April 24, 2010

God's Glory in Creation

Jimmy was lying out in the field the other day. Glancing out the window I would have thought he'd dropped from a heart attack or stroke, but a slight squint of the eye revealed a camera in his hand. Now, that made sense and put my heart to rest.

Hard at work doing his favorite thing, he was busy capturing the beauty of nature up close and personal. A little click here and a quick snap there and soon he appeared with the most astounding proof that God is as intricate as He is powerful, for even a dandelion is nothing short of amazing.

(click on pictures to enlarge)

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare
before the eyes of Him to whom
we must give account."
Hebrews 4:13

Glory to you Lord for the beauty you bestow all around us each and every day. We praise you for your faithful love and abundant provision. You are the only true and living God. May we glorify your holy Name in all we do.

April 20, 2010

Take Flight

It was early morning and I was plugging along on the last 1/2 mile of my early morning run. The sidewalk's incline was slight but ever so tiring and all I could think about was the oasis that lie ahead, the refreshing bottle of water sitting on my door step. Like a sloshy stop watch, it's the last thing I touch before heading off and the first thing I pick up when I arrive back home. Just over the hill and one left turn, then I'd be home and done for the day.

I was tired on the last hill and a little slow as well, but steady nonetheless. I was going to finish no question about it. The sun was shining horizontal rays across my path and the birds were busy with their daily activities. One little Robin was so caught up in her early morning routine she hopped from the grass onto the sidewalk and began running in front of me. I don't think she saw me at first but once she landed on the pavement my presence began to haunt her. She ran like the wind in a wavy pattern and I couldn't take my eyes off her delicate little bird legs. How does she run so fast on those tiny little sticks?

She was about seven feet ahead of me and the thought crossed my mind she might "pass the baton" at any second. We kept pace with one another for a time, but the longer we ran together the more uncomfortable she became. I sensed her tension and couldn't help wonder why she didn't just up and fly away. Sure she was way smaller than me and I far stronger, but she had one thing I didn't have. Something that could whisk her off to safety in nothing flat...wings to fly far far way.

Little Miss Robin eventually gathered her wits and took flight. She was gone in a flash leaving me to pound the pavement that last 1/2 mile home. Our little jog together may have scared her a bit, but it got me thinking a lot. Sometimes I'm like my little fowl friend. I get to doing my own thing when suddenly the enemy is on my tail scaring me half to death. I pick up the pace but am no match for his skill and expertise. So I run and run and run, forgetting I have something he doesn't have...wings to fly away.

Paul describes eight different kinds of wings we can use to fly from the enemy when he's hot on our trail. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things." Philippians 4:8 He goes on to tell us, in verse 9, that when we set these wings in motion the peace of God will be with us. A far cry from running in terror.

God's word is full of great truth designed for our daily living. While the enemy wants to intimate and distract, the Lord is ready to protect, guide, and direct our every step. What great strength we gain in having a positive attitude and mind set on the things of God. Focusing on the truth of God's word effectively leaves our enemy in the dust, much like miss birdie left me on the hill.

If you feel chased by the enemy take flight. Meditate on all that is true, lovely, good, and praiseworthy. Then relax with the peace of God in your heart. If anyone asks where you get your peace, tell them from a birdie...Little Miss Robin.

April 17, 2010

What's Your Default?

I came to a conclusion this week. Our little dog Cocoa Bean's default is set on bad. Granted he's been a pistol since the day he was born, but this week sealed the deal.

I woke Thursday morning, let the dogs out, took a quick bath, and sat down to put on my make-up. But before propping myself in front of the mirror, I felt compelled to take a quick peek out the bedroom window to see what the dogs were doing. To my utter shock and dismay I saw Cocoa IN the garden Jimmy had just planted. The one with a wire fence around it.

Hollering Bean! into the inky dawn, I hustled to the kitchen to get him inside before more damage could be done. My shout woke Jimmy who got up just in time to witness the whole thing. I finished putting on my make-up on and headed out the door, sure the subject was closed.

