"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Camping's Doomsday Fail

Yes, I know the book was written by Robert Fitzpatrick.  Read on.

If time were not an issue, I would really like to take this "Doomsday Code" book and debunk each and every issue one at a time. There is so much wrong with the book that explains how someone can come up with such egregious nonsense about prophecy, that it could not all possibly be dealt with in a single post or even a three part series.  It would take nearly the same number of pages as the book (about 380) to explain all the error.  This post is going to have to stay narrower in scope than that.  It's still a very long post.

First, I don't expect anyone who is not interested in Biblical prophecy to understand much of what I'm going to explain because many of the concepts, references, and language will be foreign to the average Christian, let alone a non-believer.  If you are not familiar with terms like pre-tribulational, post-millennial, dispensation, preterist, eschatology, replacement theology, and the like, you will be lost in this essay. For this essay to be an easy read, you would need to be familiar with the arguments surrounding these terms.

Second, one would need to know the history of end-time prophecy failures going back to 1988.  Amazingly, the author of the Doomsday Code defends the failures of those predictions.  Robert Fitzpatrick is not an original thinker.  It has become obvious to everyone who follows heretical teaching, and especially heretical teaching about prophecy, that Fitzpatrick is nothing more than a hired pen for Harold Camping.  I may simply refer to the false doctrine of this book from here on out as belonging to Camping.

Thirdly, I would like to make the main issue of this essay to be understanding how such bad doctrine comes about and thrives. How does the believer rightly discern truth from Scripture and avoid looking stupid and carrying the Lord's name in vain. That is where the focus of the believer ought to be.  And yes, that really is the meaning of the third of the ten commandments

Let's start with an amazing quote from Fitzpatrick's book:

"For one thing, we need to understand that every word of the Bible, in the original language in which it was written, is the word of God. In 2 Timothy 3:16, we read: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
The original Greek, translated in this scripture as “given by inspiration of God,” carries the idea that scripture is “God breathed.” It's as if each word came from the mouth of God. God also took care to be sure that the Bible was preserved in tact [sic]- every word of it - down through the ages. He raised up a class of Jewish scribes who faithfully and accurately copied out the exact words, checking and rechecking so that there would be no error. If we come across a scripture that appears to contradict something else we have read in the Bible, we need to dig (and pray!) a bit deeper for understanding. . . .  By examining the way a word is used elsewhere in the Bible, you may be better able to understand the sense in which it is used in a scripture you are studying. This approach to the Bible works because the Bible is a cohesive whole, all coming from a single source.  [from page xxii of the Introduction]

The problem is, Fitzpatrick proceeded to ignore all of that advice in writing the rest of the book.  In reading the book I discover that "Replacement Theology" and worse abounds.  This is the idea that the "Christian" church has replaced Israel in God's plan throughout the pages of the Bible and history.  This is a direct denial of what Paul wrote to Timothy in the above quote, it denies the clear teaching of Paul in his letter to the Romans, and denies the prophecies of Scripture about Israel that have yet to be fulfilled, such as Ezekiel 38, and of what was just quoted from the book.  An important rule of proper Biblical interpretation is that you cannot interpret the meaning of one verse to be in direct opposition to the meaning of any other verse.  For clarification's sake, we are talking about the understanding of meaning, and not interpretation of translation.

Another indispensible rule of interpretation is exegesis versus eisegesis.  Eisegesis is essentially reading the meaning that you want into the text.  Fitzpatrick actually prepares us for the fact that he is going to commit this crime in chapter two on page 15:

"The intended meaning of a scripture will be its spiritual meaning: that's what God is teaching us. Sometimes the spiritual meaning is extremely difficult to understand, especially because the apparent meaning ontradicts it."

Whenever somebody claiming to be a Bible teacher starts in with something like that, he had better have lots and lots of scholarship, reason, and logic to back up what he's trying to prove.  Even the most respected Jewish sages and Bible scholars in the Christian world know that a basic rule of interpretation is that any deeper, or "spiritual" meaning should never, never contradict the plain meaning of the text.

 Torah scholars going back centuries believe that there are four levels of meaning embedded in the Torah. Jewish scholars use the word PaRDeS, the Hebrew word for orchard,  to remember these four levels. The first is Peshat; the plain, literal reading of the text. It is most often understood to be "simple" or the simple path.  The idea is that while you can enjoy all the other stuff along the path, the path keeps you from getting lost.  If you stray too far out into the weeds, you lose the correct way.  When you start coming up with interpretations where you change words or redefine them from their plain meaning, you can make the text say anything you want to and devolve into a bunch of nonsense.  The following three levels of exegesis must follow from the first level and not contradict it.  This is the heart of exegesis, the meaning of which is to draw out the meaning that the author intended.  All proper Biblical understanding flows from the idea that we are to avoid reading into the text what we would like for it to mean, and instead, we search out to understand the meaning as God Himself intended.

The next level of understanding is Remez. This refers to "hints" or more deep and allegorical meaning of the text without changing the plain meaning of the text.  For example; many of the events of Joseph's life directly hint at the events of Yeshua's (Jesus') life.  That doesn't mean that Joseph or the events that happened to him or Egypt, or Jacob and his sons are to be taken as anything other than literal events, but those events were a foreshadowing of the coming, suffering, Messiah.  The same applies to Moses.

The third level of understanding is called the Derash, which means "to dig", and a teaching on this level is referred to as a "midrash." Most of what we know to be the Jewish religious traditions are the result of midrashic explanation of the Torah.  Yeshua agreed with the vast majority of the midrashic teaching that was followed by the pharisees of His day.  Only where it departed from the plain meaning of the text of Torah did He correct them.  Most midrashic teaching is based on broad understanding of quite a few texts of Scripture and not some extrapolated conjecture based on just one or two verses.  Midrashic teachings on Scripture are always considered debatable and never carry the weight of infallible dogma.  However, some of it has become so well accepted as truth over the centuries that nobody has a reason to question it.

