Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Meditation on a Moose

We had prayed to see a moose on our girl trip, so we were thrilled when we rounded the corner to see this incredible guy at the side of the road. Friend Les at the wheel was well-acquainted with the habits of Colorado wildlife. She had cautioned me before about how fast a moose can move; but I was still taken by surprise at the quick mental and physical process he went through of choosing to charge us or retreat down the steep mountainside. Thankfully, he turned and picked up speed so much that he was but a blurry mass easily maneuvering the steepness of his escape route. His diminuative backside was quite a contrast to the massive shoulders and rack we encountered but a short distance from the car a few moments before.

I thought about how we all will find huge, dark, dangerous things in the middle of our paths at points in our lives. But those very things, passed, will have added a depth and maturity to our journeys. They will grow our faith and compassion, teach us perseverence, and give us witness to encourage others and extend to them the hope of conquering the huge darkness which seems impassible.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

God's Garden

I was amazed when I looked out of my mountain window at this unexpected palette of colors in morning light. I expected yellows and oranges; even some reds. But this combination was quite stunning. I was equally drawn to the many colors on the pepper in my friend's garden. Both reminded me that God plants a garden pleasing to the eye and good for food (Gen.2:9)

Thank you Lord for how you paint the harvest and the autumn forests. Thank you for providing our food in such varied textures, colors, flavors, and shapes. Thank you for flooding your creation with such abundance and beauty!

Fan the Flame

I took this picture in my friend Fran's backyard. The flower captivated me because it looked as though it was shooting out flames. It brought to mind the terrible fires in California. The Santa Ana winds sometimes reached 100 mph as they fanned the flames of destruction. Evidence was found that some of the fires were the result of arson. The intention was to kill, steal, and destroy.

One of my favorite life verses tells us that God did not give us a spirit of fear. But sometimes directly before or after a well-known verse, there is a pearl just as valuable. When I searched the book of 2 Timothy for the "fear" verse, I found these precious words leading into my life verse:

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2Tim. 1:5-7

We believers, being developed by the Holy Spirit, are purposed to fan the flames of life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Search

Get in the wagon!
Let's have some fun
searching the field
for the very best one!

This one is skinny;
that one is spoiled.
The hunt is intense,
but undaunted we toiled.

A big one for mama;
two small ones for us...
all part of tradition
to make such a fuss...

Later, we'll call her:
"Gram, come to our place!"
The carving's completed...
each now has a lit face.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Children's Children

My journey in life has taken me through abuse, addiction, and cancer. Surviving each one has given me an appreciation for every day. I had the cancer occur when I had two young children. I wondered if I would get to see them grow to adult women.

Well...I spent this morning with my two grandchildren in a field of pumpkins. They couldn't wait to call me this evening, inviting me to see the finished jack-0-lanterns! It is a treasure beyond description to have the love and respect of my grown children and the giddy delight on the faces of my children's children when they see me. The Lord has done great things for me!

These are scriptures close to my heart:

...and may you live to see your children's children. Ps. 128:6

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,

like streams in the Negev.

Those who sow in tears

will reap with songs of joy.

He who goes out weeping,

carrying seed to sow,

will return with songs of joy,

carrying sheaves with him.

Ps. 125:4-6

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mirror, Mirror

I have always loved the colors blue and yellow together. I remember picking blue and yellow wildflowers out in the pastures of Nebraska, and arranging them in small bouquets stuffed into a small jam jar. I also found the color combination in beautiful fabric prints I discovered while motoring through Provence, France.

But this scene has got to be one of my favorite blue and yellow memories. We were driving around hunting for smaller roads that might lead us to a hidden treasure such as this. We could see through breaks in the trees what seemed to be water. The adventure continued as we tried to find an opening to see the promising panorama. The view of the slim, taller than you can imagine, aspen trees stretching into the blue sky, and seeming to reach for us in the mirrored image across the lake, was one of those visual blessings that I will forever cherish. It was as if they were holding God's hand in heaven, and reaching out for ours across the water.


When I look at myself in the mirror these days I see the reflection of some older woman with crow's feet, sagging neck, and graying hair! I know that inwardly I am being daily renewed to reflect my beautiful Jesus. So, I choose not to lose heart by what my eyes see; but fix them on what is eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16-18) It is interesting how we are more able to reflect God's image when we are less concerned with our own. Holding God's hand and reaching out for others is what He sees as Beauty.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Same God

While my friend and I were driving through the Colorado Rockies, we often wondered how many trees were on a given breathtaking hill.

Some hills were totally green with pine: others were a solid yellow mass of aspen trees.

Sometimes He lined those mountains up with aspens on one, pines on the next, and snowy peaks on the third!


It is the same God who measured the mountains in a scale (Isaiah 40) that knows the number of trees in a forest or the number of hairs on my head (Luke 12.)

That is a BIG, yet PERSONAL GOD!

Nothing is too big, or too little for Him.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Daily Bread

While I was in the mountains we baked a loaf of homemade bread.

I can remember the heavenly aroma filling the cabin, the impatience while the loaf was cooling, and the anticipation of the first bite slathered in butter and blackberry jam.

It is good to go back and look at this photograph: it reminds me to stay in the moment, and out of the troubles of the future. Preparing for tomorrow is one thing, but worrying about it is quite another! Gratitude and trust for provision go a long way in receiving God's peace.

Give us today our daily bread.
Matt. 6:11 (NIV)

"Give your entire attention
to what God is doing right now,
and don't get worked up
about what may or may not
happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal
with whatever hard things come up
when the time comes."
Matt. 6:14 (The Message)

Friday, October 5, 2007

On Track

This morning I finished the last of 200 napkins I have been sewing for my daughter's wedding next month. The track from the first to last was long, including miles of thread and two breakdowns of the sewing machine. But starting and persevering were the keys to getting to the finish line. It is not my nature to do a little work on any given project, and set it aside. I wanted to finish them all in one day. Impossible!

This effort was a good reminder about building skill and letting go of perfection. I remember an instructor in massage therapy school saying that after working on a thousand bodies your hands will begin to know what they are doing! When napkin "200" stood proudly finished on my kitchen counter, I had no doubt about how to efficiently sew, starch, fold, and box these napkins!


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Wind

Sometimes in the land of aspen trees the wind is heard swelling from afar.
The "quaking" of the leaves almost sounds like rainfall.
Once experienced, you can hardly wait to see and hear it again.
Though the wind is invisible, its effects can be seen
as the flittering of leaves moves like a tidal wave
or ray of sun across a hillside.
It is as if the Holy Spirit has swept through, and you
were standing in the wave of the rapture.
These kinds of impressions can draw you to God.
That is why I send out Picture the Word;
believing that what He has let me see for you

through my lens will draw you closer to Him.

"The wind blows wherever it pleases.
You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from
or where it is going.
So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
Jn. 3:8