Monday, November 6, 2017

The Dynamic of Rescue

I have written before about the importance of friends in our lives.  They can exist within our own family unit or they can enter our life as a stranger and become an anchor in friendship.  Our friends come in all shapes and sizes - they can be of the two legged variety or the four legged critters that come along and become a part of us.   A bond of love develops that shines in faithfulness and withstands the test of time.

My focus today is of the four-legged kind.  Of course, that can range from big to small, from horses to hedgehogs and all that lies in between.  Our family has had many animals throughout the years that have been near and dear to our hearts.  Each one brought their individual presence in personality and devotion.  Some are there for cuddle comfort but more often than not, some are there to assist in daily living.  This can range from a working ranch horse to a livestock dog to one who helps as a guide in many different realms as the need dictates.

The photo below is of a Chihuahua mix who became a rescue dog to one of our daughters.  Now she's not exactly a Border Collie or a German Shepherd but she has her own style of cuteness.  This abandoned critter seemed to know where to find a heart that would give safety, affection and much needed attention.  Frightened and hungry, she timidly entered a new life with a human who gave her a sheltered home and the name Cedar.

Cedar
And of course, there is the cat!
Turnup
The above photo is one of many that I have taken of Turnup who just happens to be my blog's namesake. She comes by that name rather appropriately since she just "turned up" at our house.  Poor thing was so skinny and  hungry for food.  As you can tell from the picture, she has put on a little weight!  She became our rescue cat and has been a firm fixture in our household ever since.

How about Lizzy?  A rather different kind of cat with great big eyes.  She also had an instinct to find someone who would feed and care for her.   Starving and in poor shape, this feline was nursed back to health by our other daughter and gave her a safe place to live.  Most of the rescue animals that we have had throughout the years have something in common - they chose us, we don't chose them.  They come uninvited and yet win us over because they are vulnerable and in need.    

Lizzy
I wonder about the rescue animals that our family has taken in over time... what their previous experience has been with humans - what their 'before' life was like.  They seem to adapt very quickly and respond to the hand that feeds, pets and gives them a safe haven in love and kindness.  

In retrospect, the human spirit has been damaged if you believe about the fall of humankind that began with Adam and Eve.  God saw the need to rescue.  The definition of rescue is to free from danger, imprisonment or difficulty - to save, to deliver.  Our God changed the cosmos in spiritual realm with Christ on the Cross.  He changed the dynamics for His beloved creation.  His Eternal Love will receive anyone who looks for rescue, providing a home where belonging finally is realized.


Join me at The Turn-Up Patch for my next post on Monday, November 20th.  "See you then!"

 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Message re-post on "There is No Risk"

I decided to re-post a message entitled "There is No Risk" that I wrote about four years ago.  As it is with Love, the message written in yesterday is pertinent to today, particularly in the climate of unrest and ill will that we live in.  I begin the post with this beautiful song "Just Come In" by Margaret Becker.   
You can view this video in message and song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20vZlkFdnwI

 




There is No Risk
LOVE breathed life into Adam and LOVE breathed its last on the Cross.  A breath so powerful that LOVE tore the temple veil, eclipsed the sun and the earth quaked.  A powerful breath that even in the grip of death, came the explosion of Life. 

LOVE left the Cross and breathed new Life upon His fallen mankind in the resurrected power of  Jesus Christ.  A new dimension of abundant Life in God's oxygen, became available for us to breathe and intake for restoration, intimacy and well being.  It feels good to inhale a deep breath of God!  And what a wonderful beginning in the dawn of each new day in our lives.

 
Mt. Vernon Daybreak
I wrote, 'There us no Risk' in honor of ABBA, our heavenly Father,  revealed to us through Jesus.  As it was in the beginning, LOVE desires no less than to gather His own unto Himself.  And to breathe the breath of abundant Life within you and me, becoming one in essence, throughout our earthly journey and eternal destiny. 



There is no Risk

There is no risk to stand before You.... vulnerable,

     for You take my open heart with no reproof.

There is no risk to stand before You.... just as I am,

     for You take my being in total acceptance.

There is no risk to stand before You.... shackled,

for You take my chains and set me free.