The fourth and last level is called Sod (rhymes with "mode") and is the esoteric level,  really deep meaning that the sages derive.  An example could be the belief that women are just naturally more spiritual than men and that is why they are exempt from many of the rules such as wearing tzitzit and praying three times a day at specific times as the orthodox do.  This is where the Qabbalistic writings come from and they are not intended for those who are not deeply grounded in basic Torah study, even though they too, are never supposed to violate the Peshat understanding of Scripture.

There is so much wrong with Camping's interpretations of Scripture because he so blatantly violates the rules of exegesis.  In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black we have this quote from page 210:

"These false apostles, deceitful workers, are church leaders who appear to be ministers of righteousness but who are actually ministers of Satan! Just as the early church was being “seeded” with tares - people who looked like true believers but were not - the early church was also being infiltrated by false apostles. Now you may be wondering if this situation which occurred ages ago may have been corrected, so that the church could go on to a glorious future until the end of time. Sadly, that is not the case."

Then, incredibly, on page 211, he quotes the passage from 2 Thess. 2:1-4 which explains why he is wrong about the Doomsday prediction.  I will come back to that passage in a moment, because that is the passage which I will use to prove why Camping is wrong and how badly he departs from exegesis.

See this quote from page 229:

"Incredibly, the entire focus of these annual feasts is on the Lord Jesus. It is so sad that, even today, many Jews all around the world are so careful to keep these feast days but are unaware of their significance."

Let me tell you what is sad.  That people who claim to be followers of the Messiah have abandoned God's appointed feasts on His designated calendar and cannot begin to understand their true significance because they have trashed thousands of years of hard earned Jewish wisdom and understanding and bought into some idea that Yeshua came and created a whole new religion.  But Camping's doctrine gets even worse.

In spite of what he wrote in the introduction, Fitzpatrick goes on to say the following on pages 266-267:

"Many people read Mark 13:32 and understand it to mean that the timing - the day and the hour of the rapture - cannot possibly be known because not even the Son of God knows it; but the scripture can't have that meaning.  [Warning! - Warning! - Warning! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!  Where's the html code that let's me make this insert flash?]  The Lord Jesus must know the timing. Remember, it was He who wrote the Bible. He is the Word of God and He is God. It was He who told Daniel to “seal the book” to the time of the end; and it was He who unsealed that book (the Bible), as we read in Revelation 5. It was only after the book was unsealed in these latter days that we learned the timing of God's plan. The Lord Jesus, therefore, must have known the timing; but if that is so, we must search to understand the meaning of the scripture telling us the Son does not know of “that day and that hour.”

I've been in the world of Christendom long enough to understand most all of the doctrinal positions from original sin to transubstantiation in the eucharist.  I understand the trinitarian doctrine, but when you carry it to an extreme that causes you to contradict direct statements of Scripture, such as the one above, then there is a serious problem with your doctrine.  You don't search to understand (read re-interpret) the Scripture to make it work with your doctrine and your desire to know something that God has repeatedly made clear that you cannot know.

While we cannot know the day or the hour, we can pay attention to the signs.  Yeshua did give us the signs to look for so as to know that the time is getting closer.  He told us to watch and pray.  I could go through a list of things, but many of them could be considered vague or ambiguous.  I don't need many or even a few to demonstrate why Camping's prediction was doomed to failure.  My example also proves pre-tribulationalist doctrine wrong as well.  There isn't going to be two second comings of Messiah as required by pre-trib doctrine; some secret catching away and then some months or days or years later Messiah comes back to administer justice.

Paul made it clear that there was one event that the believers could look for that had to happen before the "catching away of the saints" (in Greek it is called the harpazo).  It helps to make sure that we understand the full context of Paul's statement.  In Paul's first letter to the Thessolonians, he is explaining how the new believers need not worry about the fate of those who have died.  He does this by giving the details of what will happen when the Lord comes back for his own and brings about the resurrection of the dead.  The key details make it clear that everyone can know that the event is happening.  "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; . . ."  This statement is in agreement with the angels who spoke to the disciples at Messiah's ascension. That Yeshua would come down the same way he went up.  Other Scripture confirms that the conquering King Messiah would touch down on the Mount of Olives.  The point here is that Paul is talking about the triumphal return of Messiah at the "end days."  Paul continues: "and the dead in Messiah shall rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord." (1 Thess. 4:16-17)

We can surmise from the text that someone or some group was causing the believers in Thessolonica to worry that they had missed the return of Messiah.  By this time in the first century, there were already heretics who were teaching all sorts of bizarre doctrines about Messiah and the way of salvation.  People who tried to blend beliefs from the pagan religions or that you had to prove complete adherence to all the Jewish traditions in order to earn salvation.  The problem is, it didn't stop even after Paul's first letter.  Therefore, he had to write a second letter, reasserting his authority and warning that those who taught false doctrine about the return of Messiah would suffer judgment "on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, . . ."  And continuing in his second letter on this very same subject, he now gives the Thessalonicans more details about the second coming so that they can rest assured what to look for and how not to be fooled by false prophets.  Here is the text:

"Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come."

Let's be perfectly clear in our understanding  of the subject.  Paul uses three distinct features to make sure that we are talking about one, single event.  The coming of Messiah; or in Greek the parousia.  The gathering together to Him; which is in Greek the harpazo, or "catching away."  Both of these features being part of "the day of the Lord" which is a very specific phrase repeated throughout prophetic Scripture to describe when God comes to earth in final judgment.  Bear in mind that Paul spent time with these people as he described in the first letter, teaching them and building them up as a congregation.  He expected them to understand what he was saying.  He chose his words carefully (or you could say the Holy Spirit was choosing the words carefully since this was meant to be Scripture for all believers into the future and we were all supposed to learn from it.).  Paul continues:

"Let no one in any way deceive you, for *it* will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction."

Stop and be sure  you understand what the pronoun *it* is referring to.  One should not need an advanced degree in language to comprehend that *it* is referring to the event described in verses one and two of the second chapter of 2nd Thessalonians.  Any reader who does not understand that, needs to seek remedial reading instruction as soon as possible.

