Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Today I finally discovered why my brothers constantly rave about four-wheeling -- because it is so fun! While I have ridden on a four wheeler many times, I have never really driven one (which with four brothers that love to give their sisters rides, can you guess why?)

But today that changed, and the guys let all us girls head out....and I drove a four wheeler over 27 miles of Wyoming's rolling hills! It was fantastic! Though we came home thouroughly dusted, it was a wonderful adventure.

Posed in front of the mountains
Speedin' on!

Though I thouroughly enjoyed the adventure part of it, my favorite would still have to be seeing and enjoying God's creation. It is so amazing!

"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth...
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
measured heaven with a span
and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?...
The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth."
(Psalms 33:6, Isaiah 40:12, 28)

This is my Father's world, created out of nothing by His word.

God creates out of nothing.
Therefore until a man is nothing,
God can make nothing out of him.

Monday, April 24, 2006

This and That

Okay, so I discovered one bad thing about being a photographer and traveling the countryside. Every so often I find myself saying, "Quick! Stop the bus! I need a picture of this! It is so incredible!" (grin)

As is often the case, they don't. And I miss so many pictures! Like hundreds of pheasants flying out of the prairie grass as we drove...the awesome sight of the mountains as we came over the hill.
Oh well. Those will have to remain memories that I can't share with you in photo format. It is a good thing the driver doesn't always stop though -- for then we would probably be late to our engagements!

A lone antelope on the countryside

The mountains -- my God is so big!

We are asked to do the impossible task,
but we work with Him who can do the impossible.
-Hudson Taylor

Aren't you glad for His 'big-ness?' And that in His big-ness He cares for the little details of life?

The Latest and Greatest Adventure

Whew! It has been quite the weekend. Check it out!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Heading out...

It is time to hit the road again! In a couple hours my family and I are headed out on another trip to Wyoming and Montana. We have a full schedule, but I am looking forward to seeing what God will do. He always seems to teach me at least one big lesson on our trips. It is always good, though not often easy! But that is how the 'discipling' proccess works. It may be unpleasant at the time, but afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

My blessed task from day to day
is humbly, gladly, to obey.
H. M. Kimball

Glad obedience is often easier said than done! But what is God's plan for you? What responsibilities has He entrusted to you? Remain faithful! He hasn't called us all to the same tasks, but we must remain faithful to what He has given us.

Keep pressing on - on the King's Highway!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Busy as a Bee

The glory is not in the task,
but in the doing it for Him.
-Jean Ingelow

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,
and not unto men...
For ye serve the Lord Christ."
Colossians 3:23, 24

Did you hear?!

...the exciting news?! I am going to be a big sister again! Yipee!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Andrew's Senior Pictures

Whew! What a day.

Had a big photo shoot -- with my brother Andrew and my cousin Micah graduating this year, I was asked to do senior pictures. They made shooting pictures so much fun! I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

Though some of the pictures may look very mature and serious, just know that in between we were laughing, right guys?! And a big thank you to Nicole and Rachel for all the expertise help and holding the diffuser! Here's a small sampling of the shots...



Anybody have a favorite?!

Micah's Senior Pictures


And here is Micah's senior pictures! (I hope I posted the 6 out of the 150 that you wanted your friends to see, Micah!)




I tried some cool effects with this last one.

What do ya' think?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

The tomb is empty -- "He is not here, He is risen!"

Go tell my disciples.
Go rejoice in the life I gave for you that you might have life.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Photo tip

I've never posted anything like this, and I'd appreciate your thoughts if you'd like some more postings every once in a while along this line or not....

I am not a profesional photographer, but I have a joy for photography. For all those photo lovers, I though I'd share with you one of my favorite 'keys'. It is very simple. So simple it sounds...simple! It doesn't depend on the camera (though digital helps!) but it does take flexibility -- I've ended up in some pretty akward positions while trying to take some pictures. I am so glad my family doesn't have a camera to take pictures of me taking pictures!

Photo tip: Try different angles!

I love taking something normal, and capturing it from un-usual/unseen angles. It brings a whole new aspect to photographs! (For example, check out my tire tracks).

Here is my experiment with tulips...

The Tulip Bed
First of all, this is the tulip bed I had to work with;
up against our house, sandwiched between our house and the sidewalk.
But the following are close ups that I was able to get:

Peering Inside

Looking Up!

In the Breeze

Which is your favorite?!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Perfect Sacrifice

"Christ Jesus, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:5-8
Since today is Good Friday, this morning for devotions I read through the four different accounts of the crucifixion. What struck me was Pilate's words to the crowd: "What evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go." (Luke 23:22)

He is spotless, perfect.
I am filthy, a sinner.

But He loved me so much; and
He so loved His Father's will.

Which meant death. A cruel death. Humbling. The agony. The pain. The scorners. The mockers.

