Sun Rise in the Western Sky

Wow, God dressed up the western Sky in the Sunrise this morning!

This Sunday morning worship time with the Lord, before worshiping with others, I was facing west from our kitchen table, the opposite way to watch a sunrise. It took a half an hour for the sun to dress the morning. The western sky was really getting dressed up for this day. Random thought here: Which special saints are you bringing home today Lord?

I was reminded that God can take anything or anyone at hand to serve his purposes, communicate His truths or just get our attention. He has mine.

He loves us so very much and He seeks us, woos us, whispers on the wind and shouts from the skies. It’s all there in His word and in the hearts of his children who have found Him.

It’s possible that in the next 24 hours, millions of people will see some aspect of a beautiful sunrise around the world. Each one of us will have our own unique perspective point of the same event. Each of us has our very own unique relationship with God. I am merely sharing a small slice of mine with you.

Today: Let God speak to your heart his love, His Grace. Share this love, this Grace with someone else.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

 I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

Gary

 

 

I Love You To Debt

I’m an introvert. I may not always act the part but when I see lots of strangers in the big city (for example) I really see a sea of ice. I don’t see “friendly” on faces. It’s a fact, I don’t always like to be around people.

So when I was reading Romans 13 this morning I was nodding my head yes when Paul says to obey authority, pay your taxes and don’t owe anyone anything; I’m good so far. I’m still nodding yes.

Except The continuing debt….. 

(I’m not nodding yes anymore) Romans 13:8 says “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…”    I looked at this twice and said “What? I’m in debt?”

I’m sorry. I’m stuck on this continuing debt thing. If Love is money, say God’s currency, then I’m in debt and cannot get out. In fact there is a daily debt added and I’m in deep. No matter how much I love, show love, pay love money to my neighbor and fellow mankind I have just entered an alternate reality.

A verse popped into my mind “If anyone be in Christ they are a new creation...and have entered into a new reality” (well my remake of 2nd Corinthians 5:17 and I think I was frowning here).

Read on Gary…“for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law”  In other words the currency of love balances the checkbook in Gods eyes.

It’s dangerous to think outside the book but I have questions and you might have some thoughts.

So if we start every day in debt, say $200 in debt and do nothing does my debt compound? Does a smile count for more than a dollar? Do I really have to be proactive today? Do introverts have a reduced debt? Is the national debt bigger than the love debt?

Look where I just went! Am I already trying to game the system? I think so.

  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”. John 13:34

Hey this love God and your neighbor stuff, It’s a really big deal in the market place of the eternal. We have the God Breathed book and the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. Let us be entrepreneurs about loving to debt

Gary

Note: This currency is alive but the wanted poster is out and Satan wants it dead.

Wandering Into Highlight

Notice, be alert and unravel little mysteries. When the sun goes down look for the reds, yellows, purples and other miscellaneous colors wafted on the clouds. Look for the highlights.  When a small child yells out a command on a solemn occasion. What’s with that? When all 7 teenage boys commit their life to follow Jesus because their Sunday school teacher asks them if they would, find out the whole story. Some stories may be told for a life time. Some a short meaningful wisp. No matter what, the sun always sets.

fire Haze sunset
Wild fires hazed the sky, colored and magnified the setting sun view from our front lawn.

16 year old Alexa was getting baptized a couple weeks ago along with 20+ others as a public announcement to follow Jesus. A solemn occasion. A six year old boy yelled out “Alexa, tell me a joke!”  A very funny moment for those who knew little johnny (we will call him) lives in a smart house (can virtual Alexa tell a joke??)

Times are a changing are they not?

 

CP Sunn eml
A hot summer evening watching colors and rays appear, change and disappear.

I had coffee and an amazing conversation with a friend Sunday afternoon. Somewhere between fishing, family and church stories he mentioned that all seven of his teen boys  in Sunday school class had prayed with him to follow Jesus. I pushed him a little to know how that happened. After his normal disclaimer (it was all God and not me) the story of seven boys studying the scriptures about the basics for the past year. Things like redemption, sanctification and their biblical threads on through the ministry and purpose of Jesus death and resurrection. These boys were ready to pray. What a highlight!

