New Year Resolutions


After nearly 8 decades of failed New year resolutions, I’ve finally arrived at one that works for me . . .

Leave the past in the past . . . the future in the future . . . and live life one-day-at-a-time today holding tightly the hand of the only One who knows all three, and needs make no resolutions.

Be Blessed!

Mind-Boggling Travel


Cloudy Day in the Great Smoky Mountains

Last week, some 5,000 miles north-by-northwest, found me gliding through freshly fallen snow. Shortly thereafter, some 35,000 ft. above terra-firma, found me zooming through the skies at 600 mph in high-speed-aluminum tubing. This afternoon, some 2,000 ft. up in the Great Smoky Mountains, found me shuffling through fall’s fallen leaves . . .  fictional Star Trek travel fantasy a mere century ago.

Walking on the moon is old history. Today, there are people are living above the earth in a high-tech mini-condo, and some everyday citizens (admittedly wealthy ones 😊) are taking short jaunts into space for a quick, high-altitude adrenaline rush.

As mind-boggling as  today’s travel would have been to Lewis and Clark trudging through the wilderness in the early 1800s, imagine the travel future our children will experience … living on the moon … up close and personal exploration of  our solar system’s other planets … traveling the expanses the Milky Way … ???

Yet, each of us has already accomplished 2 of the 3 legs of the most mind-boggling travel journey of all … Heaven to Earth. The last leg of the journey remains to travel, and has but one of two final, forever destinations . . . the choice is ours alone to decide.

It was already accomplished some 2,000 years ago, and multitudes have since followed:

In My Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I, am you may be also.” – John 14:2-3

The third leg of our journey has been paid-in full for anyone who accepts the offer and trusts the One who has already made it. Mind-boggling? … For Sure! … Prove it! … Can’t! … that’s why it’s called Faith. Hope to see you there someday.

Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come! . . . Mind-Boggling!

Farewell Flowers


Otra dia, otra adventura is a Spanish adage that translates . . . another day, another adventure . . . every day exploring Creation is.

Got in one last Great Smoky Mountains wander today before jumping on the jet to the Last Frontier tomorrow. As always a new adventure awaited, two colorful blooms not yet seen this Spring . . . a kind of farewell mini-bouquet from Mother Nature.

But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers“.

Matthew 6:29

Lord willing, my next hike will be roaming the Greatland’s vast forests and magnificent, snow-capped mountain cathedrals . . . stay tuned.

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Woodland Pink or Indian Pink
Honeysuckle

Ethereal Mountain Mists


Six thousand feet ft. high among the Great Smoky Mountain cathedrals the immense magnificence of my Father’s canvases serenely consumed my infinitesimal smallness.

                                “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth”. – Psalm 8:9

Klingman’s Dome – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Assuring Angel


Mountains are transcendent God places . . . a gateway where heaven comes closest to earth . . . where Jesus often alone went to pray.

This evening I climbed a mountain and sat in silent awe as He adorned the sunset’s glow with an angel fly-by, assuring me of His presence.

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways”. – Psalm 91:11                                
                                            
Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Sunset Angel Fly-by
Assuring Angel

Bear-plosion!


Snowbirding between the Last Frontier and the Great Smoky Mountains is truly an undeserved blessing. Lately up here on the mountain – down in the ‘holler’ – by the ‘crick’ . . . we’ve been enjoying lotsa’ backyard bruin activity . . . all friendly . . .so it has been totally welcome and ‘Bearable’  😊

Here’s a few vid clips of our recent visitors.

Mama and yearlings

Big ‘Ole’ Bear

Crossing the ‘Crick’
Mama and ‘younguns’

‘Snappy’ Cutie


Young is synonymous with cute.

Here’s a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not . . . I was once considered cute!  . . . back when still in diapers and dinosaurs roamed the earth 😊.

Here’s a cutie that came floating down the creek today I scooped up in my hand . . . wouldn’t suggest trying that when he leaves his diapers stage 😊.

After musing that with his lifespan of 70 years I’ve already exceeded that by nearly a decade, I began to feel really, really old and returned him to Mother Nature’s care.                                +  
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Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Snapping Turtle
Sunbathing

Bigfoot


I spotted Bigfoot at sunset today, running after cotton candy . . . verifying what some have long claimed . . .  I live life with my head in the clouds 😊

Smile, and . . .
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Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Bigfoot
Cotton Candy

Claude Monet Sunset


Controlled burns in the Smokies added to their haze creating a Claude Monet sunset . . . a ‘picture perfect’ way to end the day.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands”. – Psalm 19:1
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Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Smoky Mountain Sunset
Redbud Blooms
Hazy Dusk

Jeremy’s Egg


The unfiltered eyes and minds of children see things adults have forgotten to notice, and perceive the simple beauty of their significance.

I’ve shared this story at Easter before, but some stories are worth re-reading. Jeremy’s Egg portrays Easter’s meaning through the eyes and mind of a child with a precious understanding that no sermon has ever revealed to me. May it bless you as it has me, and continues to bless and humble me to strive to have the unfiltered vision and simple trusting faith of a child.

Let the little children to come to me, and do not hinder the, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”. – Jesus


Thank you Jeremy . . . Thank you Jesus . . . Happy Easter!

Jeremy’s Egg

Ida Mae Kemple

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life.  Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and sent him to St. Theresa’s Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn.  His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him.  He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises.

At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain.  Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher.  One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Theresa’s for a consultation.

As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school.  It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems.  Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke.  “Miss Miller,” he said, “there’s no school of that kind nearby.  It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school.  We know he really likes it here.

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window.  Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul.  She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters.  After all, their only child had a terminal illness.  But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class.  She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy would be a distraction.  Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write.  Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her.  “Oh God,” she said aloud, “here I am complaining, when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family!  Please help me be more patient with Jeremy.

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares.  Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him.

I love you Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear.  The other students snickered, and Doris’s face turned red.  She stammered, “Wh – why, that’s very nice, Jeremy.  Now please take your seat.

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter.  Doris told them the story of Jesus, and to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg.  “Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life.  Do you understand?

Yes, Miss Miller!” the children responded enthusiastically –  all except Jeremy.  He just listened intently; his eyes never left her face.  He did not even make his usual noises.

Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’s death and resurrection?  Did he understand the assignment?  Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris’s kitchen sink stopped up.  She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it.  After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day.  She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.

The next morning 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk.  After they had completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs.

In the first egg, Doris found a flower.  “Oh, yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said.  “When plants peek through the ground, we know that Spring is here.”  A small girl in the first row waved her arm.  “That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real.  Doris held it up.  “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly.  Yes, that is new life, too.”  Little Judy smiled proudly and said, “Miss Miller, that one is mine!

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it.  She explained that moss, too, showed life.  Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom.  “My daddy helped me!” he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg.  She gasped.  The egg was empty!  Surely it must be Jeremy’s, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand the instructions.  If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents.  Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly Jeremy spoke up.  “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?

Flustered, Doris replied, “But Jeremy –  your egg is empty!”  He looked into her eyes and said softly, “Yes, but Jesus’s tomb was empty too!

Time stopped.  When she could speak again, Doris asked him, “Do you know why the tomb was empty?

Oh, yes!” Jeremy exclaimed.  “Jesus was killed and put in there.  Then his Father raised him up!

The recess bell rang.  While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried.  The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later Jeremy died.  Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.

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Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!