Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Lazy Days of Summer Are Here!

The Lazy Days of Summer
Greetings to all from sunny California. Summer is here! Can you believe it? Today will be the longest day, and the shortest night of the year.

Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer otherwise known as the Summer Solstice.

The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun's energy.

Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids' celebration of the day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth," resulting in the present day belief of a "lucky" wedding in June.

Summer Solstice Fun Facts

Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.

Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.

Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.

For us Summer is one of the many "good and perfect gifts" from our heavenly Father Jehovah that reflects is love, wisdom, and power. It is a perfect time to marvel and think deeply about his incredible creations, and express graditude and thanks to him as a sacrifice of praise, and tell others about all his ways. He takes note of that. (Psalms 50:23; Psalms 51:15)

What are your plans for this summer?

When we think of summer, we think of warm weather, and fun in the sun. Swimming, picnics, barbeques, relaxing vacations or pleasant visits with relatives and friends are just a few of the many activities that fill our time.
Although the summer season is viewed by many as the "long, hot, lazy days of summer", for true Christians there may be long, hot days, but certainly not lazy. We keep busy, especially in spritiual activities. When making our summer plans, we must always remember to keep Kingdom interests in first place.

Here are a few things we can do.

▪ If you haven't already attended, make definite plans to attend the district convention.

▪ If you go away for a vacation, plan to attend the meetings of the local congregation and share in the ministry. It really is the hightlight of any vacation to meet new brothers and sisters.

▪ A visit with relatives who are not in the truth may give you a chance to do some productive informal witnessing.

▪ Have you thought about helping a nearby congregation that needs assistance in covering its territory, or going to unassigned territory?

▪ School vacations provide an excellent opportunity for young people to expand their service activity. How about applying to be an auxilliary pioneer?

▪ With pleasant weather and longer daylight hours, you may find that you can get excellent results in the service by doing more evening witnessing, when many people are at home.

Remember that “the plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage.” (Prov. 21:5) Plan to make the most of your summertime theocratic opportunities.

May this summer season bring you many joys and blessings, spiritually and otherwise.

This is Raven-as the crow flies!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

June! The Month of Roses and Weddings

June is rose month, the flower's shining hour. The many different varieties, cabbage, moss, yellowbrier, damask, rambler, everblooming and more, do their best to fill your senses and yard with aromatic fragrence and beauty.

The early Romans were known to be particular rose lovers. Their banquet couches were strewn with the delicate petals-hence the expression, "bed of roses". The Roman Code of Law prohibited anything said under a garland of roses at dinner or meeting from being repeated in court-thus, "sub rosa."

As you may know, June takes it's name from the Roman goddess Juno, patroness of marriage and the special guardian of women and childbirth. For this reason, June has always been looked upon as the best month in which to get married.
"Married in the month of roses-June
Life will be one long honeymoon." So says June fokelore.

Also, during the middle ages, June has traditionaly been called "The Marriage Month", because (this is funny, but true) people were clean from their annual May baths.

The rose is a flower of love. The world has acclaimed it for centuries. "Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant. White roses are for love dead or forsaken, but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant.”

Full moon on the fifteenth is called “Strawberry Moon” by Native Americans and New England and the Great Lakes because at this time of year the strawberry ripened.

On June 1st there was a partial Solar Eclipse of the sun that was visible in eastern Asia, northern America and Iceland. Sorry we missed it, oh well next time.

On June 15th there will be a total Lunar eclipse of the moon. This will be visible in South America,Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. We still have time to book a flight and see it.

June is the month of long twilights. By the 21st, the first day of summer, when the sun has moved as far north of the equator as possible, the balmy evenings are a delightful invitation to dine out of doors. Too many of us overlook the potentialities of our yards and gardens, letting them serve only as settings for our homes instead of making them into backgrounds for living. A simple portable grill on the patio is all the foundation you need for cooking and entertaining in your own backyard, and it will give you an extra dimension in gracious living.

“It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes,
And pleasant scents the noses.”

To keep a fragrant year-round reminder of this gentle month, why not make this old-fashioned rose petal potpourri:

Gather fragrant rose petals in the early morning, spread on paper and dry in a dark,cool place for a week. To each 4 cups of dried petals, add 1tsp. each of powdered orris root, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and the rinds of one lemon and orange, dried and crushed. Mix thoroughly. Store in a pretty jar, sprinkling coarse salt on each layer of spiced petals. Close tightly for 6 weeks. To release fragrance, open jar and stir. You could also put some of the potpourri in little hamdmade sachets to put in dresser drawers or closets giving your clothing a delightful scent.

June is a fantastic month: the official start of summer, schools get out, and it's a great time to be out in the ministry, weatherwise.

Believe it or not, June is also adopt a "Cat Month." More kittens are born in the spring and summer than at any other time. If you are looking to adopt a cat or kitten, now is a great time—and you don't even have to travel far from home. There are many animal shelters filled with cats and kittens just purring to find a good home and a lap to curl up on.Yes, June is here! Enjoy every moment of it. Drink in it's beauty, and meditate deeply on the one who made it all. Give praise and thanks to him for "All your works will laud you, O Jehovah, and all your loyal ones will bless you" Psalms 145:1-12

This is Raven-as the crow flies