Thursday, February 26, 2015

I had my blog almost done for today and was about ready to sign off and suddenly, my Nook started typing gibberish letters and wiped out the whole thing. That has happened all too frequently lately and I don't know the cause; but it is terribly frustrating. Because of it doing this, I even "save" my document after every paragraph, but to no avail this time. Unfortunately, it may be time to get something new. In the mean time this blog comes to you from my office computer today.

As I said the first time around, It is a great day. Not a great weather day, since we are supposed to maybe have more snow and the temperature is supposed to drop again. But it is a great day because Ms. Kate and I are celebrating our 49th wedding anniversary. It has been a wonderful and exciting adventure sharing these past forty nine years with her. It seems impossible to believe that we have been married for 49 years and my sister is rapidly coming up on their 50th wedding anniversary. I remember as a child that our neighbors, "old" Mr. and Mrs. Knapp had their 50th wedding anniversary and it was a really grand affair, Then my Grandma and Grandpa Heumann had their 50th wedding anniversary and they were old as elephants, or so it seemed. We have a picture of their celebration hanging in the hallway and they still look old to me and in truth, they most likely were not much older than Kate and I are now. It makes me wonder sometimes just how ancient we look to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

We were supposed to go to Nashville, TN today and spend the night. That's where we went on our honeymoon. But, --- winter storm Remus got in the way of our plans so we are staying in Evansville. I booked us a room at the local casino/hotel for tonight. That may seem a bit silly to stay in a hotel only five miles or so from the house but then we are young enough, at least mentally, to still enjoy the silly things in life. We'll have dinner at Cavannaugh's, the pricey place there at the casino. I hope the food is as good as my wallet wants it to be. Besides, our room is "free", although in reality we know what it costs  to earn a "free" room at a casino resort of any kind.

As I look at our past forty-nine years, it has been a real adventure that many couples would not have survived. If my math is correct, we have lived in 21 different homes, 13 states, although a couple were repeats, and I have lived in 4 foreign countries, one of which was a repeat and Kate and the kids got to accompany me on that one. We've have 3 daughters that are truly "good people" in every sense of the word, and five wonderful grandchildren,. But we also lost three more children prior to birth. Ms. Kate has had 2 heart attacks and a double bi-pass, a stroke, and a knee replacement. I've been run over by a truck by my boss back in 1977, and then a couple of years ago had to have shoulder and bicep reconstruction from a series of falls. I've had a very successful career as a military professional having gone from Airman Basic to Colonel in my 32 years. and have spent the last decade as a pastor of two wonderful small churches. And through all of that --- I can only say GOD IS GOOD, and I praise His name everyday and offer up prayers of gratitude.

Take a look at your life today and see and try to count all of the ways in which God has been the guiding factor in your decisions and in your life. I think it may bring you to your knees in gratitude. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The cardinals are here getting their fill before all of the black birds show up. My usual dozen are here hopping and flitting from one feeder to another. They probably need to get their breakfast finished because there are probably a half dozen "Scouts" for the black birds sitting in the trees overhead. That's the way they operate; they wait until a bunch of them arrive and then they just kind of all swoop in and move everyone else out. A singular titmouse is here this morning. That is unusual because they normally travel as pairs. I hope nothing has happened to its mate. There are also several goldfinches here. I'm glad to see their plume changing back to gold. That is another sign of spring coming soon.

I'm looking across the yards and through the bare trees and it looks like the snow has melted from the majority of the roofs that I can see. The long icecycles hanging from the gutters is a testament to the slow melting during the day and then refreezing every night. It is currently 19° outside and is only supposed to maybe get to 34° today. Another winter storm is moving across the southern half of the country and may clip us once again with some snow. Ms. Kate and I plan to go to Nashville, TN tomorrow and come home on Friday. But we are watching the weather really close because we don't need to drive into another bunch of snow and freezing weather.

There are strange things happening in "squirrel world" around here. Our squirrels have by and large always been brown squirrels. Suddenly we are getting grey squirrels showing up. I don' t know if a turf war has occured or if there is no problem between them or what. The greys seem to have one large member of their group and the rest are much leaner and smaller. While the browns tend to puff themselves up in this cold weather to keep themselves warm, the greys don't seem to do that. I had not really noticed it until yesterday when a cointractor I had here made notice and seemed surprised that we had grey squirrels. What I don't need is a whole new batch joining in to help clean out my feeders. I may learn a lot more about "squirrel-ology" than I ever wanted to.

It's Wednesday and that of course means I have my Wednesday stuff to do. Ms. Kate has to go for her blood draw. I have to go to the churches and run the bulletins for Sunday and we have choir practice this evening. It is also the day I call my mother. She always complains that she has nothing to do out there at the assisted living place and yet she is never in her room. So, I've established that I will call her on Wednesdays and maybe I'll catch her, and maybe I won't.

My prayers this morning begin with prayers of gratitude, as always. I using my Max Lucado Lenten Devotional each morning to start my day. I do like the way he writes and thinks. This is a day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. The day will be whatever we make it today so, serve yourself up a big helping of gratitude and love and then share it with your loved ones and friends. Life is too short to waste it with a frown on your face and a worry in your heart. God loves you, and so do I. Have a good one.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

They're everywhere! They're everywhere! Seven squirrels, at least fifty or so blackbirds of different varieties, a dozen cardinals, mocking birds, finches, sparrows, and even a pilated woodpecker generate the constant flutter and movement in my back yard this morning. Feeders that were full are being rapidly emptied of their contents. It's enough to make your head spin watching them this morning. I had a handyman here this morning to replace some parts on my sliding glass door and he could have been done a lot sooner if he hadn't been so busy watching my backyard activity. So, --- gobble while you can guys, because   I'm not refilling feeders two days in a row. I will be glad when it gets warmer and the grackles, cowbirds, and red wing blackbirds all move on to the fields. They eat me out of house and home and they are all such bullies to each other and the rest of the birds.

Our agenda is relatively free today. I need to do some wrting on sermons and this morning I had a request from an old friend who asked me to do his father's memorial service. It won't be until late March but I do need to begin collecting my thoughts about it. His dad was one of my former Sunday school teachers, and he was a nice guy.

