Monday, June 29, 2015

And a glorious Monday morning to you! Throw away all those "Aww man, its Monday" thoughts and put on your glad and happy face. "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

My sidewalk is damp this morning. It was barely sprinkling when I finally turned into bed last night. Ms. Kate and I sat and watched that silly Alton Brown and Cut Throat Kitchen last night untill midnight and then she went in and played some computer games while I fiddeled around updatin my laptop computer. Ms. Kate and Julie want me to take it on our vacation this weekend. I haven't used it in maybe three or four months. By now the battery was dead and it needed about seventy five updates. But, it is fully charged now and all caught up. I seldom use it except when Ms. Kate aand I travel and now that I have this new IPad it gets used even less. ---- None of which has anything to do with my damp sidewalk. As I was saying, the sidewalks are damp this morning which indicates to me that it must have rained more than just a litte bit. The sun is coming is and out now as the clouds pass over.

We had great worship again yesterday. I had invited one of our young girls to do one of her dance routines as part of the worship service. To the best of my knowledge, that was a first and I wasn'r sure how the congregaion would react towards it. The young girl asked her friend to do the dance with her and they did a good job and it appeared to be well received. I am encouraging members of the conngregation to demonstrate their talents as part of the worship this summer. After all --- God gave them the talent, why not demonstrate it through worship of God? I think we were all also inspired by our organist once again yesterday becaue her music seemed to be especially beautiful yesterday. Ms. Brenda always does a great job, but I will tell you that there are Sundays that I believe the congregation comes to church especially prepared to worship and the Holy Spirit just lifts us up and carries us to a new level. We sing louder, we sit quieter, and after the service is over people stand and talk and laugh and enjoy the fellowship of one another's company much longer. For those Sundays; I say "Thank you Father."

It appears that I need to refill some feeders yet again. The flying pigs and the bushy-tailed rats have eaten well this weekend leaving me to do the dishes and fix their next meal. They better enjoy this week because next week they are on their own.

Our grandson, Jon, competed in his first "scooter" competition yesterday out in California and did well. The kids these days have a whole new version of the little two-wheeled "scooter" that we had back in the '50s. You rememeber those; you stood on it and pushed with one foot  and then rode it until it slowed down and then pushed with one foot again. The Amish have a version of the same thing that they use to get around on for transportation. But these thing the kids ride are much smaller and have tiny little wheels, and they do all kinds of tricks and jumps with them. It has become a sport much like riding the skateboards of the 90's. We went to the skatepark with Jon while we were out in California and watched him ride. He is really good on that little thing and scares the bejeezus out of us with his dare-devil tricks.

Time to vacate the recliner and get some work done around here. Or maybe it is simply time to sit and enjoy my cardinals and flowers a bit more. Either way, I'm done for today. I hope you have a blessed day; I already have.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ta-daaaaaa! We picked our first three tomatoes yesterday. Okay, so you have tomatoes already from your garden --- but that first tomatoe is just the best. As Martha Stewart would say; "Its a good thing."

The storms rolled through last evening. We were still up when they first began; I sat here in the sunporch and watched them and listened to them. I don't know yet how much rain we got from that round. I went to bed and never heard another rumble. I do sleep the sleep of the dead so it was probably hard for Ms. Kate to tell the difference between thunder and my snoring. Right now it is 72 degrees and a little overcast. This afternoon the cold front is to roll through and bring some much bigger storms. Hopefully they won't be as bad as predicted.

Ms. Kate and I went to the churches yesterday and did our office work. First we went to do our visitation at the nursing homes. I think I'm actually caught up with everything I need to do before we go on vacation. We came home to find neighbor Dan had come over and mowed my yard. He thought  we might be on vacation, bless his heart. I had planned to do the mowing today but I woud have been on the John Deere; he has a walk-behind. Of course, I have to use a walk-behind in my back yard because my John Deere won't fit through the gate. I felt for Dan though because the heat index was about 102 and he should not have been out there doing that.

I need to fill feeders again this morning.The birds and the squirrels have fairly well depleted the sunflower seed feeders. Right now every feeder has either several birds or a squirrel on it. I guess they feel the storms comiing in too. At the moment most of my birds are finches and sparrows and a couple of nuthatches; although they mainly stick to running up and down the trees and eating whatever it is they look for there. I'm about forty minutes early for the cardinals to come in. Perhaps I should actuaally let them finish emptying the feeders and then fill them tomorrw after the storms are done. That way I don't have seed getting wet and sprouting on in the feeders.

So, --- it is Friday, my day off; mywork is caught up; --- what to do today. I might just pull out my new Stephen King novel and read some of that. Or, I might sit and play my keyboard for awhile. I always find that relaxing to do. I could do some sermon work to get ahead; but as I said --- it is Friday and my day off. Ms. Kate says I am a work-a-holic and I guess I am or I wouldn't be thinking about what to write in my next sermon  which isn't until July 19th. Max Lucado wrote yesterrday that God created the world in six days and then God took a break --- and the world didn't fall apart because He did. His point was that you and I, not only can, but need to take a break too. As Ms. Kate says; I tend to let work consume me and I need to quit doing that. That is why may last attempt at retirement "failed".

Julie made it back from her conference safely and I offer up praise to God this morning for that. I also offer up thanks that more people weren't hurt during the violent storms that rolled through the upper mid-west this week. Homes were blown apart but people were fine.

I think, I will go pour another cup of coffee and watch my birds yet for awhile and watch the squirrels chase one another all over the yard. Have a great Friday and a relaxing weekend. God loves you and so do I.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It really is Thursday already isn"t it? This week has flown by which is opposite of what I thought would happen. I guess our days in the flowerbeds working and trying to get ahead with the church stuff, including my end of month reports and preparing for the July Congregational meetings has sucked up the hours. But that is a good thing and we have had a very productive week around here.

It is 79 degrees already this morning and the day promises to be a steamy one with heat index of 105. Ms. Margret's yard crew is out there early getting her yard mowed but I see the fellow stopping to wipe sweat frequently and it is only 0900 hours. We arre looking at storms coming in soon through tomorrow and then hopefully a bit cooler weather.  I think I'll use today to do the visitation that I didn't get to yesterday.

Slowly but surely Ms. Kate and I are winning the battle of the weeds arund here. We each spent a couple of hours out there yesterday and we can certainly tell where we have been. I need to get some mulch put down. At least now when I get ready to dig up all of the iris, we'll be able to find them. But -- we have a lot of work to do to prepare the new area before we actually move the iris. One of the big hurdles to getting into the flowerbed on the north side if the house is an out of control lilac bush. That will take some major surgery and brush haul away. In order to do that, it has to get dry enough to drive though my nephew's pasture to dup my brush load. Seems like every domino has to depend on the one before it. No wonder I'm so slow. My north side of the house and yard is my most neglected and it looks it. I could easily spend two days in there just trimming back shrubs and bushes.  And, I really should try to find some help to do it.

