2017: Page 255

Page 255 began with the usual prayer, cleaning and building prep.  As I took the trash out, the eastern sky was beginning to show some light over the tree line, so I set up my camera to do a sunrise time-lapse.  As I was photographing, a mother deer and her two young came out of the woods beside me.  My zoom camera was shooting time-lapse and I had a wide angle lens on the camera in my hand.  By the time I got a hold of my medium range zoom, the deer had moved to the end of the field where the lighting wasn’t adequate to get very good photos.  It wasn’t long, however, until another mother deer came out beside me with her young one.  This time I had my mid-range zoom in hand and the deer just stood there watching me for quite a while.  I took a some photos of them standing there before they took off down the field.  Today’s photo was taken while they were on their way away from me and it made me think of the story of Peter and John healing the lame man who, according to the song, went “walking and leaping and praising God, walking and leaping and praising God!”

After the deer had finished walking and leaping and praising God all the way out of my sight, I went back inside to take care of some work projects.  As I worked in the office and followed up on some messages, I heard the distinct sound of Susan having a seizure.  It had been a while since she had one, so I guess we were due.  It is still a sound that no matter how often I hear it, it gets my attention immediately.  While it didn’t go into what we would call a major seizure based on convulsive activity, it was according to a measure of time.  As I held her and talked to her and tried to reassure her throughout the seizure and as she was coming out of it, I couldn’t help but think of what an incredible gift she is to me — and to all who know her.  

Once the seizure was done I took her home so she could get cleaned up and get some rest.  As she rested, I turned my attention to getting a location and date set for the first Growing Strong retreat.  After leaving messages with a couple location options, I headed to lunch with my family.  When we got home I had a response from one of the locations that I really liked, so I began the process of confirming the dates so I could begin to promote the retreat.  I’m pretty excited about both the content and the location for this retreat as it will take place at the Maumee Bay State Park near Toledo, Ohio.  My family and I had visited the park a few weeks ago to see how it would measure up to what I was looking for, and I left that day thinking it would be perfect.  The park is set along the Lake Erie shoreline and has a really nice boardwalk trail through the park which will be a great asset for the directed quiet times and free time.  More information will soon be available on the Growing Strong retreat web page at www.growingstrongretreats.com or on the Growing Strong facebook page — www.facebook.com/growingstrongretreats.  

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • Whether seen or not, the sun rises each day and serves as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
  • The good seeds of faith planted in childhood are not wasted.
  • When you connect a Bible truth and/or story to a fun childhood song, it can plant a seed that stays with you well into adulthood.
  • Sometimes it seems like the best opportunities come when I’m not prepared.  
  • Missed opportunities ought to prepare us to be ready for the next opportunity.
  • God continually uses nature and wildlife to remind me of how I ought to praise Him.
  • Some things get our attention immediately whether we want them to or not.
  • Sometimes all you can do is hold and reassure a person until they are able to reconnect with reality.
  • Living by faith is difficult . . . living without faith is even harder.
  • God wants us all to grow strong in the Lord and I continue to pray that the retreat concept He has put in my mind will be a great tool to help people do that.

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