Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sabbath Song

Today we introduced this version of Psalm 18:1-3 to our congregation.  I wish I could play it as well as Nathan does! You can get a free pdf version of this song here. I am always grateful for Nathan's careful words and beautiful presentation.  If you haven't bought any of his CDs, don't miss them!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Emma in motion

The short video below shows Emma playing in the water feature at a lovely city park in Kanab, Utah. Just before I started filming, her Daddy had told her this was her last time to get the water turned on. With the intercession of her Mommy, she is allowed one more time, and she gets in a bit over her head.  The last resigned statement she grumbles as she walks off camera is, "I OK."

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hiking the Narrows

One of my favorite hikes anywhere is up the Virgin River in Zion Canyon into the Narrows.  The slot canyons are spectacular, and the walk through the cold water of the river is treacherous and exhilarating.  I always feel so close to God and His creative power in that place-- I certainly see why the early Mormons entering this canyon called it Zion!  Below are a just a few of my photos from this most recent trip.  I feel so blessed to walk that river once again!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another wild weekend

Last weekend we enjoyed a camping outing to Zion National Park in Utah.  And again, the wildlife did not disappoint.  On the fowl front, we got several good looks at a summer tanager (above).  We also saw a golden eagle that almost swooped into Tim and Nikki's windshield on our way in to the park.

We saw many mule dear, including the one above right next to our camper one evening, and the one below crossing the Virgin River as we hiked up above the valley floor.

We caught a tarantula in its native environs, and saw many lizzards.

And then, on our way out of the park, we caught glimpse of a group of big horn sheep on the edge of a mesa. It was a wonderful, wild weekend.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ending the day

Gentle Readers, I am simply too tired a lot of the time to write anything-- much less anything profound.  But I am learning, by God's grace, to stop myself before the point of melt-down.  My poor hubbie has had to weather that tempest too often lately, but I hope to spare him from it as much as I can. Therefore, evenings now find me taking a leisurely walk, then relaxing.  I read, or watch a movie, or take a bath. (And as a person fond of baths, finally having my first baths since before my surgery last December has been a real treat! Between the healing first, then the lymphedema, I couldn't soak in a hot tub. But what a blessed relaxation to return to them now.)

I am trying to learn to end my day resting in the Lord, thankful for all He has done and given, grateful for the activity the day held, and reflecting on who He is. When I do that, even if tears come from the tired, they are good tears.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sabbath Song-- but only sort of

My pastor encouraged us to watch this.  You have to know my pastor.  It tickled me, so here is something completely different:

Monday, September 10, 2012

A wild weekend

Last weekend we went camping to Heron Lake in Northern New Mexico, almost at the Colorado border.  Folks think of New Mexico as desert, which is fine by us in New Mexico.  What people forget is that Colorado scenery doesn't just start at the border!
We saw lots of wildlife, including a whole rafter of turkeys (and yes, rafter is the term for a whole bunch of turkeys-- who knew?!)

They are really very ugly birds!

We saw a doe munching in the meadow.  She posed nicely but just when I got my camera out and focused she literally turned tail and ran.

As we hiked, we watched an entire herd of elk take to running across the next hill over- they really kick up a lot of dust when they run!

There were many turkey vultures soaring on the thermals above the lake.

And the fella below-- we think he is a bull snack, but he might have been a rattler, and any reader who can tell, please share!-- was about 8 feet long, but wouldn't stop so I could jump out of the car and get the whole of him.  He was disappearing quickly into the brush at the side of the road.

Also seen but not captured on film were several interesting Western grebes, many red flickers, an osprey diving for fish, many red-tailed hawks, and a road runner. 

One afternoon, we drove the road from Tierra Amarilla to Tres Piedras- a gorgeous road that travels over 10,000 feet and has spectacular views of the Brazos cliffs.  Her's just one shot to whet your appetite:

We enjoyed two beautiful sunsets, and I'll leave you with one of many dozens photos of them.  I'm sure you will see more here, Gentle Reader.  I hope your weekend was as wild as ours!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Facing our days and discouragements

One of the thoughts worth holding onto in this life is that nothing falls into my life, willy-nilly, as if it accidentally slipped from above and has no real purpose in my life.  That is not to say I always understand everything that appears in my days. I do not always understand. But I know the truth is that every detail, even the difficulties, the pain, and the sickness, come from the hands and purpose of a good and perfect God, who only sends me what is necessary for my good and His glory.  Spurgeon puts it this way:

From our Lord’s words we learn that there is a limit to sickness....In all sickness, the Lord saith to the waves of pain, “Hitherto shall ye go, but no further.” His fixed purpose is not the destruction, but the instruction of his people. Wisdom hangs up the thermometer at the furnace mouth, and regulates the heat.
1. The limit is encouragingly comprehensive. The God of providence has limited the time, manner, intensity, repetition, and effects of all our sicknesses; each throb is decreed, each sleepless hour predestinated, each relapse ordained, each depression of spirit foreknown, and each sanctifying result eternally purposed. Nothing great or small escapes the ordaining hand of him who numbers the hairs of our head.
2. This limit is wisely adjusted to our strength, to the end designed, and to the grace apportioned. Affliction comes not at haphazard—the weight of every stroke of the rod is accurately measured. He who made no mistakes in balancing the clouds and meting out the heavens, commits no errors in measuring out the ingredients which compose the medicine of souls. We cannot suffer too much nor be relieved too late.
3. The limit is tenderly appointed. The knife of the heavenly Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. “He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” A mother’s heart cries, “Spare my child;” but no mother is more compassionate than our gracious God. When we consider how hard-mouthed we are, it is a wonder that we are not driven with a sharper bit. The thought is full of consolation, that he who has fixed the bounds of our habitation, has also fixed the bounds of our tribulation. 
~ C. H. Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, August 17
So, when I am skipping through my day, and BANG! there is suddenly a migraine to interrupt my plans and cancel my appointments, I can sink not only into my comfy chair, but into the arms of a loving God, doing a good work in and for me.  What a consolation, indeed, that it is not some chance misfortune. Oh that I would be faithful in remembering this God who loves me, fixes my bounds, and plans my days. May we both keep this Heavenly Surgeon in mind, Gentle Reader, as we face our days and discouragements.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Emma's first race

 This morning, after her Daddy won the 5K race at Saguaro National Monument, Emma ran her first race of 25 meters. All morning, according to Emma's Mommy, she had been wanting to run, wanting to cross the finish line mat, and wanting to participate.  Below, when the kid's dash was starting, she imitated the starter, and boy, was she ready to run!
 She quickly left the competition behind!
 And when she finally crossed the finish line mat, she had won the race for the under 5 crew!
Congratulations Emma! And congratulations Tim! And thank yu, Nikki, for recording the event for us all to enjoy.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Sabbath Songs

The Cross by Craig Pitman

Jesus, You hung on the cross to take my burden from me.
It rolled into the open tomb, and I'm forever free!
Jesus, what You bore, was wrath that was meant for me.
Oh, how can I describe such love as You, Lord, have for me?

Jesus, You hung on the cross to give me raiment so new.
You took the rags I wore with shame, oh Savior faithful and true.
You now call me Your own, and I gladly call You "Lord."
And if there be any good in me, it's only because of You.

Jesus, You hung on the cross to put this scroll in my hand.
You placed your mark upon my head, and now before You I stand.
Savior, take my life, and make me what You will.
May Your praise be ever on my tongue till my heart lies cold and still.
May Your praise be ever on my tongue till my heart lies cold and still.
© 1987 Craig Pitman