2018: Page 48

2018: Page 48

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • The day began with the writing of yesterday’s page and then it has been a day of welcomed rest.
  • After having major issues with two computers I bought in early December, the replacement for the second one finally arrived this week so my restful day has been spent working on setting up the computer to replace one that has not been keeping up with the work I do.
  • If giving up is an option, finishing will rarely happen.
  • After a day of transferring files and reinstalling programs, I took a break and made dinner for my family.  I made mashed potatoes, green beans, and hamburger gravy.
  • It is interesting how the mind connects certain things based on past experiences.  The meal I made was the go-to menu when I was growing up to test our ability to handle solid food after one of us had been sick.
  • I suppose my mind could have connected the meal with being sick and I probably wouldn’t want to have it again.  But, instead, my mind connects it with getting better and I enjoy eating it all these years later.
  • I suppose our relationship with God is somewhat like that . . . some people view God’s laws as reminders of everything they’ve done wrong so they do what they can to avoid God.  Others view God’s laws as reminders of His love, mercy, and grace and draw closer to Him because of them.
  • The laws are the same, it is our response to them that makes all the difference.
  • I never made it out of the house, so today’s photo is a collection of shots I took yesterday that remind me of the beauty of God’s incredible creative work.
2018: Page 47

2018: Page 47

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • Page 47 began early and finished late, so I’m writing the page the next morning.
  • I thought waiting until my mind was fresh after a night’s sleep would help, but the specifics of what to include on this page are still elusive.
  • Most of the time it is good to question what should and shouldn’t be said, whether it is being said verbally or in writing.
  • As the day began, I thought a lot about how easy it is to focus on symptom management rather than do the hard work of addressing the actual problem.
  • Many times we are more concerned about looking good than we are about doing good.
  • My morning cleaning song included the lines, “How great is our God!  Sing with me, how great is our God!  And all will see how great, how great is our God!”
  • Sometimes I think our “rights” in America have become more important to many of us than our responsibilities as servants of God.
  • We would all be in big trouble if God thought the right to give people what they deserve was more important than the responsibility to love.
  • If there is one “right” we ought to value most above all other perceived rights, it should be the “right to be called ‘Children of God'”.
  • Many people like to claim that Jesus is “on their side”, but we would be better off to seek Him and place ourselves on His side.
  • By early afternoon I headed out to get lunch and pick up some supplies.  One of my stops was to pick up trash bags for work . . . it always amazes me how much we spend on bags that we fill with trash and throw away.
  • While I was out I made a quick stop at Potato Creek to spend some time with God while I waited for the building to clear out so I could get my evening work done.
  • The warmer weather and reduced snow cover seemed to have brought out a good variety of wildlife to view and photograph.
  • While each animal has their own enemy that I’m sure they are well aware of, it is always fun to watch the groups of waterfowl that usually seem to interact well with each other despite their vastly different appearances and practices.
  • It is good to know our enemy — God says our battle is not against flesh and blood — but it is also good to learn how to get along with people whose appearance and practices may be different than ours.
  • As I returned to the building to spend time cleaning and getting it ready for Sunday, I found that my mind had returned to the song from the start of my day — He really is a great God.
  • Today’s photo is of some of the waterfowl that were swimming together at Potato Creek.  

DSCN1947

2018: Page 46

2018: Page 46

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • I suspect there were clear skies and bright stars somewhere as I headed to work this morning but the dense fog kept me from seeing any of it.
  • God’s faithfulness remains whether circumstances cause it to be very visible or hidden from my current view.
  • As I went about my morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep tasks I found myself whistling again.  I suspect it’s a good thing my morning work is usually done in an empty building. 🙂
  • The foggy morning brought about a delay to the start of the school day so I used the extra quiet time to continue work at tracking down the current network setup in order to help facilitate better networking communication.
  • It has been quite a while since I’ve seen any deer at work and while I didn’t see any today, it was good to see their tracks lead from the woods up to my office window and then back into the woods.  I guess they miss me too. 🙂
  • I kept an eye on the network all morning as the school was doing online testing.  All reports indicated it went smoothly as the earlier glitches in the network became non-issues as I tweaked the network settings.
  • With the delayed start to the school day, I was well into the afternoon before I realized it.  
  • With the early disciples of Jesus anticipating His return at any moment, I wonder if my arrival late in the time-line of history will make that return seem even more sudden.
  • I headed out to have lunch with a friend who needed time with someone even more than he needed lunch.
  • While food is important, Jesus understood that the time He spent with His Father was even more valuable.
  • As I prepare to have a prayer ministry display at a camp conference in Ohio later this month, I spent some time working on some photo prints for my contribution to their vendor fair drawing.
  • Today’s photo is one I had a print made of for the conference.  Being the conference is focused on Ohio camps, the photos I chose are ones I shot in Ohio.  This one is of Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Southeast Ohio 114

