Spring is not officially recognized in our family until we can have an picnic. I guess it was up to me to find the fire pit, check and make sure fires wouldn’t spread and burn down the forest and make the picnic table presentable.
My pictures prove it. Spring has come to northern Minnesota!! My wife declined, evidently she didn’t want her picture taken. Some birds and animals wandered about so they got in the pictures. I also threw in a couple good morning shots as it was a good looking morning. Click to enlarge and use the slide show arrows.
Every day is so unique. The beautiful frost quickly and quietly let go when the sun hit. I couldn’t let the day go by without getting the snow shoes out to have a picnic. It’s hard to imagine a back yard picnic in Minnesota without mosquitoes...I think I glimpsed a bit of heaven today.
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Evil walked into the store. The wretched man was encased. I looked into his hollow eyes that darted everywhere but seeing only his own pain. He was giving all his food away. Like a madman desperate to give everything away. Now. It had to be now. I had to take it or he was putting it in the dumpsters across the street.
I asked his name and the foulest unworthy proclamations came out. Desperate. More desperate. I told him I knew of three freezers with some space as he threw huge bags of food in my trunk. I gave him a contact card almost forcing it upon him in case he needed someone to talk to or in case he wanted his food back later. He couldn’t get away fast enough. Like it’s owner that car is not long for this world.
“What have I opened myself up to?” I thought as I walked back into the store.
I think He wants to kill himself and he wouldn’t even tell me his name” I told my new friend. “Most people are very afraid of him and would be happy if he did” he told me. Then he told me more that I didn’t want to hear. All I said was “Jesus loves him too.”
I had just met the shell of a man, dead to life, a house for demons and not capable of saying his own name. He said he didn’t deserve a name “for what it is”…whatever that meant.
It’s hard to see well in the storm
As I drove home, I prayed “Lord, I failed. I said only a few words to a desperate man and only gave him my card. What good is that?” The answer came swiftly and almost audibly (which doesn’t happen often to me). “You know what I did with a couple fish and some barley loaves. I can do that with words in someone’s life”
I watched the snowstorm come from the safety of our warm loving home. I thought of the evil I had encountered. It’s like cancer, as the cells are there in all of us looking for a place to grow. It’s bigger than my love for mankind. It’s not bigger or stronger than God’s love that he can show through me.
At least these were my thoughts just before the phone rang. It was him.
People have this crazy ability to live as if there is no God.
A picture can be worth a thousand words or more.
I’ll add a couple links. I see Cindy used the same header picture as me today and here verse goes along with my blog as well. realchristianwomen Also David from Davids daily dose used a couple of these pictures with his haikus here
Some of my pictures here are posted for free download at unsplash here
There were two Hittites, Sven and Ole, who dearly loved baseball. They loved the sport so much that a pact was made between them. They each promised the other that whomever died first would come back and tell the other if there was baseball in heaven. Well, time went on and Sven was in an accident and died. Ole missed his friend so much he almost lost his love for playing and watching baseball. A few months went by until one night Ole was awakened by Sven’s voice “Ole, Ole, wake up, it’s Sven.” Delirious with joy Ole asked “Sven is it really you? did you find out if there’s baseball in heaven?” Sven whispered back excitedly “yes Ole, there is baseball in heaven, and one more thing, you are pitching next Tuesday”
As I write this, 2023 is “on deck”, it’s next for most of us. In this hope I made our Christmas card to last a bit longer by flipping it over in the new year
I have been preparing for some future things hopefully “on deck” as well as watching “deck life” in really cold weather through the picture window. I’ll share a few fun shots. Click on any picture to enlarge and forward with the side arrows.
I would encourage you to have a contact card. I don’t know how many time’s I meet total strangers or just strange people I already know. Some want to find my blog or send me an email or want to talk more about spiritual things (being God found his way into our conversation).
I’m approaching 2023 with a list of things that are “On Deck” meaning they are next. I hope to do more than just watch (as fun as that is) what’s on the deck.
By the way, I’m ready either way for next Tuesday
Disclaimer:Hittites don’t exist anymore so I felt at liberty to pick on them even though it seems their names may distantly resemble Scandinavian, which is my upbringing.
