Monthly Archives: July 2014

Summer Sunsets – July 30, 2014

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The simplest parts of the day can be the most profound.  In our quest for beauty, truth, success, love, or whatever we are chasing, it is easy to get so consumed by that pursuit that we miss the simple gifts that are handed to us.

We look for God in the handwriting on the wall.  We listen for His voice in the sounds of wind and thunder.  We try to comprehend the glory of His majesty in words and philosophies.  Sometimes all we have to do is just be still and let Him send us His message in His time and His way. 

He is the voice in the silence.  He is the unspoken knowledge in the center of each of us.  He is the beauty of a summer sunset.

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Prayer Changes Things – July 20, 2014

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Prayer changes things.  I KNOW.  It is the most important skill I possess in this life – talking with God.

God wants to fellowship with us.  Largely, we hear from God through the written Word, but also through sermons, music, art, friends, and nature.  But God also speaks to us as we pray through thoughts, directives in our spirit, peace, and very rarely through specific words dropped into our spirit as we pray and seek to fellowship with Hiim.

Prayer is not a “bless me” list.  It is more than a “give me” list, or “I want,” or “please do…”  It is an intimate form of communication that should remind us who we are and who God is to us.  It should remind us of what a privilege we have in communicating with the Creator of the Universe.  My “I need” list often transformed into acknowledging who God is in my life, how much I love Him, how thankful I am for all He’s already done for me, and surrendering my situation to Him for His intervention.

Prayer is the place where I find hope, comfort, peace, direction, and even creative inspiration.

Prayer should be the opening, middle, and closing of every day, the very breath of our lives, no further than a single thought away.

Prayer changes things…. nations, individuals, circumstances, situations, health, finances, expectations, direction.  Prayer is a force that mankind often fails to recognize.  If the prayers of a righteous man avail much, then how powerful can the unified prayers of many be?

Prayer doesn’t only change messes.  It prevents them.  Prayers ahead of time of any situation, decision, or commitment are certainly more important than pleading with God after we’ve implemented our own mess to come in an clean it up.

PRAYER – we can never do too much of it!

 

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Wonders of Nature – July 17, 2014

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Some people seek out a church or cathedral to come into the presence of God.  Although I revere those places and have often felt God’s presence inside of manmade structures, it is in the beauty of His Creation that I come into a place of holy awe.

To stand on a mountaintop and feel so tiny in the vastness of the earth or the universe clearly puts things in perspective for me.  “Who is man that thou art mindful of him?” the psalmist asked.  And yet the same Creator God who formed the heavens and the earth knows me by name and invites me to commune with Him.

 

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Chasing the Moon – July 12, 2014

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My brother and I were in the car when we saw the moon coming up over the mountains and it was huge!  He didn’t stop because he thought it would be easy to get a shot of it on down the road.  As photographers know, a missed shot is gone forever.  He kept driving and driving for about 20 minutes, thinking it would be just the same around another bend or shining over another mountain ridge.

It wasn’t.

At least we got to see the Super Moon leaving its nest for the night.  This is one shot I will always regret that I couldn’t get and couldn’t make a non-photographer understand that chasing the moon is just not the same everywhere.

It reminded me of a nursery rhyme my mother used to sing me when the full moon would shine in through my bedroom window as she tucked me into bed at night.

“I see the moon and the moon sees me.  The moon sees somebody I’d like to see.  God bless the moon and God bless me, and God bless somebody I’d like to see.”

The sky is clear, the air smells of summer greens and river streams.  The mountains are alive with night noises and it is a good evening for chasing the moon.

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Happy Birthday to Earl Hamner (the real John Boy)

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Have you ever had a childhood dream of meeting someone really significant who left a huge impact on your life?  I had such a dream for meeting John Boy Walton from the television series The Waltons, beloved by so many.  John Boy was a little different than the rest of his family.  There was a writer in him that had to come out.  I thought he would understand how I felt about writing.

That was many years ago and The Waltons are still going strong in syndication.  Imagine my delight when I actually did meet Earl Hamner, creator of The Waltons.  Not only did we meet, but had one of those rare encounters where we became friends on the spot and have been in touch ever since.  He even invited my students at Wallins Elementary to work with him on illustrating his book, ODETTE.

Looking back over my teaching career, I cherish that project because of Mr. Hamner and the wonderful effort the students made in producing illustrations for the book.  Our lives will be linked forever because of that book project.

Mr. Hamner is turning 91 tomorrow.  I wish him a very happy birthday and extend love and prayers to him across the miles.  With his characters, he has impacted America through memories of family unity and strong relationships in the surrounding community.  The Waltons is perhaps his best known work, but he also worked on many other memorable projects such as Falconcrest, The Twilight Zone; Charlotte’s Web; and wrote several wonderful books.

I hope that if I live to be 91, I am still creating, imagining, and making wholesome contributions to this world.  His life is truly an inspiration and I am so blessed to be one small part of it.

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