Verse three also tells us what the two things are that must occur before the parousia, harpazo, and the "day of the Lord" can happen.  While the apostasy might not be something that everyone can agree on in easily definable terms, the "man of lawlessness" is pretty much understood by all believers to be THE anti-Christ, or the final archtype Antichrist.  He wasn't the first of his kind.  Paul wrote those verses being fully aware of Antiochus Epiphanes and what he did in the Temple at Jerusalem.  Such was considered an "abomination of desolation" which required the cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple.  The miracle of that re-dedication is why we celebrate Channukah today.   But this Antichrist is defined by Paul in verse nine as having all the power of Satan, being able to perform miracles and wonders.
In verse four, Paul explains that this Antichrist, this man, will exalt himself above all gods and will take his seat in the Temple, declaring himself to be the only god.  Such an event would be another "abomination of desolation" and fitting the description given by Messiah Himself in Matthew 24:15 as part of the answer to the direct questions of the disciples about the sign of His coming and the end of the age.  Read the whole 24th chapter of Matthew.

Paul thus exhorts the believers at Thessalonica that unless this event of another evil man, the final evil man with the power of Satan, coming into the Temple and desecrating it happens for all to see, keeping with the prophecy of Messiah Himself, there would be no return of Messiah.  End of story.

In wrapping this whole issue up, I can state with the utmost confidence that I don't need to re-define any plain readings of Scripture to make it say what it doesn't say. I  come to the clear conclusion that while "no man can know the day nor the hour" of the return of Messiah or the actual moment that begins the "day of the Lord," I not only can, but I am exhorted by Scripture to know and watch for the signs that must take place before Messiah returns.  So, all you pre-tribbers out there reading this: you have been warned.  You see, the Scripture teaches that Messiah's return, and our "catching away" or rapture, and the beginning of the "day of the Lord" cannot happen until the events that Paul and the Messiah described.  Those events cannot happen until a Temple has been built and is in service in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.  The "Holy place" is the Holy of Holies.  You can allegorize it away as being or representing something else, but you do so to your own detriment.

The biggest problem with this whole mess is that it gives skeptics of the Bible something to laugh at.  They won't say that Harold Camping and Robert Fitzpatrick were wrong about what the Bible teaches.  They'll say that all of those Christians who believe in that silly Bible are all a bunch of idiots.  They will mock God and ridicule the Bible.

All those who claim allegiance to Messiah are called upon to study and show themselves to be faithful disciples, understanding the Word of God properly and leading others to salvation, not creating opportunities for evil to seem successful.

If you can't understand how to use the comments feature, you can email me with your questions, comments, or criticisms at the address in the sidebar.

Shalom Y'all

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Garden Update May 26, 2011

So our friends can see how things are progressing here:

Hard to believe that in another month, you will hardly be able to see any of the straw bales in the front because they will be covered over with squash leaves.  We eat stuff out of the garden every day.

Two terraced beds above the asparagus beds.  They contain radish, carrots, mint, and cosmos.  Twyla's gotta have her flowers.  That terracing takes hours and hours of hard work.

Remember the potato cage and other beds?

Potato bed from May 11
Potato bed May 26
Then there's the ongoing potato cage project:

There is about 8 more inches of leaves and compost added to the cage.  It's hard to keep up with.
I'm beginning to think we will not have to buy any more potatoes after this fall.

This has been a very, very brief update.  Now I need to get back on that eschatology post.

Never Enough Time

I truly wish I had been able to post my full essay on why Harold Camping and his doomsday prophecy was wrong on Sunday, May 22, 2011.  However, the Ben-David Farm doesn't just stop needing attention because false prophets raise their ugly heads.

I'm still reading Mr. Fitzpatrick's book, The Doomsday Code, because I do believe it is important to be fair in my analysis.  In case you didn't know, as I didn't know at first, Mr. Fitzpatrick simply penned the book, but the ideas are all from Harold Camping.  I got to hear a former staff member for the Christian Research Institute on someone else's internet radio program, who founded her own ministry called Apostasy Alert. Jackie Alnor has been documenting false teachers in Christendom for many years now, but unfortunately, she herself claims to be in the pre-tribulation rapture camp, so her understanding of Biblical hermeneutics needs some serious work as well.  Therein lies the danger of focusing too much on examining heresy and not enough on studying the truth.

That aside, Alnor has been familiar with Camping's nonsense for years, including his false prediction about Jesus coming back in 1994.  You would have thought that such an event would have diminished Camping's heretical ministry to obscurity, but unfortunately, people are especially gullible when it comes to religious issues.  This is because so much of what makes up the religious world is all about feelings and has little to nothing to do with facts, history, reason, or logic, making it fair game for skeptics to sit back and laugh at those who claim any belief in any god; the real one or any number of false ones.

So, I'm working on the post.  I want to do a good, thorough job, but also not go down a bunch of odd rabbit trails.  My time is limited and dictated by the needs of the farm.  I also have to wade through a lot of information to focus on just the relevant parts of Camping's thought processes.  Most of the first half of Fitzpatrick's book is apparently about getting non-believers to accept the Bible and speaks of history and prophecy in general and has some other bad doctrine mixed in there as well.  When I distill out the issues of eschatology and have a complete, coherent argument on the issue, I will post it.

Please be patient with me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Eggseptional Size

We have a new winner.

I really wish I had been there to see which hen is responsible for this egg.

You would almost think a large duck had snuck into the ark and laid this egg.  As you can see it is just slightly over three inches long and slightly over two inches wide.  The egg at the top is the previous record holder at the Ben-David farm. The egg on the right is one of our average eggs which would correspond to a store-bought extra large or jumbo.

About a two months ago, we had this egg that you see in the second picture.  We only get such eggs once in a blue moon.  I take it as a sign of calcium or mineral deficiency and add more oyster shell or ground up egg shells to their diet.

This was the softest "shell" that I've held to date.  It was as soft and pliable as a rubber balloon, and you can see the obvious transparency.  I was amazed that the end closed off and the thing got laid without breaking.

Just had to share this before I get back to work on gardening and then my next post on why the Harold Camping Doomsday prediction was so wrong.

