Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Value of Pumpkins

      This year our family has really appreciated pumpkins.  We didn't grow them this year.  Perhaps we appreciate things more when they are not as available.   I've thought in the past that pumpkins were not the best choice as a food because they have such a large seed cavity, and do not have as much flesh as squash.  This is not to say I don't like pumpkin.  I do have pleasant memories of making homemade pumpkin pie with real pumpkin years ago. It was the best pumpkin pie in my memory.  At a farmers market I was given a bargain on a big pumpkin this year.  I took it home for $1.  It decorated our front porch for a while.  Memories of that excellent pumpkin pie from years ago would not allow this pumpkin to just go to waste.  I taught my sister, Hannah, how to bake it, and pulverize it so it could be used as pie.  She has made lots of pies from canned pumpkin, so after showing her how to pulverize it, she was on own and she baked up a number of excellent pies.  Our family was starting to get used to having pumpkin pie for days.  I didn't know how good a "big" pumpkin would taste, but as pie, this big pumpkin was just fine.  Usually people use small pumpkins known as pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins for baking purposes.  Then I was given pumpkin flesh from an even bigger pumpkin.   This pumpkin was huge and probably reached my knee in height.  I was concerned that the taste would not be as good because it had a more stringy texture.  Hannah went to work with this also, and more pumpkin pies were made.  These came out very good too.  It was looking like pumpkin pie would become a staple in our home.

     Then there are the seeds.  These are a powerhouse of nutrients!  Pumpkin seeds have lots of vitamin E, magnesium, and are well known for their zinc content.  I have bought the seeds without shells at a grocery store and have even grown the type that does not have shells, but was not aware until recently that you can eat seeds from pumpkin and squash without shelling them. I always pictured the shells to be woody.  The pumpkin and squash shells are not overly chewy, and they contribute more zinc to the diet than the seeds alone.  I put them in our toaster oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit  and they make some very good snacking seeds.  Our family grew lots of winter squash this year, so I tried the squash seed also.  They came out good, but they are a lot smaller and pop as they bake.  Many seeds popped outside of the baking pan!  The pumpkin seeds did not pop like the squash seed did, but both came out excellent in flavor and crunch.  I'm so glad we planted lots of squash this year, but I'd like to plant some pumpkin next year now that I know how much I like the big pumpkin seeds!

    Pumpkin flesh contributes around 300% of your daily requirements of vitamin A per half cup serving.  That is impressive when considering how hard it is to get large amounts of nutrients from all natural sources. You can use pumpkin flesh to make pie, pudding, bread, or pancakes like you would canned pumpkin by baking and pulverizing it.  We started out by cutting the pumpkin in half and scooping out the seeds and stringy pulp. We baked our pumpkin for about an hour and half in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a pan with about half an inch of water with the cut side down.  We then scooped the flesh from out of the pumpkin shell and put it in a blender.  A food processor would probably work better.  The pumpkin is ready to use just like you would canned pumpkin at this point. The extra could be put in storage containers to freeze.  We just put the extra in the fridge and kept making pies for days on end, and everybody was happy with that. 

How I wish we had grown pumpkins this year!

If you have suggestions for using pumpkins, you are welcome to leave comments.  Thanks!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Reformation on Halloween

This is a sign in front of a local church building.
I believe we would do well to replace
Halloween with a more worthy cellabration.
   The title "A Reformation on Halloween" is not an indication that I believe we should somehow clean up some of the grosser sins in the celebration of Halloween.   I would say from the outset of these thoughts that Halloween is not something to be reformed, but rather abolished altogether.  We live in a world where truth is mixed with error, and people are afraid to give up traditions they've grown up with to the peril of their conscience, their souls, and their children.  The Word of God is made of no effect through tradition that is all around us.

      The believer in Christ is set free from the law of sin and death.   Halloween is the celebration of sin and death.  According to Solomon, those that hate God's wisdom love death.  Contrasting that, it is only logical that those that love wisdom also love life and do not glamorize sin and death.  Halloween is the epitomy of glamorizing sin and death in our culture. It is a "holiday" that celebrates deceit, not honesty; trickery, not kindness; fear, not love; death, not life; the prince of darkness, not the Prince of Peace.

