Archive for April, 2020

The following is from my Bible study class featuring Galatians 1.

Galatians 1 (Distortion of gospel of grace, and the gospel)

Paul, immediately, proclaimed in this letter to the gospel believers of Galatia, he is an APOSTLE NOT SELECTED BY OR THROUGH MAN BUT THROUGH JESUS CHRIST…WHOM GOD RAISED FROM THE DEAD (The Gospel is mentioned again!) Paul continued …Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us… (Paul has already alluded to the gospel twice in the introduction! The gospel of salvation can be found in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4, and Romans 10: 9-10.)

Paul was in awe that the Gentile believers at the Galatia churches were so quickly forgetting about the Gospel of Grace doctrine he had preached to them. He is angry! Jewish, Jesus-believers were distorting Paul’s preached gospel with legalism, and Mosaic Law. The people were falling for their talks. (These Gentiles, recently out of paganism, no doubt, were very confused with all these new teachings from Paul followed by the Jesus-believing, but law-keeping, Jews.)

PAUL STATED IF A MAN OR ANGELS FROM HEAVEN PREACH ANOTHER GOSPEL OTHER THAN WHAT HE PREACHED THEY ARE ACCURSED!!! PAUL GOES ON TO DOUBLE CURSE THESE PEOPLE!! WOW!…This shows the severity and importance of the gospel message of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and other sites. What is that gospel that Paul preached? The gospel for salvation is located in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4, and Romans 10: 9-10, and elsewhere.

Here is the gospel of grace for salvation Paul always preached:


Paul exclaimed to these people that the GOSPEL HE PREACHED IS NOT OF MAN. PAUL WROTE HE DID NOT RECEIVE THE GOSPEL FROM MAN NOR WAS TAUGHT IT BY MAN, BUT THROUGH THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!!!! Paul, as he often does, told of his former life of that zealous Jew with the power to arrest Jewish-Jesus believers, and even have them killed. (Remember in our Acts studies we had much discussion of Paul being a Pharisee with power.) Paul then goes on writing about how God had called him unto this service before he was born, and now revealed His son to him. (This was in part, Paul’s Damascus experience of Acts 9.)


Notice, Paul was “CHOSEN, and the RISEN CHRIST REVEALED” to him that he was to be a minister to the Gentiles. Paul DID NOT CONFER WITH MAN NOR GO TO THE APOSTLES AT JERUSALEM!! (One would think Paul would want to go the Apostles to seek what they knew about Jesus. God needed to alienate Paul from the kingdom doctrine of Peter to the Jews (Early ACTS) and reveal to him the Gospel of Grace. This gospel could not be until after Jesus died, and was raised to life, and after the Jews final rejection of accepting Christ as their Messiah at Stephen’s murder found  murder found in Acts 7!) Again God needed to alienate Paul from the apostle’s message of the kingdom. Paul went to Arabia, then after three years came back to Damascus. (Paul, no doubt, received the revelations from Christ while in Arabia, just as Moses received the law. It could take a long time to remove all the years of Jewish indoctrination, and come to understanding grace, and forgiveness over Law, especially after all the terrible things Paul had done.)

After three years Paul went to see Peter for 15 days. (At this stage Peter, no doubt, had great difficulty believing what this man Paul was saying. This is the reason for the Acts 10 visit with Cornelius. God was planting seeds into Peter’s thoughts …salvation would come to the Gentiles!) Paul, also, saw Jesus’ brother, James.

Paul expressed that he was not lying! Paul mentioned how the people marveled at his turnabout, and this glorified God, and the grace freely given! This converted Paul was still unknown to the Jewish-Jesus assemblies of Judea. However, they knew of his past against those Jewish believers of Jesus.

NOTE: Paul, after his Damascus experience, spent three years in Arabia. The original 12 apostles spent three years with Christ, Could this have any scriptural importance? I believe it does. People could NOT say that Paul only knew Christ for a short time.

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The day was beautiful and I couldn’t get out and enjoy for many hours. I had called a doctor’s office in Pittsburgh with questions about an upcoming appointment for my step-father, Bob Miller’s cancer  issue. So, I remained close to the phone anticipating that call that never came.

I guess remaining home wasn’t all that bad. I finished a painting on spring wildflowers. I tinkered around the yard while Laurie remained near the phone.

Around five o’clock , after our meal, I believed the call wouldn’t be happening buy this time so I took off for an evening walk.

White Violet

I didn’t see a lot of wildlife, but I did see a deer up close and three rabbits, but I finally walked upon some tasty MORELS!









Early Spring Wildflowers- the painting.

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Walking For Morels

Bear claw marks on a Beech Tree

I wandered out this morning to search for some morels despite the light rain. Lucky for me, the rain had died down to a very light rain, maybe more like a drizzle. My travels were to check on some certain areas that have produce some of the tasty morels in past years. I didn’t find any at all, maybe the weather conditions just haven’t been the best. TO be honest I was checking on turkey sign as well. Around eleven-thirty I started to hear some gobbling across a hollow. Later I would see 5-6 birds intermingling in the woods.

Antler shed

I found some things of interest this morning. I noticed some digging activity as a tree’s base. A Raccoon skull was among the dig.  I wondered just how the ‘coon died and I will never know the answer to that question.

