Monday, March 30, 2009
Yesterday was on of those days that called your name to enjoy the outdoors. My sister-in-law called after church and asked if we wanted to go for a walk. Of course we said yes, and we enjoyed a beautiful stroll around a lake in a park near Bill and Janet's home.
I had my camera and took photos.
My favorite ones - of clouds and ducks and geese on the water.
They had a theme in common.
I noticed how my photo below shows God's faithfulness both in the reflected clouds and the goose and gander who mate for life!
Ducks also mate for life and I smiled at how they were never far apart from each other getting ready to build a nest and raise a family together.
Examples of faithfulness in the lifelong mating of birds or animals in nature always warms my heart because it reminds me that even though faithfulness is something that is no longer greatly valued in our society, God's examples in His creation still serve to encourage us that faithfulness is and always will be important to Him.
Our unchanging God is a God who is faithful and calls us to faithfulness as well - To Him, to His Word, to each other in marriage , in friendship - Faithfulness in our commitments and duties and prayer and caring for those in need.
As I looked at my downloaded photos yesterday, my heart thought was .. "How beautiful faithfulness looks!"
Friday, March 27, 2009
We stopped for supper at the old hut that stands off to the side of the Nordic trails. It is old and rustic to the point of being beyond worthy of repair. I took a picture of some of our party sitting in the newer end of it.
When we entered the room, my eye was immediately drawn to the one spot of beauty - one little stained glass pane in one of the old windows. It so stood out because of its contrast with the drab look of the rest of the room. Before we left I went to take a close up photo of it.
It made me think.... beauty among beauty is easily overlooked, but beauty in the midst of ugliness stands out ! It's beauty is not diminished by the worn out or ugly but rather enhanced ! Just like a candle shines brighter in a dark place than it does in the glare of the noon day sun.
I thought of the beauty of Christ that we, His followers, are called to show to the world. There is no doubt that our world can be an ugly place, and is becoming increasingly so.
Do we stand out as this window pane - not in the least affected by the evil or darkness around us? Or have we allowed - either by sloth, or careless sin, or discouragement - our beauty to be tarnished by the world? Have we begun to take on the look of what is around us , or do we STAND OUT !!
We have so many opportunities to stand out.... and it is not through the good blessings we enjoy but rather how we shine in the difficult, the dark, the discouraging times of our life. That is when we will draw attention if we keep the beauty of Christ shining through us.
I think I learned another lesson from this stained glass window too. A few days ago, I lost the main marquise diamond out of my engagement ring, that I have worn for 44 years. It wasn't the first time I lost it. ( you can read about the other time, and the miracle here )
I couldn't believe that I could have lost it again, and of course felt that sick, sinking feeling in my stomach.
I knew I had not lost it outside the house, but the last thing I had done before I noticed the empty setting, was the dishes -- rinsing, unloading the dishwasher, loading it. Vic took everything apart - all the plumbing. We searched everywhere we could think to look, but nothing.
In grieving over my loss, I thought about what was really important. I thought about women who had recently lost their husbands and thought about how gladly they would give up their rings to have their husband back. So I looked at Vic and told him that I was so thankful that I still had him - that it was my diamond I had lost and not him.
I also thought about how different it was losing the stone this time from last time. Last time I didn't have the Lord in the picture - this time I did. This time I could trust Him that He could either help me find it again or use it for some purpose. This time I know that everything that is of eternal value is still mine. I loved my diamond, but other things are infinitely more valuable. The diamond, sentimental though I am about it, is just part of this world's treasure -- not heaven's treasure !
My prayer is that I will stand out for who Christ is in me - and that the things of this world will become ever more unimportant to me ...... until only He is left !
2Co 4:6 "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tammie, McKenzie, and Benjy !