Friday, June 1, 2012

Blessed Rain

I love the rain. As I write this, it’s raining outside. It’s God pouring down his blessings on our thirsty north Texas pasture land. We’ll have at least one cutting of hay, maybe two, before the summer drought with its weeks of 100 degree plus temperatures begins. When I lived and worked in the Los Angeles area, I didn’t think much about rain. Not much rain to think about. And, most of the time rain or not, sure, it affected me, but not that I could personally see. Living in the country surrounded by horse and cattle ranches, rain or the lack of it is an important subject of local conversation. One year it was so desperately dry that some 30 or 40 of us gathered around the courthouse to pray for rain. In this area sometimes with the longed-for rains come tornado winds, floods and golf-ball-size hail. That’s not welcome. I’m reminded that although Christ has redeemed this earth, we’re in the in between times. As Paul wrote, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22). And, it’s still groaning! The earth is redeemed. I am redeemed. You are redeemed, but we’re still awaiting his triumphant return. Someone once asked me why I still confess my sins when I’m already forgiven. It’s because I still sin! I confess them, not to be forgiven, but in acknowledgement of the momentous sacrifice made to free me from the bondage of sin and guilt. Thank you, Lord, for the rain, and most of all, for your overwhelming sacrificial love for me and for all your creation. And, please Lord, come soon!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Weekend Crisis

Four-year-old Leyden had already gotten a ride on King’s back, but he wanted to see the big chestnut quarter horse again. Hand in hand, we walked through the pasture. That’s when I saw two horses and a foal standing at the back fence. “Look, Leyden, the neighbor’s horses have come over to visit with King. Let’s go look at that new baby.” As we got closer, I saw the mare wasn’t just visiting; she was caught in the barbed-wire fence, half of her body on one side and the other half in our pasture. Her back leg was bleeding above the hoof. Her foal was trying to nurse through the fence.
I called Ed, telling him to bring wire clippers and a halter. He and Jeremiah, a grandson and Leyden’s dad, came quickly. They put the halter on the mare and began cutting strand after strand of barbed wire to free her. She didn’t struggle. She may have been too tired to fight anymore and possibly dehydrated.
By this time, our two donkeys, Missy and Sugar, decided to see what was going on. They don’t like intruders in their territory and will chase whatever dares to come around. But I didn’t have to worry. King immediately charged after them, running them away from the mare and foal. He had to do this twice while Ed and Jeremiah freed the mare, led her back into her pasture and rewired the fence.
I’m not one to imagine animals have human emotions or characteristics, but that big gelding sensed something was wrong, and the donkeys shouldn’t interfere. The donkey girls weren’t completed thwarted that day, however. Before it was over they got to chase the neighbor’s dog out of their pasture.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The World Went to Church

The world went to church this last weekend, a black Baptist church with a huge choir all dressed in white. I stayed in nursing a cold, so did a lot of reading and also watched Whitney Houston’s funeral on CNN. Four hours of memories of the lovely singer with the extraordinary voice. Lively gospel music was interspersed with performances by such notables as Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys. Dionne Warrick, Whitney’s cousin, introduced the various speakers and performers. Heartfelt eulogies by family and coworkers focused on the positive aspects of her life. Her struggle with alcohol and substance abuse was already well known.
It was a celebration of her life and a tribute to her talent, but deeply sad as well. Her death was so unnecessary. She was young, beautiful, talented, with a promising comeback performance in a soon-to-be released movie, Sparkle. She had a teenage daughter who needed her and many caring friends and family members. Another amazing talent, streaking across our sky like a meteor, flashing brightly, then burning out as quickly as she came.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Where's Winter?

Some up north are ready for winter to be over all ready, but here in north Texas, we wonder when winter will begin. Not that we aren’t enjoying our Southern California 70-degree weather, but it is February now. Where’s our winter?
With winter seeming like spring, Ed is getting gardening fever. He’s had kale, spinach and several other greens growing, and yesterday he asked me to help him plant a couple of rows of green onions. So, there we were, down on our knees digging little holes, planting sprouts of onions and covering them up. He had already prepared the ground by digging a couple of trenches for us to plant the onions in.
Now, it has been a while since I got down digging in the dirt with my bare hands. My gardening is usually limited to using a hoe in my flower beds, and I wear gloves so I don’t dirty my hands. Actually, this was a good experience. Ed and I talked about the blessing of being able to grow our own food, right there in our backyard. We were in wonderment again over how, with a little water and sunshine, those tiny, dried-up sprouts would become fresh, crunchy green onions. It was also a reminder of where food actually comes from—the good earth. Thank you, Lord, for your magnificent creation! Help us to remember to take care of this marvelous gift.