Some bird just knocked itself silly by flying into my glass door. It is a young black bird. It was laying on its back and barely moving so I went out and turned it over. It fluttered away about ten feet and is sitting there in the yard, I don't know if it has a broken wing or is still just stunned or what.  We'll see how long it stays there. My little bunny is here again this morning. He has moved from up by the house to a hiding spot under the azalea bushes across the yard. I have Mr. and Mrs. Fuss-a-lot, the bluejay couple here this morning. Between the two of them, they keep the starlings at bay while they take turns eating. The door banger bird has now walked off and I don't see it any more so I am assuming it will make it just fine. The song says; "His eye is on the sparrow", so God takes care of his little birds too.

It is time for me to get ready to go do my visitations before the heat of the day or the storms move in. I pray you will have a great day and will take the time to stop for a conversation with God in order to give thanks for your blessings. God is still speaking; --- stop and listen to what God has to say.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Butterflies! We have butterflies this morning flitting from one bloom to the next. That is a neat thing because we don't see a lot of butterflies around here. I'm not sure why but perhaps it is as simple as the fact that we have a lot of birds and the birds eat them. So far my visitors this morning have been mainly sparrows, a gaggle of blackbirds that came and went quickly, a few house finches, woodpeckers, and  couple of cute little wrens. And of course --- a couple of squirrels. I'm hearing the blue-jay off somewhere but haven't seen it yet and I am also hearing some other bird that I can't identify by it's sound. So, it is a bit noisy in the backyard this morning, and I love it. 

I didn't love the noise that woke me up this morning. It was loud banging aand scraping out in the street in front of the house. I got up and looked out the front windows and it looks like maybe the neighbor up the street was having a dumpster delivered. I don't know if they are going to be doing remodeling or what. Of course it is none of my business really except that I think I need to know what is going on in the neighborhood. 

My sunflower seed can is now a hundred pounds heavier since I bought two bags of feed yesterday. The price has gone up a bit. I also bought some seed cakes and cylinders for those specific feeders. Those might last a couple of weeks. So this morning, everything is filled and the buffet is fully open for business. 

We have a lot of aircraft noise this morning overhead. The Shrinerfest starts this weekend and part of that includes an airshow. There will be old time airplanes and also the Navy's demonstration team, The Blue Angels will perform. They are what I have been hearing early. I don't know why the town only seems to get the Blue Angles and are so crazy about them. I think since we retired here they have only had the Air Force Thunderbirds one time. It must go back to tradition or something since during WW II Evansville was a major builder of the Navy's LSTs. We have one of the last remaining LST's that saw action in WW II on display here on the Ohio River. Anyway, --- it would be nice to see the Thunderbirds again. Ms. Kate and I were stationed at Nellis Air Force Base which is the home of the Thunderbirds and have seen them many, many times, but I would go see them again.

Julie made it safely to Cleveland; that you Lord for that blessing. She will do a two day conference there and then head home tomorrow evening; so I'll again ask God for safe passage for her. Josh's fiance' has been having some severe tummy problems and has been in and out of the hospital. But she is home now and says she seems to be doing a bit better. I'll give God thanks for that. I plan to go do my visitation today at the nursing homes and check on those folks. I haven't seen them in almost three weeks. I talked to Ms. Charlottte's daughter last Sunday and asked her if her mom actually reaized that they had taken part of her leg and she said she didn't think so. Perhaps that is for the best. Very seldom when I go see her does she even acknowlege me even if she is awake. My other parishioner thaat is in a facility gets around good and his family takes hime places occasionally. He lives in the past a lot too and I'm never quite sure if he is talking current events or yesteryear. 

Time for me to close up this blog for today. I hope your day is a good one full of sunshine and laughter and the love and peace that only God can give. Blessings!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

At 0800 this morning it was already 82 degrees and we have a special weather statement saying that the heat index will be 100 - 105 today. I think I will not go outside and pull weeds from the flowerbed today! But --- yesterday was a productive day out there and I finally finished the one just outside the sunporch and it looks so much better. There was a very invasive plant out there, (I just call it "purple plant" because that is the color of the bloom),  that is just impossible to get rid of. It grows as tall as the phlox and intertwines itself in and among the phlox so that I had to go stem by stem to determine the difference. It will grow back --- it always does and I go through this every year. It isn't a bad looking plant at all and the bees love it. But it will wipe out my other stuff if I don't keep it under control. The flower bed looks so much brighter this morning because the sun is shining on the white of the hydrangias now that I have pulled all of the purple plant out. I filled four fifty pound bird seed bags with purple flower stems. They hydrangias were beginning to be hidden under the purple plant. The phlox will now bloom better too. 

All of my varities of woodpecker, except the pilated one, are here this morning. I filled the feeders yesterday and there are birds everywhere this morning. I really need to go to the bird feed stores today. My sunflower seed can is all but empty and I'm out of several other kinds of the foods I use. My little bunny is back again this morning and is slowly making his way over here to the house. It will come here to the porch shortly and look in jusst to examine the world that it can't enter. There were two but I only  see one these days. Either the other one has moved on or perhaps a hawk got it. Either scenario is possible. 

There is a nice breeze this morning and I have closed the door going from the sunporch to the house and opened up the doors going out of the sunporch to the yard.. It gives me a good cross breeze and will also give the porch a chance to air out a bit. It still smells "a little doogy" in here from the wet pups running in and out of here all weekend. And --- I can hear my birds so much clearer and every once in a while I get a good whiff of the star jasmine that is blooming just outside of the doors. God has provided a most beautiful morning once again. It is amazing; it is humbling to sit out here and watch and listen to the array of creatures God has made. The air literally vibrates with birdsong. The squirrels are chasing one another all over the yard, up and down the trees, across my roof, and back down into the yard. 

My prayers this morning are all prayers of gratitude for a life filled with joy and blessings. I have a wealth of friends and a wonderful faith famiy. I have a family that loves me and I love dearly, I have a home and plenty of food on the table; and I have the love and grace of God Almighty and eternal life promised through Jesus Christ. What more coud I ask for. There is one thing; I ask for safe travels to and from Cleveland, OH for Julie this week as she goes to a conference. And I ask for God's limitless blessings to fall on you. Have a blessed day.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday morning; a brand new week of all kinds of opportunities. Seven new days, each which will present a specific challenge or a specific set of blessings. I think it is truly up to us to determine which we will acknowledge. My one specific challenge this week is to finish a sermon that I am working on concerninng the death of John the Baptist. I think I told you about that last Saturday or Friday. Its coming along but painfully. Some times when a sermon is this difficult to focus on, I have to ask myself if I'm supposed to write on it. But my stubborn side seldom lets me back off of it; and the result generally turns out fairly well; --- and I generally learn a bunch of stuff from my reading and research. For instance; you may recall that it was Herod Antipas who not onlyy had John the Baptist beheaded,but  he was also involved directly with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Well, --- life didn't fare so well for old Herod Antipas. You might recall that his wife's daughter, Soleme, was the one that caused Herod to behead John the Baptist. Well, story goes that Solome was crossing a river covered with ice during the winter and she fell through and got caught so that only her head was above the ice and it was sharp enough that the ice literally beheaded her; and the soldiers brought her head to Herod on a plate just as they had John the Baptist. This caused Solome's maternal Grandfather to go to war with Herod and Herod lost the battle. As a result of that battle loss --- Emporer Caligula banished Herod and his wife to Gaul, stripping him of everything he owned.  Ms. Kate told me the other day that as much time as I spend reading and researching stuff, one would think have about learned it all. I wish that were the case. 

