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Where did that come from?


When I’m mowing I do a lot of thinking and remembering. Last week while mowing I had to keep stopping to move little branches that had fallen. They were bigger than I like to mow over. Then I began to think back to when my son was a teen and when he and my husband got a little crosswise, my son usually wound up with the assignment to pick up limbs. The whole idea, besides getting some work done, was giving him time to think about whatever their problem was. There was one rule: If it was bigger than your thumb, it had to be picked up, and then they were all put in a pile to burn later. Needless to say, this wasn’t a favorite thing for a teenage boy to do when his friends were having fun somewhere else. After all these years, it occurred to me that that was a “rule of thumb.” I wondered if my husband had that in mind or where the saying came from, what was its real meaning. He was after all a wealth of information; he read all the time and never ceased to amaze me with the little bits of trivia he remembered.

Later in the day I went to the computer and looked it up. It had nothing to do with picking up wood or mowing and the origin appeared to be quite elusive. It was first used in the 1700s and was supposedly from a ruling that it was legal for a man to beat his wife with a stick as long as it was not bigger around than his thumb. This was proven to be wrong later. Look it up sometime; it’s interesting to know about where things like this originate.

I made a remark once in Sunday school class about God saving our tears in his bottle. No one had ever heard that before, and I couldn’t recall where I’d read it, so the Bible search was on. It was quickly found in Psalm 56:8; some versions read a little differently but all referred to the fact that God is concerned about every tear we shed and the reason for them. So Wikipedia isn’t the only place to find answers and it hasn’t been around nearly as long as the Bible. The Bible has a lot of references to rules and it is interesting to read about them also. It is also important to live by those that are suggested for us. I say “suggest” because we were given the choice of life with Christ or just life as it happens. His rules are much easier to live with than the manmade rules that aren’t part of law at all.

Sunday is Easter Sunday and we will celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. We serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today. After the 10:45 a.m. service there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for toddlers through fourth grade. The rule of thumb will apply: If the egg is bigger than your thumb, Pick it Up. What fun! We would like to invite you to visit First Baptist Church of La Vernia on this special day and each Sunday all year. Come for the 8:10 a.m. or the 10:45 a.m. service, and if you’d like to find a Sunday school class we have one for all age groups and several choices for adults. Visit our website,, for information about our scheduled activities and special events. Have a great week and give God the glory!

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