Monday, December 23, 2013

So Great a Love....

As we settle down and take a deep breath from all the activity involved in the celebration of Christmas - the shopping, gift decisions, decorating the Christmas tree, wrapping presents, sending greeting cards, anticipation of family gatherings, school, church and community events to attend; just to name a few.  It's time to say STOP and look beyond the seemingly endless list of doing, become quiet and tap into that spiritual silence where you find His Presence.  Allow His Peace to wash away the deadline of the "have to do list" by absorbing Him in reminder of so great a love, that He gave His only begotten Son. 

Jesus, the Christ!
... He came as the ultimate gift
... to give the ultimate sacrifice
... to become the ultimate Savior

I'd like to share a profound quote by St. Augustine which is worth reflecting on:
"He was created of a mother whom He created.  He was carried by hands that He formed.  He cried in the manger in wordless infancy.  He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute."

I hope you will take time out to watch the following music clip.  May you experience peace as you breathe in the words of the following song by Selah, "The Rose of Bethlehem".  Lowell Alexander wrote the lyrics with video clip by emmysue20You can also view at:

 I invite you to check on my post entitled "The Infinite Holding Infinity" that was written on December 24, 2012, which includes "The Star" Christmas presentation.  You can locate it in the archives in the right column of this format or click on the below link: 

From The Turn-Up Patch, MERRY CHRISTMAS  to all my faithful readers.  May you catch the Light of Christmas this season and experience God's brilliance in the warmth of His Love throughout all the seasons of your life.  See you in the new year of 2014 on January 6.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Life Lessons from Geese

I have taken many photographs of geese that fly into our area in the spring and predictably leave in the fall.  Grabbing my camera at the first sound of geese, I run to visible points to take pictures of these marvelous birds which make their descent onto the fields in our back pasture.  I look forward to the noisy honking of these migrating geese as they make their announcement that Spring has arrived in Grant County.  With the passing of the fall season, fields have become vacant of geese; another realization that winter is upon us.  We do have a few that stay and brave the winter season.   The photo below is one that I took several years ago.  These two geese are together throughout all the seasons on the ranch.  How do I know that they are the same two??  An educated guess, since they appear to be the only apparent pair who are in constant companionship throughout the year.

In my research on geese, I discovered that they mate for life and stay together throughout the year.  A goose can go into mourning at a loss of a mate and will often stay by himself for a while.  Eventually, they will find a new mate and begin anew. 
It is interesting to watch them fly in their characteristic V-formation, usually accompanied by their honking....
          Why fly in a V form?   Their wings create an uplift current for the bird immediately following.  It is an instinctive systematic design to increase strength and stability.  By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if a bird flew alone.  If one flies out of formation, it struggles with strength and speed and becomes weak in stamina.  It doesn't take long for the goose to find it's way back and integrate itself into formation for an easier flight.

          Why do they make a honking noise while in flight?  It was most interesting to find out that geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.  Also, when a lead goose gets tired, the bird has no problem in rotating to the back of the flock to let another goose take the lead point.
          What happens to the wounded or sick?   When wounded or sick, a goose flies out of formation and is accompanied by two other geese that stay with the bird until that goose is able to fly again or until he dies.  In either case, upon recovery or death, they launch out on their own or join another formation to catch up with their own group.
          What is migrant and what is resident?   Migration is moving from one region to another and geese are on the move from October through March and are known as migrating geese.  The flight range can be 2,000 - 3,000 miles.  Then there is the resident goose, which stays in the same region.  Their flight range is 100 - 200 miles but typically stay within a smaller radius.  I love this fact about the resident goose:  Resident geese can fly long distances such as their migratory cousins but they generally learn that it is not necessary.   Hmmmmm!  Maybe we could learn something about that.

People can learn a lot about improving their own human behavior in studying the attributes of geese.  Not only can we learn about depth of commitment but also the depths of encouragement, support, alliance and cohesion.  As humans, we are part of a greater whole, forming our circles of families and friends in expansion of community; regional and global.  We are also spiritual beings formed with the intent of our heavenly Father......          
                      ... to rise above our circumstance
                      ... to follow in the current of His leading "up-lift" for an easier flight
                      ... to have commitment in relationship towards our Lord and significant others
                      ... to have time proven friends who stay by your side, adding a deep richness
                          in the physical and spiritual experience of life                                          
I'm sure you could think of many more ways to use in analogy that we have with this winged creation of God. The above are just a few in reflection.

I put together the following PhotoShow entitled "Wings of Freedom",  with various photographs taken of geese throughout the past few years. They co-habit the pasture with horses, an occasional dog (who pays no attention to the geese) and other forms of birds.  However, they did take objection to a two-legged critter (meaning me) if I tried to approach them in their territory.  So I stayed my distance and thanks to the invention of "zoom", was able to get a few close up shots.  Some pictures show a little hillside scenery in this beautiful valley where the geese return every year.  The photos of a species of geese, called "snow geese" were taken in Burns, Oregon.  They are all white with black tipped wings.....

I came across this saying...  "The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white.  Neither need you do anything but be yourself." - Lao Tzu    Now there's a statement that gives some food for thought!

See you at the Turn-Up Patch for my next post on December 23Since we are in the advent of Christmas, let it be less about shopping and more about a defining moment when God entered our realm to take on human form, which forever changes the dynamics of destiny.