Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Nature/Creation’ Category

The night is lit by the stars and moon and my how they put on a stellar show sometimes. The night sky is not static, it changes with the days and seasons providing an original performance every. single. night.

“When I observe your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars …”

Psalm 8:3

I find it impossible to look up at the dark night sky, illuminated by the moon and stars, and not thank God who created it all. It is an unnecessary beauty, for beauty is not needed for it to fulfill its function. Yet, God, in his wisdom and grace gives us this nightly display.

You know what I find interesting?

The light display is more glorious when the backdrop of the night is more inky black. It is, in actuality, the inky darkness that enables the moon to shine most bright.

And so it is when darkness seeps into our souls and minds. When sorrow, or grief, or sadness, or fear, or anxiety, or depression, or loneliness, or heartbreak or … you name it, for we have all been visited by a time of darkness … when the dark stops by and stays, when the shadows cast eerie images and feelings … that is when the little glimmer of light shines brightest, in the forms of connection, hope, delight, beauty, joy, good news.

While watching an episode of Call the Midwife (season 9, episode 8), recently, the monologue caught my attention … stayed with me into the next day :

Welcome the darkness, embrace it as a canopy from which the stars can hang, for there are always stars when we are where we ought to be, amongst the faces we love best, each with our place, each with our purpose, as fixed and familiar as the constellations.
The darkness is beautiful, for how else can we shine?

Ecclesiastes 3:11 reminds us that God makes everything beautiful in it’s time.

As we look up to the night sky, as we are treated to the beauty, may we not just thank God for the moon and stars, but also for the dark backdrop, from which their beauty shines best.

Read Full Post »

2015/01/img_1811.png

  • I wrote this post a few years back and it is probably one of my own favorite posts. I, personally, come back to it at least once a year. It is mainly because the image (I have yet to find who to credit) grabbed my attention and the connections between Eve (the first woman) and Mary (the first mother) began to connect in my mind and heart. I hope that you, too, can appreciate the story told in that beautiful picture of two women, used so by God, to tell his story of eternal hope and redemption.

The image, above, tells the story of the Fall of humanity, Christmas and Easter in such a way that I am simply captivated.

Eve and Mary are characters essential to understanding the entrance of sin into the human condition, the coming of the Messiah and the redemption the world.

Eve, the mother of creation, the woman through whom God spread the seed of humankind, the taster of the fruit from the forbidden tree.

Mary, the young virgin mother of the Messiah. Through her was birthed the saving grace that would erase the the aftertaste of the fruit of the forbidden tree, forever.

They both said yes …

Eve (Genesis 3:6) was offered fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and she took it, because it looked good, and because she desired what God had, wisdom. She was the only woman.

Mary was not offered the opportunity to accept or reject her virgin conception through the Holy Spirit, for she was chosen (“you are chosen from among many women” v.28) yet she did accept it and, with that acceptance, whatever it meant for her life (“I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said” v.38).

They both shared their tasks with their significant other …

It is interesting to me that it was not until Adam also ate of the fruit that “then the eyes of both of them were opened” (v.7).

Again a significant other was part of Mary’s story, as Joseph also had a job to do in the story, “and you are to give him the name Jesus” Matthew 1:21.

They both shared with all humanity …

Sadly, Eve’s desire for that lovely-looking fruit that would give her wisdom, only led to the fall of herself, and all who came after her. The seed of sin that she ingested, through the disobedience of she and Adam, has been birthed in every human since, except …

Jesus. All man, all God, the seed of Salvation of all humanity, birthed into life from the womb of Mary. The seed she carried was the only cure for the genetic predisposition to sin that we all are born with.

They both shared in the gift of life …

“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20). Though she symbolized the beginnings of human life, she was also a vessel through whom death entered our human experience.

Mary was a vessel as well, and through her son, life eternal was redeemed. She has been called the Ark (vessel) of the New Covenant, for she carried, not the law, but the fulfillment of it.

They shared the serpent …

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). For Eve, the serpent was a tempter, whose lies led her to destruction.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Though the serpent has been biting at our human heels for all time, the fruit of Mary’s womb, Jesus, came to crush it’s head and death itself … “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22

They shared maternal heartache …

Eve suffered the heartache of the murder of her one son, at the hands of the other (in a sense, her own sin led his death).

