Monday, February 29, 2016

Oh happy day! It's a beautiful 41 degrees out there on this sun shiny morning. The weekend is over, the celebrations are all done with the exception of some clean-up yet to be finished and putting a few things away. Ms. Kate and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in true style. All three of the girls came in to celebrate with us on Saturday afternoon. We had about forty friends for dinner at our favorite resturant on Saturday evening and then after church yesterday we held a luncheon for the entire parish in the annex of one of our churches. We had so very many well wishes and a lot of love spoken throughout the weekend. God has truly blessed Ms. Kate and me. Now, it is back to reality and taking care of business. The girls all left yesterday afternoon and spent the night at Julie's house. She then took them to the Louisville Airport in time for 0700 flights this morning. The great news though is that we will all see each other again in late April for Heather's wedding, and then Ms. Kate and I will see Lisa and her family in June for Matt's graduation from high school.

My bird feeders are empty --- again! There have been blackbirds covering my yard all weekend. They have eaten all the sunflower seed from the feeders and cleaned out the bark butter feeders. There is only a partial suet cake left in one of the feeders and a seed cake that is in a cage so that only small birds can get to it. So, some time today, I need to get out there and re-fill everything. We also need to go back up to the church and pick up the rest of the stuff from yesterday. The weather is supposed to give us another roller-coaster week of cold and hot, rain, snow, and sunshine so we need to pick our days to get out and about. This week is the beginning of meteorlogical spring and we are promised that March will "come in like a lion", as they say. I reckon we shall see. Hopefully it will "go out like a lamb."

Today is the 29th of February which of course only happens every four years. So, if you were born on this date 24 years ago, you would be celebrating your sixth birthday today. How weird would that seem?

I'm still rumbling around trying to find a good sermon thought for the 13th of March. I have this idea playing around in the back of my head but it isn't getting very far. But it has to come tumbling out of my head soon. Time is running out.

It is time for me to get up and busy for today. There is too much to do to just sit here and enjoy myself while I watch these beautiful cardinals flit around the yard and listen to the blackbird fuss because there isn't feed for them. Before I quit though I must take a few moments and finish my devotions for the morning and give God praise and thanks for this day and all that it holds. God is so good. Have a blessed day.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What a beautiful day! The sun is bright although it is only 34 degrees but it is going up to 61 today.  But, today is a big day. Julie, Heather, and Lisa are all coming in today. This evening we are having an anniversary celebration dinner at our favorite place to eat with about forty of our friends. Yesterday was our 50th wedding anniversary and it is a weekend of celebration. last evening, Neighbor Dan and his wife Minh had us over for dinner and wine. They are good folks.

So, I never got around to writing yesterday. We started rather early going to the florist, then to the grocery and to breakfast. From there we went to the church and spent most of the day preparing for Sunday. Not only are we having the dinner tonight, --- tomorrow we are hosting the entire parish for a luncheon after my second service. That should be for between 80 - 100 folks. This morning we need to go to Sam's Club and pick up two sheet cakes and then to Dewigs and pick up the meat trays. We also have some other decorating things to handle at the church. Then, it is come back home and get ready to head to the resturant by 5:30 pm. Or maybe we'll just head out a little later to do our running around and go straight to the dinner. That would make more sense and save about fifty miles of driving.

The yard was full of blackbirds when I came out here this morning. As always, the starlings are the worst. They are stripping anything that has barkbutter in in it. Most of the other feeders are still full, although I could certainly fill some back up.

I have been so looking forward to our 50th anniversary. It seems like such an accomplishment, and assuming our health holds out, we could see a 60th, and actually even a 70th.  That sure would be something. So, that is next goal; to make 60 years. But, if we passed away tomorrow, we would have had a life full of blessings, and I'm so grateful for every one of them. Ms. Kate and I were talking the other day and we can honestly say that we neither feel that we ever had a "bad spell" in our marriage. We had some rough times certainly, for lack of money or because of military deployments and separations --- but she and I never had a bad spell that threatened our marriage in any way. We have always loved and respected one another and I believe that is the key to our success. And --- we've always had God in our relationship. We may not have had the church in our relationship --- but we always had God as our guide. We taught our girls the value of family togetherness and that together, we can do anything. So, all glory to God and thanks for God's blessings. Now on to sixty!  Have a blessed day.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

And a blessed Thursday morning to you. If there is to be any sunshine today it is going to have to come from from within our hearts because the sky certainly isn't fesssing up any this morning. It's a cloudy grey morning, but it isn't raining and we didn't get any snow that was predicted. So, let's start with with thanks to God for that.

Ms. Kate and I went to the churches yesterday and we got the bulletins and newsletter run and the church set up for this coming Sunday. We stayed for choir/cantata practice. I love that we are doing a cantata, and admittedly I am the driver behind that,  but I don't like that all of our choir practice is taken up by the cantata. The choir has only done the Christmas cantata and sang one other Sunday since we started back in September. We should really be able to do better than that.

There are lots of empty bird feeders out there this morning so I know what one of my chores is going to be today. I also need to do a yard walk-through and pick up twigs and branches again today now that the wind has died down some. There is one branch hanging precariously from the poplar tree and it is just out of reach. I might try to somehow knock it out of the tree if I can do so without boinking myself in the head. It looks to be about six feet long but is thin and dead, so it will be light if it does fall on me.

My stack of limbs is really starting to stack up and I need to get it moved and gone. Ms. Kate told me that it is sitting on the astilbe plant, (what ever that is) so I need to move it before that starts coming up. The sad part about moving it is that it really provides a great shelter for the cardinals and other birds. But, the fire bushes will begin leafing out before too long and the cardinals and their friends can hide in there. I was out there a couple of mornings ago walking around and there is so much raking to do this spring again. But not today.

Ms. Kate and I have some more work to do at the church today and some other running around to do. I also need to do some writing but I'm not in the mood to do it. I sat down last night and read the scriptures from the lectionary for the 13th of March which the week I'm working on. I read it, re-read it and read it again and got nothing. I was totally blank. So, maybe after we do our other work today, something will pop into my brain as an idea. It sounds terribly pious of me to say that I need to wait until God tells me what to say; --- but the truth is that without His help, I woudn't be able to write a single sentence. So, Lord, I need a nudge again to get started. Or, I could get started on on the 20th of March. That will be Palm Sunday and will be much easier to write about.