It is a beautiful Monday morning. The sun is shining for a change. This last bunch of rain filled my rain guage to the seven inch line over a priod of about four days. The farmers at church yesterrday were all talking about how much rain they each got and how some of the fields had flooded, and some of the corn and wheat had gone down due to wind. It sounded to me as if most of them faired pretty well. Although, the wheat is about ready to combine and there is no way they can get in the fields at this point. This week's weather forecast doesn't look promising for them either. Such is the life of the people of America who put the food on our tables.

I had a great Father's Day. Not only did the family shower me with nice gifts, but I talked to all three girls via phone and computer. Ms. Kate and I had church first thing and Julie went with us. After that we went out for a great lunch at Rz's Resturant. They were slammed with customers as I suspected they would be but the food was their usual excellent. Julie, and Jim and the pups went home to New Albany after we got home from lunch and Ms. Kate and I just relaxed at home reading our respective books. Julie bought me a new Stephen King novel and I got started on that one. I think it is going to be a good one. I love how he tends to tie his novels close to one another and this one, although a completely different story, --- begins around an incident from his novel, Mr. Mercedes. 

I've finished my devotional reading for the morning and have asked for God's guidance through my day, so now it is time to get off my duff and get some work done. The sun is shining and there is a micro-breeze blowing. Maybe I can get out in this flowerbed just out side the porch and do a bit of work before the day gets sweltering. I pray your day is full of God's blessings and that you take the time to recogniize them. If you are having a rough day; stop, breathe deeply, listen for the peace of God. As the song says, "You never walk alone."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bill has come and gone as a tropical depression in this area. I poured seven inches of rain out of my rain gauge this morning. That is what we have collected since Wednesday. And --- we didn't need a drop of it. I haven't watched the weather news this morning but my tablet tells me it is 73 degrees this morning and the sky looks as if it could continue to rain some more. 

Julie, Jim and the pupperonies did make it over last evening despite the storm. They had to stop along the way for a bit because of fog and storm but they made it here safely and that is all that counts. 

I talk about my sunporch a lot and the view I see from it every morning as  I sit down to write. Well, this is my view, and this is where I have "my spot" for peace and serenity and meditation. It is great to watch the birds and the squirrels and the seasons as they change. I am so glad we decided to put this little addition on to the house several years ago because we have certainly gotten a lot of use out of it. 

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I've had a good celebration of it already. Last week Heather and family took us out to eat at a really great place in her area. Two days ago, Ms. Kate outfitted my patio with a new Kitchen Aid grill, and yesterday Julie brought me the latest Stephen King novel. I have no doubt that I will be getting a card from Lisa today in the mail and it will most likely have a Lowe's gift card in it. All my family knows that I love Lowe's gift cards.

So, it is time for me to get busy because the list of activities for today may not be long but the places we need to go to are closed in the afternoon. So, let me wish you a great day and I will see you on Monday! Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere

It rains, it quits. It rains and it quits. We expect it to be this way until some time tomorrow with the heavy stuff moving in this afternoon and evening from Tropical Depression "Bill". Needless to say, nothing is getting done outside today. Julie and Jim are planning to come over this evening but I'm not so sure they will be able to if the rain and storms come in like are predicted. We drove through that kind of rain on our way to Nashville a couple of weeks ago and it wasn't in the least bit fun.

Ms. Kate and I went out yesterday and she bought me a great Father's Day present of a Kitchen Aid out door grill. We had planned to go to Lowes but Lowes didn't carry Kitchen Aid nor did they have their sale on yet. So, we went to Home Depot. Now, if the rain will stop I will try it out. My future son in law, John, has a new Kitchen Aid too and hasn't fired his up yet so the challenge is on to see who grills first. He bought the "Cadillac version" though so his cost per grilling session will be a lot higher. We were glad to find out that Home Depot also gives a 10% military discount. That helped bring the price down to cover the sales tax and then some.

I finally finished writing my message for next week's service. Today I need to work on my message for the Sunday we get back from Tennessee. With the rain and storms todaay it will be the perfect opportunity to do that. Now, if I can just get the words to start flowing. The scripture is from Mark 6 and concerns the beheading of John the Baptist. Making that relevant might be a challenge.

The cardinals, the wrens, and the red-headed woodpeckers are my guests for breakfast this morning. One lone squirrel came in for a little bit but it has since left. Once again I have several cardinals here. I think they like the fact that (a) I feed them, and (b) there is plenty of cover for them arounnd here. My back yard gets very little sun because of all the trees and bushes so there is always foliage to fly off into to hide. But when the sun does filter through, it is a beautiful place. Neighbor Dan and I sat out in the lawn chairs yesterday having a brew while he smoked his cigar.  He had helped me get the new grill from the store and put it in my back yard. Afterwards we sat and enjoyed the peace of the back yard and discussed what tough lives we live. LOL With me being a retired Colonel and him being a retired Command Sgt. Major; --- it was a very "Hooah" thing to do. The scene could have come out of a John Wayne movie.

It is time for me to read my morning devotional from Max Lucado and have a conversation with the Lord this morning. I'm adding to my prayer list today Ms. Christina, who is Josh's fiance. Looks like she is going to have to have surgery for a hernia so we wrap her in our love and lift her up for God's care and blessing. While I'm at it, I'll lift you up for God's blessing too. So go about your day knowing that some one has prayed for you today. Have a good day!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Just waitin' on the rain. The sun was bright about thirty minutes ago but the clouds are moving back in and we are supposed to get some more rain. The weather forecasters say between threee and four inches will fall by Saturday afternoon when this pattern moves out. It would be nice if they were wrong. But at least no body is talking severe weather like they have been having in other parts of the country. I'll give God praise for that.

The good news for the birds and critters is that I have filled most of the feeders this morning. The cardinals give up the good news because they were on the feeders in an instant. Unfortunately the squirrels watch to see what is going on and who is getting food. I can see them up high in the neighbors trees, tails a swishing and chittering that the buffet is open for business again. Yeh, --- they will be here shortly.

It is a muggy one out there this morning. No longer than I was out there feeding the birds, I was already sweating. It is only about 80 degrees but I think the humidity is matching the temperature. That really makes for miserable weather. Some where in the neighborhood I hear what sounds like people scraping off shingles and doing some roofing. I feel for them if that is the case. I can't see who is doing the work and the atmospheric conditions and all the lush greenery makes the sound travel differently and therefore hard to pinpoint. It makes being a nosey neighbor difficult and I like to know who is doing what around here.

