Thursday, June 29, 2006

Constantly Giving

"Give to him who asks you,
and from him who wants to borrow from you,
do not turn away."
Matthew 5:42

I always used to think that this verse was talking about a financial, money situation, but now I am finding out that it can also mean my time, my energy, and my resources. It is often exhausting to always be giving; always serving; always attentive to other's needs. Yet this is what God commands! Even if we are compelled into something, and it wasn't our choice to serve, we are still to go that extra mile. (Matthew 5:41)

And to tell the truth, often times it seems that I am just throwing bread on the waters. I've wondered before, "Am I really making a difference by stopping to give an encouraging word here, an action there, giving my time to others that I would rather take for myself?"

But what is faith? Isn't it living out an action because we believe it to be true, and base our lives upon it? Believing in that which we cannot see? The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen? (Hebrews 11:1) So I continue on -- knowing and believing God's promises -- "Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days." (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

Oh the tragedy -- to hear, and do nothing.
To know -- but not believe and trust.

Oh the tragedy -- to love my Savior and others so little that it doesn't affect my life, or those around me.

I mention these things, because there are some specific things and situations that I am dealing with. Please don't take it that I am tired of blogging -- because I'm not! My brain is overflowing with ideas! (grin) You all are such an encouragement to me to continue blogging, but as I mentioned earlier, not everyone is as responsive as ya'll! Blessings to you! Never stop pressing in to know Jesus Christ more closely, and letting Him live and flow through you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rainbows in my sky

Tonight my plans changed last minute, and I ended up flying with Josiah down to Kansas, the plan being that I'd keep him awake while driving home. Since it was so last second, I almost didn't grab my camera - but I did.

What an incredible flight. There were some huge clouds we had to fly under, and as we listened to the radio, we realized there was a possible storm approaching.

Soon, the raindrops started hitting the windshield of the airplane. Josiah assured me that he had flown in rain before...but not quite this heavy! (grin) It soon let up, and then -- oh, I wish you all could've been in the airplane with us. Little rainbow trails started appearing - it was SOOOO incredible.

And then I looked behind us, only to realized that there was one complete rainbow! The full circle. It was awesome! Now I don't say that many things are awesome (that word gets over used in today's society), but anything that God does is His creation.

And seeing it from several thousand feet in the air was an experience in itself. It looked like the rainbow was encircling there was no starting or ending point.

Pictures don't do it justice. As hard as Josiah banked the plane and I tried to capture on film, it was still way to big to fit in on one little camera picture. Sorry! I tried!

But isn't that how it is with God's love? Never ending, has always been, personal and real, yet at the same time way to big to understand its vastness?

"The rainbow shall be in the cloud,
and I will look on it to remember the
everlasting covenant between God
and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
Genesis 9:16

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Psalms 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped."
God never fails those who truly trust.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Painting with light

We are home once again!

And to echo Nathanael's answer when I asked him this morning if it was good to be home: "Yeah -- (slight pause) -- VERY good."

It was a wonderful, action filled trip. On of my highlights this weekend was being able to spend some extra time with a family from North Dakota. Their daughter Amanda is also doing quite a bit of photography, so we enjoyed the time to talk and bounce ideas off of each other!

We also tried some experiments. Have any of you heard of "Painting with light?" I am still learning the basics myself, but in short: a camera just records that which it sees -- what the light shines upon. So in the dark, using a tripod, a flashlight and a slow shutter speed, we painted our subjects with light.

Due to it staying light until almost 11:00pm in Canada, we were up till midnight messing around with different settings. Here are some pictures from our evenings work:
A tree stump with the skyline in the horizon.
Another tree with shrubs growing at the base of it. (In case your wondering why this tree looks purple-ish and the leaves pink, we used a blue flashlight for the more 'midnight' effect.)

A fence around a wheat field

Using the blue flashlight this time, we again tried the fence post. (A totally different effect!)

When painting with light, one can also do some very neat effects using people...and no, there were no triplets around, this is just my brother Josiah having a conversation with himself.

Me, Myself, and I

I have barely scratched the surface with all that can be done painting with light, but now I am very anxious to try some more. Whatd'ya think?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What do you pray for?

Do not pray for easy lives,
Pray to be stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers,
Pray for power equal to your tasks.
P. Brooks

And camp is over -- it was quite a week! I learned so much again. The quote I posted above really describes my time: it wasn't always easy, but I know I grew in the Lord's strength. And the assignments the Lord gave me were way beyond my power, but not beyond His!

Friday, June 09, 2006

We're headed out once again --

for camp time has arrived! I probably won't be posting here for a few weeks since getting on-line is always sporadic while we are on the road. You can check out our family blog for the most recent updates.

And since I have the hardest time pushing 'Publish Post' without posting a picture...

Here's one of Nathanael 3 years ago -- trying to drive bus! Maybe in a few (13!) more years... But isn't he cute?!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A chance to die

An older missionary said something to Amy Charmichael when she was a young missionary that stayed with her for life. She had spoken of something which was not to her liking. His reply was,

"See in it a chance to die."
Elisabeth Elliot

Monday, June 05, 2006

Ragnar & Angela

And this is one of those days when I am wondering why I have a I'm having a hard time getting the pictures to download ! I'm not sure why...I've never struggled with this before. I had hoped to get these posted earlier today, but it didn't happen. Anyway, with much sweat and patience, I think I
f-i-n-a-l-l-y got all the pictures downloaded for you to see! And you all had better comment and make it worth it! (grin)

This weekend I was able to take some friends' engagement photos.

"I've never taken engagement pictures before," I told them as we headed out.

"You know, I've never had my engagement pictures taken, either!" they both turned to each other and laughed.

So we learned together, and this is a sampling of what we got:

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, I prayed specifically for a beautiful sunset, and that everything would work out perfect with the details of timing and the like. As you can tell by the silhouette photos, God answered those prayers above and beyond what I had imagined!

They have asked me to do their wedding photos come September 9th. I have never done a wedding either, so I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I study and prepare throughout the summer.

Stay tuned as I continue to venture into this new area of learning!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Where Is Happiness?

Not in:

Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type; he wrote --

"I wish I had never been born."

Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure and wrote --
"The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone."

Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of money. When dying, he said --
"I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."

Position and Fame
Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both, and
wrote --
"Youth is a mistake; manhood, a struggle; old age, a regret."

Military Glory
Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Then, he wept in his tent and said --
"There are no more worlds to conquer."

Where, then, is happiness found?

The answer is in Christ alone.

"My soul shall be joyful in the LORD:
it shall rejoice in His salvation."
Psalm 35:9
Jesus said --
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul?
or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Matthew 16:26