I'm lifting up folks in my prayers this morning who are going through trials. We have several on our prayer list that are going through some habitation for one thing or another. I just heard from my sister-in-law that one of Ms. Kate's cousins had a heart attack, and I lift up my sister who is now at the four month period of her grief from the loss of her husband Byron. For each of these people I ask for God's touch of peace and strength. I'm also lifting up prayers for safe travels for our three girls who are making round robin trips to see us this weekend. It will be wonderful to have all three of them here. Ms. Kate and I are so very blessed. With that, I will wish you the best possible day you can have. Trust in the Lord and walk with Jesus. You'll love the trip. Shalom.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

There will be no sunshine today. It is raining and we have reached our high today of 39 degrees already. The rain is to turn to wet snow later today. Old man Winter has a single finger up and he's not counting to one!

Unfortunately, the weather can't stop our plans for today. It is Wednesday and that means we need to go to the church and get our work done and then stay for choir. I hate that our folks have to get out in this but that is the way it is. Hopefully the temperature will stay above they freezing point as predicted and the snow won't stick.

The rain hasn't dampened the spirit of that Robin that is hopping all over the yard. It's pulling worms up left and right. Nor has the rain stopped the rest of my fine feathered friends. The cardinals, finches and woodpeckers are all here for breakfast. So far the blackbirds are not here, but I suspect they will be in another hour or less.

The wind has been and will continue to be stiff today. Once again I have twigs and dead branches down from the poplar tree. God is doing a marvelous job of trimming all of that stuff out for us this winter. I just hope I don't get hit by one of them when I'm out there. Some of them are substantial. When the rain has stopped, as it has at the moment, and you can hear the slight wind blowing and the Corinthian chimes ringing, it is quitely peaceful and can just lull you back to so closed eyelids. We have two sets hanging in the pussy willow tree and I absolutely love to hear them. Their sound is quite melodic and pure. The church I grew up attending has a set of Corinthian Bells that play every fifteen minutes and then strike the hour. One can hear them for a long way and it is beautiful.

I didn't have to wait long -- the blackbirds are here en masse. I could hear them coming by all of their clacking and noise. They flutter down and they fly away and repeat the process continually until by some signal --- they all leave. It is interesting to watch.

Ms. Kate and I both had highly productive days yesterday. She has been doing "spring house cleaning" and has turned this place upside down. Bless her heart. The place looks so good. The only danger zone is her office. She has so much craft stuff in there from her scrapbooking and her greeting card making that I'm afraid the floor might give way. I don't know how she finds anything but it meets her needs. But --- she needs about three times the space that she has.

I'm out of thoughts for today except for prayers for you and me. I pray you will feel the power of the love of Jesus Christ today. If and when you do, I pray you will share that love with someone else. Life is too short to walk around with anything less than love in your heart. You never know when life may end and you wouldn't want your last living thought to be on the wrong side of God.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A sunny, currently cloudless, 41 degree day greets me this morning. That is great to see because the next couple of days are not going to be very good. Lots of rain ending with  some snow is in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday. Then we are back to the middle 50's again for the weekend. Yep, winter is giving birth to spring. Last night we had an absolutely beautiful full moon. It is called a "Snow moon" according to Native American lore. It was bright enough that it was possible to read by it.

The cardinals really look beautiful this morning as the sun glistens off of them. I see a few of the goldfinches have started to turn just a bit more yellow. Actually the sun makes the grackles more beautiful. They are what I call a blue/black and when the sun hits them just right, that dark blue really stands out. I think they call that color "indigo blue", but -- since I'm quasi-color blind, what do I know. I can see colors, but I have what is called a green deficiency which means that anything that has green as part of its color make-up is skewed in color to me. Most things that are "light green" are just brown or grey to me me. I'm probably the only kid in school that got a "minus" in coloring. ----But --  color is starting to return to my back yard in one fashion or an other. The starlings however, are still "no value added", sunshine or not! When the winter brown is all that is evident out there it doesn't inspire much. As much as I don't like snow, it is a beautiful sight when everything is covered with it. But like most folks, I am ready for spring. Most of the daffodils are up about four inches now. I haven't seen a tulip pop through yet though and neither have the crocus.

I'm half way through with my sermon for the first Sunday in March and I need to finish that today. I don't think we have any running around to do today so I should be able to dedicate the day to writing stuff.  I hope to not only finish that sermon but also put together a few more worship services for the month of March. I'm just trying to get ahead of the game a little bit.

If I'm going to get ahead, I need to remove my self from this chair and move to my office downstairs. Before I do though I must take time to offer up prayers of gratitude for such a beautiful day, for a family that loves me, for reasonably good health, for friends like you, and for the privilege God has given me to pastor two of His churches these past almost twelve years. My life is blessed and if I died today I think it could be said that I lived a good life. I often take stock of my blessings and I know that I certainly have done nothing to be this rewarded. So, I can only humbly give thanks to our loving and grace-giving God. Have a blessed day.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday, February 22nd; Happy 30th Anniversary to our oldest daughter Julie and her hubby Jim. I hope they get to have another thirty years together. When I think about it, there is no reason to think they won't. Afterall, Julie would only be 78 years old and I think Jim would be 80. So, it is possible.

All is quiet in the back yard for the moment. The gaggle of blackbirds came through and cleaned up the yard under the feeders again. I don't see them at the moment but I can hear them up in the top of the poplar tree. So now, the cardinals, the mockingbird, finches and woodpeckers all get their turn until the blackbirds swoop back down. When the blackbirds land, they remind me of the character Batman by the way they just kind of float down.

We had a good weekend and Sunday. The services were fairly well attended and the weather was nice. Saturday was a picture perfect weather day. Yesterday was a little cooler but still nice. But the weather of course is going to go back down hill for a couple of days this week with much cooler temperatures, rain and maybe even a bit of snow. It is what it is. The old preacher's line is; I'm in sales, not production. The good news is that we have flowers coming up in every flowerbed and within a month, I suspect we'll be seeing daffodils blooming everywhere. I looked this morning to see if we have any crocus blooming yet but I didn't see any. I always look for that first crocus because it is the first anchor of spring. I know they will bloom in the snow, but they have a hold on the changing of the season and when the snow melts, the crocus is still there . I think I is possible that the crocus might make a better Easter flower than the lily. It lives on regardless of whether it gets snow covered or not. When the darkness is gone, The crocus is the light still standing.

Speaking of Easter; the month of March is but a few days away. There will be extra services to prepare; a Maundy Thursday Service and a Sunrise service. All of that is approaching rapidly and I need to get busy preparing ahead. I'm also needing to prepare ahead for April because we are taking two weeks of vacation in April. So the next few weeks will find my body tied to a computer downstairs in my office.

