highnoons journal

Revelation 21:23


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Scribes, Pharisees, and John the Baptist

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on June 30, 2013 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Matthew 23

King James Version (KJV)

23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves

Today was my first day back for Sunday Church services at the local Nursing Home. We had such a wonderful service and it was great to be back. After some singing I was Blessed to be able to teach from the above scriptures.

I see a lot of the same things going on in the present day Church, that Jesus told us about in his day. We can turn on the TV and see Ministers dressed in suits that cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollar. Monogrammed hankies, aligator shoes, silk socks.......... etc. They have the limo's and private jets. All the while preaching a prosperity message, encouraging their flock to put in their tithes and offerings. Sucking the poor people dry. Even doing as the scribes and Pharisees..... going so far as to get widows and widowers to sign over their homes to them.

But what scares me, is the fact that so many people follow the properity preachers. They have come to give respect to the Scribes and Pharisees, but they refuse the words out of the John the Baptists........
In other words....... the current day Church folk, have become a people that only respect the Preacher the wears the fancy clothes, drives the fancy cars, has something sweet to Preach all the time such as a Prosperity message. And tells them the more money they give to their ministry, the more money God will bless them with. They want a message that will make them shout the house down, do flip-flops and whirly-gigs and such. All the while they no not what they shout about. Their congregations are divorcing and marrying like it means nothing. Affairs are going on right in the house of the Lord. Why? Because their Pastor don't Preach offending messsages in fear of losing his members.

Yet the common, working Preacher, who gets his hands dirty, visits the sick, Preaches the truth, etc., is pushed to the side and has no respect of the Church due to the truth he Preaches is not always going to be a sweet tasting message. If the Pastor Preaches the truth, every message ain't gonna be a shouting message. His Church barely functions due to the lack of help from his members, financially and Spiritually.

My heart goes out to the John the Baptist Ministers that are truly working for the Lord, and Preaching the truth about sin.

And my Prayers go out to the Scribes and Pharisees, that they will repent, and serve the Lord.

My freedom... don't mess with it...

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on January 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

A lot has been said about the gun control lately. I posted this in part somewhere else a little while ago:

I'm a pretty simple minded person really, and not too intelligent. But I have a good example of freedom being taken away. A dog came here once that was about 2 years old. He had ran free and been allowed to go wherever he wanted to go for his whole life. So when we took him in, he still wanted that same freedom  he'd enjoyed since birth. We petted him, we fed him, we let him live in the house, we let him sleep in the bed, we took him to the vet, we gave him everything we could, and a lot of times we gave him stuff and done without because we are poor. But regardless of how much we gave him, he still wanted that freedom of running free and going to the places he used to go. So in a way, we basically made him a prisoner until the day he died many years later.

That said..... I have a bunch of guns. Been around them all my life. It's the way of Appalachian folk. I am unable to hunt much anymore. And can't afford to target practice. So they set there most the time. But once in a while I get to take them out and enjoy them...... I enjoy that freedom. I'd hate to be made a prisoner the rest of my days, by not being allowed that freedom I was born with. Especially when I've done nothing wrong to have that freedom taken away.

It's the simple things

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on September 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday was the first day back to the Nursing Home to have Church with them since missing several weeks due to my heart problems.

Me and Bro. Danny had a great time even though we were a little rusty. Well, he was a little rusty, but I was a lot rusty! LOL!

We ended up having a great crowd, even though we came un-announced. Everyone was glad to see us, and we were gald to see them. As I was packing the equipment to the truck I was thinking how I wished we didn't need it. It's a lot of stuff to tote back and forth for only an hour service. But then I remembered how much more the residents like it when they can actually hear us singing and playing the music, and I repented of my thoughts.

Something so simple, as them being able to hear us plainly helps them to get more of a blessing from the services. And on the other hand, it's the simple things that bless us in return. When they tell us they miss us, or they tell us they have been praying for us, or they tell us they have enjoyed the service..... those are very simple things, but they truely bless us.

