"I LOVE STRAWBERRIES!"
One of our favorite places around here is the Strawberry Farm. It is about 20 minutes from our house against the mountains. It is so beautiful. They have a tea garden and playground and even a little train you can ride through the strawberry fields. And of course, always, strawberries.
I have never seen anyone love strawberries the way Noah does. We got a huge thing of them and when they were about half way done he started panicking that there wasn’t going to be enough for him and he couldn’t possibly eat them any faster then he already was so he very firmly instructed Josh and me that we weren’t allowed to have anymore. We worked out a compromise and then they were gone.
"here i am"
"i can walk!"
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Josh had a meeting with the council members from the community gardens that the Mayor has asked him to be involved with running on Monday. They took him to see one of the sites. It a site run by a woman who currently is running a soup kitchen for children. She wants the garden to help supply food for her soup kitchen but she has a vision that goes way beyond just a soup kitchen. She eventually wants to establish a preschool and community center along with the garden on the property that the municipality has given her to use.
She has never gardened before and the site is in rather bad shape at the moment. It is going to take some work to get it prepared for a garden. There is currently no water source on the property either. So, there are some things to work out but it is exciting to be partnering with someone who really has a heart to serve the poor, especially the children, in her community.
Josh has another meeting next Monday to follow up and see the other community gardens.
a garden planted for several families
a garden that was planted several weeks ago.
a new gardener with her garden
this is the face of a proud man! Josh’s meeting with the mayor went really well this morning. She was really impressed with what Josh has done and his vision for the future. She has asked him to work with several other council members and take of the running of several city run community gardens! We are so grateful to God for this new opportunity to reach more people!!! He has a meeting Monday morning with the council members to see the gardens and hear more about what they want to happen, so, more news to come!!!!
Here is a look at one of the first gardens we planted. This man, Jackson and his family have been eating fresh veggies from their garden! Jackson is very proud of his garden and seems to have quite a green thumb.
a few of the kids from the preschool posing with their new garden.
Each week Josh gets a new list of names and numbers of people who would like to plant a garden at their home. Last week in following up with those people he came across a woman who owns and runs a preschool in a very poor area with about 120 kids. She wanted to plant a garden to help provide healthy meals for the kids.
She then organized for a team of parolees who have been sentenced to community service to come and construct the garden last Saturday. When Josh showed up Saturday morning there were 12 guys there waiting to work. Josh was able to work with them and share with them as they put in this garden. He said it was really amazing. They worked really hard and at the end were so proud of what they had done. Taking care of this garden is now their service assignment so they will be back week after week to care for it.
It is just so cool how Josh is getting to reach out to so many different people and have a chance to touch their lives through this garden project.
Today South African hero Nelson Mandela turns 93 years old.
“We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without and fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”
Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Address, Pretoria 9 May 1994
Today we pray that God will continue to establish peace in the hearts of all people in this truly beautiful land.
Thank you Mandela for being an instrument of peace.
40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord;he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
4 Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.
6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me
beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!