There is no risk to stand before You.... in transgression,

for You take my sins and wash me with forgiveness and peace.

There is no sin to stand before You..."in ego rights",

for You take my selfishness and give me selflessness.

There is no risk to stand before you... broken,

for you take the pieces and give me healing restoration.
 There is no risk to stand before you... in personal guilt,
for You dissolve it with Your judgement of mercy and grace.

 There is no risk to stand before You... in spiritual blindness,

for You take my darkness and give me light to see.

There is no risk to stand before you.... in depression,

for You take my cave of despair and inspire me to hope.
  There is no risk to stand before You.... in adoration and praise,

for You take and we mesh in sweet communion.

There is no risk to stand before You.... as Your own,

for You take my life and anoint it with your Presence.

There is no risk in allowing You to take..

for I am being made whole.

   
Be blessed and we'll meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, November 6th...
 

Monday, October 9, 2017

What about God's Kingdom?

The Kingdom of God!  Is it a place or is it a state of being or is it both?  What a rich experience it would be to actually live in the Kingdom of God here and now.  I believe that is God's intent - to draw us into an existence of internal serenity while the outside world screams in disquiet and upset.

Personally, to believe that I am one with God - that His Spirit and my own are joined in union, then I do not need to wait until death to encounter His Kingdom.  The more that I become aware of who He is and what His provisions are, the more I want to live in that Presence of the I AM.  Who would not want to live in His Kingdom, where one can experience....
                                                   -  peace instead of discord
                                                   -  love instead of detest
                                                   -  forgiveness instead of blame
                                                   -  grace instead of dishonor
                                                   -  mercy instead of condemnation
                                                   -  hope instead of despair
                                                   -  respect instead of contempt 
                                                   -  faith instead of fear

Imagine that all these Godly forces reigned within hearts - what a different world we would live in.   A fairy-tale world you say??  It can happen in my world, my personal universe, if I want God bad enough in my life to make a difference.  It is possible to wrap yourself within the Spirit of God and enjoy His Kingdom, while the world rages around you in its turmoil.  Every morning of every day is a fresh beginning - a fresh footing to begin anew in a force of life that the Kingdom of God offers.



Come, join me again at the Turn-Up Patch on Monday, October 23.   I leave you with a reminder out of 1 Corinthians 4:20..."For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power"....


Monday, September 25, 2017

The Awesome Tetons!

I recently had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Teton Mountains in Wyoming several weeks ago.  We left eastern Oregon under the haze of smoke from wildfires throughout the state and was dismayed to find that the drive through Idaho and into Wyoming was the same in the encounter of smoke!  Wildfires have played havoc throughout many states obscuring the skies and the smell of smoke in the air - one of the consequences of damaging fire upon our once beautiful forests.  I took the photo below to illustrate this disheartening fact...


Thankfully, the smoke cleared the day before we left and I was able to capture a little of these majestic mountains and surrounding scenery.  I was overjoyed to see that the smoke and clouds had cleared enough to take some photos and gaze upon commanding views....




While at the campsite, we were treated in seeing a few moose wander through the grounds.  Since they are used to humans, they didn't cause any harm although humans could get a little excited at seeing such wildlife.   Buffalo were in abundance just a short drive from where we staying and that was a thrill.  They cross the highway just as we have deer and elk who do the same thing in eastern Oregon.



These are just a few of the many pictures that I took on the Jackson Hole Wyoming adventure.  It was difficult to choose which photos to post since there is limited blog space and the ones you see here are just a sampling.  As it is with most photographers, many shots are taken but few are chosen to publish.

Come back and visit me at The Turn-Up Patch in two weeks, on Monday, October 9th.  Let us all be mindful of the sights and sounds that make up God's exquisite handiwork in His creation in this universe.   It is comforting to note what our dear God has in His mind in His glory for us... "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him....1 Corinthians 2:9


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Photographing God through the camera of David LaBelle

I would like to share an article with you written by David LaBelle entitled "A Visual Love Letter".  His words echoed my own heart regarding the God we see in His boundless creativity that exists all around us.  I contacted Mr. LaBelle and it is with his permission, that I share his article with you.  Please read his column in its entirety for an insightful perspective in his words of photographing God....

