Saturday, May 31, 2014

What a great Saturday morning. It is 71°, the sun is shining, the yard is mowed, the feeders are all filled as are the birdbaths, the birds are singinging from all directions and we got a great rain yesterday that watered the garden and the flowers! On top of all that --- there's coffee in my cup and peace in my soul. "Coffee in my cup -- and Peace in my Soul"; that would make a good song title for a good country/Christian song writer. Or --- maybe a title for another book on positivity from a certain oldest daughter of mine, not mentioning any names. (Call me if you want to collaborate)

My Pilated Woodpecker is back this morning gobbling up the bark butter. It is huge. I'll need to check my bird book because this one looks a bit different. It has the size of a Pilated but it doesn't have the same coloring. It is much darker in color than usual. Normally they announce their arrival ahead of time but this one just flew in, attached itself to a limb and started eating. And --- it didn't take any crap from the Starlings who tried to hone in on that feeder either.

Since God leveled off the birdbaths yesterday with the rain, the Blackbirds and the Robins are both happy this morning and have been splishing and splashing out there for their Saturday baths. I had a squirrel out there this morning that seemed to be having a hard time getting the sunflower seed and hanging on to the feeder at the same time. It also seemed to be getting its seed from half way up the feeder. My curiosity got the best of me. Well, the feeder is a plastic one and does in fact have a small hole in it. (Not all of my BB gun shots go where go where intended.) Anyway that squirrel was trying to get its seed from that hole instead of the opening that was an inch and a half lower. It was a very humanistic thing to do actually. We humans get ourselves focused on doing things our way, thereby often slipping and falling and accomplishing nothing, -- rather than letting God take the lead and putting us to  the source of nourishiment that God has waiting for us.

My prayers this morning go out for a parishioner and family who is facing the final weeks or days with her mother. I had a text last evening that they were calling in hospice because her mother was deteriorating much faster than expected. I ask God to lay his arms around the family and to give them strength as they walk the  dark road
 My prayers also continue to go up for my brother-in-law and my sister. He got his results back from his oncologists testing this week and there were no good reports to be given. It gives us all heavy hearts. But --- they are mentally putting themselves on a five year plan and if they are, --- then I'm walking that road with them. "Coffee in my cup -- and Peace in my Soul"; its the perfect mantra for them and us.

I must now go fill my cup once again and check on Ms. Kate to see if she is ready for a refill. Have a wonderfull weekend.

Friday, May 30, 2014

What a beautiful bright morning! It is 75° already this morning. The wind is calm so while I have not been out yet today, I'm guessing it might already be a bit muggy.

My bunny has visited me already this morning and has now gone back into its secret place. I filled all the feeders late last evening and changed the water in the birdbaths so contentment should reign over the area. We still haven't gotten any rain but are again expecting some this afternoon. Who know; God will provide what God will provide.

My job this morning is to get my yard mowed. I'm pretty sure my neighbor Dan is still gone, so I will go mow his too. After all, its just a continued ride on the John Deere; it isn't like its work. We need to cut the asparagus again too today. Then I promised my 96 year old mother that I will take her to the grocery store. So, my day is fairly well planned with stuff to do. But in the meanwhile, I'm enjoying my cup of coffee or three.

The bunny is back and nosing around here on the patio. I'm wondering if maybe I need to put a saucer of water out there for it. It certainly can't get to the birdbath like the squirrel do. But then maybe it absorbs enough water through the green leaves that it eats. It wouldn't hurt to put something down there for it.

I have several birds out here this morning but not very many at a time. There are mainly Sparrows, a couple of Cardinals and Downy Woodpeckers, a lone Robin who came in for a bath and one single Dove. What I've noticed is that there hasn't been very many Goldfinches. Earlier this springbwe had dozens of them at a time on the thistle feeders and now hardly any. Perhaps we had a migration go through. Then again, they may be find other food sources at the moment.

I guess it is time to put down my stylus and get to work. I need to get my outside work done before it gets too muggy. But I must also take time for The Lord. I'm feeling blessed because Ms. Kate seems to be feeling better this morning. This stomach virus has kicked her down for a solid week plus. This morning she is up and feelng better after a quasi-good night's sleep. So, I give God thanks and praise for that. I also pray for her to continue feeling better and to get fully recovered. I also pray this morning for all my friends and loved ones and  that includes you. I pray your day will be filled with love, peace, and God's grace.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My little bunny is back this morning, looking in at me. It has been hopping around on the patio eating flower petals that have fallen from the tulip poplar trees. That's fine by me. There are enough out there to grow it into a giant rabbit! The way all of Ms. Kate's flower pots line up along the edge of the patio creates a hidden runway for it up against the phlox and other plants in the flower bed. So, it has it's own little secret garden with no clue that I'm sitting less than ten feet from it. How cool is that?

The squirrels are having to work for their food this morning. They have almost cleaned out the sunflower feeders. So, they are running from feeder to feeder grabbing what they can. I let all the critters totally clean out all the feeders about every two weeks or so. That way I don't end up with feeders full of mold or sprouting birdseed. We tend to forget sometimes that these are wild creatures and they eat anywhere and most anything. I don't have to run a fully furnished buffet every day of the week. On the other hand --- full feeders equals my morning entertainment and adds to the serenity of the back yard; the serenity of which was just broken as three squirrels came crashing and dashing across the sunporch roof chasing one another. That makes five out there this morning. ---- And now, here comes number six to join the mix. I think it just might be time for the old Red Ryder to thin the herd.

It was doing a very weak sprinkle of rain a few moments ago but has now stopped already. We are promised a 50% chance of rain today and a good shower would be nice. We need just enough to water the garden good as well as the the flowers  and of course the crops in the fields. Then it can stop. Of course that's pretty much telling God what to do, isn't it. So, --- let's just be thankful for what ever comes.

