Earlier today I posted a pictorial view of the flood waters in the Davenport Iowa area where we never really recovered from the snow melt flood to be now additionally inundated by spring rains with more to come. Today at 3:30 the levee barriers that had been erected failed and now flood waters are coursing through the lowers areas of downtown.
The cars pictures above had people in them as they were doing their everyday tasks when in a matter of 30 seconds, they are surrounded so that they could not even drive out of it and had to run to safety. the people in the building which is now apartments had to be rescued by the fire department rescue squad.
Fortunately no one was injured which is the most important thing but this is a reminder to never try to drive through water. There is just too much that could happen.
The picture above is an area just north of us where you see the entire town is under water not from the levee break but just the flooding and you see the main highway just to the north has been totally been cut off.
If you could please keep this area in prayer along with other smaller towns along the Mississippi that are really suffering with over 38 days of major flood stage over 20 feet. Some have lost their homes and now business’ are also unexpectedly being affected.
You know that look you see …or give when someone says something really…outlandish, (didn’t want to say stupid, oops, said it anyway).
The animal version…
This is the look I give people when they say animals don’t display love, kindness, naughtiness or other “thought of only as human” emotions. Below are a few of my favorite pictures that I repost from time to time as they are precious or hilarious and show a wide range of emotions.
As with all people, all animals are creations of God. God created the ability for emotions. Therefore… ‘Nuff said. But my fun post on this dreary rainy afternoon deals only with one animal in particular…Mimi. For those who may not know Mimi, she is my black and tan coonhound/black lab mix of a best friend. She was a rescue so she is very protective…and loud. When she sees the very idea of someone walking down the sidewalk, it is a high pitched reverberating noise from living room window, running through to bedroom windows then back to living room where I get this look…
I assure her I see it and all is well. You can literally hear her sigh as gives up and comes back to the sofa until someone else breaks “her” rule of walking on “her” sidewalk.
But today it is raining and while she is welcome to go out at her leisure, she looks back at me when on the stoop and comes back inside. Heaven forbid our feet getting wet unless it is absolutely necessary for business. So now we look for ways to entertain ourselves. The rope is no fun, the sick is boring, the chicken bone is not right either. Lets see, oh look, mommy left her hair clip on the end table and left me to go wash clothes downstairs.
A lot of her shenanigans come from boredom or not getting the attention when others are in the room. Jealousy, just a human emotion?? When I came back upstairs, this is what I found.
I pick it up and say nothing but show it to her. This is the look I got and of course the hiding pace where no one can see her. Dead give away that she knows she did wrong.
I had another dog that thought the dining room table was a good hiding place. Guess she knows she is too big to get under the bed. Knowing right from wrong only a human emotion??
Do they take clues from us in guessing right and wrong, yes, but I think it is already there, just like children. If you don’t keep it in check, it gets out of control. But the majority of the time they are just loves, providing that they are allowed to share their love for us. They love us, they need us, they want us to know they are always there for us. And they want the same from us.
So look at your family pets with a different perspective in knowing they need you as much as they want you to want them. Share in their love and kindness and watch them smile at you when you do.
And remember to share the kindness with others…people and critters. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love so share it often.
The spring rains are upon us and while in some instances that is a good thing, for the flood born areas of Iowa it is more disaster. The chairs at the park along the rivers edge were beginning to show their heads before Saturday’s rain and now they are again gone with the waters rising higher that the original snow melt flood that started in March. We are currently experiencing the most consecutive weeks at major flood stage.
The above picture was taken at the highest point of the snow melt at the end of March. Today these sidewalks are under water. The waters did not get the chance to recede more than 15 feet of flood stage before the rains started and we are to have rain through Thursday. And some next week. Currently I believe we are at 20 feet flood stage and in 1993, which was considered a historic flood, it reached well over 23 feet. We may see it again. I find it interesting that the Woodman Park baseball field brought in technology to help keep the ball field from the yearly floods since it is located at the rivers edge.
