Monday, February 17, 2014

Wintry Home On The Range

Oregon was treated to a heavy snowfall, which lasted for several days during February 7 and 8th.  For those of you who do not live in Oregon, this was welcomed since we have had very little moisture in the form of snow or rain throughout the winter months.  I share with you several photos of "snowstorm feeding"on the ranch. Despite the weather, daily feeding must be done to sustain livestock during the winter season in Eastern Oregon.

Today's post will be more on photographs and less on words.... but then, it is said that a picture can be worth a thousand words....
  "Snowstorm feeding"
Countryside scene beyond the back of a snowy horse
Chow time!  Come and get it...
Delicious!... (if you're a horse)
We inherited a special cat that came our way that decided he liked our ranch home and hasn't left since.  He is more like a "dog-cat"!  Charlie, (which we call him), doesn't think like a normal cat... he plays with the dogs and is very involved when ranch stuff is happening.  You can find him walking on irrigation pipes and wheels, on the top rafters of the arena and doing a balancing act on just about anything he can find just to be part of the action.  Charlie shows up at the door for his dinner and a warm bowl of milk and then he's off again for more adventures. Since the dogs have accepted him as one of their own, you can occasionally find him curled up with one of them for a warm nap.


As I write this particular post, we are now experiencing rain and warmer temperatures.  The snow has fast disappeared into a very wet and soggy land in the John Day Valley.   Such is the experience of winter's fickle weather at home on the range. 

One last photo that I'd like to share with you, my friends.  Several days ago, while driving through mountain scenery on Hwy 26 east of Austin Junction, fog had settled in the higher altitude causing this effect on the forest trees.  What is amazing is my camera - a Nikon Coolpix 510, which captured this great image out of the window of a moving truck as we traveled down the highway....

"See you" on March 3 for my next post on The Turn-Up Patch....  how quickly time is flying by!  Until then, enjoy your remaining winter days with or without snow, for the promise of spring is fast approaching.

Here is an interesting thought by Charles Kingsley that could apply to all the seasons we go through in life:  Make it a rule, and pray to God to help you keep it, never, if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say:  "I have made one human being at least a little wiser, or a little happier, or at least a little better this day."  I could also add a footnote to the above thought and include our animal friends as well.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jelly Beans

I love jelly beans and enjoy each and every flavor as I pop them in my mouth and savor their individual taste. You can find just about every flavor there is to offer, even popcorn.  My favorite is strawberry among the many sweet varieties to salivate over.  I like using jelly beans in story illustration and would like to share with you a perspective if we looked at one another as a jelly bean. We are all the same and yet so different in "flavor"...  each of us carry our own personal history and beliefs which has molded and shaped us.  You and I; we are different flavors or personalities and it is God's intention for us to blend and yet, remain individual in our own taste.

We could extend this illustration further into His Church... all the varied denominations under the umbrella of Christianity.   I think of them as flavors; we enjoy a certain flavor that a church denomination offers or in the instance of the "sheep of My Pasture".  These are ones who for personal reasons do not belong to a particular denomination, but follow the Shepherd, where there is no church building or structure. Nevertheless, they are part of the whole, which we refer to as His believers.  I have tasted different flavors in my spiritual journey and they all whisper of God, the unifier being Christ.  We are distinct in color and taste and should come together to be enjoyed in corporate gathering with one another.  That is my definition of ecumenical, which in simple terms, is unity among the Churches and in appreciation of one another as spiritual brothers and sisters.

These photos are an unlikely combination.  I poured some jelly beans into a champagne glass to explain visually an aspect of this unity.  The champagne glass itself would usually contain champagne, which is an effervescent wine - a noted symbol in celebration of quality, authenticity and excellence.  I will take these same words and apply them to all of God's jelly beans:
Quality - the attributes of God lie within you as a child of Light.  You are worthy in all the flavors that HE IS and not to be deemed worthless in your own eyes.
Authenticity - be yourself in your own flavor rather than try to be the flavor of someone else.  Be true to who you are as His special child of God.
Excellence - You are of great worth paid by a great price... the Cross of Christ.  Don't devalue yourself  for you are uniquely your own flavor to God.

There is even a jelly bean prayer.  Here is how it goes:  The NEW Jelly Bean Prayer by Lorelei Francis.....

RED  is for the blood He gave,
GREEN  is for the grass He made,
YELLOW  is for the sun so bright,
ORANGE  is for the edge of night.
BLACK, WHITE, BROWN, YELLOW and RED  is for the children He made
All of these colors receive the grace He gave,
PURPLE  is for the hour of sorrow
PINK  is for the new tomorrow.

Until later, my fellow jelly beans!  We'll meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on February 17.