Archive | August 2009

Great Lines from Movies: The Lakehouse

Chicago Reflections, David B. Vernon/eScapesPhoto

Just watched the movie, Lakehouse, with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.  There’s this great line toward the end. 

Here’s the set-up: Keanu Reeves’ father, a famous architect, played by,  Christopher Plummer (the captain in Sound of Music) is lying on his death bed.  He leans closer to his son, Alex (Kneau), also an architect,  and gives him this sage advice:

“A truly great structure, one that is meant to stand the tests of time never disregards its environment. A serious architect takes that into account.  He knows that if he wants presence, he must consult with nature.  He must be captivated by the light.  Always the light.  Always.”

God is also a great Architect and Builder and we are His workmanship, His “building” ~~

“… you are God’s…building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

And any great Architect has blueprints, plans for the building:

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

If we want to be or do anything “truly great” for God, we need to “be captivated by the light.”Chicago Reflected Again, David B. Vernon/eScapesPhoto

“He wraps himself in light as with a garment…” Psalm 104:2a

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7

Oh, to be  “captivated by the light…Always.” 

Chicago at Night; David B. Vernon/eScapesPhotoThe Building’s Prayer:   “You are “the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17)  and nothing is hidden from ‘the light of Your presence.’ (Psalm 90:8).  It is true that many times I prefer darkness over the light, my own way over yours.  Change me, Lord.  Make me just the way you want me to be.  Fill me with ‘the light of Your presence.’  May I ‘walk in the light as [You] are in the light.’  In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Do you know the Lord?  Don’t wait until your deathbed to meet Him.  Click on the skyscrapers above for an introduction.

Special thanks to David Vernon for the excellent Chicago skyline pictures above.  Check out more of his work at http://escapesphoto.com/

Tomato Season

FallThere is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Tomato season.  That’s what fall is.  The vines are overflowing with plenty to spare.  And as the season progresses and the vines fade and wither, they still produce enough fruit to share with friends and neighbors.

I’m in the fall of my life, these days; middle age.  The vine ain’t what it used to be!  Winter is fast approaching, the winter of my old age.  And, like fall, I have both good days and bad.

  Some  are sunny and warm, full of color and gentle breezes, while others weigh heavy on my soul, like gray-covered skies with blasts of chill that take my breath away.

Those days call for the “Tomato Prayer”…you can pray it too, on your own cloudy days:

Oh, Lord of the Harvest, thank you for this day, and for this season of my life.  You came to this 'maters on my windowsillplanet that we might have life. (John 10:10b), and that abundantly.  Breathe new life into these tired, achy bones.  As “the vine” withers, may it overflow with fruit; enough to share with friends and neighbors.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a

Do you know the Lord of the Harvest?  Click here for a lovely video introduction.

Priority Faith

Dishespriorities: something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives; precedence, especially established by order of importance or urgency.

 As I surveyed the two sinks, and multiple counter tops full of dishes, it dawned on me (after an insane desire to flee) that I had gotten my priorities mixed up lately.  My dish cupboards were empty, and my sinks were full. sigh.

What about you?  What are your priorities?

You might not have dirty dishes to remind you when you’ve gotten off track, but what about all those unfulfilled dreams piling up?  People you’re neglecting?  Empty Cupboard

Do you have a cupboardfull of empty hopes and dreams?

  

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12

“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”  Psalm 90:17 KJV

The Priority Prayer:  “Oh, Father in heaven.  Thank you for loving me and gently reminding me to have good priorities.  I know the most important thing each day is to spend time with You; reading Your Word and doing what it has to say.  Teach me to number my days that I may present to Thee a heart of wisdom. (Ps. 90:12)  Establish for me the work of my hands. (Ps. 90:17).  You are, and You are a rewarder of them that earnestly seek You.  Thank you for Your grace and mercy (Hebrews 4:16) In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Now, to get those dishes done……  :)

Lion vs Monkey

Sarah's Lion, from a recent trip to Kenya with

“See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.”  Revelation 5:5

Suppose a hunter went to Africa to hunt lions, but but he got distracted and spent most of his time up in the trees pursuing monkeys

 

 

 No, not these..

THESE monkeys. :)

                                These…

 

 

Well that’s what happens to me sometimes.  I get so distracted by the culture, the monkeys in the trees, that I forget what I’m supposed to be pursuing:

 

“…pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
  
And I forget what I should be fleeing… “Flee the evil desires of youth..”  2 Timothy 2:22a
 
The hunter’s prayer:  “Oh, Father, You are the Lion of Judah.  Thank you, for pursuing me.  I get easily distraced pursuing everything BUT you.  Change my heart to want to “pursue righteousnes, faith, love and peace”, and help me to find friends who “call on [You] out of a pure heart”.  You are, and you are a rewarder of them that seek You (Hebrews 6).  In Jesus’ name, amen.”
 
