Islands in the Sky

You may be surprised to hear that every day is not as photo-friendly as another. In fact, some days (as much as I like clouds and fog) can be almost a complete washout if the rains don't let up. This was one of those days as we traveled our remaining miles down the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville to Cherokee, NC. 

I was wet. My camera was wet. It was chilly outside. I was chilly inside to the very bone. The fall foliage photos were not going to happen because I could barely see the road most of the time... much less trees. But then I pulled into one parking area at an overlook and found the clouds beginning to disperse and separate. Lo and behold, islands of land began to emerge in the sky. A little color was even distinguishable. Maybe the day wouldn't be a complete wash after all.

Are you looking for those islands in the sky when clouds encompass you? Eventually the clouds will dissipate and sooner or later your circumstances will change as well. In the meantime look for tha…

Final Resting Place

We look at a scene like this and consider the possibility of an eternal resting place in the mountains, but while this is a beautiful landscape it certainly is of no value to someone who has passed from this life into the next. A dead body cannot appreciate this field, the mountains and pretty tree. Only those of us who are alive can see it, smell it and experience it.

As lovely as this is, I am certain that there is a place reserved for me that is far more spectacular that I can even begin to imagine. The Bible talks of heaven and gives us a glimpse of its extravagant beauty, but far beyond that is the wondrous understanding that I will have the opportunity to walk, talk and worship Jesus face-to-face for eternity.

How can I be sure of that? Jesus said:

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, …

Shine Despite the Gray Clouds

I am always hopeful when going to Clingmans Dome that there will be a spectacular sunset. The truth is that weather conditions can change in a matter of moments and what you thought might be a BANG (good) ends up being a BUST (bad). On this particular evening it might have been a little of both. The low, heavy, gray clouds still could not keep the sun from shining colorfully through the sliver of clear sky it was given.

As we approach our "sunset years" I think there is a parallel. We can either go out with a bust or a bang. I believe we have a choice in that matter though. No, I'm not talking about the way our life will end but in the manner or attitude with which we carry ourselves to the throne room of God. We can choose to be bitter and negative about our circumstances or we can be a person of gratitude, grace, care and positivity.

Circumstances out of your control may bring you to death's doorway, but circumstances do not control the impact you'll have on oth…

Hang in There Baby!

This large tree began to grow on a hillside where wind and water would erode away the soil. Yet, this tree stands strong and firm because it has spread its roots across and deep into the remaining soil. It has a firm foundation that allows it to remain steady in the storms and floods.

Faith is the firm foundation of a believer in Christ Jesus in which one must sink deep roots. Then, when the storms of life come, you might get shaken but you will surely stand immovable on your eternal hope and salvation.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith. (Colossians 2:6-7)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Waking Up In A Fog

It was early morning in Cades Cove and this is a scene I'm sure the Oliver family woke up to on many days. I love a good foggy morning for photography but waking up in a fog metaphorically is not ideal. We all lose our way at times and just have a hard time getting our act together as we hurry out the door for another busy day. So start your day seeking the Lord instead and in Him you'll find hope, strength and direction for your day.

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:25)

But seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

So, have a good day and God bless!

Running Over

This pond still overflows the dam that was once used to power a gristmill beside the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Rakes family obviously benefited financially from those who came to have their grain ground into flour, but they also gave back to their customers. You see, Mr. Rakes allowed his customers the sole privilege of fishing for trout in the mill pond while they waited on their grist products.

Jesus promised blessings upon those who have a generous spirit. And one thing's for certain... you cannot out-give God.

"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38)

Don't be a Scrooge! Nothing you have really belongs to you anyway. You are just managing what God has given you. So overflow with generosity and see if God won't return the blessing.

Rakes Mill Dam 
Blue Ridge Parkway

Encompassing Clouds

It's tough to see clearly when life becomes clouded by so many distractions. Set your mind on godly things and your priorities will become more focused.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)