      I believe in the doctrine of replacement.  It is the concept of overcoming evil with good.  (Romans 12:)  Years ago, when I was yet a youth, my family would join other families on October 31st to celebrate Reformation Day.  Reformation Day is a day to celebrate because the Reformation has changed our world for much good by making the knowledge of Scripture more widely known.  We would do a skit of Martin Luther pounding the 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.  This day is the same day that is celebrated like as if it was the Devil's birthday. I believe it is good to replace the day Halloween with Reformation Day.  The publisher of the calendar on my wall had the right idea.  On the 31st of October, where Halloween is printed on many calendars, it says "Reformation 1517."

     Halloween is characterized as a time of fear.  The fear of  the creature is of the Devil. Perfect love casts out fear.  Fear of the wrong things is not a small mistake.  Jesus said, "And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."  During Halloween, there is an emphasis on blood and an attempt to give the fear of death.  People seem to take some kind of pleasure in these things.  A Christian embraces life, not death.  Death does not have the victory.  Jesus demonstrated this in His resurrection.  The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will also do the same for all that have faith in Him.  We can say,  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Which? A Poem About the Value of Children

What value is in a child?  The following poem from McGuffey's Fourth Reader gives a story of a couple that were very poor with seven children.  They found themselves in a position where they were given the opportunity to give up one of their children in order to get material gain.  They looked at each of their children before giving their reply. They found themselves refreshed by considering the blessings they had.  Here is the poem simply entitled:


by  Mrs. E. L. Beers
Which shall it be? Which shall it be?
I looked at John-- John looked at me;
Dear, patient John, who loves me yet
As well as though my locks were jet.
And when I found that I must speak,
My voice seemed strangely low and weak;
"Tell me again what Robert said!"
And then I, listening, bent my head.
"This is his letter:"

"'I will give
A house and land while you shall live,
If, in return, from out your seven,
One child to me for aye is given.'"
I looked at John's old garments worn,
I thought of all that John had borne
Of poverty, and work, and care,
Which I, though willing, could not share;
I thought of seven mouths to feed,
Of seven little children's need,
And then of this.

"Come, John," said I,
"We'll choose among them as they lie
Asleep;" so, walking hand in hand,
Dear John and I surveyed our band.
First to the cradle light we stepped,
Where Lillian the baby slept,
A glory 'gainst the pillow white.
Softly the father stooped to lay
His rough hand down in a loving way,
When dream or whisper made her stir,
And huskily he said: "Not her!"

We stooped beside the trundle-bed,
And one long ray of lamplight shed
Athwart the boyish faces there,
In sleep so pitiful and fair;
I saw Jamie's rough red cheek,
A tear undried. Ere John could speak,
"He's but a baby, too," said I,
And kissed him as we hurried by.

Pale, patient Robbie's angel face
Still in his sleep bore suffering's trace:
"No, for a thousand crowns, not him,"
He whispered, while our eyes were dim.

Poor Dick! bad Dick! our wayward son,
Turbulent, reckless, idle one--
Could he be spared?  "Nay, He who gave,
Bade us befriend him to the grave;
Only a mother's heart can be
Patient enough for such as he;
And so," said John, "I would not dare
To send him from her bedside prayer."

Then stole we softly up above
And knelt by Mary, child of love.
"Perhaps for her 't would better be,"
I said to John. Quite silently
He lifted up a curl that lay
Across her cheek in willful way,
And shook his head.  "Nay, love, not thee,"
The while my heart beat audibly.

Only one more, our eldest lad,
Trusty and truthful, good and glad--
So like his father.  "No John, no--
I can not, and will not let him go."

And so we wrote in courteous way,
We could not drive one child away.
And afterward, toil lighter seemed,
Thinking of that of which we dreamed;
Happy in truth, that not one face
We missed from its accustomed place;
Thankful to work for all the seven,
Trusting the rest to One in heaven!

