Weekly Photo Challenge: Weight(less)

Our city has the privilege of hosting a hot air balloon competition every September. An average balloon system – envelope, gondola, fuel tanks, and 40 gallons of fuel – will weigh about 600 pounds, deflated on the ground. Adding two to three people will increase the weight by another 300-500 pounds. But, once the envelope is filled with hot air…weightless!

This post is in response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

Flying over Kansas on Wednesday, I caught an optical phenomenon that I had never seen before: a glory. glory-Edit

From Wikipedia: The glory consists of one or more concentric, successively dimmer rings, each of which is red on the outside and bluish towards the center. The effect is believed to happen due to classical wave tunneling, when light nearby a droplet tunnels through air inside the droplet and, in the case of a glory, is emitted backwards due to resonance effects.

Though the “glory” effect may have a scientific basis, I believe that all creation bears the mark of THE Creator, thus helping us see glimpses of His glory.

11 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth. Psalm 57:11 (NASB)

May your New Year be truly glorious!

Click HERE for other examples of this week’s challenge: “circle.”

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Hawk) Eye Spy

IMGP8096This post is dedicated to the Iowa Hawkeye football team (12-0), playing Michigan State on Saturday for the Big 10 Championship. GO HAWKS!

Last August, I spied this red-tailed hawk on a telephone line as I drove down the street. He obliged by allowing me to take a few photos from my car before flying to a nearby tree. I was able to walk within about 30 feet, the hawk keeping his eye on me!IMGP8076 copy copy

We continued our stare down for a while, but….IMGP8078 copy copy

…he finally blinked!IMGP8086 copy copy

For more examples of this week’s theme, click HERE.

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

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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???)

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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

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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

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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.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Connection

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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!

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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