We have begun planning a bit more seriously for our trip to California in April. I made the hotel reservations for all of us there in Murrieta, CA for the four days that we will be there foro the wedding. I was disappointed thata the price of our room went up by a hundred dollars a night just because it was Friday and Saturday. But, it is standard practice --- and they can easily get it. It just seems morally wrong somehow. It's not like the hotel will provide a hundred dollars more worth of services on those two days. Any way --- now Ms. Kate and I need to plan the rest of the trip.

My cup is empty which is a good sign I need to get up out of the recline and start getting some real work done. I hope you have a most wonderful day. Never doubt that God is good; -- all the time. Talk with God often during the day.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I don't now the last time we had 57 degrees in the morning, and going to 72 today. And unlike yesterday, the world isn't blowing away in the wind. It is just a beautiful sun shiny morning. I think I must get outside today at some point. The ground is soggy still from melting and tonight rain isn't going to help that any. For sure I have to go out and fill all of the feeders again and I also need to do a yard sweep to get all of the dead limbs and twigs that have come out of the poplar trees this week because of the wind. My pile is getting taller and when it gets warmer I need to load up the truck and take all of this stuff out to Kevin's farm and dump it in the woods. Actually, I wish I had a fire pit and could just burn it in that. It would make a nice wiener roasting fire. But, I don't have a place to build a fire pit. Often I just pull the trash can around and break the stuff up into small pieces and let the trash man haul it off. I might do that again but it will take a few weeks to get rid of it at that rate.

The girls, Ms. Kate, and I are all on the net this morning holding a conversation. The group is called "The Committee" and we do this routinely. I love it. It's like sitting around the kitchen table visiting and I don't have to drive. We've been talking most of the morning; we come and we go and we join back in the conversation. Thank you technology.

I've been also sitting here watching my birds, playing my computer games on my IPad and listening to Alan Jackson on the Bose. I was up until 0100 this morning simply because I was busy watching YouTube videos of the Gaither Homecoming Concerts. I hadn't planned to stay up that long but next thing I knew it was 0100. That happens frequently. last night I watched a George Strait show called The Cowboy Rides. Away. I think it was a farewell program before he starts a one year hiatus. I really enjoyed it.

It would appear that the family is all ready to get busy with their respective day and even Alan Jackson is on the last song of this album so I guess I better quit too and get productive. God has provided an excellent day; don't forget to give God praise for a day like this. Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The wind is whipping this morning at a steady 29 mph. The birds are having a little trouble staying aloft when they take off and sometimes when they try to hang on to the feeders. It is supposed to be this way all day but the temperature is going to be warm.

We never did get out to do our runnimg around yesterday until late last night and then we just ran down to Target and picked up a few things on the list. Today we are going to meet some friends for lunch so maybe after that we'll go do a little more running around after lunch. We for sure need to get up to our butcher shop and pick up some German Bologna. That is some good stuff. Our butcher and his wife may be heading out to Germanay in a month for an international competition with their sausage. They just just took top honors at another international competition here in the United States and have now been invited to go to Germany. We are really proud of them. The family is a fourth generation meat processing family, but this youngest couple have really put them on the map. And they are such great people too. We are lucky enough to have another butcher shop here in Evansville that is real good too but they don't hold a candle to Dewigs.

Ms. Kate is busy sorting pills today. It is a job she hates to do because it is rather tedious. I think she takes almost 20 pills a day and has these pill containers that hold a weeks worth. She tries to line them up for at least a month or five weeks at a time. So that takes quite awhile. But --- it all keeps her alive and hopping so that's what needs to be. I am so very fortunate (knock on wood) that I have such few meds that I have to take; four pills a day and a couple of inhalers every day. We are also lucky that we have very excellent insurance.

I can smell that delicious oder of fresh baked brownies coming out of the kitchen. How great is that?? Ms. Kate sure does spoil me. She said the box of mix was in the way. So she just fixed it. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable explanation to me. One of the things we picked up at Target last night was a couple of cans of fruit cocktail. She has been making jello for us with fruit in it. It is something that we both love and makes a great snack. We've also been having Rice Krispie treats that she makes. I love those silly things. They don't amount to much but I could sit and eat a pan of them. Sometimes we'll buy one of those huge ones at Sam's and snack on that for a week.

It is time to get showered and do a couple of things around here before we head out for lunch. As I do, I offer up prayers that you will have a blessed weekend. God provides so very much in our lives that we should never have a day that we are not grateful to be alive. Take time to stop and give thanks to the Lord today. Peace.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

It would be absolutely wrong of me not to start this day off with a prayer of gratitude for that beautiful cloudless blue sky out there. It's going up to the low fifties today and what a great thing that is after nine straight days of cold and gloomy and snowy and rainy. I know that God makes all of our days but this is the kind of day I'll bet the Psalmist David was having when he wrote, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Yesterday, as projected, was a busy one but we managed to get almost everything on the list accomplished. It ws really a good day for my visitation. I ws able to share communion with seven people. It has been a long time since I have been able to do that. That is a good thing because it means we haven't had anybody home bound and unable to come to church to receive communion at church. And those couple of folks who were unable to receive communion are or were mentally unable to understand what it would have been about, so I just prayed with them. I don't know how other pastor's handle it, but I don't serve communion to people who have no idea what you are trying to give them or understand what you are saying to them. But, like I said, I do sit and pray for them.

Ms. Kate got all of the bulletins run and folded while I was out doing visitation. Then we stayed around for choir practice which I think went very well. I really like the cantata we are doing for Easter. It is quasi-operatic and has some beautiful music. I need to get busy and put together a narration to go with it. The cantata is one we pulled out of the bottom drawer. I think they last did it in the sixties or seventies. There are some scriptures typed up on some small pieces of paper attached to the book that I have. Maybe they used that as narrative back then; I just don't know. I just need to look at it.

We need to still make our small grocery run today. We're also getting some housework done today; changing sheets on the beds, mopping bathrooms and kitchen; stuff like that. All three of our girls are coming in next week and we need to spruce up the place. It will be a whirlwind trip for them and us but we are so looking forward to it. There will be little time and lots of discussion about Heather's April wedding.

I don't have a lot of backyard visitors today. I can hear the blackbirds off in the trees so I suspect they will be floating down out of the trees shortly. While we are out today, I guess I will pick up some black oil sunflower seed. My container holds 100 pounds and I'm down to about 30 pounds left in it. Hopefully the weather will continue to improve and these freeloader blackbirds and starlings will move on. That will reduce the amout of birdfood I have to go through immensely. I also need to go by Wildbirds and Things for some of my other kinds of food.