Shalom Y'all.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Long Live, O' Live, Olive

Our new olive tree

The nicest birthday gift I received this year came from my lovely wife, Twyla. I consider it ours, and not mine. Every time I walk past it, it makes me smile.  I think of how much joy it will bring me to care for it and shape it as it grows.  Olive trees are one of the ideal trees for pruning and shaping.  Olive trees, the fruit, and the oil, all have special meaning. Now, I've got this cute little Manzanilla olive tree in the back yard, in a pot.  We won't put it in the ground, unfortunately, but you'll understand why.  The olive tree is known to botanists as Olea europaea, with six basic subspecies and over twenty well known cultivars, each having unique qualities and flavors.

Olive trees may seem like a paradox.  They are extremely tough compared to most plants in the entire plant kingdom, yet severe enough cold can kill them.  In fact, they are more likely to be killed by too much water or too much cold and yet they are known to survive severe drought and even fire. A mature and healthy olive tree can be chopped down to the ground and its root system will put up new shoots and likely survive and thrive.  Same thing can happen if you burn one of these trees to the ground.  Olive trees don't like a fully tropical environment.  They prefer a moderately cold period in order to flower and set fruit well.  Apparently it needs to get below 45° F for some time.  Perhaps someone could adapt one of the many olive species to an always warm climate, but why bother?

Olive wood vase
Once olive trees become well established in the right environment they can grow very old.  In several places around the Mediterranean Sea, there are olive trees that are over 2,000 years old.  It is undeniable that some of the trees on the Mount of Olives outside the old city walls of Jerusalem are at least two millennia old. Olive wood from the Holy Land and wherever it grows is used to make all kinds of things. From furniture to eating utensils and even small communion or kiddush cups.  We happen to have a couple such kiddush cups from Israel. Most people probably agree that it would be a sin to use any kind of stain on the wood before sealing it. The wood is just too beautiful with all the variances of grain color and naturally occurring patterns.  Of course, there is no reason to seal any wood that is used for food or beverage consumption.  Some may think that it's just a coincidence that wood still makes the best cutting surface for food.  Not just because wood won't dull a knife edge quickly the way other materials might, but because there are natural substances in wood that are powerfully anti-microbial.  This is true even with very old cutting boards.
A Torah Scroll

Very fine olive wood is often selected to be used for the spindles upon which a Kosher Torah scroll is wound.

Every part of the olive tree is used.  The wood, the leaves, and the fruit which is classified as a drupe.  The simple way to think of a drupe is "stone fruit," meaning it has a hard pit in the middle of a fleshy, edible fruit that contains the actual seed inside of that inner hard shell.  Peaches and cherries are examples of drupes. The various cultivars of olives can be described as having flavors and aromas anywhere from fragrant and fruity to buttery and meat-like.  How's that for a range of tastes?

The olive tree is nothing like a conifer or a holly, but it too, is an evergreen.  This is a big benefit if you live where the temperatures make it necessary to move a potted specimen indoors to protect from hard freezing. Unless you allow the tree to get stressed very much, it's leaves don't turn brown and drop off.  Olive trees don't mind frost.  Damage does not occur to the tender parts of the tree, such as new branch and twig growth, unless the temperature gets below 22° F and it takes several hours below 15° to do serious damage to the thicker parts of the tree.  This is why it's a good idea to keep an olive tree in a nice pot and be prepared to move it inside if you live where it gets consistently colder than those temperatures, as we do here.  An olive tree can produce a fairly decent amount of fruit in a five to eight gallon sized pot.  Fruit production will depend on the species and cultivar, weather conditions and the level of care given the tree.

Olive trees hate to have their "feet wet."  Not only do olive trees produce better and tastier olives in drier conditions, they are very susceptible to fungal disease if they are planted in very rich soil that stays moist all the time.  The conditions that are great for most vegetables and other plants are totally wrong for olives.  They prefer rocky, sandy, almost consistently dry earth to grow well in and produce the richest tasting olives.  When the trees are just getting started they need some care and better conditions, but the older they get, and the more trials they endure,  the tougher they get.  Is there a lesson here, or what?

The olive leaves are now harvested because it has been discovered that they have anti-aging, immune system stimulating, and anti-biotic effects.  Of course, it has been known since the Garden of Eden that olive oil is an anti-biotic and has many healing qualities. But actual clinical research has shown that  olive leaf extracts are proven to reduce blood pressure, fight fungi infections, and reduce inflammation.  A fresh extract of the leaves was recently shown to have more than double the antioxidant qualities than that of green tea extract.  On top of that, it had 400% of the vitamin C content.

Among natural medicine practioners, olive leaf is used to fight all kinds of viral infections, including colds and flu, yeast infections, and ailments such as Epstein-Barr, shingles, and herpes.  Consumption of both the oil and the leaf extract reduce blood levels of low density lipoproteins or LDL cholesterol.

Ancient olive press
Olives are one of the few fruits that are good to eat whether picked green or fully ripe.  They can be preserved in pickling brine or in their own oil.  The process of extracting the oil  would take an entire post by itself, and perhaps the day will come when we might want to experiment in learning how to do just that.  In ancient times it was done by grinding the olive flesh into paste and then crushing it between mats of palm frond or grass mats, using pits carved out of rock and using small cranes with counterbalances to load stones on top of the mats.  The liquid is crushed out of the meat of the fruit and then the watery part separates from the oil.  Olives that are grown for their oil have up to half of their weight in oil.

Somebody is probably wondering about the designation "Extra-Virgin" for olive oil.  How can something be "extra-virgin?"  Kind of like being "extra-dead."  You either are or you aren't.  Actually it developed as a grade and has a very specific meaning.  Not only is it from the very first pressing of olives, but it has to have a certain subjective grade of aroma and taste, as well as a maximum level of fatty acid content no greater than 0.8 gram per 100 grams.  The first pressing of the olive oil was what Adonai commanded be for use in lighting the menorah and menorot in the Temple, and for use in formulating anointing oil.  In case you want to know, olive oil in Hebrew is "shemen zaiyeet" or "oil of olives."

I hope that in the future, I will be able to share pictures as I cultivate this tree and more like it.  The blooming and fruiting, the pruning and care.  By the way, if you live in the panhandle of Florida or Southern Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and can plant such trees in an area where it can stay well drained after rain, you might consider planting as many olive trees as you can.  I know I would.

