Thursday, April 25, 2013

Time of the Preacher...

Ecclesiastes 9:10

10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest.

Genesis 3: 18
" in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"

"Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work ’mid springing flowers;
Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man’s work is done."

In these days of spring toil, some pictures commemorating the work of our hands....

..and a little earthly rest.....
                     and reward!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Good Fortune..or Counting Your Blessings Instead of Candles

Blake Hurst
 Tarkio, Missouri 2001:

"I had planned on aging as a sort of gradual process, a graceful slide from the summer of my life through a rewarding fall, with winter somewhere far in the future.  No sudden changes, just a slow decline into senescence with, finally, a gray and stooped version of me dispensing wisdom to my many grandchildren on the porch of our farm home, these wisdom dispensing sessions taking place mostly in the early fall, because that is the only time of year the weather is bearable here in the Midwest...."

That was more than a decade ago now.  On the one hand,  birthday number 56 hasn't settled Blake into either decline or senescence. Gray...well, that's another matter....over time, the salt is gradually taking the place of the pepper on his head.

On the other hand, I don't think his wildest dreams would have imagined the marvelous, wild, and wonderful sextet of grandchildren available for gathering around, climbing on, listening to, and napping with their Grandpa.  Those words have borne fruit; what a blessed fortune foretold and become real!  Adding years, gray hairs not withstanding, is the best gift of all with these kids around....even is they ignore all that "wisdom" and just want to read books instead!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


When any calamity has been suffered the first thing to be remembered is how much has been escaped. 
Dr. Samuel Johnson  

"We are weak, but He is Strong". (Jesus Loves Me)

"And in despair, I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth", I said
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men''

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
"God is not dead, nor does He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail"
(Henry Longfellow)

Indulge me in this evening of sorrow and gravity. My recourse is to the source of strength and truth, where 'there is no darkness at all'. (1John:5)

For every trouble of human frailty, for every problem we try to solve with our cleverness and ingenuity, there is a greater answer and a solution we can only glimpse 'through a glass darkly'.(1 Corinthians 13:12)

This is the  lesson I learn day by day.  Early in the spring, the days are short, the nights cold, the skies often gray and cloudy.  The little flowers sulk, their inner clocks unconvinced by all the aiding and abetting and good intentions of our mechanical and artificial sunlight. The petunias grow leaves; the tuberous begonias revert to tubers; the vinca refuses to photosynthesize at all.  The HID lights may create midnight at the oasis, but they are not the real thing. 

But at some magic moment, sometime after March, one day in April, whether the sun is out or not, the scales tip and the glass of light is no longer half empty, but half full.  The sulky sun lovers explode over night.  Like a child's Jack in a Box, greenery erupts, roots pry their way out of the pots.  There is a Master Gardener better than I.

And for every day I run the irrigator on the flats in the big greenhouse, and every time we turn on the hydrant and pour water on the vegetables, I recollect the days of summer, when one inch of rain from the sky soaks through the pots into the ground and somehow refreshes and endures for twice as long as the ministrations we provide.  

 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James1:17)

When any fit of anxiety or gloominess or perversion of the mind lays hold upon you make it a rule not to publish it by complaints but exert your whole care to hide it. By endeavoring to hide it you will drive it away. 
Dr. Samuel Johnson   

We cannot comprehend; our understanding is incomplete. Our results are imperfect; our efforts may be in vain.  We are called not to worry, but to "exert our whole care."