Ms. Kate and I went out to our favorite resturant yesterday for lunch and theen went to the churches and took care of business there. We've only been away from the churches and that area for a little over a week but we were amazed at how high the corn has gotten in that time. I Indiana we talk about the corn being "knee high by the fourth of July", but it is already taller than that in some of the fields. At this rate it will be another good year. Much of the wheat looks ready to cut too. It is just too wet to get into the fields. This is a dangerous time of the year for wheat farmers because a strong wind could really do some damage by laying the wheat over flat. I have no doubt they are praying for some dry weeks about now. I made contact with one of the local produce growers that is a family from the church and asked them if they will have sweet corn by July 4th and they think they willl have. It would be great to take a few dozen down to TN for the family reunion. We would all enjoy that.

I got most of my sermon for next week written yesterday but need to finish it up today and get started on another one. I think we also need to go to Lowes today and check out new BBQ grills. Ms. Kate says she is buying me a new one for Father's Day. I want to go to Lowes because I get a 10% discount and theey will deliver it, assemble it, and haul away my old one for free. And --- they have Weber and Kitchen Aid grills to choose from. My current grill still works but not well. The insides all need to be replaced so it is time to get a new one.

So, if I'm to get anything done today I need to vacate this recliner and quit watching the birds. BTW, my Jasmine bush is blooming and it smells heavenly out there in the yard. What with the flowers that are all blooming and the smell of the Jasmine --- it is a piece of heavenly peace to be in my back yard. I hope you have the time to walk around wherever you find heavenly peace today and stop and give God thanks for that place in your life. God is good! All the time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The plans were all made and I even got up early to execute them, however, yes, it was raining and we had picked up another inch and a half of rain last night. It has stopped raining for now but the sky can't seem to decide if we will have more or not. We are experiencing the effects of tropical storm "Bill" from out of the Gulf of Mexico. But at least we haven't been hit like Texas was, yet again. I think the drought problem in Texas and Oklahoma has been solved for awhile. Anyway, my plan was to get up early and get out and pull some weeds from the flowerbeds. But instead of me pulling them out --- God is helping them grow. Do you think "it's a sign" that I should leave them alone? I could use that as an excuse; --- "can't pull those weeds, God want's them there".

I have plenty of other things to keep me busy this week and today. We have a funeral to attend today and the bulletins for the next couple of weeks to be working on. And I still have a couple of sermons to work on in order to stay up with the work. June will be gone beffore we know it.

I still haaven't filled the bird feeders and by now the birds are probably wondering if they should move on. But, there is still plenty of finch feed and safflower seed out there so that takes care of most of them. The squirrels aren't happy but I don't care.

The lilies are blooming beautifully and the hydrangeas are stunning. They are fully bloomed out and will stay nice now for awhile. Since I have them fenced in they will stay upright instead of falling over. I picked my first cucumber yesterday and the black raspberries need to be picked. The tomato plants have a lot of fruit on them but they aren't nearly ripe yet. I do wish we could go a couple of weeks with out rain though so we can get some of the yard work done that we want to do.

There is another battle going on between the big beak birds this morning. The starling and the red-headed woodpecker are fighting over a feeder that holds a seed cylinder. The funny part is that the seed sets far enough in the cage that neither of them can actually reach it. It is designed to protect the food for the smaller birds like the wrens and finches. The squirrels really get frustrated by it. Occasionally a squirrel will figure out a way to reach a bit of the food but for the most part they just crawl over and around it and then move on to something more productive.

Julie and Jim and the pupperonis are cominng over this weekend. It will be great to see them Her RA flare-ups have subsided to some extent so she is feeling some better.

I need to get busy now and be productive in some manner. Before I go I must once again stop and give thanks to the Lord for this day and all it might hold. I ask God to comfort the family of the lady that is being buried today. Her long battle with cancer has now ended and she fought bravely to live. She now rests peacefully in the arms of Christ. This morning I give thanks for the peace in my heart and soul and I pray for those who will know no peace today. May God touch them and bring them comfort. Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Good morning from the sunporch once again. We are home after a wonderfully relaxing vacation at Heather's house. We had a great visit with the family and got to watch the kids graduate. I spent hours siting in their out door kitchen/patio area. It was usually cool and there was a good breeze blowing most of the time. This morning, I'm back on the sunporch enjoying the air conditioning inside because it is already muggy outside.

Travel yesterday was a challenge. We had a 1400 hrs flight out of San Diego so we left Heather's home in plenty of time to get there, get the rental car turned in, get through security etc. That part went fairly easy. We got to the gate with the required couple of hours early. We were scheduled to go out of gate #2. The plane we were to fly out on came in with a mechanical problem; (one of the toilets was broken) so they moved us to Gate 1a and they were to bring another plane for us. We had barely all gotten to Gate 1a, and they announced that we would be moving to Gate #3. The problem there was that we would have to be escorted en' masse to Gate #3 by way of the tarmac because we had all already been through security and couldn't be allowed back in with the general populace. Oh, and by the way, Ms. Kate requires a wheelchair when getting around airports. We finally all got to Gate #3, where by the way, people for another flight are already lined up and waiting, and after about fifteen minutes they announced that we would have to be moved to Gate #6. So, we all made our way to gate #6; and it too was packed --- and there was no plane and they were "going to bring us one". Finally around 1500 hrs a plane came in to the gate and we loaded up. The plaane was filled to capacity. We departed San Diego at about 1530 hrs for our threee and a half hour flight to Nashville. Unfortunately --- about three rows behind us was an infant with an obvious altitude/air pressure ear ache and we got to listen to at least three hours on and off of the child's piercing screams and crying. Thank goodness I have a good set of noise cancelling earphones and hours of good Gaither Gospel to listen to. It drowned out probably 85% of the noise. But, I imagine there are a whole lot of us this morning saying "Thank you , Lord, for getting us home." I felt so sorry for the child, I felt sorry for the mother, and I felt sorry for all of us passengers, none of whom could do a thing about our situation.

So, today, we unpack and relax a bit. It is already sprinkliing this morning. The bird feeders are all empty and I need to go check on the garden etc. I also have work to catch up on and determine where I stand with all of that. There is always stuff to get caught back up with and in three weeks we are taking off for another vacation so that again requires working ahead. But --- I must first give thanks to God for a safe trip despite minor aggravations. It was a blessing to be able to see Heather, John, and the kids. This weekend, Julie and Jim will be down for Father's Day, and in less than three weeks we will have all three of the girls and their families together for a week of family reunion. It is jusst one blessing heaped upon another. For all of that, I give God praise this morning. I hope your day has a slot in it for counting your blessing too.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

And Saturday morning has arrived. The graduations are all over, the party is all over, the grandkids are sleeping in this morning, although they wouldn't call it that since it is only around 0730. Our day is centered around the activities of the grandkids though today. Jon has these big plans that we will go get donuts and coffee and then take him to the skate park where he can spend a couple of hours showing us all of the tricks he knews how to do on his scooter. He is pretty good on that thing a a daredevil with it, but frankly we'll see everythinh in about five minutes and the rest will just be him riding and fooling around with his friends. But it will be time dedicated to him which is important. I still remember the days many, many years ago that my Grandpa Heumann would sit in his lawn chair out under the tree in his back yard doing nothing but paying attention to me. Those are the most precious memories I have of my childhood.