     Of special significance to me is that this poem tells of a family of seven children which is the number of children that my parents had.  My grandpa on my Mom's side came from a family of eight children.  One of them was my great-aunt, Aunt Liz.  When I was a caregiver to her I'd ask her questions about her childhood.  Her mind was keen and she had some wonderful stories to tell.  Sometimes, when you heard the stories of her or Grandpa, you'd  wonder how any of them lived to adulthood.  I didn't want her story to be lost and I asked her to write our family history down so it wouldn't be forgotten.  She took a notebook and wrote down what she thought was important.  She finished the story by giving a tribute to her mother who raised them alone because  her husband died while the children where young.  This was her tribute:  "She had everything in order, and believed God took care of all our needs and provided everything."   I really like the way she ended her story. It ends much like the poem above.  It is the heritage that I would like to pass on.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Freedom From The Trap of Tradition

      What do you think of when you think of tradition?  Do you think of a warm apple pie at Thanksgiving or do you think of the Pharisees tradition of washing hands?  Perhaps many would think of the song "Tradition" from the musical Fiddler on the Roof which gave some insight into how Jewish tradition is valued. I think of the church buildings and the hierarchical structure of church leadership.  Amish people are a group that are a prime example of the powerful influence of tradition.  Though it is easy to see how the Amish are seeped in tradition, they are not alone, but our whole culture has traditions that  powerfully influence us.

      Before looking at some traditions that influence people, let’s consider the moral ramifications of tradition.  Is tradition good or evil?  I studied the Bible for information about tradition and  found that most of the time it was spoken in a negative light.  Christ put a light on traditions that were blinding people to more important issues. Tradition was also used to circumvent God’s word.  There is a verse that tells us to hold onto good tradition.   So there are good and bad traditions, but God’s word must take precedence over any tradition.

     America has a lot of tradition.  My family was shopping in a store where there was another Christian family.  The mother had a headship veiling on and had a number of children.   Another  woman who was a shopper spoke to one of the little boys.  The woman said,  “Is Santa coming to your house?”  The boy looked confused.  The woman said, “You know who Santa is, don’t you?”  The boy quietly told her “no.” The woman’s demeanor changed and she angrily told the boy, “You’re lying!” She then walked away.  We can look back at ancient cultures and see the faults in people that had idols, but we have some very real idols in our American culture.   I know there are Christians that hold Santa dear, but he is an idol that competes with the affections that children need to apply to Christ.  The Scripture clearly tells of the need to cast “down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God."  It would be hard for us to hear Christ say, "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."

     The Amish have tradition that both knits families together and tears families apart.  Most heart rending are the stories where people have sought to please God in their lives, but tradition conflicted with obedience to God, and families have been divided.   Christ warning to the Pharisees about making the Word of God void through their tradition is lived out in many Amish communities.  There is the testimony of Ephraim Stoltzfus, who wanted to have a Bible study with friends and share the gospel with the community.  These things were not allowed in the Amish group he was a part of.  He had a choice to make.  Obey God or man’s tradition.  The choice became clear, and he faced the consequence from man.  He was excommunicated from his Amish community.  Most Americans would have no idea what this would be like because most people are more independent from the lives of others compared to the Amish.  After being excommunicated he felt the wrath of man, but came to know in a greater way the smile of God.

     When reading the definition for “tradition" in Webster’s 1828 dictionary I found it interesting that it gives an example of a difference in the Roman Catholic church, Jews, and the Protestant church in relation to the authority of tradition.  It states: “The Jews pay great regard to tradition in matters of religion, as do Romanists.  Protestants reject the authority of tradition in sacred things, and rely only on the written word.”
This is the issue Jesus spoke of when he gave warnings against making God’s Word void through tradition.  Tradition must never be given the authority of Scripture unless  the tradition comes from Scripture.  The Protestant Reformation helped bring to light the trap of human tradition.

