The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These 40 years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything. (NIV) (Deuteronomy 2:7)





Occupying "my street" in the desert. This can't be my street--I live in Urbandale, Iowa and this is the desert of Arizona. Actually, these pictures are all from the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. But don't give up on me. Take a peek at the pics, then read my story--"a story from my street."

"A Story From My Street." For the past year our pastor, Nick Reed, has been giving a series of messages with a common theme--"Occupy Your Street". Our street is not just the address of our home or apartment. The challenge each week is to take the love of Jesus with us as we demonstrate His love in word and deed wherever we may go. This week in Arizona, we visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. This man (left), a greeter/gardener, was just inside the entrance visiting with two middle aged ladies who were admiring his lunch. This is out of character for me, but I entered the conversation remarking that I am 84 years old and never had a peanut butter-jelly sandwich. I do eat a lot of peanut butter with toast or a bagel--but not with jelly--never. They were all amazed --almost like disbelief and he offered to share a bite of his no sugar added apricot jelly and peanut butter sandwich. Since childhood my mom told me not to take anything from strangers but this seemed like a sure bet and a new experience--besides he had already broken off a piece of his sandwich and handed it to me. You know what--it tasted pretty good. I commented, "God made peanut butter and bread to complement each other to provide a source of complete protein". Then I admitted this jelly thing might be an added bonus. He said, "You might just have a point there--I have been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches since I was six weeks old and I'm still going strong at 81." Then as the four of us parted he said, "This made my day--now you know why I love this job." Yes, I still live in Urbandale, Iowa, but I wanted to share this story as I occupied my street in the Arizona desert.



Pretty mountain scene.

This makes it prettier.