Friday, April 29, 2011

"West Coast" Part Two

Just a few pictures to share.....

Irrigation canals by the road. Certain neighborhoods water their lawn with these irrigation canals.... fascinating.

Part of the irrigation canals right by the road....

Beautiful flowering plant....

Attempt to capture the mountainous rock. The picture also shows how short the trees are in this part of the county.

Beautiful street view of the palm trees....

The size of these saguaro cacti (pronounced "suh-wah-roe") were amazing. It takes 75 years before these beauties begin budding arms and can live to be 150 years old. This one is obviously over a hundred years old. Keep in mind I am right at six feet tall. These cacti were easily 25 feet tall.

My daughter is nearly six feet tall --- need I say more?

On the other hand -- there were these short cacti. The natives call these "jumping cacti" because if you get too close -- they latch on like Velcro, and they don't play nice. The spikes on these cacti are brutal. Ask me how I know?! Come on.... ask me. :o)

For those of you who have seen "Old Yeller" --- you know there is a bear in the movie. Well, this would be her. Her name was Margaret. The gentleman hosting the conference tomorrow has a cousin who has been in films such as "Back to the Future III". His father was the animal supplier for several films. The gentleman hosting the conference , as well as his cousin, remember playing with Margaret when they were children. Amazing. Playing with a bear... who would have thought it!?

Tonight's sunset.... beautiful and the breeze was just perfect!

Night, all!

"West Coast" Part One

Okay, I have landed on the west coast. After a good night's rest, I feel refreshed. But just for the amusement of it all, let's go back in time 24 hours, shall we?

We arrived at the airport with a good lead on time, and it was a good thing we did. With the airline merger between Continental and United, they had us in the system, but had difficulty accessing the boarding pass.

Let me just say I am like a child in a candy store when it comes to airports. I love them. I love everything about them. The hustle and bustle. The sight of baggage. And yes, even security. To travel via an airplane is a blessing I recognize and sink into with thanksgiving. It never ceases to amaze me that huge metal creations can be loaded to the max and still fly through the air "with the greatest of ease."

Anyway, I am convinced my "candy store" temperament added to the favor we were granted. There was the sweetest customer service representative that helped us with the boarding pass, and even accelerated our check baggage procedure by pulling us out of line and expediting us. Thank you so much, sweet lady!

Airport security was a blessing as well. I was prepared for the body scan, but so thankful neither my daughter nor I were chosen to endure it. Again, favor was not a blessing missed by us! Everyone was pleasant. I am convinced kindness begets kindness.

Once we made it to the gate, we had just a few moments to sit. There was a gentleman who sat just feet away from us conducting business.... loudly.... on the phone. Why do people feel the need to be so loud? "Well, I need those stocks to be converted so they are ready for trade... blah, blah, blah, blah." Does this make him feel important? I just sat there and prayed, "Please, Lord, don't have him sitting anywhere near us on the plane." ..... and he wasn't! Again, blessed favor.... though I feel for those he was around. ;o)

So we left on time. I was so thankful because our connecting flight in Texas was literally minutes from our landing time.

We made our way to Texas without any delay, but they changed our departure gate so we ended up getting to the gate as they were boarding our next flight. I managed to pick up two smoothies and two muffins for Amber and myself because our east coast stomachs were telling us it was supper time!

Have I mentioned the turbulence? Merciful heavens, it was like riding on a bumpy gravel road for hours. (Note to self: noise reduction head phones would have been an extreme blessing to my worn out ears as the engines had to scream the entire time!)

The landscape certainly does change to the west. Here is a snap out the window. Note the perfectly round circles of grass in the left hand corner. These circles are located in Texas and New Mexico. Very strange to this east coaster! Apparently they are used to grow crops in the middle of the desert.

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

We landed fifteen minutes late despite leaving on time. Throughout the entire flight, the plane fought incredible trade winds. As best as I can figure, it was over five hours in flight time. Unreal. The wind just kept pushing us eastward. Naughty wind! :o)

The sunset was beautiful. Here's a sorry shot of the one last night, but something is better than nothing. I'll try to capture a better one while I am here. They are breathtaking.

It is very tropical here. I'll get some pictures of the vegetation and post them later. Everything blooms. The trees, the bushes, the cacti.... everything.

For my family back home, these are everywhere!