I just sent squirrels scrambling in every direction with a couple of well placed butt-shots. However, they will be back momentarily. It's just a game we play. They generally run up on the back side of the trees and then wait to hear the sliding door close. Then they start slowly peeking around the tree to see if I actually went back inside, because sometimes I close the door but stand outside waiting on them. Hey --- there's nothing wrong with being a 69 year old kid once in awhile. I pray I will never forget the joy of playtime. That's when you start being old mentally. And if you convince yourself you are old mentally, you start the slippery slope to death. So, if my last act on earth is to shoot a squirrel in the butt with my BB gun, God will find me laughing at the pearly gates.

Time for prayers and thoughts of peace. I'm sitting here looking a a rose bush covered with blooms. As I think about the intracy of design within a single rose, --- it is overwhelming.  Man, with all of his technology, can not create that. He mght change the genetics of it and thereby cause something different to happen; but he can not create a rose from scratch. Only God can do that. And just think, every living thing on this earth, including you and me, are just  like that rose, and should be treated with awe and respect. Have a blessed day. I certainly will.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It is bath time for Mr. Robin already this morning;  water is splashing everywhere. Actually, I saw the Robin do something strange this morning. It was eating off of a suet feeder. I've never seen one do that. In fact, I seldom ever see a Robin at a feeder. They generally are ground feeders.

It will be another warm and muggy day today. Even the squirrels are already drinking from the birdbaths. It looks like I might have to fill them again. We still haven't gotten any rain, allthough each day has thunderstorm chances built into the forecast. Welcome to the summer weather pattern in southern Indiana.

I had a very young Robin here this morning. I could tell it was young because it still had its speckles instead of its mature plummage. It hopped around here out side the door for a bit and then flew away. We knew there were some young ones somewhere because we found blue egg shells in the rose bed a few weeks back. I'm glad to see at least one made it so far.

There isn't much going on in the back yard so far today. The Downy Woodpecker is here at the barkbutter feeder. The Robins of course continue to fly in, and now a few Starlings. It isn't quite time for the Cardinals yet. They will be flying in, in about thirty minutes from now. I find it amusing that they all seem to have a schedule. The squirrels are unpredictable. They come when they want to. I sat out here yesterday morning and didn't see a single one, I don't think. But this morning there has been one that has been sitting on the same feeder now for at least thirty minutes. Such is life outside the sunporch.

I'm happy to say that Ms. Kate is up and moving annd feeling better today. She has been down with a stomach virus for a week. So, thank you, God, for that blessing this morning. I hate it when she gets sick.

My prayers this morning go out once again for friends and family. We have a young lady at St. Lucas who is within a week of delivery of her second child and our collective prayers go out for her. Her last child was born seven weeks early. However, that young child has done remarkably well. I think that while the calendar said she was early, God said she was good to go; and she has simply brought an extra seven weeks of joy to the whole congregation. It just goes to prove, at least to me, that we are in charge of nothing when it comes to life and death. God determines all of that. Those are not words I would say to the parents and loved ones of the victims of the two senseless mass shootings and violence we witnessed in this country last week; but I firmly believe it to be true. God controls life and death, and we live according to some unknown plan that only God knows. Therefore, we must live everyday as though it is the day that God will call us home.

Today is another day filled with blessings. And since God knows you by name --- many of those blessing are only for you. Have a wonderful day as you look around and find them.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Its going to be a muggy day today if the weather app here on myNook is correct. The Cardinals don't seem to mind though. They are eagerly having breakfast at the backyard buffet again this morning. I think they are trying to get their fill before the squirrels come in and take over the place.

I see the birdbaths are getting low so I need to get those filled. I noticed it yesterday but didn't do anything about it. I thought God would take care of it since we were supposed to have some rain and possible thunderstorms.  But that didn't happen, at least not here. While I'm out there I might as well take the bark butter with me and fill those feeders back up.

Okay, I'm back. I did go out and put fresh water in the birdbaths and fill those two barkbutter paste feeders. There are already Woodpeckers at the feeders and the Robin has immediately come for a bath. I love it. While I was out there I watered all of Ms. Kate's flower containers and the garden. That should insure us some rain. We don't have a very big garden, just a half dozen tomato plants and some cucumbers and squash. The asparagus bed is still putting on nicely. In fact, Ms. Kate fixed us some asparagus and scrambled eggs yesterday morning for breakfast. It was delicious.

The yard has yet another transition beginning. The hydrangias are budding out nicely. The plant we miss though is the butterfly bush. The terrible winter killed it this year. I've heard others say the same about their's. We miss it because it has always kept the butterflys here as well as the Hummingbirds. I'm seeing neither. I did have a couple of Hummingbirds for a day or two but obviously they were only passing through. As summer begins though, the phlox will begin to bloom and that will attract both the butterflys and the Hummingbirds, I hope.

I've said it often, but I do love siiting out here in the morning peace and quiet. The yard is full of blooms of different kinds and the trees and feeders are full of birds. All around me is a spread of God's love and bountiful blessings. How very wonderful is the work of the hand of God. I am so very blessed and this morning I give God praise for the gifts he has provided. I pray for each of you today too. I hope you take the time today to just sit and listen to the peace that comes from God. It will make your day so very much better.

Monday, May 26, 2014

What a beautiful Memorial Day morning. It is a sunny sixty-five degrees and the feeders are full of Cardinals.

Ms. Kate seems to be feeling better this morning which is a blessing. She's been feeling sick for three or four days and has hardly been out of our bedroom chair. We guess it has been a stomach virus; but it sure has made her miserable. It was great to see her up and walking around this morning.

Yesterday was a great day at the churches. We celebrated our tenth anniversary of my being the pastor for the parish. And,--- what better way to celebrate than with a baptism of a young child. I baptised Waylon Christopher Kruse yesterday. He is one year old and the grandson of Judy, and the late Jim, Kruse. He did an excellent job during the baptism; he smiled all the way through it. I absolutely love doing infant and young children baptisms. They are a good indication that the church will go for another generation, ---  assuming of course that the parents keep the promises they make at the altar.

Julie and Jim went home yesterday. Jim was waiting for a call as to whether he had to work today or not. His boss had not posted the schedule, so better that they be home just in case.

