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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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Moses P. Diddy Hall… I appreciate you… sometimes

shih_tzu_puppy2I’m not sure that there is anything much cuter than a baby animal… well, not a baby narwhal but that is another story.  So, my friend sent me an email saying that she had found a puppy on the internet that she wanted.  A cute little girl whose photo was attached to the email.  I know when Moses P. Diddy Hall was a little ball of fur he was SO cute so I was excited to see this little fluff that she was so smitten with.  I popped open the picture with excitement to see a cute little fluffy, sweet puppy only to find a picture of a hairless little puppy with a comb over on her head…..okay, comb over is a bit dramatic but more like a frustrated genius scientist look… I will say that she wasn’t ugly andhairless puppy seeing her little round, puppy belly even made her a cuter than I would have guessed, but it sure wasn’t the picture that I thought I was going to see.  It was a photo of a Chinese Crested Puppy… .the hairless dog.  Now, some people may think that Moe wasn’t such a cute puppy because of his pug nose and big eyes and in comparison to this puppy I would say they might balance the scale.  So, my reply to my friend’s email was a quick,  “Cute but…..

Sam

Sam

They grow up” and I sent her back a picture of  Sam, the Champion Ugliest Dog… (a Chinese Crested adult dog who happened to win the ugliest dog contest several years in a row….And Moe… he tops that one… Well, it isn’t even a competition) I guess appreciation for some things is a matter of how you look at it.  I suppose Sam’s owners must have appreciated his uniqueness. So, when Moe is now doing something that I think is annoying or bothersome I can remember the photo of the ugliest dog and be thankful that at times, even when he smells, Moe is kinda cute… I can appreciate his cuteness.

It seems that I’m finding myself appreciating other things a bit more too.  The other night I was able to spend some time at the home where I spent the majority of my childhood.  My parents don’t live there anymore but fortunately it is still in the family.  I only spent a few hours there the other night but I could have stayed there forever.  It was an appreciation of that place that I had somewhat forgotten. The house is approximately 100 years old and has been renovated with the comforts of air conditioning and central heat while being able to sit in the glassed in room and enjoy the beauty of a vegetable, fruit or flower garden.   I can sit on the deck and smell fresh cut grass, hear the birds sing or crickets chirp while looking at acres and acres of rolling hills just as a family member may have done on the porch 70 years ago. I can remember sticking my feet in creeks, catching crawdads (or at least trying),ubwnk running in a yard so big that it would take up the whole cul-de-sac I live on now. It is beautiful.. and though I’ve always loved it there, I can’t say that I have appreciated it like I did the other night.  There was just something different.  Not sure exactly what it was that made me feel so blessed to walk through the grass or look at the trees I used to climb except maybe the fact that my daughters haven’t had that full experience.  They have played outdoors but not in the same manner.  Their outdoor life has been at a park or a small yard or a blacktop area where they have to watch for cars.  So, eventhough I never wanted to move from there when my family did in my young teen years, maybe my deep appreciation comes from having moved away and then coming back.

I guess that is the way it is with life in general. We can’t always appreciate until we recognize the obstacle, hardship or the opposite.  I think, had I stayed on the farm my whole life, I might be aching to get away.

I talked to the kids yesterday at church about Jesus feeding the 5000 with 2 fish and 5 little loaves of bread.  Something that I found interesting is that Jesus asked Phillip how they were going to buy bread for everyone.  I never really thought much about that question because the Bible says that Jesus was testing Phillip.  Maybe he wanted Phillip to say, “Jesus, do your thing…you have healed the sick and even done the whole food thing.  Remember?  You made water turn into wine..what are you waiting for?” .. But after studying it a bit I’m thinking that Jesus wanted Phillip to recognize the obstacle and the difficulty in meeting the need so that when he did do his thing it wouldn’t be taken for granted and it would be remembered as great.  Lots of people, little food… look what Jesus did.

My dog- sometimes annoying- take a look at the hairless dog and remember…. Yes, Moses P. Diddy Hall you are  appreciated

The farm-moved away- look at what my kids haven’t had- and remember the beauty of God’s creation and where I grew up- appreciated

So what else can I appreciate?   A spouse, a parent, a sibling, a child or a friend?  Maybe a house, a car, a yard or a bed?  Take time today to recognize the obstacle or the opposite of things in your life and appreciate today.

And by the way, my friend appreciated that little puppy enough to take her home…. Tasha is a new member of their family.

farmfarm2farm3

John 6

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

1Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

5When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

7Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

14After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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