They installed walls to protect the main building, stadium and ball field.
I think maybe the city needs to think more on doing something to protect the business that are located near the river or even those located one street up. The city on the opposite side of the river currently has no issues as they installed higher walls to protect it’s city along the river.
This picture I thought was funny as we are pulling water from somewhere below and dumping it back in to the river…which is now in the back yard.
While we are all waiting on the sun to shine, I remind you to always be kind. The brightness of a smiling face can light the darkness of a shadowed moment and help bring new life. Let your kindness shine.
What an open ended statement. Love is many things to many people. I have been away from my computer for a few days as I have been busy with one of my loves…gardening. We have finally been blessed with spring weather, temps anywhere form low 60’s to mid 70’s. Awesome. And this is what I did. You can buy the plants and put them in hangers or buy plants already in hangers. I did some of both. Plus added some to the ground. But in reality, I am just getting started.
I was trying to get it all done before the rain started last night. Thank goodness I didn’t as what we call where I come from, Blackberry winter, has come upon us. Good grief, wasn’t the real winter long enough. Apparently not. Therefore…the hangers are now decorating my living room as temps are expected to drop below 30 with an inch of that dreaded white stuff. Sorry guys that are already in the ground, hang on.
So since there was no loving to do outside I sat down with another love and read. I finished the next to the last book of a 14 book series by Jan Karon called the Mitford Series. It is a wonderful series set in the North Carolina mountains about everyday life, its tragedy’s and triumph’s. Since I am from the south, I was very familiar with the areas she she spoke of and how very true the conditions she wrote starting in the early 2000’s are even today. I strongly suggest reading this series. You will laugh at the absurdity of its richness and cry with the truth of the pain.
Reading this series really brought home to me God’s love for us as people, human beings and how we as humans are just so…lost sometimes. It is astounding how we as a creation of love can cast off another human or animal as discarded trash or a conquest as we strive to what we believe is a higher purpose leaving destruction in our path. I looked through my study bible to see how many time the word love was used – didn’t want to count them as it was a full page and a half. Scripture tells us to love our neighbor as we love our self. Do we not love our self? And who exactly is our neighbor. My opinion is we are all neighbors, all brothers and sisters, all family. Do I fail at loving my neighbor …daily. But if we as humans who can reason with some form of clarity about how we are supposed to be, we should be getting closer to our created purpose, yet at times we are in far left field.
So as I write my blog, I always try to remind all of us about the beauty of life that has been handed to us. Yes our circumstances may be in the bottom of the barrel but we can always CHOSE to have joy. There is a vast difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is a feeling we get due to circumstances around but joy is having inner peace. This peace comes from Christ. Jesus says “My peace I give you.” Its a peace beyond all understanding to our human minds but it is a free gift. A gift we often do not use.
As you go through your week next week, remember the inner joy and let the light of it shine through you to others around you so that to may enjoy the light and the joy it brings and always be kind.
The finger bone is connected to the hand bone, the hand bone is connected to the wrist bone, the wrist bone is connected to the arm bone….and so on…What a fun song that was when we were kids. Today’s fun is brought to you by way of Tuesday Photo Challenge of Jansen Photo on Connections. So I bring you connections with the hand.
Think about what our hands connect us with. It is a resource that connects us physically with life through a handshake, a gentle touch, an angry strike, a written word, a flower planted, a baby carried and we could go on forever with all the hands do. But the hands are connected not just with bones but also with the heart. The hands along with the face are the two most expressive parts of our bodies that connect to the world with ways you could never fathom creating every emotion available. Think how a dancer can move your emotions with her movements and her hands in gentle swaying movements of freedom, drooping despair, the hard fist of frustration or the lifting of praise and prayer.
And these emotions are tightly connected with our heart and with God. Scripture reminds us how His hands are forever reaching down to connect us with Him…to even carry us in His hands during great times of despair when we can no longer stand much less walk. Connections. Life is about connections, good or bad. They can be fleeting or lasting. I challenge you to make your connections last for the beauty available in this life.