It is a sunny 22° out there this morning. I'm hoping that the sun will help melt some more of this ice that is on my gutters that attached to the house. They are solid ice and I even tried to break it up some yesterday with no luck. With the temperature not rising above 33 degrees though, the sun won't help much. But --- spring is now 25 days away. The entire country is waiting. Heather even had low temperatures in the 30's this week out in southern California.

My son-in-law, Gary, is getting his equipment and tools moved into his new business location. I am very excited for them and oray it works out. Starting out in business for yourself is not an easy thing to do. But, blessedly, Gary has a really good following from customers he has had while working in other garages and dealerships. I expect he will take some business away from those places. My dad was an excellent mechanic and he had many customers that would only let him do the work on their car. Some would come from a couple of hundred miles away.

Back in 1962 there was a really cute girl who used to crowd in the high school lunch line to be with her friends. I had the exceptionally important responsibility of monitoring that lunch line to prevent such grevious behavior, so, I routinely made her go to the back of the line. She really did not like me at all, but, I thought she was pretty darned cute. One Friday or Saturday night I saw her at the local youth center, a place I rarely went, and I asked her to dance --- several times. On June 16th, 1962, that same young girl had a 4 H hayride to attend and asked me to go with her, despite the fact that she thought I was a stuck up snob. It was a successful date. On Thursday, the 26th of February, I will celebrate my 49th year of marriage to that cute young girl. God does work in mysterious way because God is so good. Have a blessed day.

Monday, February 23, 2015

What a great looking Monday! The sky is clear blue and the sun is shining brightly. Were it something other than 10° with a -7° windchill factor, it would be pleasant out there.

I still haven't gone out and filled the birdfeeders and they get more empty each day. Amazingly enough, they still have some food out there on the ground and in some of the feeders. It just isn't their "preferred feeders" or their "preferred kind of food". And I keep the birdbath filled for them too. But, --- I will go out and fill everything up today sometime.

It has been a strange weekend. No church yesterday and we have been fairly housebound. Ms. Kate says she hasn't been out of the house but only once in the last ten days and I can believe that. But on the other hand, we got our taxes done and filed, I've gotten some reading and writing done, she has made a big stack of greeting cards for use in bringing happiness to others, I've kept the street and several drive ways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow, so it hasn't been wasted time. But today we "bust out" and go take care of some errands. I find it interesting that despite the fact that we live in a 3000 sq. ft. house that contains everything we own, after just a few days of confining bad weather, we can feel "closed in". Remind me to never put myself in a position to go to jail.

Did you watch the Oscars last night? I watched the last 25 minutes or so while waiting for the news. In my "grumpisms", I just have fundamental problem with all of these award shows. Millions of people tune in to watch Hollywood reward and award themselves for in reality, doing nothing more than pretending to be someone they aren't. And, most of those who pick up their little gold statues have already been paid more for that one performance than most people see in their entire life. And yet real heros, people who put their life on the line for their community or their country go un-noticed and unrecognized for the most part. And if they are recognized, whether it be a Congressional Medal of Honor for a soldier, a life saving award for a fireman or policeman, or a citizens award for doing something great for the citizens of a community, or recognition for that struggling parent doing their best to take care of their family, --- it might get witnessed by a small room of co- workers and family and a piece of cake before everyone goes back to work. Nah, I'm not big on award shows. When sommeone on a national tv show announces; "And the award for Best Refuse Collector is----- ", call me.

Mr. Red, my cardinal is here to remind me that God is good and I need to quit grumping and start praying and being thankful for the joys in my life. I think he is also here to tell me to get off my butt and go fill feeders. Have a great day. I certainly intend to.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

How very strange it is to be sitting here in the Sunporch on a Sunday morning. I should be arriving at St. Paul's church right now and getting myself mentally prepared to conduct worship. But, --- like all the rest of the churches in this local area, the weather and road conditions have made it unwise to venture out. This is the second service we have had to cancel this week and as a fellow pastor said on Facebook, I feel like we've given up church for Lent. I imagine the main highways are relatively clear, but side roads, subdivision streets, sidewalks, and parking lots are a totally slippery mess. And yet, there are people who will venture out and they will expect resturants and shopping centers to be open with no thought that employees of those places have to travel those same risky roads. We are, after all, the land and society of the entitled with no expectation of personal inconvience.

Happy 29th anniversary to our oldest daughter Julie, and hubby Jim. The weather wasn't much better on their wedding day. We were stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA at the time. The days before the wedding we had a huge ice storm. So, to celebrate this day, I'm sending a load of warm thoughts and love.

There are many unhappy customers in the Heumann backyard this morning. Almost every feeder is empty. Oh, there is food out there. They have knocked a lot of it out on the ground. So, if they want to eat, I reckon they will just have to clean up after themselves. I have enough sunflower seed left in my can for one more round of filling. I also have another 50# bag in the car but I'm not brave enough to risk carrying that over the ice to the shed. I'm hoping it will climb above freezing today, and maybe after while I'll go out and fill the feeders.

My prayers again this morning go out for people who are suffering through this winter weather with no place to go or call home. I pray for a family involved in a weather related accident last evening in which the mother had to be life-flighted to the hospital. I pray for people who find this kind of weather so depressing and lonely that they feel their only solution is to take their own life. May God surround them with love. I pray that God's purpose for winter has been fulfilled and that we can begin to see the return to spring and flowers and sunshine.  And, of course, I offer prayers of gratitude and praise to God for the abundances of blessings and ask forgiveness for often failing to recognize them. This is the season of Lent, and our everyday prayer should begin with "Not my will, Lord, but thine be done.". Have a most wonderful day.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

It is an ice covered world out there this morning. The current temperature is 33° and there is a light rain falling. The sky, the trees, the bushes are all just kind of grey. It is like looking at the world through frosted glass. There is some melting going on but it is slow. I've only seen one vehicle out on the street and she was going down the hill, not up. There is no sunshine predicted for today which is not a good thing. I haven't heard a weather or road status yet today. I need to get on email with my two church councils and see what they think, but from where I'm sitting, I don't see a church service happening in the morning. I hate that because we already had to cancel the Ash Wedneday service. I'll never get my brain wrapped around what I'm doing and when I'm doing it.

The yard is covered this morning with birds. Mostly I have Red-wing blackbirds, starlings, and grackels. But there are also a lot of cardinals, sparrows, junkos, gold finches, wrens, and chickadees. They are all hitting the feeders hard today again. Several of them are empty but until this winter storm is done, they will just get emptier. I've already been through one shoulder repair from falling on ice and I'm not in a hurry to risk it again.