Ms. Kate and Julie went out and put freshly cut roses on the family graves on Saturday, as well as flags on the graves of veterans in the family. There will be VFW honor ceremonies at cemeteries all over the area today, which is as it should be. I'm not sure when this day became singularly about veterans who have died rather than a day of respect for our past generations and loved ones. It is good that we recognize those who fought and died for our country, but this nation has been kept great by more than military might. We have a Veteran's Day to say thank you to those who have served. .

My prayers go up this morning in grateful appreciation that Kate is feeling better. I also pray for safe travels for the millions of people that are jumping out on the highways today in search of fun or heading back home from a holiday visit. I also ask for guidance of the Holy Spirit concerning my role as pastor at the churches. I pray that my leadership will be what God wants it to be and that I will recognize when it is time to quit. I believe there is nothing worse for a parish than the pastor forgetting that he serves at the pleasure of the Lord, and not for his own benefit. And finally I give thanks for this beautiful day. May God show me how to make the best use of it. I hope you have a blessed day too.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Its a Saturday afternoon post.

The day has been busy and the house has been full of chitter chatter. Julie, Jim ,, and the pups are down for the Memorial Day weekend. But at the moment --- all is quiet because everybody settled down for an afternoon nap.

Ms. Kate and Julie went out earlier and took the flowers and the American flags out to the cemeteries and decorated the graves. In the mean time, Jim and I cut back the azaleas out in front of the house. They were growing out of control. We filled seven or eight large paper lawn bags full of clippings. I have a lot of that kind of stuff to do around here. I called our nephew, Kevin, and got his permission to take a truck load or two of it out to his brush piles. He told me I could bring any and all I want out there. That's a good thing because it gives me a place to go with it and it doesn't cost me anything.

I need to go out and fill some feeders before the afternoon flocks of birds come in. Although, the dogs have done an excellent job of keeping the squirrels at bay. Well, until they get bored with chasing, but never catching, that is. Then its like, yeh, yeh, its a squirrel. Last night they treed a raccoon that had come in for a midnight snack.

It has, by all accounts though, been a peaceful day for which I am grateful. I thank God for my family and my loved ones. I also give thanks for the generations of people before me who carved out this great country, and for the millions of men and women who have served in our armed forces to protect our country and our world. I am very proud to have spent thirty two years of my life among those brave defenders of our nation and our way of life.

Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, May 23, 2014

It is a breezy, sunny sixty three degrees out there this morning. The high today is only to be around eighty and the humidity is back down. We could open the house back up except we get tired of opening and closing it. But, it is supposed to be a beautiful holiday weekend. It will be a great weekend to do a little grilling.

I went out and filled the bark butter feeders again this morning and filled the birdbaths again. I've already had three varieties of Woodpeckers at the bark butter feeders this morning since I filled them. The Starlings will find it momentarily and then the fight will be on.

My bunny is back this morning running here and there. It better find a good place to hide because the Barkingtons are coming this evening and I don't want them dragging a dead bunny back to the house. Their job is to chase, but not catch, squirrels. They don't need to learn multi-tasking.

The roses are looking good this morning. I think Ms. Kate plans to take some to put on family graves for Memorial Day. There was a time in our history that people would go out on Memorial Day and take jugs of water and buckets and brushes and they would spend the time to clean off the grave stones of their loved ones. That was when we called this day "Decoration Day". We would then put fresh flowers, usually peonies and strawflowers on the headstones. If you didn't have flowers of your own, you went to the local open market place or a road side stand and bought several bunches to put on graves. Those were gentler times and a time when life was slower and respect was a word that meant something. I suspect each generation has those times when they miss "the good old days". I wonder what today's kds will consider "the good old days"when they get to a point of looking back.

Today is my "day off". I'm not sure what will be on the schedule. I do know we have to go to the grocery store again today and pick up some stuff we didn't get yesterday. It will be crowded out there though with everyone else getting their last minute weekend supplies too.

My prayers are once again prayers of thanksgiving for the myriad of blessings in my life. I also pray for a larger ration of patience today. I'm running a little short in that department in a specific incident in my life. I could use the calming hand of the Holy Spirit resting on my shoulder to deal with this person. Life is too short and too precious to was it in anger. So Lord, back up the dump truck, I got a load to be hauled away.

  • There is a eautiful Cardinal now sitting on a feeder not ten feet from me. My prayer was heard. I hope you have a wonderful day. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gosh, what a muggy and overcast morning. There were threats of severe storms and rain etc. last night, but I don't think we got a drop. However, with that thought in mind I did get up on the roof and clean out the gutters. I was surprised at how much stuff was up there. We have a gutter screen system up there that normally allows me to just walk along with my leaf blower and I'm done in less than ten minutes. However, this time they we clogged up with wet maple seeds an petals from the tulip tree, all as a results of the micro-burst storm we had last week. It took a while yesterday and was quite a mess. While I was up there I cut back the pussy willow tree/bush that all of my feeders are in. It has grown to almost twenty feet high and was laying all over the roof of the sunporch. I'm not sure the birds like the trim job because they might not feel as protected, but I think it looks a lot better

There is a bird walking around on the roof. It sounds like it is tap dancing up there. Of course when the squirrels come racing across the roof from out front --- it sounds like the horse track; especially if they are chasing one another. The Doves like to walk around up there for what ever reason, so I suspect that is my tap dancer this morning.

My jobs today might include mowing the back yard. I mowed the front yesterday but not the back. I also need to spend the day writing, and Ms. Kate wants to go to the grocery store. Julie, Jim, and the pupperonis are going to be here for the weekend. It is Memorial Day weekend and the weather is supposed to be perfect.

I can't see it, but, somewhere overhead in the trees there is a major squirrel discussion going on. At least two squirrels are chattering back and forth at one another. It sounds down right vicious. It is most likely another territory dispute. That happens a lot around here.

The clouds are burning off and God has turned on the lights. Maybe we will have a sunny day afterall. I don't think we need rain, but I'm glad I watered the floweres and the garden last evening. I. Love it when the sun filters through the trees and create little spotlights on the ground. Its a cool effect. But then, God is just full of cool effects.