 

Sun Tonight 9 10 18eml
Another Sunset from our yard. Every night is different, every sunset unique

Just a thought:  Life’s truths are like puzzle pieces still in the box. Sometimes I am the six year old just reacting and unaware of what’s going on. Other times I am like my friend helping those around me (maybe too selectively) put some puzzle pieces together and introduce them to Jesus.

   My hope is that on my final sunset, there will be some highlights, even in my wanderings, but highlights non the less.

 Gary

 

 

 

Pushy Discipleship

Dad was known, on occasion, to say or do some unconventional things through out his life. I, being one of his 7 children, sometimes find myself flopping at doing similar things, but doing them anyway.

After dad’s memorial service…

Here is a copy of my note to James, a fellow basketball player on friday nights in the old clubhouse for many years (yes I changed the name)…

James, I kind of pulled a fast one on you. I put gobs of thank you cards in the church mail boxs. I saw you did not have a mail box so I took dads mail box ID paper out of his box, turned it over and wrote your name on it and put it into a box where your name should be. So…you are now taking dads place at church and you have a mail box. I told Pastor what I did as well. Anyway, all you have to do to take dads place is sit each morning with a cup of coffee at home with an open bible for a few words from God, and communicate with God about whatever is on your mind. The Holy Spirit will do the rest…No pressure. You meant a lot to dad so consider this dads last basketball move. now you have the ball.����

Maybe this is not taught in discipleship class but just maybe the spiritual war zone for lives has too many sheathed swords on the Lords side. I’m all for being a little pushy sometimes if that’s what it takes.

Gary

PS: check out a compliment article https://garyfultz.com/2019/07/20/filling-dads-shoes/

 

When We See. Really See

 

Let me ramble a bit about some wilderness wanderings with my family last week. The sites and sounds were awesome! So much of our trip is a parallel to a life with God, pictures and all. Let’s talk about what we see. really see.

Most of us have our wilderness wanderings of the soul as well. One is in the seeing beyond ourselves.

otter 3
3 otter swam by in the wee hours of daylight. It seems they were created to fish and play

Let’s face it. Most of our seeing is positioning ourselves to see. Awareness is another ingredient to seeing. Capturing a photo is another step in seeing. Framing that photo is then important to explain what we saw. Maybe, God shows off sometimes. Just for us?? He loves us you know. Maybe we see (really see) that and know that He is God, Creator of all things. He has framed our world, all the molecules in the universe and beyond. He has framed you.

BWCA sunset Camp cp eml
The rain stopped, the sun came out and set as night came. See the wolf? The sun prevails.
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Our Grand daughters senior dream vacation (A wilderness canoe trip). She will outfish most.  

It’s entirely possible to have a dream vacation and only have an adventure, see a nice sunset, catch some fish, do some exploring and that’s about it if it works out.

There’s a better way. What if we position ourselves to see God’s handiwork in marvelous ways? What if we don’t? What if we spend some alone time with God expressing our wonder at the sights and sounds?

fog eml
Early one morning I waited until I could see through the fog. kind of.

What do you see? Is life just rambling in the fog between storms? Are you positioned to see God’s handiwork all around? How about in your life? God is in the business of opening our eyes you know. I only know about this because He has done it in my life and coutless others throughout time. Like the man born blind and healed by Jesus in the Bible, he knows. He sees John 9:25
He answered, “Whether He is a sinner I do not know. There is one thing I do know: I was blind, but now I see!”

I strongly reccomend some wilderness wanderings. Find someplace to have a long chat with your creator. Check out going to the BWCAW sometime. Watch out for bear! (really).

Gary

 

Being Intentional

Born with Spina-Bifida. 37 years, 35 surgeries and thousands of stares and comments. Life and significance can feel like a lone tiny battered island. 

In my quiet time with God I recently (intentionally) asked the Lord for wisdom and a way to show our handicapped daughter how much God loves her and how much her first father loves her. Later in the day I came across this very special blog by a very special lady. please visit and read.    https://writenow.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/beauty-from-slag/

Go back, click on the link first before continuing please!!  