The Jews believed that washing hands before eating was a large crime because of tradition.  They made up a story of a demon, called Shibta, that dwelt on men’s hands by night would be authorized to be on the food of those that would eat without washing their hands.  This evil spirit was believed to be harmful to those that didn’t wash their hands.  Those that didn’t wash their hands before eating would be excommunicated.  Jesus was found to be perfect concerning the law of God. It seems the best accusation that could be found against his disciples was this human tradition of washing hands.  When the scribes and Pharisees brought this to Jesus’ attention, he brought to their attention how they had transgressed God’s command by their tradition.   He told how they obeyed a man made tradition that allowed them to violate the command to honor their parents.  He charged them with hypocrisy saying, “Ye hypocrites...”  He clarified the situation by telling the multitude around him that it is not that which goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but that which comes out.   Jesus had a way of clarifying issues.

     Sometimes traditions are carried on, but people don't know why they do them.  The story is told of a woman who was preparing a holiday meal.  She cut a piece off the bottom of a ham before putting it in the pan to bake.  When asked why she cut it that way, she replied, "My mother always cut the bottom of the ham before putting it in the pan."  The question was asked to the mother who replied that her mother had always done it that way.  They were able to ask the matriarch of the family why she cut the bottom off the ham before putting it in the pan.  She replied that she cut the ham before putting it in the pan because the pan she used was to short for the ham to fit into.
  Some traditions can be an unneeded burden, but others can be a great way for families and friends to make some good memories.  May God grant us wisdom to discern which ones to hold on to and which ones to let go.

This video is a BBC documentary about Amish tradition, and gives the testimony of Ephraim Stoltzfus.  I think it will be a blessing to watch.  I believe his testimony will merit a post by itself, but please watch this to see how tradition can hinder God's Word.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bumper Stickers & Slogans

     I live near to a small city called Ithaca.  Bumper stickers and slogans seem to be very popular in Ithaca.  A lot of the population has connections to two  local colleges (Ithaca College and Cornell University). Perhaps it is because it is a college town that prompts people to be expressive with their views.  The bumper stickers are not the type that seem typical in other areas. The slogans are often political.  In other areas you often see bumper stickers that are for a school a child attends or a favorite ball team.  The slogans you find in Ithaca are different in that they often clearly express ideas of a worldview.    A popular sticker that is an exception to the political expression is "Ithaca is Gorges."  This one is a creative play on words as Ithaca is gorgeous, and it has some beautiful gorges.

     There are often beggars in Ithaca.  It seems that some people know that begging can be a lucrative endeavor.  One sign I saw as I was leaving a parking lot was held by a young man .  The sign stated:  "Too Dumb to Steal, Too Ugly to Prostitute.  Anything you can give will help.  God Bless!"  Yuck!  It baffled me that someone would have that kind of a mindset.  It was as if he couldn't even think of a good way of making money.  Honest work was not even an option.

     A more subtle message I saw on a bumper sticker was "Hate is not a Family Value."  On the surface this looks convincing.  As an independent thinker, I ask myself, "According to what standard?"  As a  believer in Christ, I find parts of the Bible that say that I should hate evil.  If the person that carried the "no hate" message was honest, he would admit that he hates certain things himself.  The issue isn't so much whether we hate certain things, but rather if we hate the right things.  We live in a time when people do what the prophet Isaiah lamented of in his day.  They say evil is good and good is evil. (Isaiah 5:20)

     Another message that has been expressed in a number of ways, including a stop sign that had the word "WAR" spray painted on it, is the "End War" message.  Bumper stickers that say "War is not the Answer" and "Stop the Endless War" are rather prevalent.  This I can agree with.  Another bumper sticker gives the other side of the coin and also makes sense: "Defend or Die."  The real solution for war to end is the gospel of Jesus Christ to change hearts.  Christ is the Prince of Peace. Those that follow him will heed his command to be peacemakers.  The old slogan: "Jesus is the Answer" is spot on.

      I saw a bumper sticker in Ithaca that mentioned Jesus.  It said, "Jesus Didn't Heal For Profit."   On the surface this looks good.  The problem is that it is implying something that is not good.  It is the mindset that the world owes me something.  It is the same message as the "I Love Obamacare" bumper sticker.  It is the same mindset as the young beggar that couldn't think of an honest way to get money.  One of the things that Jesus reproved people for was that after he had given them food they came for that purpose and not for the truth that would benefit them for eternity.