After we spend a couple of hours at the skate park, we will be heading to the Lake Elsinore Motocross track to watch Lauren ride. We haven't had the chance to do that yet this week and once again --- it is nothing we haven't seen --- but it will be precious time with her. Heather and John have a wedding to go to this afternoon so the kids are ours for the day. Tomorrow they go back to their dad's house and our visit with grandkids will be over. So we'll take full advantage of it. Of course, I also know that when we get back home ---Jon will be in his room playing video games and Lauren will be in her room doing whatever she does.

It is a cool 62 degrees this morning and the air is a little damp. It isn't foggy here but there is a layer of clouds. The dew was pretty heavy last night. John needs to mow his yard but it is too early and too damp to do that. I think he plans to ride his stationary bike for a couple of hours first thing this morning. He is a long distance bike rider, and he and his bike riding buddies have a trip planned to ride from some place in Idaho to Jackson Hole Wyoming (100 miles) in one day and then ride back the next day. It wears me out just thinking about that.  That is almost all mountain riding.

This vacation is almost over and Monday we will get on the plane in San Diego and head back home. It has really been a blessing to be able to do this and to be here for the kids as they graduated from their respective grades. We are running out of kids to graduate. Matthew will graduate from high school next year in North Carolina, and then Jon will graduate in four years from high school here. God willing, we will still be around to see that too. I guess then it will be time to come for weddings and such. We rely on the grandkids to keep us young.

The 62 degree temperature has cooled off the coffee so I must go heat it up and close this out. The kids might even get out of bed sometime soon and then we must get busy being busy. Have a blessed weekend. Take time to go to church and join in with other people who are celebrating the goodness of God. Don't ever forget that every good thing in your life began with God and will finish with God. Every bad or unfortunate thing in your life can be overcome with a relationship with God. Maximize your relationship with the Lord Almighty.

Friday, June 12, 2015

I'm late this morning getting around to my blog. I think the roosters have already sung their song. We've been up and just sitting around the kitchen gabbing, and then Heather and Lauren dropped Jon off for his last day at school and they are now picking up party supplies at Sam's. Ms. Kate finished baking the cookies, -- and me --- I just held my chair down and my coffee cup up!

The graduation last night went very well. It does take awhile when there are that many graduates. I will say that being in a southern California community, the people that read off the names of the graduates certainly had to have practiced how to pronounce all of those names. The Mexican and Oriental influence was well represented. Not a lot of Joe Smiths or Susie Browns in the mix like we would have had back in Indiana.

This evening is the combined party for Jon and Lauren. We are expecting probably only about forty people to be here. The weather is perfect for the party and the setting here in the back yard and patio is also perfect. John and Heather pushed really hard to have this back patio ready for this week.

My daughter Lisa and her husband Gary also had a successful Open House at their new business yesterday. I am very proud of them and happy for them. I hope owning his own garage turns out to be everything he has hoped it would be. He certainly has the work ethic to make it a success and seems to be a sought-after mechanic. My worry is that he's not big into the paperwork side of business and is relying on Lisa to handle that. She has an MBA and can do it extremely well --- however, she also has a full time job with the State of North Carolina as the business manager for a major health care facility. I just hate to see her lighting both ends of the candle. But --- they are quasi-young, have their children mostly raised, and are walking with the Lord every step of the way. I'm very proud of them.

It is a crystal clear day here today with a nice breeze once again. The temperature is only going to about 89 today which is what is was at 0900 back home in Indiana. The lack of humidity is a blessing and makes it very comfortable, especially here in the out-door kitchen. But, as nice as it is, I still would not want to live out here. We did that for two years when we were stationed just up the road at March Air Force Base. The traffic is always horrendous, and at times during the year the smog makes it so you can hardly breath. This is where I first developed symptoms of adult asthma. So, I'll take the anaomalies that come with living in Indiana and just enjoy my occassional visits out here.

I give thanks this morning for the songbirds that are singing and the beautiful day that God has presented us with. I give thanks that Lauren has finished school and hope hat she takes on life with gusto and pray that she will have a life filled with joy and success. I give thanks that John and Heather have found one another and that it seems that they will make a very happy couple. I can't wait to come back in ten months and "tie their knot". As always, I give thanks for God putting Ms. Kate in my life. I can't imagine what my life would be like had she and I never have met. It would literally be a different world. And finally, I thank God for the peace in my soul. I thank God for allowing me to be a minor worker in His kingdom and for allowing an insignificant guy like me to spread the gospel. God is so very good.

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

It is a cool morning this morning out here in Heather's patio; 63 degrees, a bit a of a breeze, and cloudy. A dog is barking somewhere in the distance, maybe a couple of houses over; its hard to tell. Somebody is running a motor of some kind too, it sounds like it might be a piece of woodworking equipment. Who knows, it is only a guess.

I'm up before the roosters again today. I think my brain is still on central time zone because I'm waking at what would be my normal get up hour back home. It was 0630 here but at home that is 0830. Not that it matters a lot, it gives me more peaceful patio time. Heather was already up. She has to take Jon to get his braces off today. He has been waiting anxiously for this day to arrive. He walks around and won't smile so that his teeth might show his braces, so maybe now he "open up". He's a cute kid.

Lauren graduates from high school this evening. She will go straight from graduation to her dad's house or maybe it is her other grandparents house for supper and "presentation" of what ever gift they are giving her. Heather, of course is not invited, but says that what ever gift they are "presenting" will absolutely be "over the top". They have done that with each of their other grandkids. I say good for them if that is what fills their twinkie! Lauren seems to like her new job. Yesterday she not only worked on invoices for her boss, she helped tear down a motorcycle engine. She was pretty excited about it last evening. She is a very private person and such a serious kid, but last night she was on an absolute roll and laughed more than I have ever seen her laugh. It was a joy to watch.

Tomorrow we will spend the day helping Heather with the preparations for the party for Lauren and Jon. Its not going to be a huge affair; just a few friends here for some grilling and fun. I don't think either one of the kids invited very many people.

Sadly, our week here is rapidly closing. But the good news is that in less than a month, we will have all of the girls and grandkids together as we meet in Nashville for a week of family reunion. That promises to be a fun time.

