Monday, December 22, 2014

The Visible - The Invisible - And Christmas

I begin this post with threads of thought that eventually leads to a pivotal event we celebrate known as Christmas.  The birth of Christ has impacted and influenced the world and its humanity that began nearly 2000 years ago.  I'd like to mesh Christmas and weave within, the dynamics we have of infrared and color, filter and illumination, the visible and the invisible.  As this occurs in our natural world, so it is spiritually.

There are complicated definitions of visible and invisible light.  Simply said, the visible light is an electromagnetic wave that the human eye can see.  It runs along a spectrum from short wavelengths of violet to longer wavelengths of red, which gives us color perceptible to our eyes.  There is another kind of light that we can't see.  This is infrared light and is a thousand times wider than that of visible light, but it is invisible to our eyes.

In photography, for an effect or artistic component, an infrared filter can be used either on the camera or in photo editing.  This filter blocks all visible light and can produce a dramatic look in transforming the subject matter in the exclusion of color to an infrared image.  The camera subject is illuminated  by infrared light and the every day scene becomes extraordinary in the absence of color.

Color -  visible light
Infrared - invisible light


Illumination!   A source of light that can brighten and make clear.  All of us have had an 'aha' moment when one has a sudden insight in awareness or comprehension in understanding.  It can also be called an 'epiphany', which is any moment of great and unexpected insight or intuitiveness.  Belief is also a component of illumination -  it is the Holy Spirit filter to see into the invisible that thrusts us beyond the visible color of  human knowing.  For some, the aha or epiphany moment can lead to belief; for others, belief can be the catalyst to revelation that occurs along the way in the walk of faith.

We are just a few days short from an event that changed the course of humanity - the birth of illuminating Light that came in human form - Jesus, the Son of God, the Light of the world.    We honor the mystery, significance and magic that Christmas brings and are humbled by the fact that God, the Father of Lights, so loved the world...

 You can also view at:

from The Turn-Up Patch to each and all  ~
 Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Until we meet again in the New Year on Monday, January 5.....


Monday, December 8, 2014

Advent Within The Alpha and Omega

Advent is here!  Now what exactly does that mean??  The word itself speaks of 'coming' - to spiritually prepare before the celebration of Christmas.  It is a season observed in many Christian churches four weeks before Christmas with the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love symbolically displayed in an Advent wreath.  Many families create their own wreath in participation of Advent.  Four candles are set on a circular wreath representing these individual themes, each one being lit on that particular Advent Sunday.   Some churches include a fifth candle called the Christ Candle that is lit on Christmas Eve.  The lit candles remind us of Jesus, the Light shining forth into a dark world.

We can be caught in the flurry of activity in preparation of what the Christmas season brings in our homes, community, school and church celebrations.  Decisions of what gifts to buy, decorations to use, food to serve, cards to be sent - these are just a few of the considerations to be made for family, friends and beyond.  Often, travel arrangements need to be made as well as juggling employment situations.   It is a time to be a comfort for those in isolation, loneliness and in need, which amplifies during this time of year.  

Mary (as in the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10) set herself before the Lord, taking time out to enjoy His presence and then dear Martha, whose time was consumed in physical demands. Advent can be a time to slow us down and turn our eyes away from the busyness of the season in all the 'doings' to the benefit of being still before God. Advent is a season of spiritual preparation designed to bring our awareness back to the simplicity of the cradled Christ to the complexity of the Cross and to the completion in His return.  It is in recognition of the Christ, by His Spirit within us, expanding into the Alpha and the Omega.  One of the most fervent prayers of Jesus is in John 17:21..."I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one - as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.  And may they be in us so that the world will believe that you sent me."

The Alpha and Omega is complete - the Beginning and the End and holds within the dynamics of Advent....
          -  The Eternal in His Presence among us in the current moment of time through the Holy Spirit (who is).  
          -  The Eternal before creation and manifested in the Christ of yesterday when first coming to earth as a baby (who was).
          -  The Eternal in the future to anticipate, prepare and expect the coming Messiah at the end of the age with everlasting                 life (who is to come).

It's good to separate into the stillness of God and then take that stillness back into our noisy world. Withdrawing into that silence of God that Advent can provide, brings a sensitivity and awareness of the AlmightyRejuvenation of hope, peace, love and joy quickens and enriches the spirit and is a reminder of our destiny within the Alpha and Omega.

Until we meet again on Monday, December 22.....

