Thursday, February 21, 2008

The moon before...

I took these while waiting for the moon to change color. One of them I printed in negative. It is interesting how the eye completes the circle.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Moon

I had a great time tonight watching the moon change in the eclipse to a red and orange globe. I had recently put Psalm 121 to music, and sang it while I was outside.

Verses 5 and 6:

The Lord protects you;
the Lord is a shelter
right by your side.
The sun will not strike you by day;
or the moon by night.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weathering Storms

The same thing could be said in Texas that we said in Nebraska: "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." This certainly was true yesterday across the state. We had huge hailstorms, heavy rains, and cold winds. But the day ended with this spectacular sunset in the west and strange rainbow in the dark sky to the east. I think there is a message in there for trusting that good is coming after the storm and being patient until it does!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Those who sow...

I have just started a Bible study that is dealing with the Psalms of ascent. They contain two of my life verses, one being 121:1. The other is Psalm 126:5-6.

I have this angel on my dresser top. I found her at a particular time in my life when I was feeling very hopeless and persecuted. Seeing her atop my dresser encouraged me to just keep walking out of captivity, singing those songs of joy.

The sorrowful weeping through times of trouble will be followed by a joyful harvest. Our struggles will pass, and our mouths will again be filled with laughter by the Lord. He has done great things for us, and he will again!

Getting the Point

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sweating Blood

As I walked under the thorny mesquite trees in my friend's yard I felt as if I had been transported in my spirit to the Mount of Olives. I had already been thinking about the crown of thorns when I saw these red berries that reminded me of Jesus praying alone before his arrest. They appeared like drops of blood dropping to the ground. I imagined the disciples all fallen asleep instead of keeping watch, and Jesus wrestling with God: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel came to strengthen him to walk out the impending arrest, judgment, scourging, and crucifixion. Scripture says he was exhausted by sorrow.

A footnote in the NIV says there is a phenomenon called 'hematidrosis' where the actual mingling of blood and sweat can occur in the cases of extreme anguish, strain or sensitivity. Yes, I think this situation of Jesus in Gethsemane would apply, don't you?

Yet, when they came to arrest him, there was one with Jesus who rose to his defense by cutting off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Jesus touched the man's ear and healed him. In spite of what lay ahead, Jesus was not self-centered, but God-centered and fortified.

Terrified about something? Sweating blood? Dear ones, there will be suffering.
We, as God's children, can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
He grows us to be more than conquerors.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Crown of Thorns

I spent some time meditating and praying under all the thorns of the mesquite trees in my friend's backyard yesterday afternoon. Can you imagine the beating and mocking that Jesus took, before they even got to the business of twisting together the crown of thorns?

The scourging bloodied him beyond recognition, but the afterthought of the thorns pressed into his head...the scene breaks my heart. But, thank God, we know that is not the end of the story.

The one they mocked as THE KING OF THE JEWS is Christ our Lord and King! Surely he is with us always, to the very end of the age.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wings of the Morning

I photographed these pelicans and the gull on the east coast of Florida. The pelicans made me giggle. They seemed to enjoy posing for me.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Ps. 139:9-10

Many Sparrows

A friend brought a 'Bird' book to church to help me identify the hawk in a previous posting. It got me to thinking about some of the beautiful birds I have photographed in my travels. The top one is a Downy Woodpecker, and the second is a Steller's Jay. Both of these beauties were in my friend's front yard on Evergreen mountain in Colorado.

The third is a duck that made a beautiful reflection as he paddled through the autumn colors mirrored by trees alongside a lake in Central Park in New York City. It was a delightful surprise to see such a pastoral sight in the middle of a sprawling, buzzing metropolis.

Whether the 'sparrow' be found on a mountain or in a city, God knows every one.

Five sparrows are sold for only two pennies, and God does not forget any of them. But God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don't be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

God is our keeper and protector. He is in control, and knows what we need.

Monday, February 4, 2008

One Thing Every Day

I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth. Ps. 121:1-2

I heard a quote this morning that was attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt:
"Do one thing every day that scares you."
Does that statement give you the shivers like it does me? What a prescription for living life fully, out from under the jailer named 'Fear.'

A few people asked me why I was going skiing again after 23 years, and at the age of 55. I might answer the question with, "Because I am scared, but really want to do it again, and am not going to let fear stop me." Believe me, at the top of the mountain facing 3.5 miles to the bottom, I was scared and excited. When I made it to the bottom without a fall, I was on cloud 9.

Here is a partial list of things I've done in my life that scared me, but am grateful God provided courage for walking them out:

~getting married
~having children
~raising children
~finding a way to go to college
~getting jobs
~taking steps to follow my dreams
~getting out of unhealthy relationships
~being present in good ones
~staying with a person when they were dying
~going to the doctor or dentist
~having surgeries
~having blood drawn
~setting boundaries
~holding boundaries
~going on hot air balloon ride (twice!)
~sliding down a mountain on two sticks =(-:
~going to Paris all by myself
~learning how to do new things on the computer
~believing God
~walking out my faith, telling people about Jesus

He did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Saturday, February 2, 2008


We were driving through the Ft. Worth Nature Center recently when we saw this huge bird perched in a limb hanging over the road. As we got closer, he effortlessly lifted off the branch and seemed to be suspended in the air. He had caught the currents, and barely moved left or right for what seemed like a very long time. Usually, catching a wingspan of a larger bird is not an easy task. But in this case, his lack of motion as he hovered above us gave me opportunity to capture his beautiful wings. After looking at several possible matches, I think he is a hawk. If you know otherwise, please let me know.

I can't help but think of freedom when I see large birds fly so gracefully through the air. Then to see one seemingly stop, yet still be suspended in the air, is quite beautiful to behold.

I know that the legacy of freedom-stealers is strong in generations past. Believe me, there are plenty that daily search for a chance to drag me back into the pit. But I know my inheritance in Christ is freedom. In my weakness He is strong. Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galations 5:1