Time to give God the praise and glory that God deserves and express my gratitude once again for my blessings. I know I write that every day almost but I'm convinced we should never stop being grateful  for what God does for us. I hope you will take time to do the same thing today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

We had a great day of visiting with all of the family yesterday, catching up with the grandchildren and being amazed at how much they have grown and matured. We attended Jon's middle school graduation ceremony. I had no idea how big a ceremony it was going to be. They graduated 700 kids from his class. I was shocked. I had of course been thinking in terms of my 8th grade graduation when we graduated maybe 50 of us. Then when we got to high school, we had around 400 in my 1962 high school class at Reitz. Tomorrow night, Lauren's graduating class will have well over 700 graduating too. But, I must say that the event last eveniin went efficiently and quickly. And --- I must say, the weather was perfect for an out door graduation; cloudy, no humidity, and no sun beating down on us. After the event, we went to Marie Calender's for supper since that was Jon's choice. Of course, all he really wanted was some of their cornbread. There must be some country in that California kid after all.

So, we three (Ms. Kate, Heather and I) are sitting around this morning doing our individual computer stuff and just chatting. John (Heather's fiance') is working and will get home around noon. Then this afternoon we are going to Riverside to the location they have picked out to do their wedding next April. Lauren and Jon will join us tonight. They have been at their dad's up until now as it has been "his" days to have them. Lauren is working today and Jon is at school. He doesn't actually finish school until Friday although these are all of course just meet the number of school days requirement.

Tomorrow, Ms. Kate and I are going to the track to watch Lauren ride. I do love to watch that girl on a dirtbike. She is total confidence in motion. She is really hoping to be able to tour the country riding in the professional races, but that takes an awful lot of money and she doesn't have it; so I'm not sure what she is going to do. This job she now has will help, but she really has no idea what life is going to cost her. But then, how many of us did as we graduated highschool. Life looked so good until you got your first paycheck and saw what had already been taken out of it for taxes etc. Suddenly the home you were in a hurry to "get away from" looked a bit more comforting.

It is another beautiful cool morning out here in the patio. I sat inside too long to hear the roosters this morning but the birds are chirping. Heather doesn't have a yard full of feeders like I do; in fact, she doesn't have any trees. This is southern California trac house living; --- forty feet between the houses with six foot fences separating the yards. Heather was extremely fortunate that her building contractor was willing to work with her for her individual changes that she wanted as they were building this subdivision. She has a beautiful place, but all of the things that makes her place stand out from the rest are things that she and John have done or had done on their own.

I'm keeping in contact back home through the internet and am glad to reprt that my Ms. Charlotte is doing well since her surgery. I haven't heard anything about Warren since Sunday but expect he may be gong home by today. God has blessed all of us with the success of these two operations that these flks have had to go through. We pray for continued healing and success as they go through their respective therapy.

The peace I find sitting out here is great. Only an occassional bird sings and once in awhile I hear a dog bark. And --- I just heard my roosters from off in the distance. I guess Californina roosters get up later than Indiana roosters. Probably too much partying in the hen house at night! But, one can easily find God while sitting here if you are in fact looking for God. In this silence, I offer up my prayers of gratitude once again for the joys and abundance of blessings I am favored with. I give God thanks for these two grandchildren that are each starting new adventures in life and pray they will be successful in whatever they choose to do with their future. I give thanks to God that Heather has found John and he has become a part of her life. She is happier than I have ever seen her and that is all a parent can really wish for. Ms. Kate and I won't be back to California most likely until next April when we come out for Heather and John's wedding, which by the way, I will be honored to perform.

 I also give thanks to God and prayers that Lisa and Gary's new business will be totally successful. They have their grand opening tomorrow. It has been a trip through faith to take this leap into the unknown. It is one thing to be the best mechanic youo can be and work for some one else. It is a whole new thing owning the business. May God walk with them every step of the way.

And I certainly offer prayers for better health and continued quality of life for Julie and Jim. Julie's RA is unfortunately winning the battle, one flare up at a time. She is becoming less steady on her feet and I hope they can get into a single story home sometme soon. But --- bless her heart -- she is a fighter and refuses to give into her RA and will fight the devil head on.

So --- that's my thhoughts for this most wonderful morning. I am full of coffee and full of peace in my soul. I am surrounded by love and lifted up by grace. Life doesn't get any better than that.  Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What a perfect morning this is!!! I'm sitting at the table of daughter Heather's out-door patio/room/gazeboo -- what ever she calls it. It is a fantasic place to sit and have coffee and listen to the birds and enjoy this 79 degree day. We are in Menefee California for the week to celebrate the kids graduations, -- Lauren from highschool and Jon from 8th grade.

Getting here, on the other hand, was another whole story. We left home yesterday around noon to drive to Nashville, TN. We had a 5:00 pm flight from Nashville to San Diego so that gave us plenty of time to make a three hour drive to the aorport. We knew that there was the possibility that we might run into rain on the way down so we gave ourselves plenty of time to get there. Well, --- at the Tennessee border it begaan to pour, and pour and pour some more. Traffice came to a crawl because it was that hard to see. So, for the next fifty plus miles, we averaged about 30 mph. Nerve wracking is a good description; but we made it in plenty of time to get checked in through security. Well, the storms thaat we had driven through to get to the airport caught up to us again. Weather delayed our plane coming in and we ended up siting there with a two and a half hour delay. But --- we finally got out and landed in San Diego around 10:00 pm. Then, we finally got the luggage and our rental car, which is a POC, and headed out to Heather's. We finally figured out that we had gone the wrong direction on Hwy 5 and had to turn around and go back for about ten miles to our starting point. But, --- we made it safely and that is all that counts. Poor Heather stayed up until we got here around 12:30 this  morning and then had to get up to go to work this morning.

Today our grandson Jon graduates from the 8th grade. He is a dude if ever there was one. He's got a personality that will charm you out of your socks and he's always got something going on. High school will not know what hit it when he starts in the fall. Lauren will graduate from high school on Thursday evening. She just started her first job yesterday and is working for the people that build and rebuild her dirtbike. Not sure what she will be doing but since she is a professional moto-cross racer it is a great place for her to start for a first job.

Ms. Kate and I have been sitting out here in this patio all morning and are just enjoying the solitude. Somewhere around here somebody has chickens because the roosters were crowing up a storm awhile ago. It was so neat to hear. There are a few birds singing so it sounds like home. Everyone will be home from work soon and then we'll get busy with the visitin' that we came here to do!

I'm feeling blessed today and I hope you aare too. I give God thanks for our safe journey yesterday. There were certainly a million opportunities for something disastrous to happen but we were in God's hand every step of the way.

Take time today and smell the roses in your life. God put them there for you to enjoy.. Have a blessed day.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The hard rain and thunder woke me up this morning at 0630. I could bareely see across the yard it was raining that hard. But, for now, it has stopped and the birds and critters are taking advantage of the intermission. We are supposed to have rain and thunderstorm on and off all day. Ms. Kate and I won't be here to see that though. We are getting on the road shortly to begin our vacation. Tomorrow's blog will be coming from sunny California. Heather says it will be 102 out there today! That's a bit more sunny than we need.

We had the first of our summer sessin church services yesterday. It was nice to do only one service and still get to see everybody. By alternating churches our organists get a break that is well deserved and yes, I get a break too as we don't have to set up two churches each week. And our people really seem to enjoy this summer schedule.

