It’s still autumn. How dare winter pay a visit so early. It’s a bit like the bank assessing your property a few weeks early before they auction off your farm. It’s 25 degrees Fahrenheit today for a high and the garden hose hooked to the house is now ice (and a hundred other things now under snow). I’m not ready. Foul, I cry. “Ha”, says winter “I’m gonna win”, and it will. Maybe fall will make a comeback but winter will win, then spring, then summer, then autumn will get a turn again, then winter will wreck another garden hose.
I can almost hear Jesus saying “ready or not, here I come” Then it will be the season of the Lord’s final victory. It makes me wonder how many of life’s garden hoses (trivial and the urgent overshadowing the important) are still keeping me too busy. How many apples (neighbors) are neglected and lonely? How warm is my heart under this rough exterior to melt the cold storms of life?
I know, I know. I’m all over the place on symbolism and illustration but so was (is) the snow!! Sadly, I have a lot of putting away of our things to prepare for the oncoming snows and really cold weather. I know of two neighbors that are not able to put up firewood for the winter. I should be in shape here so I can be fruitful there. That is the real lesson I should be learning here. The need is real and very large out there and God’s issue with my un-readiness is way beyond the scope of a garden hose
After some hints, pushing, prodding and blatantly outright suggestions (yes, I exaggerate) I have taken Ted Martins advice from several comments on my comments section and put some of my photos on a free share website. Yes, they are free and you can use them for your blogs or thankyou cards or whatever, however and whenever you use pictures. Thanks Ted for the push. View Teds site here https://rhetoricandhomiletics.org/
I don’t know what process you use for giving away free stuff but I’m willing to think you like to receive free stuff. I just hope my pictures are useful to someone besides me.
I noticed that many bloggers that I read use Unsplash for downloading free pictures and chose that site to set up an account and share. As I type this my 16 pictures have 9,528 views and 137 downloads in October. You can look at my very limited selection of free photos and then go on to search from the thousands of great photos at https://unsplash.com/@garyfultz
I’ll download more as Unsplash begins to trust me with downloads according to their specs. I sometimes ask and am asked “why give?”
I may not have much from a worldly point of view, but I am very wealthy and gaining daily. When I die I stand to inherit a whole lot of free stuff given freely by my Father, but, that means nothing if it does not show up, in some way, shape or form as a voice to the little corner of the present world I touch.
I see an inaudible voice in sharing photo’s. I watch inaudible parent child language. I see inaudible marriage interchange. I even see inaudible messages in blogs between the lines and so do you. Let’s face it, our inaudible messages through all the mediums at our disposal speak so loud no one can hear what we are saying.
All this to pray “May my photos speak inaudibly Gods voice to the world.”
A note of encouragement: Only God can manage our loud inaudible voice to the world around us, if we let Him. However, Speaking of Gods inaudibles like nature and his workings in us, God’s audible Word changes us. Where God uses the inaudibles of people, life and nature to get our attention, He uses his audible, eternal and perfect WORD to change inaudible us.
” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
I was reading by early morning light. Two deer were in the yard on the tree line browsing. I was reading Hebrews 4:13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight”. Looking up I saw the deer had slipped into the woods out of sight. I started laughing at myself. There are times when I think I’m really somebody. I know you can’t relate…But, I can’t even keep track of a deer!
If what can be seen by us is amazing, just think what God sees and what he wants to show us. I have selected a few autumn shots taken the last couple days. Click for a slide show
I love the symbolism of nature except for the part where we are playing is leaves. we will fade and drop someday. We don’t get the super powers and we only live for a season of time. Thankfully, our creator knows everything about us, out thoughts and motives…everything, and still wants a relationship with us. In Him is life, let Him in.
Jesus said “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” Revelation 3:20 (In Other Words, Let Him in).
I got run over by a 800 lb steer this Monday (it’s true). Not as glamorous a story as Grandma and the reindeer but this steer was 5 times as big as any reindeer. I’m quite sure no song will come of it either. I’m OK, thanks for asking. The hooves missed me after a good head butt to knock me down.
