Friday, July 11, 2008

Still working toward Sunday

Stories, Quotes, Illustrations

A few years ago, when archaeologists began excavating in the courtyard of a medieval monastery, they found seeds that had been dormant for more than 400 years that had begun to grow. King Henry VIII had closed the monastery in 1539, and herbs tended by the monks died. But they sprouted to life again after the archaeologists disturbed the earth.

Today in the Word, November 15, 1997 from

Larry McMurtry, known for his [book] Lonesome Dove, wrote another book about roads—the many roads he had driven on and the hundreds of miles he had explored across America. At last, returning in memory to the place where he grew up in east Texas, he recalls that his father had seldom gone much farther than the dusty roads near his dirt farm. Comparing his own travels to his father's localized life, McMurtry admits, "I have looked at many places quickly. My father looked at one place deeply."
Leighton Ford, The Attentive Life (IVP, 2008), p. 112 from

What is the difference between soil and dirt?
Dirt is what you find under your fingernails. Soil is what you find under your feet. Think of soil as a thin living skin that covers the land. It goes down into the ground just a short way. Even the most fertile topsoil is only a foot or so deep. Soil is more than rock particles. It includes all the living things and the materials they make or change.

We know more about the dark side of the moon than we do about the earth beneath our feet. This is the teeming domain of amoebas, bacteria, mites, mold, worms, and countless other organisms, so numerous that scientists haven’t even named them all. In fact, there are more creatures in a shovel full of rich soil than human beings on the planet. Journey into the dark, earthy center of it all with Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, a new exhibition from SITES, developed by the National Museum of Natural History with support from the Soil Science Society of America and The Fertilizer Institute.
  • Soil Fun Facts
  • There is soil in your dishes, in the paints on your walls, and in some of your favorite jewelry!
  • There are more organisms in a shovelful of dirt than there are people on the planet!
  • Many of the antibiotics we use to fight illnesses were derived from soil organisms!
  • Did you know it may take up to 500 years to produce one inch of topsoil!
  • There are more than 70,000 different kinds of soil in the United States!

Soil is great entertainment for anyone under the age of 5 (and some of us who are considerably older).
From "Dig it! The Secrets of Soil"

Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed. ~Robert H. Schuller (lost reference)

Error is a hardy plant; it flourishes in every soil. ~Martin F. Tupper

The Who, What, Where, When and Why
Who sows? God and by extension us
Sows What? Seed/ the Word of God and sows it generously, extravagantly
Sows Where? Everywhere, without discrimination of the type of soil
Sows When? Continually
Sows Why? -- OK, this is always the hard one -- because. Hope for a bountiful harvest.

Historical Background Stuff

Villages at that time -- All people lived in villages. Each had a plot outside the village to which they would travel to plant. Also outside the village: pastures for sheep/goats, threshing floor, perhaps a stoning pit. The path would be hard packed. The area next to the path would have caught the run-off and perhaps was shallow. Each patch was set aside by a margin or hedge that would have weeds/thorns. The middle of the patch would be good soil, enriched over the years with compost. Thus the physical location of each of the soils. So the hearers of this parable would know all these soils -- they would know seed -- and harvest.

Edited: Wouldn't you know it? I broke a tooth on a blackberry seed this afternoon. Shattered it, really. Broke it at 3:00; at the Dentist at 4:00; home by 6:00. I HATE the Dentist. I hate the Dentist even more than I hate IVs. I usually go after taking an Advil (once even a Xanex for a root-canal). I had to go in and I was TENSE.

Now -- how to work that in?

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