Infected by a Bug?

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As the 2014 cold and flu season is in full swing, maybe you’ve had the misfortune of being infected with one of the many germs floating around out there. If so, you have my sympathies because there is nothing worse than being sick.

I’m happy to report that Lee and I have both managed to stay healthy through this long and chilly winter. But thinking about infections from germs, brought to mind our experiences yesterday ministering to a group of women at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

We went there to share with them the hope and joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. So many lives in that place are in desperate need of hope and joy. We left there ourselves filled to the brim with a fresh outpouring of God’s peace and joy.

The group of 15 women who came into our classroom walked through the door with a sense of excitement and anticipation at what God was going to reveal to them through the worship songs and study of His Word. Our God is a faithful God and He did not disappoint us. His loving presence was there in all that took place. It was like an infection spread to each one of us–an infection of love, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.

I believe that when the women left to go back to their cells they each carried with them a germ of that infection. God can use what was imparted to them to infect everyone they come into contact with and I pray that is what will happen. Instead of a spread of negativity and discouragement in that place I’m praying for a spread of God’s love.

Maybe you are not yet a believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. But as you think about how germs can spread an infection, I encourage you to turn your thoughts to positive ways that we can cause good things to spread to others around us. You might be surprised to discover how infectious a simple action like a smile and a kind word can be to those around you.

Another Albuquerque Open Space Hike

Today seemed like a good day to do another hike at one of the Albuquerque Open Space areas. The “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Albuquerque” book that has helped us discover many good trails since we moved here, had a description for a 4-mile hike at the Las Huertas Open Space near Placitas.
On the Albuquerque Open Space map posted with the Manzano Open space hike, Las Huertas is the northernmost small, green polygon at the top of the map.

Las Huertas is less than 600 acres, but it adjoins a large area of BLM land. Most of today’s hike was on BLM land, not on the Open Space. This meant a day of wandering on unmarked trails, constantly looking at the description in the book to make sure I was on track. There were a few times of confusion given the numerous dirt roads and trails that are usually on BLM land this close to an urban area, but I managed to figure things out without getting lost. With all of the surrounding open desert country and the landmark mountains in the distance, it would be hard to really get lost, anyway.

The Open Space is named for Las Huertas Creek, which starts just below Capulin Peak, about 8,600 feet up in the Sandia Mountains to the south. There may be water in it somewhere up there, but I should have known that this would be a typical New Mexico watershed that is just a dry, sandy creek bed. The first section of the hike, less than a mile from the start, leads you towards the creek. Then a lot of the walking either parallels or descends into the stream bed.

There wasn’t much in the way of scenery, but as the trail ascended a couple of hills and ridges I enjoyed identifying many of our Albuquerque area landmarks in the distance . And I can check off another hike from the “60 miles” book, as well as another Albuquerque Open Space.

Gate to enter Las Huertas Open Space.
Gate to enter Las Huertas Open Space.
Looking south towards the Sandia Mountains.
Looking south towards the Sandia Mountains.
Unfortunately, this was the only place on the hike with a trail sign.
Unfortunately, this was the only place on the hike with a trail sign.
Beginning section of trail as it heads towards the creek.
Beginning section of trail as it heads towards the creek.
Did I actually expect to see water when the trail arrived at  Las Huertas creek?
Did I actually expect to see water when the trail arrived at Las Huertas creek?
View of mesa country on the Santa Ana and San Felipe reservations.
View of mesa country on the Santa Ana and San Felipe reservations.
View of Jemez Mountains to the northwest.
View of Jemez Mountains to the northwest.

Map and GPS track on Every Trail.