I've been enjoying the Magpies too - they have a big personality - kinda like a cross between our Mockingbirds back at home with crows. They are quite striking. Here's a photo from Cornell University's excellent All About Birds website. Take a look at their site to see more about these guys - pretty cool.
As I was crossing eastern Montana there was quite a bit of roadkill (mostly rabbits) on the Big Sky Back County byway I was driving. I did not see one vulture… someone told me it might be because the ranchers put out poison for pests that the vultures get, but I don't know. It was strange. I saw them again when I got to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park…
I've also been meaning to write about Water Ministry. I received the newsletter from my church and there was a post from our minister saying that on August 30th she is going to do a sermon on water ministry. Here is part of what she wrote:
...we believe that moments of ministry happen all the time, all around us—every single day—even though, most of the time, we don’t even notice them.
What is a moment of ministry? It’s a moment of connection, a moment of relationship, between you and another person, between you and the world around you, between you and the Great Mystery that holds and surrounds us all... It’s ...a moment that takes your breath away.
This summer, as every summer, I challenge you to be on the lookout for moments of ministry. And when one happens, I challenge you to remember it. To help you remember the moments of ministry that you notice during the summer, I ask you to collect some water—water of ministry—any time that ministry happens. And then I ask you to bring your water and your stories to our service on August 30, so that we may gather our stories into the heart of our worshipping community, and our waters into a common bowl; so that we may carry them, and the blessings they represent, forward into our lives together in the year to come.
I thought this sounded great! Then my next reaction was that I was so sorry I hadn't gotten some water from Glacier National Park, where I certainly had some moments of ministry. Then I looked around Mac - sure enough I still had a water bottle in the driver's door that had water from Glacier! Yay! I cleaned out a small bottle that had held vinegar, and carefully poured the water into it to take to the service.
Water from Glacier National Park