It is totally quiet as I set here with the exception of birdsong from a song sparrow, and the frequent fussing of the blackbirds. Well, --- and I do have a drip, drip, drip from a bit of a leak from the roof of the sun porch. I heard it last night and ran to put a 35 gallon trash can there to catch it. I had maybe three gallon in the can this morning. The roof/ceiling of this thing is made of six inch thick starifoam that is siliconed together. It works well but this has been up for about ten years now and I think I need to have them come in and check it out. This only happened when we have ice but I think the silicone seal breaks a bit. I think they need to come in and scrape up the old caulk and put in new.

I think it is time to vacate the recliner and get on with doing something a bit more productive. I may see if the JD will be able to get the ice off of my driveway. Then again, maybe I'll just go pour another cup of coffee.

Have a wonderful, and spirit filled weekend.

Friday, February 20, 2015

It is cloudy and gray this morning with a 1° temperature and a -7° windchill out side. Predictions cover the gambit of winter weather options; snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain.  I filled the feeders just yesterday afternoon and they are half empty this morning. The flock of blackbirds and starlings that are hanging around just rape and pillage the feeder village. There are no less than fifty out there right now. But I also have a lot of my regular crowd of aviary friends. The cardinals, woodpeckers, finches, junkos, and chick-a- dees are all vyeing for a spot too. It is no wonder I go through so much bird feed. But, with that many, they do a pretty good job of cleaning up the stuff that is on the ground.

It is Friday again already and I don't feel I have accomplished much this week. I guess that is because my attention has been focused on weather and clearing snow, cancelled worship service on Wednesday, and other "stuff". I just realized last evening that I haven't even begun to write next week's sermon. Today, as much as we hate it, I guess we will get started on filing our taxes. It has to be done sometime and as a former boss of mine used to say, "bad news doesn't get any better with age". Ms. Kate probably already has 98% of the stuff together and we file on-line, so it is just a matter of doing it. And when we are finished, --- it will be a headache out of the way for another year.

The good news is that spring is only twenty-eight days away. As I sit here looking at that layer of snow, that is a very warming thought. Of course just because the calendar says spring doesn't guarantee warm weather; but there is hope! Next week Ms. Kate and I have a couple of days planned to go to Nashville to celebrate our 49th anniversary. I'm hoping it will be nice enough for us to do that. I know neither of us wants to be walking around in 20° weather with snow and stuff. But, that is where we went for our honeymoon, and that is where we are doing a family reunion come July. We just want to try to get a bit of a lay of the land and an idea of where things are.

I'm glad to report that Gary and Lusa are well into the last stages of getting their new business set up. They will sign a two year lease on the building starting March 1st, but the owner of the building has given them permission to proceed with building modifications etc. and I think Gary has the carpenter coming in today. We are all very excited for them and pray it will work out for them. There is just so much to do when a person steps out to be in business for themselves. Julie has been a big help with all of the "tech-stuff" like computers and websites and getting that stuff set up. I wish I had time to go help them move stuff in but I will just have to man the prayer chain from here.

As the week ends, it is a good time to stop and look over your past seven days and gives thanks for all of the ways God has appeared in your life. Maybe some stuff didn't go your way or maybe you had some difficult news to deal with, but God walked with you through every moment of this week and the promise is that God will continue to do so. Take a moment or a minute or an hour today and give thanks for that.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

It looks so beautiful outside. The sky is a brilliant blue with no clouds, the sun is shining brightly, and it is a perfect picture of winter. The down side is a temperature of 3° with a - 15° windchill factor. That's cold, even to an Eskimo!

I did do my shoveling yesterday. Or --- it is more appropriate to say I took the John Deere and did my shoveling yesterday. I recleaned our driveway, Dan's driveway and parking area, and the street from Dan's house to the top of the hill. So, we have a good block of dry pavement and traffic can flow back and forth without sliding all over the place. I do like that little John Deere and I am so glad that Ms. Kate had the foresight to have us add that snow blade to the purchase when we bought it. I sometimes think that maybe I should pick up a set of chains for it because I do tend to sometime get to sliding around when I'm working my drive. The incline is a bit steep. I hesitate though because I'm afraid the chains might tear up my concrete.

My bird feeders are pretty well empty this morning. I need to go out and fill them. The problem is that I haven't been able to find my darn boots. I knew they were here someplace, and would be in my garage. But until a few minutes ago they were AWOL. But, I just dug them out from behind the stack of cases of Disani. Don't you just hate when stuff is right where you put it, you know --- that special place so you'll know right where it is??? But, back to the feeders, there is still feed out there. The finch feeders have thistle in them, one large sunflower feeder still has seed but it is harder for the larger birds to feed from and nye to impossible for the squirrels to hang on to and eat from because of where it is hanging. I also have two cylinder feeders that are in cages designed to feed just the birds that are about the size of the wrens and smaller woodpeckers. One of those is out in the front of the house about three feet from our kitchen window. It is a wren favorite and we love watching the little wrens come to eat as we are sitting there having our meals. I have at least a dozen cardinals out here now including my big bright red one. It is currently sitting about five inches from the glass door looking in at me. That's my reminder to wrap this up with my morning prayers and meditation. Ms. Kate bought me a new Max Lucado Lenten Devotional and it is a good daily read.

Today I need to head out to two different hospitals. One parishioner is having knee replacement surgery in about three hours and my prayers are for a successful surgery. He has needed to have this done for such a long time. I pray it will finally give him the relief from the pain he has been dealing with. My other parishioner is my 101 year old lady and she is having some health issues. Normally her health issue  wouldn't be a serious thing, but at her age, everything can be fatal. So, I'm offering up prayers for her this morning too. I also must lift up my prayers of gratitude for the blessings God just continues to heap upon us. I pray for all those who did not have a warm home to sleep in last night and don't have one to go to today. I pray that God has led them to shelters and warm meals to get them through this brutal cold.  God is so very good. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

To plow, or not to plow that is the question! There is a fresh layer of fluffy stuff on the ground this morning and it is 18° . A slight breeze is blowing so that means the "real feel" temp will be lower. But, considering that this is the high for the day, I guess I will get dressed and get things cleaned off. Besides, I have bird feeders to fill again today, although, I can see that there still a lot of food out there.