       "For 50 years, I have dreamed about photographing God.  In the past, I even kidded that when I died, I wanted my family to place a Nikon F camera loaded with 100 ASA film in the casket with me.  I figure I won't need a fast film with a high ISO because there will be plenty of light, and I'd sure like to be the first to photograph heaven.

       Indirectly, from the first days I picked up a camera, I have tried to photograph God by photographing His creation - be it the natural wonders of the world or the wonders of human creations.  Just as we photograph stunning rock formations in Utah, Arizona, Colorado or South Dakota - whose majestic cliffs have been shaped by countless years of breathing winds - we photograph an invisible God by photographing the influence of His Spirit on His creation.  

       Each of us carries the genetics - the DNA of our father.  I realize I must walk softly and carefully with this subject, and do so with sensitivity, recognizing there are many who do not share my beliefs.  Please accept that this column is not meant to be a sermon, but a personal observation and ambition.

       I do not mind admitting that when I witness humbling acts of altruism and love, my throat tightens and my eyes fill.  In these quiet acts of compassion, I see my God every bit as much as when I behold a beautiful sunrise or sunset.  I have always been drawn to these genuine, not performed, moments.  In them I see the goodness of mankind and the loving influence of God.  In these mini stories, I feel the greatest joy and hope for humanity. 

       While some are drawn to photographing action sports, portraits or nature, I am drawn to quiet relationship scenes of love and compassion - things I often lack in my own life, but continually aspire to own.  My wife and I try to make pictures that reinforce the beauty and love of God on His creation, and try to avoid promoting the opposite.

       For me, life looks very different at 65 than it did at 25  I'm confident it is a natural thing as we age to grow more introspective and more deliberate with what time we have left.  In my youth, life was a smorgasbord and, like most, I wanted to sample everything.

       I have loved many types of photography - from sports to nature, breaking news, celebrities and even some fashion - but lately, more than ever, my heart seeks to capture and share positive pictures that reinforce love and goodness and encourage hope, while glorifying our Creator.  It isn't that I have not always tried to do this from the time I picked up a camera, but now with the acute recognition of the limited time I have left on this earth, there is an urgency not present 25 years ago.  I am forever reminded and keep this passage from Psalm 90 on the sleeve of my heart:  "Teach us to number our days, that we might apply our hearts to wisdom."

       I photograph God when I record the golden morning light raking across the red earth or prairie grass of Oklahoma, or when evening clouds turn from white to yellow to crimson.  I photograph God when I see birds drink the dew of the leaves or eat the crumbs left by man.  Mostly, I photograph God when I see His Spirit working in the lives of His children.  I don't always love as I should, but often what I see through my lens challenges me to love more purely.  I wish every photograph I make to be a visual love letter to my God." - David LaBelle

photo by David LaBelle
David LaBelle had a caption written under the above photo which states..."I watch for small, quiet moments that speak to the goodness of man and individual character rather than loud, decorated "religious" acts often performed to be seen.  This tender scene of a young man walking two elderly women to their cars from a restaurant is such a moment."

Thank you David LaBelle for allowing me to share your wonderful thoughts on "A Visual Love Letter".  You can learn more about this international photographer, teacher, author and lecturer at his website at http://www.greatpicturehunt.com/


Please join me in two weeks at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, September 25....
 

Monday, August 28, 2017

A WOW of an Eclipse!

Today's post reflects the experience of the eclipse that occurred in our area just one week ago today.    Preparation for the influx of visitors began months ago throughout our communities within the John Day valley.  Since we live in the proportional eclipse path in eastern Oregon, it was a thrill to be able to witness 100% totality just from our own backyards.  Motels were booked, camp-sites reserved,  grocery stores and restaurants stocked, eclipse glasses in supply, emergency personal prepared for the event.  New friends were made and pleasant exchanges occurred with those who came from near and far to be a part of this celestial happening.  

Since we are privileged to witness many glorious sunsets and sunrises, it is hard to chose a favorite.  However, it seemed significant to take this photo of the sun setting behind our hills the evening before the eclipse.  God, using His creative force in nature, was preparing.