Mary suffered the heartache of the murder of her son, by those he came to save (in a sense, her own obedience led to his death).

They shared something with each other that is shared with us all …

If Eve felt the heavy weight of the sin of the world, it is the weight in Mary’s womb that took it away. In this they, and we are redeemed people.

Merry Christmas to all!

Read Full Post »

Monday, November 22, 2021

What a morning!

Each glance out the window rewarded my eyes with a spectacular, changing sunrise.

Later, local friends on social media posted their viewpoints of that same glorious start to the day.

What a reward for being the early bird!

Speaking of birds …

Do you know why birds sing just before dawn? Scientists believe it’s to tell their mates that they made it through the night, as a way of saying, “I’m still here.” Maybe that’s why we sing, too, why we create art—as a way of saying, “I made it. I’m still here.”

Jeff Goins

I checked various sources of those knowledgable in the area of birds. The quote may or may not have scientific evidence of the reality of it’s message, but it still makes one ponder.

Maybe it makes one ponder because we read that quote with the Creator and know that his purposes for his creation … to worship Him … resonates.

The quote reminds me of Luke 19:40,

“I tell you,” he (Jesus) replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

All creation has one purpose, one calling, to praise and worship God.

May we awake each morning with the words of Reginald Heber in 1826 (almost 200 years ago),

Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning
our song shall rise to Thee

Read Full Post »

When answers are not provided. When confusion swirls around us. When hurts are deep. When the world seems to be going, as my grandmother would say, to hell in a hand basket. When life is hard.

It is then that it is hard to see the evidences of God that are around us.

As I recently got to visit family and place of origin, I was reminded of the ever-present wonder all around me. It was like a reset for my soul. An infusion of wonder created by God. I arrived as the trees were just beginning to change, turning from green to shades of yellows, oranges and reds. Like an orchestra building to a crescendo, the season moved daily toward it’s final great work, splashing the brightest of colors for all to see and appreciate.

And what is it all about, these splashes of autumn color, but to bring us to an inner need to gives thanks, offer due praise to the one whose finger touched earth and gave us such a feast for the eyes.

Such a wonderful sight cannot help but cause one to appreciate the grandeur of God’s creation. It is the inner call to do as we were created, to fulfill our good purpose, to offer praise to our God.

And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations.

Revelation 15:3

Of the verse, above, the Matthew Henry Commentary shares this:

“The more we know of God’s wonderful works, the more we shall praise his greatness as the Lord God Almighty, the Creator and Ruler of all worlds; but his title of Emmanuel, the King of saints, will make him dear to us.”

Even when life is hard (maybe especially when life is hard), may we all take time each day, when prompted by the beauty of nature, the food on our tables, the jobs set before us, the image-bearers who walk among us, the very miracle of life to praise the Lord.

Read Full Post »

“… I carried to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had let soften a bit of madeleine. But at the very instant when the mouthful of tea mixed with cake crumbs touched my palate, I quivered, attentive to the extraordinary thing that was happening inside me.”

Marcel Proust from In Search of Lost Time

What is it about a scent that can change you from the inside out, taking you to a place in memory, or of a memory never yet experienced?

That is what it was like the first time I inhaled (for great it was) the perfume of the Mock Orange blossoms. Immediately I had to have it, for its scent was too beautiful to deny myself this annually blooming shrub.

That was probably over a dozen years ago.

Since moving from our larger home, on a larger property to a townhouse on a postage stamp sized lot, the thing I have missed most, longed for most frequently, was my mock orange and its springtime blossoms that diffused in the air around, much to my delight.

So, this summer, in the midst of a heat spell, I purchased one, to plant in a pot on my minuscule patio.

I have fed it, watered it and protected it from the heat on the hottest of days. With each act of care, I dreamed of that moment next spring when nature would reward me with delicate white flowers, emitting the dreamiest of fragrances.

Just the other day I noticed something different.

It couldn’t be …

As I moved closer I detected what appeared to be flower buds on the top of the plant.

The plant in my previous garden bloomed annually, every year in mid May, calling my nose to a closer inspection. That was the only time it ever bloomed.

But here, in a pot, on my little patio, the most delightful of gifts was enfolding, blooming right before my eyes, sending its aroma up, into the air, beckoning me to come closer.

And I said thanks.

Thanks, not to this flower, but to its Maker, who knew how to speak love most clearly to the heart of this daughter.