Yesterday I decided to go ahead and clean the snow off of the street just so people could get all the way up this hill we live on. I have a certain way that I approach doing that job to make it easier to turn around etc and not get stuck. I had plowed my pattern and most of the street when --- ta-daaa, --- over the top of the hill came the county truck and snow plow. He made two passes on our street. So, I could have saved myself and my little JD a lot of work had I known. I think that in the thirteen years I have lived here, that might be only the second time we have ever had a snow plow come through. But, I'm grateful. So, I went on ahead and cleaned off neighbor Dan's sidewalk and two other neighbor's driveways for them. The temperature was a bit warmer, the sun was shining and I wasn't near as cold as I had been the day before. So, essentially, Yes, I was having fun.

Today is Ash Wednesday. Because of the weather, almost all of the churches have cancelled their worship services for tonight. This coming weekend doesn't sound much more promising. Predictions are for rain, freezing rain, sleet, and ending with maybe more snow. With all of that, --- we are still so much better off than the northeast part of the country who won't see the ground for a couple of months yet. This of course brings out the nay sayers arguing that global warming is a myth and a political ploy for something. But, from everything scientific I have read; global warming is what is causing the extremes in our weather with stronger storms, colder winters farther south, and hotter and dryer summers.

Hmmmm! How did I get from Ash Wednesday to global warming?  Rambling minds do get to see a lot of scenery.

Ms. Kate and I did go out and do our grocery shopping yesterday afternoon. The grocery list was getting long and the roads were clear enough, and Walmart was about to declare bankruptcy if we didn't get there soon. I'm glad to say that they are in good shape again and the economy is in good shape. What did we not buy--- milk and bread, the snow storm staples. We did get ice cream though.

It is time to refill the coffee cup, get dressed and go out the door. Despite the cold, God has given us an absolutely beautiful brilliant blue morning. I must go take advantage of it. Be careful out there if you are having to shovel or travel in this kind of weather. Don't shovel yourself into a heart attack or a broken hip or worse. Have yourself a most blessed day. God loves you and so do I.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

8° this fine morning!  The snow storm has come and gone and locally left a six inch present for us. I will be first to admit that it is a beautiful sight. The snow was in fact a dry snow and therefore left no danger to trees and power lines. But today is only supposed to get up to 21° and that will rapidly drop off to some sub-zero windchills by tomorrow evening; not a pleasant thought.

It basically stopped snowing around three o'clock yesterday afternoon. So, I bundled up and jumped on the little John Deere and began clearing the driveway, my neighbor Dan's driveway, and the street in front of our two houses. We live on a long hill and the steepest part really begins at my house. So, I try to clear part of the street so we can get in and out and other folks can get up the hill. It took most of an hour to get it all done and I thought I probably froze my cajones off. But two cups of hot chocolate later, --- life was good. I may go out and work a little farther up the hill today. But then again, I might just stay in the house.

The news from Sheila and Byron wasn't good yesterday. His PSA number climbed another five points this month. And he has to go off of his medicine so that he can have a root canal. Bless his heart, he can't seem to catch a break. So, we continue our prayers and trust in what ever plan God may have for him and them. They are only about seventy days from celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. A year ago they weren't sure he would be alive for them to celebrate. Now they need to be thinking about which riverboat casino they are heading to in order to celebrate the day. God has given them that time and that blessing, and we are all grateful for that blessing.

The crowds of birds has arrived. It was quiet for the first forty five minutes or so. All I had was about a dozen Cardinal and a couple of Woodpeckers to look at. But now the Starling gang has shown up to bully everyone around and fuss and fight amongst themselves. I had to shovel over to the birdbath and add a gallon of water to it. It also had a one ice inch ring around the top where there is no heating element. So I took that off. Now they won't have to bend over so far to get their drink. There is a lot more bird feed out there this morning than I thought there would be. I'll not fill anything up today and just let them clean it all up.

I'm waiting to hear from the two church councils as to whether their roads are clear enough to have the Ash Wednesday service tomorrow evening. The worst part is that by then the artic front is supposed to be on top of us and it will be bitterly cold. I suspect if we do have church, it will be a very thin crowd because folks will just not want to get out. We'll just have wait and see.

My coffee cup is empty and I must do something about that. So, I wish you a most blessed day full of the warmth of the Holy Spirit. Think good thoughts and enjoy God's beautiful world.

Monday, February 16, 2015

It is 18° with snow this morning. We have maybe two or three inches here so far but it is supposed to continue for maybe another six or seven hours. Projected snowfall is all over the place but the general consensus seems to be a total of around eight inches. But, whatever, I don't have any right to complain. It has been a very mild winter so far. So, when the snow stops, I'll get on the Deere and clean up the driveway and street.

I can't begin to count the number of birds out at the feeders this morning. With all of the Blackbirds, Grackels, and Starlings out there, it literally looks like a scene out of "The Birds". My guess is that there are a hundred of those kind of birds. Then I also have my Cardinals, Goldfinches, Sparrows, Housefinches, Wrens, and Junkos. The Grackels ran the squirrels off by pecking at them. I filled thirteen feeders yesterday and they will be totally empty by this evening. I had a whole row of birds up next to the glass doors looking in and I don't know how many birds have flown into the doors this morning. Its just one "thunk" after another.

It has been a good weekend. The church services were well attended despite the cold weather. I thought we would be "thin" on attendance but was glad to see that folks wrapped up in their coats and came on out. I'm hoping this weather this week won't force us to cancel the Ash Wednesday service. But I would cancel it I thought it wouldn't be safe to be out.

Ms. Kate and I had a nice Valentine's evening at our favorite resturant. It was a reservations only night and the place was full. We had reservations for five o'clock and had to wait maybe fifteen minutes because they didn'have a table. But the food was delicious as always and we ate way too much. Yesterday Ms. Kate made up a big pot of Pasta Fagoli, which is kind of an Italian chili/vegetable soup. It is perfect for days like this. And --- her's is much better than the Olive Garden's.

We are waiting anxiouly for a report from my sister this morning. Byron had his blood draw on Friday and we are waiting for his report of results from the oncologist. We pray his numbers have not gone up. Last month they went up five points, a trend we don't want to see happen.