What’s in the air? aside from the crazy chickadee (below). This time of year really does test us in so many ways. When I think of these pictures, I see captions of people I know. Maybe you do as well.
Enjoy a few winter shots from my back yard. We as readers and writers are alike in so many ways and yet so different. People from every season and area of the world will see our pictures and read our words. We are as different as the wildlife below.
These buds are mine
No, I’m not in the pear tree!! I stepped into the apple tree….Ha!
You like my beard eh? Yes, Canadian Jay
Two trees dancing by moonlight
uh, Tom….we are going in circles
OK deer, you can stand up now, I got the deep snow shot.
Have a Merry Christmas.
All creatures, no matter how diverse, need to eat. As we sit down for a meal near the end of this year, I wonder how many have considered knowing a God who became human just to make a way for everyone of us to have a relationship with him. As a teenager I remember thinking “this isn’t religion, it’s a relationship with my creator”. He put a peace inside me, in that place that only God can fill. That’s Christmas, oh ya!
Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (Jesus) John 4:14.
I have been surprised to see that my photos posted on Unsplash for free download have hit 2.4 million views and 13,000 downloads. Most pleasing is when I see pictures put to good use. I have watched David from Davids Daily Dose grow so much with his haiku’s posted every Sunday. He will often use one of my photos and make a great Haiku. I just take the picture and he does all the hard work in that collaboration. You must browse a bunch of them starting with todays (All Haiku click here) David may someday have a coffee table book with my pictures… that would be fun.
This morning I was found smirking at my siblings messaging one another on their schedules. I have 6 siblings. None take the time to argue genetics or learned behavior. Fiercely independent carve your own path don’t fence me in types, yet all very unique and very talented. In the next little while most will have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles and back. The main reason is because our kids live so far away. There is nothing like getting served your own pudding. Many of you know what I mean.
I was outdone this week in the risk taking category. I went out on the lake to check the thickness of the lake with my ice chisel to see if the ice was safe. It wasn’t (does that even make any sense? My wife didn’t think so either). 5 inches of ice and two of those inches were snow-ice considered very weak. Three inches were clear ice, considered very strong. Ice can and does vary in thickness from one area to another so I considered it not safe to venture out very far. As I was leaving, a medium size car drove across the lake and put up a fish house. If you were wondering where all the guardian angels have gone, wonder no more. I need to get to know that guy, I think he could trace his ancestry back to the apostle Peter.
Words for writers are like putty. Readers get the whole lump in a few words from some writers and other keyboardist stretch the putty all over the place to include as many words as possible. I think a whole book (a good one) could be written on the last two words of David’s Haiku linked above. Two words. Amazing.
What brought this post was a picture I took this morning on my cell phone of my wife bringing in our flag for the winter. I like the picture a lot. I love her a lot. The flag is it’s own story. The Christmas trees cut from below power lines are another. The bird feeder quite another. The shop in the background where I still hear dad’s voice while I look for a tool not found yet could be a book of funny stories or serious. For those who might be wondering, Yes, it’s cold outside. The wind chill is way below zero (f). Even Buddy the dog wants to get in the house.
What’s missing in the picture is the wheelchair ramp for our daughter. We are caregivers. Our choice. She has God, and us. Most of winter will be too cold for her to venture out. We will be here for Christmas watching the rabbit who lives under the deck. I will be out fishing safely as long as I stay in the car tracks on the lake. I hope to write more next year.
What I really mean is, I hope to write less and say more this next year. Now that I got the rabbit out of my system I will post some normal blogs. Ha! meanwhile please check out my “God’s ways are different” posts if you have never visited there. Have a great December. Are you ready for Christmas? Really Ready?
Stepping outside before daylight a couple days ago an eerie feeling came over me. I couldn’t place it until later in the day. I stood beside the lake and it was completely froze over. Silence. All was quiet. The last two weeks the lake was full of very noisy swans, geese, ducks and some cranes getting ready to head south for the winter.
I would have liked to be there when the winds died down. I imagine the waters were super cooled but couldn’t freeze until a certain degree of calm suddenly came. The lake probably froze over in a matter of seconds when that happened(sometimes lake freeze this way). All the birds had to quickly take off and head south or someplace else suddenly. I may have even heard the commotion in the middle of the night as the lake is only a few hundred yards away. I had heard lots of commotions in the middle of the night lately so I thought nothing of it.
