Category Archives: Nature

the heavens declare the glory of God

Think and Live

Panic stole my ability to think logically.

Driving home late at night, I was on a parkway heading north. In a few  miles, the parkway would T and I would make the left turn onto the road that would take me to familiar neighborhoods and eventually, my own house. Continue reading Think and Live

Something Told Me

A friend of mine once told me about a near-death experience she’d had. She lives in a remote section of the forested canyons in the Rocky Mountains. One day, she drove up to the front of her house to drop off her groceries. As she lifted the back hatch to grab a bag, something told her to stop and look behind her.

Continue reading Something Told Me

How Did You Survive?

A character in one of my recent novels is a survival expert. In order to write the story, I read tons of true-life stories about people who’d overcome nearly impossible odds in the wilderness, or at sea, or in encounters with wild life, or violent criminals.

Each survivor used a combination of clear-thinking, ingenuity, self awareness, and an ability to listen to that inner voice that somehow warns us of danger even when our conscious mind does not recognize it.

But the quality that struck me most in every survivor’s story was the refusal to give up and accept the dire circumstances.

  1. A guy spent over 70 days adrift in the Atlantic ocean. He collected water in a makeshift plastic still and ate the few fish he could catch. A shark attack left a big rip in his raft. He repaired it over and over. By the time he was rescued he weighed less than a hundred pounds.
  2. In another famous survival account, a man had to amputate his own arm in order to free himself from under a boulder.
  3. A woman was raped in her own apartment bedroom. Her attacker assured her that he had no intention of killing her. But somehow, her intuition warned her that he was going to kill her. She sneaked behind him when he went into the kitchen, then escaped out the front door and ran for help. She later learned that her attacker had gone into the kitchen to find a knife big enough to kill her with.

In each of these cases, the survivor refused to accept his or her circumstances. The survivor was proactive, using whatever was on hand to find food or water, or to get free. They prayed. they thought of their families.

The survivor did not panic. He (she) willed himself to think and to be aware of his surroundings. The rape victim didn’t dismiss that intuitive voice that warned her of danger despite what logic told her.

If something doesn’t seem right about a person or a situation, it probably isn’t right. Listen to that inner voice. But always keep thinking and planning.

I’ve had some minor survival situations. You probably have, too. The subject of survival fascinates me. Am I a survivor? Would I remain calm? Would I be able to talk myself out of a sticky situation? Or keep my wits about me if lost in the wilderness?

Are you a survivor? What did you do to get yourself out of a dangerous place? I’d love to hear about it. Who knows, I may incorporate your story into one of my novels…names changed, of course!

Sept 10 Fall River Road 076

 

Did You Know?

Did you know that the current smart phone has about 8 megapixels of color. The human eye—if it could be rated according to megapixels—has about 576 megapixels.

Isn’t that amazing? (Isn’t God amazing?)

Every time I go somewhere with a camera, I’m always surprised at how little the camera can capture compared with my naked eyes.

Supposedly, we can see the light of one candle at a distance of ten football fields.

Our eyes also capture memories and send them to our brains, perhaps to remain for the rest of our lives. Words on a page, images in a movie, actions all around us.

For most of us, our eyes are the greatest fact-gathering tool our brains possess.

Think about what you wouldn’t know if not for the work of your eyes!

There are images in my brain that my eyes collected when I was too young to resist looking:

  • Scary things on tv or movies
  • Horrible war-time photos
  • Dead things, diseased bodies
  • Indecent things

I wish I’d waited until I had the maturity to deal with the images. To decide what my brain should archive.

Now that I’m old, I am more careful what I allow my eyes to see. Even though I need glasses for distance, and glasses for close-up work, the eyes still capture so many things that trouble my soul.

It’s not that I want to live in a fairy-tale world of cotton candy and perfect endings.

But I think today, more than any other time, because of the media, we see more sorrow, more violence, more warfare. It can take away your joy if you only focus on such things every day.

Let’s feast our eyes on beauty. On cute things, like babies and puppies. Let’s go to art museums more often. Let’s go to the park. Let’s look at God’s Word every day.

Let’s allow our amazing eyes to bring refreshment to our souls.

“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”  (Matt. 6:22 The Message)

Sweet Poison

Back in the old days, when my dad wanted to get rid of annoying ants, he’d paint this kind of sweet poison around the perimeters of kitchen counters and floors. Then he’d warn us that the stuff, although sweet, was very deadly, and not to try to taste it. He’d point to a dead ant or two and say,

“See how it killed them? You don’t want to be a dead kid, so hands off!”

Every year, my dad trotted out the same sweet, deadly stuff when the ants reappeared.

As I grew older, I learned that lots of “sweet” things weren’t necessarily good for me.

I ate too much chocolate candy one vacation and got pretty sick.

In college I dated a guy who seemed really sweet, but turned out to be, well, not sweet. He broke my heart and turned me cynical.

I read too many sweet, falsely romantic books and grew dissatisfied with my own life.

As a child, we think sweet is good. We judge everything by how pleasing an item is to our sensitive taste buds.

So I guess it’s natural to continue thinking, even as adults, that sweet is always good:

A sweet dessert, a sweet guy, a sweet movie, a sweet deal, etc.

We need to stop and think sometimes: Does this book, movie, music, concept, idea, opportunity, relationship line up with what God says is good? Our judgment is many times off the mark because we want to please ourselves.

But God is a wise parent and sees beyond our instant gratification. I’m sure that ant poison would have tasted sweet to my five-year-old tongue. But the consequence? I hate to think of it!

I hope we consider our “sweet” choices with the same gravity as a child being warned away from ant poison.

The sweetness of God and of being close to Him is far greater and better than seeking after “sweet” things that only bring pleasure for a fleeting time, but result in devastation.

“The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

They are are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19: 7, 10 and 11 NIV Bible)