I give thanks for the beauty this snow brings this morning. At the same time I pray people will be safe out there. There have been a lot of weather related deaths across the country in the last month, mainly due to massive traffic pile ups. I pray all of you will be safe. Spring is on the way. God is good!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

And it is Saturday again already. Gosh, the weeks do seem to fly by. I've always heard "old people" say that and I must have reached that point where it has become a reality. February 2015 is officially half over, and it will be spring in five weeks. Although, it doesn't look very "springish" out there at the moment. We have a rain/snow mixture coming down at the moment. The sidewalk is getting covered with little ice pellets. It was forecasted last evening that an artic front would be coming through and it appears to be happening. I have not heard the weather reports or news this morning yet so I don't know how bad it is up where Josh lives. They were predicted another full blown blizzard and another foot of snow.   Those folks up there are certainly in my prayers this morning.

We had a bit of an "uh-oh" this morning. At some point the GFI on the plug where my bird bath is plugged in had tripped, and the bird bath was frozen over. I have reset it and the ice has melted, but I may need to keep an eye on that. That is the first time that has happened. I don'know if the bird bath is finally going bad or if the plug is going bad. Those birds out there know as much about electricity as I do.

The birds have stripped all of the smaller feeders of their food already. The bark butter feeders are empty, the suet feeders are empty, the pellet feeders are empty and most of the nyger seed is gone. I have a flock of Starlings and Blackbirds that are cleaning up the seed on the ground under the sunflower seed feeders. That's a good thing since they are the ones who are responsible for stripping all of the small feeders. There is still a lot of food out there so I'm not rushing out there to fill stuff back up.

It is mostly just snowing now. I think it would be a good time to refill my coffee cup and just snuggle under my lap robe and watch the critters and maybe even snooze a bit. Life is good, God is great and it is not only Valentines Day, it is also my day off. Why not take advantage of it?

I hope you have a pleasant weekend and if you are needing to be out and about in bad weather, I pray you will be safe. Have a blessed day.

Friday, February 13, 2015

It is 20° with no breeze this morning which makes it warmer than yesterday morning. The sky is that brilliant blue that my mother used to call an Arizona Sky; probably because it was the kind of blue they always saw as they spent two decades of their lives "snow-birding" out in the Phoenix area. It must feel a bit warmer to the critters this morning too. They aren't all puffed up this morning. They almost look "summer-sized", if that is an actual definition.

I have a gaggle, or is it a flock,  of Starlings out there this morning. It ranges in size from three or four up to a couple of dozen. They fly in, eat some seed and grab a drink; then they suddenly fly off en-mass. Then they come back in and repeat the process. The good thing is that they are being ground feeders for the most part and therefore are cleaning up some if the residual that others have dropped or thrown to the side. The worst birds for throwing seed around are the big Grackles.

I can hear a Woodpecker pecking away at some tree close around here. I think it might be in Ms. Margret's yard next door. If I can hear it, then it must be at least as large as a Red Headed Woodpecker or even perhaps a Pilated. I'm hoping it will swoop in.

It is Friday the 13th. Isn't that supposed to be an unlucky day? It certainly was for all the characters in the movies by that same name. When I look back on those movies, they were really stupid. There is an undead character that keeps coming back to life for the single purpose of killing people for no known reason. But it was a good opportunity to have a movie full of blood, gore, gruesome deaths, and girls showing off their boobs, and young guys showing off their muscles. And to think, I actually paid good money to see them. Ahh well. This particular Friday the 13th however is the day before Valentines Day. Ms. Kate and I are going out for an early supper at R'z tomorrow evening and then heading back home. It may not be exciting but it is peaceful and a celebration in and of love. It is "what we do".

Actually, we are thinking more about a couple of weeks from now as to how celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary which is coming up on the 26th of this month. We have a "micro-plan" that we are considering but that will be rather weather dependant. We are considering driving down to Nashville and looking around the area. We have been to Nashville many times to fly in and out, and we did our Honeymoon there. But we haven't really explored Nashville at all and we are planning the family reunion there come July. We need to know what is there and where to go.

One beautiful Cardinal sits out there among all those Starlings. Its a sign that no matter how dark the world around you might look, there is still beauty to be found. For that, I give God praise. Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The temperature and the wind speed are equal at 23° and 23 mph, bringing the wind chill down to around zero this morning. Whether that is actual wind chill, is irrelevant, cold is cold. There is a fresh dusting of white out there that looks like powdered sugar has been sprinkled across the ground. If the forecasters are correct, we are in for a week of deep freeze weather and may actually have some accumulating snow the first of next week. The bottom line is that winter ain't over yet!

We got most of our errands done yesterday. I was partially correct with my guesstimate of the orthopeadic doctor's diagnosis and treatment for Ms. Kate. She has some arthritis, but that isn't the source of her pain and problem. That is caused by a thickening tendon in her hand. The treatment though was a cortizone shot and stretching excercise. She has a second appointment for another shot in April, should this not fully take care of it.

We finally got the tulip bulbs planted yesterday. The ground worked easily and the temperature was in the upper forties, so we took advantage of it. With any luck, they will be popping their shoots through the ground in about four weeks. I also got the bird feeders all filled again yesterday. It seems I write that every other day. But, all of the small feeders were empty and the big ones were either empty are mostly empty. And, they are all in full use this morning. And --- everyone is playing nice this morning. When I first came out, the place was buzzing with all of the small birds like Junkos, Sparrows, Finches, and my Wrens. Now the transition has been made to the Cardinals, Starlings, Red Headed Woodpeckers, Mockingbird, and the Blue Jay. Of course the fuzzy tailed rats are here too but only a couple of them this morning. The electric bird bath is a popular spot again this morning. I actually saw a rather large Red Headed Woodpecker sitting in the middle of the bird bath drinking. I've never seen one do that before.

The sky is blue with puffy white clouds this morning and the sun is trying to warm the place up. It won't have much success today. But, between the wind and the sun, the snow is already almost all gone. I need to get busy with my day's work. I have to go up to the churches and do some work again this morning. Ms. Kate is waiting on me to carry the laundry out to the laundry area too. So, I reckon I must abandon my warm chair. I could easily sit here a couple more hours.

My prayers go out for friends and relatives that are enduring a variety of different things from cancer to worries about family members. I lift up my cousin Donna who had breast cancer surgery yesterday. I pray for her quick healing, both physically and spiritually. I also lift up Ms. Julie from church as she has to have yet another treatment for her rapidly deteriorating hip. Despite our pains and problems, it should always bring us comfort to know that we never face anything alone. God is always there beside us and will be the source of strength for us when we get to a point when we finally admit we can't handle it alone.

