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What shall we do with the drunken slug? Adventures in my garden…

SlugI try to be green.  I mean I recycle… I think that is about as green as I know how to be or really want to be.  I don’t try to be wasteful and I do try to be resourceful but I think light green is probably more likely my shade …. However, I did try to do something this year that I have never done before.. Gardening.  I grew up on a farm and remember going to the garden with my mom and aunt but also remember feeling like it was torture.  Not anymore… nope, gardening is way cool.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt for me to grow a few items to help stock our refrigerator in these cautious economic times.  So gardening is what I decided to do.  But since I knew nothing about gardening I decided to get my kids involved and then they could grow them and we would all learn together.  We bought seeds and a seed starter kit and went to work.  We had squash, dill, cilantro, peppers, sunflowers and more.  They grew and grew and we were so proud and still are.  The day came when it was time to plant them in the real ground and now they are growing like crazy…. One problem though……I have no clue if the plant growing is a weed or a vegetable…I think I yanked up some baby carrot tops today because I thought they were weeds…. still don’t know for sure.

Now the sunflowers, mammoth sunflowers, to be exact, I’m way excited about.  The first round of sunflower sprouts accidentally drowned while we were away on vacation and then after drying my daughter’s tears, we started over.  This time the sunflowers are in the ground and growing right along… that is, until yesterday.  Yesterday morning before I left for work I went to check on my little garden and the sunflowers since they are our newest addition.  I was heart broken at what I saw…. nothing.  That’s right.  Three of our little sunflower plants were gone.  Only a little stem was left to look at. sunflower My first thoughts were the weedeater… but I knew my husband wouldn’t have hit them.  My second thought was a rabbit but I couldn’t understand why a rabbit would only eat the sunflowers and not everything else.  I was highly disappointed but took heart because the other two baby sunflower plants were still going strong.  I figured that the rest of my garden was in danger but really didn’t have a way to protect them from the hungry rabbit so I just had to hold onto the hope that all would be well in the morning.

Later that evening I was doing some work when my daughter came from outside and told me to hurry, “Dad, found what ate the sunflower.”  I went outside totally expecting to see a cute but evil bunny when he stuck a little something in front of my face.  It was ugly and gooey and had been sitting right on top of the sunflower…. the culprit? A gray field slug.  I wasn’t completely convinced that it could do so much damage but I googled it and sure enough… slugs seems to love baby sunflowers.  I became immediately protective of my little seedlings and like any good mother, sought to get rid of the bully.  Again, I googled in search of a remedy and I also stated my disgust at this little slug on Facebook.

Amazingly, I must not be alone in trying to rid the world of ugly gray field slugs because people rallied to help me solve my problem. Some of the sweetest people I know jumped at the chance to tell me how to *cough, cough* torture those little slimy guys. First there was the whole salt thing.  I thought that slugs didn’t like the feel of salt on their slug bellies but no… apparently if you place salt on a slug it will tell you top secret government plots and then it will melt away as if it were in a scene from the Wizard of Oz… ewww… Then there were others telling me to practically plan a slug keg party… okay, maybe that is a bit much but beer is supposedly a slug’s vice and they will drink themselves to death…. or maybe it’s drown in their yeasty beverage… slugs-aug08whatever the death of choice for the slugs, I found it pretty comical that the little ugly, slimy sunflower murdering varmint could cause such a stir in good people.

I guess there are times when we just can’t put up with something and it tends to bring out something in us that we don’t always recognize until we’ve crossed a line. Peter was like that.  He had the tendency to jump at a situation and then Jesus had to stop him in his tracks.  I was reading in John tonight about the arrest of Jesus.  Peter got a little out of control… I can picture the scene.  He watched as the soldiers and priests arrived at the scene.  I can imagine him to be clinched-jawed and squinty-eyed as they stepped closer to Jesus…. he was angry and wanted to protect his buddy/teacher/friend/mentor from this posse.  He drew his sword and took off the ear of a servant named Malchus.  Now, you might think that Jesus would be thankful for Peter’s enthusiastic act but instead he had to stop Peter …. good guy, bad move…he just couldn’t put up with the thought of them mistreating his mentor.