I must close as usual with my prayers for the morning. This will be a weekend where millions of people jump out on the highways and rush off "to have fun". I pray they will do so safely. This morning I also send up prayers of remembrance for loved ones who have passed. That's what this holiday weekend is really all about. I thank God for the impact that each of those people have had on my life. The story of my life from what could have been to what is --- is two drasticly different pictures. God has certainly watched over me and put all the pieces together perfectly. I am --- abundantly blessed.

I hope you feel the same about your life, and give God the credit for all of it. Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

If God wants to give you a sweet blessing in the morning, is there a better one than having a young bunny rabbit sit there and look at you through the glass door, not five feet away? How sweet is that?

I went out and cleaned out all of the bird baths first thing this morning. They were full of flower petals from the tulip poplar trees, and were turning the water rancid. It took less than five minutes for the first Robin to fly in for a bath and splash a whole bunch of the fresh water back out. We saw it out there last evening wanting to take a bath but there was just too much stuff in the water. So, it just sat there as flipped us the human!

I also topped off the bark butter feeders again this morning. Between the Woodpeckers, Starlings, Mockingbirds and Bluejays, those feeders get emptied rather quickly. At least my nocturnal creatures, the raccoon and opposum, have quit carrying the feeders off for me to find.

The weather prediction for today is windy, warm, muggy and a slight chance of severe storms. So, we've closed up the house and turned on the air conditioner. My asthma thanks me.

The yard continues to transition as summer comes closer. The iris are in full bloom as are the peonies. The trees are done blooming with exception of the honey locust tree. We smell them as we drive along the highway. It is a wonderful smell especially when combined with the honeysuckle, which is also blooming now. Our knockout roses are in full bloom as are all of the roses on the south side of the house. These will now bloom all summer long. God's world just continues to be beautiful.

I have a parishioner having surgery today at a hospital way out of town. My prayers for recovery are with him. This is second go around so I pray it will be successful this time. I also share prayers of concern that should we have storms this afternoon, that they won't cause damage or injury. We have had so much of that happen this spring and people in various parts of the country are still trying to recover from weather disasters from several years back. And --- as always, I give God praise and thanks for my abundance of blessings. My life is good and my soul is is at peace. There is nothing more I could want.

I pray that you too will havea most blessed day. Open your heart and let the Son shine through you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

And a bright sunny morning to you too! It is a wonderful morning out here in the sunporch. I have opened up two of the doors to allow a breeze in, which of course also increases the volume of the sounds from outside. And God has quite a symphony going on today.

All of the bird feeders were pretty much empty this morning. It isn't surprising though. There were two squirrels out there on at least two of the feeders most of the day. I cannot understand how they can continue to eat for that long. Don't they have jobs somewhere? Yes, I realize it is the wole clan of them cycling through. But, while I complain about them --- I enjoy watching them too.

There must be three Mockingbirds out there this morning. I've seen two in the pussy willow tree at the same time and still haerd another one or two at the same time. I'm also hearing several Song Sparrows and briefly heard a Pilated Woodpecker. I hope it decides to stop in. I love to watch them. They are so pre-historic looking.

It sure doesn't take long for my birds to know that the feeders are replenished. The Cardinals were swooping in to freshly filled feeders before I finished. It looks as though I have a dozen out there again this morning. Of course, as soon as I fill the bark butter paste feeders the Starlings come in too. But, while they often intimidate the smaller birds, I have two Bluejays and a couple of Hairy Woodpeckers that will challenge them. God's design and natural selection process works well out there. I have those who feed from the feeders, and then I have the ground feeders such as the Doves and the Robins to clean up all the leftovers that gets tossed out. My Finches, Wrens, and Sparrows just eat where and what ever.

I give God my prayers of gratitude again this morning. As I sit out here I always feel such a sense of peace. I would pray that everyone would allow themselves to feel that too. I realize that I am extremely blessed in that my congregations allow me to do my work from home. The fact that I don't have to get up and dressed every morning to go to work is a freedom that I don't take lightly. But my congregations also realize that I'm as close as the phone.

I also send prayers of gratitude that the weather has turned  in southern California and they are getting those wildfires under control. I pray for the folks who lost their homes to not only these fires but also to the tornados and storms last week. My prayers of concern go out to all of those on our prayer list, especially the one who is due to have a baby within the next couple of weeks. God continues to flood our lives with blessings even through events that are tragic at the moment. We never walk alone in this world. There is an old saying that says: "If God takes you to it, --- God will take you through it." I believe that. Have a wonderful day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm a bit bleary eyed this morning for some reason. I can't seem to wake myself up. Maybe my cup of coffee or three will do the trick.

We had a good weekend. The church services were well attended. We had good company with my sister and brother-in-law coming down. They brought down a load of stuff for the auctioneer because they are dowsizing their home. Our local auctioneer has done a good job for them in the past so they are using him again. I can't imagine going through that process. Unless it becomes totally necessary, our girls are stuck with getting rid of all of our stuff after we either die or get so senile that they decide to "put us in a home" somewhere.

God is shaking the dandruff out of the trees this morning. There is a wind blowing and the petals from the Tulip Poplar blossoms are raining down. I need to get my ladder out and get on the roof and blow out the crevices and the gutters. Between the Maple tree helicopters and now these petals, it doesn't take long to cover the gutters over. I have a gutter guard system up there so it is only a matter of walking the roof line with my leaf blower. It takes me longer to get my ladder out than it does to do the job.

The iris are really blooming right now as are the peonies and the rhodadendrums. All of the colors blended together can only be God's work. Sometimes I see beds of flowers and blooming trees and it just takes my breath away. It becomes a picture of nature's perfection. How absolutely blessed we are to be able to see things like that and have the ability to enjoy it. Think about that for a moment. Out of all of God's living creatures, we are the only one that can comprehend what beauty actually means and is. We are the only one of God's creation that derives pleasure simply by looking at our surroundings. If that thought doesn't make you feel special in God's sight, I don't know what would.

