Monday, June 14, 2010

We Are His Bees

bee blessed, originally uploaded by Az~Kate.

(This is a presentation I gave years ago at a Women's fellowship. I was cleaning out a drawer today and happened upon it and thought I'd post it here. Kind of odd to read it now, and recall the circumstances then versus now. Now I have no Church affiliation what so ever, but I find myself engaged in the 'ministry', perhaps more significantly than ever...)

Do you ever feel that you are overwhelmed with one chore after another, one need after another, one call after another from the Lord to serve… your husband, your children, your parents and family, your job, your neighbors and friends, your church needs….etc. etc.

Do you feel like you are lost in a sea of demands and needs that sometimes seem impossible to meet? Do you ever think…“What about ‘me’ what about my needs?”

Once during a time when I was praying for direction about whether or not God wanted me to become involved with helping in Women’s ministry I came across a newsletter with an interview between 2 very busy Christian women. I felt God helped me see His perspective better through some things they shared.

In this newsletter, there was quoted a portion of a diary of a woman named Lilias Trotter (1853-1928), in her day she was a renown artist, a devoted Christian, and a missionary to the Muslim people in Algeria for 40 years (particularly ministering to women). Her life inspired the hymn ‘Turn your Eyes upon Jesus’

One woman shared this… “in your book about Lilias you share a passage from one of her diaries that has been an incredible encouragement as I try to accomplish one little task after another, I am sometimes overwhelmed with the precious lives that God has entrusted to me, as well as His call for my ministry to others. I know this passage will be a blessing to other ladies as well.”

Before I read the passage here’s a definition! Miss Trotter had an excellent vocabulary!

Desultory (desultoriness) –1.Moving, jumping or passing from one thing or subject to another, without order or natural connection; unconnected; immethodical. 2. Coming suddenly; started at the moment; not proceeding from natural order or connection with what precedes; (this is my life! one thing interrupting another!) Haphazard, random, aimless, lacking method or application.

Now here is the quote From Lilias’ diary…

"A bee comforted me very much this morning concerning the desultoriness that troubles me in our work. There seems so infinitely much to be done that nothing gets done thoroughly. We seem only to touch souls & leave them. And that was what the bee was doing, figuratively speaking. He was hovering among some blackberry sprays, just touching the flowers here & there in a very tentative way, yet all unconsciously, life- life-life-- was left behind at every touch, as the miracle-working pollen grains were transferred to the place where they could set the unseen spring working. We have only to see to it that we are surcharged, like the bees, with potential life. It is God and His eternity that will do the work-- Yet He needs His wandering, desultory bees!"

Maybe you sometimes feel like I do, that there is simply too much to do all the time… how do we ‘fit in’ women’s ministry events and meetings too? I believe coming to women’s events is one way to be sure that we are ‘surcharged’ with life, Gods life inside that the seemingly random tasks of our daily life, will impart God’s intended life-touch to others.

At women’s meetings we’ll hear the Word which itself is alive with God’s power, we may hear testimonies that will increase our faith and our own commitment, we make friends and create bonds that strengthen us in our inner man. No matter what the ‘function’ even if it’s not something you’d normally be drawn to…it can be a time of drawing closer to your sisters in Christ imparting the “pollen” of truth, love, faith in God etc. with one another. I believe we need to and are meant to come together to build one another up, to hold one another up in prayer. To comfort, encourage, exhort and spur one another on to fulfill the unique call God has given each of us as His sister, His Bride, the stewardess of His children and on and on.

God is the one who created families, and God is the one who created the church, and HE plants us in the place He chooses.

If we neglect assembling together we may be contributing to the weakening of our own spiritual lives and the lives of our sisters. We’ll miss out on what God wants to bring to our body of women through YOU.

We all need friends, we need fellowship, we need one another to pray for us in our struggles, God ordained community within His church. In order to see God’s plan for the Church fulfilled it requires our responsiveness. Women’s ministry times (formal and informal) should be times of receiving and giving of God’s life, love and wisdom into one another like the desultory random transfer of pollen among the flowers. We are His bees.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Organic Foods: When It's Worth It & When It's Not

I am blogging this mainly for my own reference.  It's from a Magazine article I'd saved, but I don't always remember where I've put it, and I never remember all of the foods on the lists.  The article goes into detail about why each food is on the list, the names of the pesticides and chemicals involved, but I'm not going to type all that up here.  Suffice it to say that the list of 12 Fruits and Veggies you SHOULD buy Organic are really bad for you if you don't!

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3.  Pears
4. Winter Squash
5. Green Beans (ugh! almost never buy these organic)
6. Grapes
7. Strawberries
8. Raspberries
9. Spinach
10. Tomatoes
11. Cantaloupe

crazy article, that makes 11, not 12.  Being that Spinach is on the list, I'm going to suggest all leafy lettuces, as well as chards and other greens ought to be here too. 