With family, friends and visitors gathered to enjoy this much anticipated happening, we had a pre eclipse treat when our local resident flew over the valley in his ultralight plane.  It is always special to see our flag flying overhead, as Dave Traylor takes his aircraft and his patriotism to the sky for all to enjoy..


The process of the eclipse was approximately two hours from start to finish.  The eclipse in totality was around 2 minutes, 8 seconds during which time the countryside grew dark and a chill was in the air for the lack of momentary sunlight.  As this stage was occurring, you could hear boisterous cheers from the people gathered in town and in nearby camp areas.  An expressing word in amazement by all - WOW!  

I took a chance on a photo shot since the brilliance of the sun was hidden except for the halo effect behind the moon.  I was so pleased with the resulting photograph as my Nikon camera had no special filters and limited in zoom power.  It is the one and only camera shot taken and I share it with you, my readers....


The power of God can never be underestimated and this is just such an example.  Scientifically, it is explained as to the material conditions that cause an eclipse phenomenon.  But it is one such miracle of life in a cosmos that appears endless and one that our own earth is a part of.   We cannot forget to factor in the Alpha and Omega, the existence of the completed One who is all and in all - the I AM.


Please join me at The Turn-Up Patch for another post on Monday, September 4th...


Monday, August 14, 2017

Legend, Fact and Beauty of Multnomah Falls

Recently I had the pleasure to visit Multnomah Falls.  I have often seen it from a distance driving on I-84 heading east from Portland to Eastern Oregon.  So often we are in a hurry driving from one destination to another, time isn't taken to stop and enjoy beauties of nature.  On this occasion, time was taken to stop and enjoy this well known waterfall in Oregon and of course, for photographic opportunity.

A little background first....  The name Multnomah is a Native American word that has been eluded to mean "downriver".  History records that the Multnomah people are a segment of the Chinookan peoples who originally lived near the Columbia River.


It is a two-tiered waterfall that is 611 feet high and located on the Columbia River Gorge near the I-84 Freeway.  The upper fall plunges 542 feet and the lower fall is 69 feet which makes Multnomah Falls the highest waterfall in the state of Oregon and the second highest in the nation.There is a legend attached to Multnomah Falls.  Keep in mind that legend means a traditional story or tale that has no proven factual basis....
According to Wasco legend, the daughter of Chief Multnomah sacrificed herself to the Great Spirit from the top of Multnomah Falls.  Tribes along the Columbia River celebrated the marriage of the Chief's daughter to a neighboring tribe.  The happiness didn't last long, however, before the area experienced an illness that affected all of the tribes along the river.  The medicine man claimed the Great Spirit told him all of the tribe would die unless the Sprit received a sacrifice; the Chief's daughter's life.  The Chief wouldn't allow it, but when the daughter saw the sickness affect her loved ones, she willingly left in the middle of the night to go to the top of the cliff overlooking the Columbia River.  She threw herself off the cliff.  When the Chief found his daughter's body, he prayed to the Great Spirit for a sign that her spirit was well.  Water began pouring from the cliff and became known as Multnomah Falls.

An interesting legend but here is the simple fact about the falls...  The Multnomah Falls water is supplied by natural underground springs that originate on Larch Mountain, which is an extinct volcano where the falls are located.

Below are several closeup photos of this enchanting water, mesmerizing in its tumbling fall....


I thought you might be interested in just a few facts and photos of Multnomah Falls.  It is just one of many sights of beauty in the diverse scenery from the west coast to the eastern region of Oregon.  There is a quote by Russian poet, writer and painter Mikhail Lermontov who compared waterfalls with human soul - "Many quiet rivers start from noisy waterfalls, but none of them jumps and does not foam up to the sea.  But it is often a sign of great peace of mind, and hidden forces..."

Join me at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, August 28th.  Until then, here is another thought to ponder on by Benjamin F Sullivan... "God is discovered entirely through creation - the brilliance of a sunset, the powerful roar of a waterfall, the symphony of sounds you hear in the heart of the forest, or the vastness of space and its countless stars.  God is the mastermind behind all matter - every earth shattering scientific discovery and mystery that is yet to be unraveled was dreamed and enacted by God."




