The Strength of the Mighty Redwoods

The northern California coast plays host to the world’s tallest and most majestic tree, the Redwood. Known for its enormous height and beauty, the secret to the strength of this giant can be traced to its extensive root system. Towering up to 350 feet, the Redwood’s root system is surprisingly shallow. Buried no deeper than 6 to 10 feet below these skyscrapers, you will find a convoluted network that travels for miles beyond each individual tree to intertwine into a sophisticated root system. Seldom if ever, will you find a Redwood by itself and if you do it won’t be standing for long. Each tree weighing in at nearly 500 tons, their intertwined roots provide the stamina and stability that enable these ancient landmarks to stand for millennia. With a lifespan of nearly 2000 years, the success and longevity of this kingly tree is a direct result of the tapestry of interwoven roots that connect with other Redwoods.

It’s interesting to point out that despite the shallow nature of these roots, in the sandy soil of California; these trees have survived for centuries not independently but collectively. Jesus often referred to nature to illustrate points in his teaching and the example of the Redwood is no different. Were we to pattern the network of Bible-believing Apostolics in the Michigan District of the A.L.J.C. after these hearty pines, we would soon realize that our strength doesn’t come with standing individually but as a unified body. The Apostle Paul stated that we are members of one body. Yes, we are miles away but even a shallow yet strong network of roots could provide us with the stability and stamina we hold in such high regard when we view the Redwoods of California.

With the advent of computers, email, pagers, and cell phones, we’re left with little excuse for not keeping in contact with one another. If we bind together, we too can stand as pillars of truth in this life and the life to come. Let us take to heart the lesson the Redwoods teach us; united we stand and divided we fall. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Yes, saint of God, let us build a strong network of love, prayer and support one for another and while distance may seem like an obstacle to you and me, God is everywhere present and nowhere absent. God bless you all.

Onward — RDM

Our 20th Anniversary Celebration Day 4 of 4 – St. Joseph, Michigan

We pried our hands from the keys to our suite in Saugatuck and headed out this morning after breakfast. We weren’t entirely sure where we were going, but we knew we didn’t want to head straight home. We don’t get to the west side of the state very much and wanted to take advantage of the sunny (yet cool) day we had.

South Haven Pier

South Haven wasn’t very far from Saugatuck so we drove there to check out yet another yarn shop which turned out not to be open until later that day and Shannon didn’t want to take the time to wait. While we were there we swung by the beach and lighthouse. Surprisingly there were several others there bundling up that planned on walking out to the beach to see the tiny red lighthouse. With the blustery winds near the water, Shannon and I decided to sit this one out. Before you say we’re wimpy, keep reading.

On a side note, there was a great deal of work being done near the pier and beach area. From the looks of it, it’s going to be very nice when completed.

St. Joseph Magical Ice Carving Festival – 6th Annual

From South Haven, it was just a short jaunt to St. Joseph and there we struck proverbial gold! Before we even headed into town, we stopped off at the North Pier to see the lighthouses. The sun came out in full force and Shannon and I couldn’t resist taking a walk up the frozen sand dunes to snap off a few shots of the lighthouse. Once we headed out, despite the snow and the wind, the sunshine made our walk far more tolerable. We were rewarded with some great pics. We slipped our way across the ice that leads out to the lighthouse, but at one point it was way too slippery to head out any further.

At times the waves crashed up on the pier and even along the snow/sand mounds. As you can see the ice coated the railings which made it virtually impossible to tread out any further to get a closer look at the light.