Shalom Y'all

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Got Dinner And A Show

Twyla's mom and dad came for a visit this past week.  After we enjoyed a nice lunch, Twyla's mom did a presentation.  She gave me a book; one page at a time.  With each page came a gift corresponding with the page number.  I share this presentation here.

This is not a problem.  We have quite a few trees around here.  Oak, Maple, Poplar, Dogwood.  I can handle this.

Okay, the first thing was pretty easy.  This one made me think there was some work involved.  "Level???" Level ground in the North Georgia mountains?  I'd have to think about this.

Oh.  I thought she just brought that table for this special magic act.  Apparently this is my gift.

There was a basin with a tag on it.  Number four.  Cool.  It will be very nice to have a bird bath in the yard.  Oh, wait.  There's another piece of paper.

Plus a little bag with the number five on it.  A pretty little yellow saucer.  Maybe a little birdseed could go in there?  Oh, wait, there's another page being put in front of me.

And there's another bag with a bar of soap.  Okay, I haven't seen any raccoons around here, and even though they might wash stuff before they eat it, I don't think they use soap.  Oh, wait; there's another piece of paper.

There's a hook.  Now I'm confused.  Are the birds supposed to perch there, or do the raccoons hang up their coats?  Oh, wait, there's another piece of paper.

I suppose if I provide towels and some name brand colognes the raccoons will leave me some tips?

Oh, wait, there's another piece of paper.

There is bag number nine with a hand-made ceramic comb holder that even has a little drain hole in it, in case it rains.  Now I'm pretty sure this is for the raccoons so they can comb the ticks out of their fur, but I'm pretty sure that I will have to spend a lot of time showing them how to hold the comb and use it correctly.

Oh, wait, there's another piece of paper.

Bag number 10 has a mirror in it.  I don't think raccoons have ever seen a mirror before and besides that, I don't think they are all that concerned about their personal appearance.  Or maybe it's so the raccoon can see the bear trying to sneak up on him while he's washing?

Oh, wait, there's another piece of paper.

So that's what the bucket with the number eleven tag is for.  I thought maybe Twyla's parents were worried we don't have indoor toilets up here in the mountains.  I guess they thought the raccoons need a place to go before they wash up.

Oh, wait, there's another piece of paper.

One last bag with number 12 on it.  It has this cute little porcelain on steel pot with a straight handle.  If the raccoons want to cook something before they eat it, that's all fine and well, but I am not going to be responsible for teaching them how to start a fire.  Like I need to be hassled by the Dept. of Natural Resources or some forestry ranger.

Oh, wait, there's another piece of paper.

Oh.  Well, that's different!  So, all this was for little old me.  I didn't know I was getting all that bad out there in the garden.  (Ha!!  Sometimes I get so grungy working in the garden I look like I need a fire hose turned on me for 15 minutes.)

You are probably wondering about the finished product from all this, so below are the after action pics.

I cheated on leveling off a piece of ground.  I just used rocks to level the table.  This is one of the maple trees down near the road, not far from the mailbox.

Now I'll be able to see the raccoons trying to sneak up on me while I'm washing up.  In reality, this mirror actually was used outdoors by my wife's grandmother for years.  It truly is a family heirloom.

Gotta admit that looks mighty inviting.  I really am going to enjoy using that when the weather is hot.  On the days that I don't, I'll bet the birds around here are going to enjoy it.

Twyla's mom has her own kiln and fires her pottery in her garage. It actually says "comb" on it, so I won't forget what it's there for.  "Ima" is always looking out for me.  Of course, she has lots of practice looking out for Twyla's dad.   It's nice to know I won't have to keep that comb in my pocket while I'm working.  But I may have to rethink that if I find any raccoon hairs in it.

Here's the finished product as folks will see it from the road.  I'm such a show-off.  I'm sure I'll get some questions at the next neighborhood pot-luck supper.

Another anniversary passed for my having entered into this world.  Baruch HaShem, I am enjoying pretty good health for being half a century old.  That's pretty amazing when I think about it.  Even more amazing is that my wife's parents are not only still with us, but they are in excellent health for being octogenarians.

It's extremely nice to have someone put that kind of time and thought into a gift.  Hopefully, my next post will be about the gift that my lovely wife got for me.  That one really tickled me.  I love looking at it everyday.  It's kind of growing on me.

Shalom Y'all

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Yeah.  Arachnophilophobia.  Or is it Misarachnophilia?  You see, I have a love/hate relationship with spiders.  I have no problem working outside and having all kinds of bees buzzing around me.  Over the years, I've noticed that honeybees especially, could not care less that I'm working around them, as long as I don't make any overly aggressive moves toward them.  Carpenter bees and bumblebees and most wasps don't really pay much attention to me either.  I won't let them build nests too close to the house though.  I don't mind letting a full grown praying mantis crawl on my bare arm.

Wolf Spider

But spiders give me the creeps.  Discovering a spider crawling on my clothing can make me dance like I'm at the end of a taser gun.  I guess that's because at least 99 percent of all spiders you can find in this area have venom. I've been stung by honeybees, although I don't recall it happening since I was in my teens.  Last year, some yellowjackets built a nest in the strawbale that the zucchini was growing in, and I didn't discover it until I went to prop the bale upright as it was collapsing from decay.  I shoved my bare left arm against the bale while using my right hand to position a large log under it.  Suddenly it felt like a hundred burning darts had punctured my arm.  I was in agony for several hours.  The following day there was not a hint of evidence that I'd ever been stung.  I still hate the little %^&* buggers.

When we posted here before about beneficial insects in the garden, we completely forgot to mention spiders, but of course, spiders are not insects.  They are in another whole class by themselves.  The class arachnida.  Ticks and mites are also in this class and I don't much like them either, although they don't seem quite as scary.  If it were not for the venom thing, we would love spiders.  We don't kill spiders outside the living quarters around here if it is practical not to do so.  That's because spiders are so much more effective at killing the truly bad bugs that we don't want around here.  Spiders don't hunt us humans.  They don't want to suck our blood. They especially don't want to eat any of our precious plants.  All they want to do is either hunt down and capture other bugs or set elaborate traps to capture them.