I had agreed to drive two hours to bring a steer to market for a brother. Just drive the rig, back up the trailer and let the steer out into the chute. Two experienced professionals took it from there. I was an innocent bystander at the end of the closed gate until the big steer with quite an attitude (yes, I distinctly remember smoke coming out his nostrils) charged at one of the attendants, hit the side of the chute and made an opening at the end of the gate (of course). The steer saw the opening, lowered his head and charged through the opening, tossing me forward into a half gainer, akin to a belly flop off the diving board onto the driveway. Then he ran over me.. Thankfully no hooves mashed me. I’m f.f.f.fine.
My body is sore in places where I didn’t even know I had them places. Some odd memories are coming to me that may have been a nano-second long but the telling may take a few minutes longer. One memory was very strange as I was flying through the air and yet the beast was upon me-pushing me down to the ground with it’s chest. The thought racing inside my skull in circles over and over was “I’m never traveling to Pamplona to run with the bulls”.
I’m ashamed. I should have been praying or something. I could have been asking God to watch over my wife and kids after my trampling, but nooo…I’m judging a certain class of risk-takers to be blooming idiots while it’s me landing on my head. Yes, it’s me, landing on my ego and that was trampled.
Some changes have taken place. mostly in my heart and mind. living, dying, accidents or just an odd happening can happen instantly. The last couple of days I’ve been shying away from parts of my morning prayer, mostly where I pray “well Lord, what do you have for me today?” I am very open to praying differently if you have other ideas.
I’ve also tackled a couple of difficult conversations that were overdue. Why wait? What’s the worst that could happen? Okay, I’m not ready to answer that till I gear up (you know…helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit etc)
(Added this morning): thanks Homer for your prayer idea in the comments section.
Don Merritt’s post on Praise (click here..great stuff Don) hit my insight bone this morning. I have often thought: “what causes the first frog to croak, or the first cricket to sound off, the first wolf to begin it’s blood curdling moan and all the others join in?
A friend of mine tells about walking out on the dock one frosty morning. The lake was evidently super cooled. The moment he stepped onto the dock the vibrations triggered the whole lake to instantly freeze over in a thin layer of ice. The sound of snap, crackle and pop of a lake freezing over in a couple of seconds will be indented in his memory forever. What causes the first molecule of water in the lake to freeze come winter to ice over the lake in a few moments?
What causes a whole congregation to lift up a raucous praise to the Lord or a moan before the throne in one accord? What causes my eyes to lift to the Lord in a burst of heartfelt praise from depths of my soul? Maybe, when the sun peeks out in my Life after a long storm? When a prayer is answered to my relief? When something works out? When…?
This morning my heart was “super cooled” in a good way. I was ready in my spirit to Praise my Lord and Savior and Don let out the first croak. May all God’s people be ready in their own hearts to join in. May the world hear our sound of unified praise. Oh, it’s not the song leader or the praise band in church (many times they get in the way). It’s God’s people whose hearts are “super cooled” and ready to break loose in praise, in loving God through a kind spontaneous act or smile or something creative. It’s something God has prepared in you because you have been walking with HIM. Daily.
That’s it isn’t it? Our walk with God in obedience. Our Hope in Christ. Our Love for one another. Our eye’s fixed on Jesus as we run this race through life. Our morning coffee time in the Word and prayer. A prepared heart set for whatever life brings each day. Please someone, step on the dock of our little lake. God has “super cooled” my heart (Thanks Don)
May we all be in the process of becoming “Super Cool” before the throne.
Today, I will pack up the rest of the house to move 5 hours away to a foreign familiar land. The place where I grew up and lived over half of my life. The last couple months of this transition I have taken to heart Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
I turned off the news, I quit reading several blogs and am terribly behind on many, I pray more and go out of my way to really connect with relational starving people. I had asked God for some type of sign that I really should move back home and begrudgingly put the house up for sale. 48 hours later it was sold. It’s hard to do 2 out of 3 on that one but I wanted another sign..”God would you go ahead of us and help us to follow?” was our household prayer.
