By Martha Williams

And the surprises continue.

Climbing into my truck the other day, grumbling to myself about how much I was hating the weather, I caught a flash of red.

“What,” I wondered … nothing planted in the area along the driveway was anywhere near ready to blossom. There were irises and tulips planted there, but nowhere near ready to even bud, let alone bloom. The little grape hyacinths were blooming, but they had been – just nothing red, or more than 6 inches tall was showing any color.

But there it was, precocious little thing, one lone bright red tulip, standing tall in the midst of all the others, who were barely getting even the idea of budding. And that flower stood tall and

strong, despite the vicious wind that swirled around it.

No matter how bad things can get, God always manages to remind me that he is in control and he can always throw in a bright spot heralding impending improvement if we only keep our eyes open enough to see it.

This was the second time in a couple weeks the color red and “early” came into my life.

When I found out the baby my granddaughter Kayla was carrying was to be a boy, I asked her what color sweater set she wanted me to make. I had expected blue, or maybe mint green, but what did she want? Red! Took me a few days to wrap my mind around that one. And I thought I would be able to take my time to get it done.

But little Oliver decided he wasn’t going to wait around, and arrived five weeks early, which led to some problems getting that little body regulated. And once again, the power of prayer played a very special part, and he is doing well. I have to be satisfied with pictures for now, because he lives on the other side of the country, but maybe next year I will be able to make that “back east” trip again.

Prayer does help, and the Bible tells us to pray for each other. I have seen it over and over, at my church, and in my family, as we have prayed, and the results have been so positive.

Today is the Operation Christmas Child Celebration event at Pelican Bay EV Free church. There will be information about the Shoe Box program and what God is accomplishing through it all around the world. This is my favorite charity — I love to see how much I can get packed into one of those boxes. You can go online to Samaritan’s Purse and see videos of kids getting them and how happy they are. And in addition to the gifts, they get God’s word in their own language and the message that he loves them. The program will run from 10 a.m. to noon, and an RSVP was requested if you planned to attend.

Lenten suppers/devotions continue at Grace Lutheran Church on Wednesday evenings through March 21. The evening will start at 5:15 with a prayer service, supper begins at 6 p.m. with devotions and activities.

Thursday, the Ladies Christian Fellowship will meet in the Trinity Center of St. Paul’s Episcopal church. The meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. The speaker will be Pastor Larry Read of New Life Community Church. He will talk about his mission trip to Africa. Music will be by the Praise team of New Life. There will be a report of the Not Ashamed club at the high school, a group the LCF helps to support. Lunch will be catered by Lesina Family Catering for $12 per person. Reservations are needed to ensure sufficient food is delivered. For reservations, call Liz at 464-3539 or Bonnie at 482-3705.

To reach Martha Williams, call 460-3000 or email .