Exploring where life and story meet!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Beyond Springtime

This has been a very long and dreary winter, finally Spring has sprung though it is very nearly June.  I saw pictures of a place with very green grass and a stunning blue sky back in January and thought it must be computer generated or originated on some alien planet or perhaps in a jungle paradise.  Actually, it was a local photo of springtime and now I again believe that such vivid colors can even be found in my own neighborhood.  A phenomenon so hard to believe in January is now unfolding before me in all its lovely wonder.  Birds, flowers, sunshine, green grass, azure sky, are all around me, not to mention the heady smells of rain, fresh earth, mown grass, and countless flowers.  It seems all of nature has been waiting impatiently for spring and has erupted with a vengeance.

I wonder if that is what Heaven shall be like to our poor mortal sensibilities?  When I was little I thought it to be a dull place involving little more than harps and halos, yawn...where this idea has come from I cannot imagine, but it certainly cannot be true!  It must be far more wondrous than the sum of all the springtimes that have ever been or will ever be.  For we are told: "But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him." I Corinthians 2:9  I forget what spring is like by the time it comes round again, what can I comprehend of things beyond this mortal sphere?  Exciting, isn't it!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Regarding Art

I love beauty in all its forms but have no artistic talent whatsoever.  I can plunk out a rough tune on a piano, but it sounds very little like music.  My painting skills have not moved much beyond that learned in elementary school.  I made a quilt once, pretty, but most of the corners were mere approximations of a ninety degree angle.  I like to sing; no one likes to listen.  Then I discovered photography!  At last, an art form that does not require me to somehow manufacture beauty, but only to capture it in its natural habitat.  I feel somewhat like the zookeeper who only has to go out and catch tigers rather than create them!  I can arrange words in a meaningful fashion, which is undoubtedly a form of art, but the musical and visual arts have long escaped my skill set.  I still cannot create beauty, but now I can preserve it for future enjoyment. 

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

We were made in the image of God and God creates, this creative drive exists within each of us.  Though our skills differ, the need is still the same.  It is the very essence of what it is to be human.  So whether with pen, paint, instrument, voice, tools, or camera, create on!        

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Going visual

I have been an amateur photographer for some time, now I can litter the virtual landscape with my pictures as well as with my writing!  If you are really bored, check out the link to the side.

Friday, May 24, 2013

At the sign of the Prancing Pony?

Life has been a bit upside down of late, to the point that I have trouble making plans beyond the end of the month.  Job, home, finances, nothing is certain.  Needless to say, it is a little scary, but also a tad exciting.  I have been reading the Fellowship of the Ring again and am finding Frodo's flight into the unknown something of an encouragement for my own topsy-turvy life.  At least in Frodo's case, I know how the story ends.  Though it is dark at times, discouraging, and downright terrifying, it is a great story.  I suppose that is how all the great stories are, including our own.  The hard part is hanging onto hope and pursuing our dreams, even through the darkest and most dreary roads.  Thankfully, ours is an Author even more talented than Tolkien! 

Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Psalm 23:4a KJV

Monday, May 6, 2013

Thy dross to consume

I did not want to do it, no please, anything but that!  I had done it fifty times before, but the last two times had not succeeded as I had hoped and my confidence was shaken.  But there I was, in the moment with no other options.  It had to be done.  I prayed desperately for some miracle but to no avail.  So I swallowed my dread and got on with it.  And everything turned out just fine.  

I had found my miracle, though not the one I was looking for.  Sometimes what we think is the best route (often avoiding something unpleasant or frightening) is not actually what we need the most.  I was doubting my abilities in this one area which resulted in dissatisfaction and discouragement with much of my job and even in parts of my personal life.  I needed what I dreaded most.  I had to risk failure in order to grow, gain back my confidence, and get out of the mediocrity into which I was plunging.  It was a test of faith (albeit a rather minor one) but it was what I desperately needed at the moment though I was desperate for some escape or release.  I am minded of the old hymn, How Firm a Foundation. 
"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
So the next time you find yourself in a tight or terrifying place, perhaps it is for the best and for our own good and the good of those we love and associate with.  I am glad there is Someone out there that knows more about me than I do and has my best interests at heart, even if I do not know what they are at the moment!