Monday, August 29, 2011

Zinnias and Butterflies

I've not been having very good luck at having a vegetable garden lately.
Last summer I tried a "Bag Garden" after reading about the idea in the newspaper.
It sounded like a good idea...
Use double brown paper bags like you get from the grocery store,
fill them with enhanced soil,
plant your seeds or seedlings,
surround them with mulch,
water occasionally,
and PRESTO - supposedly enjoy your harvest!
Well, that didn't work out too good.

Peaking through my lattice,
you can see this year's garden.
This was supposed to be a tomato patch
with a border of zinnias.
Well, I guess the zinnias must have loved the Miracle Grow,
because as you can see,
they took over the garden spot.

But along with the zinnias came an unexpected blessing -

Unusual ones,
Beautiful ones,
...Many varieties and colors just like the zinnias!

I think I won't worry about the vegetable garden.
I'll just enjoy the crop of zinnias and butterflies that God has blessed me with!
The farmer's market will have the veggies I need!

And that's my JOY4TODAY!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Disaster Relief / Minot, ND

We hadn't gone far on our trip when we began to see the results of flooding.

We began seeing sandbags lining the Interstate to keep the water off the roadway.
Soon we began to run into detours.

The first disaster was ME!  

I couldn't help with the food preparation,
because I couldn't get too far away from the Port-A-Potties!
I began to wonder why I had come!

While I was resting and recovering from my bout of intestinal flu in my "room" in the back of the church sanctuary, my team-mates were busy preparing hundreds of meals to be delivered by the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

After the food was delivered to displaced flood victims and the relief workers, the empty cambros were brought back to the disaster relief headquarters for sanitation...  ready to be filled for the next meal.

Over 18,000 meals were prepared by our team in one week! The cambros were amazing to keep the food piping hot until it was served.  Breakfast was fixed for the relief workers.  Lunch and dinner were prepared for distribution to shelters, relief workers, and delivered to some homes by the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

The smell of coffee and the cooking of breakfast began shortly after 5:00 A.M.  For the first three days, I couldn't stand the smell of food.  Because of that, I was quite happy to be able to  spend a day in the laundry unit.    Relief workers were limited in the amount of clothing they could bring because of limited cargo space in travelling, so a laundry service was provided.  Bags of dirty clothes began appearing at the back of the "laundry camper" before 8:00 AM, and returned clean before the end of the day.  With close to 75 relief workers, it made quite a bit of laundry! 

Piles of dirt and sand could be seen throughout the flooded region.  Some of the piles were ground levees that had been made to try to keep the flood waters out.  Other piles were made from the removal of sand and dirt from the houses that were flooded.  This removal was called "Mudding Out" and was done by one of our disaster relief teams from Kentucky.  Often, the walls had to be torn down all the way to the two by fours in order to preserve the house structure.

It's hard to believe that a river that now looks so calm could be the cause of all this destruction.  Over 4100 homes were destroyed - almost one fourth of the total population of Minot, ND!   Cold weather comes soon to this town close to the Canadian border, and much more work is needed.  Please pray for the disaster relief workers and the people of Minot.

What a week! 
 It was a lot of work,
but so worth the JOY in being able to SERVE!

Linking with:Alphabe-Thursday,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Little Wonders

This Momma Wren has been fussing at me for weeks.
Then I found the reason why:

She had a nest in my aloe vera plant.
I found it when I was watering my plants,
and was afraid that I might run her off.

She didn't give up! 
I watched as she carried tiny bits and pieces of moss,
and found that she made a cave-like nest.

The babies hatched, and are now nearly ready to leave the nest.
Today was extremely hot, with a record setting temperature of 112*F.
While the momma wren was gone looking for food,
I took a look at her babies and grabbed this picture.
There were three of them nestled together.
I hope they survive the heat!

Watching these little wonders reminded me of a Bible verse:
"Look at the birds of the air,
for they neither sow nor reap
nor gather into barns;
yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"And the LORD sent an Angel..."

"King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz
to heaven about this.

This morning as I was reading from my
"One Year Bible"
I was reminded of a time when I cried out  
to the LORD for His help,
and I was sure He had sent an angel.

It was on an excursion to one of my favorite places
 -- Buffalo National River.
My husband is not one to back down from a challenge,
...and sometimes I wish he would!

(The picture above was taken not far from where
these events took place. 
I was too busy crying out to God for help
that the thought of taking a picture at the time of crisis
never entered my mind!)

We had crossed the river many times with his Jeep,
but this time we were in his 4wheel drive truck.
The truck started losing traction,
and we felt the current begin to sweep us downstream.

Like King Hezekiah and Isaiah,
I cried out to the LORD for help.
All I could think to pray was,
"LORD, send an angel quick!"

We felt the truck straighten up,
 begin to gain traction again,
and we arrived safely on the other side of the river.
It was as if a giant hand had us in its grip.

Hebrews 1:14 says,
"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? "

Do YOU have an "angel story" to share?