If spiders are not an example of intelligent design, then such a thing does not exist.  It would be amazing if all spiders only spun one kind of silk and all of them made the same kind of webs.  Nothing could be further from the facts.  Most people think of spider webs as the typical two-dimensional, spiral pattern screen created to catch flying insects.  It should boggle the mind that a tiny creature that never had a course in engineering knows that anchoring only three points creates a flat plane of stability upon which to build such a net. Then they may place more anchor lines for added strength, but always in the proper position to maintain a flat plane.  A spider web with droplets of dew in the tall grass looking like a diamond encrusted hair net is a beautiful sight.  That web is designed with two very different kinds of silk. The radial arms are of a non-sticky kind that the spider knows are the safe lines to run along.  The spiral strands are made from a very sticky formula even though they come out of the very same spinnerets.  Some of the silk that the spider spins has very little to no elasticity  when it needs a strong cable.  But the sticky spiral strands have a chemical structure that lets them stretch quite a bit without breaking.  All the better to enhance the tangling effect on the prey.
A Golden Orb Spider

When I lived in Florida, even up in the North Central area right on the famous Suwannee river, we used to spend a lot of time in the woods when the weather permitted.  Once in a while you would come to a spot in the woods and if you weren't paying enough attention you might walk into something that might make you lose control of your bladder.  We were squirrel hunting one time in the fall.  I was talking to my hunting partner and walking with my head sideways when I ran my face right into what felt like very light fishing line stretched across the trees. It made me stop and jerk away.  It was the bottom part of a gigantic web of the golden orb spider.  The web was built between two pine trees about 20 feet apart.  The spiral part was about six feet in diameter, and right there in the middle of the nest was the spider.  It looked very similar to the picture, except the abdomen had large black bands across the yellow. In full spread, the spider was at least 5 inches long from foot tip to foot tip, or however you say it.  I've never seen a spider so big since then.  And I don't want to.  Back then I didn't think about conservation the way I do now and I dispatched the beast with a blast from my .410 shotgun.

Funnel web spiders build something entirely different.  These spiders are very scary to me because they are so venomous.  It makes sense that they are, since their web is not designed to do any actual catching of prey.  Like the spiral web, it serves as home, but that's the only similarity.  The funnel style is an elaborate surveillance network.  That cave like opening that is very apparent in the picture is just visible enough to get your attention.  The vast majority of the funnel web spider's web stretches far beyond that opening and is very fine and delicate.  The spider sits hidden inside it's little lair reading and interpreting the signals that get sent down the line from creatures that are touching it's amazing array of sensor wires.    The spider can tell approximately how big the insect is and probably has it encoded in its DNA to be able to identify the exact species based on its movements.  When the prey gets close enough to the entrance, the spider darts out and injects a very powerful and lethal dose of poison and then drags the helpless insect back into the hole for dinner.  I can go outside right now and find a couple of funnel web nests in my straw bale garden if I want to.

Atrax Robustus  G'day, mate!

I'm just glad we don't have something on the same danger level as the Sydney Funnel-web Spider from Australia.  This little guy is considered one of the three most dangerous spiders in the world due to it's venom's toxin level.  This spider can kill you.  Note the fangs in the picture.

Brown recluse, Loxosceles reclusa

The most common spider that I see in my garden is the wolf spider.  They don't seem to build webs of any kind.  They crawl all over in the garden and tend to blend into their surroundings, only becoming visible when disturbed enough to move to safety.  They chase down and capture their prey, so they should be good for the garden; not waiting for the bad insects to come to them.  Their venom is supposed to be only painful and irritating, but not having any long lasting effects.  This is in great contrast to the spider that informed people fear most; the brown recluse or Loxosceles reclusa.  This spider's venom is so bad it causes necrosis in the flesh where it bites. It causes the skin, fat, and even muscle tissue to die.  In the positive sense, the poison tends to stay localized to the bite area, but that just means it's not likely to kill you.  Yes, you could die from a Loxosceles bite, but it would be due to the secondary infection, such as gangrene or staph.

W A R N I N G ! ! ! 

Before you scroll down any farther, I must warn you that the pictures below are graphic.  They show the results of bites from the Loxosceles or what is also known as the fiddle head spider.  If you are easily grossed out by such things, this is where you will want to exit the article or scroll past it very fast.

 Loxosceles is also known as the fiddle head spider.

The first picture shows the initial stages of blistering and decay from a bite.

This is about a day after a Loxosceles bite with later stage necrotic damage.

An example of having to have necrotic tissue removed prior to skin grafting.  This damage was all from a Brown recluse spider.

That is why I don't like spiders.  But I do tolerate them.  I do appreciate that they provide a lot of good to my garden.  So, I will just go on leaving them alone and steering as clear of them as I can.

Another Example

Hopefully it will warm up some more this afternoon, and I will be able to get back outside and work on some gardening.  We woke up to 42° F this morning.  That's just ten degrees above freezing.  I can almost hear my tomatoes and peppers shouting that they are on strike right now.

In the meantime, I came across this story over at Bayou Renaissance Man's blog, and I see it as another example of what happens in a command economy; a communist, totalitarian, we-are-experts-simply-because-we-conned-the-sheeple-into-voting-for-us example of why we need less government, not more.

In countries with various degrees of centralized government, some bureaucrat or official by whatever name, who has never had any experience in the field to which he has been put in charge, will make decisions that impact thousands, tens of thousands or even millions of people in one fell swoop.

If you don't understand what I mean, let me be clear.  Imagine a country with a billion people where they are free to make their own decisions what to grow and how to grow it based on the demand from the people who want their produce, their own experience and expertise, and the motive that the better a job they do, the more profit they will make from it.

On the other hand, imagine millions of people who will see their food costs skyrocket because someone, who won't suffer even a little bit, decides to order things be done a certain way whether it makes sense to the majority of people or even one individual who knows better.