So,  it is time for me to get busy, the day awaits and there is work to be done. I hope that your Thursday is just the best one you have ever had! Peace.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's cloudy and37 degrees this morning although my accuweather forecast says we will have a mostly sunny day. I'm looking forward to mostly sunny as are most people I suspect. The blackbirds are back again this morning in force. They were gone for most of the morning yesterday and it was nice seeing just my regular birds having a chance at the feeders without having to fight the "big beaks". But then by afternoon they had discovered full feeders and in they came. However, --- despite my fussing about them, I'll say this; they have certainly cleaned up all of the residual seed that the other birds and squirrels have knocked and spread all over the ground under the feeders. I knew at some point after the weather turned nice and the ground dried up I was going to have to take my rake and shovel and clean up the piles of stuff out there. But -- the blackbirds have taken that bunch of stuff all the way down to bare ground. So, once again, --- things I fussed about turned out to be a blessing after all.

We have a lot of running around to do today. Ms. Kate is out of ink for her printer. We just bought her  some black ink a couple of days ago and she knew her colored inks were low but thought she had more. She didn't and now she can't print because she is out of colored ink even though what she wants to print is in black. What can I say? It's how the machine works. So, Office Depot is an early stop. Then the grocery store and pick up some creamer for her coffee. We have a meeting at 1300 hrs and then to the church for some work, (it is Wednesday you know), and later this evening we have choir practice and I have visitations with communion to do in between all of that. What will I do in lieu of all of that when I actually retire?

I finished putting together my sermon for the 28th late last night. It took me a long time and I'm not sure I really said what I meant to say or even like it. I'll need to read it over again today or maybe tomorrow and see if it makes any sense, then maybe have Ms. Kate read it. She's a good judge of my messages because she is an honest judge of my messages. As much as I love my parishioners, I know that all of my messages can't be that good and yet almost every week I'll have folks come up and tell me how much they enjoyed my message. But this one I finished last night --- well I just don't know. I have an idea rumbling around in the back of my brain but I don't know if it transferred through my computer key board. I've been known to just hit delete on the whole thing and start fresh and I don't want to have to do that. I already did that once in the middle of this message.

Despite the snow, despite the temperature and frozen ground, --- the daffodils and tulips are still coming up. When God sets a plan in motion --- the plan continues. As someone wrote on Facebook -- there are only four more Monday's left in winter! So, it is time to stop writing and take time to give thanks to God for a world of blessings such as yard cleaning blackbirds and brave daffodils. One can find a blessing in most anything if we just take the time to look and appreciate. I hope you will take some time for that today. Don't go so fast on your trip through life that you miss the journey. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The fog is thick again this morning and I love it. I've always loved foggy mornings. The air is fairly still and the fog dampens all sound. One goldfinch is eating from the thistle seed feeder and that is the only bird I have out there this morning so far. I expect the cardinals will be flying in shortly although in truth, there isn't much left for them to eat. The snow is about 99% gone from my yard so I should go out and fill everything up again. I'll need to find my boots because the yard is going to be a mushy mess and I'll be dragging hulls etc from under the bird feeder around with me, and I'm sure Ms. Kate doesn't want that in the house and on the carpet. Today's forecast calls for rain turning to snow; a lovely thought. So, I might as well get everything filled up again if I want to continue to enjoy my morning critters.

I started reading an interesting book last night written by John Dorhauer who is the General Minister for the United Church of Christ, in other words the "President" so to speak of our denomination. It is far more interesting than I thought it would be. I bought it because several of the pastors in our Pastor's Circle were wanting to do a book discussion on it. Dorhauer is discussing what he sees as the future of the denomination as a whole and more importantly what he sees as the future of "The Chuech" in this post modern reformation. Unfortunately, it is a fact that the church we baby boomers grew up with is headed for its death bed and if The Church is to survive, there will need to be some major paradigm shifts. I'm enough of a realist to see that picture right in the two churches that I serve.  It is a sad thought but the church buildings that sprang up everywhere after WWII now house congregations that can no longer afford to maintain them.

But enough on the dreary subjects for today. The fog is lifting and the cardinals and the mockingbirds have come in. The junkos are running around pecking at the ground cleaning up after the mess the blackbirds left yesterday. I counted ten cardinals out there and even though the sun isn't shinning on them, they still look beautiful. It looks like I may have to go get some more safflower seed. The dang blackbirds cleaned out that five pounds of food pretty quick. I might as well pick up another fifty pound bag of sunflower seed too because the can is over half empty. I need to re-hang a couple of suet feeders that the squirrels knocked down. If I don't fill the feeders, they will tear something else up trying to get the last crumb of food out of it.

So, I'm off to do my duty and take care of God's pets. I'm glad to do it for the joy I get out of watching them and feel blessed to be able to do it. I hope you find joy in whatever it may be that you are doing today. God loves you and so do I. Never forget that the Holy Spirit is your constant companion waiting to lift you up when needed. Have a blessed day.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy brand new week! It is s foggy morning as the temperature tries to slowly climb and the snow pack melts a little bit. We didn't get much snow here; maybe an inch or so. But when it came, it came hard and quick. We left for church at 0800 and it wasn't snowing at all. By the time we finish first service at 1000 hrs, it was blowing and snowing a really fine snow. But by the time we finished second service and a council meeting, the roads were slick and treacherous. Travel was down to forty miles an hour except for the idiots. We only saw one guy off in a ditch on the way home but news folks said there were slide-offs everywhere. By 1600 our part of the snow was over and there was maybe an inch or maybe two on the ground. So, I jumped on the Deere and cleaned our drive, neighbor Dan's drive and the street to the top of the hill. Today it is supposed to get up to forty degrees which should help to melt most of what we have on the ground.

I still have a yard full of blackbirds of all varieties. They have cleaned out most of the feeders and are eating mostly suet now. I can see there is still a small amount of sunflower seed in a couple of the feeders but the blackbirds and the mockingbird are having battles over those. And even the squirrel is trying to eat from a suet feeder. It also came and took a bite of the hot pepper feed block I have out there and I got the exact reaction that I was hoping for. The birds could care less about the hot peppers  in it but Mr. Squirrel sure didn't like it. The cardinals are here this morning and they are finding stuff to eat. They really look pretty against the snow. Obviously there is enough seed and feed on the ground in the snow for the birds to eat or the blackbirds would have moved on and they certainly have not.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I had hoped Ms. Kate and I could go out for a nice dinner or supper but we stayed in because of the weather. I'll sure be glad when it starts to warm up and this snow stuff gets over. But then, a warm fire place and a Ms. Kate cooked meal is better than going out anyway.

This week looks to be fairly uneventful. Hopefully no one I know passes away this week. I don't have any extra meeting scheduled that I know of and no classes to attend. I' got started, barely, on my sermon for the 28th of February last night. I should have plenty of time to write that one and then start on March services. I would love to get several weeks ahead but that seldom happens. But, although it is still February, it isn't that long until Ms. Kate and I start taking a couple vacations; just barely nine weeks which means we better also get seriously busy planning our trips.

