The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Earthworms Built Our Rose Gardens - And God Created Them

The rain wished upon me - by a Denver friend - has arrived, and it may last five days. Nothing will make roses bloom more gloriously than steady rain.

The eight KnockOut roses have around 25 blooms and 25 buds each. LI wrote back about that metric - "Each?" Yes - each. Last year's hybrid tea roses - the first eight, which started this - are budding and ready to bloom for Mother's Day. The new roses are leafing out and the bargain $5 roses are already budding.

On Saturday I will deliver roses to the mothers living on our cul-de-sac. Our landscaper lost his mother this year, so he will get a vase too, in memory of her.

Earthworms built our rose gardens, but they had some help from fungi, bacteria, protozoa, nematodes, and many other tiny workers created by God for that very purpose. Each tiny worker is quite remarkable, but their organized, balanced, synergistic labor is astonishing.

Last year I started the first rose garden, in front of our shaded porch, with eight bargain hybrid tea roses on sale - a TV special. I soon added eight KnockOut roses to the same area. What had been lawn was turned into holes for the roses, then covered with Jackson Mulch - a newspaper layer held down by shredded wood mulch.

I bought 2,000 red wiggler earthworms from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm, then received another 2,000 free when the first ones arrived late. Needless to say, earthworms were dropped onto the soil of the rose garden, on the crepe myrtle base, and all around the backyard. Yesterday, when I installed some wild strawberries along the back fence, the earthworms were red, wiggling, and abundant.

These books increased my knowledge of the Creation Garden, whether they intended to or not.

A mother's love - accidental or created?

Soil Microbes
At the bottom of the soil food web are bacteria and fungi, which are attracted to and consume plant root exudates. In turn, they attract and are eaten by bigger microbes, specifically nematodes and protozoa (remember the amoebae, paramecia, flagellates, and ciliates you should have studied in biology?), who eat bacteria and fungi (primarily for carbon) to fuel their metabolic functions. Anything they don’t need is excreted as wastes, which plant roots are readily able to absorb as nutrients. How convenient that this production of plant nutrients takes place right in the rhizosphere, the site of root-nutrient absorption. At the center of any viable soil food web are plants. 

Plants control the food web for their own benefit, an amazing fact that is too little understood and surely not appreciated by gardeners who are constantly interfering with Nature’s system.

Lewis, Wayne;   Lowenfels, Jeff;  (2010-09-10). Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (Kindle Locations 191-197). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Beneficial Insects
It might surprise you to know that a mere 1 percent of the insects we come across in our lives are actually harmful. These are the creatures that consume our plants, introduce disease, bite our flesh, feed on our pets, and cause economic, aesthetic, or medical damage. These are the bugs that tend to attract our attention, and as a result they get all the press—most of it negative. 

The remaining 99 percent of insects are either benign or beneficial. Benign insects are very good at going about their business without harming our crops or us. And beneficial insects are, in fact, doing some type of good in the landscape. Insects can be beneficial for several reasons. First, they can be pollinators. We all know how important quality pollination is to a farm or garden. The world, after all, cannot function without it. Most of us can readily recognize common pollinators like honeybees and butterflies, but there are hundreds of thousands of other pollinator species in this world: beetles, moths, wasps, ants, flies, bats, and birds. Not to mention the more than thirty-five hundred species of native bees in the United States whose pollination work sadly and undeservedly plays second string to that of the imported European honeybee. Fifteen billion dollars worth of food needs to be pollinated by some little creature each and every year in the United States alone. 

Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 184-194). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 

The Books of Sharon Lovejoy
I only have Lovejoy's printed books, but I enjoy regular contact with her on Facebook, where she is a friend to all gardeners. She combines extensive experience and observation with a holistic view of the garden, showing the feeding of baby birds can rid vegetables of destructive pests - faster and better than any human being armed withe pesticides.

A Blessing of Toads, by Lovejoyis a great example of a unified approach to gardening - considering all beneficial creatures, the ways to garden to support them, and the reasons to abandon the three 'cides - pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

I have been shopping for clay pots (not plastic) so I can set up houses for toads in my garden. The more one reads about toads as pest eaters, the greater the urge to have as many of them as possible. First I ordered tiny ones by mistake, from Amazon. Then I found real clay pots for bargain prices at Lowe's.

Lovejoy is equally good about garden projects, ideas for children, and birds.

Silence Among the Clergy
The work of the Creating Word - Genesis 1 and John 1 - seldom finds a place in pastoral thoughts, writing, preaching, or copying and pasting. While no one was looking, Creation began taking a backseat to Evolution, and the Christian Church began acting as if Lux fiat - Let there be light! - was an embarrassment.

Individually and collectively, we can carry on as if Creation never happened. That can only be expected in the Last Days, but we are paying a terrible price for it.

The ceaseless toil of the garden creatures is only a small hint of the power of God's Word. Many can shut down the work of the Word, just as beneficial creatures can be starved, poisoned, and driven off our property.

Substitution is far more effective than rejection. The Seminex crowd, led by a UOJ fanatic from WELS (Richard Jungkuntz) mistakenly attacked the Word itself, and their unconvincing rationalism found few friends.

The crafty ones took up Church Growth, substituting manufactured solutions - like the Seeker Service - for God's own instruments of grace - the Means of Grace. Guile has outproduced the PhDs from Seminex. The Synodical Conference is united around Church Growth, abortion on demand, fellowship with ELCA, and anti-Luther polemics. Seminex won a guerrilla war after losing its frontal attack.

Looking at the Lutheran landscape is as bleak as seeing the neglected yards around me. Traditional Lutheran congregations are closing in favor of abominations that can barely mention their tenuous connection with the "conservative" Lutherans. And the apostate leaders grin and shovel more money at them.

I look around the neighborhood and see large rain-soaked, sun-drenched yards  with little work required to have enormous gardens, almost truck farms. Instead, they grow nothing, complain about food prices, and eat at mediocre places where a #3 meal costs as much as a steak someone would actually have to cook - and no fries or Coke!

Lutherans - in fact all Protestants - are content with a chemo-burger keep warm under lights when they could have what God created and designed for them, revealed to them in the Word, and had confessed by faithful Christians over the centuries.