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Anniversary & Norman Rockwell

Two years ago on the eve of Thanksgiving in 2012,  I launched my blog, The Turn-Up PatchWhen I began my blogging adventure,  I decided to post writings and photos once a week but eventually cut it back to once every two weeks after a year of weekly posting.   I do admire those bloggers who post every single day with something new and interesting to share. I manage to keep up with the twice a month post, which works well for me.  As long as family, friends and readers keep turning up  to catch the latest post; I will continue my journey in the 'blogosphere'.  Presently, The Turn-Up Patch averages about 425 legitimate hits on each post, according to the current stats that are available to the blogger.   These hits come from various countries as well as within the United States.   I thank all my faithful readers who take time out in their busy lives to continue to visit me at The Turn-Up Patch.   Your encouragement and support is much appreciated.  You can check out the beginning post that also previews my first PhotoShow:

I recently spent some time with Norman Rockwell (at least with his illustrated paintings), which hold whimsical caricature of days gone by of ordinary people in everyday life.  His paintings evoke an nostalgia for a time and place that held respect and honor in the American spirit. "I paint life as I would like it to be", Rockwell once said.  In studying his illustrations, you can spot the innocence and idealism that his paintbrush produced.   He passed away in 1978 at the age of 84.  During his lifetime, he illustrated 321 covers for the Saturday Evening Post and painted over 4,000 original works

In 1941, Franklin Roosevelt's State of the Union address contained four essential human rights that should be universally protected.  The four freedoms are identified as "Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear".  Rockwell chose to illustrate a Thanksgiving theme for his interpretation in his painting on 'Freedom from Want' and it was published in the Post in 1943.
 Norman Rockwell - "Freedom From Want" - from March 6, 1943 

Norman Rockwell - "Make a Wish" - from November 19, 1921
The above illustration was an earlier work of Rockwell.  It appeared on the cover of  The Country Gentleman, which was a sister publication to Post magazine in 1921.  "Make a Wish" tells a story about the Thanksgiving tradition of making a wish with a dried u-shaped turkey bone.  Whoever got the biggest piece of the wishbone after pulling it apart got their wish.  The painting expresses the simplicity of a humorous notion of a hopeful wish to come true.

 Norman Rockwell - "Girl Praying" - from November 27, 1943

This third illustration has been called "Girl Praying or A Girl in Prayer or Refugee in Prayer".  The scene is a young refugee during World War II praying over a soldier's field rations.  An American soldier's field jacket is placed over her shoulders, providing warmth.  Even though the meal is simple and the jacket worn,  she is in a prayerful expression of gratitude.  And thankfulness for the generosity of a soldier who gave what he could in both nourishment and comfort when he saw the need.  This painting can be as relevant in today's world as it was when originally published in 1943.

These are just three of many Rockwell timeless illustrations about Thanksgiving, among them:  Saying Grace 1951, Thanksgiving 1919,  Catch the Turkey 1917, A Pilgrim Progress 1921, Ye Glutton 1923 and others.

A Norman Rockwell quote:  "When I go to farms or little towns, I am always surprised at the discontent I find.  And New York, too often, has looked across the sea at Europe.  And all of us who turn our eyes away from what we have are missing life."

There is an old saying, 'the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.'  Often our eyes are turned towards the other side of the fence thinking that is where our blessings are to be found.  Instead, during this Thanksgiving season and throughout the year, look for the reasons to be grateful where our life is at and not miss out on the blessings set before us.  

"When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup." - Sam Lefkowitz      

Meet me at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, December 8.....    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Unbroken Forgiveness

In tackling such a subject as forgiveness, it is difficult to condense this powerful experience in just a few words.    We begin with our Creator who is perfect in all ways and that He has no limits in His attributes, including forgiveness that radiates out of mercy.  Since our heavenly Father is Agape Love, He takes no offense, does not harbor grudges, does not keep a record of wrongs done as in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  You could say that He is  'unbroken forgiveness' - an eternal force that is in the very spiritual air that we breathe, always constant and available to all.   As we receive personal forgiveness, the same principle to forgive others is the dual dynamic in experiencing freedom. 

Jesus was asked by the disciples how many times they needed to forgive someone.  Jesus said, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven"  (Matthew 18:22).