But yesterday morning, one of the residents gave me a picture he colored from his coloring book. He likes to color to pass the time. Something so simple, but also a treasure.........

a gift

Don't forget the simple things.........

Will you do well?

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on July 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Matthew 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
Matthew 12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
Matthew 12:13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

Sunday July 1, myself, Bro. Danny, and Sis. Judy had another great Church service with the residents at the local Nursing Home.

Our message for this day came from Matthew 12: 1-30.
As always, one part or the other will be pointed out to me by the Lord. And sometimes, like this time, the Lord will show me something after I'm home, and I'm going back over the message I delivered.

I suppose this time the message could be considered controversial. But it doesn't bother me much, because the message that Jesus spoke at that time was controversial.

In the message that the Lord brought, he had went into the the synagogue and healed a man on the sabbath day. He had told them earlier how he was Lord of the sabbath. Then once entering the synagogue he sees the man with the withered hand. Then telling them: It is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. And he then healed the man.

So where am I going with this?
I suppose most of won't read much farther. Most of you will be pricked by the Spirit of the Lord so hard, you will do exactly like the Pharisee's did to Jesus. Will you read? Or will you be a Pharisee?
Well, as Christians, most of us set aside a day per week for the Lord. Most Christians set aside Sunday. Some still use the sabbath, or Saturday as the day of the Lord. And, a lot of Christians have Church services on several different days of the week in addition to Saturday or Sunday.......

But our idea of the day of the Lord, is to attend that Church service at any and all costs. Hmmmmmm......... sound familiar? Oh yea........... it does........ didn't the scribes, pharisees, and Priests in Jesus day do the same thing? Didn't they put "church", before God? Why sure they did! That's why they got so angry at the Lord!

I know what I'm about to say won't sit well with some, but neither did it sit well with them in Jesus' day:
But we have become so wrapped up in a Church service, that we have forgot what serving the Lord is. For example: I know a Preacher that once dressed up as a homeless person. He put on old clothes. Got a nasty old backpack. Blackened his face so it would look dirty. And put in some of the storebought bubba teeth. And he pretended he could hardly walk. He was then dropped off on Sunday morning about a mile from the nearest Church on a road which had 5 Churches. 3 of those Churches were having service that morning. He counted well over 100 vehicles pass him that morning. No "church" folks stopped to offer him help. No "church" folks offered him food. Few "church" folks would look him in the eye. Instead, they preferred to look away. Although a couple did wave at him when he finally made it to the church parking area and they were leaving early.

It is a day we live much like the day that Jesus walked this earth in the flesh.

Christians have put the man-made structure they attend each week before the Lord. For most, the Church they attend has become a status symbol. They go about their activities all week and don't call or visit the sick, shut in, homeless, or etc. because their excuse is they're too busy. But yet on the Lord's day........ the day of all days........ the day that the Lord himself used to set an example of...... THE day, he showed those Pharisees that it was OK to do good on.....
We just have to get to Church.  We have to be dressed in our very best, and whoa be unto those who don't come dressed in their very best! We have to be prompt and on time for the service, and whoa be unto those who are late! Our car has to be clean! Besides... that car houses our Bible that has laid in there from one Sunday to the next! They have to sing just so perfect. And if the Preacher ain't their favorite Preacher..... well maybe he ain't a man of God if he ain't their favorite Preacher!
And if all that ain't bad enough, if we only took that one Holy day, and after we went to our prized structure, we would go visit someone who wasn't able to attend that day. Oh please forgive me.......... I forgot, you had an appointment at the local restaurant that you just couldn't cancel.....

I leave you with a questions again:
What will you do with the Lord's Day?
Will you do well?

Not Welcome

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on June 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Matthew 11:7   And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Matthew 11:8   But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft [clothing] are in kings' houses.

Brother Danny and myself had a great Church service at the Nursing Home this morning. Today I brought them a message from Matthew Chapter 11: 1-30.

With the help of the Lord, I Preached covering several of the verses. But the two above sticks out this evening. I suppose that the little residents show me so much. And although I didn't tell them everything I'm about to tell here........ they are very much like John the Baptist.

