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City-fied Self-Sufficiency

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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

In celebration of a life well lived.

I met Nick Kalivoda in 1989.

I was in the midst of a very tumultuous time of my life.  I was a 19-year-old college computer programming student.  Nick was a 67-year-old Bible teacher.

The meeting had been arranged by my family, in an attempt to get through to me.  But I was too intimidated to be reached.   Not that he was intimidating, but that didn’t stop me from being afraid of him for no reason.

Years later, after coming to my senses, I learned what an absolute jewel he was.  This was after I let go of all the bitterness I had harbored over all the things my family had tried during that time, trying to reach me.  Nothing bad, but I was bitter anyway.  I finally got over myself, and forced myself to look at it all through more objective eyes.  I was royally messing up, and they were trying to keep me from royally messing up for life.

But this post is not about me.  It’s about Nick.  Nick, who is now in the arms of our beloved Savior Jesus Christ.

Nick grew up in a Catholic family, was born again as a teenager, and later especially enjoyed teaching about God’s grace.  He taught the Bible for decades, tirelessly.  He recorded his lessons so those in his classes could review them.  Then those in his classes began buying copies for others.

He taught some topical studies, but many of his teachings were verse-by-verse through entire books of the Bible.  He believed, as we do, that the Bible is the very Word of God, and he treated it accordingly.  He used proper methods of study, especially stressing context, since the Bible can be made to say anything, if you take a bit of it out of context.

A memorial service was held for him, and I obtained a copy of the program:

In celebration of a life well lived. That could not have been better put.

He will be very much missed.

All those years later, and he still fit his uniform!

He already had a good bit of grey when I met him, so this is obviously from well before that.

Some 20 years ago, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  He fought it and taught for all this time.  As he got older, his stamina diminished, and he taught less often.  But he had already raised up and taught other men, so they could teach as faithfully to the scriptures as he.

He was the quintessential contradiction to the slick and showy tactics of the innumerable hucksters currently shepherding and deceiving the church.  His quiet speech belied his genuinely authoritative presence… authoritative because he was so thoroughly steeped in God’s Word, yet so humble and loving a man.  Technology passed him by.  To the last lesson he taught, he continued to use the overhead projector that we who are old enough will remember from our classrooms at school.  His overheads were just as flashy — typed Bible verses, with the occasional typed quote from another source, and the exceedingly rare simple diagram.

He did finally make his lessons available on CD, as well as cassette.

Also in contrast to the aforementioned hucksters, he never took a dime from the ministry (not that paying a pastor is wrong; that’s another subject).  Prices of recordings covered the cost of replacement materials.  Donations helped rent space for the study, as attendance was frequently well over 80, and also helped air the lessons on several radio stations.  Any extra went not to him, but to missions.

Thanks to his foresight, the study continues with the men he trained, as do the radio broadcasts, and the missions support.

The two booklets he wrote, “Grace” and “Heaven’s Password”, can be downloaded for free at his ministry’s website I have had linked in my right sidebar from the beginning:  Radio Bible Courses.

Nick's favorite subject: the grace of God.

A study on what it means to "believe".

There are also many study materials available for order, each of which is available on MP3 CD, in addition to cassettes, which Nick never abandoned, in spite of the fact that they cost a lot more.  I don’t even have a cassette player any more!  But I guess enough people do.

There is also a full DVD hermeneutics course taught by Dr. Earl Radmacher.  Hermeneutics is Bible interpretation… so this course teaches how to “rightly divide” or correctly interpret the Bible.  As I mentioned before, the Bible can be made to say anything, when pulled out of context and edited with enough ellipsis points.  This course teaches how to study it so you do not misinterpret it.  This is a Bible college – level course, on 27 DVDs, with a workbook on CD.

It seems pricey, but it’s a lot cheaper than Bible college.  I plan to have my children take this course, in addition to as many of Nick’s classes on CD as possible.

*sigh*  I didn’t really mean to go into all that… I guess it’s just my excitement about the teaching.  It’s just excellent!  And the tremendous effect he has had on my family.  He will be so very missed by so very many, but we who trust Jesus as our Savior will see him again one day, and it will be wonderful to see him well.

The full and truly amazing life of Nick Kalivoda is summarized in his obituary.

A flurry of development

With the house set and our loan re-approved, it was time to do all the things we could not do before the house was placed.  We drove from my uncle’s house to the new house almost every day!  (That took a lot of gas.)  Sometimes, we had more than one service being installed on the same day.