I was able to show our daughter the picture from Shirley’s blog of what some consider to be trash (slag) but mixed with glass in liquid form creates immense beauty. We had some small talk about how it was made and how beautiful it was. I also read the short blog to her. I then said to my daughter “This is you dear daughter. You have often seen yourself as slag, trash, and people have said and done mean things to you; but God has created an immensely beautiful person in you no matter what has happened to your body. 

Realization of this truth was like slowly filling a clear glass picture of water but not shutting the tap off. First there were tears, then sobs and a heaving chest full of sobs came as her picture overflowed. A new radiance of spirit that most of us will never experience quietly came as the tap slowed and stopped. Dad & Tania CP eml

Before showing and reading to my daughter as she rested in bed, I intentionally thanked God for his answer to prayer and intentionally asked for wisdom in presenting this spectacular picture of slag mixed with glass on Shirley’s blog. I see her this way. I know and see the beauty that others may miss. See picture here

slag glass cross section
the beautiful colors of slag glass are endless

I wonder how many people I walk by every day who do not know that God can take the slag of their life, melt it down and mix with His ineffable power.  Only God can do such grandiose kind of work words cannot express in each of us. Thanks G.W for that great read.  https://collinsgw.combecoming/2019/03/06/ineffable-power/

My daughter and I talked about the word “ineffable” in her life. Joyous tears again.

The kind of intentionality it takes to turn the trash slag into beautiful glass slag in people’s lives is huge, costly and time consuming on our part. Ask my daughter, it’s worth it. Ask God, it’s worth it. Ask Me and I will tell you that watching someone slowly realize the ineffable power of God masked by a broken body has more grandeur than any wonder the world could contain. 

Please comment, thanks for reading.

Gary

The two links posted are pure gold. Thanks Shirley and G.W for your intentionality in making them so worthwhile.

Breakfast and Breakfast

Breakfast and Breakfast eml
March 2 2019 7:03 am. A hungry slice in time

First Breakfast this morning: Great are the works of the Lord, They are pondered by all who delight in them. (Psalm 111:2)  A great time in the word.

2nd Breakfast: 3 eggs, 3 bacon, 2 toast loaded with peanut butter and strawberry jam.

One will last a few hours of sustenance. The other will last an eternity. One is a short time enjoyment while the other takes it’s time to penetrate and change one’s very being. One is paid for out of labor wages while the other was paid for by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Now I’m gushing a bit but that’s ok. The previous verse which is Psalm 111:1 says “I will extol the Lord”. The word “Extol” means to praise enthusiastically, rapturous, Sing the praises of, gush, eulogize, rhapsodize, rave about and the list goes on

Have you had your first breakfast today?

Gary

ps: Oh, and coffee with both 

 

Inside Outside

Inside outside winter 2019 eml

Inside and outside are the same.  Kind of…

Have you ever tried to take a picture inside with the outside showing? Normally there is glare, too much light and a flash is needed unless it’s dark outside. I actually set up the camera in the living room on a tripod and waited until the light density was similar inside to the outside. A 70 degree difference from inside to outside as it was a snowstorm just ending outside.

It’s February and very nice out… temperature wise.  

In september the temperature made it’s way down into the 30’s and it was cold. October made it a little colder. November temperature went down into the teens. December made it down to zero and into a few degrees below zero. this January we found 20 below zero a few times and the beginning of February in the minus 30 below zero range (some saw minus 40’s but you get the picture).  What was cold in September is now t-shirt weather. January weather seems warm from February’s view. 

icicles ed eml
Our Spruce tree seems cold as the sun sets. We love our views from the inside

We live and adjust to relativities in so many areas of our lives, not just the weather.