I just watched a squirrel work its butt off trying to eat the suet out of a suet feeder. It hung from a branch by its back legs and stretched over and grabbed the feeder with its front legs and pulled it to him. Then it turned it around and around until it actually got the feeder open and the suet fell out on the ground and the little chain fell off and the feeder hit the ground too. But then it just went to another feeder rather than go down and eat the suet that had fallen on the ground. They are so darned destructive. Oh, well.

The fog is burning off somewhat and I need to quit writing and get something done other than watch squirrels tear stuff up. I pray your day is full of joy.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

It is a beautiful 16 degree morning! There is a slight breeze which only drops the windchill factor down to about four degrees. Most of the snow we had has melted or maybe evaporated in the cold woud be a better term. We are predicted for another round of it tomorow afternoon and night. Again, I think it is supposed t be just enough to make the roads slick.

I've had a good morning with my aviary friends today. The popular place is of course the birdbath. I've had a lot of birds to it and a couple of squirrels have come and gotten a drink. The yard yesterday was constantly full of black birds and starlings. I'm very surprised there is any bird feed left out there but there seems to be. Where yesterday there was a constant seventy five or more in the yard, today I've had a few small flocks of black birds fly in, grab a bite or two and then fly off. The Robin has been here most of the morning hopping around in the yard and then coming up for a drink. At least it hasn't gotten down in the water and tried to take a bath this morning.

Yesterday turned into a resting day for Ms. Kate and me. I'm trying to stave off a cold and my meds kept me a little drowsy most of the day. Ms. Kate had gotten up at 0430 yesterday for some unknown reason so she needed a nap too. Today we will put on our warm coats and go do a little banking and then go to Office Depot. She's out of black ink for her printer and I just put in my last spare cartridge in mine. So, we might as week get some. We need to go up to our favorite butcher shop and place an order but it is Saturday and they are always packed on Saturday. It can wait until Monday.

I talked to Julie this morning and she said that Jim was on his way to Lowe's for his orientation for his new job. It will be part time but since he has a full time job, that's fine. What is cool about his orientation though is that they have to do an in-store scavenger hunt as part of their orientation. I think that is a great way to teach new employees where the merchandise is located. Now Iknow their secret. I've always been fairly impressed by Lowe's employees knowing what aisle to send me to. Julie says she does the same thing with her new student helpers. She give them a list of books to find and pull. It is a two step benefit. They learn where the different books are and she ends up getting student orders pulled and filled. Pretty smart of her.

This Sunday is Valentine's Day. I didn't buy Ms. Kate anything but I did find a nice card for her and we will go out to eat after the church council meeting on Sunday. Of course, we go out to eat every Sunday after church so ---- no big thing there. But, in that this is our 53rd Valentine's Day, --- we gotten past the need for trinkets or stuff for the sake of buying something. We've gotten to the TNS&W stage and it's pretty great. For you novices, --- that's Touch, Nod, Smile, and Wink. When the mere presence of your spouse or significant other causes one or more of those reactions from you --- You have arrived at a mature relationship.

I better jump off of my IPad and get busy. The banks close by eleven on Saturdays and I've been sitting here enjoying life for two and a half hours. It's time to get moving. I hope your weekend is blessed and I hope you take time out for worship of the God who has created you and provided for you.  Think kind thoughts and do something for yourself and someone else today. Peace.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Another snowy morning and I, of course, broke down and filled seventeen bird feeders last evening and true to form I have a yard full of blassckbirds this morning. I'll be glad when the snow is gone and these guys all get back to the fields. But, with two more rounds of snow predicted -- that won't be any time soon. However, I have a friend in the sky too; a red-tailed hawk. It just came swooping in and sixty or so blackbirds took to the air all at once with the hawk hot on their tail. I need to get my bird book out and do a little research. Most of these black birds are simply black while many of them are what we have always called red-winged black birds; and I wonder if maybe that is the distinction between the male and female. It is interesting watching them. I've tried to take pictures of them several times en masse and everytime I step out side they all fly off. And, they will stay up in the trees until I walk back inside. Then they just seem to "float" to the ground like leaves in the fall. Very interesting. I have one out there that I really wish I could get a picture of. Part of the top and all of the underside of its wings is totally white. I've never seen that before.

But --- black birds are not my only guests this morning, thank goodness. There are at least a dozen cardinals and lots of junkos out there as well as a few downy woodpeckers. So in between the hordes of uninvited -- the regular customers are getting plenty to eat too. I also hut out a new food. It is a block cylinder that hangs just about fifteen inches from a branch. I did have a seed cake hanging there but a squirrel figured out that it could stretch out and pull it over to himself and just have a private meal. Well, this new cylinder is a tempting peanut blend that the birds love but it is also a hot pepper blend. Birds have no taste buds; the squirrel on the other hand may not either after it takes a chunk off of this. Ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do!

Ms. Kate and I got all of our running around done yesterday that we had to do. One of the things we had to do was pick up her new "computer glasses". She has been having trouble lining up her bifocals  when she sits at her computer. As a result she ends up with a sore neck and a headache. So, we had our optometrist fix her up with a pair just for using at the computer and they are working great for her.  We also went grocery shopping yesterday at our new Neighborhood Walmart. It has only been open for about a week so we thought we would check it out. Honestly, --- I am not impressed. I'm not sure what I expected but it wasn't what I saw.

It is time to get my Friday started although I don't have a plan for the day. There is always something to be done, or a book to be read, or maybe even plan my day a round a nap later in the day. Life is good, and God is great! Have a blessed day!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I think it was Carmen Miranda who sang "We're having a heat wave". I guarantee you she wasn't singing it about here. It's a grey and cloudy twenty four degrees here this morning; although we are forecasted to get almost up to the freezing point today. Winter sure took its tine getting here but when it did --- it did it in fashion. I'm just hoping we are in the last hoorah of winter.

I feel sorry for all of my regular birds out there this morning. The feeders are empty and in fact, I have to go get some safflower seed and barkbutter chips today because I'm out. But, --- theere are still a bunch of red-wing blackbirds out there and a few grackles and of course, -- starlings. I know that as soon as I fill everything up --- the call will go out and my yard with look like a rolling black carpet again as the flocks and flocks of blackbirds come flying in. So, right now, they will just have to keep cleaning up and eating all of the stuff they have thrown and spilled on the ground. But even the squirrels are running through the yard carrying little signs that say "Kiss my flipping tail!" But --- I still keep water out there for them and that is a plus when everything else is frozen over.