The main subject I want to speak on right now, is John the Baptist's appearance: clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins...... Not Welcome!

Boy o Boy would he not get some looks if he walked into the Church! "IF" he were allowed to sit, or "IF" folks were friendly enough to him to allow him to stay, they likely wouldn't want anything to do with him.
Well, because he just wasn't wearing the Sunday finest.... He wasn't dressed in a 3 piece suit, tie, shiney shoes, etc. And if he had a wife... She better to have a long dress on, hair fixed just right, nothing out of place, and everything would have to match.... God forbid if it didn't match...... she would be talked about and shunned if it didn't match........
Where am I going with this?
Well, you see, mine and Brother Danny's Sunday congregation would be like John the Baptist at most Churches................ NOT WELCOME........
The stains on their clothes from dropping their food ...... not welcome
The one lady that sings Jesus Loves me each Sunday that has a speach problem...... not welcome
The one lady that enterupts us sometimes when we're Singing or when I'm Preaching to show us her bracelets........ not welcome
The one little guy that yells out sometimes during service...... not welcome
Oh, and the little ladies are dressed in jogging pants.......... not welcome
Oh, and the men don't have 3 piece suits, and aren't well shaven..... not welcome

OH................ and did I mention, that our Sunday Congregation has:
Primitive Baptists
Church of Christ
Freewill Baptists
Church of God
Old Regular Baptists
OH MY! If they weren't of the same denomination of some Churches.... not welcome!

So I leave you with a question:
Is John the Baptist welcome at your Church?

Recycled/Salvaged Wood Dulcimer

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on April 6, 2012 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

For the past few weeks I've been working on a new dulcimer. I like "Tenor" instruments, so I wanted to build something in the tenor range.

So I decided on a scale length of 21 inches. My present tuning is open G... tuned: dd-Gg-dd.

Here are the specs:
6-string- (3 doubled courses)
Chromatic fretting
21" scale length
Guitar style X bracing
mandolin style bridge
partial length fretboard
9.5" wide for rear bout
7.5" wide for lower bout
4.5" wide waist
26" long body
Gold Guitar style tuners
Gold Mandolin tailpiece
Gold endpin jack and Gold front strap button
Gold frets

I used a variety of wood for this dulcimer. This dulcimer is made mainly from Recycled/Salvaged wood:
Pine for top and back- from an old pine toybox I made for my son about 20 years ago.
Poplar for the sides- from a wood shipping pallet Randy Ratliff gave me.
Sassafras for the headstock- from Betty Ward's kitchen!
Red Cedar for the fretboard- a gift from Harold Dye.
Birdseye Rock Maple for the fingerboard- traded from a friend in Kentucky.
Bocote veneer on the headstock- gift from my veneer supplier.

You can see nail holes on the back and sides.

Due to all the colors kinda clashing I stained the wood with some brown leather dye that I thinned down a bit with boiled linseed oil. Then I applied some more boiled linseed oil, and then a couple coats of paste bowling alley wax.

This is one of my favorite dulcimers I've yet to make. It is VERY loud. But still has a pretty good dulcimer sound.... not sounding too much like a guitar or mandolin.

Here are some photo's. A few of the build process, and a few of the completed dulcimer:














Whole Armor Update

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on April 5, 2012 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello friends of Whole Armor!

Sorry to have been so long between blogs. It seems I've been pretty busy since the warmer weather with outdoor stuff. And we've been pretty busy with the Ministry lately.

Our group... The Slate Creek Gospel Singers got to sing at a couple churches last month. We got to sing and I got to Preach at the Fountain of Life Pentecostal Holiness Church on March 11. We thank Brother Terry Colley and members for the invite!

And we got to sing at the Blackey Baptist Church for two night of their revival March 12 & 13. We thank Brother Eugene Whited and members there for a great time in the Lord.