And fortunately there are 12 fruits and veggies that you can go ahead and buy conventionally grown; generally these have been found to not retain pesticides and other chemicals used.  :)

CONVENTIONALLY GROWN ~ OKAY to buy and eat, no need to buy Organic with these.
1. Bananas
2. Kiwi
3. Mangos
4. Papaya
5. Pineapple
6. Asparagus
7. Avocado
8. Broccoli
9. Cauliflower
10. Corn
11. Onions
12. Peas

The article mentions a couple of noteworthy points.  First, one year olds eat 3 times as many fresh peaches, per pound of body weight as do adults, and more than four times as much apples and pears!  Their bodies are also more vulnerable to the toxins.  Secondly, pregnant woman should take care because many pesticides cross the placenta to the fetus. 
Thirdly, (this is from me) the article focuses on produce, and I want to mention that meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products can contain antibiotics, and heavy metals such as arsenic which are used to promote growth in animals.  So... stick with organic for your proteins folks. 
To our health!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Backyard Massacre

a backyard tragedy., originally uploaded by Az~Kate.
I have a sad tale to tell. Last night we went out for Thai, and when we came home Petey (our mixed terrier mutt) was quite excited...we figured he'd been barking at something outside the wall, as he commonly does.

However this morning, I noticed a couple adult Gambels Quail continually pacing atop our block wall. And while watering the garden, Petey was nosing around under a shrub as if on the hunt. The mama Quail just above him on the wall would not leave. uh oh.

I put Petey in the house and sealed his doggie door. Hunted around the shrubs hoping to spot a chick who couldn't get over the wall to rejoin its family. Nothing. Eventually I gave up, then was tending the pool, when I found a tiny quail chick near the leaf catcher... I cried. Figured Petey chased it into the pool where it drowned. But I knew this chick was not very old, too small to have come into the yard, had to have been born here. Oh dear. First quail nest in our yard in 14 years... what were that pair thinking! Petey is a notorious bird chaser.

So, I started looking again and found 7 more dead babies all in the pool pump enclosure, and a small ground indentation in the corner behind the filter, their ground nest. I had a full blown nature massacre taking place while I was enjoying my Spicy garlic eggplant! I was heart broken and have declared our once beloved pet, an evil monster.

I cleaned up the remains, and noticed the parents still scurrying atop the wall and calling out warningly... could any of these tiny babies have survived? What a large clutch, this must have been. There was no way for them out of our yard at this tiny, too small to fly, size. The drain holes were full of rocks somebody had put in them to keep bunnies out (not me!). Ron and I opened up several of them, on the chance that the parents would escort any remaining chicks to a safer place.

Lo and behold Ron soon discovered 2 which had managed to escape the slaughter! The photo above is of one. He is no more than 2 inches tall. The other one scurried under the wall (through the freshly opened drainage holes) before I could snap its picture. It was a paler, lighter colored baby, perhaps a female. I'm glad at least couple made it, I am still mad at the dog and wonder why the parents dared put a nest here. The Mama scurried them to the wash behind our yard, I hope they are safe now.

UPDATE on June 8.
Well later that day the quail family was back in the yard, apparently the chicks were too young to make a significant move, or for some other instinctual reason of which I am unaware.  So over the weekend we kept Petey under a tight rein.  I was able to get a few more pictures of them, below.  Yesterday morning they were nowhere to be found, and I can't hear the rest of the covey calling from the wash any longer, so we assume they've finally moved to a safer place.  I am wary of cleaning the pool leaf catcher again though, afraid of what I may discover.  It was sweet to watch the tiny 2 surviving chicks over a couple of days though.  I can't say I'm terribly impressed with the parents protective tactics though.

Above, mama quail watches the chicks who are at the base of the wall... whenever she'd hop out of sight they would start peeping and running in circles, which is why I thought her continuing to do that was not a very protective move!  When she would stay with them, they'd quietly sit with her under the shrubs, well hidden.

  Here they are the last afternoon we saw them around the yard, the next morning there was no sign of them.  There are still some bowl shaped 'nests' under the shrubs they spent the most time around... pretty easy nest construction, and not too effectively camouflaged.  God speed little quails, you'll need it!  ;o)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Awww shucks, but still honored!

dart, originally uploaded by Az~Kate.
The Arizona Touism & Travel group  sponsors a monthly photo contest to flickr members who submit  photographs that feature the beauty and attractions of the state of Arizona to its Flickr group 'Arizona Passages' HERE  . A couple weeks ago I was notified that my photo, above, of this hummingbird taken at the Desert Botanical Gardens in April, was one of 5 photos chosen for May's contest. Wowza! And what is more 'wowza' is that I actually came in second place! ;o)

I sure do wish I would have won... I would have had my photograph featured in their next newsletter and received a cool backpack camera bag...that I may have loaned to Jesse for his upcoming trip to Oregon to shoot a wedding. Oh well, you can be sure I will keep trying to get some lovely photos of our beautiful state to enter into their monthly contests!

You have to belong to their facebook group to vote. So if you'd like to be in on this fun in the future... be a facebooker and 'like' the group titled 'Arizona The Official Grand Canyon State' HERE 

Here's the very beautiful and deserving winning shot...