The parallels of our present age are downright scary. It’s winter, freezing cold and going to get colder in many ways. Life is in the stormy winter season for many people.
I would like to share some of the beauty that cold weather can bring, even when the sun has not made an appearance in the last 10 days. It’s been a build up of continuous light snow for several days. Even the grayest of days has it’s beauty. The sunsets were just before the storms.
My thoughts as I took all these pictures. Not one tree or plant, wild animal or bird escaped the storm. They all experienced the 40 mph winds with driving rain turning to ice and then several days of snow.
We all affect each other don’t we. I pray we help one another through the storms of life rather than being a storm in others lives. That’s God’s kind of love for us and should be in us for each other. Let this picture illustrate.
This tree was broken and badly bent over. It still grew and is living. It’s life source like other trees is a good root system holding fast but the real source is the sun. This tree is growing most of it’s branches straight up. Each branch is like it’s own tree growing straight up, reaching for the sun. In return the branches are keeping the tree alive and thriving. Nature preaching in tree form.
When I pray for others, I most often pray they will know and experience Jesus. The Son. The one who will not leave us in the storm. The one who makes beauty out of ugly times. The one who gives life from death. The one who didn’t stay dead and gives life. The one worth dying for and thus worth living for.“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life”. 1 John 5:12
Header photo taken out the window of our fireplace room. A fun view of our back yard
Sunday thought: God combined fall and winter. I think He loves creative beauty and wants us to enjoy those moments. Even the micro fleeting beauty of a reflection in a raindrop can be enjoyed should we pause to do so. A pause to enjoy gives us pause to delve deeper into who our creator is and could be to us. Click to enlarge and enjoy clicking through the slide show.
The sun came out and all returned to fall by the end of the day. I hope you enjoyed this odd event if only a little through some picture sharing. I posted a devotional thought with the best fall colors on our place on “Gods Ways are Different” last night.
This was, in a way, a walk with God. Have a great Sunday. I hope it is well between you and the Lord our creator.
The moon picture (featured image) was taken by a Nebraska cornfield this past week on my travels as well as the one on this previous post.
We innocently start with “I wonder what it would be like to…?” A match, somewhere in the corner of the brain is lit, and sooner than later the fuse. A path mysteriously appears toward…, and whala.
About that “whala”. It’s harder and bigger than we thought. I’m saying “we” because I am hoping I’m not the only one who consistently underestimates all that goes into … (and I’m only giving us 3 dots).
I’m doing my dots and getting behind on regular stuff
Autumn is my busiest time of the year. Filling two freezers with garden, woods, raspberry, apple and lake harvest. Processing. Taking Grandkids on outings. More processing. I’m giving away the remaining 12 bags of apples and the fish are biting (I just know it). I’m also working on building a rustic guest cabin in the woods (one of my dots). I wanted to see an old friend and do some hunting with him in Nebraska 675 miles away (another dot). More processing. A fellow blogger lives along the route, I wonder if (another dot).
conversation. There is so much more to the person than what one could imagine if all we have done is read their writings. In the comment section on Matts blog I mentioned another what if…? Something about a bloggers convention, and I know many of you would be in. I’ve put together conventions (that’s like 4 dots worth of work) and I haven’t even lit the match on that one. I know someone out there might though….I dare ya.
Yes, I am 200 blog notifications behind. My phone died and is now resurrected with a warning that it will go again. I guess 3G doesn’t cut it anymore. I’m going to post another blog with some fall pictures on my devotional blog that go along with some thoughts about how God seems to change (I know in my head He doesn’t).
In all the dot chasing I still hear my dad’s voice “Beware the barrenness of a busy life”. It’s true. Important relationships can suffer and that’s a match I don’t want to light, much less the fuse. Health can suffer and the list goes on. Everything is a progression and starts before we think it does. Someone said “How did that bridge collapse?” another answered “very slowly and then suddenly”.
Meanwhile, I have been meeting myself coming and going. I totally intend to slow down and catch up.
by the way, click pictures above to enlarge or go to slide show