The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

May 31, Ascension Day Holy Communion,
7 PM Centray Daylight 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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Filling the Rain Buckets Again

Clethra  - or Summersweet - is blooming now and
attracting scores of beneficial insects.

I laughed when I saw rain-barrels on sale on Amazon. Only $100 without the connections. Fortunately, rain falls from the sky and drips off the roof. I gather the results in:

  1. Four large garbage cans, with lids used as birdbaths or toad pools.
  2. Five 5-gallon paint buckets - all clean.
  3. Two wastebaskets.
  4. One broken wheelbarrow.
The paint buckets are easily carried to the plants that need extra care. The large containers can be dipped with the paint buckets and the rainwater carried to dry areas. The broken wheelbarrow is stationary now, so I am using its wide area to catch the rain.

The irony is, my biggest supply of rain develops when I have the least need. Thanks to the recent sprinkling and the steady rain tonight, the containers are all filling up.

A few years after I was ordained in the LCA (1973),
Fuller's Church Growth was established in the LCMS, WELS, and ELS.
"Come to the WELS," they sang, where sewage is sold as Perrier water.
WELS-ELS and LCMS work with ELCA all the time.

Likewise, when America was filled with traditional congregations of all types, everyone took that for granted. As I have mentioned many times, every LCA congregation used the traditional liturgy, hymns, sermons, pipe organ, and choirs. Anyone showing up to preach in his gardening clothes would have been laughed out of the building. The sermons I heard then were Biblical, and that was true through my vicarage in the largest Lutheran church in Canada. My dogmatics professor, Otto Heick, wrote the book that WELS pastors used - which I often spotted decades later in book sales.


A drought is not felt when the rain is falling, and a drought of the Word is not a worry when everything seems so peaceful and prosperous. The new addition and picking the paint colors are a distraction from the subtle changes in the environment.

We have to commend Fuller Seminary and its model church, the late Crystal Cathedral, for mining the gold and silver of all the denominations and poisoning them all with unending supply of toxins. The Israelites spoiled the Egyptians and left, but Fuller Seminary conned everyone into donating millions to their snake oil empire - and the denominational suckers arrived in droves, and spread the faux-Gospel of marketing and statistics to everyone.

Many parallels can be found in gardening, because the same Creation principles are violated. Every gardening center has stacks of chemical fertilizer and containers of insecticide and weed killers. Some companies combine the two with short-term fertilizer and temporary weed killers. The man-made answer to poorly growing plants is more fertilizer. Weeds? No problem. Either use broad-leaf weed killer, which is especially effective on flowers and bushes, or RoundUp, which kills everything green.



Studying Creation by the Word is easy, because the data is constantly being produced by everyone. No matter what the interpretation, the facts must emerge. When we received tours of the Grand Canyon and Sedona, sea life fossilized at great heights was pointed out by the guides. One said in Sedona, "The ocean left those fossils up there 300 million years ago." I added - "Or the Flood." The Grand Canyon guide admitted that the old description of the Colorado River - carving out the wonder over millions of years - was hilariously off-key.

I grew up on the Mississippi River Valley. Where was our Grand Canyon, carved out by the river? Instead, we had a massive deposit of mud (loess) and vast amounts of coal, which has to come from gigantic piles of leafy matter, pressed down, reduced to carbon, but leaving their prints on the fuel. Thus I lived and walked above coal mines, with nearby towns called Coal Valley and Carbon Cliffs. No wonder we had a giant foundry in the area and a large industrial base. We had water and coal, plus topsoil many feet deep. Our topsoil came from centuries of prairie grass growing and dying or burning, buffalo herds fertilizing, and finally European earthworms tunneling.

My gardening gurus (Sharon Lovejoy, Almost Eden, Jessica Walliser) have me fascinated with the beneficial insects and their work. As Walliser has written, timing is everything. Events must happen at the right time for insects to be nurtured into the next generation and plants to be pollinated and protected. 

 Monarch Butterfly


This summer the Sunny Garden was left to raspberry plants, a tribe known for quickly establishing a jungle. This ever-bearing kind does not disappoint, except in producing tasty berries. They are insipid, tasteless. So next year we will dig them up and replace them with plants known to nurture Monarch caterpillars (Butterfly Weed) and other butterfly babies (parsley for Swallowtails). That area just bakes with solar heat, and the block wall absorbs the heat and reflects it back to the plants all night. 

For those who like butterflies, the key is having diversity in the plants where the eggs must be laid. Like the general crowd of beneficial insects, the babies eat baby food and the adults enjoy something else. Some of the most common plants, like Milkweed, feed the butterflies that people enjoy.

 Tiger Swallowtail