My prayers today are again prayers of gratitude. Both of our people at church that had recent knee replacements were in church yesterday and seemed to be getting along very well. So, I'm thankful that God continues to give them the strength to do their therapy and I'm thankful for those who have participated in their surgeries. I'm thankful that my brother-in-law is feeling as well as he does despite his cancer, and I'm thankful for the better than expected doctor's report for the mother of one of my parishioners. God is so very good.

I hope your day is as blessed as mine already has been.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Its a happy Saturday morning, or at least all my flutter wings and bushy tails seem to think so. Everyone seems to be getting a fair share out there, including my cute baby bunny.

It is a beautiful morning. The sun is shining brightly and it is 46° with no breeze to speak of. We went out and picked up a bunch of suets and stuff like that yesterday morning so there should be a fancy buffet for the critters. Today I need to go pick up a bag or maybe two of sunflower seed. It doesn't take long to go through a 100 lbs of it. Years ago I used to go out and fill my wonderful mother-in-law's bird feeders for her. I don't know how she afforded to keep those feeders filled. I used to call her birds "flying pigs". I really miss Kate's mom; she was a beautiful person. Some day, --- after I'm dead and gone; it would be nice to think that maybe someone will think the same about me.

I been out here on the porch now for 45 minutes and there is a squirrel on one of the feeders that has been steadily eating the whole time. I don't see how it can eat that much. I hope it craps it's self to death. I finally decided it had eaten enough so I popped it with a BB.

I got around to putting the new battery in my truck yesterday. I'm glad to have "Big Red" back among the living. I do like my truck. I was toying with idea of putting a bid on a Cadillac Escalade that is up for auction next week. It is a good vehicle with only 10,000 miles on it and four years old, but we have three vehicles now. Our Cadillac is eight years old and has 140,000 miles on it. But --- it runs fine, looks good, and is paid for. That's a good combination. So, I'll keep my money in the bank. It gets back to what I wrote about yesterday. I have everything I need. Most everything else is just silly desire.

Well, I have drained my coffee cup and almost drained the battery on my Nook. I guess it is time to quit. My prayers again go out for friends and loved ones. I found out yesterday that another friend of mine has stage two lung cancer. I'm hearing that word amongst my friends far too often these day. But, I suspect that I'm getting to the age where it will become even more frequent. I heard last night that the average life span for women in the US is 81 years but the average life span for men is now 76. I hope to go past that since that is only six years from now. But then, on the other hand, if I died today it would have been a wonderfully blessed existance on earth, and I give God praise for every moment and every blessing. I hope you do the same.

Friday, May 16, 2014

I missed another day of blogging yesterday. However, I refuse to take the blame and instead pass it off to Time Warner Cable. We were without cable and internet connection for hours yesterday. It is amazing how our worlds can crash to a halt with the loss of the internet and a rainy day. What kind of creatures have we become?

It is a chilly 43° this morning. The sun is shining brightly but I don't think it is supposed to get above the upper sixties today again. For the middle of May in southern Indiana, that is down right chilly. I think we are having what folks often call a "Dogwood Winter". That's when a cold snap hits when it is late enough in the spring the the Dogwood trees either are in bloom or have already bloomed.

I got the yards mowed yesterday afternoon. I had to wait until the grass dried out. Then it showered again last night. Enough of the rain already, Lord. How about sending the rain out west so it can put out the raging wilfires. They could really use it about now. Of course, I shouldn't complain. Everything is lush and green and beautiful.

I need to go get a new battery for my truck first thing today. Maybe we'll go to Sam's. That way we can also go by Wildbirds Unlimited and pick up what I need. I still need to get suet cakes and a container or two of bark butters, as well as a couple of seedcakes. My black oil sunflower seed container is getting low too. That's stop at a different pet food place.

Sheila and Byron are down this weekend again. They are dowsizing their home and have an auctioneer that they like to use down here. We are supposed to meet them for supper this evening at Max and Erma's on the casino boat. I think Byron had yet another chemo infusion yesterday. I hope he feels well enough to get around today. My prayers are with them both.

Speaking of prayers, it is time to once again take stock of my blessings and give thanks and praise to God for them. My life is rich and full and I have no needs. How many people in this world can honestly say that? Sure, I have things that I want, --- but all my needs are met. As the 23rd Psalm says, "my cup runs over."

Have a wonderful day. Mine already has been.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

54° this morning and rain. That sure makes for a sleepy morning. I could easily crank the recliner back, close the eyes and drift off to some place in dreamland. But today has to be a day dedicated to writing so I don't dare give in to temptation. I expect it will be a two pot day for Mr. Coffeemaker.

I missed blogging yesterday as well as being out here on the sun porch. I had an early meeting yesterday that took me past lunch time. Then I spent a lot of hours putting together worship services. Now I have to put together the sermons to go with the services. When we go on vacation, I have to make sure I have services ready for the guest pastors as well as for the week that we come home. Its going to be made a bit more difficult this time because we will be coming up on mid-year congregational meetings as soon as we return from the second vacation we have planned to California.

The birds are not as happy as they could be out there in the rain this morning. Their feeders are all fairly low or empty. And, --- I'm out of a lot of the stuff to fill them. I need suet cakes, bark butter paste, birdola cakes and probably some other things but I don't really have time to be running across town to the store. Gosh, they may have to fend for themselves like "wild birds" do! But, there still is finch feed and sunflower seeds in the feeders so I guess they can adjust their pallates.

This has been a rainy week. Every day has brought showers on and off. The grass really needs cutting. Hopefully that can happen tomorrow afternoon. I was all set to take a break from the computer yesterday afternoon and go out and mow the yard and along came another ten minute thunderstorm. But, God provides blessings even in the rain. Our tomatos and squash and cucumbers are really growing.

