next time.

Take heart. Take care of your heart.

Being an engineer I have always tried to understand what makes us tick. The heart is a wonderful piece of engineering and it keeps on ticking no matter what, faster when anxious or exercising, then going back to resting pace when the challenge is over. It worked fine for the first 75 years of my life, but then I noticed a gradual change. Well, this is part of normal aging I thought, so I shrugged it off and went on with my life as best I could. One very early morning I woke up with a cold sweat and pain in my chest and both arms, so I stood up and started to walk it off. I burped and burped and after a couple of minutes it went away and I felt a good warmth in my chest and that was it, so I went back to sleep. Checking my stamina later I found it had gone down by at east a factor of two. This fall I had a congestive cold and found that I could not do the trick that always worked before, whenever I found myself short of breath with a slight pain in my chest I hyper ventilated until it went away. That does nor work well in a coughing spell. Anyhow, I decided to wait until my yearly physical checkout. That is when my doctor discovered I had anemia as well. Sudden anemia is usually a sign of internal bleeding, so first I was in for a complete plumbing checkout. But I insisted that I better see a cardiologist asap, and there was a cancellation, so I could go in the day after the colonoscopy. I failed the stress test miserably, and they found blockages. Off to catheterization. It revealed that my Left Anterior Descending artery (yes, that is the so called widowmaker) was more than 90% blocked. But it also revealed that another artery was 100% blocked, and the heart had connected that artery with another artery, it had provided its own bypass. Isn’t it wonderful how God in the 750 Megabyte DNA information provided in every cell He also provided us with a very good repair kit. However,  the widowmaker artery is alone, so when it goes altogether, that’s the end. For me, it was not too late, so they put in a stent, and already when I was wheeled out of the operating room I felt like a new man. (Yes, you are awake during the procedure, they tell you to hold your breath so they can take yet another x-ray as they poke around.) Poking around they found a third, partially blocked artery, but it may be fixed with medication.

I am thankful to God for modern medicine. They can do all these things just by going in through the artery in the wrist, look around and put in a stent. When I grew up, if you got a heart attack, that was it. But most of all I stand in awe at the wonders of God

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

January 1, read through the Bible in a year.

And so it began. The two chapters chosen for today, John 1 and  Genesis 1

(click on the chapter to begin reading) both start with the words “In the beginning”. The gospel of John deals with creation spiritually, and Genesis 1 deals with the physical creation.

We are existing in time and space. The question is: What was there before time and space existed, before the beginning?

Answer: God, existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son (the Word) and God’s Spirit, (the Holy Ghost).

They alone are eternal, everything else, including time and space, is created.

The Christmas Gospel, according to the prophet Isaias and the times we live in.

From the Dead sea scroll, found in a cave near the Dead Sea in 1947 was a complete and nearly undamaged scroll of the Book of Isaiah. It was copied from earlier manuscripts no later than 140 B.C, probably much earlier. This proves that it is a true prophecy of events yet to take place.

Starting at Isaiah 8:11

 

A good description of  the times we are living in. Most people live in darkness!

Continuing with  Isaiah, Chapter 9.

The Galilee of the Gentiles!

In verse 2 is the beginning of the Gospel of Isaiah.

The Veggie Tales has a hilarious recounting of how Gideon defeated the Midians, not always biblically correct, but good for children. The correct account is found in Judges 6 and 7.

 

Child: Shows the humanity of Christ

Son, shows the deity of Christ

It also shows the unity of God, Father, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, three aspects of God, three in one, the triune God, the Trinity.

 

Jeremiah 9:10 has been quoted by politicians as a message of resilience and hope. This message was scribbled by President Obama in 2012 on a building near Ground Zero. Other Politicians have quoted Jeremiah 9:10. John Edwards quoted it directly on the third anniversary of 9/11, not realizing that the message is not one of hope, but of utter arrogance.

 

These are the times we are living in, and the Gospel (good news) has come!   Rejoice!   Pray for a revival among God’s people, and an awakening among all people!

 

 

Merry Christmas! A very traditional Scandinavian Christmas!

We have finally decorated our Christmas tree! From our Scandinavian traditions Christmas Eve is the big day. We are awaiting the arrival of our children and grand children. First we all go to church, singing Christmas carols, After a short message telling the real reason for the season that Jesus came to earth, born of a virgin, sent to die to redeem us from our sins, risen again and is now back in Heaven with the Father, as He was from before the beginning of time. The singing ends with all singing “Silent Night, Holy Night.

Then we go back home and enjoy our Christmas dinner, followed by at least one more hour of singing Christmas carols, all choose at least one, beginning with the youngest. We do this while dancing around the Christmas tree. Then we eat the Marzipan cake, decorated as the Rose of Sharon and sing happy birthday, Lord Jesus. After that, it is the giving out of Christmas presents. We open them, one at a time, giving thanks, or whatever come to mind after each present.

There is no Santa in our Christmas, that would take away from the centrality of Jesus Christ.

Christmas Day is for eating and relaxation.

This is our traditional Scandinavian Christmas. No Lutfisk, my wife is from Denmark.