Since my last blog we've got a donation for some Bibles! Praise the Lord! We have gave some of those out to the Nursing Home residents. But we still need some LARGE PRINT BIBLES if someone has some to offer. We have had two residents ask for large print Bibles.

We have also bought a few more pieces of sound equipment with our donations:


microphone cord

microphone cord adapter

microphone stand

split cable to use for the powered monitor

small guitar amp to use as a powered monitor

2 guitar cables

We thank those who have donated to our Ministry very much! However, our donation funds are depleted at this time.... and:

We still need a few things, to complete our sound system:

2- microphone stands- around $30

And a BEHRINGER XENYX 1204USB 12 INPUT MIXER- around $150

The mixer will allow us to run all our equipment through the main input on our amp.

And don't forget about the LARGE PRINT BIBLES!

Once again, thanks very much! We're just a small Ministry, but with your help we are managing to do BIG things!

And don't forget.... if you know someone in the Buchanan County area who is sick or shut-in, please let us know and we'll be glad to go visit them, pray for them, sing for them, or, we will even have Church with them.

God Bless!

Bro. Bobby


Much Appreciated!

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on February 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Your donations are much appreciated!

We finally got enough donations to purchase some of our needed sound system for the Nursing Home Ministry! We got a Behringer Amp/PA system, two Behringer microphones, two microphone cords, a two into one cord adapter, and two sheet music holders which clip on the microphone stands.

This stuff will be such a blessing not only for the residents, but a lot better for us then what we've been using!

Here's a photo of the items except for the sheet music holders. (They haven't got here yet.):

We still have a few more things we need, but this is a great start! Still needed are 3 microphone stands, a powered monitor speaker, another microphone, and another sheet music holder. But we are already under way to getting those, as we have $17.78 in funds toward those future items!

We thank God for each and every one of you who donates to this Ministry!

We Love you!

Bro. Bobby


UPDATE, Thanks, and Prayer Request and Challenge!.

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on January 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I have an Update on our Financial Status..... with recent donations we currently have $240 to go towards buying our sound equipment to use at the nursing home! It won't be long until we have enough funds! It has came a lot faster then I thought!

Praise God!

With that said....... I want to thank each of you that have donated to this Ministry!

We have been having such great services at the Nursing Home and also the other day at out first Home Church visit! God is truly Blessing us!

My Prayer Request......

Please pray for us that God will continue to bless us with our visits, and guide us in all we do, and with workers to help us.

And also, please pray for the Residents of the Nursing Home, and the People that are home, and can't attend Church. You don't know how many of them just need a fellow Christian to talk to them.

My Challenge........

First- I want to Challenge you, the reader of this to visit some that is shut in, homebound, or in a Assisted Living Facility or a Nursing Home.

Second- I want you to Challenge your Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Ministers, and Deacons, Elders, and all your Church Leaders to do the same.

An example for "WHY" I challenge you:

Sunday I noticed a Lady at the Nursing home and thought I recognized her from a Church I Preached a Revival at before. I asked her today if she attended that Church, and told her I thought I recognized her. In tears she cried, telling me she helped to clean up that Church when it was but a dirty old building, and had supported it faithfully since. But sadly, since she was put in the nursing home, none of the leaders of that Church have came to visit her.

That is only one, of many stories I am hearing in my visits. All of them are the same.

You see, me and my friends can go visit these people and they very much appreciate it. But they long to have fellowship and prayer with the people they supported all their years while they were active Church members.

Will you accept this Challenge?

I'm going to be quite BOLD in this next statement.....

Perhaps, if your Pastor and Church leaders won't accept this Challenge now, will they visit you in your time of need?

Perhaps, if they won't accept this Challenge, it's time for some new leaders in your Church.

Yes Pastors and Church leaders.......... Brother Bobby is calling you out!


Our First Visit!

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on January 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Whole Armor of God Ministries members: Danny Stiltner, Earl Ward, and myself made our first visit today of what we call Home Church.