As always, I take stock of the abundance of blessings God has showered down upon me once again today, and I give God praise for them. I continue to to be blessed with a loving family, good friends, and a faithful and faith filled parish. I pray that God is pleased with my leadership of these two congregations and I am "getting it done right". Every day I ask myself if it is time for me to step down as pastor. But, I haven't felt that it truly is time for me to quit, --- just yet. Just like the point came that I knew it was time to retire from the Air Force, --- I reckon God will tell me it is time to retire for a second time. In the meantime, --- I have sermons to write.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, May 12, 2014

73° degrees and muggy this morning already, but the sun is filtered this morning through a partly overcast sky.

I have squirrel wars going on this morning. I had a young squirrel just outside the doors up in the pussy willow tree trying to eat from one of the birdfeeders. It was so stretched out between the limb and the feeder, which kept turning , that he finally gave up. It then went over to another feeder that already had a squirrel on it. That began a chase that has gone across the yard several times, up and over my roof and back again and up and down the Tulip tree and around it at least twenty times. They are all gone for now ---- but thanks for the show guys. It was fun to watch! I'm sure they will be shortly.

It would appear that the old rabbit has had her babies out the among the daffodils and lilies again this year. There is the tiniest bunny sitting out there chewing on a dandelion leaf. I hope it really likes that dandelion and eats all of them in my yard for me. It is really exploring its world. Its now hopping over here to the door. How cute.
The old rabbit comes here every spring to have her litter in that flowerbed. Actually, I don't know how many she has because I never see more than one or two new ones each year.

We had a good day yesterday. It was Mother's Day. The churches had good attendance with people visiting moms for the day. Then we went to our favorite resturant for lunch. Then during the afternoon we went out to visit my 96 year old mother and took her to Cracker Barrel for supper. My duty was done.

I have a lot of work to do. We just added two more weeks of vacation to our schedule at the end of June and the first week of July. That means for me --- a lot of pre-planning of services and getting things ready for when I return. I have time to do it, but it means no wasting time. Our 16 year old granddaughter, Lauren, begins a career as a professional MX rider at the end of June in a race at Mammoth Lakes California, and we want to be there for it. Yes, --- we are going 3000 miles to watch a seven minute race. That's what grandparents do!

My prayers this morning are prayers of gratitude. Once again I take stock of my blessing and see that they are over abundant. I am grateful to God for his grace and I also pray the continued touch of the Holy Spirit be with those who are enduring treatment for cancer and going currently through physical rehabilitation for joint replacements. I have an extensive prayer list these days --- but I know God is aware of each of them and walks with them daily.  God is so good.

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

We are feeling extremely blessed this morning after seeing all of the storm damage pictures from around town. I have a few limbs down and they are small. I had some damage done to a trellis that I built years ago and had another flag pole snapped off. That is the second one that I have lost to storms. But gosh, we were lucky. Weatherman said this storm just exploded over the top of the city with 77 mph winds. We were with out power for five hours but some may be out all weekend. There is much damage around town but I haven't heard of any injuries or deaths. God be praised.

It looks like we could have more storms today because it is overcast this morning. However, the temp has dropped significantly. All the birds and squirrels are here this morning for breakfast. Maybe they anticipate a storm too. Actually, we only got about an inch and a half of rain so the gardens fared well. Many of the iris are laying over though. Hopefully they will stand back up if it dries out a bit. We'll probably cut some of them for boquets for the church tomorrow. Tomorrow is Mother's Day so it would be nice to have some fresh flowers in the church for the altar.

There is nothing big on my schedule today other than go out and clean up any limbs in my yard. I have a couple of feeders that need to be filled so I reckon I'll get that done too.

I'm sitting here watching the Robin as it takes its bath. It will splash a lot of water out of that bird bath. I guess it didn't get wet enough in the storm and has to take its Saturday morning bath. The starlings will be lining up next for their bath if things go as normal out there. Whoops --- another Robin just came in for a dip in the pond.

My prayers go out for the victims of our storm yesterday, several of whom lost homes. I also  give God thanks that it wasn't worse. A large portion of the nation got hit yet again with storms and tornados. That no one was killed is a blessing from God.

I hope you have a very wonderful day full of love and hope and joy.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A light rain is falling this morning which is a good thing. We finished planting the garden yesterday evening and this is the perfect kind of rain to water it all in. Ms. Kate has also put out a multitude of flowers in a variety of containers along the patio and this will be good for them. Unfortunately we are also predicted for strong thunderstorms this afternoon. Hopefully it won't be too bad. So much of the country is in the path once again of storms and tornados. I pray no injuries or deaths occur from them.

I got out of bed in time to beat the rain this morning because I had neglected to cut the asparagus yesterday. There wasn't but a really good hand full but it can go from just the right size to "too big" in seemingly a matter of hours sometimes. I got the yards mowed yesterday and Ms. Kate got some dalias planted out front too. It is no wonder this yard continues to look so nice; we have flowers blooming everywhere. It is nice to know that the neighbors enjoy our yard too. Dan, across the street, says they love looking out on it every morning too. We are but caretakers of what God creates.

We thought Julie, Jim, and the pupperonis were coming back this afternoon but it is the start of a new semester and the bookstore got slammed with orders yesterday from the web. So, she will get to spend her Mother's Day weekend pulling books from the shelves and getting ready for her customers. She runs a tight ship over there at the university and the bookstore has done exceptionally well under her management. All three of my girls are in senior management positions in their respective career fields. We are proud parents because their family life is as successful as their careers. That will happen when you step back from the driver's seat and let God take the lead.

My big agenda item for the day is to run up to the churches and get the bulletins printed. When everything goes right, it is a couple of hours work. I also have to finish next weeks sermon and hopefully get started on the following week's sermon. Stuff to do, stuff to do. It never ends. But I am very fortunate that the churches allow me to do my work from home for the most part. The congregations both know that if they need me for anything, I am as close as the phone and will drop what ever I'm doing and be there for them.

