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Nature's Proclamation of Passion

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Passion is often associated with any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love or hate, but it began with a much different meaning in the 12th and 13th centuries. It implied suffering, enduring, hurt, misery, woe. It was used in reference to the sufferings of Christ on the cross.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:
The 10 petals and sepals represent the 10 apostles who forsook their Master and fled, omitting Judas the traitor, and John who remained with Mary at the cross.The flower’s radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the cup used at the last supperThe 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).The blue and …

Foggy Days

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Upon arriving at the Biltmore House on our September 2018 visit we were greeted with a heavy fog. In fact, as our bus made its way up the driveway we could not even see the magnificent mansion until we were right in front of it.

I photographed this tree while waiting on the shuttle bus in the parking lot. Fog creates an ethereal feel to a picture. It almost become unreal or other-worldly. You see in part, but not the whole.

Sometimes we might admit to being in a fog because we just don't have a clue where we are, what we're doing, or where we're going. If we're patient though, the fog will lift and everything becomes clear around us.

The Bible relates our earthly existence to a foggy mirror in which we see in part but cannot fully comprehend God's plan and hand in our lives until it is fully revealed in heaven. So until that day comes, we trust Jesus to guide us because He alone sees the road mapped out before us.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face…

Declaration of Glory

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Psalm 19:1-4
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.


And, like the heavens above, I choose to proclaim openly the greatness of our God and His extraordinary goodness toward man. You might not be able to literally hear the mountain's call or heaven's whisper, yet I am pierced by the reality of God's presence whenever I am surrounded by the beauty of His creation -- it speaks volumes to me of His glorious nature.

It Just Makes Sense

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This is a photograph of Skyline Arch in Arches National Park (Moab, UT). It's an arch. It can be seen along the skyline from many points in the park. Hey, the name makes sense, right?

Do you know what else makes sense? 
How much God loves you and me. 
We read in Romans 8:38-39...

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Unlike this arch, you don't have to look toward the skyline to find God, because He is as close as your very heartbeat. Nothing in all creation can separate you from our loving God except YOU -- you choosing not to receive His free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. 
So, my question to you is if you have not already done so, then why not receive Jesus now? It just makes sense!

Balance

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Without the proper foundation underneath and the correct balance on top, this giant boulder would surely come toppling over. Likewise, if we are not resting on a solid foundation and experiencing balance in our lives then the result can be a devastating fall. What do I mean?

Well, we need balance between the different aspects of our lives: a) Psychological, b) Social, c) Spiritual, d) Physical and e) Vocational.

When we give way too much attention to one dimension over the others then we have a tendency to live lopsided and dysfunctional lives. Consider a person who spends ALL their time in social media apps and never gets outside to work or exercise. Consider one who constantly works at building up muscles in the gym but never feeds his or her mind with mentally stimulating ideas. Consider the person who pours over God's Word daily but seldom ever puts any of what they learn to practice in the world.

Balance keeps us upright. Balance keeps us from crushing others when we fall. And w…

Gracefully Living and Dying

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Some may look at this scene and just see an old, dead tree. But I see beauty in the twisted, gnarled, hard wood of this desert plant. In its prime it had a whole different "personality" which may have provided a resting place or a nesting place for animals. In its decay it will provide nutrients back into the parched ground.

One of the things I realize as I age is that God has a unique purpose for me even if I stand alone in the wilderness -- unnoticed by the crowd. Perhaps, through His providential plan, I will make a positive difference in someone's journey while I am yet in my prime, but I pray that the influence will go on even after the life inside of me has departed.

So while I can, I want others to share in the beauty I see as I photograph the masterpieces of God's creation. And even if there is no fame, there is still One who knows my name... and that's more than enough for me.

[Jesus said] "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be…

Metamorphosis

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METAMORPHOSIS: A profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.

Transformation is God's will for His children -- conformity is not. As followers of Christ we are to become more like Him and less like the rest of the world. So, stretch those wings and quit crawling on your bellies. You were created for more!

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (Greek: Metamorphoo) by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.