What about you?  What are you hunting?  Have you met the Lion of Judah?  Click here for an interesting introduction.

Fields of Faith

 
Rolling Farm Fields of Iowa
Rolling Farm Fields of Iowa

“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”  Matthew 9:37

I sighed inside when we left Colorado the other day.  Ahead of us we had miles of flat, boring midwest I thought; nothing as lovely as Pikes Peak.

But as we drove past the beautiful terraced fields of Iowa I had to snap a picture.  So pretty… 

…the repetitive rows, upon rows, spanning the horizon.

That’s how I want to be, I thought — regular like those rows; dependable.  The Bible assures consistent yields for those who are, and not much of a harvest for those who aren’t… 

“Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.”  Proverbs 12:24

“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Proverbs 13:4

 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty”  Proverb 21:5  

I want to be diligent to read my Bible everyday, pray “on..all occasions”.  (Ephesians 6:18), regularly, consistently, dependably, like the field rows, so I can yield good fruit ~~Fruit Bowl

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22

Want more consistency and fruit in your life?  Pray the Harvest Prayer with me:

Oh, Father, You are the Lord of the Harvest.  You’re also a God of order.  Please change my heart.  Make me a consistent person who is diligent to read the Bible and draw near to You.  I want a fruity life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 Do you know the “Lord of the Harvest”? Click here for an introduction.

Hiker Faith

“…walk in the footsteps of the faith…” Romans 4:12

We’re here vacationing at Pikes Peak in Colorado.  We’ve climbed up, down, and all around the mounain and I have met the most encouraging hikers along the way.

Take this lovely hiker, for instance.  Just four months ago, she had double knee replacement surgery.  Now look at her! We met her on “the Crag Trail” hiking several miles up  steep, rocky paths.  I learned from her to endure.

“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” Timothy 2:3

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.”  Hebrews 12:7

One morning, when the mountain was shrouded in mist, we met these cutie, cheerleader hikers at the top of the grueling Incline Trail.Top of the Incline on a foggy day.

After they’d summited the trail, they ‘d  call out cheers and words of encouragement to the hikers huffing and puffing behind them. “You can do it!”  “Awesome!”  “Great Job”  I learned from them that an encouraging word can make all the difference. 

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”  Hebrews 3:13 

"The Incline" trail on a sunny morning. 1 mile straight up the mountain along an old cograil train track.

"The Incline" on a sunny day. A grueling hike, 1 mile long, straight up the side of the mountain along an old cograilway track.

” Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”  1 Thessalonians 5:11

And then there’s these hikers.  A 60-something couple from Georgia. 

They hike 14ers (14,000+ mountains) for a hobby, carrying huge packs on their backs.  The Mrs. Hiker had fallen on other hikes and broken both her knees, and endured other injuries, but, still, they keep on hiking, proving that age is just a state of mind. 
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”  Isaiah 46:4

Taylor (L) and son, Andy at the Barr Campground, Pikes Peak

Taylor (L) and son, Andy at the Barr Campground, Pikes Peak

And, I can’t forget these hikers.  My son and his friend who taught me to always be prepared…

 

 

 

                                                                                                        

My son, Andy (L) and friend Taylor at the top of the Crag Trail, Pikes Peak

My son, Andy (L) and friend Taylor at the top of the Crag Trail, Pikes Peak

                                                                                     … and to laugh along the trail.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

My shadow on a boulder on the Barr Trail, Pikes Peak

My shadow on a boulder on the Barr Trail, Pikes Peak

 

Hope these hikers encouraged you as much as they did me.  Happy Trails!

Happy Birthday to Andy!

Andy and hiking buddy, Taylor, celebrating on top of Pikes Peak with Sponge Bob party hats, Little Debbie cakes, candles that wouldn't light due to lack of oxygen and strong winds, and freeze dried Neopolitan ice cream

Andy and hiking buddy, Taylor, celebrating Andy's 15th birthday on top of Pikes Peak at sunrise with Sponge Bob party hats, Little Debbie cakes, candles that wouldn't light due to lack of oxygen and strong winds, and freeze dried Neopolitan ice cream

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face…” Proverbs 15:13

Pikes Peak, August 2009.  The start of an all-night hike.

L-R: Taylor (16), my husband, Dave (47), and our son, Andy (15)

So, the boys made it to the top of Pikes Peak in the dark!  Here’s them starting out so seriously. 

 The lack of oxygen must have gotten to them by the time they reached 14,110 ft., as clearly evidenced in the Sponge Bob Party hats picture!

Well, in honor of our son Andy’s 15th birthday, here’s a selection of verses from Proverbs 15~~

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (:1)

“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” (:3)

“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (:4)

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.” (:7)

“A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise.” (:12)