Reach out and touch someone today and let them know you are thinking about them. Sometimes a simple gesture like that can be the brightest spot in someones day. Sharing your blessings is just that simple and easy. Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Another morning of up too early. This morning's sunporch comes to you from the waiting room of the orthopedic doctor that Ms. Kate is seeing. She is having a real problem with one of her hands and our family doctor wanted it looked at by a specialist. My guess --- is he will say arthritis and she will come back with a cortizone shot in it. Hopefully though he will do something to fix it. It has now bothered her for a couple of months.

It is a cool morning once again at 31° with a breeze and cloud cover. It is supposed to warm up to the upper 40's and as the weather guy says, this day will be the pick of the next seven days because the bottom is supposed to drop out of the thermometer. But, we will get the bulbs planted today before we head up to the churches for the afternoon and evening. We have one more doctor's office to go to after this so Ms. Kate can do her blood draw. She has to do that every six weeks. My sister-in-law, Karen once said; you know you're getting old when most of the names in your address book start with "Dr.". I think we are at that point.

As I look around this room, I see people of all ages and obviously with different problems that need fixing or may be in the process of getting fixed. Several are limping from having or need knee or hip replacements. There is a young girl with most likely a sports injury, and an assortment of people that their need isn't obvious, like Ms. Kate. So first of all I lift up these folks for God's healing touch. Secondly, I offer prayers of thanksgiving for the skills that God has allowed the doctor's, nurses, and therapists to possess. This is the same set of doctors and therapists that handled me when I had to have shoulder reconstruction. They did a marvelous job with me. It is just another case where God uses people to work his miracles.

I think when we leave here we may just have to go have a little breakfast some place. Denny's is on the way to the next doctor's office and that is as good of a place as any. Yesterday, we went to one of our local taverns, The Hilltop,  for lunch. I had a brain sandwich., which is something I haven't had in years, but do like to eat. There aren't a lot of places around here that serve them and I don't think I have ever seen them anywhere else in the country. It was delicious. Some people can't stand the thought of eating one of those, but they are mostly breading and are deep fried, served with pickles and onion and a side of french fries. Set a good cold beer or glass of tea next to that and life is good. Some primitive cultures believe that when you eat certain parts of animals, you gain the property of that part. So, I guess I now have at least the wisdom of a calf. Are you wretching yet?

God is good and today is another day that God has filled with blessings for each of us. Take time to recognize and focus on those and your day will be much better. Have a wonderful peace filled day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Its 31° and a tad cloudy this morning. I'm up before the alarm clock this morning. I really don't like alarm clocks; I think they are rude. Consequently, my internal alarm almost always wakes me before the mechanical alarm goes off. Fortunately, I seldom have a reason to set an alarm more than just on Sunday. But this morning I have a meeting to attend, so it is early coffee today.

When I think about that; --- what a change my life has made from my "former life". My life in the Air Force was so regimented. Most days began with a staff meeting at some level, whether it be squadron, group, or wing. Those generally began no later than eight o'clock. Of course the rule of thumb in the military is that if you arrive on time, you're late! That meant that you were actually in the office by 0715 or so. If you were prone to exercise, like I had to be in order to meet the weight standards, then you had to be up way before that. It wasn't unusual in those days to see me on the walking track by 0530 so I could walk between five and seven miles before work, get home and showered, and into the office by 0715. And, of course, being the commander , it was "important" that the troops saw you there already when they arrived. We convinced ourselves that was showing leadership. Yep, my life has certainly changed. Well, --- sort of; I still drive Ms. Kate nuts by having to be everywhere at least fifteen minutes early. After all, if you're on time --- you're late.

My prayers go out this morning for all those folks up in New England who are in the midst of yet another snow storm that could drop as much as another foot on them. Boston currently has 74 inches on the ground. They have no where to put any more snow when they shovel it. I heard on the news last night that they were considering dumping snow into the ocean, which "sounds like" a good idea, but it is illegal to do that because of all the toxic crap we have on our streets. People are in real danger at this point because of roofs caving in, fires starting and no way to get fire trucks to them, ambulance routes being closed off because of snow, and if course the usual traffic hazards of multiple car accidents. So Lord, if you could dial it back a little, we would really appreciate it.

It is certainly peaceful in the back yard this morning. Only a few Starlings have been here and a couple of Robins. It is too early for my normal gang. I can see that I am going to have to fill a few feeders when I get home from my meeting. The bark butter and the nyger thistle seed is all gone. But, there is enough on the ground to feed them for a week if they will just clean it up,

Winter is coming back this week and my daffodils are going to get their early shoots trimmed a bit by the cold. But they can handle it. No rain is in the forecast so maybe tomorrow we will get Ms. Kate's bulbs in the ground.

It is Tuesday which is a day with no particular distinction. So why not make this one special by taking time to call a loved one, or by doing something nice for someone, and by taking some time to count your blessings. If you are alive and up then God has handed you another day to use for His glory. Make use of every minute of it by doing something that pleases God.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy Monday, World! An entire new week has opened up giving us all opportunities to face new challenges, share new joys, and maybe solve lingering issues from last week. This week, like every new week will become what ever we make of it. So, I hope that as you got out of bed this morning you slid your feet into your "great attitude slippers", threw on your "robe of love", and thanked the Lord for this day and the blessings it will bring.

I'm feeling especially blessed this morning. Great things are happening within the Heumann family. Our middle daughter, Heather, got engaged a couple of weeks ago; our youngest daughter, Lisa, and her husband have gone into business for themselves as they open a new automotive repair shop; and last evening our oldest grandson, Joshua, announced his engagement to his long-time girlfriend, Christina. So, sometime within the next year to eighteen months we will gain a new son-in-law, John, a new granddaughter-in-law, Christina, and two great-grandchildren, Jake and Abby. So my first prayers of the morning are prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for the success of each of these young folks as they begin new and exciting adventures and chapters in their lives. God is so very good.