He endured it all.
That I might have life.
That I might be washed clean.
That I may know Him.
That one day I can live with Him eternally.

He suffered for my sins.

The awesomeness of it all...
The knowledge leaves me wordless.

"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11

Sacrifice...

It was Good Friday, back in the years during Hitler's regime.

In the German concentration camps like Auschwitz and Dachau, two female prisoners succeeded in escaping. It was very difficult, but they did.

When the Nazis found out they had escaped, they ordered all other female prisoners to stand in a row. A Nazi officer passed through the row and counted, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine-- you, step out from the row. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine," and again the tenth was taken out. Every tenth person was removed from the line to be killed.

One of those who had to come out from the row was a Jewess. She was also a communist. The Nazis hated the communists as much as they hated the Jews. They kept communists in prison.

When she was ordered to step out, she began to weep and pleaded, "Please, please have mercy on me. I have a little child."

"What do we care for a dirty Jewish child? Come out!"

Next to her stood Mary, who was a Russian Christian. The Nazis killed not only Jews and gypsies, but also the French and Russians. They also killed Germans who did not agree with Hitler.

An inner voice told Mary to "step forward and say that you wish to die in her place." She replied to the inner voice: "Why? She is not a Christian. She is a Jewish communist. The communists are as bad as the Nazis. When the Nazis are overthrown and the communists come to power, they will do the same thing. I won't give my life for a communist."

The inner voice said: "On a day like this, I died not for the good ones but for the bad ones, for sinners. Someone must die innocently. You step forward and say that you wish to die in her place."

She did. She stepped forward and said, "I wish to die."

It was such an amusement for the Nazi officers. They made jokes among themselves. "If you are so stupid to die in her place, all right, you come forward. Her turn will also come." They took her to the ovens where they burned prisoners after they killed them and threw her in.

Very soon after this, the Nazis lost the war. The Americans and the English occupied these camps and arrested all the Nazi officials. They prisoners talked about what happened with Mary. On the way to the burning oven, she had told the Nazis: "When God took His people out from slavery in Egypt, it is written in our Bible that He walked before them in a column of fire. I pray to God that when my body burns, it would be a column of fire which will show you the way to God. You come to God. I love you, and God loves you; and may my burning body serve you with this thought."

She went to her death.

The Voice of the Martyrs

"For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps...
Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return;
when He suffered, He did not threaten,
but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously."
1 Peter 2:21, 23

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rest in the Lord...

and wait paitently for Him...
Do not fret--it only causes harm.
Psalms 37:7, 8
Thus will I live and walk from day to day,
Contented, trustful, satisfied, and still;
What life so shielded, or what life so free,
As that within the center of Thy will!
Jane Woodfall

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A bird does not sing because he has an answer;
he sings because he has a song. ~Johnson

Today has been a harder day. Things don't seem to go quite like I want. No matter how much practice time I spend on my piano lesson piece, it remains un-playable. But that doesn't mean I have to quit rejoicing!

I don't have it all right yet, but I am working on it.
I don't have the end result, but I know The One who does!
Therefore, I rejoice.

"I will praise Thee for ever, because Thou hast done it:
and I will wait on Thy name; for it is good."
Psalms 52:9

Monday, April 10, 2006

Digging

God and I raised a flower bed.

He really did the most I guess
because we used his soil,
his air, his water, his life, his sun.
My part seemed so trivial that I said,
"Lord, you take those bulbs
and make them grow right here in the box out in the garage.
You don't need me, Lord, you can do it by yourself."

"No," he said, "I want to do my part,
I'm waiting to begin, but you must do yours too.
You'll have to dig the bed,
bury the bulbs,
pull the weeds."

"Okay, " I said,
and I did my feeble part.

And God took those bulbs,
burst them with life,
fed them with soil,
showered them with rain,
drew them with sunshine,
until we had beautiful flowers.

And then he seemed to say,
"Your life is like a garden,
And if you'd like we'll make it a beautiful thing.
I'll furnish the soil of grace,
the sunshine of love,
the rains of blessings,
the wonder of life,
but you must do the digging."

"Lord, you just go ahead,
make me what you want me to be.
Make me a saint,
fill me with compassion,
give me great faith."

"No," he said,
"You've got to keep your heart tilled,
hoe the weeds of evil,
chop away the second-best."

"I'll make you anything.
Pure, clean,
noble, useful,
anything you want to be.
But only if you dig."
Bob Benson

Ouch. I don't like digging! And wouldn't life be so much easier if God could just make me a saint, and I could live how I wanted? It is hard to say no sometimes -- especially in the 'little' areas. I have no problem with abstaining from alcohol or drugs, but I wrestle with using my time wisely, keeping my life de-cluttered, putting others first.

