Category Archives: Doors

Amazing Doors!

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DSC_2143 IMG_1351Amazing doors are all around us!  As a photographer, I seem to go through “spells” of being interested in one thing or the other.  Fall foliage, spring blossoms, mountain vistas, wildlife… all of these are beautiful to me.  Barns, butterflies, bumble bees, abandoned houses… all of these are beautiful through the lens.  Only when I traveled to Celtic lands did I really begin to fall in love with doors.  In those far off ancient places, it was easy to imagine who might have passed through those portals.

Back in the states, I began to look at doors differently.  During a recent trip to Cincinnati, I was surprised by the variety of doors on old buildings downtown.  Can you tell which one of the three is from a Celtic castle and which were in Cincinnati?DSC_2098

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Doors We Hide Behind

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No matter how beautiful a door might be, once we have locked ourselves in behind it, we become in effect prisoners of our own making.  While we lock ourselves safely in, we lock the world out.  Until we are brave enough to unlock and go one step beyond the door, we never know what awaits us.

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Unlocking a New Door

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Every new thing we learn is a door unlocked that was once closed to us.  Trying to create a new venue for my blogs and photography is definitely a different kind of door for me.  What someone else might have done in a few minutes has taken me hours to accomplish and is still not exactly what I had envisioned for the site.

One of my goals as a former teacher was to help create lifelong learners among my students.  As it turns out, I find myself in that position.  In the quickly changing world of technology it is imperative to continue to learn new skills.

Experimenting with a page design has been a comedy of errors, especially since it took me hours to try and figure out how to get into my own site!  If I had a teen aged child, they could probably have accomplished the same thing in five minutes.  Thank goodness we can learn from trying and the more we try, the more progress we make.

 

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Every Door is an Opportunity to Praise God.

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For every open door in my life, I praise God.  For every opportunity, I praise Him.  For every blessing, I praise Him.  In every trial and tribulation, I praise Him.  In every challenge, I praise Him.

No matter what our situation, or circumstance that changes, there is something that remains constant.  God is ALWAYS worthy of my praise.

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Visions About the Future – Seeing Beyond the Door

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chains_lock_doors_221677[1] Photo from public domain

Throughout my life, God has visited me in waking and sleeping dreams.  Some people refer to them as visions.  I run from the word prophecy because there is no room for error in sharing something and attributing it to God.  In Bible days, such an error was corrected by stoning.  Yet the Bible is full of people who had dreams and visions that were very real and truly significant.

When I see a vision, it almost never happens immediately, but somewhere in the future.  I have had many small ones come to pass, but an equal number that have not yet happened and I would be happy if they never did.

I keep having the Bible verse go through my mind Habakkuk 2:2 – “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”  Perhaps that is the purpose of a vision – that it be recorded and reviewed in the future so that the reader can take it seriously and know that God is still God, that He wants us to know that He still speaks and tries to warn us of coming events in our private life and in the future.

I am considering listing several of these dream/visions on this site as a record for those who may come after me that will read them and know that God speaks to ordinary men and women who listen.  The future is to us today as a closed door, locked and bound that we may not enter except one second at a time.  But if visions and dreams are from God, they go one step beyond that door to see what God wants to reveal to his child(ren).

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Death – the Final Door

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My aunt, Mae Hensley, was buried today.  She was a wonderful loving woman.  I couldn’t help thinking about death and how it is the door between this world and the next.  Many people fear death because they don’t know what lies beyond the door.

I read a story once about a doctor who explained it to a patient like this.  “I hear your dog scratching outside the door.  He’s never been in this office before, but still he wants to get through the door.  It is not because he knows what’s on the other side of the door but because he knows WHO is on this side of the door and he wants to be with you… his master.  It’s that simple.  We may not know what lies beyond the door of death, but we know WHO is waiting there for us if we’ve given our hearts to Jesus.  Our Master is on the other side of the door and we all want to go through that door and be with Him.  There is no fear because we know who is waiting for us on the other side.”

Aunt Mae went to sleep in her bed and woke up in heaven on the other side of the door with her master.

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Embracing a Specific Call and Stepping Through that Door

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Some doors are so familiar to us that we grow comfortable coming in and out of that specific portal.  We are so used to doing the same things over and over that we perform our usual tasks with ease.  But what happens when we feel a “call” on our life to do and be something more?

