Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fire by full moon

The fire picture I took last Saturday night has a follow up here. This is the same direction on Tuesday evening. There was a beautiful full moon and a bit of a fire over in the same direction.

Tuesday I spent doing household things most of the day. I ran up to Thief River Falls to pick up two lawn mowers and drop off our third.

Three lawn mowers may seem excessive to some readers. We have two small push mowers and one riding mower. Our yard is, oh, I don't know for sure, and I'm not good at guessing, but I think, I think our yard is about 1.5 acres of grass surrounded by CRP on two sides and a field on the south.

What kind of physical activity can we give the older kids to keep them in shape. Push mowers. We've got plenty of space for walking, roller-blading, running, soccer, football, baseball, taekwondo, and whatever else. But lawn mowing and gardening are good physical activities as well.

Our family is by no means "rich" as far as standards used by western media. In fact, it irks me to no end that political pundits would consider our family poor when looking at our taxable income. But we are rich.

First, we are rich spiritually. We have been adopted by God the Father through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. And so we have learned contentment no matter what our circumstances. And as our Father has promised, we have never been left begging for bread.

Second, we are rich as a family. God has blessed us with 9 wonderful children. Of course, number 9 is still in the oven, and we won't meet that child face to face until late July, God wiling. I grew up in a home with both parents, and one brother. I had the privilege of knowing 6 of my Great-grandparents. I have many cousins on both sides of the family. So, knowing and loving a lot of family is not strange or new to me. But having a house full like we have, I tell you, it's a new adventure every day. Mary comes from a large family. She's 2nd of 8. She is very familiar with the dynamics of a family the size of ours. For the regular readers, you've seen me brag in my own off-handed way about each of my kids. Thank God for each one of them. And may He preserve them in faith in Christ to heaven.

Third, we are actually quite rich materially. Think. What king in medieval Europe, Africa, or Asia wouldn't launch a war to get a refrigerator, air conditioning, natural gas heat for his castle, easy and inexpensive access to the produce and meats at any one of our grocery stores.

Yeah, we may not have much compared to many people in the U.S. or Europe. But our congregations take care of us better than any royalty of the past.

Well, this has been a weird digression.

Tues eve I worked a while on sermon for this coming weekend. Wed I worked on Wed. school and quite a bit of other pastoral office stuff.

Incidentally, it might interest some readers to know that the ground itself is flammable up here. Yes, you can set the ground on fire. The dirt of the fields around us is what is left of a large peat bog. Peat burns rather well. I read someplace that in Ireland they cut up peat blocks to use them to heat houses. I don't know if they still do this.

One of my congregational members had a peat fire run through one of his woods. The ground caught fire and the whole woods tipped over and fell down dead. The roots were burned up with the soil.

Where I grew up, my brother and I would put smoke bombs down gopher holes to smoke them out and then shoot them with our pneumatic rifles. Where Mary and I live now, if our kids did that, they could ignite the ground itself and burn up several acres of someone's cropland.

Every year up here in Northwestern MN there are peat fires. And when they happen the farmers get out large water wagons and back-hoes (can I say "hoe"? I wonder if that word will be blocked since the Imus incident). One member of one of my congregations related a story about falling into a "burnout." The burnout is a pocket of peat that burned underground, leaving a hollow spot under the top. The hollow filled with water. And, as he was walking across the ground the top gave way, held together only by the roots of the hay above it. He fell into the wet and muddy hollowed out spot. Thankfully, he was able to get out.