The battery is in the critical zone so I need to plug it in and be done writing on this for today. It is also time to once again give God thanks and praise for my overwhelming amount of blessings. I ask for strenghth and courage as those I know and love deal with a variety of serious health issues. From Jule's RA to Byron's cancer to the multitude of issues that so many of our friends and parishioners are dealing with; I ask that each one feel the presence of God's love, grace, and power in their lives today. On our "bad days" it is often difficult to remember that God is good, --- all the time. We never walk alone, even for a micro-second. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It is another excellent morning. Warm breezes are blowing already this morning and the sun is shining brightly. The clouds, however, are beginning to move in. We are supposed to have rain on and off for the next few days. But --- its all good because God is good.

We got out yesterday and bought seven tomato plants as well as cucumbrr and I think squash plants. I planted the tomatos last evening but need to work up the ground to put the rest of the plants in. I also need to get the yard mowed today and I will go across the street and mow Dan's yard. He has torn up his knee so, I'll help him out. I had to buy a battery for the John Deere yesterday. That wasn't cheap.

The flower patterns are changing again around here. The azelias are in full bloom and probably at about half way through their cycle. The iris are starting to bloom really nicely as are the poppies. The peonies are full of buds and I cut my first rose for Ms. Kate yesterday. My raspberries are really full too, but the asparagus is about done I think. The spirea and the snowball bushes are blooming well too. I love spring because we just go from beautiful thing to another. It won't be too many weeks and the knockout roses will be blooming and their blooms last all summer.

I have two squirrels out there this morning. I think we must have a new young squirrel who hasn't learned to be afraid of us yet.  It is smaller than most of the others and just sits there even if I'm in the yard. I thought yesterday I was going to have to literally grab him to get him off of the birdfeeder. I was that close to him. My sister-in-law, Karen, had the same experience with it earlier in the day. It is time to teach it some BB lessons.

I add to my prayers this morning the mother of one of my parishioners. Her daughter told us last nightthatbher mother has been diagnosed with ALS. What a shame. It is a horrible dibilitating disease and so often the patients go through many months of their condition killing them a little bit at a time. The family will need many prayers for strength before the end comes.

I refuse to end a blog on a downer note, so I'll once again offer up my prayers of gratitude for all of my blessings. It would do me no good to try to count them, there is no number for all of them and my math sucks anyway. Have a wonderful day. Smile at a stranger today and make their life better too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It must be an excellent morning for baths. The Robin and the Blackbirds have been taking turns in the birdbaths this morning. In between their baths, the Cardinals and the squirrels have come for a drink from the same birdbaths and I think "ewww!"

It is 65° this morning, and I'm up earlier than I want to be, although most people who have regular jobs are already at work. I just have the luxury of not having to do that any more. I set my own hours and always get my work done. Usually I work through the evening and afternoon. I guess maybe I'm a "second shift worker" at heart because that is when my writing juices seem to flow best. I'm not getting ahead any though like I need to. We have vacation coming up in about three weeks and there are things I need to do so as to not get behind. So, --- I need to pump up the pressure a bit.

The Mockingbird is singing its heart out this morning. He must be trying to attract a mate. Except for the occasional trip through the feeders for a bite, it hasn't stopped singing for at least a half an hour. Of course it could be that there is more than one and they are competing. There is so much wonderful birdsong out there this morning it is hard to tell. I have several Cardinals out here this morning chasing one another around. They flit here and there quickly, flying at one another like a game of tag. I don't know if it is courtship or a territory dispute. I just sit back and enjoy it all.

Julie, Jim, and the pupperonis are coming this afternoon. I think this morning we need to go get some tomato plants and get them in the ground. We were hoping to get some plants from a friend but he called last evening and said he was having bad luck with them. So, I need to find another source. It isn't a matter not not finding any, --- we just had a certain variety in mind that we like and we had hoped to buy a few plants from him. I reckon we'll re-think the situation. Flexibility is the key to aerospace power!  The yard needs to be mowed but I'll wait until tomorrow. That way the pups won't track in fresh cut grass.

My coffee cup is empty and since I have to get up to get more I might as well sign off for this morning. I hope you have a day full of blessings, and I hope you will take time to give thanks to God for them.

May God's peace rule your heart today.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I'm back on my porch once again, cup of coffee at my side, enjoying the beauty of my back yard and the singing of the birds. Life is as it should be, peaceful and tranquil.

We did enjoy our little overnight excursion to French Lick. After we checked out around 11:00 a.m.. we decided to head on over to Louisville, KY. Ms. Kate wanted to eat at PF Chang for lunch. In fact, she has been hungry for it and talking about it for two weeks. So --- what's better than a 110 mile side trip for lunch!  Lunch was excellent and we got home around 3:00 in the afternoon. Then, I had this week's sermon to rewrite. I finished up around midnight. I had written one already but I asked Kate to read it because I wasn't sure I was saying what I wanted to say. She read it and said it was very confusing to her, so I tore it up and started all over. It happens that way sometimes. My thoughts get tangled up in my fingers and lost before they reach the computer screen. Thank God for allowing men to invent the computer. I can'imagine doing all the writing I do with a typewriter or worse, a pencil.

It is to be another beautiful day today with temperatures in the upper eighties. Unfortunately, I will spend the majority of it down in my office working on next week's services. I cold bring my laptop computer out here on the porch and work but I know myself well enough to realize I would spend my looking outside and not working. Besides, all my reference and research material is down there. So --- off to the dungeon I'll go; after another cup of coffee, or maybe two.

There aren't a lot of birds out here this morning. Some days it is that way. The good news it that we had a Hummingbird back again this morning. It didn't stay long, but once they know the feeders are available they usually come back on a regular basis.

Julie, Jim and the pupperonis are coming over tomorrow. St. Lucas is holding the annual Mother / Daughter banquet tomorrow evening. Ms. Kate and Julie will attend that while Jim and I watch the dogs chase squirrels here at the house.

I give God thanks again this morning for my life and all of my totally undeserved blessings. I have so very much for which to be grateful. I hope you feel as blessed today as I do. If you do, share your happiness with some one else. I'm sharing mine with you!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Well this morning I'm not on the sun porch but rather about 70 miles east of the porch at the West Baden Springs Hotel and Spa Resort. This historic old hotel has been totally renovated and back to its glory days state. It is a sister property to the French Lick Hotel and Casino Resort which is a mile down the road. The price to stay here is a tad dicey but it was my Mother's Day gift to Ms. Kate.