It is a really cloudy and gloomy looking morning and is 37° out there, which means it is a damp cold. Ms. Kate and are hoping that it won't rain this week. We have some quite expensive flower bulbs that really need to go in the ground and we need the weather to warm a bit and the ground to dry out some. If we get them in soon, they still will have an opportunity to bloom this spring. Right now, the ground is still thawing and we would just be "mudding" the bulbs in if we tried to plant them. We have had to do that in the past, and while it worked, it didn't work well. So, come on out sunshine and do your job!

We have a fairly full schedule this week once again filled with meetings, doctor's appointments, choir practice, run of the mill "stuff" that we do weekly, and the big event of the week; --- date night on Saturday night for Valentines Day! We have reservations at our favorite resturant, R'z. If my math is correct, this will be our 51st Valentines Day and she is more the love of my life today than she ever was. To paraphrase a verse from Psalm 23; "God annoints my head with oil, and my cup overflows." I am a blessed man.

The Cardinals, the Bluejay, the Wrens, and the Starlngs ar all out here this morning as well as a half dozen squirrels. No doubt that by tomorrow I will have to fill all of the feeders again. It is a never ending task. But the task results in a setting of peace and enjoyment so it is worth the expense and work. However, my coffee cup is empty and I have a day of writing ahead of me and I better get to it. Have a great day!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

You can have your Pauxatawney Rat; --- I'll take Ms. Kate's daffodills and crocuses which are up through the ground a half an inch, right on schedule, six weeks before spring. The crocus aren't blooming yet, but they are up; or perhaps that is the grape hyacinths. I guess I'm not sure. Which ever, it is wonderful to see new life popping through the ground. I'll also rely on my Goldfinches, some of which are starting to turn to their summer colors and are becoming a little more yellow. They are also becoming more numerous as they begin to migrate back from Mexico. I find all of that exciting, especially on a bright sunny 41° morning. Its all just a continuation of the fullfillment of the promises of God. The earth sleeps; the earth awakes. People pass away and new babies are born. Life goes on. Shall we all now break out in singing "The Circle of Life"?

I filled all of the feeders again yesterday. Today I need to go rob a bank so I can go to the bird feed store. Well, okay, it isn't quite that bad but I'll bet I don't get out of there for less than $100.00. Just last week I bought another 50# of black oil sunflower seed and have used well over half of that by now. Right now the price for that isn't too bad; I think I paid about $23.00 for 50#. At one time a couple of years ago it went up to over $40.00 for a bag that size. However, it is all still cheaper than a lot of other vices a fellow could have.

Ms. Kate and I have several other shopping stops to make today too. We need to go to Dewigs, our wonderful butcher shop. We need to go to Sam's, a really horrible idea on a Saturday. She has a couple of coupons from various craft stores, so I'll hold down my spot in the parking lot there. I need to drop off a couple of things at the churches and might as well do that while we are up at Dewig's, or it can wait until tomorrow. We need to go to the nursing home so Ms. Kate can see her aunt and I can visit with my mother and take a couple of her bills to her and write out her checks for her. Yep, --- it is going to be a run around day. The great thing though is that it is such a beautiful day to be out of the house. So I offer up prayers of thanksgiving for that blessing.

The Robin is busy hopping around the yard this morning and even the Doves are running around to and fro. My ever beautiful Cardinal is here and has brought lots of friends. What a pleasant and serene sight. I hope your day is filled with as much beauty and peace as mine has been. God is indeed good.

Friday, February 6, 2015

A happy 26°, cloudy morning to you. It is a tad cool here in the sun porch but the good news is that I found my Mr. Coffee cup warmer and have it plugged in, turned on, and keeping my coffee warm right beside my recliner. It just took a bit of looking. There are closets in this house that you just don't want to open. They are reminscent of the old radio program; (yes, I'm that old) Fibber McGee and Molly. Every time he opened the closet door you would a loud clashing and clanging as stuff fell out on him. My dad used to love that program as well as Ma and Pa Kettle and Amos and Andy. Mother listened to the old soap operas and every morning we listened to The Breakfast Club. My favorites were Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, and The Shadow. ("Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts and minds of men? The Shadow knows!") Let me tell you; I don't care how high tech your television is, there is no better "high definition" than a child's mind and imagination if they are allowed to use it. Unfortunately, in my opinion we are seeing a generation of kids growing up that will have bigger thumbs than brains and who will never see the world because their eyes never look up from their phone. Okay,  enough of that this morning.

Once again I need to go fill a few of the feeders. Certainly all of the bark butter paste and pellets are gone. The Starlings, various Woodpeckers, Titmouse, and finches love that stuff. Yesterday as I finished my blog I had a had a huge Pilated Woodpecker fly in and take over one if the bark butter paste feeders. I love it when they come in to eat. A couple of Starlings tried to intimidate it but quickly learned about the length of the beak on that Woodpecker. The majority of my birds here this morning are not among my favorites for sure. These Starlings and Grackels, throw as much on the ground as they eat, and they constantly fuss and fight. But, my lovely Cardinal is back and sitting on the bird bath, so,  there is at least one sense of peace and calm in the comotion.

The sun has burned off the clouds as I have set here and God's beautiful blue sky is everywhere I look. It is a great mood brightener, even though my mood was already bright. It makes the outside look warmer and in fact we are supposed to be getting a bit of spring weather this weekend. Ms. Kate and I may need to find somewhere to take a short road trip. Tomorrow is promised to be almost 60°.

I lift up prayers for Byron today. He broke a tooth off and with the medication he is on, dental work is verboten. So, they, his dentist and oncologist, are having to work out a plan. Hopefully they will get him fixed up in short order. I also send up prayers of thanks that Ms. Kate seems to be doing better with her tummy problems but at the same time give prayers for Julie who has come down sick with a cold. If it isn't one thing its another. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Take time out to go to your house of worship. For all God has done for you and all of us this week, that is the least we can do.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

17° with a zero degrees wind chill factor this morning. It is is fairly cool out here in the sun porch this morning too, even though we have a heat vent out here. But I sit in my recliner and pull up my lap cover and I'm warm enough. The real problem is that my coffee gets cold too quickly. I have one of those "cup warmer" things some where. Julie bought it for me a couple of years ago. I need to find it and plug it in. It would be a great help.