Monday, July 31, 2017

Pathways

We have all heard reference to personal journeys of life that are made up of pathways in experience and choice.  It appears like a solitary walk since we are mostly aware of self in the drama of life.  And for those who believe in Divine Presence,  it becomes a faith walk and solitary is no more.  Awareness opens into a path that is not only human but graced with a power beyond oneself.  Psalm 16:11 says... "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand."  There is comfort knowing that you are not alone.

We cannot travel a personal journey without encountering others - fellow sojourners. I came across this saying by Thomas S. Monson that expresses this reality and is a good reminder of the love commandment...  Love God, Love your neighbor, Love yourself....



Come!  Journey to the The Turn-Up Patch for a visit on Monday, August 14.  See you then....


 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Daily Delights

The miracles of God in nature never cease to amaze me.  Daily, there is a fresh find to inspire and to delight.   As an example, this critter was discovered in a nearby field just waiting to have his picture taken.  Upon closer inspection, found out it was a marmot... a fancy name for a woodchuck also labeled as a land beaver.   Oh, what big teeth you have.....

 Or, how about this profile....

Or, better yet, how about full front with these great digging claws that make huge ground tunnels.... 


So that was my marmot adventure.  First time we've seen one on our property during the many years lived here.  He wasn't a bit afraid and made a type of chirping noise at us.  Our dog, being curious, tried to get a closer look but the marmot stood his or her ground and wasn't going to be run off by a giant four legged canine.

From critters to storms, I close this post today by a picture I took the other evening of storm clouds splashed with early sunset colors.  Another daily delight....  How great is our God!  Scripture in Revelation 22:13 says it best... "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."



You are invited to the next post at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, July 31....



 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Independence Day - Celebration in Freedom!

Independence Day - July 4th - Celebration in freedom!   Behind this National holiday in the United States are pivotal events that climaxed into the framework of the Declaration of Independence.  At that time, 13 colonies broke from English rule to become "a republic for which it stands", as reaffirmed in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Pivotal events occurred through bloodshed and personal sacrifice in order to secure the vision of freedom.  Four years ago I wrote a piece on the Identity of the American Flag and would like to share with you again the significance of this message...
 
Identity of the American Flag  (posted on July 1, 2013)

On July 4, 1776, two hundred thirty-seven years ago, the Declaration of Independence of the original thirteen colonies was signed. Independence was claimed from Britain and Democracy was born. Today's message honors Independence Day and the American flag, one of the most significant symbols of Independence.  

The flag of the United States is displayed in all possible ways on July 4th.  Here in the John Day Valley, we are treated to a skyward "fly-by flag" carried by an ultra-light plane over our area, which is always a thrill to view.  Of course, there are buildings, homes and streets in the local towns, which are generously decorated with the red, white and blue.  There are flag representations in parades, rodeos and community gatherings.  Friends and family alike take a day out in celebration and salutation of a defining moment which proclaimed the formation of the United States of America.  (Click on photos to enlarge)   


Parade Flag carried by horse & rider
Ultra-Light Plane flying American Flag























“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."    This declaration is powerful when one fully realizes the hallowed significance in its verbal portraiture.  The following 'History of the Flag' information was obtained at this link:  http://www.usacitylink.com/usa/history-of-the-flag/



- Colors of the Flag:  Red is for valor, zeal and fervency;  White is for hope, purity, cleanliness of life, rectitude of conduct;  Blue is for the color of heaven, for reverence to God, loyalty, sincerity, justice and truth.
-  The Star symbolized dominion and sovereignty, as well as lofty aspirations.  The constellation of the stars within the union, one star for each state, is emblematic of our Federal Constitution, which reserves to the States their individual sovereignty except to as rights delegated by them to the Federal Government.
-  The thirteen Stripes represent the original thirteen colonies.

The symbolism of the Flag was thus interpreted by George Washington:  "We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country separating it by the white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty."

