Thursday, May 25, 2017

In the Garden

"You know those plants are loaded with strawberries," my son Greg pointed out after checking on our tiny  garden. What? I had no idea! Every time I'd looked at them, all I could see were leaves! Well, under the leaves were hidden fresh, juicy berries, which we happily collected.

"Shall I pull the onions?" I asked of my husband. The (dried out) bulbs we had planted rather late had yielded only a few green onions, which were getting too large now.  He agreed, so I tugged at the long, green stems and was surprised that the roots had the purple sheen of red onions! They should be delicious!

"Look! The potato plants are blooming!" I announced at seeing tiny blossoms on our thriving plants, the only thing that was growing  thick and vigorously.  I wondered why they had blossoms, and what that meant.  I was pretty sure  it wasn't time to dig them  up, but I looked up info on raising potatoes.

Sure enough, the article I read said many people think the buds are indicators of harvest time, but they are only making seeds to ensure future crops! Well, we didn't start ours from seed, only from seed potatoes, which we cut into sections, making sure there was an "eye" in each cube, from which a root sprouts.  I found out that when it is time to dig up the potatoes, the vines will dry out, turn brown and wither. 

I couldn't help but see spiritual lessons and draw comparisons from all this new life in the garden. The surprise of strawberries under the leaves and the purple of the onions pulled from the soil reminded me that we never know what is inside a person, beneath the veneer and public front we see on the outside. When we get to know them, we are often surprised by the talents, wisdom and abilities God has instilled in them.

As Christians, we need to produce and sow seeds of the gospel into our own and the next generation. Who knows when a root of understanding and belief will sprout as their "eye" is opened to the Truth?  How rewarding to see a "crop" of new "potatoes" for the Kingdom! Our generation will someday wither away, like the potato vine, having done our job, but our "seed" can go on until the Harvest!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Food for Thought!

Yesterday at our Senior Ladies' Breakfast, someone mentioned bread, and I asked them if they had heard of Dave's "Killer" Bread.  They were all ears, so I told them how much my husband and I like this healthy bread, especially the "White Bread Made Right." The funny part is that the baker learned to make it in prison!

I also gave them a tip for some green beans that we like.  It  just so happened that while we were at our son's house eating Easter dinner, I commented on how tasty the green beans were that my daughter-in-law served. "How did you make them?" I asked, to which she replied, "Oh, they're from a can at Walmart!"

She gave me the name, Glory Seasoned Green Beans, and I wasted no time in stocking up on them! The ladies were incredulous, especially when I told them I had taken a crock-pot full of them to a church dinner, and they were all eaten!

Later in the afternoon, we attended services for a friend we had known well at a former church. She had requested that her funeral be a time of celebration and praise. Many warm and amusing remembrances were given by her sister and a former pastor, as they reflected not only on her exemplary life, but also on her fun personality and sense of  derring-do!

One story was about the time when they lived close to a mountain in Colorado, and the older sister, age 10, suggested to the then-five-year-old telling about it, that they climb the mountain behind their house. It was rough and slippery, but after awhile, it was getting late, and big sis decided it was time to go home, despite the fear of crumbling rocks under their feet.

At  some point, they thought they detected a faint cry in the distance. They recognized the voice of their mother, who never stopped calling their names. They knew they were headed in the right direction by the sound of her voice.  She had been worried out of her mind and was so glad to welcome the scruffy girls safely home!

Her point was that Jesus knows us and is calling our name.  He won't give up on us if we will heed Him.

I thought of the tasty bread and the food I was so eager to share about.  Jesus called himself the Bread of Life.  When the disciples asked Him to eat in John 4:31, Jesus told  them He had food to eat that they knew nothing about. John 4:32. He said that His food was to do the will of His Father, verse 34.

May we be as eager to share the Bread of Life as we are to share about earthly food, and to think of our work in telling others about Jesus as our food! And if we listen for and  follow His voice, we will be going in the right direction!

Monday, May 22, 2017

School's Out!

Wow! Three graduations in the family in a week's time! Our grandson Adam graduated college, our granddaughter Rachel graduated high school, and our great-grandson Gavin graduated kindergarten! We are so proud of them all!

Gavin is the little boy, who, in  trying to figure life out, after asking the blessing over the food at the table one day, asked his father, "Dad, do pray over your food at work?" Our grandson told him that he prays a silent prayer over his lunch. That night, Gavin announced, "I said a silent prayer over my lunch at school  today!"

A few days later, his dad found out some older boys at school were rough with Gavin on the playground. He was ready to go confront the boys, but Gavin protested, "No, Daddy, we have to walk in love!" He had paid attention to his grandfather's sermon that Sunday!

I remember baby-sitting Rachel in her kindergarten days. Her favorite after-school activity was to play school, with herself as the teacher and me as the pupil! Her pencil rapped authoritatively if I did not do things  the way her teacher taught her! Now she is an accomplished young woman, ready to face the world.

Since Gavin lives in Tennessee, and Rachel in Georgia, we were only able to attend Adam's graduation, at OSU in Stillwater. He proudly wore  the stole and chain around his neck, symbols of honor, as he received his degree in Chemical Engineering. They grow up so fast.

A graduation of another kind took place a few days ago, and we will say our final good-byes on Tuesday to a friend who has already left for heaven. Her graduation robe was white, and her award of honor a crown, I'm sure one with many stars. May that be our goal someday, when we finish our schooling here on earth!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Stormy Weather

"Oh! It's going off again!" the cashier said with a worried look, "I was afraid of that!"

"What is going off?" I asked quizzically as we paid for our purchases, to which she responded, "The tornado warning siren!"

Just then I heard it! We had come to Stillwater for some shopping with our son (he wanted to buy me something for Mother's Day). We'd had lunch  and he'd made a quick stop at a music store, but now the rain was pelting down and the air was filled with the eerie whistles! Our trip would be cut short as we hurried to the car.

A mechanical, monotonous voice was blasting from the car radio with ominous warnings: Debris would be everywhere. People and animals outside would be injured. Roofs and houses would be destroyed.

Shortly after we got into the car, the phone rang with the report from our grandson, Adam (who had stayed home) that he had received a message from his college that all OSU students were to take cover!

Announcements were broadcast that school buses loaded with children were returning to schools. The bus-riders would shelter in place at their schools.

Then live reports from storm chasers pin-pointed the location of the almost certain tornado. It was near the small town of Perkins, only a few miles behind us! Thankfully Greg was driving! The reports were of expected baseball-size hail! I could just imagine it coming through the wide windshield of our van!

Tense prayers were going up from us for our safety. About halfway home, the rain slowed a bit, the weather reports were relaxed somewhat, and we breathed a collective sigh of relief! By the time we got home, though the street gutter vents were spewing out water like water spouts and rivulets ran down the road, we only dodged a few raindrops getting into the house!

Thank God, He is a shelter in the time of storm! Isaiah 25:4.  Today the sun is shining beautifully in a rain-washed sky as the grass and flowers sparkle with moisture from heaven. A glorious day!