I spent 30 years in a public school system as a middle school teacher.  That ended two years ago.  So, who am I now?  I’ve written a weekly newspaper column for around 20 years, so has that become who I am now?  I’ve taken tens of thousands of photographs in my lifetime, but does that make me a photographer?  I’ve had books published and had work featured in books and magazines, so does that make me a writer?  I sang in church for decades.  Does that make me a singer?

WHAT IS MY CALL?  WHO AM I SUPPOSED TO BE?

Mothers, daughter, sister, friend, grandmother, mother-in-law, teacher, photographer, writer, singer, traveler – WOULD THE REAL ME PLEASE STAND UP?

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The truth is that we are all many more things than we realize.  If we examine a diamond closely, there are many facets to the cut stone.  Each cut reveals a different spectrum of light, yet every cut and every color belongs to the same stone.  Such are we.

There are many sides to each of us.  We function in a variety of capacities at home, at work, at church, and in the community.  We take on the role that is needed in the moment.

I have felt the call to write since I was a child, but I have never felt comfortable with calling myself a writer.  Maybe that’s because I don’t feel like I am good enough at it or successful enough to deserve to think of myself as a writer.  I’ve never had a book published by a major company.  Maybe that’s what it would take.  It’s almost as if I openly claim that God has a calling on my life to be a writer, then I will have to measure up to someone else’s standard of success and will fail miserably.

Also, I realized this morning that part of me has been fearful of embracing this call of “Writer” because it would mean that I have to stop being something else that I enjoy doing.  How ridiculous!  IF God is calling me into this new place of Christian Novel writing, surely He will go with me on the journey, open the doors before me, give me the words and the Holy Spirit inspiration to cause my work to be acceptable in HIS sight.  I’m not sure why I thought it meant I’d have to give up something in order to answer a deeper call about writing.

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Usually, I find out that there are many others struggling with the same ideas and notions that trip me up.  Everything in life is not black and white. Like the leaves of a fern, the individual segments all fit together perfectly on the stem to create a frond.  Each part of our life fits into the next to reveal the beauty of God’s purpose and calling as our own story unfurls.

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The Door that Made All the Difference – April 3, 2015

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Photo from public domain free photos from the internet

Today is known as Good Friday, the day the Son of God laid down His life for mankind.  What a horrific day in human history when those who wanted to be politically correct before their constituents viciously crucified an innocent man.  If the story ended there, it would be heartbreaking, but at an end.

When Christ’s beaten and tortured body was taken to the tomb, prepared in death shrouds and sealed behind a stone, those who followed him had to have been utterly dismayed, confused, and frightened.  They could not see what was beyond that closed door.  Good Friday and the days the two days after had to be among the longest in their lives, reliving the horrors, wondering what they might have done differently, recalling the miracles of Jesus and wondering why (if He was the Son of God) that God had not intervened.  The new political system they hoped for was gone.  Their teacher, rabbi, friend, was sealed off from them to rot in a tomb as far as they knew, never to be seen again.  They must have been terrified that the same fate awaited them.

Christ is the only spiritual leader, the only One who professed Himself as the Son of God, to return from the dead.  Truly, only the ONE and only Son of God could have conquered death and the grave.  He opened the door between two worlds when He arose from the dead.  He conquered death.  He returned to the ones who had loved him and followed Him and showed Himself freely that all might know He lived.

The door Christ opened through His death and resurrection was the door that proved He was indeed the Son of God, who gave His life to conquer sin and the grave.  It was the door that showed there is life after death.  It was the door that proved sin and death have no power over those who trust in Him.  It was the door that proved what He had taught was true and that he was far more than a wise teacher.

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He Is Risen

24 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them,[a] came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly[b] perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’

And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying[c] by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

The Road to Emmaus

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[d] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”[e]

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

The Disciples’ Eyes Opened

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.[f] 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.[g] 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

The Scriptures Opened

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise[h] from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem[i] until you are endued with power from on high.”

The Ascension

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Doors – Keep Things Out or Let Things In – April 1, 2015

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Begley Wildlife management area - 1 - judy 117Photo from Pine Mountain Settlement School – Pine Mountain, KY

The design of a door says a lot about it’s purpose.  Some doors are dark and thick, designed specifically to separate the outside world from the inside world.  I love the image of this door which was clearly meant to keep the elements out, but at the same time was designed to let the light flow in.  The room would be so much darker and less joyful if the door had not been made of glass.

In our lives, it is a rare thing to be able to see what lies on this side of the door and have a glimpse of what lies beyond the door at the same time.  If only all our doors were made of glass…

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