For some time we've felt we've been led of God to start a Home Church Ministry to go along with our Nursing Home Ministry. It is, and has been our belief that the most neglected of God's people by the Church, are the ones in the Nursing Homes and the ones that are home bound and can't get out to attend Church.

Brother Earl and myself visited some last year, and it seemed that in every home we visited, the people asked us where was the Church, in their time of need?

Where was their Pastor, or their Deacons that they had so much trust in, that they cast their vote of confidence for them to hold the Church office that they hold, only to never hear of them in their time of need?

Where were the members of the Churches which they helped to found, and donated time, offerings, and tithes for so many years, that future generations could have a Church to attend?

Brother Danny and I have also had a heavy burden for such people for several years now, when we used to visit the sick.

I'll tell you.............. those are hard questions to try and answer! Especially, when you are asked, but you don't really know WHY?

So we prayed for guidance, that we could do something to comfort them.... And so it is, that as we Prayed and allowed God to guide us, just as we did with the Nursing Home Ministry, we made the decision to trust God and go forward with this Ministry also.

We are going to try and make one visit per week, to someone that is homebound, and have some Church with them. Today was our first visit, and we went and visited my uncle and aunt... Grady and Pauline Ratliff. We had such a wonderful time as we sang, we testified, we played music, we prayed! We didn't actually get around to Preaching this time, but God still moved! Uncle Grady mentioned at one time, that although there was 5 of us there...... that he believed there was 1 more walking amongst us! Yep.... I believe the Spirit of the Lord was there as a thick cloud! GLORY!

Left to Right...... Front: Danny Stiltner, Bobby Ratliff, Earl Ward. Back: Grady Ratliff, Pauline Ratliff



If you or someone you know in the Buchanan County area is Home Bound and can't get out to Church, we would be Honored to come and have a visit with them and sing some Gospel songs, and Minister to them. You can contact us through this site, or call Bobby Ratliff at: 276-935-5673 Please leave a message if you get no answer and I'll get back with you.

God Bless!

Bro. Bobby




Posted by Bobby Ratliff on January 22, 2012 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)


I pray you all will "Be Blessed" tomorrow at Church, but most of all I pray that you all will "Be a Blessing" to someone.

You see, here lately as I have been visiting the nursing home and having Church with them each Sunday morning, I have learned more about being a Christian, and what it means to be a Christian, in just a few short weeks, then I have learned in the 14 years I have attended Church.

I feel that God would have me tell you this morning, that if the only "Church" you are getting, is to set on a pew for a couple hours on Sunday morning, and/or Wednesday night...etc..... and give the Preacher a nod or an Amen about every 5 minutes, and clap to the Choir as they sing..... well....... quite frankly... you ain't having much Church.

For years I sat on pews. For years I made statements like: What a good Church service we had today! I can't wait until next time!

Looking back, if I had such a good Church service, instead of having the thought of not being able to wait until I got back, I should have had the thought of not being able to wait to go visit some unfortunate person that can't go to Church, and be a blessing to them, so they could have that feeling I had!

So I challenge you this morning...... go to your pew, that you feel has your name written on it, and sit there as content as you possibly can tomorrow, and "BE BLESSED"!

And then get up off your sorry hind end, and go "BE A BLESSING" to someone else this week!

God Bless!

Love Bro. Bobby

First Nursing Home visit of 2012!

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on January 1, 2012 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi friends and members of Whole Armor!

Happy New Year everyone!

Bro. Danny Stiltner and myself visited the Nursing Home today. It was a great start to the New Year! I thank Bro. Danny for helping me!

As some of my friends know, I have been praying about doing more concerning our Nursing Home Ministry. Today was the first time in a long time, that I've had Church with the residents there. Actually it's been a little over 2 years since I had Church with them. It felt so great, and I really enjoyed it, and I think the residents did too. But I had only committed to the 1st Sunday of each month, until I actually went today...... just to see how things went.

I prayed the Lord would show me this morning in some way, if I should make the Sunday Church services an every Sunday event, or stay with once per month. I asked that he would show me in some way what he wanted me to do.