2018: Page 45

2018: Page 45

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • Another morning with a clear night sky filled with the beautiful lights of the stars and planets.
  • My morning routine was accomplished with a song in my heart as the words filled my mind — “Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing!”
  • The song makes me think of Jesus telling the religious leaders that if the crowds would be silent, then the rocks themselves would cry out.
  • My photography hobby allows me to capture and share images of creation shouting praise to the Lord.
  • My day consisted of a lot of tedious research as I continue to track down some networking issues and make corrections one step at a time.
  • Sometimes we come face to face with things we know aren’t right but our lack of patience causes us to swing the pendulum of change so hard that we over correct and end up with no improvement.
  • Life is a series of steps.  Some steps may be larger than others, but the important thing is to keep the progress of the steps heading in the proper direction.
  • The workday ended up being long, and it’s still unclear how much progress I made, but my steps were all headed in the direction of improvement.
  • After I made it home, we headed down to Potato Creek to see what we could find to photograph.  I eventually found a beaver swimming away from me at the headwaters of the lake.
  • It started to get quite foggy as we left the park but we headed out to eat dinner with my parents instead of going home right away.
  • Today’s photo is a collection of birds that I photographed mid-afternoon as the sun came out for a time.  These were a part of nature that I believe heeded the call of the song to “Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing!”

3137c623-9605-49b2-8f6e-8a934fd80837

2018: Page 44

2018: Page 44

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • I was awake shortly before the alarm was to go off and as I tried to decide if I would wait for it or just get out of bed I could hear the sounds of Susan having a seizure.
  • While I’m used to it and it no longer freaks me out, I still feel bad for her.
  • We should never get so used to people suffering that we no longer feel any sort of compassion for them.
  • It was supposed to warm up so I began the day with a couple less layers.  It was a very cold start to the day and on the drive to work I wished I had put those layers on.
  • It can be easy to look ahead to such an extent that we suffer because we weren’t paying attention to what was happening at the moment.
  • As I went about my morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep routines, my mind seemed to travel among a number of songs which focus around the word hallelujah — not a bad focus for any activity.
  • When I took the trash out it looked like God had pulled out a brand new set of pastel chalk to work on a sunrise scene, so I went back inside to grab a camera.
  • I spent a good part of the morning with some information technology, particularly networking, research to make sure the corrections I needed to make to the system wasn’t going to cause other problems.
  • Correcting things that are causing problems is a good thing to do as long as our corrections aren’t simply passing the problem along to someone else.
  • Susan spent most of the morning resting in my office as she watched episodes of her favorite series, “Touched By an Angel”.  I always figure it is a fitting series for her as the title also does a good job of describing her.
  • I wonder how different our workplaces, communities, and homes would be if we lived in such a way that people automatically thought “touched by an angel” described us.
  • I needed to pick up some supplies for work, so by early afternoon I wrapped up my tasks in the building and headed to Sam’s Club for lunch and the needed supplies.
  • When I finally made it home, the remainder of the day has been spent relaxing and doing some camera lens research.
  • It is fun to have a hobby that we can not only enjoy as a family, but that we can use to share the beauty of creation with others.
  • Today’s photo is one of the ones I took this morning as the sun prepared to rise over the eastern horizon.