But those are the heart issues. It's painful to apologize, yet afterwards it yields peaceable fruit. Often times it is the harder path that brings the greater blessing. Don't we treasure something so much more if we have sacrificed and labored for it?

Hoe away the weeds in your life, chop down the second best, and let God do the rest.

NOTE -- I hope this post doesn't come across as contradictory after my last post where I stated "It is all Him." Yes, it is ALL Him. And yet if I don't take the time to read God's Word, how will His words "dwell in me richly"? How will I be able to meditate on scripture if I don't put forth the energy to memorize it? How will my relationship with my heavenly Father grow if I don't set aside time to spend in prayer each day? These may seem like 'small' decisions, but they are really the most important things I can do in a day.

And for all the photo lovers -- I took this picture of the tulip while on another walk today. It seems to take the sunlight, and magnify and reflect the sun's glory. Isn't that a beautiful picture of how our lives should be with the Son's light?

"So the King will greatly desire your beauty,
Because He is your Lord, worship Him."
Psalms 45:11

Friday, April 07, 2006

Micah 7:7-9

I read the book of Micah this morning. Isn't it amazing that no matter how much we read the Bible, there is always fresh verses and new insight? Here is my verse for the day:

"I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me.

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be a light to me.

I will bear the indignation of the Lord,
Because I have sinned against Him,
Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me.

He will bring me forth to the light;
I will see His righteousness."



Thank you doesn't seem adequate to express my gratitude for all He does for me. So I give Him myself. All of me. It is the least that I can do.

But isn't that is why God's work is so amazing?! Because I can't do it!

It is ALL Him.

I could expound more upon the verse the Lord gave me this morning, but I need to run and pack my suitcase for our family's weekend trip to Kansas. So I'll just let God's Words minister to you -- it is His words that are eternal. Mine will quickly fade away.

O God, You are my God. I will ever seek to praise You.
You are awesome in all Your works.
There is nothing I desire but You.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fruit from Nothing

Look at the contrasts I found while on my walk today: one picture is dry, dead, ugly. The next one is alive! Bearing fruit. Beautiful to look upon. But isn't that how life is?

God creates out of nothing.
Therefore until a man is nothing,

God can make nothing out of him.

"I can take a grain of wheat and clean it up, put it on a beautiful piece of china on my dining room table, shine lights on it, play music for it, pray for it, and what will happen to it? Absolutely nothing! It will always just sit there "alone."

What has to happen to that grain if it is to bear fruit? It must go down into the ground and die. If that grain of wheat had feelings, I can imagine it might say, "Hey, it's dark down here! It's cold down here! It's lonely down here!" But in that dark, cold, lonely place, the grain will shed its hard outer husk so that the life within it may be released. Then- after it has "died"- it will put down roots, and the first shoots of new life will finally spring forth."
(Nancy Leigh DeMoss in Brokenness)

"God is able to make all grace abound toward you,
that you, always having all sufficiency in all things,
may have an abundance for every good work."
II Corinthians 9:8

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Comments

Okay ya'll -- I have a question. Why do some posts get lots of comments, and others none at all?! We've wondered about this phenomena for some time both on this and our family blog. We enjoy hearing from you!

Just curious -- and feeling inquisitive tonight!

(grin)

Spring is here!

And with it is all the new life and fresh picture opportunities!

Here's a picture of some calla lilies I took today -- I thought that little drop of moisture was to cute to pass up.


Never be afraid of giving up your best --
and God will give you His better.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A glass of water

A cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.
~Amy Charmicael

I had my whole family laughing at me during dinner. And all because of the picture I included in my post today. It started out innocent enough -- with Grandma and Grandpa Hager here, Rachel had me running around getting pictures of them to blog on our family blog. I was in the middle of it all when the call for dinner came -- so my camera came to the table with me!

I was one of the first ones done eating, and a quote from the weekend came to mind, so I pulled out my camera and started "shooting" a close up. "What are you doing?" and "That MUST come from the Wissmann side of the family -- none of us Hager's would do that!" and "Bethany has to much time to think of crazy things while she folds laundry," and other such teasing comments floated around the table as we all laughed.

So you see the picture above, along with the quote that started it all. Do you think it was worth it? I'm still trying to decide! But I love the quote -- if I am so full of the joy of the Lord, then no matter what unplanned or unpleasant situation arises, I can respond with His joy! But if I am full of 'me,' then guess what will spill out?! A selfish me!

Mabye I didn't need a picture to post along with that quote, but since I went to all that trouble... (grin)

Restrictions:

"You are not restricted by us,
but you are restricted by your own affections."
2 Corinthians 6:12

It is not man's laws or ordinances that hinder me, but rather myself.

My affection for temporary things.
My desire for man's approval.
My love for vain fancies.

These are the things that keep me from bearing more fruit.
These are the things things that keep me from growing closer to Jesus Christ.
These are the things I must rid my life of.

"Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart." Psalms 26:2