Monthly Archives: October 2014

Dirty Drains – A Dishwashing Dilemna

After a morning moving wood and ripping a DVD one day last week, I was quite prepared to settle down to a “normal” afternoon of school work. Oh, and some music I had not gotten around to that morning. A more or less relaxing afternoon studying stoichiometry or the negative effects of sociological law sounded appealing, and I would enjoy a quiet afternoon. Or so I thought.

I quietly hummed as I began the normal routine of lunch dishes. As I began rinsing, I suddenly became aware of a problem – the sink wasn’t draining correctly. Nothing daunted, I pulled the plug up higher, hopefully allowing a clearer passage for the water to flow. Nothing happened.

A little puzzled, perhaps, but hardly worried. Must just be the negative pressure generated by having the plug in the other sink. I pulled that plug out. Still nothing happpened. At this point, I began to put my intellect to full use.

“Hmm,” I said, “I think we have a problem.”

Genius, right?

“Hmm,” I said a little louder, “I think we have a serious problem.”

Little did I know how right the word “serious” was.

“What’s that?” asked my mother, who happened to be walking through at the time.

“I think,” I said, rapidly forming the obvious hypothesis, “the drain is blocked.”

At this point Elizabeth walked in, and we were pretty quickly involved in what would become the biggest plumbing repair project in which I have ever been involveed.

Most sink drains have a section of pipe underneath them designed to catch residue that might come down, known in my vocabulary as a P-trap. Thankfully, ours was no exception. The obvious first step : clean out the P-trap.

Removing the P-trap valve resulted in the discovery of several things : Firstly, one place where our problem was not. The moment we opened the P-trap valve, the water poured out very nicely. There was virtually nothing in the P-trap – that is, except a drinking straw.

Unfortunately, this meant that the problem lay further in, and deeper into the unknown, un-navigated heart of the plumbing works’ dark depths. For that, we were convinced, the ideal weapon, er, tool, would be none other than the snake. A snake, as it is known, is a long, flexible, metal coil designed for penetrating deep into drainage pipes.

So out came my father’s 20 foot snake. After navigating with some difficulty the curves of the tube, we successfully determined that the blockage was more than 20 feet down the pipe. This posed a serious problem, because not only we did not have a longer snake, but there are no clean out valves along that pipe to insert the snake into.

After some deliberation, we decided to reconnect the loose ends, pray very hard, and try once more to plunge the sink with the toilet plunger. Um, yes. Sometimes a desire for a clean life is interupted by the painful necessity of using messy tools.

Evelyn, who had joined us at this point, stayed downstairs to listen and see if the water flowed down. Elizabeth went upstairs and began hooking things up. Yours Truly began some clean up, and soon headed upstairs to help with plunging.

After trying a few times, we felt discouraged. It didn’t seem to be working. Finally, I suggested plunging very hard rapidly several times in succession. With little hope of succes, but trusting in the Father of Success, we plunged. And – no, no – or wait – yes, YES!!! It was draining! Praise the Lord!

As I washed the dishes – around 4:00 – I realised that all too often my life becomes like a dirty drain. I settle into the normal routine of life, doing the right thing; cleaning the surface dirt from my life, and dumping it all down the drain.

Sooner or later, however, the troubles begin to build up. Because if I fail to be regularly cleaning my heart out by God’s Word, the filth of pride, envy, covetousness, bitterness, anger, and dishonour begin to build up. And eventually, it begins to cause problems in my surface life.

I wonder how often as Christians, when this happens, we just open the P-trap and fail to allow God to do the painful work of cleansing the depths of our hearts. As I wrote above, sometimes a desire for a clean life is interupted by the painful necessity of using messy tools. I am reminded to ask myself, Am I constantly asking God to search me? To cleanse me? There’s a beautiful hymn that reads,

“Search me, O God, and know my heart today;

Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts, I pray.

See if there be some wicked way in me;

Cleanse me from ev’ry sin and set me free.”

May God help us to seek cleansing always and only from Him.

A little reflection

   “Wilt thou go with this man?” ~ Genesis 24:58

   As I read this chapter of Genesis, I again marvelled at Rebekah’s response to this question.  Abraham’s servant, in meeting her the evening before was persuaded that she was the one for his master’s son.  God had made that abundantly clear to him.  Rebekah’s father and brother had given their consent to the union, but requested that she stay with them a while longer before leaving.  When the servant pressed for a speedy departure, however, they called for Rebekah.  If she chose to go, she would probably experience the greatest change in her entire life.  She would leave the security of the house where she had dwelt all her life and the routine, quiet job of tending sheep to live an unpredictable nomad’s life in a tent, never having a piece of land to call “home.”  As a shepherd girl, she had perhaps never experienced the seasickening motion of a camel ride.  The long trek across miles of unknown terrain with no company but the strangers met the evening before would be tiring with no familiar face to greet her at the end of the journey.  The very climate of this far-off place could well differ vastly from what she currently knew.  She would leave behind all that was familiar to her: all her friends, her family, those who thought like her, talked like her, believed like her.  She would leave them behind to go live in a place where she knew no one and where no one but her proposed husband and his aged father believed in the God Who was sending her there.  Yet Rebekah didn’t hesitate.  “I will go.”

   There is so much that she didn’t say.  She had only just met this servant the evening prior and had no proof beyond his own word that he was who he said he was.  She could have cross-questioned him to find out more about him and his master.  She could have asked to know more about Isaac and what he was expecting of her.  She could have refused to go unless Isaac came for her himself.  She could have requested time to think about such a big decision.  She could have demanded that the servant explain how the various obstacles she would face could be overcome.  But she did none of these things.  “I will go.”  It was simple.  God’s will for today was amply clear and she chose to act on the light He had given for the moment.  The unknown future she left in His hands.

   Am I like Rebekah?  When God says, “Will you go?”, do I raise all kinds of objections and refuse to move unless my path be lit further ahead? Or do I say simply and unreservedly, “I will go.”?  When God says, “Will you stay?”, do I argue and explain why my plan for my future is better than His?  Or do I answer in submission, “I will stay.”?

   “Wilt thou go…?”

Another new arrival

Our little cattle herd no sooner shrinks but it grows again. Our two milk-fed calves had only been in the freezer a couple months when we were approached with the exciting possibility of buying yet another calf.  At seventy pounds, Short Ribs is big for a Jersey calf and as full of energy as his adopted older sister.


Did they ever look alike at that age!


Hershey at 1 day old:


Short Ribs at 1 day old:


Evelyn and I both had to admit that one of the biggest differences we see is actually the photography quality. Practising is paying off!

And there are a couple other new barnyard critters…


Snowball and his adopted daughter Tidbit!

Young animals are so much fun!