As I watched the ground for morels I discovered a deer antler shed. the antler wasn’t very big, but still an interesting find.

Another sighting was a bed dug out between several trees. The bowl was around eighteen inches deep and  thirty-something inches across. the only thought for me was a bear may have made this place to spend some sleep time. A few hundred yards farther along I walked upon a Beech tree with

American Chestnut snags

some bear claw markings. The markings weren’t fresh.

I always have to check a flat at this area. When I was a little boy my father, Allen Smail, showed me a number of snags of the American Chestnut. the blight of the early nineteen hundred decimated them, however, these trees grow fifteen or more feet before succumbing to the blight. A lot of years have gone by since my dad first pointed out these trees and they still try to survive. Hopefully, someday they will make it to maturity.








“coon skull


Canada Goose


False Hellebore


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Twenty-Five Years

Laurie among Trilliums

Twenty-five years ago on April 22, 1995, a milestone occurred. Lauranne (Laurie) and myself were married. This wedding happened in my back-yard gazebo. It is difficult to believe that many years have drifted along.

Last summer I began planning to go on a cruise for this silver anniversary. Laurie enjoys cruises and I thought doing such an event would be a great way to celebrate our twenty-five years.

Blue Phlox

Unfortunately, things happened in our lives . My step-father developed cancer which he is still struggling with. My mother turned ninety last December and recently suffered a mini-stroke. My sister went through difficult times leading to a divorce. Doctor appointments became quite prevalent over these months.

Laurie and I discussed the cruise plans and we decided to not plan for such a trip not knowing how Bob would be in the coming months. The trip was scheduled in mid-March. What, also, happened around this time? A virus began disrupting just about everything. We would have been on that trip when all this “hell” broke out to disrupt our lives. So, I guess our decision was a god one considering all that has happened.

Wednesday was the anniversary and no special plans occurred between us. No flowers, no jewelry, no trip, no fancy restaurant. However, we made other plans

Huge rock

that were satisfactory  for both of us. We decided to go on a hike and Laurie wanted to make a meal and dessert. We hiked the Rock Furnace Trail in southern Armstrong County and, later went for a drive over back roads to see whatever we could see.

The trail moves along Roaring Run. We enjoyed our time together. Trilliums were in bloom everywhere. The stream is beauty to behold.


On the way home we stopped to view an ancestor’s gravesite. His name was henry Blystone. He was my great-grandfather’s brother and fought under General Sherman during the Civil War.




Roaring Run


Trying to figure out her phone.


White Trillium






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Pale yellow Trilllim


I headed out to some woods I know very well. They are close to my homestead and I grew up traversing the hills and hollows and playing in the “crick.” I like to walk in these areas for they, too, like so many areas are being swallowed up through development.

I left to check out for morels, those delicious morsels of fungi. I failed to fins any, but I enjoyed turkey activity. I called two nice gobblers to me. Later, I would see five gobblers and two hens. The

Yellow Violet


old-longbearded tom was suspicious of me, but his suspicions stopped when several jakes closed in to him. He turned and chased them every time they ventured too close.

I spotted a squirrel watching me from the safety of a hole in the tree.

   The unusual find mentioned in the title of this entry is the yellow trillium in the above photo. I actually found two of them.  This is color-variant of the Purple Trillium for this beauty was in the midst of a cluster of the trilliums.







Purple Dead Nettle

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No Morels.

Purple Trillium

I wasn’t sure if I would find any morels or not, but rain was coming and I decided to head to the woods hoping to come across some tasty morels. The place I was planning to check is mixture of mature oaks, beech, wild cherry and poplars. The forest floor wasn’t very thick with leaf litter for I could see bare ground here and there. The mayapples are up as well as, many wildflowers. but no morels.

   Although I didn’t find any mushrooms I still enjoyed being out. I saw a ring-necked Pheasant and turkeys in three different spots.

Steep country

One area of this country has a very deep hollow loaded with wildflowers and leek. (ramps) As my friends know, I enjoy watching the yearly seasons change with the wildflower growth. I remember one time many moons ago when my dad and I were hunting for morel mushrooms. I carried a little tablet and made colored illustrations of the flowers. I wonder if that little tablet is still around mom’s attic. Hmmm. may need to look around for it would make for a good laugh.









Wild Leek (ramps)


Rue Anemone


White Trillium




Cut-leaf Toothwort



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Although the temperatures were below freezing this morning, Laurie agreed to go for a walk.  I was surprised!

We walked about seeing what we could see during the morning jaunt. We didn’t hear any gobbling, but ended up seeing turkeys at three areas.  We, also, saw five deer.

  The previous day I had work to do at my homestead. A Blue Spruce tree had fallen and actually landed on my mother’s home. My cousin cut it up. My job this morning was to drag all the limbs and burn. I spent about four hours cutting the limbs down to size so I could easier maintain the fire for  control. I still have to return tomorrow and try to finish the job.

I managed a short walk below the home to find where Beavers have been busy. I was elated to see Beavers on Rupp Run for in my life I have never seen any beavers in the area.






Wild Ginger


Dutchman’s Breeches


Recent jobs From Around the House In Landscaping



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