Roses and Raindrops


Fragrance of roses drifted on the fresh air cleansed by the passing storm. The sweet scent and lingering raindrops clinging to vivid pink petals created one of those ethereal ‘eternal instant’ moments sensing the unspeakable wonder of God’s creation, bathed in comfort of His unconditional love.

I came across this poem ascribed to a 13th century poet that hints at the precious ‘eternal instant’ that was mine to embrace this morning . . . I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

It is only a tiny rosebud

A flower of God’s design

But I cannot unfold the petals

With these clumsy hands of mine

The secret of unfolding flowers

Is not known to such as I

God opens this flower so sweetly

When in my hands they fade and die

If I cannot unfold a rosebud

This flower of God’s design

Then how can I think I have wisdom

To unfold this life of mine?

So, I’ll trust in Him for His leading

Each moment of every day

I will look to Him for His guidance

Each step of the pilgrim way

The pathway that lies before me

Only my Heavenly Father knows

I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments

Just as He unfolds the rose

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Memorial Day


It was only by His Grace that I did not face combat during Vietnam, while many of the Marines I served with paid the ultimate sacrifice that ensured the precious freedom each of us is blessed to enjoy today as Americans . . . Thank you my fallen brothers and sisters.

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Red Dawn


Great Smoky Mountains Sunrise

The 1984 movie Red Dawn portrays a group of teenagers banding together to defend their town and country from an invasion feared as the dawn of World War III. Entertaining, far-fetched cinema back then, still serves as an ominous warning in today’s contentious world.

Today’s sunrise was a Red Dawn of a more peaceful genre, a glowing splendor awareness of my insignificant, infinitesimal smallness, and His magnificent, unfathomable love. Were that our world would acknowledge our controversial smallness and pursue His healing greatness.

One generation commends your works to another; they tell of Your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty”.

Psalm 145:4-5

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Contemplating Life


This Great Smoky Mountains ephemeral, after-the-storm panorama marked the close of another day. The scene evoked a juxtaposed, sobering/joyful contemplation of life’s unknown brevity, and breathtaking beauty. As dusk fell, the confident wisdom of a beloved preacher comforted my thoughts:

What is your life? You are but a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

James 4:14

This is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

I’ve read the last chapter of Revelation, and we win .”

Billy Graham

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Cooling Off


Muggy 90s have descended upon our Great Smoky Mountains abode, and we awoke to Mr. Smoky splashing in the creek outside our bedroom window to cool off. Thought about inviting him in for some honey drizzled pancakes, but Ellie was still in her PJs and decided she rather not ‘bear ‘ it.

😊

PS  – Please disregard the time and date shown on this video clip. I’ve yet to get around to resetting them since purchasing the game camera back in 2017 . . . obviously not a high priority on my Bucket List.

Be Blessed and . . .

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

Sunrise/Sunset


Science attributes a sunset’s red and pink hues to 2 factors:

  1. The distance sunlight has to travel.
  2. The amount of atmospheric particles the sun’s light must travel through.

During sunrise and sunset the sun’s rays must pass through up to 40 percent more atmospheric area with a greater number of gas, water droplet, dust, and air pollutant particles than at any other time of the day before reaching our eyes. The more atmosphere particles, the more the light scattering known as the Rayleigh Effect, and the more vivid the sky’s colors appear.

Longer red wavelengths of light do not scatter light as much as shorter violet and blue wavelengths causing alpenglow, a blended red and white wavelength phenomenon also known as the pinking hour.

Witnessing another Great Smoky Mountain day gradually relinquish to night’s shadows, my soul was enveloped in peace. An old mariner adage came to mind . . .  red and pink sunsets portend good weather ahead.

One day closer to life’s final sunset, my omnipotent Artisan of the heavens has already numbered and planned and each of my future sunrises and sunsets for Eternity, where nothing but ‘good weather’ awaits. Hope to see you there.

“A person’s days are determined; You have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed”.

Job 14:5

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best Is Yet to Come!

Pinking Hour

Great Smoky Mountain Sunset

Fur and Fowl


Lotsa’ activity early this morning in our Great Smoky Mountains backyard. Here’s a few vid clips of our backyard buddies 😊

Mama Bear & Junior
Papa Bear
Great Blue Heron

Keep Looking Up . . . His best is Yet to Come!

Great Smoky Mountains Sunrise


Three rugged timbers on a hillside at sunrise, reminiscent of a Sonrise 2,000 years ago that forever vanquished death and sealed my salvation.

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death. is your sting?”

I Corinthians 15:55

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

Three Final Choices


Hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains I wandered upon an old cemetery. Treading in a hush of reverent silence, I carefully meandered among the grave-sites reading tombstone inscriptions. Three thoughts surfaced . . . no pun intended 😊

Old Elkmont Cemetery
  1. The uncertainty and brevity of life – several tombstones marked the graves of infants, who left and returned to Heaven the same day.
Infant Tombstone

2. ‘Have and Have Not’ disparities remain until death – among those tombstones artfully engraved with poignant parting thoughts were those marked with simple, anonymous stones.

Tombstones

3. After eight decades, I’m forever grateful to still be able to fog a mirror – odds on, I’ll be taking up residence with this quiet congregation sooner than most still above ground.

The World Economic Forum reports the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest in society has grown during the pandemic and continues to widen.

  1. For 99% of the global population, incomes have fallen and over 160 million more people have been forced into poverty.
  2. This inequality is contributing to the death of at least 21,000 people a day. Every four seconds one of the inhabitants we share this planet with perishes through hunger, lack of potable water, lack of access to life-saving healthcare, and other basic life needs. 
  3. Since 1995, the top 1% have captured nearly 20 times more of global wealth than the bottom 50 % of humanity.

Few reside in the rare stratosphere of the 1% . . . if you do, please call me . . . Collect! 😊. However, few of us can recall the last time we were truly hungry; parched for a sip of clean water; without access to health care; homeless without shelter, etc., etc., etc. Bottom line . . . as Americans we are richly and undeservedly blessed!

Someday this world’s playing field will be leveled, no more disparities, and we will all face the final quintessential disparity . . . Heaven or Hell. Our Creator has graciously narrowed Eternity’s destiny to 1 of 3 final choices each of us must make, no abstentions allowed:

  1. Accept
  2. Reject
  3. Ignore

Jesus

Salvation is found in no one else. for there is no other name under Heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”. –  Acts 4:12

My prayer remains we’ll share Heaven together with Him.

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

Fragrant Fellow


A fragrant fellow strolled by our digs last night up here on the mountain . . . down in the ‘holler’ . . . by the ‘crick’ in this special corner of His creation called Great smoky Mountains.

Sometimes confused for weasels because of their similar, but larger body shape, the Spotted Skunk is equipped with sharp claws that it uses both to hunt and to defend itself from predators . . . bobcats, bears, large birds of prey, and curious humans who wish they hadn’t come so close.

Spotty is known to stamp its front feet to warn other creatures to “Back Off”!!! If unheeded, this most agile and quick member of his stinky family will do a full handstand before directing its aromatic spray at its intruder . . . keep the tomato juice handy 🙂


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