We had a nice Ash Wednesday service last night although attendance was only about thirty five people which is half of what we normally have. Again, blame the weather. None of my older folks came out and I don't blame them. But, we shared communion at the altar and the imposition of the ashes of redemption and I think folks got the desired benefit out of the service. I hope so anyway. After the service, Ms, Kate and I stayed around and ran the bulletins and go the sanctuary set up for Sunday so we wouldn't have to go back up today.

Today I need to call the funeral home up in Boonville in reference to a funeral I'm supposed to do tomorrow. What was put in the obituary for the man was not what I was told would be happening. So, I need to follow up on that. Then, Ms. Kate and I have a lot of running around to do today although staying home in front of the fireplace would be much more desirable. There are just several things we need to shop for that we keep putting off because we don't want to get out in the cold. But, I guess we will "man-up" and get out there instead of being old wussies.

Youngest grandson, Jon, has his leg and foot in a cast. He and his friend were doing the "boy kind of stuff" and it didn't work it like he planned. They were doing the old "Ring the doorbell and ditch" routine." So they rang this fellow's doorbell and took off and jumped over a six foot fence. He landed wrong and broke his foot. And --- to make matters worse for him --- the fellow had a video camera on the front door and put the video on the neighborhood Facebook page so his mother knew instantly what he had done, and made him go back and apologize; --- a fate worse than death. Aaah well; if that is the worst of his criminal activities in his life; --- he'll do fine.

I just had a bluebird show up at my feeders and there is not much to eat. That is my first bluebird since last spring. I have a bluebird house hanging on the poplar tree. It would be great if it comes back with a mate and rents the place out.

Well, I just got word that my funeral visitation for today and my funeral for tomorrow is off. It seems that "other relatives" had differing ideas about who was in charge and what was going to happen. My friend who had asked me to do the funeral was the ex-wife, constant caregiver, and best friend and soul-mate of the deceased; but his daughter came in and took over and changed everything. It happens. Death often takes more than just a life. ----- So, that frees up some of my time for the next couple of days and I won't have to stand out in the snow while I do a funeral.

The Lenteen season has begun. It is a time of reflection, repentance and service. Take some time in these next forty days and do something to make life better for someone else. Take some time in these next forty days to seal any gaps in your relationship with God.  ---- Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Happy beautiful Wednesday morning! I'm sorry I missed you guys yesterday morning. But there is nothing like meeting with a bunch of preachers to start off your Tuesday morning. Some folk do like to hear themselves talk and the meeting went on for awhile. Our guest speaker had an interesting subject although not much was relevant to our two churches. Then another pastor gave an interesting talk about his church which could have been a lot better had not two or three of the other posters continue to ask questions and drag everything out; with each seemingly trying to demonstrate their personal brilliance. Blah, blah, blah; I hate it when people sit there and pontificate and try to "out-holy" one another.

The back yard is a blur again this morning. Our temperature is 14 degrees at the moment and we have a dusting to an inch of snow. The grackles and the red-winged black birds and starlings are here in mega-flocks again today. They were all day yesterday too. They have cleaned out most of the feeders and I'm not going to re-fill them until this bit a snow melts because then they will move back to the fields where they belong. If they are of any benefit, I guess they should have most of the residual seed gathered up from the ground by now. Yesterday there were several flocks of hundreds of them overshadowing the entire area. I don't know if they are migrating or what; but the aviary kitchen just closed til further notice. I feel for the cardinals and the other birds because these blackbirds bully everything else away just by their numbers.

We were supposed to have choir practice last night as a replacement for tonight. But Ms. Kate and I started up to the churches and traffic was next to a standstill due to the snow and snow covered roads. It was dark enough that we couldn't tell if the pavement was wet, dry, or covered with black-ice. So, we turned around and came back home. I'm hoping the roads clear off today because we have the Ash Wednesday service tonight.

I also got a call yesterday morning just as I was getting ready to head to my meeting, from a friend who wanted me to do the funeral for her ex-husband. Their relationship is complicated and no one's business, but she loves him with all her heart and she's a friend. So, I need to get his funeral written today today. It will be Friday morning. And, -- I need to finish my sermon for the 21st of February. That's only ten days away.

The cardinals are looking brilliant again this morning in the bright sun, and they are my reminder of the ever present goodness of God. As cold and snowy as it is out there, the warmth of the love of God is all need. Trust in that and all else will be fine. Have a blessed day. Take time to do something nice  for someone today. Peace.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cold --- grey --- Monday! That's two four letter words describing today. It could be worse and will be, when we add that other four letter word; snow! Yep, winter has returned for a week's visit after a couple of really nice days. Isn't it amazing how quickly we grab on to those really nice days.

Well, I just came back in from out there. I've filled all of them feeders. The wind is really whipping out of the north and there are light snow flakes in the air. We are predicted for less than inch of the white dry fluffy stuff. The Corinthian chimes are singing loud and clear this morning. As I wrap my hands around this warm cup of coffee and look out --- it just "looks cold". I actually had a finch land on one of the feeders as I hung it back up, and it took the first squirrel about two minutes to come down from a tree and get on a feeder. I wouldn't be surprised if I don't have to re-fill everything by Thursday. The Magnificaant Seven, (my group of Cardinals) are all here for breakfast now and old Mr. Fuss-a-lot the bluejay is making racket for some unknown reason. I think it just likes to hear itself. I do get a lot of joy just sitting here watching the micro-world in my back yard.

We had a blessed weekend. Julie and her pupperoni Auggie came over on Friday. Jim had an orientation for work at Lowes, which he didn't get to because his truck wouldn't start; but that's the way things go. I assume he can make to another one. It is a part time job but he needs it. At any rate, we had a nice visit with Julie. All three of my daughter's are fun to be around. Saturday I had a class to attend in the morning which was interesting. It was on how one of our churches in the area went about developing their vision statement. Yesterday of course was Sunday; and Ms. Kate and Julie and I went out for lunch at out favorite resturant. Then she took off for home and Ms. Kate and did some work around the house and then it was Super Bowl time. I thought it was a great game; especially since thee Broncos won the game. I'm not a big Bronco fan but we are real Peyton Manning fans and have been ever since he started playing for the Colts. The Manning family is just a great bunch of people.

We've moved this week's choir practice up a day because we have the Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday night. So tomorrow I have my monthly Pastor's circle meeting and then choir tomorrow evening. I still have another half of a page or so to write to complete this week's sermon and need to get busy on next week's service. So sitting here, listening to my Gaither Gospel Homecoming CD and watching my birds, while very relaxing and peaceful --- isn't getting the wheelbarrow filled. So, it is time to sign this off with prayers for a world of peace and prayers that your day will be filled with nothing but good things. C' ya'.