The ground has a layer of snow on it and I have lots and lots of birds this morning. But again, the electric bird bath is the popular spot. At the moment, a lot of my "favorite" little birds are out here; the Junkos, the Wrens, and the Sparrows are all hopping around on the ground grabbing seeds that the other birds cast off. They hop so quickly that they are almost a blur as they move around the yard. The Downy Woodpeckers, the Titmouse, and the Nuthatcher are all taking turns at the bark butter feeders when the Starlings will get out of the way. The Cardinals, the Blue Jays, and the Mocking bird just kind of swoop in and grab a bite or two then fly back to a limb to eat it, and repeat the process. Needless to say, the ground and the air are in a constant state of motion with all of the hopping and flittering and fluttering this morning. It is a beautiful and peaceful site.

So, the weather was about as predicted yesterday. I'm glad we cancelled choir because it would have been too nasty for my ladies to come out and Ms. Kate and I may have been there on our own. I went early in the day and did my visitation at the nursing homes and my work at the churches. The temperature plummeted from fifty degrees to twenty five degrees quickly. Brrrrrr!

Today will be a writing and maybe a reading day. I'm one week ahead on sermons and services which is a slim margin but allows for a day to sit at the keyboard and play and a chance to read a bit on my current Stephen King novel. I've started my sermon for February 22nd, but haven't come up with anything intelligent or inspiring to say yet, so, I'm not going to try to force it. It will come when it comes. That's not to imply that everything I say is particularly intelligent or inspiring.

My beautiful red Cardinal is again sitting there on the bird bath with the sun making it almost radiate. It is my daily reminder that God is always present and the warmth of his love radiates from us if we allow it to. But, in order for others to see it, we must be intentional in our actions and share our love and our God-given blessings with others. My little Cardinal has no concept or idea that it provides such an inspiration for me. And, I believe that sharing God's love should be so ingrained and natural to us that we too will radiate God's love without realizing it.  Have a radiant day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

First things first, fill the bird feeders because the Lord knows we wouldn't want a bunch of Starlings to be hungry! Yep, even before pouring my coffee this morning, I noticed that the feeders were pretty well stripped.  And, even as I filled them the Starlings were starting to land in the trees. It looked like a scene out of The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. On the other hand though, the Cardinals were filtering in too so I reckon they can sort it all out. It won't matter much when the squirrels arrive because they will take over the feeders for about 45 minutes.

I have a pair of Blue Jays in here this morning. That is unusual because they are normally rather solitary birds. Hmmmm! What's up with that? And, he's not even being a Mr. Fuss-a-lot today. I guess he's found his mate so I guess he thinks there is no need to impress now. Men are kind of stupid that way sometimes.

God has all of the heavenly blue hanging out there today decorating the sky; only an occassional wisp of a high cloud can be seen. At the moment it is hard to believe that we are supposed to get a snow storm with blowing winds and plummeting temperatures yet this evening. We have already cancelled choir this evening because all of that is supposed to come in about the same time as choir starts and most of the choir is made up of elderly ladies who won't drive in that kind of weather. I plan to get my work done at the church early too to avoid the roads if they get slick. It isn't supposed to drop more than about an inch of snow but it is the manner in which it is expected to arrive that appears to be the problem.

Yesterday was a good writing day and I got a whole sermon done. Sometimes I get an idea going and it really flows. Yesterday was one of those days. So, "thank you" Lord for you gift of words yesterday.

I learned yesterday that one of the folks on our prayer list seems to be making great strides in his recovery, given the severity of his injuries. I don't know the man; he is a relative of a parishioner. Several weeks ago he fell out of a high-lift bucket while trimming a tree. As an arborist, it is a job he has done thousands of times but somehow he ended up falling about twenty feet face first. He has several severe injuries including an injured spinal cord. But, he is now managing some movement in his arms and is determined that he will beat his paralysis. His faith is strong and God does work mighty miracles. So, we certainly keep him in our prayer. His name is Michael if you want to join the chorus. He has a minimum of six months of therapy ahead of him.

My brilliantly red Cardinal sits out here on the bird bath this morning just to remind me of the wondrous glory that is God. I know we Christians don't have totems but this bird is just special because it is so beautiful. Everytime I see it sitting there, it reminds me to say a prayer of thanks for the fullness of my life. Look around your world today. God has a reminder out there for you too. Have a wonderful day.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A very happy Monday to you! It is another one of those "filtered sunshine" days. There are light snowflakes blowing in a still wind. My Weather Channel app here on my Nook tells me it is 20° with a nine degree wind chill factor:--- and the Starlings are in the birdbath splashing water everywhere as they take their bath. Only God could produce the kind of physical dynamic that would keep them from freezing to death. It's amazing!

My morning amusement comes compliments of the squirrels today. There are at least six of them out there and they are chasing one another back and forth, up and down and around the trees. Four of the feeders now have a squirrel on it. They get this way on really cold mornings. Of course they have to compete with the Starlings, Blue Jay, Cardinals, and Mocking Bird. The air and the ground out there is just a constant state of motion as things come and go and flitter and flutter. We have a lot of Goldfinches here again today as well as Downy Woodpeckers, House finches, and Junkos. It almost makes one dizzy watching it all.

Like much of America, Ms. Kate and I watched the Super Bowl last night. I thought it was a good game. We were hoping the Patriots would win only because it is the team that daughter Julie and hubby are passionate about. They lived in New England for well over half of their lives so of course they are die-hard fans of any New England sports team. I'm glad the game is over and maybe the nation can be concerned about something important now. Its too bad that as a society we aren't as concerned about starving children, or violence in our streets as we are about how a pound of air got out of a football. Social media is running about as expected this morning. Haters got to hate and the game brings out all of it. Fans act like they are really monetarily invested in the teams. I guess they think they are. After all, they bought chips and dip and beer and a sixty inch wide television; therefore their team owes them a win.

My prayers go out this morning for two more of my parishioners. One is an older lady who suffered a stroke and the other is an older gentleman who had to have an emergency hernia surgery. Neither of them want visitors so I can only lift them up in prayer from here, but God knows them better than I do and God knows what they need. It seems our prayer list grows longer each week. When I think of all the millions of prayer lists that are out there across the world, and then consider that God addresses each of those prayers individually and touches the lives of each of those people, individually, I must ask myself; just how immense and great is our God? It literally blows your mind to contemplate it because we have no ability to comprehend it. All we mere humans can do is simply continue to accept God's individual love for us and know that if you lift up a prayer today: --- it will be heard and answered. How marvelous is that? Your day has already been blessed. Enjoy it.