Saturday, March 17, 2018

Welcome to Saturday and St. Patrick’ Day. I was beginning to think that yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day after I wrote my blog. I turned to Facebook and saw all kinds of celebration things concerning St. Patrick’s Day and I even made comment that maybe I was wrong. But — an Irish friend of mine said that I was correct —- they just celebrate it for several days. I reckon even we might be having a wee bit of corned beef and cabbage today for a meal. My last name might be German but in fact I am adopted and my Ancestry DNA result said that I am “European” which could mean just about anything.

Wow!! A hawk just came through and squirrels and birds went everywhere. It is amazing how they scatter. They were all sitting here minding their own business and suddenly there was a
“Whoosh” as birds took off and squirrels left feeders swinging and ran to the trees. This time the hawk didn’t even stop, — it just flew through. I think it was a Hawk’s version of “Psyche!” I didn’t know they had a sense of humor. LOL.

It is really a gray and brown sort of day. The sky is totally overcast and it looks almost foggy. I guess one would call the air “thick”. It rained last night and will probably rain on and off again today. It is currently a damp forty-four outside and will be getting colder as the front moves through this afternoon. Winter has four days left and seems to be milking every one of them. Like everyone else, I’ll be glad for some milder and warmer days. I was out in the yard yesterday spreading the Epsom Salts on the flowerbeds and I noticed that the peonies are coming up now. My new tulip bed is up about three inches but not showing signs of flower stems or buds yet. The daffodils and crocus, and hyacinths are blooming too. We only have a few of those and they really aren’t pretty. Frankly, the only place I ever see really pretty hyacinths are in the grocery flower section in a pot or at the florist. It seems to me that in my flowerbeds, they are one and done. The second year they are never as nice. But then again, maybe I’m not doing something right with my planting and care.

I find it incredible that a week from tomorrow will be Palm Sunday and Easter is just a week after that. This year Easter and April Fool’s day are on the same day. Don’t you know there will be a lot of sermons preached on that. I’m sitting here thinking of ideas for it right now and it won’t even be my week to preach.

Speaking of Sunday, I hope you will take the opportunity to visit your preferred house of worship at some point this weekend. I’m a big believer in being grateful for blessings received and going to church and sharing that gratitude with others seems to me to make it even better. So, have a wonderful weekend. Share your love and your blessings. Peace.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Clakity clack, Bangity bang, vroom, vroom! It Friday morning and the garbage trucks are going through the neighborhood. Add to that a ringing phone that was a wrong number call. So far, this has been a rude awakening morning. Even the birds are not singing this morning, they are just eating and leaving without so much as a “howdy do?”. The sky is overcast with rain predicted for later this evening. But —- even though this isn’t the prettiest day; as the scripture says; “This is a day that The Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day for tomorrow! Tomorrow is the day that  everybody pretends to be a little bit Irish. I’ve never read the legend of St. Patrick. I’ve been told that for some reason or some how, he drove all of the snakes out of Ireland. I really need to Google that and find out what the legend is and what the story is behind the legend. The other myth I have always heard about St. Patrick’s Day is that if you plant potatoes, you need to put them in th ground on St. Patrick’s Day. I assume that saying comes from th days of the potato famine in Ireland many centuries ago. Isn’t it amazing how these things continue stay alive?

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day. Ms. Kate and I got out and did some running around and the weather was perfect for it. We went up to our favorite butcher and meat shop first of all. Ms. Kate wanted to get some beef bones to make beef broth for her vegetable soup. Next Wednesday our Sunday school class is responsible for the Lenten meal and we are doing a soup supper. Ms. Kate is making vegetable soup and she does a wonderful job of that. (Any soup she makes is fabulous.) She also needed to pick up some other stuff at the butcher shop so it was a good place to start the day. Next we went to the cemeteries and decorated the headstones for both of our families. It was time to get the Christmas stuff off and put on some spring decorations in preparation for Easter. Ms. Kate’s family plot is right by the main road in the cemetery and it was always critical to her mom tha the graves looked nice when people drove by. So, Kate is  diligent  about keeping the graves all looking good.