Friday, February 5, 2016

End of the week for you Monday to Friday people. TGIF and all that jazz. It appears we are going to have a nice weekend again; although certainly not the 65 degrees we had last weekend. I was just over talking to neighbor Dan and he said we have another Polor Vortex headed this way that is going to plummet temperatures again all the way to Florida. Watch out citrus growers. The weather guys said we may have some snow with this but it should be scattered and light. Roller coaster weather is so much fun.

I had a great start to my morning. I brought my coffee out to the sunporch and there was a big Pilated Woodpecker out there eating at the feeders. It stuck around for a bit, then flew off, and then returned again for a while before flying away. I managed to get a couple of pictures of it to post to Facebook and share. I'll need to fill the bark butter paste feeders again because Mr. Pilated finished off anything that was left in them. And I've had several other woodpeckers come in looking for it.  At the moment I have mockingbirds, woodpeckers, and grackles out there so it has been a "big beak" morning in the back yard. It is funny watching the grackles because there is a flock of maybe fifteen or twenty of them on the ground under one of the sunflower feeders. They are digging through the stuff on the ground  and flipping it around. It looks like an aviary food fight going on and they toss the stuff around and it lands on other grackles.

Julie and Auggie are coming over in a couple of hours to stem the weekend. Jim won't be coming as he has orientation at Lowe's tomorow. It will be a part time job which is fine since he already has a full time job. Her Harry Potter Book Event went extremely well last night. She said they had around two hundred people attend and Facebook is full of compliments about it. I'm really glad it went well for her because she worked her tail off to make it happen as did all of her staff.

We took Ms. Kate to our eye doctor's office yesterday to talk about getting her new glasses. She has so much trouble lining up her glasses when she is at the computer, so she ends up holding her head differently and that causes her to have a sore neck and headache. I think they came to a decision that what she really needs is glasses just for use at the computer. So, we are waiting on a call from them this morning to see what they can do for sure. If she does end up with a single vision lens, it will be a lot cheaper than the no-line bifocals that we are both wearing.

That about does it for me today. While I was sitting here a huge wave of blackbirds came a joined the fifteen or twenty that were here. They really cleaned up the residual seed stuff that was on the ground and made a good hit on the feeders too. Now, they are totally gone again. See why I love being out here. God just sends a wealth of blessings for my pleasure and enjoyment. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Welcome to another Thursday. It's another chance to wrap things up and get ready for a weekend, with this weekend being Super Bowl weekend. I reckon we know what most American household television sets will be tuned to on Sunday afternoon; --- that's right; The Puppy Bowl!!!

It is 34 degrees outside at the moment and only going up to 39 today. There are slim streaks of blue sky barely peeking through the clouds. It looks cold, feels cold, and is cold out there. It's even chilly out here in the sunporch. I have the doors open to the house and we do have one vent from the furnace coming out here and it helps some. I should buy a wall thermometer some time and hang it out here. I'll bet it is at least ten degrees cooler out here than it is in the house. Were I going to nap out here I'd drop my light blanket over me.

I count at least a dozen cardinals out there in the bushes and trees and at the feeders this morning. The ground is alive with a bevy of small birds hopping around under feeders cleaning up dropped seed, Goldfinches, sparrows, junkos, chick-a-dees, titmouse, and nut hatches all fly back and forth to the feeders and on the ground. One Downy woodpecker is having barkbutter for breakfast and a little suet to go with it. So far the squirrels haven't shown up to disrupt the peace and harmony.

There is nothing on the agenda today which most likely means we got a lot to do. I know we have some running around to do because we didn't get it all done yesterday. But, I did get out for a visitation at the hospital and we got the bulletins run for this Sunday and for Ash Wednesday. And we made choir practice. The cantata for Easter is coming along, albeit slowly. We have most of the songs down but there are a couple that are really tough and more complicated than we are used to. We still have time to get them right but we have had an inconsistent attendance at practice because of the weather. But --- I have faith it will all turn out right with God's help.

I started my morning off with a texting chat with daughter Heather. I woke up thinking about her upcoming wedding and had questions about the ceremony. Being a planner, I get antsy when I don't know the answers about who is doing what etc and since I'm conducting the wedding, there are things that I need to know. This is a second marriage for Heather and this time I'm not walking her down the aisle; that honor is reserved for her son Jon, and her daughter Lauren is going to be her Maid of Honor. But with the wedding being in California and all of the rest of us not being in California,, theere is a lot of coordination that needs to be done. But, I'll turn off my afterburners and cool my jets. It will all be fine. This wedding isn't nearly as complicated as when youngest daughter Lisa got married. Lisa was in the Air Force, stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC; her fiancé Gary was in the Army, stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC; Julie was living in Massachessetts, Heather was in college in Illinois, We were living in California, and BTW, Ms. Kate was making all of the table decorations and flower arrangements for the wedding; her maid of honor was living in Texas,and the wedding was held at the church Ms. Kate and I had been married in here in Evansville, IN. If it hadn't been for my very patient and saintly mother-in-law acting as coordinator and chief run around person -- I have no idea how it would have gotten done. Granny certainly earned her angel wings.

I think I need to make another pot of coffee so I'm done telling my tales for today. I hope your day is filled with spiritual sunshine even if the actual sun never pops through. Blessings.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Good Wednesday morning! Did you survive the storm from last night or are you somewhere and still going through it. That was something else. All I can say is that Ms. Kate sure picked the wrong time to send me out to the store for hamburger buns! LOL; it is only a mile down to the little gas station where I figured I could get some real quick. When I left the house it was "misting" a little. Well, the gas station didn't have any so I decided to drive a couple of miles up the road to the next gas station; --- no luck, and by this time it was "drizzling. So, I drove on a mile farther to the Dollar General store and picked up my hamburger buns and headed back home. By the time I got back to the first gas station, it was pouring and lightning and blowing. It was blowing so hard that it was next to impossible to see the road because theere was so much water on it. Traffic was down to ten miles an hour, and being on a country road, there was no place to pull off, so I kept on trucking until I got home, safe and sound. Thank you Lord for protecting fools!.

So, I've surveyed the yard this morning and we are none the worse for wear. I had a couple of dead branches in the yard that I quickly cleaned up. The good news is that the bird bath got filled back up from the rain. And --- I was going to have to rake the yard again to get all of the residual winter stuff out of it but -- God washed it clean for me. And this morning it is forty three degrees and it is a beautiful bright sunny day, at least to start with.