     Here's a potshot: "Church + State= Taliban.  This one is false in not just what it implies, but also in fact.  The problem is the ideas that those in the Taliban carry.  "Ideas have Consequences."  As for religion and government, it is impossible to separate the two.  The choice we make is whether we acknowledge God who is unchanging and the ultimate Lawgiver, or trust in man who changes, and whose rules pass away like he does.

     Another bumper sticker showed a picture of a dog behind bars.  It said, "Liberate Laboratory Animals."  There are many experiments that probably shouldn't take place and it is a shame that animals are being used in unprofitable ventures.  I’m glad though when it is the guinea pig that is being experimented on and not me.  You and I are the “guinea pigs” that will be experimented on if animals are not.  It has been reported that in China experiments are preformed on prisoners.  It has also been claimed that the government of the United States has done this to soldiers in the military.  Human experimentation has taken place with embryonic stem cells which involves taking the life of embryos.  Human life has been devalued.  Human life needs to be of much greater concern than experiments on animals.  I have a bumper sticker that expresses this with a picture of a large hand tenderly holding the hand of a baby.  The message reads, “Life is Precious.”

     The following was on a teenager’s tee shirt:  “I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.”  Ouch!    What a way to greet everyone!  Another shirt worn by another man said, “My dreams are going to shatter yours.”  I don’t know the man, and maybe that’s best!  Christ gave a command that beats every slogan here when he said,  “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

     Sound bites and slogans can’t express things to the degree that is required for many subjects.  Witty and succinct sayings sound good, but truth isn't always flashy.  Though it is not always popular, truth must win in the end.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Christian-Agrarian

  What is a Christian-agrarian?  Herrick Kimbal introduced me to this term.  The Christian part is easy enough to understand, but agrarian sounded a little different.  Basically it is someone that promotes living off the land.  Traditionally this would be a farmer, but the difference that is purposed in using the word agrarian is to differentiate the modern factory type farming from the traditional family farm lifestyle. An agrarian might not be a farmer, but has the desire to see the earth made fruitful in a sustainable way.   By adding Christian to agrarian it is the acknowledgement that life with Christ gives lasting purpose. It is the Creator who was the first gardener.  He created the world to produce sustenance by skillfully working the ground.  It could be understood that a family can be fulfilled in a richer way by a Christian-agrarian lifestyle.  Herrick has written a book to share this lifestyle and has sought to live it out as an example.  The name of the book is: Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian.

     The agrarian lifestyle is not anything new though it is counter-culture right now.  It is the lifestyle that was most common in this country until the Industrial Revolution.  Many people believe we lost something when families stopped producing their own food.  Herrick makes the case in his book that it is not just making a living that counts, but how you live.  He shows how work itself has tremendous value.  He challenges the idea that money is the most valuable thing by focusing on the value of relationships, hard work, and living life as it was intended. Herrick talks about a subject that I hold close to my heart: freedom.  Here's a quote from the fourth chapter of his book:

 "We see value in the satisfaction that comes with being able to take care of your own food needs and not being dependent on the industrial providers, even if it is just in part.  This is freedom.  This is part of what makes The Good Life good." 

A Christian-agrarian sees creation as a place to practice stewardship.  This stewardship is passed on to children with a multi-generational vision.  Herrick contrasts this lifestyle to systems that separate people from the ground where things come from and that vie for the time that is needed for relationships to be close.

Herrick wrote this book a number of years ago, but just had it published as a Kindle book making it very affordable. You can get the book downloaded to your Kindle device.  I just read the book in one day and it leaves you with a desire to leave this world a better place. Part of the book is a vision for a good life and another part is Herrick's testimony of how he is working that vision out. At the end of the book is an epilogue that has a special effect because it is an acknowledgement of seeing the fruit of his labors, and seeing much of his vision being fulfilled.

I strongly recommend this work as its message is much needed today.

