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Dawn Is Upon Us

Some things cannot be stopped. Dawn is one of them.  Darkness has its limits.  With the arrival of the new day comes a recurring hope – built into the rhythm of life.  As a young man camping in the woods, I was tormented by the unseen source of growls and howls in the distance (but always seeming to get closer). Every breaking branch surely gave way beneath the claw of some abnormally large (man-eating) animal. Throughout the night my eyes pressed…

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The Moon Has Changed?

It was a stunning sight walking before dawn this morning and seeing the full moon with a soft atmospheric glow around it. There are few things as beautiful on this Earth (or at least seen from this Earth).  It would not be possible to recount all the songs or verse inspired by this very sight.  Although the moon appeared quite different from the last time I saw it,  it occurred to me that it remained absolutely the same. What had changed were…

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Fragrant Moments

There is nothing quite like a walk on a wooded path on a Summer morning.  Mostly, the journey goes on as expected but, from time to time, I find myself engulfed in a pungent aroma of honeysuckle or jasmine. I am at once overwhelmed and enraptured by the encounter.  It reconnects me to the beauty that is beyond me. My heart is flush with wonder and gratitude. Our life-journey is similar to travel along such a path – long stretches of…

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Lessons From the Color Spectrum

In Noah’s time, just after the earth-destroying flood, the rainbow is conspicuously present as God promises Noah and his family grace in the place of judgement.  The rainbow is also on display when the Apostle John first looks in on the great scene of worship around God’s throne in the Revelation. Why the rainbow? The rainbow teaches us many things about God’s creation. It is also a striking visual declaration of the omnipotence of our Creator. We see the beauty of Jesus in…

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Exceptional Circumstances

It occurs to me that most of the people we consider exceptional did not consider themselves so. In the scriptures we read of Esther, Abraham, Peter and others who played monumental roles in saving their people, fathering nations, leading the Church. The letters they wrote, the decisions they made, the work they did, for the most part, were a series of daily challenges. Their interactions with people were much like ours. Their choices to believe what was unseen, unsafe, yet…

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What Suffering, What Beauty!

What suffering, what beauty Is on the Savior’s brow The thorns that grew in tended soil Grow pain and sorrow now The flowering vine once flourished, blessed Makes red the lovely face That wept in longing for his beloved And now stands in her place What beauty, what suffering Was only his to bear Embracing there the cost of love No other soul could share The gathering arms that ever reach to circle all his own Hold tightly to a…

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God’s Hands

What are the hands of God like? Are they the smooth, coddled hands of the privileged? Are they untouched? Are they working hands? The hands of Jesus grasped, with pleasure, the tools of a carpenter. They were intimately familiar with lumber that needed planing and shaping. He touched the leper – when no one else would… healing years of despair and hopelessness. His hands washed the dirty feet of disciples and lifted the little children into his lap. He was…

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Design Below The Surface

Just like the unseen beauty and unseen details of the desert or ocean are to the casual observer, God’s work in our lives and in the details of our world are often unnoticed or unappreciated. Observing, from an encumbered point of view, across the rolling desert, it is easy to miss the washes, canyons and vegetation that are normally hidden within them. Walking among the trees and cacti, usually hidden below the horizon, one can appreciate their beauty and just how…

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The Trees on Turtle Head Peak

My ascent of the Turtle Head Peak yesterday in Red Rock Canyon gave me the opportunity to see and consider some amazing old trees that thrive on the windy slopes. In specific areas, where the winds seemed to be funneled and intensified, the trees appeared to thrive the most. These are the areas in which I had to bow down as I climbed the trail to the summit. I would guess the gusts were upwards of 40 to 50 mph…

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The False Still

Life has its dormant seasons – periods devoid of either storms or pleasant breezes. These “doldrums” tempt us to imagine we are adrift and outside of God’s gaze. Physical stillness, however, is an illusion. Cells are multiplying, gases are expanding, photosynthesis is filling our lungs. Reality should provide us with an overwhelming sense of motion and activity. Our planet spins and orbits with unimaginable force (rotating at 1,040 mph at the equator while orbiting the sun at close to 67,000…

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