Friday, October 31, 2008

Renewed Youth

Praise the LORD...who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103:1,5

I am always glad to revisit the birds that soar over the meadow and through the front yard of the cabin at Evergreen. It is a treat to round the corner by Evergreen Lake and see the birds on the spillway. I can always count on seeing the magpies and jays come in for a little morning critter crunch. But the delight of bird watching was one on the way out of a hidden road we found near Crested Butte. This winged fellow (second from the bottom) simply floated in one place as it seemed suspended without effort or movement for the longest time. We watched, amazed that it didn't seem to move an inch, but was held in place by the unseen currents of wind. We were mesmerized; I don't know how long we watched the bird. It seemed like a long time, but in reality might have not been more than a minute.

I struggle under my own 'power' to get to where I think I am going. In truth, my youth is renewed and my spirit rejuvenated when I rest in the currents under the shadow of His wings. God stopped us in our tracks and treks to watch a bird, and be reminded. We were touched with a gift of 'knowing' without understanding. The astonishment and wonder of children of His unending demonstrations of His awesome, breathtaking and breath giving nature.


Even though we could not see the currents of wind,
we believed in Him, and were filled with inexpressible and glorious joy.

I lift my eyes...

I thought I would post the Psalm verses below with some of my favorite mountains in Colorado.

I lift my eyes to the mountains...
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord;
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Further on in this Psalm, I am reminded that God never leaves my side...
and brings to remembrance other truths:

It reminds me that God delivers me from all that opposes me.
It reminds me to put my trust in him, not in politicians, kings, or armies.
It reminds me that I need not fear what man can do to me.
It reminds me that no weapon formed against me will prosper.
It reminds me that the battle is not mine.
It reminds me to sing songs of praise and deliverance.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Early morning footprints gave evidence to the fox, elk, and deer on the mountain. I was tempted to make a bunny face on the deer prints. Also, being pretty sure that I knew the fox that made the prints, I had a big smile on my face seeing evidence of its scampering through the freshly fallen snow.

If we go out seeking evidence of our God, we will find it. Gives us eyes to see and ears to hear you, Lord!

Perhaps the 'evidence' today is supposed to be YOU! Go out smiling, letting the joy of the Lord shine through you.


"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."
Luke 17:20-21

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Instead of Ashes

On our way back to Evergreen we drove for miles through burned forest. We would see the devastation of the beetle infestation in a few days around Vail and Dillon. I had to hope in new beginnings. I was reminded in the spirit of ashes for beauty, oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. When I looked up the scripture, I also saw these lines that seemed to give hope of redemption and new life.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated...
(references Isaiah 61)

The new growth of aspen and the green forest floor sprouting new seedlings was a picture of hope. God restores and regenerates us. Hearts submitted to him prepare us to be a planting of the Lord for the display of HIS splendor.


The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom, like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 35:1-2, 10

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Burning Bush

As we approached these leggy aspen only holding on to their last top leaves, I thought the bright flame was actually a traffic sign somehow looking like it was part of the grove. We were practically rubbing our eyes trying to absorb the reality of what we were seeing. I could imagine Moses:

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush...When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to look more closely, he heard the Lord's voice: "I am the God of your fathers..." Then the Lord said to him, "Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground." Acts 7:30-33

The beauty of the timing of this trip was that often the naked trunks gave definition to the small number of leaves still holding to the trees. In this stand of aspen it gave emphasis to the bright flame at its center. It was quite the spiritual experience to see a leafy fire and remember the flame that burns in us.

Do you want the fire in you?

from a song I wrote in 2000:



AND SEEK THE LORD! (reference Zeph 1-12 and 2-3)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cursing the Circumstance

We headed south from the Maplewood Cemetery to find some supper and lodging for the night. We began to see signs for a place called The Cliff House that seemed like the answer to both. We were passing incredible hillsides covered with kaleidescopes of autumn. The Cliff House offered supper overlooking what they described as the Grand Canyon of Arkansas. Unfortunately, the rooms had been all rented because of the high season of peak fall color. We had a great dinner and went on in the dark driving sharp curves and missing tons of color, to spend the night in Russellville.