From the pier we headed into town and we had no idea the 6th Annual Magical Ice Carving Festival was underway. We spent about an hour our so being fascinated by the craftsmen/women who were hard at work shaping blocks of ice into creatures ranging from a dragon fly, to dragons. They even had a putt-putt course constructed of ice sculptures for kids to play. It was such a beautiful day and such a beautiful setting. This was certainly a fitting way to end our weekend getaway. What made it even ‘cooler’ was it was unplanned and unexpected. You would have thought we knew what we were doing! It turned out to not only be a wonderful 20th Anniversary, but a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

20 Years in Retrospecct

I had a wonderful time with my sweet bride on this weekend getaway. It’s difficult to believe we have been together for 20 years. She officially has been living with me longer than she had with her parents. See our children grow so quickly, and seeing how much God has blessed us is truly humbling and gratifying. It truly has been only by God’s Divine Grace and Favor that we have enjoyed the life we have. Keeping God first has been and will always be the key to longevity in a marriage. When God is first in both of your lives He gives you the center, and from there, despite life’s challenges, God grants you His Grace to see them through.

Below are a few of the pictures we took at the festival…

Our 20th Anniversary Weekend Getaway Day 1 of 4

Thursday February 11, 2010Day 1 of 4

As promised here are the details of day number 1 of 4 of our anniversary. Fortunately for me, my work day was cut short so i was able to slip out and get some much needed prep work done on one of my favorite travel tactics called the “boondoggle.” This is my attempt at adding a bonus day to weekend getaways or vacations. Basically, an unexpected bonus day of travel in which to lengthen the experience as much as possible.

Lexington – Lansing

When I found out we were cutting out of work early I began to scour the internet for a cool place to spend the night before our official weekend was to begin. My favorite travel site is Kayak.com the best for comparing prices of various websites – be it for hotels, car rentals, or flights, it saves time, and if you’re saavy money too! Now, don’t be fooled however. There are times, more often than not, if you call the hotels directly you can actually get a better deal – in my case this was a move with exponential benefits. With Lansing being on the way to our final destination of Saugatuck, I searched for hotels in the area and stumbled upon a recently updated hotel Lexington Lansing. Originally, their price was the same as what was listed on the internet. I inquired about an upgrade which would have been one of two suites they have available. The price was $150 without the suite. With the suite, it was $280! I started back-peddling and said I would stick to the $150 room, which was nice enough. It was a king, non-smoking, and included continental breakfast. As the woman starting putting my information in, she asked what my occassion for traveling was. I indicated to her this was for my 20th anniversary and she said there may be a special. Sure enough there was!

For $165/nt. I was upgraded to the Empress Suite. This included a full breakfast voucher, a 2 room/bathroom suite with king-sized bed, 2 flat screen TV’s, cookies and milk before bed, and chocolate covered strawberries, and a bottle of sparkling grape juice! As you can see, calling the hotel directly brought great dividends. See a personalized video tour by Shannon and myself below…

Thread Bear Fiber Studio and Yarn Shop

A passion for Shannon is knitting. A past time for me is finding these knitting and yarn stores. Our weekend getaways often include trips to yarn stores and coffee shops. If the 2 ever meet in the middle, surely the planets must be aligned and a lottery win somewhere in the near future…just kidding. I don’t believe in either! But knowing how much Shannon enjoys knitting, I find it rewarding to locate these shops online and take her to them.  Many of the shops are located in the heart of the towns and cities we enjoy traveling in, so in addition to yarn stores, coffee shops surface as do shoe stores (a personal favorite of mine…more like an obsession I guess). Lansing coffee shops and shoe stores didn’t surface this time, but getting around the outskirts of the city was fun especially in this college town.

Thread Bear is located at 319 S. Waverly Rd. in Lansing. Be warned however, if you plug the address into your GPS, you may still have to pay close attention to where the store is located. We drove right past the store without realizing it. The plaza’s sign indicating what stores it contained was missing several panels including Thread Bear’s sign. We did find it, much to Shannon’s delight, and my relief!

Shannon’s Ratings are as follows on 5 Knitting Needle Scale (1 = BAD and 5 = EXCELLENT)

  • Yarn Selection = 5
  • Accessories/Notions = 2
  • Patterns/Books = 5
  • Service = 5
  • Organization = 4
  • Location = 2
  • Would Shannon Return = YES

Rae’s Yarn Boutique

We should have stopped at Rae’s Yarn Boutique before going to Thread Bear as it was right on the way. This shop is what my Italian friend calls a “patuzzo.” Which being translated is a speck or a small place. We would call it a hole in the wall. While small in size, they did not lack substance.