Well........... I got my answer! A lady asked what she needed to do, to be saved! YES! Thank you Jesus! I told her that whenever she wanted too, that we would make arrangements to Baptize her. And I had so many of the residents express their pleasure in getting to attend Church on Sunday morning.

I ask that you please pray for me, for God's hand and Blessing on me with this Ministry. And please pray that God send me helpers.

Thanks for the Prayers!

God Bless!

Bro. Bobby



And also wanted to thank those of you who have made donations to Wholearmor!

We now have $126 in our treasury. So we are well on our way to getting the funds for our sound equipment to use for our Singing and Church visits to the Nursing Home! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!


Last Nursing Home Visit of 2011

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on December 30, 2011 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Myself, Danny Stiltner, and Chuck Stacy had our last visit of 2011 to sing at the Nursing home today.

Today was not without it's problems! Our lead player, Herman Matney couldn't come. Earl Ward went to a funeral. Jane Compton had to babysit. Chuck got held up with the sound equipment and was late. Danny took the dreaded scratchy throat. I took the scratchy throat. I took a spell with shortness of breath. Chuck said his throat was scratchy from the beginning. I couldn't play worth a hoot! LOL!

It just seemed like the enemy was fighting us before we got there! BUT........... we pulled through, and managed somewhat of a performance out of it. We got a few handclaps anyway, so we musta sung a few pretty good.

Our next singing will be the 27th of January 2012.

I will be going this Sunday, January 1, 2012 to the Nursing Home to have Church with them. I can hardly wait!

I've had a rough year, but overall I;ve still been blessed...... I could be in the Nursing Home! So I choose not to dwell on the things in the past, and I look toward the New Year coming up, and what God has in store for me in 2012!

I don't know what it'll be, but I bet I'll be Blessed!

God Bless!

My pallet dulcimer Pt.4... FINISHED!

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on December 29, 2011 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (2)

I finally finished my pallet dulcimer! It looks great, and it sounds great!

I've named it: The Tiny Teardrop

Here's what I ended up using, and how much it ended up costing me:

Buckeye soundboard- $6.......... paid $30 for enough to make 5 sets of soundboards.

Output jack, plate, and piezo element- $4....... approx.

Zither pins and nails- $2...... approx.

Stainless steel fretwire- $6

Fretdots- $0.50 cents.... maybe......

Strings- $2

Texas ebony saddle/bridge- free from a friend- gonna replace it later with some free deer antler

Wood for false back- don't know what kind it is- free from pallet

Sides and fretboard- red oak from pallet- free

back, bracing, and kerfed lining- Yellow Poplar- free from pallet

sassafras for inner soundboard, or inner back, whichever you want to call it- free from a sawmill friend

Black walnut for tailblock, peghead, and stand off block for false back- free from sawmill friend

Ipe-(Brazilian Walnut) for fingerboard- was once someones tongue and groove flooring- free from a friend.

Not bad I don't think for around $20. I coulda went cheaper on the frets but I have been wanting to try the stainless steel fretwire, so I figured a dulcimer I had little money in would be a good choice.

Thanks for following along! Here's a few photos. I'll post more photo's of it in the photo section of my site. I'll try and post a video or audio of it later.

My pallet dulcimer Pt.3

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on December 25, 2011 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I had a great time with my family yesterday and today. Some of them didn't get to come in for Christmas, and I missed not seeing them. Hopefully there will be another year that we can get together and enjoy time with each other on the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior............. Thank you Jesus!

I got some more work done on the dulcimer yesterday and tonight. Quite a bit actually. I got the tailpiece, and the peghead, and the false back mounted, anf the soundboard mounted, and I got the sides bent and mounted.... not much left!

OH MY! Did you notice that?? I forgot to put on my fretboard! HeHeHe!

 My souped up sewer pipe clamps............

I think that false back is gonna look good finished:

OOPS! Scorched it just a tad! Ya reckon it's ruined?? Naaaa.... it ain't ruined!

Hopefully my next photo's will be the finished dulcimer.... maybe a video...