We live and adjust daily without even thinking about it. I have 6 pairs of outdoor boots and combinations of 12 layers of different types of outer and layered coats and jackets (I can stay warm in minus 30 with a wind chill of -60 degrees). A few days ago I was outside unloading my ice fishing equipment and I thought “It’s warm out here”; I looked at the outdoor thermometer and it read -32 degrees. The wind had died down and it felt warm outside. I called dad mid January to let him know it was minus 20 degrees. He said “wow it’s warm there, it’s -42 here”. I just gave my oldest kentucky daughter a text telling her “it is 40 degrees colder here…must be nice”. She texted back “and I thought 21 degrees was really cold”

Even though it feels warm, it would still be a disaster to stick one’s tongue on the car door handle. There are some things that are not relative. You will still lose part of your tongue if stuck on freezing metal (I have a winter camping story with tin cups for another time). A bad diet seems ok until later in life. Smoking seemed ok for our health a long time ago. We can come up with an endless list of how we live life as relative. Maybe it actually kind of works; until it doesn’t.

A relationship with God is not relative. Sin is not relative. God’s love is not relative. Don’t stay outside in relativities on this one. Come inside. What God says and has revealed to man and carefully recorded and preserved in scripture trumps our relative spiritual ideologies.

I would encourage you to read the Bible. Unlike any other book ever written, the Holy Bible is compiled of writings that cover a span of about 1400 years and include some 40 writers. Within its pages are 66 books, yet it is considered one book, The Book, The Holy Scriptures, The Word of God. The time period recorded during those 1400 years covers nearly 4000 years of human history and God’s revelation of Himself to and through man. The history of the Holy Bible is the history of God’s involvement with mankind.

I’m getting ready for tomorrow. Another snowstorm coming. Warm weather as it will stay above -10 tonight. Maybe. Tomorrow morning I will also continue getting ready for another tomorrow (someday my tomorrow will be in eternity) as I read a passage from God’s word, pray (my personal talk time with God), reflect and allow God’s Spirit to set my tone for the day. I have a personal relationship with my creator God. It’s real and I am changed. I trust the changes in me are not like the weather outside. temporary. Relative. To be more like Jesus is reality. Truth. Inside.

Gary

Moonset Morning at Ten Below Zero

moonset morning at ten below zero eml
I  stepped outside and took a 10 second time exposure. Long enough to get cold in my sleepwear. 

I watched the moon set before the sun would light the morning.  I pondered and identified with the Psalmist.

“You, God are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land where there is no water. ” Psalm 63: 1

I thought of the all the sailors who have been adrift in life boats after losing their vessel in storm or war; often muttering “water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.”

I think often of the happiest people I have ever seen in a third world country and they have nothing.

I think of the change of one’s whole being when they finally understand how much Jesus loves them; enough to die for them. It’s like coming home from vacation and all your plants look dead and they spring to life with water. Only we get “Living Water.”

I ponder how this passion for God in our dry and thirsty land affects my speech, word choices and topics of conversation today and through the week. Will I use alternate swear words? slang? Will I confront or come alongside when differences arise? will I wash the dishes when my wife looks tired even though I have had an 11 hour work day? Will I say a kind word to a harried cashier? Will I live intentionally? Generously?

It’s now daylight. Will I live as a child of light? A delightful sunday morning. I read on. “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you Psalm 63: 4-5 (even if I don’t know the song?)

Gary

Seeds and Ladders

Pine Cones New Years eml
Have a happy New Year from our front yard to you

I’m trying to decide if I really want to pick some of these Norway Spruce cones, heat them in the oven so they open up and allow me to harvest the seeds. Then I will plant them in starter boxes and transplant them around my place. The female cones have about 200+ seeds per cone. I’m sure there are over 50 cones per tree so you see where this simple undertaking could lead. The cones are 25 feet up the tree but I have an old rickety ladder that might reach one rung at a time. Yearly goals are like this I guess. Do I really want to do this? Is my ladder good enough? Some of my many 2019 questions.

So many seeds, so little time. Maybe enough resources? However, these young (as trees go) 35 foot trees each came from one good seed planted in good soil and grew. Seems worth the risk.Pine cones eml

SO… fellow bloggers, speakers and readers: May 2019 be a year where your words are as the cones of the Norway Spruce in my front yard. Housing thousands of precious seeds capable of growing a huge forest. reachable one solid rung at a time as you climb your ladder to the harvest. Whatever your goals may be there is a ladder to climb.

So reach for those cones and take care of those seeds. Plant them in soil you have prepared in us….those you connect with. 

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11

Gary

Oh, make sure your ladder is good…is there a verse for that?