On one of my moving expeditions with a huge trailor, a rainbow double was beside the truck for an hour. I stopped at a side road and took this picture. Iroically, when we had moved with the company I worked for almost 7 years ago, a rainbow was arched over the building I would call my work place. I guess we have had several rainbows (literally) in our decision making life (God to angels” if you want Gary to make up his mind. Put out a rainbow).
“Ok Lord, you got this..um, why isn’t the road paved??” (God to angels “you should not have had that old road graded…it’s too nice).
I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to take spring pictures, knowing the best time is when I can. When I will. When I do. Like all important things.
You never have that problem I’m sure. It’s just me??
This morning I walked out the front door with the camera and started taking pictures of whatever seems to tickle my fancy and seems poised for the occasion.
I was reminded how absolutely amazing life is. The beauty of living things has such a stark contrast to what is dead.
Take a preview by clicking on any picture, all taken within 100 feet of our house. Most were in the lawn which my wife mows. Kind of. She mows between all the flower patches as she can’t seem to just mow the whole lawn…Yes, your imagination of lawn mower trails through the tall grass are somewhat correct.
From the Chickadee gathering nest material, the blades of grass moving with a breeze, to the flowers I didn’t identify, the yard was alive. Amazing how I just take this all for granted and it’s right outside the house.
Did you notice all the dead stuff? I didn’t either.
This is an illustration of eternity you know. When someone or something dies they are gone and the signs they ever lived begin to fade away.
I found a very symbolic picture of death, old growth and new growth. It’s always challenging to me when I see the new growth on the ends of trees especially. It makes me ask “am I growing?” Mentally, physically, socially and spiritually, “am I growing?”
Consider what Jesus said about life and death:And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12
This is why it’s important to know Jesus. Don’t wait for the best time to believe and be a follower of Jesus. To be alive and not dead is everything. I took all these pictures today and I am amazed. Again.
By the way, my wife will let me mow the grass in a month or so and it will look like a well manicured lawn again…The flowers will grow back (that’s what I tell her).
I saw it coming out of the wind and rain. A sign. An opening in the clouds appeared.
A ray. Slim, tentative, gathering other rays. to speak through the opening. Speak to me?
Just a wordfor the dark, rainy, windy, angry day. Just a word for the good, bad, sometimes great, beautiful, gloomy, nearing the end game of life.
Just a word gathering past the finale coming from the sun. Just a word coming from the Son. God cares. He really does you know. When you notice, you can feel it inside. It’s bone deep and heart felt.
Big storm, small Rays, big sun (Son)
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed 2Corinthians 4:7-9
Sometimes we need the storm to notice the Son. May your clouds part, if only for a small a ray of hope. Remember where those rays come from!
Spring came, and went, came again, April fooled the birds with rain, snow, melting, and now it’s winter again. All four seasons in a few days. Click on the slide show to see The Faces of spring in our own back yard.
The Faces of Life
Change, the constant of life. Sudden change, the story of our lives. The birds seem to roll with change. Flocks of robins were on the green grass this morning but now the snow is beak high if they stand on each others backs. Now they are eating last years sumac berries out of the trees. They are singing in the blowing snow storm.
It’s fitting in our times that spring was interrupted by a massive storm. So much of our lives have been interrupted by the Covid storm. We can sing in our house.
One thing not interrupted or changed was Easter (I mean what Easter really is). Jesus Christ didn’t stay dead. He is alive. His resurrection power lives in those who trust and follow Him every day. I find myself a little stunned at changes but not afraid.
Today this little woodpecker hit one of our windows while I was taking pictures out the window. He would have died in this prickly bush. Totally captured. His worst nightmare, a human, grabbed him, held him and thought of how much more Christ did for me as I set him free to recover (he did after a couple hours)
I hope you know how to rest in Christ and are willing , ready and able to help rescue those caught in the turmoil of our times. Hey we are alive, because He lives. A lot can happen in three days!!! ironically springs melting face will come in about three days again….Don’t be as fickle as spring with Jesus…OK?
Did you notice how many ways the wind blows in the one sunset picture? ya, don’t be like that!