June 20, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother and our teacher, Jesus. Amen. June 21 is the official start of summer. I think word that summer is right around the corner leaked out because it has felt like summer for a couple of weeks already. Last year we didn’t experience any temperatures over 100, but so far this year my outside thermometer has recorded 106, 107, and 103 at different times. The thermometer is located on the back porch, which gets a few degrees warmer than it really is. But still it tells us it is hot. And we don’t need a heat index to tell us it’s humid!
June 13, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother and our teacher, Jesus. Amen. Oh my goodness, it has turned H.O.T. in a hurry! If you didn’t know you lived in Texas, you are fixin’ to get an up-close and personal lesson. Our beautiful East Texas is still in a drought, and it doesn’t seem that we will get relief any time soon. I have a few vegetables in containers and raised beds, but they are suffering even though I water them every day. That old sun can be so brutal.
June 6, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother and our teacher, Jesus. Amen. We were in double digits at Paxton Methodist—something to celebrate at our little church. Sunday was the Day of Pentecost, a high holy day in both the Christian and Jewish faiths. Pentecost occurs around the beginning of summer and schools letting out. I know it is not officially summer, but it is already feeling that way. I am watering my raised garden beds every day. We were promised some rain last week, but that never materialized.
May 31, 2022 - Sunday was the last Sunday of the Easter Season. What many see as the birth of the Christian Church, Pentecost, comes next Sunday. Shortly we enter into Ordinary Time, which most people would vote for—just regular, everyday time. But our world was shattered once again by gun violence. This week it happened at an elementary school right here in our beloved Texas. Twenty-one people, nineteen of the them children, were gunned down in their classrooms by an 18-year-old armed with a semi-automatic weapon.
May 23, 2022 - Sunday was the 6th Sunday of Easter. As promised by all the local channels, our part of the world got a nice rain last night. We had almost 2 inches in downtown Joaquin. Sunday morning also saw some cooler temperatures. All the plants in my little gardens and containers appreciate rain, and I appreciate not having to water. It is usually much later in the summer when I have to start watering every day.
May 17, 2022 - Sunday was the 5th Sunday of Easter. We finally got some much-needed rain, but that was followed by heat, humidity, and winds. The old earth is parched again in Shelby County. I am watering my container plants every day. I have become a small-time gardener with mostly raised beds planted in perennials. The first blooms from my roses were really pretty; now the gardenias and cape jasmine are flowering, looking and smelling wonderful.
May 4, 2022 - Sunday was the 3rd Sunday of Easter. We have had rain, wind, nice low humidity days and not-so-nice high humidity days. Typical spring in East Texas—with some wild weather thanks to climate change. In last week’s Sunday School lesson, the author spoke about our denomination United Methodist) and our stand to protect the planet from misuse by us humans. We are supposed to be the stewards of this beautiful earth, but we haven’t done a very good job.
April 24, 2022 - Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. This Sunday was Orthodox Easter in the East and Low Sunday here in the Western world. Easter sees the highest attendance at our churches, and usually the lowest attendance is on the second Sunday of Easter (thus, “low Sunday”). Oh, human nature—quite marvelous. Sunday morning the sun began to peek through the clouds, and by the time I got ready to go to Sunday School, it was shining brightly. It has been windy and dry, and we are still suffering from drought.
April 18, 2022 - Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Sunday was Easter and the most important holy day on the Christian calendar. Unfortunately, the church universal has split east and west: The eastern, or Orthodox Church, celebrates Easter next Sunday. Whichever date one celebrates, we all can agree that Easter came late this year. Everything is turning green or blooming. Nature is such a wonderful gift from God! As we ponder what resurrection means, we can enjoy Easter by being with friends and family—at home, in church, and in glorious nature.
April 11, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Today is both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. At one time in the universal church, the faithful would come each day during Holy Week: Today was reserved for waving palm branches, while the suffering and passion of Jesus would be celebrated later in the week. I chose once again to focus on Palm Sunday. Sunday began as a warm day, with the sun was shining brightly. We certainly have had some powerful winds this past week, and we have a good chance of severe storms this coming week.