Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The cross before me....

I walked out into the morning and looked up at the sky as it was being transformed by the light of the sun, and I saw the cross formed by the vapor trails of two planes that had crossed paths at just the right angle. I firmly believe in signs, and I firmly believe that God is in the details of our individual lives, and so, I firmly believe that He gave this sign to me this morning, on the dawn of a new year, to remind me of so many things -- but first, this:
"To be a Christian is no light matter. It is a call to a transformed life and to perseverance through whatever troubles may arise. It may be the hardest thing anyone can do. Yet anyone can do it, with Christ supplying the necessary strength. In the end it is the only thing that really matters.
Will you take that path?
The Master is going before you. He is looking back at you with a most compelling gaze. He is saying, 'Come!' He is commanding, 'Follow Me!'"
~ J.M.Boice, Christ's Call to Discipleship

May 2014 be a year of following ever closer on His heels.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Stepping back and looking through

I stepped back from my wide angle view of the landscape in this morning's dawn and noticed at the same time the vapor trail in the azure sky just above the silhouetted branches of the curly willow tree.  Below, there was the golden horizon, creating a gravitational pull on my eyes. I knew instantly that this was a momentary composition that I wanted to capture.
My heart leapt as I rushed to shoot the picture before the plane flew out of the frame, moving so to catch the branches just touching the streak of light.
Light and line and texture and color in God's palette to create a beautiful moment that could only be seen by one person at one moment.
I believe in holy moments.
I believe in a loving Creator. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Opening up the view

WHY do we ever get over being amazed at God's love for us, at what Jesus has done for us?? Sometimes I think we purposely obstruct our view of the glory of these truths simply because our hearts might burst if we tried to take it all in at once -- it's just too much, just too wonderful, too amazing, so that we have to find a way to contain it so that we can move on with the daily mundane-ness. But if we step over the fences and move out into the bigness of God that surrounds us, we just might be able to do things we had not ever imagined that we could, we might be able to love each other better, we might just be able to fly.....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sensory overload: the face of God

On days like today when the world has come alive in the warmth of spring and every one of my senses is flooded with the beauty of creation, and there are not enough words to express it. . . .
I think about how it is God who made it all and how utterly amazing and sensory-overloading it will be to look on His face.

I long for that day.

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."
~ I Corinthians 13:12

Monday, February 4, 2013

What is seen is temporary...

I awoke to this: orange light in my eyes. I rose and went to the window, and my heart quickened. It was one of those mornings when I rush to find my camera and throw on something to keep me warm, run down the hallway to the back door, and out into the sunrise glow of a thousand unnamed colors. And I begin recording, as fast as I can all the ways the light makes a miracle of the world around me -- quickly, quickly before it vanishes. Because it will, because it changes as rapidly as the earth spins and the clouds move, and in a matter of moments it will turn gray, and those who missed it will only wake to the dull colors of the overcast sky. But today I have had my eyes filled to overflowing with color, and I will carry it with me through the doings of my day, remembering how life is beautiful, but fleeting. And I am grateful....

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
- 2 Cor.4:18
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, FIXING our eyes on JESUS, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he 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 sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

~ Hebrews 12:1-3

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter's grace

Winter's brown-ness and bare-ness is often not seen as beautiful like spring or fall's vibrant colors.  But closer inspection usually yields quiet surprises of beauty.  The elegant profiles of deciduous trees are revealed after losing their cloaks of leaves. And the texture of the bark, the gnarliness or gracefulness of branch growth, the abandoned bird nests, and the late fall cocoons with metamorphosing caterpillars wating for the warmth of spring to burst forth as butterflies or moths, clinging fruit or seed that feed the birds in the cold months.  What beauty is added to it when a colorful bird perches there, or snow sticks to the branches making them look magical especially in the moonlight, or rain drops cling in rows, looking like a string of diamonds glistening on a gloomy day.
These are moments that stop me in my tracks and tell me to give thanks for such beauty emanating from earth's dormancy - a vision of Eden in a raindrop - and a promise of what is to come, for every seed that falls to the ground dead in winter holds the promise of new life in spring.
Promise, new life, rebirth, renewal -- all is held within the barrenness of winter, showing us that God has not abandonded us but is quietly at work in us to bring this all about for us, for the Kingdom, for His glory.
Quiet grace.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I want to be surprised

Sometimes it's as if God literally places books in my hands and says, "here, I want you to read this -- I think you're ready for it now."  I came across a book on Amazon about a week ago that caught my attention because of the cover -- it was beautiful.  I wasn't looking for it, or anything like it -- it just suddenly was there in front of me, drawing me in closer to see what the subtitle said... "A dare to live fully, right where you are."  Wow.  Did that ever strike a chord in this rusty heart of mine.
I bought three copies.  One for me and two to give away, and I hadn't even read more than the synopsis.
I just knew that God had put it in my hands, and that I was supposed to share it with others.
Now that I've had it for a few days and have actually read part of it, I know for certain why He put it in my hands.  It's about gratitude --- gratitude for the everyday, small, quickly-passing moments in our lives that are gifts from God -- as every breath we take is.
The moments of beauty that we pass quickly by, and maybe they capture a second look from us, but without stopping and giving thanks for it, we miss out on the opportunity for praise and for joy.
And these are the moments that help to make sense of the hard things, because they give us a glimpse of what life will be when Eden is restored, when sin and pain and grief exist no more.
Beauty is a gift from God, and being deliberately thankful for it whenever we see it, will bring joy that will surprise us.
I want to be surprised by joy.