To dissect the word forgive and split it into the prefix "for", it has a meaning of complete.   And the word "give" contains the meanings of surrender, yield, to change.  In this context, when a person forgives, they relinquish their personal right to hold on to that offense or injury, no matter how justified.   In effect, it is letting go of deeply held negative feelings.  This brings personal healing and liberation to the soul and a pardon to the offending person or circumstance.

Louis Zamperini is one example of what the power of forgiveness did in changing his life around.  He was a heroic Olympian and World War II survivor as a Japanese POW.  You can read about Louis in the book entitled, "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand and has been made into a movie by the same name.  He lived through an Air Force bomber crash in the Pacific Ocean and drifted for days on a life raft.  He survived only to suffer brutally at the hand of his Japanese captors.  Louis was haunted by the memories of his incarceration until he came face to face with the force of forgiveness.    He lived out the remainder of his years in joy and purpose and passed away this year at the ripe age of 97.

Here is one of his quotes:  "The one who forgives never brings up the past to that person's face.  When you forgive, it's like it never happened.  True forgiveness is complete and total."

Tomorrow, on November 11, we celebrate Veterans Day.  I wrote a post last year in honor of all our serving military, past and present.  Included in that post is an article on "What is a Vet?", written by Father Denis Edward O'Brien, MM/USMC.   I hope you take some time to read it at this link:

See you again at The Turn-Up Patch, two weeks from now on Monday, November 24....  

Monday, October 27, 2014

An Autumn Season Prayer

Many of us are familiar with the scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven ..."    Today's post is centered on a beautiful autumn season prayer - the author is unknown.    

Father of Lights,  God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising.  
Give us courage to enter into the change of transformation.

Father of Lights,  God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been.  We, too, 
have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk.  Help us to let go when we need to do so.

Father of Lights,  God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns.  
As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

Father of Lights,  God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder 
in our lives.  We always need to recognize your power-filled presence.  May we gain strength from this.

Father of Lights,  God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender.  We must wait for harvest in faith and hope.  Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

 Father of Lights,  God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be 
left behind and what needs to be carried into the future.  We yearn for insight and vision.

Father of Lights,  God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may 
your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

 Father of Lights,  God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with 
the freedom to choose life.  For all of this, we are grateful.

 May this prayer be a blessing for today and in the tomorrow of your lives.
(Click on the photos for enlargement)

Until we meet again at the Turn-Up Patch on Monday, November 10 ....

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Bracelet And God's Colors

I discovered this simple little bracelet at one of the local stores in our area.  I was attracted to each color that diffused its own light, making a collective sparkling bracelet.  As I looked at the bracelet, the band of colors began to open a door in spiritual discovery.  The colors typify God's sparkles of Light and is a reminder of destiny that lies in His Hand of Abundant Life.  Colors of our Divine Creator have life - a force of beautiful energy that makes a difference in the human soul. When I reflect on what this bracelet represents to me, I am reminded of the ONE  available to live within us with His complete wholeness It takes me to Him in adoration of  His Divine Presence through the living facets of color.  No wonder He is called the "Father of Lights".
Symbolically, there are bible meanings to individual colors.  Here are just a few that are mentioned....
                                         Red - Blood of Jesus, Redemptive Power, Protection, Love
                                         Blue - Living Waters, Holy Spirit, Revelation, Healing, Divinity, Grace
                                         Green - Abundant Life, Spiritual Growth, Eternal Life, Mercy
                                         Purple - Royalty, Dominion, Inheritance
                                         Fuchsia - Joy, Passion, Compassion
                                         Gold - Glory of God Deity, Righteousness, Faith
                                         Yellow - Light, Joy, Celebration
                                         White - Creator, Purity, Holiness, Triumph, Peace, Salvation
                                         Burgundy - New Wine, Cup of the New Covenant, Rejoicing
                                         Orange - Praise, Power, Fire
                                         Plum - Richness, Abundance, 
                                         Turquoise - River of God, Sanctification 
                                         Silver - Redemption, Word of God, Strength, Divinity     

A great woman wrote this.... "I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower - the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence."  That woman was Helen Keller.  She was not privileged to experience colors through physical sight, but she had the profound experience to touch God in His array of living colors within her heart.

I wrote a post in reference to Helen Keller - she left her mark in this world; one of inspiration, honor and character in the face of her sightless and soundless world.  You can read more about her in my writing entitled "Mountains, a Grain of Sand & Helen Keller" at this link:

Until we meet again on Monday, October 27 at The Turn-Up Patch, may God's colors enrich your inner life to transform into your outer world. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ireland - Murrisk & Westport Discoveries

Upon my return from Ireland, I gathered my photos and travel experiences, creating an album while all my memories were fresh.  I share with you several discoveries that I made in beautiful County Mayo, home to the towns of Murrisk and Westport.