Ms. Kate and I had a great call from our granddaughter, Lauren last night. We were both thrilled to talk to her. It is something that just doesn't happen often enough. Lauren is our 17 year old professional motor-cross motorcycle rider. She has started riding in a new kind of event and wanted to tell us about it. It is called "Worc" racing. I have no idea if Worc is an acronym and neither does she. But it is off road racing and is a six mile track through all kinds of terrain. I've Googgled it and it looks scary as heck but she says it's totally safe. I reminded her that she is supposed to be the Maid of Honor for her mom's wedding in April and a Bridesmaid's dress won't fit well over a body cast! So, she promises to be careful.

We have several things to do today; it is Wednesday after-all and we all know that is my "busy" day. We have a few places to go to pick stuff up for an event we are planning and then we are off to the churches this afternoon for the weekly run of the bulletins and then we'll stay for choir. I should also go by one of the hospitals and check on the husband of one of our parishioners. He is really in bad shape and is recovering surgery for a perforated colon. His recovery is going to be long. So, with all of that on the plate, I should get busy. Ms. Kate has laundry going since early so that makes me the slug-bug today.

I'm lifting up all the folks caught in the storms and even tornados south of us. I haven't heard of any deaths involved with it but certainly people are standing around wondering what they are going to do with a destroyed home. I give thanks we were spared any of that and I pray for peace for those that were involved. I'm lifting up the folks on our prayer list this morning and all prayer list. May God bring healing and peace to those in distress. Gods is Good!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

That is a cold rain out there this morning. I wasn't out too long but long enough to fill the feeders with sunflower seed. It is forty one degrees which isn't bad except that the air is heavy with moisture when it isn't raining and as I said when it does rain, it's a cold rain. I got caught in a a light shower. But --- the groundhog didn't see its shadow and the forecaster says that spring will be early.

Other than that; --- Welcome to Tuesday, the second of February. I'm sitting here watching a backyard full of birds this morning. The word went out on the aviary email system that the feeders are full I guess. My guests this morning are mostly a few cardinals and a lot of various finches and sparrows. The squirrels haven't moved in yet but they are out there running through the neighbor's trees. They will be in here within the hour. By that time most of the birds will have had their morning feed. We are in for a wild weather day with severe storms predicted for late this afternoon and a wind advisory all day. It isn't too bad yet with the wind but that may be why the small birds are here eating  now, the they can hunker down for shelter during the storms. God takes care of the least of his creatures as well as God takes care of us. I also notice and hear that the geese are moving north this morning. I've heard several flocks overhead, honking as they go.

I met with my Association's Committee on Ministry last evening. It was a good meeting, (if there is such a thing). The process is that a couple of the members of the Committee on Ministry meet and interview each Licensed Minister and generally discuss how we are doing and what we feel we might need from the committee that might be of help in our ministry. Then we are certified and licensed for another year. The good thing about the process for me is that I am now cleared to officiate my daughter Heather's wedding in April with the committee's blessing. I figured there would be no problem but one never knows for sure. But, I had done my homework and went in prepared with the documentation showing the requirements from California which is where the wedding is taking place.   So, now that that part is taken care of, all we got to do is finish planning our trip.

Ms. Kate and I have a bit of running around to do today before the storms hit but we may re-evaluate that and just wait until tomorrow. Mostly it is going to be a writing day for me. I'm working on my February 14th service and no --- I'm not doing it about Valentine's Day. I did that many years ago and while the facts surrounding Father Valentine are interesting --- they aren't necessarily worth repeating again.

My coffee cup is empty and I must refill it. The squirrels are all here and the chase has begun as they bully one another off of feeders. The Robin is here hopping all over the yard snatching up worms and life is just a bunch of good stuff. Think good thoughts today and let your heart be filled with joy. I put a thought in the church bulletin a couple of weeks ago that said: "Worry is just believing that God won't get it right!" ------ I hope you know that God always gets it right! Shalom.

Monday, February 1, 2016

First things first -- fill the bark butter paste feeders. I did and it took about three minutes before the first downy woodpecker discovered they were full. Since then the mockingbird had found it, the starlings have found it, several finches have found it, and a red=headed woodpecker has even come by for inspection. I also need to fill some sunflower seed feeders but that can wait a bit. There is still enough out there for the cardinals and they are busy eating from them.

My walk outside this morning led me to discover that the daffodils are coming up in all of the flowerbeds. That is a real promise of spring. Of course, I've seen a lot of times that the daffodils had to poke through the snow so I'm not toasting the arrival of spring any time soon. Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. I'm never sure if the groundhog is supposed to see its shadow or not supposed to see its shadow. I think if it sees its shadow it goes back in for another six weeks of winter which just co-incidentally also coincides with the end of meteorological winter. Amazing how all of that worked out isn't it?

It's a forty five degree partly cloudy morning. The sun has not actually "popped through" the clouds yet this morning and most likely won't today. We had a few rain drops last evening. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm until the afternoon when the severe weather hits us and then drop back to more February like weather in the thirties. Lots of folks seem to have colds and sniffles and it is no wonder with the rollover coaste weather etc.

The squirrels have arrived and the chasing and frolicking, and tail flipping has begun. They are energetic little boogers but they are going to be disappointed this morning. Most of the feeders they like are empty so they have to go through great gyrations to hang upside down and balance on precarious branches to steal from other feeders. If people had the work ethic of a squirrel --- there would be no unemployment in this country. Think about it; there's no amount of work they won't go through to survive and feed themselves; they take food and bury it for later, i.e. a savings account, they work together in communities and protect their territory and they protect their young. Yep, --- people and society could learn a lot by thinking more like a squirrel.

Today is going to be a writing day. This evening I have to go for my annual Licensed Minister review. It is a once a year thing where we go present ourselves to the Committee on Ministry and tell what we have done for the past year. The committee then decides if we are "fit" to continue on as ministers and if so, they license us for another year. The ordained clergy never have to do this unless they have committed an ethics violation of some kind. They are basically like tenured professors. We're are just "hired gospel guns" so to speak and serve at the leisure of the Committee on Ministry. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a church decided they wanted a certain person for thier pastor and the COM didn't renew their license. For instance, I have been the pastor at my two churches for the past 11 years and the two churches are happy with me. I wonder what would happen if the committee decided not to renew my license? I suspect we will never know.

Mr. Cardinal is sitting on the birdbath all bright and beautiful and reminding me that I have goofed off long enough this morning and it is time to get busy. The sun is now bright in the sky which is a pleasant surprise, but I must head downstairs to my office and get busy. I hope your day is bright and pleasant and filled with the blessings of God. My daffodils popping through were my extra blessing from God this morning. Go out there and see what God has in store for you. Peace.