A break in the clouds
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
Jonathan Swift – Thoughts On Various Subjects
I often think the scenes, I try to capture and preserve in photos, are little bits of the great beauty that Jesus pours out upon His creation. Whether anyone notices is not relevant to beauties existence, it is there just because God is good. Scene upon scene in unending splendor speaks of the glory of God. This is also true in my life; I have ongoing grace lavished upon me by God. Sometimes I have the eyes to see it, and thank Him, but often I am too preoccupied and it goes unnoticed. Like the beauty in nature, grace is not given only where it will be appreciated, it is freely poured out in abundance because that is the nature of God.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23 :5-6)
I continually have to remind myself to pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and wisdom to comprehend all that Jesus is doing. Then with a heart of gratitude I can see, hear and give thanks.
I have no great thoughts,
but I know wonderful revelation is out there.
There are colors to enthrall the eyes still to put on canvas.
There is music that will lift the heart, but awaits a composer.
There are poems to inspire the soul, that remain unreleased.
There is great beauty that will captivate the beholder,
but we have lost our purity to take it in and give it away.
I need clear eyes to see, unstopped ears to hear.
A clean heart to bow before the Lord and receive all he wants me to know.
This gives me hope.
I pause from my daily activities,
and pray for God’s Holy Spirit,
to come upon me,
and make His glory known.
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
We too often pursue beauty trying to make ourselves beautiful. But this is fleeting and soon fades. Instead pursue the creator of all things, Jesus, who wants to make our lives eternally beautiful to the glory of God.
(See Isaiah 40:8 and Matthew 6:28-33)
A beautiful design
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love. Psalm 33:5
I rejoice in the rightness of creation—how it all fits together perfectly. This is another sign of God’s unfailing love.
Oh, what a beautiful morning.
Each new day has beauty woven into it by the Creator. It is not fleeting or only for a select few, but wonderful gift given to all those who will partake. The Grace of God is like that on a spiritual level. A gift of forgiveness, joy, and renewed beauty, taking us beyond ourselves into the everlasting. One day those who receive it will look and go “Oh!”
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.