Now imagine a bureaucrat like that, in an office thousands of miles away, who doesn't know you and doesn't have any reason to care about you, making decisions about what kind of medical care you get, what kind of food you can eat, and whether or not you will pay $2.50 for a gallon of gas or $5.50 or $8.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doomsday Debacle

I could have waited until May 22nd and posted on this subject, but I want to take a stand now and make sure everybody who reads my blog knows that I think Mr. Fitzpatrick is an embarrassment to Christianity.  He is doing the very thing that Scripture warns not to do.

Oh, I don't mean predicting Messiah's return.  That's just part of it. He is teaching a bunch of false doctrine with his book.  His biggest problem is that he is causing the Bible and The Creator to be mocked.  Granted that pagans will mock the Bible anyway, but "Christians" are not supposed to give them the reason and ammunition to do so.

I'm not ready to post a full expose on Mr. Fitzpatrick's egregious theory.  I downloaded the PDF file of his book and have only made my way to page 148 of a 384 page book.  I've already found so many errors I can't stand it.  It will not be easy limiting myself to just explaining why his doomsday prediction alone is wrong.

Stay tuned.    Shalom Y'all.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

On Romans & Olive Trees: Part 3

This is the third post in a study of Paul's letter to the believers in Rome.  You can start at the beginning by clicking here.

The eleventh chapter of Romans contains some things that should shut the mouths of a lot of pastors and teachers who are out there blaspheming by teaching garbage like “replacement theology.”  Let’s look at this first and then move to the next thing.

Paul introduces the chapter with this: “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?  May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, . . .”

There are many more passages that make it clear that God would never abandon Israel.  Not the land, nor the people as a corporate body.  In a previous post I spoke of God’s fulfillment of Israel becoming a nation on the exact day of the end of their last punishment for not keeping His Torah, May 14, 1948.  We also have other prophecies about Israel that have yet to be fulfilled, such as Ezekiel 38 & 39.  So if you hear some pastor or teacher telling you that the church has replaced Israel or gives you the telltale clues that they believe in “Dominion theology,” run for the exit.

Even though Paul is grieved by the number of his Jewish brethren who will not recognize Yeshua as Messiah, he reveals in verse eleven that the purpose is to spread the gospel to the gentile world.

Then Paul gives us this beautiful, vivid illustration of the Gentile relationship to the Jews and the Torah.  Gentiles are like a wild olive branch that is being grafted in to the main trunk of a well established tree.  This is truly a great picture.  In the world of plants, there are some plants that barely last a season.  They might live long enough to create seed and die for the next crop to germinate in the spring.  An olive tree is one of the few species that lasts for centuries and even millennia.  Yes.  An olive tree can be several thousand years old.  At least some of the olive trees in the very garden where Yeshua sweated drops of blood are still growing there today.  An olive tree takes a lot of care to become established but once they are, they can produce quite a lot.

If you want to produce a new variety of olives quickly and easily,  you can graft an existing shoot onto an older well established tree.  You don’t rip out a well established tree to plant a new sapling.  And olive trees, like most food producing plants require pruning and cultivation to be productive.  The Messiah also used grape vines as an illustration of this principle.  Paul uses the olive tree because in prophecy, the olive tree is understood to represent Israel, as well as the fig tree.  In this letter, Paul warns the Gentiles to remember their status as being grafted in to the tree.  The tree hasn’t been destroyed, and in fact, it is the roots of the tree that support and give life to the new graftees.  He also states that if the non-productive branches of the tree can be chopped off and discarded, so can the newcomers.  The newly grafted branches don’t change everything by becoming a part of the well-established tree.  It can take a while for the graft to fully “take.”  The existing old olive tree that is producing good fruit continues to produce good fruit because all the right things are being done by the Master Gardener and the tree accepts it.  Another very, very interesting thing about olive trees is that an old, well established tree can be cut down, or even burned down, level with the ground, seeming to be totally destroyed, and yet it’s root system will put up shoots in a few years.

The eleventh chapter of Romans makes it clear that there is a partial blinding of Israel regarding the identity of Messiah until all those of the Gentile world are gathered in.  But the zealous Pharisee named Paul understands that these Gentile converts are coming to the saving knowledge of Messiah AND to obedience to Torah.  Without the obedience to Torah, the Jews would have nothing to be jealous about.  In short, there is no new religion for the Gentiles who come to follow Messiah.  Yeshua said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."

We must keep in mind that Yeshua Himself said He came to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  In Matthew 15 we have the story of a Canaanite woman who comes to Yeshua to have her daughter delivered from a demon.  Yeshua not only tells her that he was sent to Israel only, but he further insults her by saying that it is not good to throw the children’s bread to the dogs.  Hyperbole?  A set up?  Sure.  But it makes the point.  God wants His chosen ones first and He has no intention of abandoning Israel.

Paul gets to the heart of the matter in verse 11 of chapter 11:  “I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they?  May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.”

In order for us to feel the full weight of what Paul is saying here, we would have to be very familiar, or should I say well studied, in the Hebrew Scriptures.  The book of Hosea is especially helpful here.  The time of the prophet Hosea was more than 100 years before the Babylonian captivity; about 750 to 720 years before Messiah came.  Adonai was so fed up with the idolatry of Israel that He commanded Hosea to go and find a prostitute to marry.  This is to symbolize how God sees Israel’s idolatry.  He severely punishes the Northern Kingdom to near utter annihilation. Adonai’s apparent mercy on Judah is because that is the line of Messiah and Judah seemed to try to hold to Torah.  Taking the whole of at least the first two chapters, we see that God is so angered by that generation that He wants to divorce her until she turns from her harlotry.

Is it not interesting that God created this world with sex and marriage, reproduction and progeny and parenting to give us tangible, emotional ways to relate to Him?  It is precisely because Adonai loves all of his created children that he chastises them to try to get them to come back to Himself.  Chapter 3 of Hosea is so obviously prophetic about the conquering Messiah and the end times.

“For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, and without ephod or seraphim.  Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.”  (Hosea 3:4,5)

This passage tells us a couple of very important things: A time would come, and we’ve seen most of it come to pass, where Israel had no real political or civil leadership of their own and no Temple for religious service to Adonai.  Now, as I type this, there is increasing and fervent interest in Israel and among other Jews about Yeshua the Nazarene.  Israel has been restored as a nation with self rule. The only thing we need to see now for the anti-Christ to be revealed is a Temple (2 Thess. 2:1-4).