One of the easiest ways to connect is with kindness. A connection made with kindness today will plant a seed of love and before you know it you have a beautiful tree to shade others in kindness where they can then grow their own seeds to make other trees of kindness. It all begins with a connection from the heart.
There is an old legend that many people don’t know about, I was one of those, but it says that for every drop of blood that fell from Jesus while he was on the cross, a lily grew. That’s a pretty remarkable legend. I was doing a research for a poem about Easter lilies and that’s how I came upon that legend.
The whiteness of the lily represents the purity of Christ. The shape of the lily represents a trumpet as it blows to welcome in the king.
Tonight we had a church service to tell the story of Jesus last day on earth. the horrifying cruelty in the way he was beaten, ridiculed and then crucified. The music was soft and mournful to help set the mood for this dark day. We left the sanctuary quietly to maintain the funeral like mood of death.
When I walked in the house, it was just getting good dark so I turned on the lamp by my sofa where my lily is sitting. Its fragrance has been beautiful filling my house with fresh gentleness for several days as three of four blooms have open to share their love; one new bloom beginning to open this evening. I reached over to smell the blooms and was amazed to see a water drop on the bloom and I wondered where it came from. Nothing on the ceiling, nothing close by that could have done that. So I looked at the other blooms. They all had small drops of moisture on each bloom. I am sure there is probably a scientific explanation but to me…it was weeping. Flowers weeping for Jesus’ death and Jesus’ weeping for us. We all know that creation is raging and wanting to be reconnected with Eden but can not be. So creation weeps.
So understand what all of nature knows, that Jesus loves you and weeps for you and has compassion for wherever you are or whatever you are going through. Feel His love and share his love with kindness.
Today we mourn the pain and sorrow of ourselves and what Jesus did for us on the cross. His love for us is so strong; stronger than a parents love for a child as we are His children.
Jeremiah 13:3 tells us – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
He loves you regardless of how well you think you are doing to be worthy of His love. As Jeremiah says I love you with an everlasting love, a love that flows from eternity with out limits or conditions.
Today’s devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young remind us that on this day he showed us just how much he loved us. He died for us so that we may live. So on this day of sadness and reflective mourning, know that you are loved more than you can imagine and His love will always remain.
Even though this is a day of mourning, lets us feel His love warm us and let us share in His loving-kindness for others to feel His astounding love.
As we remember the events of the last few days of Jesus life, lets us bow in prayer for what he has done for us. Even in His death, His kindness was still true. Let us remember to always reflect the kindness he shared.
We approach this new season with a lightness in our hearts. New life comes up from the ground as new flowers begin to show their faces. The air is warmer and we enjoy outside more. We open the windows to breath in fresh air and thankful for the brightness around us.
Where we have fun at Christmas while we celebrate His birth, the celebration of His rising at Easter brings us all new life, new hope and the strength to carry on. Even if you are not a believer in Christ, the understand of what it means is somewhat familiar to all. It is fun to share the newness of life about the resurrection and be able to relate it to children with the newness of spring.
New flowers who have been dead all winter are not waking up to new life parallel with the resurrection story. The trees and bushes coming back to life with the new leaves of new life.
New wildlife babies are born representing the newness of life as created by our Father in heaven.
Then there are those who love to decorate their home to show a newness of life or the welcoming of spring, like door wreaths.
This pair of purple house finches are the first to visit my feeder this year. They are really pretty.
I also like to show off some of my mothers fun Easter stuff as it makes me smile and remember the fun parts of her. The silly waving rabbit family I painted for her when I was in college.
So while Easter is a celebration that should never be taken lightly for its true meaning, we can enjoy the newness of spring as it also bring us new life and new hope for the coming year. And as you take in the new life, let it send out kindness roots that spreads kindness seedlings wherever it goes.