Sunday, April 24, 2011

He IS Risen

The following is from "Visions of a World Hungry", by Thomas G. Pettepiece

Today is Resurrection Sunday. My first Easter in prison. Surely the regime can't continue to keep almost 10,000 political prisoners in its gaols! In here, it is much easier to understand how the men in the Bible felt, stripping themselves of everything that was superfluous. Many of the prisoners have already heard that they have lost their homes, their furniture, and everything they owned. Our families are broken up. Many of our children are wandering the streets, their father in one prison, their mother in another.

There is not a single cup. But a score of Christian prisoners experienced the joy of celebrating communion- without bread or wine. The communion of empty hands. The non-Christians said: "We will help you; we will talk quietly so that you can meet." Too dense a silence would have drawn the guards' attention as surely as the lone voice of the preacher. "We have no bread, nor water to use instead of wine," I told them, "but we will act as though we had."

"This meal in which we take part," I said, "reminds us of the prison, the torture, the death and final victory of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The bread is the body which he gave for humanity. The fact that we have none represents very well the lack of bread in the hunger of so many millions of human beings. The wine, which we don't have today, is his blood and represents our dream of a united humanity, of a just society, without difference of race of class."

I held out my empty hand to the first person on my right, and placed it over his open hand, and the same with the others: "Take, eat, this is the body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Afterward, all of us raised our hands to our mouths, receiving the body of Christ in silence. "Take, drink, this is the blood of Christ which was shed to seal the new covenant of God with men. Let us give thanks, sure that Christ is here with us, strengthening us."

We gave thanks to God, and finally stood up and embraced each other. A while later, another non-Christian prisoner said to me: "You people have something special, which I would like to have." The father of the dead girl came up to me and said: "Pastor, this was a real experience! I believe that today I discovered what faith is. Now I believe that I am on the road."


Read John 20 for a wonderful biblical account of the first Easter

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ecclesiastes 11 : 3-8

When the clouds are full of water, it rains.
When the wind blows down a tree, it lies where it falls.
Don’t sit there watching the wind. Do your own work.
Don’t stare at the clouds. Get on with your life.
Just as you’ll never understand
the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman,
So you’ll never understand
the mystery at work in all that God does.
Go to work in the morning
and stick to it until evening without watching the clock.
You never know from moment to moment
how your work will turn out in the end.
Oh, how sweet the light of day,
And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!
Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted.
Take delight in each light-filled hour,
Remembering that there will also be many dark days
And that most of what comes your way is smoke.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Listen to the Frogs Sing.

Chorus of frogs singing outside. The night is dark with a cover of clouds occluding the stars. I have been a bit down from lack of sun and wondering when the sun will shine consistently again.

The lack of sun didn't seem to bother our recent young guests though. I really loved their enthusiasm. They were never 'bored'. Ever. They read, they played imaginative outside games on top of a rocky hill nearby (that they discovered all by themselves), they mined the rocks and rode the goat and jumped on Charlie all by themselves a time or two (I told them it would be OK), gathered eggs and tamed the wild chicks. Sometimes they helped me in the garden and once came over to do crafts and I wheeled out my supplies of markers, paints, crayons and paper and bric a brac and let them go at it. They did watch some TV too, but not too much.

I ponder their zest and my lack there of this evening. I know that being a little down, for no apparent reason, is part of life and I have experienced it before. So I keep on going on and wait for the spirit to move me. In the meantime, I try to savor each moment as it comes and you know what, it always seems to be enough. And the frogs sure seem to like the rain. "One man's junk is another man's treasure."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Caleb and Noah Visit the Ranch

Caleb, Noah and their parents have been staying in the bunk house for a couple of weeks while they transition into a home of their own. They have been living in a Christian Community in India for the past 6 months. We have enjoyed having them here. They are a great family.

The black one was named Puff and the other Angel.
Ummm, what it that on your head?
Donkey love.

Hey, look what I found.

A chupacabra skull, or maybe a cow.

Hows it look?


Feed time.

Here you go.




May God bless your journey.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Time Activity

We have been busy this past week.
We saved some potatoes from last year down in the basement and they were begging to be planted. We first had to make some changes in the garden.

These old tractor tires have served as wonderful raised beds for over 20 years. Unfortunately, the gophers really had a feast last year on the potatoes so we decided to add some new beds.
Mark lined them with hardware cloth that we hope will keep the little buggers out.

Then we filled them with soil gathered from the forest and some we purchased. The potatoes are happy to have new beds to grow in.

We also went on a drive around the property checking on the young trees that were planted after the fire in 2003.
They are growing well. If you look closely you can see Mark in this photo and it gives perspective on the trees height.
It was also time for a cow parade to the corrals. They are getting easier and easier to lead. (Except the cows I left under the shade of some trees, I guess they aren't ready yet.)
We had interested parade goers gawking from the hill.
All of the cattle got vaccinated, wormed, and vitamins. The youngsters also got branded, banded (if male) and tagged with an ID in their ear.
Most of the calves were big enough to be handled in the chute, but Perse's little one was too small, so she got the special treatment from Jo and Eric. Mama was right there making sure it was all done perfectly and in order. Only the best for the friendliest cow's calf.
While it is now once again spitting rain, one can tell that spring has finally come.

"the amen of nature is always a flower"

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Picture Perfect

There were 2 cows, 2 calves and a lady in a lovely clearing of green laying in the sun on a warm spring day. Buckeye were leafing out in a vibrant shade of green in their strange little Dr. Seus tree way. The oaks were still naked and cast an intricate latticed shadow on the ground. The creek tumbled and splashed in the distance.

The lady had come to herd the cows and calves back home for their yearly physical, but she left with a wave and told them to come home when they were ready. It was just too picture perfect to disturb.