Monthly Archives: April 2021

Nature Notes–Coming Event!

Every spring, around April 20, chimney swifts–little, cigar-shaped brownish-black birds– come to my area in the Eastern US. They migrate thousands of miles from their wintering grounds in Central America. I look forward to their arrival; I even have April 20 marked on my calendars with a notation about the birds. Their arrival marks “spring” for me, despite the calendar saying March 20 or 21 is the start of spring for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere.

I enjoy watching the birds dive and climb in the sky. I know they are really doing that to catch insects, but to me they look as though they are flying for the sheer joy of it.

Chimney swifts, along with bats (which the birds are sometimes confused with) are natural insecticides. They eat hundreds of mosquitoes and other insects every day.

Here is some additional info. about these aerial acrobats: www.allaboutbirds.org.

If you live in the Eastern half of the United States, look out for the chimney swifts’ flight, and know they are doing the job of killing insect pests.

©P. Booher

Leave a comment

Filed under Nature Notes

Friday Photos–Pictures of Perseverance

Daisies blooming in the driveway, amidst gravel and pebbles.
Maple tree growing; the roots probably go under the rock.
Buttercup growing in poor soil.
Tree Roots amid Rocks.
Little pine tree, growing from a crevice in the rock.
Same pine tree as above, but growing, in spite of a rocky environment!

All photos: Author’s collection.

Leave a comment

Filed under Friday Photos

Two Smart Cats

Cinder
Abby — Here I am, ready to write my story!

In celebration of National Pet Day (today), I decided to highlight two of the many pets who’ve lived with my family. 

Cinder’s mama, a feral cat, moved Cinder and two of her siblings to our pumphouse to stay. Apparently, Cinder’s mom decided their home across the road (underneath the neighbor’s porch) was too noisy to raise her family. So she moved the kittens one by one to our side of the road. As the kittens grew, Mama Cat took Cinder’s brother and sister hunting, but left Cinder behind. Eventually Cinder came into our house. She proved to be a “people cat”, and adapted quickly to inside life with humans as her family. She also demonstrated her intelligence different times.

One day Cinder knocked over the small cardboard box which held the cats’ toys. She checked out all the toys, found the one she wanted, picked it up, and started playing with it! The only thing she didn’t do was put the other toys back in the toy box! That episode puts a smile on my face even now, years later. She had a specific toy in mind, and looked for it until she found it! If I hadn’t seen that with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Our current feline, Abby, displays her intelligence in understanding human language. For instance, one day she strolled into the living room. You could see by the way she looked around that she was looking for something. My mother told her where her toy was. Abby went right to the spot and started playing with the toy! On another occasion, I left a cardboard box in the living room for Abby. Later on, I moved the box. Abby came into the living room. She looked all around. My mother wondered if she was looking for the box. I said, “Abby, I moved the box over there by the fan.” I pointed to it. She walked right over to it, as though she completely understood what I said!

Over the years, we’ve had many pets—more cats than dogs. Each had his or her own personality. Each provided the blessings of companionship and unconditional acceptance wrapped in fur coats.

©P. Booher

Leave a comment

Filed under Country Cats

“Not Today”

Please bear with me today as I work through a nerve-wracking experience. This post is one way to work through it.

In the culture I live in, “not today” has a casual meaning. It’s said if a person knows that some task should be done, and he or she knows it won’t get done. So,  in referring about the situation, the person says “Not today”.

This afternoon I realized a more serious meaning to that phrase. 

I almost had a car accident. Had it happened it would have been bad for me and it would have been my fault. I pulled out in front of a large vehicle as I came from a gas station. When I looked, I didn’t see anyone coming. When I looked again, an SUV was just a few feet away from me. Miraculously, both sets of brakes held, I hurried up and went in my lane, and we (both drivers) could resume going where we were going.

I believe God said, “It’s not her time. Not Today.”

“My times are in your hands…” Psalm 31:15 (NIV)

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

Lord, let me not take my life for granted. Help me be ready when it is my time.

Singer Kirk Franklin’s book The Blueprint contained this quote, which dovetails with this meditation:

“There was the car wreck, and the bullet, and the doctor’s diagnosis, and the pink slip at work—these were all things that God spared me from in the past week. Things I wasn’t even aware of. And church is my time to go and be in His presence and thank Him. Even when there are sick, stupid people there who are just as broken as me, church service is my time to be reminded of how good He’s been to me all through the week. Yes, there may have been some bad things that happened, but there were a lot of things that didn’t happen, a lot more bad things that could have happened. So for that I’m going to show my appreciation.”                 Author Unknown

 

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1 (NIV)

P. Booher

7 Comments

Filed under Country Ripples

A Movie About Boundaries

One night last week, before falling asleep I saw a “movie scene” flash in my mind’s eye. I’m pretty sure it was my mind’s combination of a post I read, a book I’ve been reading (Cancel the Culture), my thoughts about boundaries, and a sermon I heard.