After church we rushed down to the hospital to be there in time for Ms. Charlottte's surgery. They were in fact running an hour and a half late so we made it there in plenty of time. Her surgery went well. They removed her leg at mid-calf level. At 102 years old and to go through that is an amazing feat. Getting her through her required therapy will be the tough part. She has alzheimers so it will take a lot of patience to get her to do anything. But, God got her through this part and will get her through the next part if that is in fact God's plan.

My blog will be short today because frankly, my thoughts are all about hitting the road. Think good thoughts today about those you come into contact with, and let give a smile to those who need it. God is good!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

And a good Saturday morning to you! What a glorious morniig it is out side. The sun is shining brightly and it is a beautiful day to enjoy God's handiwork. I'm not sure what is on the "to do" list today yet but I imagine we will get something productive done before the day is over.

I hadn't really planned to do any hospital visits yesterday but my sweet 102 year old lady from the church was admitted yesterday afternoon with a serious infection so I had to go visit her, whether she knew who I was or not. She is in the same facility as Warren so I went to see him too.  Warren is doing really well and Ms. Charlotte may have surgery on Sunday. I'd ask you to lift them both up in your prayers if you would be so kind.

My hydrangeas have really turned white this week. At the beginning of the week they were about three fourths still green. Today they are about three fourths white. It is amazing what a little warm weather will do to help things along. A few od the tall lilies are starting to bloom too. Unfortunately, we'll probably miss most of the blooms because we'll be on vacation. My tomatoes are looking good, the cucumbers are growing good and we'll be cutting some swiss chard for supper this evening. The okra hasn't done much though. It is growing, but really slowly. I have bottomless buckets around the plants to keep the rabbits from eating them. I only planted four plants and the rabbits ate the first two.  I don't recall inviting them to supper. My black raspberries are putting on good too and are starting to turn. They will be ready by the time we get home.

It would appear that either a hawk or cat got one of my mockingbirds. When I mowed the other day I found a lot of feathers out in the yard under a tree. I don't think it was a cat because they don't eat their prey where they catch it; they hurry up and carry it off to a secluded place. The hawk, however, will set right there and gobble up its meal. Tis the way of nature. ( And don't start singing "The circle of life" on me now.)

We were having the "battle of the beaks" out here in the pussy willow tree a few minutes ago. The red headed woodpecker and the starlings were going at it over the bark butter bits feeder. The starlings won because more flew in and they ganged up on the woodpecker. Of course now they are fighting each other and no body is actually getting anything to eat. As Spock once said in a Star Trek show; "Wanting is not the same thing as having."

It is time to read my devotional and offer my prayers of graatitude for this beautiful day. I hope your day is full of joy and happiness.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Another beautiful morning greets me here in the Sunporch. It is already 75 degrees and the sun is shining brightly. A squirrel has just now shown up and is looking around trying to figure which feeder it can rob with the least effort. There are a couple of grackles out here to grab some of the suet. They seem to like it best and will grab chunks of it at a time. There is nothing dainty about them.

I went to see my friend Warren yesterday at the hospital. I was amazed. He was sitting up in a chair, a smile on his face, his voice was strong and he said that he was only having minimal pain. Not bad at all for a guy who had his chect cracked open and his heart repaired only 18 hours earlier. He had been out of beed and taken his short walk twice already and was scheduled to do so again before supper. At this rate, he will do extremely well with his recovery. God is good! Just as satisfying to me was the smile on his wife, Ida's face. She has finally relaxed a bit. Some times we concentrate so much on the patient that we forget to check on the significant others. I try to remember that with my visitations.

I don't seem to have a lot of activity this morning in the back yard. There are a couple of cardinals, a couple of finches and sparrows. The grackles come and go and the squirrel is still here just kind of roaming around but not committing to anything. My only steady customers this morning are the little downy woodpeckers.

Ms. Kate and I did get the bulletins for the next couple of weeks printed and ready to go. I think we are about set for our vacation. After we finished at the churches, we went and did a bit of shopping and we went to the ATT store and purchased a new phone for Ms. Kate. It is a model newer than mine and has all the bells and whistles on it that a person needs. I never thought we would be this way but we are truly techno-spoiled! That wouldn't be a bad thing at all if we truly understood how to get the full use of all these gadgets, but we limit ourselves to the few apps that we are really comfortable with and ignore the rest. I now have a stack of used Nooks of progressively newer versions that I'm sure someone could use if I knew where to take them. It makes no sense to let them just sit here in a drawer. I should do a factory reset on all of them and give them away.

I have set here long enough. There are weeds out in the flowerbeds that are calling my name and we have some other stuff that we need to get done today including make a run back up to the churches. By this evening we are to get some more rain but I'm not sure I trust that forecast. So, I think I need to water my tomatoes and I also need to clean out the bird baths. They get pretty nasty after a bit with all of the leaves and stuff that the birds leave in them. Birds aren't very sanitary --- they poop in their bathwater.

My devotions have been read, thank you Max  Lucado for nice thought this morning. I've given God thanks for a world full of blessing sent my way that I certainly didn't earn or deserve. God is good, all the time. I praye your day will be a blessed one too.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

 A fat old robin is makiing its way around the patio out side my glass doors this morning. He runs, he stops and listens and looks around, and then he runs some more. Once in a while it stops and looks in the sunporch at me and then moves on again. Perhaps it is playing a game of some kind with my bunny because that little fellow is kind of doing the same thing. What a pleasant way to start the day. God just gives the best gifts and blessings.

I have a bunch of stuff to do today. As we spent yesterday back and forth to the hospital to check on Warren, we decided not to go to the churches and run the bulletins until today. So, there is that to take care of. We need to run two weeks worth because we are off to California next week to watch our two grandchildren graduate. Lauren will graduate highschool and Jon will move up to highschool. But that means we have to run the bulletins for the Sunday that we are gone. I have a "supply" pastor ready to fill in for me and I've created the worship service, now I just need to print the bulletins. What is it they say; "the job"s not over until the paperwwpork is done!"

Alsoon the list today is to get the yards mowed and if we have time and energy, get some more weeds pullled. The " queen of Round-up", Ms. Kate, sprayed a bunch of the stuff yesterday. and we finally made a bit of head way in the front flowerbeds this week. It looks a lot better. Ahh, for the days we lived in the Philippines and I had a "yard boy" who kept my yard meticulously trimmed and my boots polished and car washed for the meager sum of $20.00 a week. Believe it or not, that was "big" money at that time.

The surgery went perfect yesterday for Warren in case I had not told you. I am no less amazed today than I was then at what God allows us humans to do, and I am just as amazed at these bodies that God has created to hold our soul as we temporarily walk around this magnificent planet He created. As traumatic as that surgery was to the body yesterday, the nurses will have Warren up and walking today. It is just unbelievable. I've said it before and I'll say it again a million times; "God is good, all the time!"

All of my feeders are full this morning and the gang is making good use of them. I haven't had any squirrels yet today but it is just about the time of day that they arrive. Ms. Margret's yard crew is over there mowing her yard which tells me that the grass is dry enough alreaady this morning to mow. Ms. Margret doesn't like any "grass clumps" in her yard so it better be dry. There are two downy woodpeckers out there in the pussy willow tree and one is getting food from the bark butter feeder and is feeding the other one. How sweet is that?

The coffee cup is empty and I must get busy. I've read my devotional, had my chat with God, (okay, I talked and God listened), and the laundry should be done in the dryer so I can pull out my favorite pair of jeans and get dressed.

God has given me a beautiful day in which to do some thing for other people so I need to get on that. I hope you will take the time todo something for someone today too! Have a good one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

0500 was my get up time today, or at least that was what was scheduled on my alarm clock. The  problem is that when I set an alarm, I am almost always up before it goes off. And that was the case again today.  My parishioner was to be wheeled out to the surgery ward at 0645 and I needed to be there well in time to have prayer with he and his family. I made it in plenty of time. He is in surgery as I sit here. It will take about five hours to do the double bi-pass and aorta valve replacement. They have a lot of family there at the hospital with Ida, his wife so I stayed for about an hour and a half and came on home. I'll go back to the hospital in a couple of hours and wait with her until the surgery is complete.

I spend a fair amount of time in hospitals doing visitation with parishioners during and after surgery. I never cease to be amazed at the procedures that doctors are able to perform. For this procedure today, they are going to open up this man's chest, stop the flow of blood to and through the heart by artificial means while they open up the heart itself and replace part of it. For the bi-pass places, the will take veins from other parts of the body and use them to reroute the blood flow in the bad spots! To the doctors this may be decades old surgery, and it is, but I sincrely hope they are as amazed at what they are doing as I am, and I sincerely hope they never lose that ability to be amazed. I hope they never forget that God is the surgeon, they are the instruments of His handiwork. Without God's nod of approval, they would never be able to do a bit of that.

I also give God thanks for the caregivers and nurses that will be careing for him after his surgery. I was there when his morning nurse told him that  she was about to get offf of work but would be back this evening to take care of him. Warren responded thaat he hoped he would be there for him to take care of; and she fired right back to him, "don't you worry, you will be." That was exactly the reassurance he needed at that moment, and I really appreciated hearing her do that.

I still haven't filled my bird feeders and by now they really need it. I'm sitting here watchcing a squirrel do its best to defeat the wire cage that I have a seed cylinder in. It is trying to chew through some heavy gauge wire and then it tries to reach way through and peel off a few sunflower seeds. Finally it just gave up. But --- it will be back. I will go out later and fill the feeders and make everybody happy again.

Ms. Kate and I got some quality weed pulling done yesterday. Now we need to get out there with the Round-up sprayer and spray it around. I also got another sermon written yesterday so it was a productive day afterall.

It is about time for me to head back to the hospital so I am signing off for today. Watch for the miracles in your life today, I guarantee you there will be some. Say a prayer for someone today; I just said one for you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another gloomy morning; it's cool, cloudy, and has rained at least some time during the night because the sidewalk is still wet.  It's the kind of morning out here that invites a person back yo sleep. It is still outside with very little breeze at all. I don't hear much bird song except in the distance. In fact, the only true sound I hear is what sounds like a Piper Cub airplane being run up over at the airport. That is a mile from here but sound travel far in certain conditions. On the other hand, it could also be someone mowing in the next subdivision.

The hydrangea blooms are turning from green to white very slowly.  Since I have my fence around them, they really stand up tall this year. However, the knockout roses are even taller than that and some of the lilies are just as tall. It makes for a pleasant scene as I sit here with my coffee. It appears that I must fill some feeders again today.

The young child I spoke of yesterday passed away around mid-morning. I feel so sorry for the parents for the loss of their child; and yet I praise God that the child and the parents won't have to deal with the child suffering a lifetime with irreparable brain damage. The fact that people had already set up a fund to help the family monetarily is a good indicator that there was no way they could have afforded long term care of that nature, plus they are already facing the cost associated with the father's broken neck. I pray their faith is strong.

I took care of some of my "got to do" list items. I had to do a little banking and checking on things from my mother's estate. I' still getting bills to be paid. So I also went by the hospital to check on that bill possibility. So far I haven't even received any of those infamous "This is not a bill" notices. But they told me that her two claims are still out to Medicare, and that takes forever.

The other thing on my list was to get this weeks sermon written an I finally finished that around 10:00 last night.  I have one more to write this week before we go on vacation next week. I will most likely be at the hospital for four or five hours tomorrow as my parishioner has his heart surgery. Maybe I can put some thoughts together then. I have Microsoft Word on this thing but I will have to ask Julie how to get it from my iPad to my computer. We old dogs aren't quick at new tricks.

It is time for me to get busy. I need to take Ms. Kate for her blood work this morning and maybe we'll swing over to Denny's for breakfast after that. I hope your day is an exceptional one full of joy and peace. But regardless of whether it is or isn't--- take the time to thank God for it.

Monday, June 1, 2015

58 degrees and off and on rain with a stiff breeze this morning. What's that all about? This is the first day of June, not the first day of March. The sun is not expected to break through at all today. So, that means no outside work today but maybe I'll finish my sermon for this coming Sunday. I'm almost done with it but I keep re-writing it. I would have been done days ago if I had left it alone, but I wasn't satisfied with the the way it read.

We had good worship yesterday during the services. Next Sunday we begin our summer worship schedule with only one service on a Sunday, and I think people are excited about that. I'm getting some special things lined up for the services and I need now to sit down with my calendar and map it out.

We went out and did parishioner visitation yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately doing that tends to have the opposite of the desired effect on me and I find it depressing. One person that I visit has no idea who I am or why I'm there. Another person I visit, might be thinking in the present or may be totally focused on some point in the past and so often that person seems to have angry moods and thoughts. So, I'm never sure if my visits or prayers actually reach them.

This morning I lift up prayers for one of our people who went in the hospital to have what he hoped was a minor situation taken care of. He will be having a couple more tests run today but instead of something minor, it appears he may be having a double or triple bi-pass surgery and his aorta valve replaced.  God certainly was looking after him. What he thought was a minor heart flutter was God giving him a message. God does work in mysterious ways.

I also pray this morning for the family that rents one of our personages. Through some kind of an accident, a tree limb fell on the man and his daughter. The man has a broken neck but is expected to recover in time. The one year old child though must have been hit directly on the head. As of last evening it was not a hopeful prognosis that she will live. But--- God again works in mysterious ways. We mortals can only pray and trust in the grace of God. And, even in our darkest hours we must trust that God is there and what ever happens to this little girl and her dad, will be to the glory of God. But it take a faith of iron to always accept that in the throws of fear and crisis. I pray for God to give them strength.

I have lots of backyard company this morning; cardinals and finches mainly. A couple of squirrels were here but they come and go. We have had three short showers since I have been writing this, none of which got the sidewalk totally wet but are just enough to keep the yard wet. I guess that is my cue to get down to my office and get busy. Have a blessed day. God loves you, so what more could you hop for?