2016: Page 337

Page 337 began in the early morning hours doing the daily cleaning and building prep tasks.  As I sat at my desk in the morning twilight to check messages, a deer walked by my window and looked in to see what I was doing.  I didn’t have a camera out yet and I don’t think there was near enough light yet for a photo to turn out even if my camera was ready.  That’s okay though, because as evening fell another deer came by to see if I was still here and this time I had a camera out and it wasn’t as dark yet so I managed a photo of him looking at me.  I posted that photo on my Facebook timeline tonight but it isn’t the photo that made today’s page.  But, wait.  I’m getting ahead of myself. 🙂

After the cleaning was done and the deer had made her way off into the woods, I spent much of the morning in prayer and study as I sought direction for sermons I will share on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  I also tried to make some connections in finding someone doing prison ministry in south Florida that would be willing to do some follow-up with individuals who have been writing me and requesting Bible reading calendars.  So far, no responses but I’ll wait and see what God may be wanting to do with this.  I have also begun to spend time in prayer seeking direction regarding a potential time of prayer on New Year’s Eve.  Last year I ended up covering 5 of the last 6 hours so it ended up being somewhat discouraging that after spending the time preparing and promoting it, people weren’t all that interested in participating.

By mid-afternoon it was time for a break and lunch.  It was still cold and dreary with an occasional bout of light precipitation but I grabbed a sandwich and headed to the riverwalk to clear my head with some fresh a brisk walk.  I suppose the dreariness of the day helped make the few spots of color stand out so they couldn’t be missed.  Or it could be that my photographer’s eye has become trained to look for even the smallest of things that appear photo worthy.  Either way, I was surprised at the number of different types of flower blossoms that I was able to find and photograph.  Most of them, like the photo on today’s page, showed signs of the plant dying and the effects of earlier frosts upon them.  Yet they stood boldly, blooming as brightly as they could even in the midst of all the hardships that have destroyed most of the other visible plant growth and blossoms.  As I snapped today’s photo, it was a picture of how I felt — trying valiantly to shine brightly while there’s a feeling of death creeping up on the edges of life.  It made me think of the words of Ecclesiastes that to everything there is a season.  Sometimes the greatest difficulty I have is in understanding what season I am in.

After my walk, it was back to work where I’ve been spending the evening back and forth between cleaning and writing today’s page.  As I go through the building getting it ready for Sunday, I pray that I would learn contentment in whatever circumstances God would have me live.  I also pray that I would fully pursue all that God would desire for me to be.  I pray that you and I would learn to shine with whatever amount of life God gives us.  I pray that we would keep our eyes focused on Jesus as He proclaims us to be valuable as His children.

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