We had a yummy supper thanks to my host. Dear daughter and I were then taken to our lodging and promptly crashed! We woke up at 5:20 am, but our east coast clock was telling us it was 8:20 am. I don't ever set an alarm; I wake up with the sun as my habit. That works well on the east coast, but not so well here because there are no trees to wedge or shadow the sunrise. So instead of the sunrise becoming notable at 6:00-7:00 am -- it shows itself here at 5:00! Wow! Never thought tall trees served me so well on the east coast. :o)

Well -- that's about all for now. I'm resting, doing some reading, and preparing for the conference. Much love to all my family and friends on the east coast! I'll see you soon! Until then keep those prayers rolling on our behalf --- they are deeply appreciated!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection power!

Celebrating LIFE --- His life, His victory! Celebrating the truth that His victory is OUR victory to those who are in HIM!

Have LIFE?

Oh, how I hope you do!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Freeze a Night....

Tonight was one of many nights where I longed for the ability to freeze it as it was. After supper, I felt compelled to go on a walk. Moments into the walk I felt God beckon me to remove my glasses and walk with my eyes closed. I could almost feel Him slip His hand into mine as I obeyed His beckon. We took step after step together. At times, I just paused to take in the moment. We were walking together.

One fine, fine day He is His going to whisk me away. My breath catches in my throat at the mere thought of that day.

Tonight as I watched the sunset, the sky lit with what I call "cotton-candy" colors. The clouds formed the most incredible waves of color that just kept coming. I could have sat there for hours had I had the ability to freeze the moment. God is amazing; logic can't explain Him, physics can't apprehend Him, but when He wraps me in His arms ... when He opens His mouth to speak... when I lean my head upon His chest and feel His heartbeat... there is no denying He is more real than all I touch, see, smell, and hear. He is my God... my Savior... my Helper... my closest Friend... my All-in-all. My very life longs to melt into Him...

I might not have the ability to freeze time, but God did seem to hold the sky just so until I could scamper back to the house, grab the camera, and snap a picture. A memory frozen.

Enjoy what I took in tonight....

"Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and joy are in His dwelling place."

I Chronicles 16:27

I love You, Lord; I wholly love You!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Just Keep Swimming...."

(I originally wrote and posted this in December 2009, but I thought it would be fun to re-post and bring a smile to someone's face out there today! BTW, she is still by my stove. ;o) )

Sometime in the last year, my youngest son gifted to me this little stuffed "Dory" from the movie "Nemo". Over time this little stuffed fish has truly grown on me. Every time I look on her I think of her line in the movie, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

She holds the position of sitting right by my stove so I see her often. Today, I had the wild notion to take her from her place, snap a picture, and share her with you!

So for anyone out there feeling a little weary for whatever reason.... I hope this little picture brings a smile to your face as she does to mine.....

My little mascot that reminds me to "just keep swimming"!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Mute, The Blind

Precious Jesus,

Why do people not question what they are told, blindly following the blind? Things such as these I will never understand; but the cost of their choices, I am convinced, cannot be measured. It is great... great indeed.

I often wish I didn't care so much for the spiritually blind and the mute within the Body of Christ, but I conclude my care is not to be shaken from me. Oh Jesus, take me to the place where objective faith meets subjective faith that I may witness sight gifted back to the blind and speech gifted back to the mute.

Are we to be a people of mice or lions?

You are called The Lion of Judah. Are we not off-spring birthed from You and Your blood? Lions that are not to shrink back, but boldly survey the horizon and proclaim truth?

A lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing." Proverbs 30:30

May Your Body become one not based on carnal comfort and desire, but on Godly sight, even when the seen is ugly and marred, and on true voice that speaks for Your righteousness, not words that tickle man's ears. I am hungry as You are hungry for people to arise in righteousness, principle, and backbone. Oh, Jesus, fill my hunger with a Body that is beautiful at the core and not disguised at the surface!

I beseech You, my King, my Lord, and my Savior,

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bag a snake lately?

This video is amazing. Many spiritual lessons can be plucked from it. I love the fact that baby eagles actually thrive more off of being fed snakes than anything else.

Never forget who you are in God.... and bag yourself some snakes. If we default our action to hunt them, they will become even more populated spiritually speaking than they already are.

Doesn't mean we won't get nipped in the process of taking them out, but take them out we will!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fabulous Saturday!

After winter's last stand this past week, it was such a huge blessing to get outside!

My day started with an over twelve mile bike ride with my eldest. Then the family headed off to some botanical gardens... gorgeous! And we wrapped up the day celebrating my dear family friend's birthday! What a splendid day!


As always, click on the pictures to enlarge.

What can I say? You know me and trees.
These trees were just enormous!

(Look close at the picture above,
and you will see two of my children under this sizable tree!)

As always, blessings!