The Cat Problem

"Judge not ..." - Matthew 7:1

A traveling chicken farmer as tall as his Oklahoma plains, Gene always told ranch yarns and poultry raising tips as I served home Communion in my last church. Confined then most of his days to a recliner and cable TV, his mind rambled freely the cattle and chicken ranches under the endless skies of Oklahoma and Texas. Gene held my ear as I planned our first chicken coop on our 7.5 acre ranch in Rimrock, Arizona. Gene gave me tips on how to bulletproof our henhouse from coyotes which hunt in packs.

“One day I visited an old farmer,” drawled Gene, ” He pulled back the door, and we walked into his wood chicken barn. To my surprise the old farmer kept all his chickens in cages chained a few feet off the ground. And below the cages wandered a bunch of cats.”

Observant, “I see you’ve got your chickens all up in cages? Is that to protect them from the cats?”

“Oh no,” said the farmer matter of fact, “The cages protect the chickens from the rattlesnakes.”

“What are the cats for?”

“Oh, the cats keep the rattlesnakes down.”

Our solution to fix a problem … may create a problem that doesn’t exist.

What we considered a problem today offered us the solution disguised.

Pastor Jim

Tracks around our 15 chicken henhouse in Rimrock, AZ. Coyotes?
Game cam captured the midnight guest. See middle left image. Thanks, Gene, for the tips to bulletproof our henhouse. Did you spot the bobcat?

With Liberty, Justice and Care for All

Among the Navajo people there is no word for “Goodbye” and parting words mean “Take care of your people.” A good reminder for “We, the People” to take care of all members of the US tribe.

From Youtube

Perhaps it is time among our people to amend our pledge to reflect that without care we cannot be one. Without care there is no liberty or justice. “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, justice and care  for all.”

Take Care of Your People,

Pastor Jim

A Little Grace for a Hard Place

This weekend an old grief returned to haunt me. My faith felt weak and limited in the presence of this old foe. So, I reached back into a sermon I preached August 19, 2012 and rediscovered the simple faith of a widow and her gift of two small copper coins and remembered a prayer that can help you when you feel you’ve run out of your resources to cope.

Prayer for Uncertain Times

Learn how to pray like the Apostle Paul when facing uncertain times. St. Paul, quarantined under house arrest, gave us a map to discover power in prayer and tap into the power of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

*The Sun Valley Motel (1952) shown in the video was owned by my grandparents and was where my father returned to Phoenix in 1947. It was there also I was taken after my birth at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Behind the scenes, my grandson, Jaden (12), operated the video camera. This was about take six as he would stop the camera as I tried to explain to let it record without stopping and I would edit it later. Some of my smiling was related to his antics.