The flag first rose over thirteen states along the Atlantic seaboard, with a population of some three million people. Today it flies over fifty states, extending across the continent, and over great islands of the two oceans; and two hundred and five million owe it allegiance. It has been brought to this proud position by love and sacrifice. Citizens have advanced it and heroes have died for it. It is the sign made visible of the strong spirit that has brought liberty and prosperity to the people of America. It is the flag of all us alike. Let us accord it honor and loyalty.  (Excerpt from History of the Flag)


Hall of Flags, Chicago O'Hare International Airport
The first time I had ever been to the Chicago O'Hare International Airport, this impressive Hall of Flags greeted me.  At the end of the hall, is a large display of the American flag.  I felt humbled when I first saw this huge flag as a welcoming greeter to all travelers, visiting from abroad and those returning home.  There was a sense of pride in viewing this flag as it impressed me of the nobility and heroism that lies behind it in the patriots of yesterday and today.  It is imprinted with the ultimate sacrifice by many; a message of hope for new beginnings; and a sentinel of freedom for its people. Throughout the years, there have been wrongs to right, including times of triumphs and tragedies, glory and shame, indicative of growing pains of a Republic with stars and stripes.

God is embedded in this flag.  He is the integral part of the surrounding whole, which is the definition of embed. The signers of the Declaration of Independence and the framers of the U.S. Constitution are referred to as founding fathers or forefathers. They recognized and acknowledged the Creator's Presence and paid Him homage as the Author of freedom.... "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."  Let us always remember to place our Creator where He rightfully belongs, the One from whom freedom flows.  If we begin to worship freedom in abandonment of its Author, the opposite effect of eventual decline is a consequence.



Their is a video presentation of God Bless America (sung by Celine Dione) is by Anthony Cortese.  He published this clip on July 4, 2012 and he wrote the below statement along with the video.  
You can  view at:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPWqY1nSkig   
I have included Anthony's tribute, since his words say it best.....


"I still believe in American Exceptionalism; that in all of history there has never been a country like the United States. I believe in our founding documents; that the United States Constitution is the single greatest document crafted from the minds of men for the promotion of individual liberty and freedom. Happy Fourth of July to all my friends and fellow countrymen. There is much for which we should celebrate and be grateful."  - Anthony Cortese


Let us reflect on the God-given freedoms that we enjoy in these United States of America.  Join me for my next post at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, July 17...

 





Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunset between the storms

Last week we had storms that brought in rain accompanied with thunder and lightning.  Great to have the rain but not so great for lightning.  It is a harsh reminder of the wildfires that were experienced in the John Day Valley in 2015.  Our beloved Canyon Mountain shows the effect of burned timber that scars the landscape.  Many homes were destroyed by fire forcing owners to either rebuild or relocate in the aftermath.  Lightning in its beauty and power can devastate by a random strike.  It still makes a community feel nervous as a reminder of what was and what can be if dry weather conditions exist in our forests and terrain towards fall.

For the time being, we are enjoying the advent of summer and all the pleasures that it brings after the winter freeze and commencement of spring.  People are busy with gardens, summer projects and vacations, enjoying the sun and outdoor activities.  Once in awhile, we are privileged to experience a delight in nature,  if we take time out from our busyness to stop and become aware of what is before us.  I don't know how anyone could have missed this piece of art from the hand of God...



A beautiful sunset graced our skies between the storms of the early evening hour.  I grabbed my camera to capture such a stunning view as it quickly changed color and cloud formation.  The golden hues changed to orange and pink as the sun dipped behind the hills.  In the third photo, if you look close enough, you can see the sun's fractured rays breaking through the clouds in resemblance of golden geese.



The thought came to me that as we experience personal storms in life, God gives us breakthroughs in His sunset colors of hope, encouragement, strength and perseverance to experience calm in the midst of storms.  Psalm 4:8 says, "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety".  


I hope you will join me at The Turn-Up Patch for another visit on Monday, July 3 ....  I leave you with a beautiful quote that is so true... "PEACE is seeing a sunset, and knowing who to thank."


Monday, June 5, 2017

Hummingbirds & Humboldt

We began our journey from the high desert country of eastern Oregon into the redwoods of northern California.  As usual, this particular drive inspires renewed appreciation for the diverse country that exists in each place.   From sagebrush, pine and juniper trees in the Blue Mountain Range of eastern Oregon to the majestic redwoods and countryside scenes of fern, wild poppies and rugged hills that hug the coastline of the Pacific.

