Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

stone-mountain-north-carolinaYou may have seen this photo before on my page. I’ve used it on other posts, and it keep coming back to it because it’s one of my favorites. But to be honest, when I saw that this week’s photo challenge was scale, this was the first photo that came to mind. The children look tiny by comparison to the mountain to which they are headed.

It also reminds me of the greatness of God.

Isaiah 40:12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

This, of course, is a rhetorical question. Our God is a great big God. Consider the size of that mountain. He made the mountain! Consider the size of the universe. He made the universe! He made everything that exists, and He holds it all in the palm of His hand. The only reason the theory of evolution exists at all is because man does not want to accept the existence of God, for then he must accept the fact that one day he will answer to God and give an account for his actions. But God most definitely does exist, and we most definitely will give an account to Him one day. He is to be feared, yes, but this is a reverential fear, not the fear of someone who cares nothing for your well-being. God created everything, He keeps it all working, and He protects each part—each person—even you and me. Why? Because He cares. When you have made something by hand, you take special pride in it too, don’t you? God made us in His image, and He is like that too. He created us. We are hand-made, each and every one of us, and He cares for us. That is why we all can say with the psalmist…

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Wow! Did you get all that? With God protecting us, what do we need to fear? Over and over again throughout the Bible we are told that the Lord is our rock. He can be trusted. Men will fail us, but God can never fail.

 

 2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him.

A buckler was a form of shield that covered the entire body. So in other words, God will protect you completely, in every area of your life. Nothing can get past His perfect will for you.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

The longer I serve God, the more I learn that I can trust Him at all times for all things. I have failed Him many times, but He has never failed me once, and He never will.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

Today I learned a new word—or rather, a new use for an old word—pedestrian. This just happens to be the current photo prompt of the week, and so it has captured my attention for a moment. Prior to inquiring about the prompt, I only knew pedestrian as a noun, “a person who moves about on foot.” But when used as an adjective, this same word means “lacking inspiration or excitement; dull.” Imagine that! Synonyms for pedestrian as an adjective are boring, tedious, monotonous, unremarkable, commonplace, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, plain-vanilla. As you can see, I’m having fun with this. But now it’s time to add some photos.

James River Foot Bridge

James River Foot Bridge, Virginia, 2008

This was this photo that immediately came to mind when I saw the prompt. Back in 2008, my children and I spent four days traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway, staying in primitive campgrounds, hiking trails, stopping at overlooks, and observing God’s creatures big and small. There were certain specific destinations that I had in mind, and the James River Foot Bridge was one of them. This bridge, located in Snowden, Virginia, is a part of the Appalachian Trail, and allows trekkers to cross the James River while avoiding the traffic of US 501. It was built on abandoned train tresses when the train track was rerouted and opened for hikers in 2000. While it is designed for pedestrians, the bridge is actually named after the man who spearheaded its conversion, Appalachian Trail enthusiast Bill Foot. This bridge, and the story behind it, are anything but pedestrian!

In fact, I’ve been hard pressed to think of anything I’ve already photographed that fits the description of dull, boring, and tedious. Perhaps that’s because I’m so easily impressed. I tend to be fascinated by little things and often want to stop the car to take a picture of this, that, or the other thing. So I think I’ll just stick with the noun form of the word pedestrian and show you a few more foot bridges that I’ve seen over the years.

Massanutten Storybook Trail Bridge 1

Massanutten Storybook Trail Bridge, Virginia, 2014

Waller Mill Park (2)

Waller Mill Park Bridge, Williamsburg, Virginia, 2014

Waller Mill Park (3)

Waller Mill Park Bridge, another view, 2014

A bridge is a passage from one side to another, crossing a body of water or some other substance that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible to cross. Sometimes there are other ways. You could swim, take a boat, or fly. But none of those options are as convenient as walking across a bridge.

There is another bridge across another chasm. This one is the ONLY way across. I’m talking about the way to heaven, and the bridge is the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said,

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).

If there were any other way to come to God, then He would not have made His Son suffer the shame of the cross. But He did suffer that shame. He came to this earth, lived with us for thirty-three years, then paid the debt of our sins, though He Himself never committed any sin. And three days later He did what no one else ever did—He rose up from the dead of His own power. He is the victor over sin and death. That is how He can offer eternal life to you and me, because He already claimed it!

Then once you have come to the cross and your sins have been forgiven, then God shows you the way that you should go.

I am a pedestrian, slowly traveling through this world on my way to the next, and God directs every step.

Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning; for in You do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto You.

Jeremiah 6:16 Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls.

Isaiah 30:21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

 

Morning Mist

This is one of my favorite photos from a mountain retreat my middle child and I took the fall of 2014. It was a rather stressful time for both of us, but since we were homeschooling and had the freedom for a spur-of-the-moment excursion, we jumped in the minivan and drove three hours to a KOA cabin in the Shenandoah Valley, not far from Skyline Drive. It was a very relaxing time for both of us. We did some things together, and other things on our own, and we took turns choosing our together-activities. I won’t say we are inseparably close today, but there was some bonding formed as a result of our long-weekend getaway.

To capture this photo, I had to rise before dawn and drive for about an hour. Needless to say, this was one of my solo activities, as my son is not fond of rising before the sun, unless it’s to go hunting. To be honest, neither am I. Perhaps that’s why I like the photo so much—because it’s a rare one for me, and it required a certain degree of effort to obtain.

virginia-mountain-sunrise-mist

Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental—Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. Continue reading

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Things Made with Wood

Many thanks to Cee’s Photography for this challenge.

These photos were taken at The Bascom, a center for visual arts in Highlands, NC. The gallery was closed when we arrived, so we walked around to see what we could see outside on the grounds. It was all quite fascinating, with an outdoor classroom, a nature trail used by students for observation, several iron sculptures made from recycled tools and parts, clay sculptures awaiting firing, and some wood sculptures as well. Continue reading