Saturday, July 31, 2010

The wisdom of Proverbs

Recently, I am back to reading Proverbs. Although some verses seem a bit antiquated, I am more and more impressed with the insights this book provides into our human nature. From more that twenty five hundred years ago to today, we are still the same. Here are a few verses with pictures that I have enjoyed.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

With joy, With love

Life can be so simple when we are willing to acknowledge the Lord's incredible providence and blessings for us. We define happiness in our/society's terms, not God's.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eagle Cap Wilderness

La Grande is such an incredible place to live. Last Friday afternoon, July 16, Bob Carter and I drove two hours to Lostine River trailhead for the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Two hours and fifteen hundred feet later, we were in the incredible glacier meadow that runs three miles up into the lakes basin below the Eagle Cap monolith. I have been in this area many times, but never this early in the season. By late July and August, the air becomes hazy because of forest fires in the northwest, and because of local field burning. However, now it is crystal clear, deeply blue and sharp-the visual counterpart to the most delicious, refreshing spring water. All this beauty was reached in about four hours, from home to meadow!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unstinting gratitude

I get so tired of my ego. It appears in so many different unfruitful ways. Joan Chittister in her book, "The Breath of the Soul," guides me in an important way to take me beyond myself and into a deeper faith in God.

"Gratitude is not only the posture of praise, but it is also the basic element of real belief in God.
When we bow our heads in gratitude, we acknowledge that the works of God are good. We recognize that we cannot, of ourselves, save ourselves. We proclaim that our existence and all its goods come not from our own devices but are part of the works of God. Gratitude is the alleluia to existence, the praise that thunders through the universe as a tribute to the ongoing presence of God even now. "

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The calming voice of God

When Meg and I were in Kansas City visiting her mother, we stopped by a Bible book store. Both of us have enjoyed the writings of Joan Chittiser, a Benedictine nun. We found a wonderful book entitled "The Breath of the Soul." It is a little book--only 136 small pages divided into 42 chapters of three or four pages each. Yet it is not the size of the book, but its profound depth that make it worthwhile reading every day. I strongly recommend it. Here is an excerpt:

"The truth is that we must pray for the strength to do what we are meant to do. We must pray for the courage to meet the challenges of life. We must pray for the endurance it will take to go on even when nothing changes. We must pray that the spirit of God is with us as we do what must be done, whether we succeed in the process or not."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Variations on a theme of boat lights

Meg and I enjoyed the Fourth of July at her family reunion at Big Cedar resort. The resort is located on an arm of Table Rock lake in southern Missouri. Many, many boats anchored in the arm to enjoy the fireworks display. Their lights made a great collage of colors. I started with the boat lights in focus, and then created different effects of light and color by both changing how the camera focused, and also by moving the camera up and down and sideways as I was taking the picture.

I shoot with a Canon SX 10, but any camera with a reasonable zoom lens can create these same effects. So, be creative. Once you get your standard, basic shot, find new ways to see and create variations using that scene as your theme.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Prayer is not about us. It is not what we get, but what we give.