Shannon was a little shocked that the owner, Renee or Rae was so young and so introverted. Yarn stores are specialty shops by nature and usually the owners typify some flamboyance and are outgoing. Shannon was pleased overall with the store.

  • Yarn Selection = 3
  • Accessories/Notions = 4
  • Patterns/Books = 2
  • Service = 4
  • Organization = 2
  • Location = 4
  • Would Shannon Return = YES

Rae’s Yarn Boutique is located at 2004 E. Michigan Ave. Lansing. Don’t blink otherwise you’ll miss it. 

 

A Southern Mystery

SUMPNOTHER

I’ve often wondered about a very puzzling southern term…it sounds like it could be a phrase, but it’s actually one word; ‘sumpnother.’

In a sentence would go as follows, “I got sumpnother stuck in my eye!”

Other examples of ‘sumpnother’.

• Sumpnother’s crawled up in there ‘n died!
• You can have sumpnother for dinner.
• You can eat sumpnother using sumpnother.
• Sumpnother can clog your drains, and you can use sumpnother to clean ’em out!
• You can even write sumpnother with sumpnother.
• You can store sumpnother inside sumpnother to keep sumpnother from getting spoiled.
• You can catch sumpnother if you do sumpnother, or if you forget to use sumpnother.
• Sumpnother can hurt for days until you take sumpnother for it.
• You can die from sumpnother if you don’t watch out for sumpnother.
• Sumpnother can clean sumpnother out.
• Sumpnother can fix sumpnother.
• You can even get fixin’ to do sumpnother.
• Sumpnother can smell unless you spray sumpnother on it.
• Sumpnother runs good until sumpnother happens to it.
• At times ‘sumpnother’ can tell you things…”Sumpnother told me ya’ll was comin’ over!”
• You see sumpnother by using sumpnother.
• You can fetch sumpnother by climbing up sumpnother.
• You can use sumpnother to remind you to do sumpnother.
• While you were doin’ sumpnother, like readin’ this, sumpnother wadn’t getting’ done, so now you gotta hurry up and do sumpnother!
• Sumpnother tells me you’re gonna forward this sumpnother to your friends so they can use their sumpnother to send it to other people’s sumpnother. Then, maybe just maybe, sumpnother will be done about figuring out sumpnother about sumpnother.

Dedicated to my brother in-law Shane Jenkinson, who always has sumpnother to tell me about sumpnother that makes me laugh my sumpnother off.

Inspired by sumpnother that someone said about sumpnother!

Rodger Mangold

If Thy Presence Go Not With Me

stone-trustConsider the following passage – paying close attention to Moses’ outright refusal to go any further without the LORD’s presence…

Exodus 33:12-23

12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Taking that Next Step

Occasionally, I find myself in situations that push me beyond my comfort zone. Situations I personally feel inadequate to handle. Certainly, I understand the Lord is always with me, but the situations I’m describing are situations that will require a supernatural confirmation and reassurance. In reading the scripture above I learned I am not alone in feeling this way. Even after the mighty things God accomplished through Moses, he still needed the reassurance that the next step he was to take would be accompanied by the LORD. Moses realized early on, that there was not enough talent, skill, ability, charisma, or clout that could make up for not having the presence of God with him. Wouldn’t you think that past experience would have built up a certain level of confidence? Try as we may we can’t placate that feeling of being overwhelmed. The feeling that the next step we take is going require an extra level of certainty from the only ONE that can give it…God himself!

Dare I say, this present generation is at that junction. Our faith is being challenged. Our loved ones are under attack by sicknesses, some unto death. Our finances are in turmoil. Our economy, our way of life, our government, and dare I say our freedoms, are on the endangered list, if not experiencing outright extinction. If ever we needed that reassurance we need it now.