First came the septic system.  But not the kind we used to have when we first got married… the kind that’s just a big tank with a drain field.  Those aren’t allowed here any more.  Now any new septic system has to be a “Mo-dad”, which is basically a self-contained sewage treatment system.  It has an electric pump which constantly aerates the system, allowing waste to break down much more quickly and completely.  Then it goes through a drain field, but any treated sewage that makes it beyond that point is simply piped to a ditch or something.

It seems that once it leaves the septic system, it is actually safe enough to end up in an open ditch.

We were very glad to see the guys show up to install the septic system! Our neighbors and the store up the street had been so gracious to us, and allowed us to use their restrooms quite a few times. Of course, we still needed water and electricity in order to be able to use our own facilities, but it was a start.

After quickly digging the necessary hole, the concrete septic tank is ready to be placed. The black things in front are the pieces to the drain field. I was on antibiotics which made me sensitive to sun, so I had to do my picture-taking from the front steps.

The septic tank is lowered into the hole.

I don’t remember what I was doing while this was being done, but I missed the rest of it.  I was probably trying to find an electrician to come and run electricity to the house.  It would have been about the right time.  I spent several days researching electricians at night and calling them during the day while at the property.  I didn’t get any replies to my messages.

Someone finally told me that most electricians don’t like taking jobs this small.  Wow, really?  $2,500 – $3,000 for a day’s work isn’t enough?  How is your average homeowner supposed to get their electricity hooked up, if no electrician will take the job?  My beloved Shay could have run it, but he simply did not have time.

Meanwhile, we had to show up very early the next morning, to get our well dug.  We are so very blessed!  The water here is soft and good.  All of the horror stories about hard well water, clothes not coming clean, rust stains, all that… it doesn’t apply here.  I researched the aquifer and was anxious to see if it was true.

I would have included more pictures, but they all looked like this! That's pretty much what it looked like all day. At 110 feet, the well was done.

With an above-ground tank to give us pressure and a submerged pump that would always stay primed, we were ready to go once the plumber piped it all in -- if I could find an electrician to hook it up!

Our next trip out, we found gravel on our driveway! No more mud!

I had to run some errand by myself, so Bunny-Wan Kenobi sent a companion with me. Spiderman, of course, with his keen understanding of the laws of physics, was very anxious to wear his seat belt.

Still unable to find an electrician, I mentioned my lack of fortune to a neighbor.  The next thing I knew, the pastor of the local Baptist church was installing our pole and wiring everything up!  I could just see God smiling as He brought everything together.

After putting the pole up, it was time to dig a trench out to the well. I braved the sun for a few moments for this picture.

I never got over the amazement that, when no one else would take the job, a local pastor who just happened to be a master electrician wired everything up for less than half the cost I would have had with anyone else. God is good... all the time.

The pastor and our neighbor across the street discovered a siding crack I needed to address with the dealership.

The pastor passes wire to our neighbor, who came over to see if he could help with anything. The neighbor is pushing the wire into the conduit the pastor has run under the house.

This neighbor and his wife have turned out to be amazing people.  I don’t know what we would have done without them.  They, another family to one side of us, and the pastor and his church have helped us immensely as we get settled here.  We are so grateful to God for all of them!

We have been to many churches.  In all of them, we have heard teachings about loving and helping one another, as the church is supposed to do.  In only a couple, however, have we actually seen the people doing it.  Interestingly, it has been only in the very small churches.  The larger ones have ministries and committees, and part of the offerings go to fund these various outreaches to the sick and poor.  It works okay, I suppose, but there is a disconnect between the members giving and the needs met.

In the small churches, there aren’t enough people for committees and lists of ministries.  People help each other more directly.  While the pastor was at our home once (as a guest), we asked him if he knew anyone who needed some light fixtures.  We had removed seven of ours and replaced them with ceiling fans with lights.  He knew two families who could use them, so we gave them to him.

Right before Thanksgiving, I entered a drawing for a turkey through the local paper.  To my great shock, I got a call saying I had won!  I never win anything, and I had bought a turkey for Thanksgiving, and three more which we had quartered and put into the freezer.  I did not need this turkey, though it was tempting to stick it in the freezer, too.

