Iowa, Beautiful Land
As children in elementary school, we were taught that the word “Iowa” meant “beautiful land,” and Iowa is a beautiful place in early summer. Rosy, morning skies and gilded sunsets punctuate the days. Fat, cumulus clouds tumble across acres of corn and soybeans. Golden oat fields sway in afternoon breezes. Wild roses, half hidden in the grasses, unfurl pink petals to uncover a yellow heart. Meadowlarks’ liquid calls pour over the fields. All this beauty speaks to me of a Creator, the Holy God.
Just as the weather vane on the top of our big shed points to the direction from which the wind is blowing, creation points to its Maker.
I speak to you continually. My nature is to communicate, though not always in words. I fling glorious sunsets across the sky, day after day after day. I speak in the faces and voices of loved ones. I caress you with a gentle breeze that refreshes and delights you.
I speak softly in the depths of your spirit, where I have taken up residence. You can find Me in each moment, when you have eyes to see and ears that hear. Ask My Spirit to sharpen your spiritual eyesight and hearing. I rejoice each time you discover My Presence. Practice looking and listening for Me and more of your moments. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me above all else.
–Jesus Calling: Enjoy Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory in the heavens.
Psalm 8:1-4 NIV
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge. Psalm 19:1-2 NIV
Look about you: the beauty of the rose or the glorious sunset–these and others are meant to proclaim His Presence in the world. –Sarah Young
And [the seraphim] were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:3 NIV
My prayer for us all:
that God may sharpen our “spiritual eyesight” so that we may discover His presence in a world full of His glory.
Running with Shepherds
When I saw the golden glow of light spilling in through the east windows of the house, I suspected the sunrise might be special. Still in my pajamas and bathrobe, I threw on an extra pair of heavy socks and old slippers (with a split in the sole) and crossed the creaking boards of the front porch until I could see the southeastern sky.
Yes! The colors were gorgeous, so I hurried back in the house, hung the camera around my neck, and poked my arms into the sleeves of a winter coat and my feet into my son’s several-sizes-too-big chore boots. Early morning colors change so rapidly; time and sunrise wait for no woman.
If you drove past my house just before sunrise a few days ago and were startled to see a wild-haired woman, shuffling through the snow, bathrobe flapping under a down coat, I apologize for my appearance.
My predawn dash was motivated by excitement, anticipation, and awe–I didn’t want to miss any of this sunrise, so I didn’t wait to get cleaned up and dressed.
Neither did the shepherds in the Christmas story. They didn’t stop to make themselves “presentable.” They hurried.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. Luke 2 :15-17 MSG
Don’t wait until you’re “presentable” before you hurry to Jesus.
Run with your broken sole/soul,
and unwashed heart.
Run to the manger to see what God has revealed.
But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Luke 2:10-12 NIV
God has invited you to a Christmas party, and it’s “come as you are.” Hurry. You don’t want to miss a thing.
Photos #4 and #6 by Barb Briggs
linked with Jennifer Dukes Lee
linked with Emily Wierenga
Thankful 30: Day 29–Readers
I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:
I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily
Day 29: I’m thankful for you readers who visit this blog.
I appreciate your kind and encouraging words.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11
For those of you who have enjoyed and commented on the photos of sunrise and sunset, this is how the morning and evening sky was painted today.
Skies are blazing with his splendor,
his praises sounding through the earth, Habakkuk 3:3
See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.
* name changed