Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A brave new world

Preparation for moving berry bushes
 Well if you read yesterday's blog, you will realise that the wee one, did go down for a sleep for me, but first of all I thought I would start off with some ideas that struck me earlier this week, just for a change. As Christians we often have a reputation for doom and gloom. It is well known that many think that we will be whisked away while the rest of folks are left in a deep, black time of hardship and struggle. Few will make it, so the thinking goes! I did think that at one time, but a few years ago I had my ideas challenged and I am back to the belief that God intends to renew this Earth. Revelations 21:1-4
Sunflowers looking good in the early autumn sunshine
Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
Yumm! Mushrooms
This week I read an article about the way that science fiction can influence tomorrow's scientists and engineers. When the writers start to imagine a more positive outcome, then that inspires the future ideas that can be made into reality. That should be true of the Christian community too. When we get hold of the idea that God is interested in renewing and not destroying this world, then we are more likely to be inspired to work towards that and take better care of this planet and its people. I think it helps when we think of the Lord's Prayer where we say "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." To me that means we are meant to be a part of bringing God's Kingdom to Earth, not in a dominating, violent way, but in a peaceful, renewing way. That is something that inspires me and something that makes me want to work towards a more positive future. So what are your thoughts? Does it give you hope and an optimism for the future?

I don't think we will be eating these ones though
Anyway onto the regular day to day stuff of life here in Latvia. This week I have been mostly cleaning. Our home does rather suffer over the summer and our daughter and family were due to arrive on the Friday and so cue cleaning time. It's nice to be able to sit somewhere that is tidy for a change. Part of the challenge was trying to make the house a little more baby proof, since this is the first time that one of our little grandchildren have visited whilst mobile. Our grandson did visit last year, but he was just a tiny baby and our other adopted granddaughter is old enough to leave things alone or not try to eat everything in sight.
Not the sort of wildlife we really want to see

Nor this. Some kind of fungal disease probably
Intense concentration picking those
tomatoes
Our little granddaughter has spent a couple of days out on the land and in the garden and so it has been rather amusing to watch her and have her "help," she got really dirty picking up potatoes and helping her Mummy put them in a bag, then finding worms and stones and ....... Afterwards she also lent a hand with sorting through the potato harvest with her Mummy and Daddy, so  I suspect we are going to find one or two potatoes in some strange places. Our little granddaughter and I have been for lots of walks to see the alpacas and the chickens and on one ramble we made our way back through the greenhouse. She stopped at the tomatoes and tried to pull off a green one and so I showed her a red one she could pick and we took it to Mummy. Later on that day she set off by herself and took the watering can and started pulling off tomatoes and putting them in it, even got some red ones in there.
A watering can, just right for picking
tomatoes right?
A happy wee soul
Besides helping with the potato harvest our son-in-law helped me to pin the alpacas down whilst Ian clipped their toe nails. White alpacas with fine fleece have toe nails that grow at rather a rapid pace and, just a few months after they were trimmed when we sheared their fleece, they were back to needing a trim again. Herkules, unfortunately escaped out the door with me desperately trying to cling on and Estelle bucked a little when she was having her's trimmed and ended up catching me on the backside, just below the belt line. It was just a scratch, albeit a deepish one but everyone found it very amusing. Had to resort to the vodka for that though - for cleaning the wound of course. Agnese also got her toe nails trimmed for the first time and at one point when she was protesting we thought that Snowdrop, her mother, was going to spit at me for tormenting her child. Fortunately she didn't, as we talked to her gently to calm her down.
The marigolds are still looking good
Harvest moon
We have had yet another leak from the apartment upstairs at our other apartment. Fortunately our daughter and son-in-law spotted it and took appropriate action in the evening. The next morning we had to go and talk with the neighbours and the lady of the apartment was distraught that it was happening again. We had to insist on them turning their water off for the weekend, so that it didn't continue, which made us feel awful. We did offer to bring them up some water if they needed it, but they said others would help. The fitting that was leaking looked new and we wondered if this was the replacement for the part that burst the last time and totally flooded us out. We do despair at times and this is one of those time when I wish I was fluent in Latvian and could deal with the company myself and tell them exactly what I think about them and their workmanship.
Flowering onions
Sofie, off on her night travels
Today we got to look after our little granddaughter whilst Mummy and Daddy went on their own to Riga. She was a little treasure, she didn't moan and was a happy little soul most of the time. She certainly was very easy to look after and giggled a lot. Not bad considering that the most contact I have had with her is via Skype and Ian even less so. It will be nice to see her a little more often now that she will be living in England, I shall be looking forward to their visits.

Major Fowler on guard
Some debate on this, but I think it is a hornet's nest. Quite
incredible really but something to deal with over the
winter
Jerusalem artichokes looking good
 

6 comments:

Mavis said...

I totally agree with your thoughts at the beginning of this post. It has always been about heaven to earth and not the other way around. So it would seem logical to suppose that this is how God will continue to work. You say 'God is interested in renewing and not destroying this world'. Absolutely! In creation he renews year after year, bringing life out of seeming death, recycling continually. It would be natural to believe that that is how he works, that's what he is and what he does.

I love the photos of your granddaughter -she's gorgeous and it will be good that they will now be a bit nearer, even if still not in the same country. Glad you're having a good time with the family. Precious times.

Joanna said...

Thank you for your encouragement Mavis and yes they are precious times and I am excited that she will be able to visit us more often now.

Mavis said...

Just thinking that it's 3 years ago today that I landed at Riga airport and met you and Ian in the flesh. Still remember what a great time I had during those few days with you both. Blessings.

Joanna said...

Wow time flies! It was a wonderful time and we are so grateful you came. You've been a lovely blessing to us over the years

Bill said...

I share your hope for the future. A time when God will renew and restore all things, and we'll beat our swords into plowshares and no one will be afraid anymore. It's a beautiful image, and it saddens me that so many believers expect instead that this beautiful earth will be destroyed and only a lucky few will be whisked away to some other place.

What great memories you're making for your beautiful granddaughter.

And yes that looks like a hornet's nest to me.

Joanna said...

I'm glad we share that hope Bill. It is almost like expecting a great painter to throw away a painting lovingly crafted over many years I think, to expect God to destroy the earth. The earth may have got a bit grubby, but ultimately it is a beautiful place, that is in need of a bit of loving care and attention to become what it should be - a shining jewel crafted by the great Creator God.

I hope my granddaughter does indeed grow up enjoying her Latvian holidays.

As for the hornet's nest - thought so :) or should that be :S