I called the pastor, who gave me directions to a home just up the street from us.  We drove the turkey over there, and it turned out to be the home of a family we had met, that had just lost a very dear grandmother we had gotten to know a little bit.

When the pastor learned that my mom needed a bed frame, he dug around in his own attic, and gave her one complete with head- and footboard.

This is what the Bible meant about the early church having “all things in common”.  It wasn’t some communist thing, with everyone dumping all their possessions into a pile which was then spread equally to everyone.  It meant simply that if someone had a need, and someone else could meet that need, they met the need.

Acts 2:44-46 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; (45) And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

So it’s been really neat to see that in action.

The plumber came and ran all the water pipes and waste pipes and tied in the gas range and furnace (who knew it was the plumber, and not the gas company, who did that?).

We got our certificate of occupancy, and the pastor asked when our power was going to be turned on.  When he learned it would take several weeks, he called in a favor — we needed the power on, because we were very close to our scheduled moving day!  Seems he had done something for a man who is in charge of service hook-ups for the electric company for this whole region, and the man had told him if he ever needed anything, just call him.

Next thing you know, this man is standing next to our power pole, calling the local inspector.  “These people need their power on.  They’re getting ready to move in shortly.  I already have my men right here ready to put in the meter.  You need to come inspect this.”  And that afternoon, the power was on.

With power came water. Bunny-Wan Kenobi helped hook up a hose we temporarily snitched from my uncle's house, so we could flush out the well.

It was all true.  The water is excellent!

Now that we had power, the trim crew could come finish the house.  At this point, we were hardly ever at my uncle’s house.  We paid just enough attention to the bunnies to make sure they had food and water and a little lovin’.

One of the things that needed to be finished was the siding on the ends of the house. One man worked on this, while the other worked inside.

The man inside worked to complete the trim of the marriage wall, as well as trim all over the house. He certainly wasn't going to win any fashion awards, but I didn't object. It was hot... though the other fellow working on the siding wore jeans and a t-shirt. Much better.

The threshold, which would cover the gap in the floor, would be finished later.  They didn’t have a color that matched the linoleum, only the trim and cabinets.  So the dealership had oak threshold material milled for me!  We stained it with Minwax Espresso, and sealed it with polyurethane.

As we waited for the trim to be completed, as we had waited for so many other things to be completed, the kids read, and Mom took a nap.

ILoveBunnies found a walking stick. These little things are so fascinating!

Some of the clay had washed down from the pad, pooled in the yard, and dried out. The cracked red clay made a beautiful pattern.

Everything was coming together so quickly, it made our heads spin!  We were so grateful to have refrigeration, running water, and power to run fans.

There was still plenty to do, but we had to keep our eyes on a hurricane that was forming, and projected to come in our direction.

 

 

 

In every thing give thanks!

1Th 5:16-18
(16)  Rejoice evermore.
(17)  Pray without ceasing.
(18)  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Psa 136:1-26
(1)  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(2)  O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(3)  O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(4)  To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(5)  To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(6)  To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(7)  To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(8)  The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(9)  The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(10)  To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(11)  And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(12)  With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(13)  To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(14)  And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(15)  But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(16)  To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(17)  To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(18)  And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(19)  Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(20)  And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(21)  And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(22)  Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(23)  Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(24)  And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(25)  Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(26)  O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Whenever I am troubled about things, I do try to remember I Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks.”  It is a hard thing to remember, and I find myself remembering it better when I am encouraging someone else who is worried.

I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom when I was in my early teens.  Just thinking about what she and her family went through puts things in perspective, but there is one passage in the book that helps me remember that even things that seem bad can be used for God’s good.

It’s when Corrie and her sister Betsy have been in a concentration camp for a while, for hiding Jews.  The conditions, naturally, were horrific.  Finally, on top of everything else, their building became infested with lice.  Corrie was very upset, but then discovered that Betsy was thankful.

Thankful?  For lice?  Had Betsy lost it?  Corrie had had about all she could take.

Then Betsy explained.  Hadn’t Corrie noticed that ever since the lice had come, the guards would not come into their building?

Corrie realized with amazement that yes, she could be thankful even for the lice.

This passage is one of the things that will remind me that I see only a tiny part of what is going on.  It is God who sees the whole situation and guides it.  If they could see the mercy of God even in lice, I can certainly trust that the Lord can work my situation for good, as He says He will.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!
Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!
Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!
~Au­gust L. Storm