The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

Lenten Mid-week Services, Wednesdays -
7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

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

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Friday, July 29, 2016

Experimenting - Low Cost Gardening


Anyone can spend $35 on a plant or half as much - or almost nothing.

Knowing the variety is important, which is why gardeners often employ the official Latin name.

At first, all Bee Balm is just that. But Bee Balm fans will favor one kind or another and only shop for the favorite at a good price. I found the red Bee Balm fast spreading but floppy. In contrast, the purple Bee Balm formed a big clump and bloomed in one place, swarmed by bumblebees and emitting a Vicks Vapo-rub fragrance.

Direct Gardening told me I just had to buy Catmint - which is related to, but different from Catnip. The dreaded Catnip spreads like Bermuda grass and has a powerful root system.

Catmint is showier and better behaved than its cousin. The best one, I am told, is Walker's Low, which is actually rather tall and very bloomy. So I ordered a couple at $2. I can also buy Walker's Low today for:

  • $10.95
  • $11.95, or 
  • $29.95.
I'll take Catmint, Walker's Low for $2, from Direct Gardening.

Bee Balm also makes tea, as many mints do.
This Bergamot is my favorite, easy to grow and divide.

This is one reason for Bee Balm -
beneficial insect hosts are good for the whole garden.

These Bee Balms also make good hummingbird feeders.


Why These Mints?
I am wary about mints, because they are just as famous for being weedy as they are for attracting bees.

Creeping Charlie is often a visitor to lawns. It is another mint that easily multiplies by its stolons. I am trying to insert stoloniferous into my conversations. "Socialism is stoloniferous, like Creeping Charlie." 

I also need some short responses to Almost Eden's Yoda-like summaries. AE - "These are easy to grow, and they naturalize fast." GJ - "So they are stoloniferous?"

In general, plants with tiny flowers are attractive to the beneficial insects. Potent fragrances also help. A third quality is Extra Floral Nectar (EFN). Jessica Walliser writes quite a bit about EFN. These are extra ducts for high sugar nectar, having the effect of Coca Cola, providing an attractant and a boost, but leaving a hunger for a real meal, insects - the Quarter Pounders of the animal world.

EFN attracts beneficial insects for a snack. Ever have a Coke on an empty stomach? Next you want a sandwich and fries. The EFN brings in hummingbirds, which also need insects in their diet. Adult beneficial insects need nectar and pollen for themselves,  but they lay their eggs on or near pests.

When I cut roses for friends and place them in a vase, tiny insects hover around them, as if to say, "My babies are there. Take good care of them." I see Hover Flies (like little bees) and Ichneumon Wasps (micro-wasps) around the roses in the vase. 

When I water beneficial insect plants, a little cloud of tiny creatures lift up from their meals and work. The two Clethra bushes were loaded with beneficial insects when I watered them.

Borage (not a mint) constantly flowers and goes to seed.
One article said its very presence increases beneficial
insects all around it.


Spiritual Gifts
This Sunday's Epistle concerns spiritual gifts. The garden is quite similar to that passage. Each plant and creature has beneficial effects for the plants and creatures around it. The yard limited to grass and some bushes will never have the same diversity as one planned for the entire zoo.

Simply growing different plants for the enjoyment of their colors, fragrances, flowers, and fruits will attract everything. When I visit the large berm of soil at Almost Eden, I look over the plants that landed or grew from the soil. In the midst of all that greenery is a hum of insects and doubtless the lair of various animals. So much food, shelter, nesting materials can be found by this random but strangely harmonious growth. It also qualifies as a Beetle Berm, a raised area of ground, untilled and untended by man, that shelters and protects an army of beneficial beetles that will prey upon pests at night.


1 Corinthians 12 
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are visited upon those who believe in the Creating Word - the Savior and Son of God, Jesus.

Paul had many gifts but they were not active in benefiting the Kingdom of God. Instead, he used them to persecute the Christian Church. God took the hardest material, Paul's personality, and used it to create the sharpest knife for dividing doctrine, the good from the bad.

Individual believers have spiritual gifts too. Some teach. Others preach. Some encourage the workers. Still others write or paint. God fills believers with energy (the Word at work) to accomplish things that glorify His Name. Those with the least that the world values are often the most productive for the Kingdom. They can be filled with Gospel energy in the hospital, in prison, in a nursing home, or on the doctrinal battlefields. 



John Bunyan wrote his best books in prison, in a room no bigger than a bedroom, but without the comforts. He converted his jailer to the Christian faith. His books were so popular that some were probably lost forever for being shared so often.