Steamboat Rock
We traveled through Crescent City, the Redwood Highway and into Eureka in Humboldt County.  From there, we made our way to the town of Ferndale and into the hamlet of Petrolia, a short 30 miles away.  However this 30 miles takes an hour to drive because of a windy road with many twists and turns, often one lane to maneuver. This is a familiar drive for my husband, who was raised in this country and ranched in his later years.  It is a photographer's dream if you can find room enough to pull over to take a picture or two.  If that is not possible, I take a camera shot from a moving truck window hoping that my hand is steady enough not to cause a blurred picture.  Sometimes there is success...


At the home of our Petrolia friends, word must be out among the hummingbirds to enjoy a good nectar meal provided by several feeders set out on their porch.  Before I noticed the birds, I heard their sound - much like buzzing bees.  I was startled to see so many of these tiny birds darting from one feeder to the next creating this humming noise with their wings.  I read that they flap their wings about 80 times per second.  This is how and why they were named, the hummingbird...


 Other facts about the hummingbird are:  
                 - they can fly right, left, up, down, backwards and upside down
                 - hover - it looks like the bird is stationary but their little wings are moving so fast, you
                   cannot see them
                 - their bill is long and tapered to obtain nectar from the center of a long, tubular flower
                 - their feet used for perching only 
                 - symbolic of love and joy 


I  mentioned just a few facts about the hummingbird.  I hope you will watch this video that actually shows a hummingbird in slow motion in flight and gives you more information about this fascinating bird.  It makes a person realize how amazing this little creature of God is.  Click on this link at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPRswRWZ23Q


My next post will be in two weeks on Monday, June 19th.  Come!  Visit me at The Turn-Up Patch.... 




Monday, May 22, 2017

Spring's new foal

Since my last post, we have a new addition to the family.  A husky filly with long legs and an attitude was born several weeks ago.  It took a little while to begin the bonding process as this mare was particularly protective and wanted no one near her baby.  As the photos show below, in time and with patience, the mare reverts back to trust and allows a friendly hand to pet her and maybe, just maybe, her colt.

Interactions occur every day in our lives - whether it is on a human level or with animals.  But there is another interaction that is around us as a constant 24 hour, seven day a week experience.... and it is with God.  There are some who are aware of His Presence and others who have not yet awakened to His reality, but the interactions are there nonetheless.  His diversity in creation is all around us in the world we live in and into the universe itself.  He is beyond the human explanation of "God" and words seem to get lost in trying to describe His power and glory that is so evident in surroundings of nature that speak loudly of His existence.  Many scripture verses reference this fact throughout the Psalms and in various chapters of the Bible.  Job 12:7-10 says "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."


My next post will be on Monday, June 5.  See you then at The Turn-Up Patch....






Monday, May 8, 2017

What does it matter?

What if we could live our days abiding in the principle of "what does it matter?"  For those of us who have experienced the death of a loved one, it is part of the dynamic to not only let them go but that it is alright for them to let go of living.  In other words, permission is given to die.  I have been at the bedside of my mother, my aunt and my mother-in-law as they were laboring in this last part of their journey moving from this world into the next.  It is a time where we meet self and we meet God. 

There may be regrets, grudges, guilt of something done or not done, unforgiveness, unresolved issues, past emotional wounds -  these are just a few of the negatives that can arise to one's consciousness in the review of life lived and now in the throws of letting go.  Just as the birth process brings forth life from within the womb for physical existence, so does the death process release the spirit into the divine spark of eternal existence.


I tend to think that as a person is in the closure of his or her life, there is a question and an answer that comes simultaneously... "what does it matter?"  What does it matter to hold on to a regret in re-living mistakes made.  What does it matter to nurture a grudge until it balloons and metastasizes the offense.  What does it matter to agonize in guilt for something done or not done, becoming a victim of condemning self-worth.  What does it matter to hold on to unforgiveness that creates a toxin of blame and distortion.  What does it matter to worry over unresolved issues that bury perspective.  What does it matter to keep emotional wounds open and raw and cripples the soul.  Isn't it better to let go rather then to store and accumulate burdens in life because in the end - what does it really matter??