See ya! And God Bless!

My pallet dulcimer Pt.2

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on December 22, 2011 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I got some more work done to the pallet dulcimer today. I have decided to use some red oak from the pallet for the sides. It has some nice figure to it:

I've also go two pieces of black walnut glued and clamped for the peg head and the tail piece:

And I have the kerfed lining glued on the soundboard and the back:

Next is to make the peg head, and the tail piece. And I'll make small blocks to attach the false back to the back out of walnut.

See ya next time!
God Bless!

My pallet dulcimer Pt.1

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on December 21, 2011 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I've had this pallet for some time now.

Recently I took it apart to see how much wood I could get from it to make a dulcimer from. I got quite a bit. Most of it was yellow poplar. Some was oak. One board was some kind of wood I'm not familiar with. Since taking the photo below, some of the wood has split on me. But I still got some good wood from it:

I've decided to build a small, octave dulcimer. It's only gonna have a 17 inch scale. It'll be chromatically fretted. It's gonna have what is know as a false back, or Galax style back to get more volume. I'm also gonna use some spalted buckeye wood I have for the soundboard. From left to right in the photo below: spalted buckeye for the soundboard, yellow poplar for the back, and the unknown wood for the false back.

I got the 3 sanded this evening, and I managed to get the false back cut out on the scrollsaw. It's gonna look nice!

More to come later!

Christmas Dulcimers!

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on December 21, 2011 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Been working on some more instruments, and I've finally finished a couple more..... just in time for Christmas!

The first one is an old style diatonic fretted dulcimer. I used zither pin type tuners on this 3 string dulcimer. Western Cedar top, and black walnut sides, back, and fretboard/fingerboard, and headstock.

The second one is a modern chromatic fretted dulcimer with sassafras soundboard and fretboard, and some nice curly maple for the back, sides, headstock, and fingerboard.

More Blessings!

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on November 30, 2011 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi friends and members of Whole Armor!

First I want to thank you for your prayers and support of the site! I ask that you please continue to pray for me for direction in this ministry! Recently, I announced I may be starting back Evangelizing again, but it seems I am not having any doors open in that direction.

These scriptures come to mind lately:

Philippians 4:10  But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.  

Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  

Philippians 4:12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Namely, verse 11. where Paul speaks of being content in whatsoever state he is in. I can't help but know that God is continuing to Bless me and my friends with our nursing home ministry. So if that is where god is blessing me, then that is where I need to try and build concerning Whole Armor of God Ministries. With that said, I will be contacting the nursing home to see if there is anyting more we can do to help.

Right now, we are in need of another piece of sound equipment to help us with our ministering at the nursing home, which costs around $300. But Praise the Lord! With your help, God is helping us to meet that goal! We have received two more donations of $5 and $11! THANKS! That brings our treasury here at Whole Armor of God Ministries to $34! We are on our way!

Until next time........... God Bless!

Love Bro. Bobby


Giving Thanks!

Posted by Bobby Ratliff on November 29, 2011 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Friday the 27th.... the day after Thanksgiving... our singing group: The Slate Creek Gospel Singers visited the nursing home again.
The attendance was down a little, as the employees didn't have the needed help to get a lot of the usual residents in to hear us and sing with us.
I'm finding myself missing some of the regulars when they're not there. We learned one was in the hospital. And we learned that one lady resident that usually sings with us, and her sister who is also a resident there, were transferring to another nursing home soon.

I am Thankful for a lot of things this year. I'm most thankful for my salvation..... paid in full by Jesus! And second I'm thankful for my wonderful family! And so many more things.....  But I'm also thankful for my friends that also have a desire to go minister in song with me at the nursing home. And also, I'm thankful for getting to know the residents of the local nursing home. I can see how it becomes so easy to get attached to them. I hope we get to continue visiting the nursing home for many more years.

Please visit your local nursing home! The residents will love you for it!

The Slate Creek Gospel Singers:
Bobby Ratliff, Herman Matney, Chuck Stacy, and Danny Stiltner


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