Read Full Post »

Nine weeks …

That’s how long we have been waiting.

Nine weeks,

one heat dome (who knew there was such a thing?),

one heat wave,

forest fires,

evacuations,

tinder dry conditions,

crops, plants, trees are singed, dying,

dry.

so, so dry.

We look ahead, listen to the meteorologists,

hoping they will be bearers of good news.

Hoping they will tell us what we want to hear,

what our living things need,

rain.

We bow our heads, lift fists to the heavens,

begging the One who can,

to do it.

To open the skies,

to let down

the renewing,

life-giving,

life-saving,

water from the clouds

in

drips,

falling onto everything,

wetting our world,

nourishing our soil,

extinguishing the flames,

soaking the roots,

soothing our dry, lifeless surroundings.

Renew our earth with life-giving rains,

as your presence in our lives

renews our souls.

Amen

The Breaking of the Drought
by Frederick J. Atwood

Listen!—it rains; it rains!
The prayer of the grass is heard;
The thirsty ground drinks eagerly
As a famished man eats bread.
The moan of the trees is hushed,
And the violets under the banks
Lift up their heads so gratefully,
And smilingly give thanks.

Read Full Post »

When one thinks of creative expressionists one does not think of ritual or routine. Impulsivity, openness, flexibility … those are more closely associated descriptors of creatives.

Yet, anyone doing creative work does so with routines that often go unnoticed by the casual observer, whose gaze is focused far more on the creation that the creator.

Maya Angelou would get a hotel room when she was writing. “I have a bedroom, with a bed, a table, and a bath. I have Roget’s Thesaurus, a dictionary, and the Bible. Usually a deck of cards and some crossword puzzles.”

George Bernard Shaw had a writing hut constructed on a turntable, so as to follow the suns light as he wrote. It contained a typewrite, heater, food, a bed and a phone in case of emergency. (Roald Dahl and poet Dylan Thomas had writing sheds as well).

Virginia Woolf, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens, comic writer Stan Lee and Ernest Hemingway all wrote standing up.

JK Rowling wrote often in cafes.

Ann Voskamp writes in a 10-by10 foot cabin along a cornfield.

Jane Austen was the queen of simplicity, requiring only a desk, paper, quill and ink.

Though not all, it would appear that most of the aforementioned creatives seek or sought quiet, a solitary, silent place

where the audible and visual
noise of the world
could be eclipsed
by the voice inside.

Our human creativity originates in our DNA, for we create from the genetic material that we have inherited, from our Creator (father) God. Our creativity is an expression of his ability, his beauty, that we can be creative within the uniqueness of the creativity he placed within each one of us.

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in our likeness”
-Genesis 1:26

As his creation, we are image-bearers of the God of creation. Within our creation we bear the image of God the father, but also the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit, for we are made in “our image, our likeness.” So when creativity flows from us our need to be still, be silent makes such sense.

Silence is the catalyst for hearing the Holy Spirit within us. When it is his voice we listen to, we create from the riches of our Creator, from the greatest story ever told.

“Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.”

Wayne Dyer

Read Full Post »

It’s early … faint with infrequent songs from the birds.

The sun, though still hidden behind a structure, providing shadowy light.

Dampness … on the chairs, the table, the leaves of the plants and trees, from the early morning rains.

Early Sunday morning.

The Sabbath.

The day of rest.

Since the arrival of the Pandemic, Sundays have been different. Sabbath has been different.

Worship has, largely, not been experienced in church buildings, not with congregations, nor large worship bands, nor communion under one roof. The Sabbath has been Sunday mornings and Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings. The Sabbath has been spent on the sofa with a cuppa, a pouch or two and pajamas. It has been spent on hikes in the mountains, over a book on the patio, making a puzzle on the table, listening to a podcast, talking to a long lost friend. Worship has been through the work of the hands of the Creator, in nature, or as we get to know our neighbors, or as we take someone a meal, or send money to an agency who brings His love to others, or share an online worship service with others who would not darken the door of a church.

We are the church.

We carry His message wherever we go.

Worship flows from us … like a the first morning …

the birds. the light. the rains.

All worshipping together …

because they just can’t not worship,

because we just can’t not worship.

Sunday morning has broken,

and just like that first morning, His creation (us included) are worshipping Him.

This is life.

This is Sabbath rest.

