Monday, October 24, 2011
As we traveled the almost empty roads of Northern Michigan country we were treated with many reflections of fall foliage in lakes. Anytime I see reflections I pray that I might be looking more like Him each day. My feet walk off the path and my defiance gets me lost, until my prodigal stubborn heart again is willing to turn back from the path not of His choosing. Sometimes I don't realize I have gotten off the path until I hear some unloving thought or word come out of me.
I must say these days that it is not always love and humility being shown by Christians in the spotlight. Many times words are, embarrassingly, judgmental and arrogant. I think of the hymn verse of 'they will know we are Christians by our love.' That doesn't get conveyed when we beat folks up that don't agree with our belief.
If we boast in anything, let it be the Lord, Himself. His will, not ours, is the standard. Nobody has ever walked perfectly but One. It doesn't mean that we should quit trying to do everything unto Him; gathering grace and wisdom when we fail.
Trying to force our beliefs and choices on someone else will probably get the opposite reaction that we desire as His disciples. Sort of the reaction of 'a man convinced against His will is of the same opinion, still'. Love, humility, service; pathways of the fruits of the Spirit: those are the things of God put in us to be His Light in this world of self-will and misery.
God knows that becoming imitators of Himself takes a relationship of abandoning ourselves to Him and becoming willing to listen and follow. Nothing in the world is more worth the effort than to hear some day, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
I encourage you to go out and be imitators of God today. Smile, be joyful, and full of random acts of kindness. Walk humbly, and boast in the Lord. Let His peace rule your heart and His light shine from it.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
To everything there is a season...
and a time for every purpose under heaven.
Oh, how many times I have sung those words of Ecclesiastes and 'Turn, Turn, Turn' through the years!
Sometimes we hold onto old ideas or outgrown careers because it is just easier than doing the work to cross the river of fear and do something that has been calling us to a new season. Personally and professionally I want to do everything I do unto God; and it is time to stretch myself again in how He has been letting me minister through my hands as a career to more opportunities for evangelism through my photography.
I think it is awesome how God has put in each one of us a way to carry the message of His love and grace, hope and courage, to do the things we cannot do in and of ourselves. For me, it is exciting and magical to tell you how and where I took my photographs. It is easy to share God through those stories. Many photographs I shot at the time were very strong, but others did not develop into the point I was supposed to get until I revisited them later.
This particular photograph was taken at a rest stop in Michigan. It is the first one I took. When we were landing in Detroit it appeared that all the trees were still green. I thought we had come too soon to see the colors. But not far up the road towards the Upper Peninsula God gave me a gift of seeing the foretaste of the colors to come as we continued north. These brilliant leaves had fallen down to impress upon my spirit the promise of fall foliage to come.
Doing everything unto God has the by product of true satisfaction and appreciation of what He has put in us to do. The relationship that we can have with God through Christ is a truly amazing process. He did not form us and send us out on a rudderless boat. He journeys with us and gives us wisdom if we but ask. We do not have the promise of an easy life; but we do have the promise that He will never leave us. That is the only thing standing when all else fails; knowing He goes into every day as my guide, my shepherd.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Since our last trip (which took us to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) I have been busy with stepping out into the world of marketing my photographs. I will keep you updated. It is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. But I know it is the path which I am to take in sharing the world of beauty God has let me see through my camera.
I was impressed more than anything by the issue of light in the scenes of Michigan. We saw so much coastline and several lighthouses. We witnessed a few at sunrise and sunset reflecting gorgeous tones of light at the bookends of the day. There were numerous rivers and lakes as well that mirrored the colors of fall foliage at their banks. I will try to get an image posted every day for awhile.
I began thinking about the nature of wrappings. We wrap ourselves in fancy homes, coats, 600 count sheets, comfy favorite slippers and blankies; add your own wraps to the list. They are all but dirty rags when compared to how God can paint a mountain with fall foliage or add sound to layers of waterfalls. One of my favorite scriptures kept visiting me as I saw beautiful scenes such as this one at Lower Taquamenon Falls:
He wraps himself in Light...