The village of Murrisk lies between the shores of Clew Bay and the iconic pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick.  Positioned between structures of recent and ancient past history, you also discover a few Irish horses grazing on pasture ground, including a frisky colt  showing off for the on-looking tourists.  

 A sobering sight in Murrisk is a reflective monument known as the National Famine Memorial.   The haunting bronze sculpture by artist John Behan, depicts a coffin ship with rigging of human skeletons and bones. During the years 1845-1850 between 500,000 and 1 million people died from hunger and epidemics due to the potatoe famine and politics of the day.   Many more escaped their country and emigrated mainly to the United States and Canada.  They crossed the Atlantic in overloaded ships.  The conditions were so hard that many people died during the trip, thus the name "coffin ships".  It is estimated that tens of thousands of Irish rest on the bottom of the world's oceans, their lives extinguished because of filthy and congested conditions on the ships with inadequate clean water and food, causing fever and disease.

The monument was commissioned "To honor the memory of all who died, suffered and emigrated due to the Great Famine of 1845-1850 and the victims of all famines".

In traveling from Murrisk to Westport, our tour bus passed this country scene where a herder was working his dogs in gathering a band of sheep.  It was fascinating to watch these dogs who efficiently followed the signals of the herder and grouped them according to direction given them.  It is said that one good sheep dog is better than 10 men trying to do the same job.  A dog with the right directive, can move in sync with the herder and using instinct and skill can gather a scattered flock into a collective band of sheep.

One of my favorite villages was the charming town of Westport with its flowers, colors, lights and fun atmosphere.  One of the town's outstanding features is the elegant tree-lined boulevard, known as the Mall.  Westport was overall winner of 2001, 2006 and 2008 "National Tidy Towns Award'.   In 2012, award-winning Westport was crowned "The Best Place to Live in Ireland, Ireland's Tidiest Large Town, Ireland's Best Kept Large Town and the Retail Excellence Best Town in Ireland".

Matt Molloy's in Westport was a great pub experience that is uniquely Ireland.  The music was toe-tapping and wonderfully executed by young musicians playing to the crowd. Nimble hands and fingers played stringed instruments in a blur of synchronized energy.  Pub life and music starts at 9:00 p.m. and lasts through 2:00 a.m in Ireland as it is all over Europe.  It was worth the late hour to enjoy this part of Irish culture.

Join me at The Turn-Up Patch for another adventure in two more weeks - Monday, October 13.  Until then, here is an Irish blessing for you....
May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always carry a shilling or two.
May the sun always play on your windowpane.
May a rainbow chase after each spot of rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness and cheer you.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Jewel

A jewel is defined as a precious or semiprecious stone, a gem.  It is also defined as a person or thing resembling a jewel in preciousness, brilliance, of being indispensable. I love the faceted sparkle of a jewel when it is caught in the light, diffusing transparent beauty of color.   Aspects of God's creation, caught in His Light diffuses wonder in color and form around us to enjoy.  Among a multitude of the Creator's jewels is a glorious sunset, a rainbow cutting its color across the sky and hilly mountains jutting out from a valley floor. Nature calls out the majesty of God from a petaled rose, exquisite in fastened shape, to the commanding presence in the noble horse.

So many wonders on this Earth
Great works of beauty, joy, and mirth
Living treasures of endless worth
From etched trees to us before birth

Creation forms one big picture
Painted with a colored mixture
Made by God of unknown stature
Sole designer of all nature - See more at:

  It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without
the agency of a Supreme Being - George Washington
So many wonders on this Earth
Great works of beauty, joy, and mirth
Living treasures of endless worth
From etched trees to us before birth

Creation forms one big picture
Painted with a colored mixture
Made by God of unknown stature
Sole designer of all nature - See more at:

So many wonders on this Earth
Great works of beauty, joy, and mirth
Living treasures of endless worth
From etched trees to us before birth

Creation forms one big picture
Painted with a colored mixture
Made by God of unknown stature
Sole designer of all nature - See more at:
So many wonders on this Earth
Great works of beauty, joy, and mirth
Living treasures of endless worth
From etched trees to us before birth

Creation forms one big picture
Painted with a colored mixture
Made by God of unknown stature
Sole designer of all nature - See more at:
As we admire the jeweled handiwork of our timeless God in His creation, our Creator also looks upon His own as 'His jewels'.  Malachi 3:16-17 states 'I make them My jewels'  and in Zechariah 9:16... 'they shall be like the jewels of a crown'.  This jewel in the crown is described as the most valuable, esteemed or successful person or thing of a number.  It is a masterpiece classic - a treasure, a wonder, a prize, a darling, a pearl, a gem, a paragon, a pride and joy.  As we are described as living stones in this earthly realm, we are also described as jewels set in His Eternal Crown.

