Monday, July 20, 2009

The Counterattack

A funny thing happens when you begin to write about spiritual warfare - the spiritual warfare that you are experiencing gets more serious. Not long after I finished the article Choosing Your Ground I was hammered by the most intense battle that I have experienced in years.

Did I know one was coming? Yes; but I have to admit that it was far more severe than I had anticipated. It was like a wave that knocked me off of my feet and rolled me around under the water for a while. I am only now beginning to find the ground and get my feet back under me again.

While it is disconcerting that I was hit so hard, I was reminded yesterday by my pastor that, "a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, but the wicked stumble in time of calamity." Thank God that my righteousness isn't based on any goodness inherent in me, but is solely dependent on the perfection of Jesus Christ imputed to me by faith. God is certainly good!

The aftermath of the attack has left me pretty tender and wounded, but I see the attack as a good thing. In it the enemy was allowed to sift me and used a seemingly small area of darkness in my heart as the access point for his attack. He exploited this area of rebellion in my heart to his advantage to quickly open up a breech on a flank that I thought that I had thoroughly defended. Because of this attack I am now aware of an area where I had grown complacent and that needs to be submitted to God.

Another positive on the heels of this attack is that it would seem that the articles that I have written have struck a nerve with the enemy. That is a very good thing. Thus, I intend to continue writing. As I suggested in Total War, if he bloodies me, I have every intention of returning the favor.

The most disturbing outcome of the attack has been how long it has taken me to get back in the saddle. I'm not even sure that I'm back there yet, but I do seem to be moving that way. And as I return to the saddle, I will return to the offensive. I intend to write the next installment of the Spiritual Warfare Series in the coming days.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Garden Update

Things are going well in the garden. Yesterday I had some good help too. My nephew and my niece helped me pick cucumbers, tomatoes, banana peppers, onions, broccoli, and green beans. They also helped me to put out some more soaker hose for irrigation. And we also encouraged the purplehull runners to climb the trellis. My niece told me, "Uncle Jonathan, this is the most fun we have ever had together!" That did my heart good!

All told we picked about 2 gallons of green beans. They were some of the prettiest ones I have ever seen. I'm looking forward to tasting them soon too! My niece even helped me to string and break the beans last night. While we watched the Braves finish their sweep of the Phillies! Whoo! Now if the Braves can just keep it going for the rest of the season. Gardening is great because it gives me an excuse to watch baseball! You might as well do something while you are processing the harvest!

Some of the new tomato varieties that I grew this year are pretty good. I really like the taste of both the Celebrity and the Early Girl tomatoes. The Celebrity tastes a lot like the Better Boy whereas the Early Girl is really sweet. The German Johnson had a good taste too. We should have some other varieties to taste soon. I have been a little disappointed with the Roma tomatoes' seeming proclivity to bloom end rot. I haven't been able to get any Calcinit Tropicote on them this year and I am sure that it isn't helping matters, but I have only found the problem on my Better Boys and my Romas. I have been putting off putting out the CT because the pellets melted and have become one large block. I don't look forward to breaking that block up into a powder that will get all over my hands when I go to put it out. Blech.

Onions are hanging in there but I'll be pulling them up soon. I think they are about done.

I still need to sort some irrigation issues. I need to get some for my corn and some for the remainder of the purplehulls. My corn isn't up yet, probably because I haven't been able to get any water on it yet. I need to get that sorted quickly because I need to get it going. And I also want to do a couple successive plantings and that needs to be done soon. I'd also like to get some pumpkins planted soon.

Loving the summer weather this week. If it would stay like this I wouldn't mind summers at all. Keep me under 90 degrees and I'm a pretty happy camper.