The Miracle of Ice


Ice patterns on a frozen pond

How amazing are the intricate patterns on the surface of this frozen pond. This reminded me of another amazing fact about water and ice. Ice the solid form of water is lighter than its liquid form — opposite of other substance (the solid form of most things is heavier than its liquid form). This little anomaly is the reason lakes freeze from the surface down. If water did not have this peculiarity lakes would freeze solid from the bottom up, killing all the fish. No polar ice cap or floating icebergs for penguins, seals, and polar bears. Rivers would freeze from bottom up causing flooding. I am sure there are many other essential things that are related this quirk of nature. The bottom line is life, as we know it, could not exist. So next time you see an ice cube floating in your glass give thanks for God’s marvelous creation.

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

Reflecting the Light

mountain reflection

I can either obstruct the light and become part of the shadows, or reflect the light and be part of the kingdom of light.

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” -Jesus, Luke 11:23

Filling the Void

Cedar grove along Snow Lake trail

Cedar grove along Snow Lake trail

There are days when I feel a void in life. The void can appear with the Monday morning blahs, and my longing for freedom. Somedays I feel it facing the same old boring routine repeated over and over, that is when somewhere in me whispers, there must be more in life. Other times the void looms after of a long and difficult day, I just want to run away to a place of peace and quiet. There are all sorts of voids in life, some of the most difficult, and largest, come in the form of fear, loneliness, depression, and grief.

At some point all of us try to fill these voids. The list is long of things we use to quell the ache: food, spending money, traveling, risk-taking, lust, gambling, alcohol, drugs, it goes on and on. The trouble is that filling the void with these things is temporary and grossly inadequate. They can only pretend to fill the void, but do no more than divert attention away from the hole in life.

That is the issue that Jesus addressed with the woman at the well (John 4). She tried to fill her void with men: five failed marriages and starting on the sixth. Her thirst to be loved could not be quenched with a thousand men. To fill her void Jesus offers her living water that only he can give. We are all like this woman and must choose to continue trying to fill the void with self-indulgence, or deny our own remedy and let Jesus fill our life with living water. But what is this “living water” that Jesus wants to give us?

“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.” (John 3:34)

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)

Since the beginning, the main void we have had is a relationship with God. No wonder nothing of this world can satisfy. Through Jesus, we can have the one thing we need the most, that fills the void as nothing else can, the Holy Spirit, God in us.

A Fortunate Accident

So many colors

So many colors

This picture reminds me that there are so many beautiful things in God’s creation that I never notice. Mostly, it is due to my not seeing what is there. Other times, it is because I fail to give glory and thanks to God for what he has done. Thus, I miss all the marvelous things that he is doing.

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. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:20-21)

This picture was not due to some computer manipulation by me. Instead, it occurred by a fortunate accident when the wind came up and disturbed the picture that I wanted. The following picture is the one I intended of a spiderweb. Oh, how thankful I am that God brings the wind to give us more than we knew existed.

Spider web without the wind

Spider web without the wind

The Rocks Cry Out

The Rocks Cry Out Glory

The Rocks Cry Out Glory

There are times when the closeness of God compels me to give praise.
This joyous epiphany is not due to anything I have done, nor can I command it.
Sometimes it follows a harrowing intervention of God, but not always.
Sometimes it occurs upon witnessing a miracle, but not always.
Sometimes it is just God comes near and I am overcome with worship.
And then even the rocks cry out, rejoicing along with me.
What a wonderful and full moment — to be overwhelmed by His presence.
A fleeting taste of the riches that await those who love, and seek Him.
But all to soon, this moment passes and I am back to living by faith.
With a photograph of rocks declaring my Lord’s majesty,
Gleaming stones to remind me of what is to come.

As Only God Can

The delicate Everglades

The delicate Everglades

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth. (Isaiah 42:3-4)

Jesus takes what no one else wants.
He takes a meager lunch, and makes a feast for thousands.
He takes plain water, and makes the finest wine.
He takes what is worthless, and makes it cherished.
He takes weakness and through it topples strongholds.
He can take someone on their last breath, and make it last for eternity.
He can take an incurable addict, and create a beacon to shine in the night.
He can take a prostitute not worth another trick, and make her holy.
He can take a naked crazy man, and fill him with peace.
He can take a criminal at his execution, and in death bring life.
He can take my place in hell, and give me His place in heaven.
There is no hopeless soul that cannot find hope in Him.
There is no ugliness that will not yield to His goodness.
There is no hate that cannot be conquered by His love.
There is no hurt that He cannot heal.
He will not falter or be discouraged till He accomplishes all He has set out to do.
All we need do is open the door and let Him in.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:19-20)

Gazing Upon Beauty

Beautiful Wild Rose

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.
Psalm 27:4

Reflection On Life

It is because we see so imperfectly that faith is so important.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1Corinthians 13: 12

Icicle River reflecting pool

Icicle River reflecting pool

Surviving an Accident: Learning to Live Again

How do you deal with sorrow and guilt that comes from being the cause of an accident. It is not an intentional act that requires confession and forgiveness, it’s just an accident. An unfortunate mistake in judgement, like spilling a glass of milk at a meal, or pulling out from the gas pump with the hose still stuck into the car. These are minor examples, but what if it is a major accident that results in someone being injured or killed. These accidents are life changing and extremely hard to get past. Frequently, they lead to isolation and depression from all the psychological pounding. It is analogous to a log caught in the rocks hammered by turbulent whitewater.

A log trapped in whitewater

A log trapped in whitewater

My mind swirls with relentless self-recriminations that I cannot switch off. The condemnation I feel begins to build to high levels. Friends with good intentions throw verses at me like: “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away,” or they talk about it being God’s will or purpose. But these words only seem to make me feel more isolated and upset, no one understands, I feel alone. The worst battering comes from the inner voices constantly berating me: “how could you be so stupid” or “you should be stronger … where is your faith.” With all this, the burden of guilt only seems to grow, not slacken. I begin to wonder if life is worth living.

Learning to Live

First, I must understand there is no easy answer or quick remedy. Second, I have have to learn to breath again, taking one breath at a time. This involves forcing myself to breathe in truth in the form of a memorized verse (e.g. “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” – Psalm 27:10) Then I exhale a prayer for help. Inhale truth, exhale prayer, over and over until the truth starts to sink in. I constantly remind myself “don’t panic,” for the waves will keep coming. During this process false accusations will bounce around in my head, stuff like: “you’re a failure,” or “you deserve to die.” I can only refute these lies with truth from God’s Word.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation (including terrible accidents) will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Lastly, commit your way unto God, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Prov. 3:5)