The next morning we headed out of town barely able to navigate because of fog and low clouds. Again, I found myself grumbling about the circumstances of missing drenched hillsides the night before, and now missing color because of the fog. In a short time we drove out of the fog to a beautiful blue sky. But a short distance down the hill and around the corner the clouds were still low above Lake Dardanelle, with the mountains visible above the clouds. The very thing that I had been cursing was bringing my blessing. The clouds and mountains almost looked like the sea rolling a wave onto a shoreline. The pictures cannot convey how peaceful, yet powerful the clouds were suspended above the lake, with the mountains towering in layers yet higher. If we had not been forced to travel farther the night before for our lodging, we would not have been in position the next morning to get the low clouds hovering over the lake.

Even through aggravating or dire circumstances there are blessings. God doesn't waste anything!

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverence, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:2-5

The Flames of Maplewood

My husband and I took a short extended weekend driving trip to Arkansas to see some fall colors. I was able to keep in touch with my mother when we had cell coverage so I could relay our path and find out the current condition of her brother, my Uncle Bill. On Friday afternoon she let us know that he probably would not make it through the night.

At the time of that call we were driving into a place called 'Mystic Caves' that was just south of Harrison, Arkansas. It was another one of those Holy Ghost set-ups. These were underground caves we had no intention going into, but met a man at the gift shop (I think he was a pastor) that saw my camera. He impressed upon us with directions and passion that we needed to go to the Maplewood Cemetery because of the brilliant colors of the trees. The directions were lengthy and unclear, but we seemed to easily find the place in a not so easy to get around town.

The vibrancy and number of stunners was simply incredible. Shooting through the leaves with the sun setting on the other side gave the impression of burning flames against the early evening sky.

The burning and brilliant sprays of radiance at every turn made me think of some recent passages from 'The Shack' that really gave me comfort about my Uncle Bill. The light inside him was going to be soon set free to go dance in heaven. I knew that his time was at hand to leave his diseased tent on earth. Praying for his release was quite an experience amidst these testimonies of color and light. I felt certain that love and prayers were being delivered to him before he crossed over.

He left his body around 7:30 Friday evening. My mother and I had experienced him being in so much pain during our earlier visit to see him in August. We were able to talk about deep spiritual matters, give him spiritual and physical comfort, cook good food together, and spend time visiting some of his favorite places. Of course, we also spent plenty of time telling jokes and being silly, playing together. His wailing and groaning during the night made us wonder if he would pass while we were there. But he rallied for two more months, being able to spend quality time with some more friends and family. His two sons, both living in other states, made it to be with him before he passed.

My mother told me Saturday morning she had very peaceful sleep. She dreamed she saw him on a shore waving to her.

I will always connect these beautiful trees in this cemetery to the beauty of my uncle's transformation and ascension into the arms of Jesus.

At the end of your life you will groan when your flesh and body are spent.
Prov. 5:11

Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed...
Death has been swallowed up in victory...
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?

There is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body...
the splendor of the heavenly body,
we will bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

(references 1 Corinthians 15)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Rockies Rockettes

In a previous post I talked about the 'dancing aspen.' In these photographs as well, I got the sense that they were a lovely line of 'Rockettes' getting ready to do a chorus line kick. Perhaps because of their height and beautiful headpieces I could imagine them circling into position, linking arms, and wowing the audience. Their long leggy trunks were lining up to kick up some praise...and their remaining leaves were quaking in a rhythmic song of joy! We were just onlookers...their creator was the audience for whom they danced.

I cannot help but join in singing and dancing for joy at the work of His hands.


You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12

Dancing Aspen

DANCING ASPEN, a love song
copyright 2002

YOUR brilliant golden light shines through
Against YOUR royal sky of blue.
Can't help but fall in love with YOU
Who made the dancing aspen!