After the cemetery visits, we went to lunch. While we were out, I got a call that a parishioner had been taken to the hospital. So, we went home so I could clean up, and I went to see him. He is fine. By now and was treated, and released. Thank you Lord for your grace and care.

That’s it for this Friday morning. I hope your day is full of blessings and love. Shalomn

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I can’t believe that this is my first morning this week to be able to sit out here in my sun porch, have my coffee, and just watch my back yard buffet guests. But here it is Thursday already and that is the truth of the matter. Between doing office hours, Bible studies, Church Association meetings and other meetings, I’ve hardly been home it seems. But today is going to be a beautiful weather day and I think it might be a good day for Ms. Kate and I to get to the cemeteries and put some Easter/Spring flowers on the graves. It is supposed to be sunny and sixty degrees and since it will be our only “nice day” this week, I think we need to take advantage of it.

We had our weekly Lenten meal and bible study last night. Pastor Art is still on vacation so I was to do it. I had prepared a pretty good one I think but at the last moment I changed my mind and we had a discussion about a national social issue. We kept the politics out of it and addressed it strictly as concerned Christians and it went very well with good participation. We only had thirty minutes to talk and they went by very quickly. I was very pleased with our session. We had had a like discussion at our monthly clergy discussion on Tuesday which prompted last night’s session.

If you follow me on Facebook you know that my favorite store to purchase my bird feeding supplies has closed. There are other places to buy specialty product certainly, but checking around on Amazon and other places, the prices are higher and I don’t know about the quality. I’ve learned that the man who owned Wild Birds Unlimited passed away and his wife was just overwhelmed with the business and abruptly closed the store. I pray her life will settle out; she is a nice lady. Perhaps at some point she will be able to reopen. In the meantime, I’m searching for places to keep my buffet going. We have a Petsmart, a Pet Food Center, and a Rural King here in town and they all sell some of the kinds of products that I’m needing. I guess it is time to do some shopping around. One of the products I buy routinely is called Bark Butter Bits and I have about one feeder’s worth left as I sit here and watch the starlings gobble it down like there was no tomorrow.

I need to get my Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday sermons written. I’ve written some notes on each one that I think I’ll use but I need to put them all together and see how they turn out. With luck, they will fall together nicely and I can relax. Or —- I could get them together and they’ll say nothing and I’ll ave to start over. The Lord will provide the message. I just need to make sure I’m using His words and not forcing out mine because I’m in a hurry. As long and busy as this week has been, I love every minute of it and I am so happy and feel so very blessed to be able to continue to serve as a pastor.

Have a good today, and a better tomorrow. Peace.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Winter will not give up! It is thirty degrees at the moment and the ground is snow covered and the streets are a bit dicey  as to whether that is a wet street or it is black ice. Schools are closed for a snow day once again. The good news is that probably 95% of this will be gone by this afternoon. It was just a quick swipe through that left everything looking magnificent and like a perfect winter picture. I got out last evening just before it quit and cleaned my driveway and the street including the hill so folks could get up and down the street. If we waited on a county truck to come through the subdivision area we would be sitting there until July and it would probably be lost any way.

We had a busy weekend and I have a busy week ahead of me. Pastor Art is on vacation so I'm doing duty. It isn't a big deal; I had it all and more for twelve and a half years at my last parish. After I finished at the church yesterday morning, we went to lunch and then out to a local retirement center and I did a worship service for them. We got home from that just in time before our snow storm hit.

Saturday I decided that I would get off my rump and go till the garden and get it ready for planting. I have one of those small Honda tillers that only weigh about twenty five pounds but it does a great job, especially where the ground has been previously used for a garden or at least has been worked up in the past. So, I got it tilled and I put down some Preen weed killer to use as a pre-emergent. I have to admit though, I don't understand how I can use that weed preventor and then turn around in a couple of weeks and plant some lettuce and radish seeds and they will grow. But, the instructions said it works. At the worst, I'll waste a couple of bucks on a package of seed or two. At the best, I won't get a garden full of weeds. So, when the snow quits coming and the ground gets a little warmer, I do  little gardening. I'm looking forward to it.

