Posted tagged ‘flower garden’

Never Too Late to Finish the Job!

September 4, 2011

Over a year after a used, dog-eared, wooden fence was erected at our parsonage dwelling, the installation is finally complete! Youth and their mentors from the Central Church of Christ in Cleveland, TN put up the transplanted fence panels at our residence for us over the span of two days. Though the available panels did not completely enclose any section of our yard, it did provide us some privacy for using our back porch area; Bonnie and I have breakfast out there often, provided it is neither too hot and humid or too cold. On either end of the yard graced by the stockade fence, it was open to all comers, especially four-legged creatures who either wanted to sleep on the porch swing, lie in the flowerbeds or leave us unwelcome presents in the grass.

Several weeks ago, Bonnie and essentially sewed together two short fence panels, one of which had been a gate, to extend the fence line some. Saturday, September 3 – Labor Day Weekend – our vacationing daughter Rebecca, Bonnie and I spent the entire day erecting two and a half more fence panels and fence posts that I purchased to finally completely enclose a portion of our yard; I don’t know how much of a holiday it proved to be for our daughter, but we greatly appreciate her help – somebody has to do all the heavy lifting! 😉 Naturally, we had to re-engineer the project on the fly, as nothing worked out exactly as I had imagined that it would; that’s par for the course for me! We have one used, bent (badly warped), eight-foot long fence post, one hinge and half a fence panel left; what does it mean when I always have parts left over?

Part of the re-engineering involved taking apart one of the landscaping timbered flowerbeds, shortening the pieces and reassembling them. In total, we reworked the landscaping timbers of three flowerbeds, two of which were infested with fire ants – unknown to us until we dug into them; there were no telltale ant mounds to warn us. Consequently, especially Bonnie, but Rebecca and I have some ugly looking fire ant bites on our extremities. Fire ants got into one of Bonnie’s gloves and up our pants legs!

Subsequently, we have planted some more flowers, added new, enriched potting soil and are planning to beautify especially what we can see from the porch swing. We now have our own little sitting garden – that is, our own if you don’t count the mosquitoes, etc. that we are trying to convince to stay off the porch. Finally, we have a fence and are back into the original human family business – gardening (think, Garden of Eden).

Dodging Severe Thunderstorms, Flooding and Tornados . . . Tis the Season!

April 26, 2011

Southside Church of Christ south of Batesville, ARSaturday morning, April 23, Bonnie and I headed north from Winona, before turning west from Memphis, and then heading northwest in Arkansas. Our destination – Batesville, AR and specifically the Southside Church of Christ. There are brethren worldwide that we have yet to meet, which simply means that there are oodles of friends in Christ with whom we are not acquainted – yet. Such was the case respecting the Southside Church of Christ just south of Batesville. For the Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, Motivated by the Cross, about our trips in 2010 to India and Myanmar (Burma). During worship that morning, I made my PowerPoint presentation about Bible Archaeology; it is a faith-building lesson that reassures Bible believers that they have correctly placed their confidence in the Word of God. Afterward, Bonnie and I were absorbed by the extended Bob Harris family into their Sunday holiday lunch: tasty ham with a variety of complementary southern dishes and accented with scrumptiously delicious desserts, including pecan pie and a chocolate swirl pudding cake (don’t know the real name of it). I feel like we have made some lasting friends from among brethren previously with whom we had been unacquainted. The Southside church made an initial financial participation in the work for the Lord to which Bonnie and I devote ourselves daily.

Biggers, AR Church of ChristBy 2:00 p.m., Bonnie and I headed beneath ominously dark clouds across ribbons of secondary highways between flooded fields toward our evening appointment. Fortunately, when we arrived at the meetinghouse of the Biggers, AR Church of Christ early, the doors were unlocked. Bonnie and I got inside and set things up for the evening service just before the bottom fell out of the angry, black clouds overhead. Some of the members were not as fortunate, and they sported raindrop Pokka dotted shirts and blouses upon entrance to the building. The vigorous storming relented by the conclusion of services.

Biggers, AR Church of ChristThe brethren, though few in number these days, are always delighted to see us and we to see them. The antique auditorium with curved pews dating to 1931 and able to seat 185 or so accommodates from eight to 15 precious souls today. Nevertheless, percentage wise, the local membership represents about 5% of the village population. Their preacher, legally blind, led singing completely by memory. He loves my PDF books, in part, because they can be enlarged on a computer to where even he can read them. Everything about the Biggers Church of Christ encourages Bonnie and me. We are proud to be the recipients of monthly support in our missionary work from this gallant congregation.

Services over, Bonnie and I headed for our own Bed & Breakfast of sorts, our daughter Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Monday, we wended our way through some shopping on our way back to Winona. Back at the house, we finished the afternoon planting some flowers we picked up while out. That night, again came the severe thunderstorms, and especially the areas in which we had been Sunday suffered the brunt and fury of the ill-tempered weather. Rebecca’s hometown, too, was buffeted last night with tornadic activity, but North Little Rock, AR took a beating, and several people lost their lives. The South has endured a record number of tornados and severe weather and the bad weather season is barely begun, but more is forecast to come. Our sleep of late has been uneasy due to the severe weather, including tornado warnings, but alas we must be ready for glory at all times in all places.

Over the Weekend and Beyond

April 18, 2011

Meetinghouse of the Collierville, TN Church of ChristOver the weekend, Bonnie and I visited our daughter and the Collierville Church of Christ. Not otherwise committed to an appointment and having agreed to participate in the Collierville congregation’s 2011 Guyana mission trip, we attended an afternoon meeting Sunday respecting that trip. It was also important for us transfer funds for our plane tickets to Guyana – over $2,400 – which is about half of what we have on hand presently (a matter of concern). This trip will require several hundred dollars beyond the airfare for ground travel, lodging and meals. In the fall, we will also be traveling to Myanmar (Burma) and India on mission trips. Those occasions will also necessitate acquiring significant funding from Christians and churches of Christ to make those efforts possible.

Otherwise, Bonnie and I continue to travel extensively stateside to apprise congregations about our mission work and to present additional biblical lessons. Over the next several weeks, we will be in Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. In November, Bonnie will squeeze in a ladies retreat in South Carolina. I am scheduling Gospel meetings through 2014.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, we package and ship books as well as work on literature production and field calls, emails and letters. We never have to experience boredom, but merely need to choose either what has to be done next or at least something other than what we have been doing for hours already to find sufficient variation.

Bonnie and I interjected yard work, fence construction and flower gardening into daylight hours and beyond last week, which we will continue today. One night last week, the daylight escaped before we completed installation of one fence panel, and we had to finish by flashlight! My aging, American-rounded body is complaining with joint and muscle pains, but personal satisfaction massages the discomfort.