You have to really love Peter… He was always reacting and wanting to do the right thing… like the time he told Jesus that he wouldn’t let him die or the time that he told Jesus that he wouldn’t let Jesus wash his feet… Peter’s intentions were always good or at least they seemed good but it was good in the eyes of man and not the eyes of God… sometimes it is so hard to know… Obviously, Peter had been hanging out with God for quite some time and still didn’t get it completely…

I guess that can be us today, too.  Feeling like we are doing the right thing because it seems to be the right thing……not necessarily because it is the thing God is giving us the thumbs up to but because we don’t want someone else to hurt or we don’t want to seem unloving or uncaring (isn’t that being the opposite of being like God?)… or maybe we want to seem angry and defensive (after all, didn’t Jesus get rather smart alec with those who were not willing to open their hearts)…. Peter could relate to reacting then thinking…. I’m pretty sure there are many of us who can claim that same attribute including me… I guess my next thought is how Christ reacted back… frustrated, stern and possibly even a bit angry…. that makes me very aware that when I react I need to focus on when God is giving me the thumbs up or thumbs down…

Now, does the Bible give any indication on how to treat a slug?

Matthew 16:21-23

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 From then on Jesus[j] began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him[k] for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

John 18:1-11

Jesus Arrested

1When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.

2Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

5“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

7Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8“I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”[a]

10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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Andy Griffithson is on!

It is so great when kids say or do something that you don’t want to forget.  Our kids have loaded us up with andygriffith-castplenty..here are a few:

  • “Andy Griffithson is on!”
  • “Mom, do I know Jack Squat?”
  • “Can I watch MacGyvie?”
  • “Grandpa, if you’d eat more carrots then you wouldn’t need a flashlight.”-exasperated while searching with her grandfather for a flashlight

And that is just the start… there’s more…..

  • “Ummm, It’s not my day”- referring to assigned chores
  • “Would you tell her to…. (the list is too long)”
  • “But she gets to.”
  • “But you get to”
  • “I don’t have anything to wear”

and even more…..

  • “Mom, would you pray with me?”
  • “We forgot to pray.”
  • “I did that! I prayed for her to happen!” – referring to the birth of her baby sister
  • “If Jesus is God and God created the world then how were Mary and Joseph around when Jesus was born? Where did they come from?”- 5 year-old’s question
  • “I want to help people”
  • “Mom, can we pay for a stranger’s dinner? I feel like God wants us to do something nice for someone.”
  • “I think I want to be a youth pastor”

And then there have been things that others have said about our girls that help us see that they are growing into beautiful and gracious young ladies…..

I think most every parent has those moments that they don’t want to forget..(just ask a scrapbooker or a journaler).. Those good moments are what we can hold onto to get us through those rough moments…

And thinking that, for me,  just makes the whole story of Christ and his life growing up that much more relevant because Jesus’ mother, Mary,  had those moments to hold onto too….

The Bible says (in my own paraphrase) that Mary listened to the words of praise spoken about her baby, thought about them, held them close and then treasured them.  Later when we read about him being a preteen, we see his parents doing what I believe is a tad bit of discipline ( I do believe he was perfect but I also believe he was a child and still needed parental guidance)…Mary and Joseph can’t find Jesus… they search for three days only to find him teaching adults… The Bible says they were astonished but it also says they didn’t understand fully….jesus-at-the-temple-by-brian-jekel

The astonishment of what others think about your child, the marveling at the thoughts of the greatness of your child, the treasured moments that you want to hold onto… that just makes Jesus’  family seem like your average family… Jesus’ family could have lived right down the street with their very average but loving family life…

Mary seems to have paid close attention to the words of others and to her son’s actions and from it was able to treasure these things about her son…. and then hold on to them when he had to save the world… and not stand in his way…

Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, an aunt, a sister, a brother or even none of these… It pays to listen to what God’s people say,  to look with depth into a situation and hold on to those when God is ready to do a great work in ourselves or the ones we love… it gives us the insight to set aside our desires and we can trust to let God do his thing….

By the way, “Andy Griffithson is on!”

Luke 2

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss[a] your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

41Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

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