I have been reading the news about New Orleans with a sinking heart. The cruelty that man (living apart from God) can inflict on fellow man shocks me. I believe that we are beginning to see the hand of God's judgment on our nation…and we should not be surprised. We have gone beyond turning our backs on Him. We, as a nation, have made it a priority to drive Him out of our nation and out of our culture. It is rather surreal to read about the devastation several hundred miles away, yet watch the birds singing in the apple tree outside my window. Our gas prices have shot up and I hear that local people have made runs on the grocery stores….trucks won't be rolling for awhile is the rumor. Yet in the midst of all of this, life on our little farm continues without much change. Surreal. Today I have been contemplating the joy that comes from the simple pleasures He places before us if we only "have eyes to see". It is amazing when people ask me "how do you know God is real" when His handiwork is everywhere. As I have been working on tomatoes today (canning ketchup and spaghetti sauce) I have delighted to watch the hummingbirds playing and fighting at the feeder outside my kitchen window. I took my youngest boy (7 years old) outside and we peeked around the corner at the feeder…we could watch the hummingbirds drink and fly to the apple tree. As we looked closer we could see lots of hummingbirds flitting from branch to branch…the tree seemed alive with them…all colors…big ones and baby ones. My son has decided that there must be nests there and he has determined to find them come cold weather. We found one several years ago – it was about the size of half an eggshell. The joy of simple pleasures. We have also been enjoying a butterfly bush – it is filled all day with butterflies…yellow, blue, purple, orange….my youngest likes to go as close as he can, stand still and hold out a hand. Invariably a butterfly will light on his finger. His face lights up and his eyes grow wide with wonder as he looks for me at the kitchen window…he wants Mom to see this miraculous sight! The joy of simple pleasures. My favorite "simple pleasure" this week…watching my 7 year old trying to talk without his two front teeth. He hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet…I have to bite my lip to keep from giggling as I watch his tongue trying to navigate this huge hole in his mouth. Simple pleasures We got an invitation this week….to come to Florida and "do Disney" with relatives. We declined…how could "canned entertainment" ever compete with the simple pleasures God puts in our path each day.