In verse 17 & 18 of Romans 11, we read, “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches [natural Jews]; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.”    Some Christians need to read this verse every day for a month until it sinks in.  This is one of the clearest statements in the New Testament to tell Gentile believers, “Hey, listen up, Yeshua did not come to create a whole new religious system.  He came to make a way for you folks outside of Judaism to become a part of God’s Kingdom. That means you are supposed to learn God’s ways from them, the Jews, not them learning from you.”

Oh yes, I know that just shocks the snot out of most Christians who read that. But if you disagree, then search the Scriptures and show me the text that says that previous paragraph is wrong.  For heaven’s sake; keep reading verses 19 through 29 and Paul is even more emphatic about warning Gentiles that the grafted in branches are merely that and that the ultimate purpose is the salvation of Israel.

So far, we’ve made it up to chapter 12 of Romans in three posts, and still I can’t find anything in Paul’s words (actually the words of the Ruach HaKodesh) that tell me that the Torah has become void or that we can disregard the commandments.  This again is in keeping with the words of the Master Himself in Matthew 5:17-20.  If you know something that I don’t, you can leave a comment, or email me.  The address is in the sidebar.

You can move on to part IV in this series by clicking here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Setaceous Hebrew Character

You find the strangest things while doing research.

Stopped at one of the local plant nurseries this past week just to look, but both myself and the KOALA  (Keeper Of All Lovely Attributes), a.k.a. Twyla, have a soft spot for really nice plants when we find them and they are really cheap.

Chocolate Mint left, Lemon Mint right
We got a lemon mint plant and a chocolate mint plant.  If you are thinking that mint is mint, sorry, but you'd be wrong.  I have a regular or probably a spearmint  plant that is growing in the yard already, but this lady near the lake had these in some pots out front, and I recognized the lighter, yellower color of the one species and knelt down to pinch off a bottom leaf.  I crushed and rolled it between my thumb and forefinger and it smelled almost like someone had zested a lemon.  It's wonderful.

Regular mint in one of my veggie beds
She lifted up a small pot of a purplish, brownish stemmed plant with the distinctive mint shaped leaves and announced that it was the chocolate kind.  I pinched off a leaf and repeated the process and was rewarded with that strange but wonderful scent of a cross between chocolate and mint.  I don't know how someone figured out how to breed these awesome varieties, but I am grateful.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  What in the wide world of sports does this have to do with a Setaceous Hebrew Character?  I'm getting there.

Along with a few other good buys, she had these little six-packs of tiny deep blue flowers.  Almost a blue-violet.  The petals look like tiny, fragile snips of velvet fabric and the color seems to glow in direct sunlight.  The pictures I found at Wikipedia just do absolutely no justice to the real flower.  She called them lobelia.  At the time, I didn't care and didn't even think of the name.  Twyla and I both just think they are beautiful.  This variety is suited to a somewhat shady spot and so we got them to go in the big manhole ring near the back steps.  They can go in after we finish harvesting all the radishes that are there now.
Lobelia erinus on my back porch, a.k.a. Edging Lobelia or Trailing Lobelia

Lobelia erinus photo courtesy of Wikipedia
On the way home, I remembered from my herbal medicine research days that Lobelia is the genus of plant that has several medicinal uses, and if this plant were truly in that genus, if not the species, I needed to know about it.  Well it is.  It is not the most well known species, which also goes by the name Indian Tobacco and has very pale flowers and grows taller.  But it is still in the family.  This blue version comes from the southern African continent, and is called Lobelia erinus.   It stays low and makes a beautiful covering bed.  Medicinally it has several uses, but you need to be very careful.  If I were a lawyer, I'd tell you not to even consider using this stuff.  To give you an idea, the American, taller, pale blue flower version of this is known by several other names: Asthma Weed, Indian Tobacco, Pukeweed, and Vomitwort.  Does that give you any ideas?

However, in small, controlled doses, it can be used as an expectorant and a relaxant for muscle tension.  It has sedative qualities.  It is also both a diuretic (makes you pee) and it's a diaphoretic (makes you sweat).  There are many reasons why sweating is good for you.  Failing to sweat is not healthy.  Your skin is the largest organ in/on your body and is a big part of eliminating impurities.  (When is this guy going to get to the Hebrew Character thing?)
Setaceous Hebrew Character Moth

In reading about Lobelia, I discover that there is a specific little moth who's caterpillar feeds on the plant; the Setaceous Hebrew Character, (Xestia c-nigrum).  It was named this, because to whoever got the naming rights, the prominent black marking on the wing, at least on the left side, looks like a 15th century version of the Hebrew letter Nun (pronounced "noon").  And in case you were wondering, Setaceous means bristle-like or having bristles.

Aren't you glad you didn't stop reading until you got to this part?

Continuing with the entertainment, we have the next photo which shows how creative Twyla can be with different things.  We were at a garage sale months ago when she spotted one of those industrial mop wringers that ride on the side of a mop bucket and said she wanted it.

"What for?"  (Silly me.  What does it matter?)

"I've got an idea."

Only the daisies and the fuchsia colored Sweet Williams are real plants.  The ivy is silk.  Twyla refers to such an arrangement as "artifisus," a term she coined years ago for mixing fake flowers or other elements with the real thing to create the look she wants.  

In other news . . . 

Remember when I talked about praying mantids in an earlier post?  Well, I discovered that I was a little too soon on the estimate.  Turns out that during my gardening work just yesterday, I was near the boxwood shrubs at one end of the house and a couple of tiny ones caught my eye.  I mean really tiny.  Barely a half an inch long.  You would almost mistake them for ants if you weren't looking carefully.

Those are the fingertips of my left hand in the shot to give you the perspective of how small this critter is.  And as I looked around, I discovered there were about a hundred of them within about a cubic yard.  I didn't see an egg case anywhere, so I don't know where they came from.  They were there to feed because the boxwood was blooming and attracting ants, tiny black flies, bees, etc. and it was a banquet.

When I get back to another post on gardening or plants, I have something very special to share.  Stay tuned to this blog.

Shalom Y'all