While I was sitting in the sun porch  yesterday watching the snow and the birds, a huge hawk came flying in. It almost snagged it a bird when it came in and may have in fact done so. It was the largest one I have seen back there. I wasn't totally sure it wasn't a small eagle. It wasn't a bald eagle if it was an eagle; but it was huge. It swooped in and up to a low branch in the maple tree in Ms. Margaret's yard where it sat for at least forty five minutes. The longer it sat there the more relaxed the rest of the birds became and eventually I had a yard full again. However, there wasn't a squirrel to be seen. When it just suddenly took off, it swooped through and snagged a small bird on the way out. It was an amazing scene to watch unfold. I was glad it didn't get one of my cardinals or a bluebird. At one point yesterday I had as many as eighteen cardinals out there at my feeders. Of course today they are mostly empty. I guess I will fill them up this afternoon if the yard dries out sufficiently.

My biggest task this week is to prepare for my Bible study for Wednesday evening after the Lenten meal. I've been working on it and I think I have it quasi-together but I'm not as comfortable with it a I want to be. So, I need to get busy and work on that today. I'm doing it on the Crucifixion and the cross. I hope I can get a lot of stimulating conversation going. It makes the discussion sp much more interesting when folks speak up with their ideas.

That's it for today. I pray you will have a blessed week full of the love of God. Until next time, Peace!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Thirty-one degees this morning with cloudy skies. So happy Friday to you. We have successfully reached the end of another work week, or at least the end of the work week is only a few hours away for those of you who actually have a daily day-time work schedule. However, that weekend that you have been looking forward to is most likely going to be rainy and cold if you live anywhere close to my area. Winter is certainly hanging on and being a real jerk. I was talking to my grandson Josh last night and they have about thirty inches or so of fresh snow to deal with and have been with out power for a few days. The north east portion of the country has been hit with a triple whammy of storms and blizzard conditions in the past week and a half. So, a little cold and rain down here is a blessing compared to them. There are millions of people currently sharing that same weather with him. I offer prayers for their safety. The high seas on the coast have been terrible causing flooding. Josh lives well inland and that isn’t a concern to him.

It is supposed to get a little warmer today and the wind is supposed to be less severe. We didn’t go out yesterday to buy cemetery flowers. Ms. Kate gets too cold too easily. Her blood thinner medicines keep her in a constant state of being cold. I’ve told her many times that I think she would wear a sweater at the equator. So, maybe today we will venture out.

I’m finally getting a handle on what I want to do for my Bible study presentation next Wednesday. It has been a bear to pull together. I know what I want to say —- it is just the organization of it that I am  having trouble with. I don’t want to go rambling around my subject and never actually say anything. Part of the problem is my lack of understanding of how to do power point presentations, nor do I have the equipment to actually present a presentation. Pastor Art has a projector but it won’t work with my new lap top. As much as I love my new lap top; it does have a couple of short coming that I could use such as an ability to play CDs and only one USB port. Julie just bought one like mine and she bought a blue-tooth Microsoft mouse to go with it. That frees up her USB port.

I have an extra guest thismorning in the back yard. The neighbor’s long-haired black cat has been here all morning slinking around trying to catch breakfast I think. This is thesamecat that chases off the squirrels and chases them right on upinto the tree. He just went after another one. At least he leave my birds alone, or I haven’t seen him get one anyway.

Time for a coffee refill and maybe a bagel too. Have a great day and a great weekend. Pray for those less fortunate than you and if you hav a chance —- do more than pray. Get out and help. Peace.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Blustery and cold this morning, but the sun is shining brightly. I don’t think it is helping much though since it is twenty-nine degrees with a “real-feel” of twenty two. The bird baths are frozen over. Unfortunately I pulled the plug on the electric one a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t see a reason to keep using the electricity with the temperatures staying above freezing. Oops!