Not long after arriving at work an email titled "Bean Almost Met His Maker" popped onto my computer screen. Seems Jimmy let him out again for a quick pit-stop and Cocoa took a bee-line straight for the garden and dug up a couple of pepper plants in less than 60 seconds flat. I couldn't believe what I was reading and that's when it hit me...Beanie Weinie's default is set on bad.

You and I have a default setting too and how we respond to trials and temptations determines what our setting is on. When Martha and Mary lost their brother Lazarus in John 11 for example, the first person they called was Jesus. They loved Him with all their hearts and knew He loved them in return. Even in their darkest hour they waited patiently for their Savior, the only one who could relieve their distress.

Have you ever stopped to think what your default setting is on? If not, think about about how you respond when times get tough? Do you become angry? Do you withdrawal? Go shopping? Place blame? Whatever your default is, if it isn't Christ seek to reset your system. I reset my heart each day through prayer and time in God's word, which keeps me balanced and focused on what is good and right. It's the only way to endure through trials and turn from temptations that can be so difficult to resist...like Mr. Beanie and the garden.

April 8, 2010

5K (Cholesterol) Update

It's final. I've committed to running my first 5K on May 1st and now I'm seriously training. I've consulted friends who know how to run (not just to the store) and begun implementing their advise into my life. Did you know the elderly need 50 grams of protein per day? Now, I'm not quite elderly just yet but I am facing that direction, so between running and gingerly aging I've started drinking protein drinks and focusing on food high in protein and it seems to be helping. I no longer crave sugar or carbs and seem to have enough energy to do my 3 miles. Furthermore, it might be my imagination, but weight lifting seems a little easier too. Who'd-a-thunk?

The good news is my run today went much better than two days ago. Granted Tuesday was a 80 humid degrees, I fought Cocoa Bean for a quarter of a mile and had to take him back home all to start over again, and today was beautiful dog-less 60 degrees, but it still felt like I'd made some progress. For instance on Tuesday I'd run and run and run and run all to look down and see it had only been a minute and a half! Jogging for 5 minutes was like running for an eternity as time seemed to stand still. Today, however, I ran 3 miles with 3 minutes walks in between each mile. I picked a route that had few hills and lots of shade, setting myself up for success rather than failure. As a result the dread I had before the run turned to joy seeing that little bit of improvement in just one week.

I'm finding another joy amidst the decision to run these 5Ks, others are joining me and as a result offering more help to some very good charities and causes. All of these 5Ks represent people in need and it's an honor to get in shape to make changes for the better.

Are you up to the challenge? If so check out:

April 5, 2010


Well the cat's slowing but surely scratching its way out of the bag as I work on committing (as in still in the process because I can't believe I'm doing this) to run a 5K in May. For most people the "K" in 5K refers to distance. In my case it refers more to the "k" sound in cholesterol. While it's true I could lose a few pounds and yes I need to exercise more as a general rule, the real motive for getting off my keaster is this dog-on cholesterol.

Now, I've been exercising nearly all my life. I played basketball in high school (bad but played nonetheless) and when aerobics hit the scene in the 80's I hopped on the band wagon leg-warmers and all. Somewhere in my 40's though exercise began to creep down my list of priorities. Now I'm paying the price with a pesty cholesterol level...so I gotta get moving.

For me passion is driven by motive and cause, so I figured if I could run for a reason I'd kill two birds with one stone. The May 5K benefits a local family with three terminally ill children, a run in September is for breast cancer (which took my mother's life), and last but not least the Autism run will touch my heart most of all.

With all that said, if you're ever driving down the road and see a runner plugging along, think of me and pray for my 5K cholesterol. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I just had a cardioscan today which showed all my heart's arteries were clear as a bell. This tells me the two "mild inclines" I ran yesterday weren't as close to killing me as I thought they were.