img_3133

2018: Page 43

2018: Page 43

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • When it snows over a weekend it can feel like there wasn’t a weekend, but these written pages help remind me of how God has blessed me with a good way to help support my family and the ministry He has given me to do.
  • Whatever we’re in the midst of is rarely viewed objectively while we’re in it.
  • It was a bitterly cold start to the day which made the stars seem even brighter in the clear night sky.
  • When I’m able to remove distractions and “chill out”, God always appears closer and brighter to me.
  • With the cold temps I was thankful there wasn’t a lot that needed done outside to start the day . . . cleaned up a few icy spots on the sidewalks and that was it.
  • My morning cleaning and building prep was also the beginning of my prayer time regarding the writing of next week’s prayer guide.
  • When the building was ready for the day, I settled in with God and a few topics I thought were good things to pray about.  There were many others, but these were the ones that my earlier prayer time had narrowed the list down to in my mind.
  • As I prayerfully considered each topic and some scripture references for them, I eventually settled on the topic of “Answer”.
  • Many people familiar with the Bible have heard its instruction to “always be ready to give an answer”.  What is often missed is that the context has to do with giving an answer for the hope we have in the midst of difficult times and what feels like unjust treatment.
  • As with most things, God’s concern about our answers begins at the heart of the matter and not just on the technical wording of a response.
  • I think of the rich young ruler who could give a “good answer”, but went away sorrowful because his heart was not ready to live that answer.
  • My morning was filled with the writing, formatting, and scheduling for publication of the prayer guide.  As I worked and the sun began to moderate the outside temperature a little bit, some of the birds ventured out to spend some time outside my office window.
  • By afternoon I had some technical work to do with tracking down some components in our building network.  I enjoy the IT work but it can be a challenge to my mind as I don’t work in it on a regular basis.
  • Even the enjoyment we find in our time with God can seem challenging if we aren’t spending that time with Him on a regular basis.
  • After a mid-afternoon lunch I made it home and relaxed for a short time before deciding to head out for an evening family adventure.
  • We drove past a couple areas where we have seen snowy owls but we weren’t able to find them on this trip.
  • With plenty of sunshine and blue sky, we headed to the beach to get some photographs and do some walking.  With the snow still rather deep, the walking was more of a workout than usual.
  • We spent some time at our first beach-front stop but needed to spend time in the truck warming up before the sun actually set, so we drove down the shoreline to photograph the sunset at another location.
  • The sunset was incredible and by the time we made it home I found I had shot over 200 photos during our evening excursion. 🙂
  • When we really take in the beauty of God that He surrounds us with, it is almost impossible not to want more of it.
  • It was late enough when we got home that I spent some time going through the photos from the day and left the actual writing of this page until the next morning.
  • Today’s photo is actually today’s photos as I couldn’t decide. 🙂  In the first one I thought I was taking a photo of a blue jay and then found that there was a second one peering in from the side having a conversation.  The other photo is one of the sunset photos from Weko Beach in Bridgman, Michigan.

DSCN1875

28061231_10214189837875331_1886834999286289951_o

2018: Page 42

2018: Page 42

Some thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:

  • I was awake early to see if it had snowed overnight and it had.  
  • Forecasts and predictions are great, and even useful at times, but they’re not sure things.
  • The side windows of my truck were iced over fairly significantly but the snow covering the windshield kept me from having to scrape it as well.
  • As I headed into work to clear the new layer of snow from the sidewalks, I arrived just after the plow company began clearing the parking lot.
  • Clearing snow with a layer of ice on top is much easier than dealing with ice that is frozen onto bare concrete and pavement.
  • When we allow things to adhere to our lives, it becomes much more difficult to remove them than if we were to deal with them before they “take root”.
  • I found myself whistling a tune again as I ran the snowblower.  I used to whistle a lot more than I have recently but never really thought about it until now.  And no, I don’t remember what tune I was whistling this morning.
  • To me, whistling is a happy sound.  Perhaps I’m happier than I realize when I’m running the snowblower.  🙂
  • Once the walks were clear I went inside to warm up with a mug of coffee.  As I drank my coffee a pair of cardinals showed up outside my office window long enough for me to get a couple photos and then they flew off.
  • We had a guest preacher during our church gathering as the missionary to the Philippines that we help support was in town.
  • The weather seemed to have kept quite a few people away this morning, but it was a great time of worship and Bible teaching.
  • Brett’s message was focused on being sent. 
    • It’s not just missionaries and preachers who are sent to share the good news of Jesus — God wants each of us to share the message of Jesus everywhere we go.
    • For a person to believe in Jesus they have to hear about Him.  Who are you telling?  And perhaps more importantly, what are you telling them with your life and your words?
    • “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  But not just for “us”, for “them” too while they are still sinners.
    • God’s love isn’t dependent on our goodness.  We can never make ourselves good enough, but He can transform us into what we ought to be.
    • What we say we believe about the Bible doesn’t matter as much as what our actions say we believe about it.
  • After the church service it was lunch with my family and then a restful afternoon.
  • Even when the weather isn’t ideal, getting out and working/playing in the elements usually helps me sleep better at night.
  • As I prepare to close out the day, the forecast is calling for a very cold but dry night.  But as I did to start today’s page, I will still be up early in the morning prepared to clear walks again if I need to but satisfied if I don’t.
  • Today’s photo is of the male cardinal that stopped by outside my office for a brief visit this morning.

DSCN1859