Goodbye May 2020, Don’t Forget to Take Your Germy Germs With You!

Goodbye May 2020, Don’t Forget to Take Your Germy Germs With You!

Below you will find a few more pictures from the scrapbook of our May under CV-19.  We have completely settled into our new home and are grateful to be here, virus or not.

Tis a pleasure to live in the Ozarks!
We went for a drive in the country on Memorial Day.
Slowly, restaurants in our neck of the woods are opening back up.
Napping buddies.
We’ve had a lot of rain and storms the last few weeks. I see a lily in the clouds, can you?
This little house finch found a good spot to shelter during a heavy downpour.
One of my favorite backyard views.
A friend from church gave me this beautifully fragrant peony…
…and this old world rose.
After some research, I got a couple of new, weighted feeders and a different suet feeder. The seed feeders are on a spring that closes the seed ports when triggered by anything greater than the weight of a couple of finches. I also changed the kind of seed I put out and stopped spreading it on the ground. It has worked to cut off the riffraff grackles, crows, and brown headed cow birds.
Eastern Bluebird deep in thought.
Mourning Dove
Purple finches, female and male
House finch
Carolina Chickadee, I think. It’s hard for me to tell the difference between a Black-capped and a Carolina.
Chipping sparrow and blue bunting
Red-bellied woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
One of our neighborhood squirrels hanging out on the fence.
Our newest critter, an eastern chipmunk
My very favorite animals, Laudy…
…and Pip!

We’re ready to ease into June with fewer restrictions and, hopefully, greater normalcy. May God be with us one and all! ❤️

Joy Complete!

The dark scenes of Christ being in anguish and His sweat “like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Lk 22:44) in the Garden of Gethsemane, His gruesome torcher at the hands of Roman soldiers, and His agonizing, six hour crucifixion on Calvary are tenderly felt in the hearts and minds of every Christian.  We realize it was all suffered and done for us. For me. He died for me. We honor and commemorate His sacrifice each time we partake of the Lord’s Supper; the fruit of the vine representing his blood shed for us and the bread representing his body given in our stead.  

The intensity of what He knew and dreaded going through was so great that “an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him” (Lk 22:43) just before he was arrested in the Garden.  And yet, finishing their meal before heading out to pray in the Garden, Jesus spoke candidly with the apostles about His impending death in chapters 15 and 16, which John recorded. Jesus always seemed to say astounding things, but His words in chapter 15, verses 9-14, when seen in light of what He was getting ready to go through are, to me, the most astonishing of all.  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that MY JOY MAY BE COMPLETE IN YOU and THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE COMPLETE.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.”

Yes, despite His dread and anxiety about what He knew would happen in just a few short hours, He was still filled with JOY.  His joy was grounded in love, the state He always had by being obedient to and at one with the Father. But it didn’t stop there.  His ultimate joy would only be made complete when He brought us into the same oneness with the Father and Himself and He shared this joy with us.  That is the reason He said He would, “lay down His life for His friends.” His impending death would ultimately bring Him joy because He would be sharing the resultant benefit of His death, burial, and resurrection with His “friends” – and that benefit was SALVATION.

John had walked and talked and seen Jesus and knew He was the Son of God (1 John 1:1-2).  John said in verse 3 of I John that he proclaimed the Truth so that we could have fellowship with Christ.  Fellowship with Him creates “joy complete” (verse 4). Why? What makes fellowship with Christ the Son and God the Father so joyful?  For that answer we need to turn to 1 John 5:13-15, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.” The promises of fellowship now and eternal life with the Godhead creates within the hearts of all believers “complete joy.”  Further down in verse 20 of chapter 5, John reiterates this by saying, “We KNOW also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may KNOW Him who is true – even in His Son Jesus Christ (fellowship).  He is the true God and eternal life.”  Christ said it this way in the Gospel of John 17:1-4 as He prayed just before going to the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son that your Son may glorify You. For you granted Him authority over all people, that HE MIGHT GIVE ETERNAL LIFE: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave Me to do.” Finally, back in 1 John chapter 2, verses 24- 25, “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, YOU WILL REMAIN IN THE SON AND IN THE FATHER (fellowship). And this is what He promised us – EVEN ETERNAL LIFE.”

During this time of social distancing when even church gatherings have been shutdown, no one can take away my joy for it has been made complete!!

Mid-May in Survival Mode

My Multiple Sclerosis has been a beast more days than not since my last post. I hate it and it hates me. I guess we’re even. Even so, life in these extraordinarily strange times has continued to flow on. Hubby is wrapping up grading finals this weekend and we’re both looking forward to him having a few weeks off before his summer schedule kicks off. He will be teaching from home again which makes me happy. It’s been so good to have human interaction during the day, even if it is just for short breaks between his classes.

Last week we joined what felt like half of our city in the parking lot of one of our area’s hospitals to see a B-2 Stealth Bomber fly over as a salute to the selflessness of our medical workers. I don’t know which I was more impressed with, the rare sight of two B-2s or the sense of unity and pride I felt seeing so many Americans come out to wave flags, clap, holler, and whistle as they flew over. To tell the truth, I’ve not felt much patriotism the last few years. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country and am grateful to be an American but the political tone and constant gamesmanship vomiting itself all over the media has not fanned the flames of my patriotic fervor. It felt good to see my fellow citizens come out in support of something that binds us together rather than tears us apart.

Hubby and I went to Target before the B-2s were scheduled to make their appearance. The line to check out snaked almost to the back of the store. It felt more like I was in line at an amusement park waiting to get to ride a new roller-coaster than the chance to buy toilet paper and Fruit Loops.

On the way home after the B-2s, this jacked up truck came roaring around us. I wonder what this guy is trying to compensate for with his huge muffler 🤔.

Speaking of compensations, one of the few (but best) I have from being immobilized on bad MS days is spending long hours with a snuggly cat tucked in my robe while sipping coffee.

I think being able to sit and watch nature from the comfort of my rocking chair on the back patio has not only kept me sane during endless days of forced rest, but has also given me something to look forward to. Here are a few snaps from my latest gallery of feathered friends…

The early Robin gets the worm.
A Cardinal perched in one of our river birches.
Black-capped Chickadee
Lovey dovey
Chipping Sparrow
Munch, munch, munch goes the Purple Finch!
It has been thrilling to see this little Indigo Bunting come to the feeders!
This Red-bellied Woodpecker is very skittish, much more so than the other birds that come to the feeders. It has been a challenge to get a good shot of him but I think this one does him justice. He is BEAUTIFUL!
We’ve had up to four Downy Woodpeckers at a time at the feeders and suet cakes. The distinguishing red mark on this one’s head looks like a heart to me.
This lilac tree filled the entire backyard with it’s delicious fragrance and proved irresistible to butterflies.
Red Admiral Butterfly on Lilac

I hope you and yours are both healthy and safe. God be with you!