What About Trust?

But, all of this begs the question, “where does trust come in?” Surely Moses could have based his trust on past performance with God. He could have even based his trust on the Word of God. God continuously spoke to Moses, as a man speaks to his friend, face to face. How much more reassurance would you need? Perhaps this wasn’t about trust at all – maybe it was more about Moses’ willingness to stay put until he knew that God had called him to the next level.

Exodus 14:13-14 – And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

You see Moses learned, as we all should, that there are times that we must stand still! We mistake activity for productivity. Movement for progress. Busyness for business. Not so with God. If ever there was a time we need to stand still and see the hand of the LORD fight for HIS people it is today!

That’s not to say we should leave ourselves vulnerable or unprotected. Paul writes to the church at Ephesus, 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:(Ephesians 6:12-14)

The Great Shaking

Hebrews 12:26-29Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

There appears to be a shaking of sorts happening now! Globally our financial systems are in dire straits! Globally we are not only financially bankrupt, we are morally bankrupt! And as this world is shaking and reeling from the calamities it faces, this truly will be the time that the chaff will be separated from the wheat!

As Christians, we should echo the opening chorus in Psalms – 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree plantedby the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

In Closing

And he (Moses) said unto him, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Moses’ remarks were far from being rooted in distrust, uncertainty, and disbelief. They were essential to the direction of the nation of Israel – God’s chosen people. We should mirror this pattern in our lives as God’s Elect! Wherever I go the Presence of the LORD must be a pre-requisite! I never want to GO where the presence of the LORD hasn’t led me. I never want to BE where the presence of the LORD hasn’t directed me. I never want to know what it’s like not to have the presence of the LORD, not just WITH me, but INSIDE of me!

James bluntly states in chapter 4 verses 13-15:  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

We are such a blessed people to have a God that cares about our future. In fact He not only cares about it…He’s creating it as you read this posting! Prayerfully consider your next step. It could be that God doesn’t want you to step at all – He may want you to stay!

Mangold Hurling…It’s not what you think

Hurling a Mangold...the proper way! (Photo from the Mangold Hurling Association Website)

With an obscure name like Mangold, the information is quite scarce as to its origin (see my post regarding its origin here). I still never expected to stumble upon the odd sport of Mangold Hurling…yes there’s a sport that involves hurling Mangolds!

I have been fascinated with the Mangold name since childhood. I’ve heard stories of it being a Jewish swap of Goldman to Mangold. I heard it was two names combined to mean worker with gold, but the most believable and compelling is referenced HERE.

Mangold Hurling Association Website
Where on earth the sport of Mangold Hurling comes into “play” I’ll never know but if you’re interested in its history you can visit the official Mangold Hurling Page HERE.

On this website you can even find the following…

Mangold is Mangelwurzel
According to Wikipedia Mangold is the English name for the Mangelwurzel. The mangelwurzel has a history in England of being used for sport (mangold hurling), for celebration (mangold lanterns at punkie night in Somerset), for animal fodder and for the brewing of a potent alcoholic beverage.

A mangelwurzel hurling championship was revived in the north Wiltshire village of Sherston on October 7, 2006. Teams of three hurled mangelwurzels in turn, aiming to be the closest to a large leafless mangelwurzel known as ‘the Norman’.

It is also the source of the name for the English folk/pop/comedy musical group The Wurzels.

Most city-dwellers in England have only the vaguest idea of what a mangelwurzel is, and tend to associate the vegetable with the stereotypical country bumpkin character in comedy. The word is even used as a double-entendre, for example by the character Rambling Syd Rumpo (Kenneth Williams). As usual, some entertainers from country towns embrace the stereotype, as above.

The first encounter with the mangelwurzel for many children may well be through the book Muddle Earth (2003) by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, in which the mangelwurzel is the staple diet of the trolls. It also appears in George Orwell‘s Animal Farm, in the fourth stanza of the ballad “Beasts of England.”

