"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

September 9, 2015


We have had a bagworm infestation in the pecan trees in our yard. It makes the trees look ugly, being full of those nasty webs. In our front yard, we have some smaller pecans that are probably 15-20 feet tall and are younger trees. Younger, meaning they're approximately eleven years old; compared to the other huge pecans that are probably 80-100 years old and around 80-100 feet tall (we're guessing).

The branches of one of the trees in the front yard is completely covered with bagworm webs. There are only a few leaves left on the tree. We aren't sure whether or not the tree is going to survive. A few days ago, we noticed that there are now bagworms on the ground surrounding the base of the tree.

Jon has tried to burn out the bags without much success. I've been researching online to see how to get rid of them and have found that you need to be pro-active and start treating the trees in May to have better control of bagworms. Considering it's now September, we have missed that by four months! I've found a few other ideas that we are going to try to help with the problem, but we aren't sure whether or not it will be successful; plus it's going to be a whole lot of work. One of the ideas was to pull down all the bagworm webs and burn them. Considering we can't even reach most of them, that's not a feasible solution.

Had we started treating our trees when we first noticed the problem, we wouldn't have the huge mess that we now have. But we had other things to do, and let it go for much too long.

That is a lot like sin is in a person's life. Too often, we are too busy going about our daily lives and start neglecting taking care of our spiritual condition. Sin slips in and we think it's no big deal and we can handle it; or else, know we need to do something about it, but put it off to later. As time goes by, the sin doesn't just stay little and insignificant, but will grow until it has infested our life. We realize we have problem, but by then it looks overwhelming and too hard to get rid of.

In Acts 12:20-23 we read a true story of how much God despises sin and the arrogance of mankind. King Herod Agrippa was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him, because their cities were dependent upon Herod's country for food. The delegates won the support of Herod's personal assistant, therefore, an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, "It's the voice of a god, not of a man!" Instantly, and angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people's worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.

Yuck! All I can picture is a whole passel of nasty worms eating away at the insides of King Herod Agrippa, until he finally died.

God probably isn't going to send a plague of worms to eat away at your innards should you continue in your sins and refuse to repent, but metaphorically that's what happens. It will eat away at your spirit and mind and heart until you are soul-sick.

Jeremiah 17:14 says, "O Lord, if You heal me, I will be truly healed; if You save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for You alone!"

When we pray and ask, God will heal and save us. He doesn't want anyone to perish, but desires that all choose repentance. God is waiting for each of us to come to Him with our sin-sick heart so He can heal and make us whole. He wants to clean away all the "bagworms" eating away and causing havoc in our spirit; and He will do a thorough and complete job of cleansing away all residue of the sin with the blood of His Son, Jesus.


Since Loretta wrote her part, we tried to clean up as much of the bagworms as we could reach with a long-handled rake. We raked the trees (I felt very foolish raking trees), and were able to get a lot of the webbing and bagworms (they aren't really worms; they are caterpillars) out of the trees. We tried to wad them up as much as we could, then I stomped on them, and we tried to burn them. We gave up on burning, and just bagged them up (I love that irony) to throw out with the trash.

Every step of it was thoroughly disgusting. Neither one of us could wait to shower afterward. Again, that relates to sin. Cleaning it up was gross. But it was also gross leaving it there. Even after cleaning up, our smaller trees look pretty disgusting. It might work for Halloween, but not for Labor day. They are covered in bits of webs we couldn't get out, and hardly have any leaves left.


Frosted Brownies


12 ounces chocolate chips

4 eggs

2 sticks butter

1-1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 cut nuts

Melt chocolate chips and margarine in double boiler or microwave. Mix eggs, sugar, and flour together; add in melted chocolate chip mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes.


1/2 stick butter, softened

4 Tablespoons milk

2 Tablespoons cocoa

1 pound powdered sugar

Mix softened butter, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan and cook over low heat until hot. Add powdered sugar. If mixture is too dry, add a little more milk. Frost brownies while hot. Cool, then cut into squares.


Recently, Jon and I were visiting with his mom and reminiscing about family memories. She and Jon were chuckling about how Stan (Jon's dad) always enjoyed pulling pranks on people, but did not like people pranking him back. One April Fools Day, when the kids were young, they got the bright idea to set the clocks ahead an hour. Their mom was in on it and helped make sure all the clocks were set after Stan went to bed. The next morning, they all got up and ate breakfast and the kids got ready for school. After he left for work, the kids went back to bed for an hour. Jon isn't sure exactly of all the details, but knows that his dad went to work an hour early (he owned his own business) and wondered why no one else was showing up. Stan wasn't very happy about his family pranking him! (This may not be a 100% accurate account of the story, but it is how Jon remembers it.)


"A person's everyday life speaks louder than 1,000 sermons."- Christine Caine


We love you!

Loretta & Jon