"But I have had God's help to this very day..." (Acts 26:22)
I spotted him on the way to the church picnic and had to stop. The billy goat and his buddies really didn't seem too bothered by his dilemma. When I walked to the fence to take the picture he made his way over and seemed to want help (or maybe, no probably, food...).
Anyway, I reached over the fence, removed his "crown," and watched while he and his buddies proceeded to eat it... The weed was wrapped around his horns pretty tightly so I doubt he would have been able to remove it by himself - and I doubt he would have had the patience to stand still long enough for his friends to eat the weed while it still entangled him. This billy needed help.
Sometimes I think we live in a culture that seems tipped too much toward rugged individualism. Don't get me wrong, it's certainly important that we work hard to do our best and succeed at our goals. A stubborn "git 'er done" (by myself) attitude is necessary at times.
Blog Posts by Dr. Gary Nelson
"...help..."Read More »from Help
Read More »from Worry
"And can any of you by worrying add a single hour..."
"Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?" (Luke 12:23-50)
On Sunday evening I spotted the bug, recently stuck in the spider's web but still alive and kicking, struggling to free itself from its pending doom. By the next afternoon, the bug was hardly recognizable as it hung neatly wrapped beside a decapitated grasshopper in the spider's meat locker.
Somehow I take comfort knowing that I am part of my God's plan that is so amazing that even spiders have meat lockers. As soon as I mention "God's plan" I know I've stepped into dangerous territory. Some might ask, "Are you
"...my pain is ever with me."Read More »from Pain
"For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me." (Psalm 38:17)
Ouch! I remember as a young boy wandering through the woods with my buddies, stumbling upon a barbed wire fence, and trying to figure out if we should go over, under, or through it. (Be real -- the thought rarely crossed our minds that "none of the above" and "stay out" were the correct choices. We were explorers!) Inevitably, one of us would get hung up on the fence and have to explain the torn shirt or pants to mom. Ouch!
The barbed wire fence in the picture is meant for one purpose - to send a painful message to a cow bumping against it, a message that screams, "Back off, stay inside the pasture where it's safe. Don't go out on the road and pretend you're a deer waiting to be hit by a passing car." The painful message from the barbed wire sends an important message to the cow that just might save it's life (at least until it reaches the slaughterhouse.)
Much of the time pain serves
"...unfailing love..."Read More »from Failure
"Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise." (Lamentations 3:21-23)
Okay, you're right - it's either the north end of a bird flying south or the south end of a bird flying north. Take your pick. I didn't crop the head out of the picture. I just missed it altogether. I've learned with my new incarnation in photography that in order to get "the perfect shot" I usually mess up several others. Thank goodness for digital cameras. If I were still using film the cost of so many botched photos would end my photographic meanderings and you'd not be seeing much of Wednesday Wonderings.
I've seen a lot of dramas on TV and movies where the hero proclaims, "Failure is not an option." I find that failure is always an option. I don't want to fail, I don't like to fail, I hope I don't fail, I do everything within my power not to fail, but failure is an option and a reality.
"...made new..."Read More »from New
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
I've seen a hummingbird... and I've seen a moth... but I'd never seen such a thing as a hummingbird moth until this week when one showed up at the butterfly bush in our front yard. I was spellbound. I took the picture without knowing what the creature was until a friend helped me identify it. I am totally in awe of the way God manages to surprise me. I chased that moth around the bush for several minutes. Do you remember the excitement of finding or experiencing something new? The "new" can invite us into a transformational moment of joy and hope. What a gift God gives us when we are invited to experience the newness of life.
It is also a gift to be invited into the experience of
"...relief..."Read More »from Relief
"The Lord will give the people of Israel relief from their pain and suffering..." (Isaiah 14:3) Patti and I visited the coastal area of Maine last week... Relief is so critical in our lives - relief from our own pain and suffering, relief from the pain and suffering of others, relief from our labor, and even relief from the oppressive heat that suffocated the eastern part of our country last week. (Thought I'd try to offer some relief with a photo from a winter's visit to Maine instead of one from the 98 degree heat we experienced.)
Relief is one of many gifts from God. Sometimes relief comes after much anticipation, sometimes it surprises us. Regardless of how and when it arrives, relief is something to be welcomed and cherished. Yet, there are times when we may find it almost difficult to celebrate relief. When loved ones end their long struggles with illness and finally leave us to join God's heavenly celebration, sometimes it's difficult for those left behind to
"But if any of you lack wisdom..."Read More »from Wisdom
"But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all." (James 1:5)
The thermometer read 100 degrees as I stood in the parking lot of the shopping outlet center in Pennsylvania yesterday (Wednesday) and took this picture of the power plant's cooling towers busily working to provide the energy for my refreshment. How grateful Patti and I had been that the outlet store that sells the Crocs we like to wear had been air-conditioned. (Many of you know we love to wear our Crocs lots of places, like in the water along the Maine shoreline while we visited our daughter the day before.)
Yesterday, as we walked from one air-conditioned outlet store after another and braved the sweltering heat in between, we were grateful for air conditioning. Yet, as I looked at the towers in the photo I realized (coming from a coal producing and burning state) that something was missing --
"...my plans are shattered..."
"My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart." (Job 17:11)
I was profoundly struck by what seemed like the lingering pain and suffering seeping from the walls as I walked the hallways of the abandoned Transallegheny Lunatic Asylum (better known to many in more recent years as the old Weston State Hospital). As I stared out this shattered window it made me particularly mindful of those who stood at the windows of their rooms in the asylum for much of their lives, watching the world pass them by. For many of them it was the feeling that, "My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart," that brought them to the asylum. Their depression and despair became their prison before they ever entered the asylum.
When plans are shattered, even very important Read More »from HOPE
"...out of the mud..."
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:2)
Okay, so it's Thursday and "Wednesday Wonderings" is a day late... Patti and I finished our first full day at the Alive 10 Christian Music Festival in Ohio yesterday sometime after midnight. We have a booth in the vendors' tent where we pass out information on "teen depression" to many of the 20,000 folks expected at the event. On Saturday at the festival I'll give a seminar on teen depression
Frankly, after yesterday I don't want to go back. I want to quit. Yesterday the sun mercilessly baked us until the heavens opened and the rain came down in buckets.Read More »from Committment
"...cling to what is good."
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
A droplet of water clings to the bottom of a flower petal. WOW, what a miracle. Some powerful force must be at work to enable such a bond. When the force weakens, the water no longer clings, and falls to the ground with a "splat." A miracle becomes an ordinary "splat."
I looked up the definition of "cling," and found that "to cling" means, "to hold on tightly," or, "to remain very close," or, 'to remain persistently or stubbornly faithful to something." I like that. I think we need more persistent, stubborn faithfulness today. "No matter what happens, I'm not letting go!" That's what I want to hear when I'm dangling over the rail of some difficult situation. I want to know that someoneRead More »from Cling To What Is Good