Beauty that is hard to miss
Mount Rainier looms large over Seattle yet most of my fellow passengers on the ferry took little notice (they had seen it hundreds of times); instead they were caught up in reading or conversation. I must say I took a few photos, then returned to doing something else until we docked at Edmonds. It chagrined me later, when I downloaded the pictures, that I had failed to give thanks to the Lord for the beauty I had witnessed.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20
So I offer this belated praise as I share this picture:
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God… Psalm 95:4-7
A heavenly dream
We all dream,
Life is full of dreams.
Our dreams are sometimes good, and sometimes nightmares.
Sometimes dreams come true…sometimes not.
But all our dreams will fade and get old with us.
I wonder if God dreams?
I bet his dreams are good.
Good beyond our wildest dreams,
And His dream will never end.
For in Jesus we are not the dreamer, but the dream.
The heights of heaven
I can approach the throne of God in His grace and be confident I will find mercy and help. (Hebrews 4:16)
I can leave my past behind and know that it does not cling to me.
Life is be pure again.
It is not mine to lose or spoil, I can only receive it, and it is a new gift every morning.
This amazing grace comes with God’s power to live for Him,
And the knowledge that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
I do not have to worry about tomorrow for the end of my story has been written.
I can breathe in the peace of God.
I can rest in the knowledge that God will cause all things to work out for good when I walk in His love. (Romans 8: 28)
When I get lost, He finds me and restores my soul.
What Jesus has started in me will be carried onto completion by His grace and power not mine. (James 1: 6)
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. (Psalm 145:8)
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1)
So large it is hard to comprehend
Some things are hard to explain even seeing a picture does not fully reveal the enormity of what you see. The Grand Canyon is one of the most photographed places in the world but no words can describe, or picture convey the enormity and grandeur of that place. You have to experience it for yourself, even then it is more than the mind can wrap around. This is also how it is with John 3:16
I will never fully comprehend the height, width, or depth of God’s love. But, when God blessed me with children, I read John 3:16 with new insight. I looked at my child and cried at what God allowed to happen to Jesus because of His love for me.
To hear ugly words used against your child hurts.
To see your child keep quiet in the face of accusations is hard.
To see your child rejected, causes deep pain.
To see your child in sorrow brings terrible heartache.
The thought of your child suffering is unbearable.
But to stand back and allow your child to die is grief beyond compare.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. John 3:16
Multnomah Falls and the celebration of Pentecost
Certain elements of this picture transform it for me from nondescript picture into wonder to behold. The elements are the water cascading down, and the rock balancing the picture in the foreground. Without them I would have tossed it away.
This is the same for my life certain elements make it so worthwhile. The Rock of my salvation, Jesus, who anchors my life in his forgiveness and love.
“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!
2 Samuel 22:47
The second element is the Holy Spirit cascading down, refreshing and anointing my life with God’s goodness.
“ ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17
Multnomah Falls a celebration of Pentecost.
Reflecting the Creator
Of this life what shall we measure?
Is it time or is it treasure?
Beauty, fame or accomplishment?
Result in choking compliment.
These become for us gods, dressed as goals,
And bring forth pride, to become deep holes.
To be like Him should be our hope,
faith and love a heavenward slope.
Thus reflecting the Lord in all his glory,
And have His light become your story.
Can only be borne upon a tree,
All of Him and none of me.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
The Cascades break through the clouds
To get the full impact of this picture you need to know how it came about. Due to weather conditions my late night flight home had been canceled. I had to wait till morning to catch the next plane. I must admit to being pretty grumpy and upset. Then on the morning flight the clouds parted and I saw this scene. One glimpse made it all worthwhile, and I started to praise God for His weather delay.
In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Thank you Lord for determining my steps.
As I watched the sunrise this morning all the colors and beauty made my heart sing praise.
For in You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. Psalm 36:9
Music by Aaron Copland / Sunrise over Leavenworth, WA / time lapse photography by Stephen Hufman / beauty, glory, joy, and praise all belong to God. Merry Christmas
Beautiful Wild Rose
Beauty is not the structure of facial bones.
But shines forth when a child smiles.
Beauty is not found in the shape of the body.
But in sacrificing the body for another’s good.
Beauty is not in what we make with our hands.
It is in allowing our hands to used in serving.
Beauty is not in what we aspire to be.
It is in who inspires us.
Beauty is Jesus, living in and through us.
One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.