Jan 30, 2013

Faithfulness Reaches the Skies

Storms had raged beyond the streaming windows. 

A blanket of grey veiled earth, spreading heavy across rooftops and hillsides. 

Muting color. Muffling sound for days. Each gazing

search from the windows found more rain darkened scenes. 

Until the hour that the blanket began to unravel, becoming loosely pieced cloud patches. 

Still densely grey yet visibly drifting, breaking apart, revealing glimpses of azure blue above. 

Ultimately, on the eastern horizon light rays boldly burst amid the drifting grey.

Similarly, in the darkest of life I search the storm for the Lord , 

knowing that His faithfulness remains and His power will break 

through the darkness.

“Your faithfulness, O Lord, reaches to the skies.” 
Psalm 36:5

Search your storms for God’s faithfulness. 

The more diligent your gaze, the more likely the darkness will unravel.


Scripture and Snapshot

Jan 26, 2013

Every Perfect Gift

Drifted trails lace across the high desert terrain. Packed crystals underfoot join the hush of rushing winds in this natural sanctuary. Looming mountain majesty rises to the east. Heavenly majesty rising higher still. 
While at my feet frozen shells of seed and stem bare spires of sculpted intricacies. Spires transformed through the ordained participation in the eco-bound living of earth rooted life. Living to completion through the Creator’s bounty. Life transformed, unexpected in its earliest germinal form, now boldly complete and visible to all the world. Transformed to perfection through the living and the grace filled hand.

May you linger a bit, 
gaze long at glinting crystals, 
breath crisp air deeply, 
and count God's gifts in winter's display of perfection.

My meditation and thoughts were influenced by :
~James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
~James 1:4 Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
~Telios (Greek) - Perfect, “that which has achieved of reached its goal, objective, purpose” and therefore, “full grown” and “fully developed”. Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. 


Jan 12, 2013

Sing Out

The splendor of winter color in burnt orange berries and graying brown bark is striking against crisp blue skies. I marvel at the Creator's multi-purposed plan to offer His people a cold weather visual feast as well as one of real sustenance. May your weekend provide opportunities that reveal the feast that is His creation.

  P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent WeakleyScripture and Snapshot

Jan 8, 2013

Momentary Pause

Photographically, here's what I love about these shots 
[aside from the fact that the boys are my adored grand-twins]. 

I deliberately sat among their evolving play, interacting less and less, to be less obtrusive in the ebb and flow of their choices and imagination. The outcome of which is that in each photo I sense that I caught the boys thinking... musing... over something other than me or the camera. I relish their expressions and the notion that they were absorbed in their own thoughts and activities of imaginary play when the shutter clicked. Each youngster's pose suggests only the momentary pause in their play as they passed in front of the camera's frame.

The light, that also pleased me no end! Catching each toddler when the light is on their face is an ongoing challenge. The soft, still baby-like roundness of their faces was portrayed nicely in each photo. The other two light sources within each shot also pleased me. They illuminated the boys' environment, hinting at the character of their home, serving as a suggestion of their family life. Additionally the light created three stages or layers within the photos. The softly lit foreground which highlights the boys in their blue striped shirts. The darkened center of the room. Then the spotlighted sections in the background. All of which, for me, gives an interesting depth to the composition. 

Granted there is much to improve and more to learn about photographing these little guys. Yet occasionally, even at this novice stage, I'm lucky to capture the essence of the moment. That, offers much joy.

I'm s t r e t c h ing myself to link up with more expert photo buffs over at the Sweet Shot.

P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley

Jan 6, 2013

What Lies Within Us...

I muse over it. What can be gained that is positive in a hospital waiting room? 
I have sat here many times in recent years. Cancer struck in my family. My loved one endures treatments, tests, procedures, scans, and surgeries to keep disease at bay.  Part of my roll in this journey is to wait. 
Initially I did not understand the demands of the roll for one who waits. Getting my loved one delivered on time with all required necessities absorbed my preparation tasks. Once the wait time began, initially I would sit in a haze of numbness induced by crisis. Gradually people-watching distracted me... then magazines that were left behind by others. Eventually I had read everything published that month and needed to scrounge more selectively for recent issues. Maintaining focus on a book often didn’t work; too much effort required for my emotionally drained mind. 
In time I raised my head above the fog of crisis and determined that this season of waiting must be made worthy. Surely there were angels of caring to appreciate. There were God moments to be recognized. There was character to be deepened. There was wisdom to be gained. 
My expertise in this endeavor improved.
I found that I’m fortunate. The hospitals and doctors’ offices in my community are new, beautiful, state of the art. Carpet muffles noise. Upholstery in coordinated subtle hues soothes the nerves of worry as well as the ones imposed by the sedentary wait. Large and varied art works distract ones gaze down long walls, along corridors to unknown places. I watch as surgeons arrive to give a simplified version of surgery-results-with-a-positive-spin to each waiting family. Coffee or hot tea is available to warm-over refrigerated skin and mellow-over anxious minds. 
And there are tools for this journey of waiting. There is a mind set of intention and discernment to be developed. There is an action plan to be designed with alternative measures to be fleshed out. There is a stretched out, slow motion, sense of time that must be embraced. There is a partnership of consistent presence with God that must be established. And there is a collection, kept packed in a bag that accompanies me on every wait filled journey. 
The bag holds tangible tools that allow me to be present with my heart. Tools that soothe over taxed emotions. Tools that are gentle with the haze that clouds clear thought. Tools such as a grown-ups version of a coloring book with prompts, so I don’t have to prompt myself. A journal for decorated word pictures, unpunctuated writing sprees, art copied from hospital walls, impressions that crowd and ramble across my thoughts . A laptop to electronically doodle in similar forms. Tea bags, ear plugs, a favored shawl ~ whatever, to create a haven in the midst of strangers and busyness. 

And a camera {or phone option} to catch snaps; not of the private moments of others, but of beauty, affirmation, or hope. Because, I have found that if I keep my eyes lifted up, my gaze attentive for a bit of spiritual light, I will be blessed. Blessed by such as this; passing by the open door of a hospital office, I read scripted wisdom on the wall.

"What lies behind us
and what lies before us
are tiny matters...
compared to what lies within us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This, a bit of spiritual light. In the midst of medical mayhem. I read the words as a reminder of God within us, within me, as confirming knowledge that the Lord is where I will find strength, compassion, and hope. To pursue that internal presence. To clothe myself with His compassion. To be watchful for the beauty in His creation. To center myself on His eternal promises. These are the gifts that can be available in the waiting.

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A Holy Experience