The mangelwurzel was mentioned prominently in the book Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.

It also makes frequent appearances as a sheep’s treat in the sheep detective novel Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann.

Mangelwurzel is given as a genus of a scarecrow in the children’s programme Worzel Gummidge.

This gentleman produced some particularly fine specimens of Mangolds. Many of the older visitors remembered working on the farm, chopping Mangolds by hand for cattle feed...OUCH! (Photo from the Mangold Hurling Association Website)


In Closing
You can’t make this stuff up folks…I wonder if in their wildest imaginations if the originators of this sport would have thought that today’s definition of “hurling” could be the same as vomitting? I also wonder if they ever thought that someone’s last name would ever actually be “Mangold?” So combining the two and making a sport out of it just leads to the disgusting imagery I’m not prepared to entertain!

In Closing

So, if you ever plan on hurling a Mangold…there are rules pal and you better follow them to the tee! I’d hate to have to refer you to the Mangold Hurling Association for failure to hurl in the proper manner!

Origin of the Mangold Family Name – By Peter Mangold

Böckten, Basel-Country Switzerland

Preface
Mr. Peter Mangold from Switzerland was kind enough to leave this information on our blog regarding the origins of the Mangold name. His original comment can be found HERE. I hope those with our unique name will find this helpful. A special thanks goes out to Peter for his research.

Introduction
I just found your blog as I out of curiosity entered my own name in Google. I’m a Mangold from northwestern Switzerland, a Region where this surname is relatively widely spread. In fact, as I know, the Mangold surname originated in southern Germany, a region not far from northwestern Switzerland. Still today, most bearers of this name in Europe live in this area. As far as I know, the ancestors of my family moved in from there somewhere at around 1400 – 1500. Around the year 1500, according to parish registers, a Mangold family lived in the tiny town of Böckten in the Canton (State) of Baselland. The very town my grandfather was born 100 years ago. Today, the village and its neighboring towns are still home to quite a lot of Mangolds – I grew up only a few miles away. (Official Böckten Website)

Mangold Origins – Personality to Rule
As of the origin of the name, I have other information than you: Personally, I think an origin in either Spain or Italy is unrealistic. First of all, mobility in the Middle Ages was much lower than today (very much lower!) and only very few people moved very far from where they were born. in fact, moving out of a certain area was even prohibited by the authorities in certain regions (because the people were subjects of their lords – and required a permission to move and even to marry outside of their district). Secondly, even if somebody settled down far away from where he came from (for example mercenaries that could not or would not return home), they were mostly given names referring to their place of origin rather than they kept their own names. This was not unusual, as in these days, people had normally only one name and their “last name” was either their fathers name, their profession or described where they lived (take as an example the Swiss-German name Amstutz meaning “the one who lives on the steep slope”) Therefore names could change quite quickly. When the need for proper identification became bigger as bureaucracies were created to administrate regions and rulers began to make lists of their subjects – such as parish registers – some names became permanent last names. These could again derive from either profession (for example Cooper and Miller), places or from a previous “first name” (so called patronymic). That was the case with Mangold as Mangold was – in the Middle Ages but no more today – a popular first name. It is in its development related to the name Walter – a german name that still is today both first name and last name. And as it is the case with Walter, it refers to a leadership position: Walter has its roots in Old German “waltan” and “heri”, meaning “to preside over, to dispose” and “army” as in modern German “walten” and “Heer”. Mangold derived from “manne” and “cwolt”, meaning “men” and “force, sway, violence” as in today’s German “Männer” and “Gewalt”. So it described someone who had the power and personality to rule.

I guess, the “legend” of an origin in Italy comes from a mistake (See referenced post here). Mangold is not only a name for a person but also the name of a plant in Germany (Chard or Silver Beet in English) and this plant has its origins around the Mediterranean Sea.

Greetings from Switzerland
Peter Mangold