The image above can never depict the infinite glory of such a radiant crown.  However, it helps as a visual regarding eternal destiny and gives encouragement to our days.  As the saying goes, we are a work in progress in our life's journey, but God has the final vision of what we are becoming - His jewels.

Let's meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, September 29th....

So many wonders on this Earth
Great works of beauty, joy, and mirth
Living treasures of endless worth
From etched trees to us before birth

Creation forms one big picture
Painted with a colored mixture
Made by God of unknown stature
Sole designer of all nature - See more at:

Update  on Josiah, Daniel and Derek....  Yay!  The eagles have landed - in Yorktown, Virginia with Old Glory intact.  The trio arrived at their completed destination on Day 67, which was September 9th.  Thanks to Josiah who faithfully entertained us with his wit, humor and photos in daily writings of their adventure on their blog   They truly lived and shall continue to live their motto... 'Life is Good!  Go Big or Go Home'.

Thanks guys for spreading awareness from coast to coast regarding your cause for the family unit as the foundation of our society.   Check out the link at:



Monday, September 1, 2014

As Summer Wanes...

Change is in the air!  You can sense the last days of summer melting into the season of fall.  The leaves on the trees have lost the vibrant newness of spring and now look tired from many hot summer days.  Black birds have appeared in abundance, shouting (in bird style) their last hurrah to summer.  Geese, becoming restless in the fields, prepare for their eventual journey to warmer climates as the weather grows colder.  Daylight becomes less.  Our children return to school and by-by to summer vacations.  We move into the glorious season of fall, where the landscape turns from dull green into gold, orange and red.  But for now, we enjoy the few days left of summer....
Nearing the end of haying season - 'hurray"
I was in Bend recently and saw a flock of geese that had decided to make a stop at a parking lot at one of the local stores.  I grabbed my camera and made my approach at this unlikely place for geese to settle, even temporarily.  Obviously, the birds were used to humans as they did not get agitated or fly away as I walked up to them.  They seemed unconcerned and ready for their photo shoot.
Getting comfortable on cement!
Geese are my favorite birds.  I devoted a post to them entitled "Life Lessons from Geese".  Check it out at:
We learn much from these feathered friends.  The below picture represents such freedom, grace and power in winged strength that these birds possess.  Also traffic congestion as they arrange themselves in flight.

From geese with speed in the sky to horses with speed on the ground.  Both, a beauty to watch in motion.  From the top of a hill, I was able to view the pastured horses below putting on their own exhibition of freedom, grace and strength.  It was in the early evening hour, when the sunset glow casts its own color across the landscape....

Diversity reigns in the universe and in the world.  We cannot begin to count the stars, let alone number the galaxies in existence.  On our earth, diversity ranges in seasons, in nature, in humanity and in God's creatures - big and small.  What a tapestry in creation!  I leave you with this quote to ponder on diversity which bursts forth out of combinations of five....

"There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.
There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.
There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted." - Sun Tzu

We'll meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, September 15.  See you in a few weeks.... 


Update  on Derek, Daniel and Josiah - the three cyclists that passed through our area on Day 11 of  their cross country bike ride.  Two weeks ago they were in Kansas and since then, have traveled through Missouri and are nearing the end of Kentucky.  The trio are presently on Day 58 and will soon be in Virginia - only 560 miles to go until they reach their destination in Yorktown.  Derek continues to fly "Old Glory" as illustrated by their amazing photo that they have posted on their blog...
Many thanks to Josiah for his daily posts and photography and for permission to use the below photo that is on their blog.  It is great fun 'traveling' with you and also makes us aware of the hazards that bicyclists face on the road - some injuries sustained but nothing that God can't heal.  Not to be deterred, Josiah and Daniel bike on with Derek and "Old Glory".   What an adventure!

Continue cheering them on and for their cause....