The scene: A person was walking on a narrow path. The path was bordered by fences on both sides. Beyond the fences people were involved in many activities. A skateboarder appeared in the scene, weaving in and out among the crowd. While I could see some people, others were just shadowy figures in the blackness further away from the fences. I could hear them, laughing and carrying on, but I couldn’t see them. The people I could see were partying—drinking, shooting up drugs, doing activities illegal, immoral, and unethical—anything you could imagine. The people beyond the fences hollered out to the walker. Some people invited the person to join the partying; other people mocked the person for not joining them, calling the walker “old-fashioned” and hurling insults. But the walker kept on the path, not paying any attention to the commotion of the world.

For me, the fences are boundaries I need to keep to live and write the best I can. If I engage in relationships or activities I know are outside of God’s will for me, I will suffer, and eventually that will have an affect on the writing I produce. The boundaries also involve what I read, listen to, and watch; I believe the words I read, the music I listen to, and the movies, tv, or videos I watch affect my mind. They go in there, and tend to stick, especially the negative stuff. I need a certain degree of peace of mind to do creative work, even to want to do creative work, so I need to keep those boundaries intact.  The path means I pay attention to my writing, not what anyone else is writing.  I keep focused on the path. I may ask for help; I take online classes in writing, but I don’t need to find out the success some other writer is enjoying. The people on the other side of the fences represent temptations to envy others’ success, or the voices of the world or in my mind, telling me things I know I need to ignore.

Besides the application specifically for me, I see another application, one for Christians and people in general to consider. Again, I see the fences as boundaries for guidance and protection; the people outside the fences represent the world’s temptations. We live in a time when the boundaries are cast aside by the world and even by some Christians, but we suffer when we ignore God’s boundaries. He put them there not to “cramp our style”, but to give us the greatest amount of joy, happiness and peace possible this side of heaven, with the least amount of heartbreak. Isn’t that something worth thinking about?

©P. Booher

8 Comments

Filed under Country Ripples

It Takes Faith–A Word About An Empty Tomb

“…the women…found the stone rolled away  from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”  (Luke 24:1-3) (NIV)

Although I didn’t go to church often when I was growing up, I knew Easter Sunday was the day Christ rose from the grave. I didn’t connect that fact to anything else in my life–it was just a “religious fact”.  Christ came; He died; He rose. The tomb is empty. That’s good–but what’s that mean?

Years later, that empty tomb–that knowledge I have by faith–gives me hope. The empty tomb gives me hope because Christ was (and is) too big to be held by it. If He is too big for that, He is certainly big enough to handle any and all of the problems I have now or ever will have. He is not at all bothered by any of my problems. He is not fretting about what to do. He has it under control!

The empty tomb gives me hope because it means Christ is living. If He is living, I can reach Him through prayer. I have access to all His comfort, all His kindness, all His understanding of me. He can give guidance, ease my fears, cancel my worries.

That is what the empty tomb means to me now. It takes faith.

©P. Booher

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Country Ripples, Faith Matters, Tips to Avoid Stress

Gentle – for Five Minute Friday

David’s Daily Dose

There are so many things that could be described as “gentle.”

The gentle cycle on a washer, or the old placid dog who has met many children, come to mind.

But when I hear the word gentle, it brings to mind someone (or something) that is so powerful it doesn’t need to be harsh. I believe meekness is the word I’m searching for.

Jesus certainly fits this description. The Bible tells us he was fully God, yet fully man. Now that’s power! Yet he chose to live the life of a servant, and die a horrible death (he didn’t deserve) to redeem all of mankind.

Perhaps that’s why one of his nicknames is, “Gentle Shepherd.”

Today, let’s all be kinder and gentler than necessary—for Jesus’ sake.

View original post

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

An Angry Jesus?

I thought this post from Pastor Chuck of Knowing Jesus in Confusing Times worth re-blogging.

Knowing Jesus in Confusing Times

Jesus Cleanses the Temple
(image courtesy of cagnz.org)

No April Fool’s joke here, the Scriptures that describe the events leading to the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus give us two examples of an angry Jesus.

When last we spoke, adoring crowds welcomed Jesus as He entered Jerusalem. The building excitement of His ministry seemed destined to conclude with Him being crowned King of the Jews. The events in the narrative of the following days do little to disprove the people’s belief that their earthly king was about to take his crown.

Picking up the story in Mark’s Gospel at Chapter 11, verses 12-19, we find evidence of an angry Jesus. It is now the following morning, and Jesus and His disciples are walking back to Jerusalem. Along the way, the author tells us Jesus was hungry and walked toward a fig tree, hoping to find something to eat. As He reached it, the…

View original post 954 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized