Psalm 95 – The World is the Lord’s

Come, let us greatly rejoice in the Lord; Let us shout aloud to God our savior;  Let us come before His face with thanksgiving, And let us shout aloud to Him with psalms.  

For the Lord is a great God, A great King over all the gods;  For in His hand are the ends of the earth,

(Photo by Seth Bobosh)

And the heights of the mountains are His;  

For the sea is His, and He made it,

(Photo by Seth Bobosh)

And His hands formed the dry land.  

Come, let us worship and fall down before Him, And let us weep before the Lord who made us;  For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture And the sheep of His hand.   (Psalm 95:1-7)

The Sun – Serving God and Humans

“… the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night,

when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.

The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.

When the sun rises, they withdraw

and lie down in their dens.

People go out to their work
and to their labor until the evening.

O LORD, how manifold are your works!

In wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

(Psalm 104:19-24)

Springing to Life

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It has been pretty chilly in this part of the world lately.  We had some warmer days in February!  Above a wild Dwarf Iris.  Outstandingly beautiful.

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Above, another view of the Dwarf Iris.  A marvelous wild flower, which like many flowers can be viewed for only a short time before the flowers disappear.  Generally in the Bible the flower is a symbol of fading or temporary beauty.

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Peonies are cultivated and have flowers that do last a short while.

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The center of the Peony – the purpose of flowers is to produce seeds, not just beauty.  We cultivate flowers for their colors, shapes and fragrances.  In nature those attributes are needed more to attract pollinators.

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I was totally enamored by the color of the cones of the Weeping Blue Spruce above.

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Looking down on the Spring Larkspur it had a geodesic dome shape.

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Dogwoods were still in bloom the day I did my short walk at the Cox Arboretum.  You can see all my photos at Cox Arboretum, April 2017.

 

A Misty Fog

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“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. . . . and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.  (Jeremiah 51:15-16)

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The Prophet Jeremiah tells us that it is the same God who created the universe who makes fog appear on earth.   Yesterday morning was one of the foggiest days I’ve seen for a long time – perhaps a sign that God the Creator is still at work on earth.  A combination of a warm winter day with lots of moisture in the ground produced the dense misty fog.  It made it a difficult drive – for one could only see about half a block ahead.

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It did remind me of the second creation account in the book of Genesis where a mist came up from the earth just before God created the first human.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground— then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:4-7)

In the Wisdom of Sirach, there is an interesting interpretation of the above Genesis passage, for the mist turns out to be Wisdom who says:

“I came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
and covered the earth like a mist.
(Sirach 24:3)

You can see all the photos I took in the morning fog at Foggy Morning 2-20-2017.  The weather pattern may repeat itself again later this week so we may have more heavy, dense fog.  It would be great if it were the Wisdom of God.

Winter Snow

I am now a little past one month since my spinal fusion surgery, and thanks to God and to everyone’s prayers, my recovery is going well.  Even the surgeon expressed amazement that considering three spinal fusions, not only can I walk, but I walk without a cane, and the pain that led me to do the surgery is virtually gone.  No pain, no cane.

For those who watch a certain HBO series, “Winter is coming,” has particular meaning.  It has meaning in our world as well.  A surprise snow storm dropped almost 5 inches of snow on us, catching even the meteorologists by surprise.  Just a little ways north of us and south of us, they did not catch the snow.   I was planning to drive my car for the first time since surgery, but got grounded for fear of the wintery conditions.

It also brought to mind a couple of lines from the Akathist, “Glory to God for All Things.”

What sort of praise can I give You? I have never heard the song of the Cherubim, a joy reserved for the spirits above. But I know the praises that nature sings to You. In winter, I have beheld how silently in the moonlight the whole earth offers You prayer, clad in its white mantle of snow, sparkling like diamonds.

You are the Source of Life, the Destroyer of Death. By the light of the moon, nightingales sing, and the valleys and hills lie like wedding garments, white as snow. All the earth is Your promised bride awaiting her spotless husband.

You can see all of the photos which I took from my front and back porch at 1st Snow of December 2016.  I didn’t even dare walk (with or without a cane!) on the ice and snow.  For the first time in months, I took a few photos to capture the beauty.

3 Million Views

In 2008, I bought myself a camera and used it as an excuse to take walks.

I began photographing the things that attracted my attention.  I was a walk by shooter for sure.

In the 8 years since I got the camera took thousands of photos, just for the love of it.

I’ve posted all my photos at Fr. Ted’s Photos.  And many have been enjoying those photos besides me.

Photography helped me appreciate even more the beauty in God’s creation, and to be thankful for being able to see it.

Sometime earlier today my photos passed 3 million views.  I am truly grateful that so many others have been able to enjoy those photos.

I am not gifted enough to create beauty, but I try to capture it when I see it.

Because of health problems, I haven’t been out with the camera very much recently.  I tried my hand at coloring, trying again to capture beauty.

All of the photos in this blog came from my 2016 Favorites album.

I thank all my viewers and all those who have taken time to like some of the photos and to leave their comments.

All Things Bright and Beautiful (3)

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,

The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell

How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Cecil Alexander wrote this hymn for children in 1848.

Previous Blogs:  All Things Bright and Beautiful (1)   and  All Things Bright and Beautiful (2)

Is Our God Too Small?

 

For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of anyone,
or show deference to greatness;
because he himself made both small and great,
and he takes thought for all alike.

(Solomon 6:7)

Is our God too small?

“Too” can mean in English, “also.”  So yes, our God is too small.  As Solomon says God created the great and the small and is not more impressed with the great than the small.  God’s love is a constant in the universe, even for the tiniest of things.  Nothing is too small for God and everything is also small for the Creator of all.

One of the effects of the several surgeries, cancer and chemo which I have experienced over the past two years is that my world has shrunk in many ways.  Obviously planet earth has not grown smaller, but the part of it in which I participate has decreased in size.   I go on photo safaris very seldom these days.  When on those rare occasions I do go, it seldom is beyond the county I reside in.  And I tend to be paying attention to the small things.

I am not as steady as I used to be so getting macro photos becomes trickier as I don’t haul along a tripod.  But I do so appreciate and enjoy what I am able to see.  God makes things so beautiful – even that which is close and tiny.

I thought I would celebrate the little, the tiny and the small in this blog, giving thanks to God for all things.  It is amazing how small things can so attract one’s attention or jump into one’s vision.  Especially true if one is being attentive to the little things in life – if one has the eyes to see, the tiniest things can be captivating and even fill one’s eyes.

“Better is a little with the fear of the LORD

than great treasure and trouble with it.”   (Proverbs 15:16)

“… one who despises small things will fail little by little.” (Sirach 19:1)

“The bee is small among flying creatures,

but what it produces is the best of sweet things.”  (Sirach 11:3)

“Praise our God,

all you his servants,

and all who fear him,

small and great.”   (Revelation 19:5)

People ask me frequently if I’m doing “better.”  I always have to consider how to answer that.  A “little.”  For God takes thought for the small.  The doctors only speak about coping and managing,  not so much about better and worse.  A scale of one to ten.  “Better” for me is a moment not the direction in which things are headed.  So I can always enjoy the moment – a little.