Here is a link to where you can get this great book at Amazon:
If you don't have a Kindle, you can get a free program to read the book on your computer or a smart phone. Herrick has a link to this in his blog.
If you want to be introduced to Herrick's writings you can check out his blog at:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Today's Pilgrims, The Romeike Family

     The Romeike family has experienced their share of emotional roller coasters. The Romeike family came to America in 2010 to escape persecution in Germany. They were granted asylum because of Germany's harsh laws that make the fundamental right of homeschooling illegal.    They fled to this country for freedom much like the pilgrims did.  In Germany, they would be subject to heavy fines, possible jail time and lose of custody of their children.  Asylum was granted because of the family's religious views that caused them to homeschool, and the improper motivations of German authorities to suppress home-schooling as a social group.   This ruling was challenged by the Obama administration.    I think of the irony of this circumstance when I consider the words of Emma Lazarus that are inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. These words have been an expression of the hopes realized by so many people that came here for freedom: 
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of your teaming shore,
Send these, the homeless,  tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

     Is that golden door closed to homeschooling families?  What is very striking about this case is that asylum was granted by a judge, but the Justice Department, headed by Eric Holder, appealed the decision of the judge.  This is the same department that is well known for not enforcing a number of laws. Instead of going after those that had violated law, this department went after this hard-working and well-respected family.  This is the same department that allows millions of illegal immigrates through our borders with impunity.  The sixth circuit went along with the federal government.  The case was appealed to the Supreme court where the appeal was denied.  Public outrage was expressed and a Supervisor with Homeland Security contacted the attorneys of the home-school family and let them know the family had "indefinite deferred status."  This means the family should not be deported to Germany where they would lose custody of their children.  We rejoice that this family is allowed to stay here, but we also remember that the Romeike family is only one of many families in Germany that have been refused the basic right to raise their children as they see fit.

     Uwe Romeike, who is the father of the family, is a piano teacher.  He didn't  come to this land to just get a hand-out.  He has work and plans to keep working for a living. He's made it clear that he would stay in Germany if authorities would just leave their family alone and let them raise their children.  On the website of Home School Legal Defense, he is quoted as saying,

     “We are happy to have indefinite status even though we won’t be able to get American citizenship any time soon. As long as we can live at peace here, we are happy. We have always been ready to go wherever the Lord would lead us—and I know my citizenship isn’t really on earth.”

     When Uwe says that his citizenship is not really on earth, he is referring to heaven.  Uwe believes, as a Christian, he is just passing through this life to experience a life that is much greater after this life.  The Bible tells us that our citizenship "is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:20.
Uwe thanked all those that helped his family and said,

"I thank God for his hand of blessing and protection over our family. We thank the American government for allowing us to stay here and to peacefully homeschool our children—it’s all we ever wanted.”

     In this post I have compared this family to the pilgrims.  I believe that this is an accurate comparison.  One of the primary reasons the pilgrims came here was a concern for the influences on their children.  William Bradford, who was a historian and a leader of the original Plymouth colony, spoke of this concern in his book where he said that one reason they had to leave Holland was that their children were being "drawn away by evil examples into extravagant and dangerous courses."  Uwe and his wife, Hannelore were deeply concerned about the witchcraft and other immoral teaching their children would receive in the German government schools.  In another post on this blog, it was reported that another German family, the Wunderlich family, had their children taken from their home at gunpoint.  The Wunderlich children are now forced to attend a government school.  Seeing the evil that is taking place in Germany, the lawyer for the Romeike family, Michael Farris, made a promise to Uwe.  He said this:

“When we lost at the Sixth Circuit, I told Uwe that he would go back to Germany over my dead body. I’m glad that wasn’t necessary! This is a courageous family and one that deserves to stay here. They are modern day Pilgrims.”

     We are so glad that these modern day pilgrims are here to stay, but we must not forget the others that are being persecuted for homeschooling their children in Germany.  Our government made the right choice in letting the Romeike family stay here.  It is my hope that we see this good judgment with other families fleeing persecution and that others won't have to go through what the Romeikes did in order to stay here.
    To every believer in Christ there is a promise of a better country.  The Bible tells us of those that "died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."  

     If you are a Christian, you are a pilgrim!
 (The following videos are dated, but give an understanding of the subject matter of this post)