Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ghost of Christmas Present

Christmas and all that it means is eternal but the day itself comes and goes.  Some come and go easily.  This one has not.  I don’t know if it’s just been how late Thanksgiving came but things have felt off to me for a long time.  The weather has been brutal too then we get freezing rain with it which is unusual for us in these parts.  Sometimes the hype is so intense you’re left sort of undone when it’s all overDSC02960.  The gifts which have sat neatly under the tree now lie in disarrayDSC02961 .  I try not to let it make me feel sad but it always doesDSC02962.  These are the times when I think my salamander has the right ideaDSC02964…things come and go as do days but you can’t let it eat you up…what’s eternal remains.  My salamander doesn’t let season’s passing bother him…each day he relishes the life he’s got…it’s perfect in its simplicity.  Outside it seems to be rather bleak as wellDSC02965.  The wind is cold but a sullen melt is progressing…and I stand here seemingly aloneDSC02966.  It feels bitter and lonely with no comfort or warmth to be foundDSC02967.  Everywhere I turn a cold wallDSC02968.  But then I remember something I preached in an Idaho maximum security prison.  You are here in prison because of crimes against the state but as far as God is concerned you’re forgiven.  If you receive Him as He’s received, loved, and forgiven you there will be no four walls that can hold you in…your spirit will be free.  That moment was something I’ll never forget…for a moment there was no prison for them or me.  We were all aware of something.  Beyond the fears and pains and even natural jails that can imprison we were free together before God because that…that is eternal…it can never be encaged though we may at times forget.  This temporal realm pails next to eternity and suddenly the darkness fades and I see the empty wrappers as fulfilled blessings and the cold winter landscape as…dare I say it…DSC02969..beautiful!  Take courage my friends.  There is a reason for the season.  Christ is eternal…this is His day…as are all the rest.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Nutcracker Army Faces Winter’s Roar

Yes, it looks like winter came in (again) with a roarDSC02950.  It makes me glad to be appreciating it from inside todayDSC02951.  Our nutcracker army is standing at attention from their cozy perchDSC02952.  They just keep on smilingDSC02953.  They are completely happy with this turn of eventsDSC02954but then again maybe I’d smile too if it were painted onDSC02955.  This cheerful army always blesses meDSC02956.  They seem to be cheering us on from up thereDSC02957.  They remain unaffected by snow and coldDSC02958.  I could envy them from withoutDSC02959but I think I’ll join them inside instead!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Keep Smiling

Things give us two options:  laugh or cry.  This weather has left me with this choice every dayDSC02944.  We got not only more snow but winds causing drifting.  The bright side is it’s warmer…still I can’t be inspired to stay out and take more snow pictures.  Time to take a lesson from the nutcrackerDSC02945.  They smile no matter whatDSC02946.  Sure that smile is possibly a grimace but in a crowd…it’s not at all creepy…or is itDSC02947?  The kids are  excited about it.  We see The Hobbit’s next installment on Friday, the gifts are piling upDSC02948so I prefer to see these as Christmas smiles…not grimaces of enduranceDSC02949.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Sun Giveth No Heat

That’s right, it’s cold enough that I went King James on y’all!  Lovely’s accident on icy roads made me realize just how much I have to be thankful for.  The roads remain awful but God is still big enough and His grace sufficient for us.  Below zero temperatures mean the heavy snow will be with us for a while I think.  I braved the sub-zero weather for a few pictures.  Things are blanketed where they were before the storm…even this water pot on our outside coffee tableDSC02930.  Our coffee table now looks more like a double (or triple) stuff Oreo cookie nowDSC02931.  The steps are well covered tooDSC02932.  I’m no fan of horrible cold but it does have a deadly beautyDSC02933.  The white and sapphire palate is severe but amazing but I think the barbecue is once again on holdDSC02934.  This is such a brave tree standing vigil in the frigid new worldDSC02935.  Our solar lights may have trouble energizing under the snow and now stand as snow mushroomsDSC02936.  My favorite Christmas tree is not decorated by the hand of man rather it’s dusted by the fingers of GodDSC02937…now It’s not merely a frost but snow on the needlesDSC02938.  The gate’s locks will remain untested until there’s a melt offDSC02939.  Our fence has braved some storms in the summer now comes winter’s onslaughtDSC02940.  The drifting wasn’t as bad as forecast fortunatelyDSC02941.  The sun has no heat today but I’m warmed by those praying for our family.  Lovely is fine…so is our vehicle.  God is more of a fence of protection then our vinyl fence could ever beDSC02942.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

Many people have had days of thanks before Thanksgiving but for me the little things I don’t necessarily expect that pop up and surprise me each day naturally bless me the most of all.  Getting up today to the smell of turkey cooking flooded my mind with memories of Thanksgivings past.  My dear grand parents now past away made wonderful delights.  I’m thankful for each time we had them with us on Thanksgiving.  Waiting on dinner brought my attention to our various things we’ve gathered from travels abroadDSC02905.  I’ve spent Thanksgiving in tiny and remote villages away from home…it’s good to be home now and remember those days from here with my family todayDSC02906.  My wife is Filipino and is a wonderful cook.  My mother and she made food this year againDSC02907.  .  Nothing not American classic for us today.  Ah, the stuffingDSC02908.  Stomachs full and food put away makes me now able to look forward to Christmas.  I don’t like to get into it before Thanksgiving is even past…now we begin with an ornament showcase.  We’ve a good variety…some of which are little girl specificDSC02911.  Some reflect my wife’s love of photographyDSC02912.  Others are classic through and throughDSC02913.  A few look good enough to eatDSC02914.  Some are patrioticDSC02915.  A couple show the Asian side of our familyDSC02916…another you might try to open before ChristmasDSC02917.  One even reflects my Dad’s fishing abilityDSC02918.  This one reminds me of the every crowing roosters in the PhilippinesDSC02919.  Here’s one that could be hung on the 4th of JulyDSC02920.  This looks like ribbon candy that my grandpa on Mom’s side of the family used to dearly loveDSC02921.  I’d say this may reflect me someDSC02922.  Look, a ginger bread man…don’t try to eat him thoughDSC02923.  This could reflect either me or my kidsDSC02924.  What would Christmas be without lady libertyDSC02925.  Here we find a warm cabinDSC02926.  Not sure where this knight came from but I like himDSC02927.  It’s now fairly warm but later on I may wish this hearth was realDSC02928.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!