The weather has not deterred my buffet guests at all. I have at least a half dozen cardinals out there and I also have at least a half dozen robins. The robins are doing some nest material gathering this morning as they run around in the yard getting something to eat. Beyond that, I mostly have gold finches and junkos. It is a little early for the starling gang to get here and bully the neighborhood and the squirrels are still nestled in their nests somewhere. The steady breeze is keeping the Corinthian chimes singing to me. All in all, it is a pleasant and peaceful morning.

I missed writing yesterday; I just ran out of time and when my day finally settled in, I just didn’t feel like doing it. I had office hours yesterday and then Ms. Kate and I went to get a pedicure. The place was kind of packed but we waited. From there we drove to a funeral home sixty-five miles away for a visitation. The sister of one of our parishioners passed away and even though we didn’t know the sister, we felt we should go to express our sympathy and support for our parishioners. From there, we rushed back to the church for the Lenten meal and Bible study.

I have a full week ahead of me while Pastor Art is on vacation. Saturday our church is hosting the Men’s Lenten breakfast and worship service for our local Evansville Council of Churches. We expect around a hundred men to show up for it. It starts at 0700 and we have to start working the prep around 0530. I haven’t been to one in years but as the host church I need to do the welcome etc. Then od course we have Sunday services, and a week full of meetings, Bible Studies and other things. For a “part-time” job, sometimes it is “full-time” work. But, I knew what I was signing up for when I agreed to come back out of retirement so I’m not complaining at all. God has allowed me to continue serving Him and the church. I couldn’t be doing anything better with my life. (Maybe something more fun sometimes; but not anything better.)

Ms. Kate wants to go shopping for artificial flowers to decorate headstones. The Christmas flowers are past time to remove and we want to get new ones on the graves before Easter. So maybe this afternoon, when the tempeerature gets above freezing we’ll head out to some craft stores or something.

That is about it for today. I’m including you (yes, you) in my prayers today hoping your day is filled with love and joy and good health. May God’s Holy Spirit lift you up and make your world bloom with warmth and love on this cold day. Shalomn

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Lots of guests this morning at the back yard buffet and why not. It is a beautiful morning to fly out to your local bird seed eatery for some breakfast before you start nest building or what ever birds do during the day. There isn’t a cloud to be seen in that bright blue sky this morning. Weather dude says that the wind is going to pick up pretty heavily this afternoon though. I just might have to get my little garden tiller out this afternoon and see if the garden is dry enough to work up. However, as beautiful as it is out there now, weather-dude actually aid we might have some snow flurries this evening and tomorrow. Let me tell you —- I think God has a real sense of humor.

The daffodils are heads up and blooming this morning in the front flower bed. My daffodils in the back yard though are still in the bud stage and nothing has opened. The crocuses are blooming, the pussy willow is blooming and the tulips are up about two inches. The forsythia is budding out too. Our forsythia never has done very well and I don’t have a clue as to why. They are a plant that when they bloom fully can be beautiful. But when they only partially bloom, —- well, they just look sad. Ours always just looks sad. I need to get out there and put some Epsom Salt on the plants. It is a spring time thing to do. And I need to go to Lowes and pick up my fertilizer and yard feed with grub worm killer in it. Stuff to do, stuff to do.

I did go to see my parishioner yesterday at the nursing home that I talked about yesterday. He didn’t remember me and I’m not all that surprised. He’s eight years older than me and we never ran in the same circles other than at church. His wife was there so we had a good visit, and were able to keep him in the conversation as much as possible in that he can’t talk.

Today is “do the taxes day” for sure so, I think it is time for me to stop what I’m doing and go do them. Maybe, we can get them done and then I can still get outside and work up the garden. Wish me luck. Peace.