The leaves say, "sing and dance along;
Join us in a sweet romantic song.
Show Him your delight as you laugh and spin
With the ONE who made the wind."

HIS breath makes us to dance and shine;
Reflect the LIGHT of LOVE divine.
Oh, that I am HIS and HE is mine,
Who made the dancing aspen!

As the grove has many members
All reaching for the sky~~
So the body who will be YOUR bride
Seeks the LOVE who reigns on high.

YOUR brilliant golden light shines through
Against YOUR royal sky of blue.
Can't help but fall in love with YOU
Who made the dancing aspen!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nice Ice

The last morning in Crested Butte and the first morning back in Evergreen we were blessed with fresh snow and ice. The temperatures were in the 20's, and the skies were bright blue. At the cabin I shifted into the old Nebraska girl mode and got the 4-runner defrosting as I swept the inches of snow off the rental with a broom I found in the cabin. Yes, now I was remembering those winter mornings when my husband was traveling and I had to get two girls driven to school after I dug the car out. Here I had no tardy bell and could just enjoy the view.

The adirondack chairs that seemed so inviting upon our arrival did not have the same appeal under a blanket of snow. But the eves of the cabin were barely hanging on to their curved icy petticoats. The picnic tables seemed to have been dressed with white linen tablecloths. The mountainsides were dressed with a million Christmas trees giving praise back to the creator. The fresh snow and ice stayed around a scant hour to give me opportunities to capture the season overlap of autumn colors with snowfall.

The next morning back home in Evergreen we again woke to snow and ice. It quickly melted, but offered a window of wonderland that I seldom get to experience living in Texas. The locals must have thought I was nuts, or a tourist, (or both) to be out taking pictures of snow. I was so glad to have remembered the hood for my camera. It allowed me to shoot into the sun and get the glisten of the ice and snow reflections. The plugs of grass took on the look of white spiders, while the icy weeds and leaves took on the appearance of creamy lace and fine, glittering jewels.

Wow! Aspen glow and glistening snow, too?? I am indeed a lucky girl...


The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3

The Pass to Peace

The weather forecasts showed snow, rain, not clear skies for the time I was to be in Colorado. I had some concern that the planned route would need to be scrapped as we tried to make our way to Crested Butte over passes that could have already been closed due to inclement weather.

When the day came to journey south it was amazing how the blue skies went before us. The dark clouds passed over and the light shone overhead. We were tickled as we saw the signs for Cottonwood Pass announcing that it was still open. The stunning vistas of the Taylor Park Reservoir on the other side were incredibly peaceful. Some of my favorite shots could be labeled as Majestic, Awesome, Knee-buckling, Golden...but these spoke PEACE.


The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face
shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Looking down

Taking into consideration the not-so-promising weather forecasts, we thought we should try to get the northern route of our day plan done first before the rain came. The narrow roads we found ourselves on as we proceeded to Gothic and beyond gave us spectacular views of the river and hillsides, and finally Emerald Lake.

As I began grouping these pictures that I was able to get from a 'looking down' perspective, I thought about the two sides of a piece of tapestry or needlework. The side from the top makes sense because is finished and smooth. From the underside it seems knotty (naughty) and frazzled, and certainly not finished or good enough. I confess that is how I see myself when I have believed the lies and the liar.

That thought brought me to the idea of grace. God looks down on us, and sees us whole. He bestows grace on us not by our works or efforts to look good or finished, or to produce the most of anything in order to procure his or anyone else's favor. His love reaches beyond the mountaintops, beyond the galaxies, throughout creation, down to each one of us. That tapestry of royal hues along our journey that morning provided us but a tiny glance at the gift of grace, and the invitation to believe His grace is sufficient. There is no way to earn or deserve it...we were knitted into the tapestry, never to be separated from the creator of the universe and His great love.

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace!
(from Come, thou Fount of Every Blessing)
by Robert Robinson and John Wyeth