Wouldn't it be great to practice the power of "what does it matter" on a daily basis.  Letting go and letting God puts a smile in our day and gives freedom to soar.  


Join me for another visit at The Turn-Up Patch in two weeks on Monday, May 22...
  

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rainbow Chaser

We certainly have had April showers this month, although it could be described as downpours driven by high winds rather than a simple shower.  The weather, however, created some beautiful rainbows and this work of God's art never ceases to amaze me.  Several days ago after a heavy rain, the sun broke out through the clouds to prism a beautiful rainbow arc stretching over highway 26.  I was thankful to have my camera with me when the rainbow appeared.  I drove my car to the side of the road to capture this scene of rainbow colors falling upon the hills.  It was exciting to me to be able to take this photo in a setting with Canyon Mountain and grazing cattle, creating this scene of country peace. These pictures give you an idea of the scenic beauty we have, particularly in the spring when the fields and hills are so green.  A rainbow only compliments the rural setting.


The photo below shows the other side of the rainbow, which splashed it's color on open fields on the opposite side of the highway.  The rainbow was too close for me to take a photo of it's perfect arc over the countryside.  Again, I managed to find a turnout where I could park my car and take photos of this sight that can all too quickly disappear due to atmosphere changes and cloud movements. 


Continuing on to my friend's house, I was happy to see the still visible rainbow extending to the area where she lives, dropping its color on nearby ground.  Instead of a storm chaser, I felt like a rainbow chaser as it remained until I reached my destination only to fade from view.


It is interesting to note that the arc or curve of a rainbow is actually a full circle - only the horizon cuts it off.  I was able to find the below photo on the internet to use as an illustration of what a full circle rainbow looks like...


In astronomy, the earth, moon and planets are all in sphere or circle shape in our ever increasing knowledge of the universe.  Whenever I see a circle, I think of the Almighty God who states that He is the "I AM" - the Beginning and the End; the Alpha and Omega; the First and the Last; Everlasting to Everlasting.  He is COMPLETE.  An interesting definition of complete is UNBROKEN.  Here are a few other meanings of complete... entire, absolute - whole or perfect - without defect or blemish - faultless, unimpaired; lacking nothing. 

Pretty Amazing!  He loves us, faulty in our humanity, with a faultless love in His Divinity.



Join me at The Turn-Up Patch where we'll meet again on Monday, May 8...  I leave you with a rainbow quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which simply says:  "God's illumined promise".

 



Monday, April 10, 2017

Kuaui Albatross - Part 3

This will be the last post on Kuaui, often referred to as "The Garden Island".  Today we visit the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge located on the north shore of Kuaui.  Here in Eastern Oregon, we think of wildlife as deer, elk and predators such as the coyotes and cougars.  The protected wildlife at Kilauea are varieties of  Hawaiian seabirds, the monk seal, green sea turtle and humpback whale.  The refuge was established in 1985 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is marked by a large lighthouse.....


Among the Hawaiian seabirds, is the Laysan Albatross.  I was fortunate enough to experience a fly-by from one of these large birds and managed to get an overhead shot as the albatross circled by the lighthouse.  One notable fact about the albatross are their extreme long wings that enable them to soar or glide in flight.    They can travel hundreds of miles per day with barely a wing-beat.




There is a figurative meaning to albatross, which is something that hinders or handicaps and defined as guilt or a burden.  The origin using this bird as such a symbol comes from 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Coleridge written in 1798.  It represents a burden or source of distress that impairs effective action, thus the saying... an albatross around one's neck.  This beautiful seabird doesn't deserve such a reputation of  negativity due to a poem and superstition.

There is a proven course of action based on the Word of God in Matthew 11:30... "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light".  The yoke of Christ placed around your neck lifts and frees burdens and guilt, giving rest to the weary, resulting in freedom and peace.  Quite a contrast to the symbolic albatross that is a yoke of heaviness and bondage, resulting in fear and captivity.

And now it is time to say 'A hui hou - goodbye until we meet againin yet another place of God's scenic beauty in Kuaui....


Meet me again at the Turn-Up Patch on Monday, April 24th.  Until then, 'Ke Akua pu a hui hou - God bless you and see you later'.