Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

While not quite winter, we had our first snow last weekend. It wasn’t much, but because the temperatures were above freezing when it started, there was a layer of ice/slush under the snow that required a shoveling of walks before parishioners came on Sunday. As I shoveled, my attention was captured by the maple leaves, dancing on top of the snow – a sort of last hurrah as we transition from fall to winter.

Fall into Winter

Fall into Winter

For more takes on this week’s theme, click HERE.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate


The Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines was recently refurbished, including the regilding of its dome with 23-karat gold leaf. Built between 1871 and 1886, it is the only five-domed capitol in the country.

Iowa State Capitol Building

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Ornate.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary – (Tree Blossoms in the Fall???)


My neighbor’s row of flowering crabapple trees are truly extraordinary when in bloom in the spring. However, after already having our first fall frost and lows in the 30’s, it was EXTRAordinary to find blossoms on the trees this morning.

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These blossoms and new growth remind me that we can experience newness of spiritual life in Christ at any season of life. Years ago, I was serving in my first church and had a conversation with an older adult, who became a Christian in his 70’s. While he was now happily following Christ, he regretted that so many years had been wasted in not knowing and serving his Savior. I think God led me to encourage him, though, by letting him know that God can strategically use us at whatever time our salvation occurs. We all come to Him at different ages and stages of life. The very fact that he came to Christ in the “fall of life” was a sign to his contemporaries that it wasn’t too late for them to come into that relationship, either.

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

(2 Corinthians 2:17, NASB)

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “(Extra)ordinary.”

Weekly Photo Challenge – Happy Place


This week’s challenge highlights our family’s annual pilgrimage to Florida, having just returned from that restorative retreat. Our time at the beach always increases our happy quotient, especially as we watch the grand kids enjoy the sand and surf.

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid

The I-24 Bridge over the Ohio River is a two-span tied arch bridge, connecting Kentucky and Illinois. The southern arch span measures 730 feet in length, while the northern arch span measures 630 feet in length.

IMG_20150921_183010721What I especially like about this bridge is that it marks about the half way spot on our trip from Iowa to Florida.

Balloon bumpClick HERE for more examples of “grid.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic


Jen Hooks makes this challenge by saying, “A powerful monochromatic image is composed of a gradient of a single color, and has an emphasis on texture and composition.” Sitting in my living room yesterday afternoon, I was intrigued by the sun’s illumination of the tree leaves and the lawn across the street as viewed through the window’s patterned sheers – the exterior, green hues causing the interior, white sheers to appear green.


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Monochromatic.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Connection


I didn’t think long about the most appropriate pictures for this challenge. Two weeks ago today (August 24) my mother graduated from this earthly plain to the heavenly realm. Over the next week we gathered in three locations – three significant places of residence: Creston (IA), Benton (AR) and Memphis (TN) – holding two memorial services and the graveside service.

We gathered as a family almost 10 years ago at the First Baptist Church, Benton for my father’s memorial service. Mom stood on the bottom step in purple in this photo.2005.10Almost 10 years later I updated that picture, connected by event (memorial service), place (church steps) and family (the growing and older connected progeny of Charlie and Grace) in grief and celebration that our matriarch is with the Lord, my father, a granddaughter, my grandson (who I didn’t meet in this life), and many other loved ones who have preceded us.

Family at BentonLooking at the photo with all the smiling faces, you might think we had just attended a wedding. Rest assured, we are grieving, but with hope!

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB*)

And who couldn’t smile at the sense of humor of a 95 year old woman’s final wish to have this picture and caption on the back of her memorial folder!


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Connected.”

*New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

I’m not necessarily afraid of spiders, but when I inadvertently walk into their webs, it does “creep me out.” This time of year seems to bring out the orb-weaver spiders, who love to weave their webs on my entry door to my garage. As I was about to leave my house this morning, this spider almost greeted me outside my kitchen door.


I chose to leave the house by the front door and not disturb the spider. Upon rounding the side of the house, I found what looked like a Halloween display with webs strung from the flower pots, and three other large orb-webs that were at least two-feet in diameter.


Eating breakfast

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So, I’m watching where I walk and carefully avoid being the victim of wearing spider webs to work.

Check out this other examples of “creepy.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet


My mother continues to be cared for in the local hospice home and every day my feet pass over brick pavers as I arrive and leave. On each brick is the name of a donor or an individual memorialized by loved ones.

IMGP8014Every block represents a significant contribution that helped to build this facility which is staffed by a competent and caring staff.

IMGP8015So, every day these bricks, which are beneath my feet, cause me to be grateful for those who saw the need and helped fund this homey setting for those who are facing an end of life illness.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration – Night Sky

The night sky has been the inspiration for poetry, prose and praise.


Northern Lights in Iowa -6/22/15

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays

Blue Moon - 7/31/15

Blue Moon – 7/31/15

“It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.”  – Galileo Galilei, The Starry Messenger, Venice 1610: “From Doubt to Astonishment”

Thunderstorm – 10/2/13

“37 My heart pounds at this and leaps from my chest. Just listen to His thunderous voice and the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He lets it loose beneath the entire sky; His lightning to the ends of the earth.Then there comes a roaring sound; God thunders with His majestic voice. He does not restrain the lightning when His rumbling voice is heard.” – Elihu Job 37:1-4, the Bible (HCSB)*

First Quarter Moon - 10/1/2014

First Quarter Moon – 10/1/2014

When I observe Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which You set in place,
what is man that You remember him,
the son of man that You look after him?
You made him little less than God
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him lord over the works of Your hands;
You put everything under his feet:
all the sheep and oxen,
as well as the animals in the wild,
the birds of the sky,
and the fish of the sea
that pass through the currents of the seas.
Yahweh, our Lord,
how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!

King David, Psalm 8:3-9 (HCSB)

This post is in response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

*Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.