Last evening we went the casino for awhile and gave to the "slot gods". Then we took the hotel shuttle up to the on-property golf course and resturant for supper. The food was good but way over priced. Weeach ordered the sea scallops and the plate came out with only three scallops on it. We thought that eight dollars per scallop was not worth he price.

The hotel and resort grounds are beautiful. However, I thought the drive over was just as beautiful. The dogwoods along the highway were all in full bloom, the temperature was 80° and the sun was shining brightly. We put the top down and just enjoyed a perfect spring day. I'm lookng forward to the trip back hme in a couple of hours.

I give God thanks today for this beautiful world and for this wonderful lady sitting across the room from me playing her computer games. Everyday I am very aware that I could easily have lost her years ago when she had either one of her two heart attacks or when she had her stroke. God literally gave her back to me and I am so very grateful. There is nothing I would not do for her if it were in my power.

So, it is time to pour a second cup of coffee, get my shower, and jump in the convertible and head home to reality. I got a lot of work to do yet today.

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

It is an overcast, breezy 53 deree morning as I sit out here with my coffee this morning. I actually like it like this because the filtered sun shows off the blooms on the redbud and dogwood trees across the yard much bettter. The blooms are light enough that they get lost on a bright sunny day. This kind of light also shows off the plumage on my birds much better too. The Godfinches and Cardinals are looking especially bright this morning.

Someone across the yard on the next street over woke up to an unhappy picture this morning. I can see the toilet paper hanging from the branches from here. They are out there right now trying to get it all down. I think it might be a badge of honor to know you have friends who like you well enough to do that to you. Of course, it could be just the opposite too, although I never TP'd anyone I didn't like.

The Song Sparrow, Wrens, and Mockingbirds are a singing trio this morning. They have filled air with their song for about the last half an hour. It is neat to hear. They sing in between trips to the feeder.

I hear but don'see, what sounds like a few showers coming in and out. I hear it on the roof but have yet to see any drops on the sidewalk. Perhaps it isn't rain at all but rather the little maple "helicopter" seeds blowing around up there.

It is Saturday, which means it is a day off. I worked late yesterday evening trying to get things done for next Sunday and also my end of the month stuff. Ms. Kate and I are going to take off after church tomorrow and go to the town of French Lick. There is an historic hotel over there that has been renovated that we want to stay at. Of course we will also go to the casino that is there too. It is my Mother's Day gift to Ms. Kate. We will come home on Monday afternoon and then maybe get in some yardwork and planting. That might not sound like a very romantic end to a romantic get away, but romance at our age can be nothing more than helping one another and doing things together.

My prayers this morning are of course prayers of gratitude for family, friends and a thousand blessings. I sit here in a caccoon of peace and solitude, surrounded by a world of blessings. There is joy in my heart and love in my soul, and the love of of my life sleeps soundly in the next room. God is so good. I wish this kind of day for you too.

Friday, May 2, 2014

If you have ever wondered what the Teradactyl looked like, one need look no further than the Pilated Woodpecker. I was fortunate enough to have one fly in again to the feeders this morning.They always announce their arrival with their strange song that sounds like something out of the Amazon. Then they fly in and cling to the branch closest to the bark butter feeder and chow down. I try to sit really still because they pick up on the slightest movement and fly off.

I filled the feeders first thing this morning, even before I had my first cup of coffee. Several of them were totally empty and some needed topped off. Now I can sit and enjoy and so can they. It doesn't take them long to discover the feeders are full again, including the fuzzy tails. I maybe need to pick up a 50 lb bag of black-oil seed. The can is half gone already.

It is a beautiful but cool day across the region. I'm glad it is because today and tomorrow are two big horse races over in Louisville, The Oaks and The Kentucky Derby. The tracks should be plenty dry and the temperature perfect to prevent injury to those wonderful horses. All the "southern ladies" can now show up in their finest and gaudiest hats per tradition, and the mint juleps will flow freely. Lawd have mercy, ain't we genteel!

My prayers this morning go out for Byron. He had his first new chemo infusion treatment yesterday and it wore him out. They gave him five units where normal dose is one. Sheila said they both wore out last evening, --- the stress of it all is enough to drain you mentally and physically. I pray this aggressive treatment plan will help. My prayers also go out for Bob and Georgia Ann. Bob had his knee replaced this week and I pray his rehabilitation goes well.

I need to get on the computer and do some sermon work today. I'm currently in the middle of my sermon for next week which will be Mother'Day. I have a vacation coming up in June so I need to try to get ahead with my work. But --- the words only fall out of my brain and on to my computer screen when they are ready. If I try to force a sermon writing session, they come out disjointed and I always end up starting over. The Lord giveth when the Lord giveth.

So, it is time to count my blessing for today and I think I will begin by being thankful for the blessing of a piece of fresh strawberry pie for breakfast! I hope you have a most wonderful and most blessed day. I know I will.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I think I can count eleven Cardinals out there this morning. What a beautiful sight that is. It is a bit hard to keep track of them because they flitter and flutter and fly from branch to branch and feeder to feeder.

We also have lots of Sparrows and Finches flitting back and forth. The Mockingbird comes in for a bite or two and heads out into the trees or the top of the roof to sing about it. I wonder if what we've always called a Mockingbird is the same thing they call a Mocking Jay in recent movie. I suspect it might be, although the movie indicates the Mocking Jay has a certain distinctive call.

Ms. Kate and I have dental cleanings this morning, --- yuk! But, I guess it something ee need to keep up so we stay healthy. It just isn't on my favorite thing to do list. After that, we nned to head up to the churches and print the bulletins and prep the church for Sunday.

It is May 1st annd it is World Day of Prayer. Wouldn't it be great if everybody in the world would actually stop today and be grateful to whatever their version of God is for the blessing they have. Wouldn't it be great if all our prayers today were said for the benefit of others and not ourselves! That could actually end up being a day of world peace. I"ll do my part, I hope you will too.