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day
-Eleanor Farjeon

Read Full Post »

As I sat outside, feeling the warm sun on my skin, I thought of how this feeling has always made me feel so good, so grounded in the time and space I was in. I then reflected on other constants in my life that have an expected joy response, when I encounter them:

Things I see:

A sunrise or sunset can catch my attention and take me off to a happy place immediately. A hint of one coming might have me angling, walking or driving to position myself for a better view to appreciate the glory of such a sight.

Things I feel:

Rose petals, cat fur, pussy willows. They are all silky soft, lush between my fingers. They create a sense of warmth and pleasure.

Things I hear:

The delight of the dawn chorus of birds can bring a smile to my face like little else. For years in a previous home we would often hear the local coyotes cries at night, though haunting, they also were a reminder that we lived in a world beyond ourselves. And I cannot talk about sounds without mentioning the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore.

Things I smell:

The scent of baking bread, rising from the oven, or lilacs in spring, or, perhaps best of all, in my estimation, the scent of wild roses. In an instant I am a child at my grandmother’s house, carefree and exploring. Salt air … to me that is the smell of growing up on the East Coast and when I arrived and inhale I know I have returned.

Things I taste:

Ah, that smell of the first, fresh coffee of the day. Folger’s had it right, when they said it is the best part of waking up. But, then the enjoyment of taking that first sip, the flavors awakening the taste buds.

Each of these sensory joys have memories connected, encouraging and delightful teleporters to other places and times. They bring a smile to my face, warmth to my heart. They are beyond the mind, the thinking that we humans love to spend our time on, they simply are reactions to stimulus that awaken a joy response.

The Bible uses the power of our senses to communicate His message to us frequently:

Psalm 34:8:
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Matthew 5:13:
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?

Matthew 13:16:
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

John 20:27
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side.

Though our minds are fantastic, we were not simply created for what we produce, but we are also natural beings, created in the context of a world of senses. With these senses we can be reminded of joy, of delight and even of worship … not for what awakens our senses, but whom.

Read Full Post »

As I walked, I glanced to the empty lot. Dirt and rocks, grass and weeds.

I became alert to the lyrics playing in my headphones,

“in the soil I now surrender, you are breaking new ground”

Then something caught my eye. Color in the middle of the dirt and mess. One solitary poppy, standing straight and tall, like an oasis in the midst of the desert.

The poppy, a symbol of peace, sleep, death. Growing in the midst of land in between what was and what will be.

I’ve walked that in between place, that liminal space. Knowing that what was is gone, what is to come is not yet announced itself.

I feel that with vaccines we are all planted in the dirt between what was and what will be. What is our new normal? Will it resemble our old normal? Do we want it to?

That beautiful flower, standing tall in a vacant place … reminding that life comes from death, that beauty can grow out of dirt and weeds, out of nothing.

“Break new ground. Plant righteousness, and harvest the fruit that your loyalty will produce for me.” It’s time to seek the LORD! When he comes, he will rain righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12

surrender

new ground

We are required to surrender our today, to enjoy the fruit of the time to come. Though we humans are usually people of action, this is not a requirement through any effort, other than surrender. I love the Oxford dictionary definition of surrender, “cease resistance … and submit to their authority.” We people aren’t so fond of submitting either! Yet, that is the surrender that God requires. It is what can carry us from what is gone to what is to come.

Through the dancing poppies stole
A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul.

John Keats

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Kickin' It In Granny Gear

Life, blessings, opinions, thoughts, photos, wildlife, nature, retirement, pets

Lessons from a Lab

From My Daily Walk with the Lord and My Labrador

From The Darkness Into The Light

love, christ, God, devotionals ,bible studies ,blog, blogging, salvation family,vacations places pictures marriage, , daily devotional, christian fellowship Holy Spirit Evangelists

Pearl St. Gallery

Capturing Images Of Nature

Roadtirement

"Traveling and Retired"

Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Becoming the oil and wine in today's society

I love the Psalms

Connecting daily with God through the Psalms

Memoir of Me

Out of the abundance of my heart ,I write❤️

My Pastoral Ponderings

Pondering my way through God's beloved world

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

What Are You Thinking?

I won't promise that they are deep thoughts, but they are mine. And they tend to be about theology.

SEALED IN CHRIST

Ephesians 1:13

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Following the Son

One man's spiritual journey

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith