This blog is mostly about images. A photo captures a moment in time and lets us slow down long enough to see the rich texture of the life all around us. It's mostly for my own amusement, but if you stumbled here somehow, please enjoy.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hast Thou Commanded?

"Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place?" (Job 38:12)

To say that Job of old was tested is putting it mildly.  The list of things he withstood is beyond the scope of this writing.  Yet in all of it he "charged God not foolishly", spoke of his knowledge that his redeemer lives and will stand in the latter day, yielded to the testing as of gold by fire.  And so on.  Still, he questioned God and wished he'd never been born. 

God's response, starting in Job 38 is eloquent and thundering in its opening question, "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?"  Among the many things God asked Job in order to make it clear Who was Sovereign and who was not, was the question above.  In our language; So, Job, do you command the sun to spring forth each day?  Or you, Brad?  Or you?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

Friday, December 24, 2010

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
("His Eye is On the Sparrow" -- Charles H. Gabriel)

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?" (Luke 12:6)

Yes, Jesus made a point of telling us that God sees every sparrow that falls and even knows the number of hairs on our heads.  So why should I feel discouraged?  Forgive us (me) for our lack of faith.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beside Still Waters

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:" (Ps. 23:2-3)

Saturday, December 18, 2010


"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
(Prov. 17:17)

That's the closest passage I could find to capture the current expression "BFF".  (Best Friends Forever, for the uninitiated!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Road to Where

"And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people..."
(Isaiah 11:16)

Something about highways and railroads intrigues me.  As I cross a road, my mind wanders to its extension beyond the horizon and ultimately its terminus.  When we travel, they represent the way back home--there are even highways in the sky which you can observe if you pay attention to the contrails in your area. 

This verse in Isaiah, as well as Jesus' famous account of the prodigal, makes me thankful that no matter how far we roam in this old world, there's a way back home if we will just turn and head that way.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Skies of Parchment

Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
"The Love of God" -- F.M. Lehman

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Goes Up

Yes, life has its ups and downs. Paul spoke of being abased and abounding and being content in all thing; certainly not a natural response.  I guess that's why Paul said that he had learned that particular response to life.  And ultimately he gives credit to the source in Phil. 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

And the Apostle John, who felt so close to Jesus that he referred to himself as the "disciple whom Jesus loved" testified, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Into the Sunset

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised. (Ps. 113:3)

Friday, December 3, 2010


Disclaimer: I'm not at all unbiased here.  But don't you think she seems relaxed and easy in manner?  I think the smile and eye contact reveal awareness of her dad's camera clicking away.  Any other setting might have produced a roll of the eye.  Maybe; just maybe.  Love you Julie!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Herding Cats

We sometimes use the phrase "like herding cats" in leadership when talking about the difficulty of getting a diverse and/or independent group of individuals to act as one.  Something in this photo makes me think that even though they are intently looking at the leader at the moment, as soon as she turns her back they'd like to scatter throughout the city!  The guy in red is giving himself away.  :)

Then again, the lady in front looks like she's in charge and likely is giving them a compelling reason to unify around the common purpose of staying together; no doubt a balanced mix of the benefits of doing so and the consequences otherwise.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


They say a man's house is his castle.  A place to shut the door on the world and retreat to the comfort of hearth and home.  I guess I'm always a little amazed when I observe that dynamic play out over and over again in the midst of a city of millions.  We all need that place to belong, to retreat from the cares of life and relax with our loved ones or the solace of solitude.  A common urge whether home is castle or cottage.  Funny how we even talk about going "back home" to the hotel or temporary lodging while traveling.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So, I'm a little embarrassed that I was 40' above my assigned altitude in this picture (even though ATC doesn't holler until you miss it by 300').  Still it's kind of a cool shot, don't you think?  And this is all you get to look at when flying on instruments in the clouds (which I wasn't when this image was taken).

In life, too, it's important to know which are the important "gauges".  Focus on them and ignore the rest--especially in time of trouble.  Here it's the six in the very middle.  Bonus points if you can name all six.

Any guesses who Otto might be?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Crown of Glory

The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Prov. 16:31).

Thursday, November 18, 2010


"And they said...let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name..." (Gen. 11:4)

"Let us make us a name." Significance. Independence. Self-sufficiency. All valued highly in this world. All certain to bring the confusion of Babel when man's purposes are confounded by his ambition, over-reaching and wretched pride.

Monday, November 15, 2010

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

 It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!  Seriously, there's a tremendous sense of intrigue as you walk past this place, either by the north entrance along Pennsylvania or this more distant, yet somewhat grander, view from the south.  Gone are the days of Lincoln where the public had easy access to the "People's House".  Now we mill about outside the fence, jockeying for the best spot to frame our companions with this magnificent backdrop, wondering how long it would take for the U.S.S.S. to pounce should some witless lad attempt to scale the barrier.

I guess I liked the somewhat human scale the house takes in this image--appropriately subservient to the even grander canvas of God's sky.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hardy Mums

There's something especially nice about Chrysanthemums.  Blooming as they do after much else has turned brown or otherwise succumbed to the early frost, they afford us a longing grip on summer--that only slowly yields to the sure onslaught to come.  DC was well decorated with these hardy soldiers last weekend as we enjoyed our tour of the Mall.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pray for our Leaders

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (I Tim. 2:1-2)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Justice and Mercy

Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
(Job. 8:3)

But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. (Psalm 86:15)

One can stand outside the Supreme Court building in Washington and ponder the difference between man's and God's judgment.  One flawed, one absolutely just.  And the Just One is "plenteous in mercy".  How blessed we truly are.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Something about time fascinates me.  I remember as a kid watching the second hand sweep to midnight on New Years Eve and being struck both by the significance of the start of a new year as well as the incessant sweep of the hand.  Not stopping at the milestone. Marching on.  As time should...

Until that day.  That day...when Jesus comes back. Someday.  Soon?  Maybe today? Maybe today!

Then the hands will freeze as in this image.  Where will you spend eternity?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ardent Flames

O that Thy ardent flames were kindled,
Unfathomable depth of love!
May all the universe acknowledge
That Thou art King and Lord above.
(Zion's Harp #73)

We had a wonderful night last evening as a church (hence the table arrangement pic from my dad and mom's retirement dinner) in which the ardent flames of Christ's love were manifest!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Colors

I'm reading a fascinating book on Abraham Lincoln (entitled "Team of Rivals") and am learning a lot about the Civil War period.  I just finished the part where the Secessionists cut off the resupply of the beleaguered Fort Sumter, in essence firing the first shot of the War Between the States.  Instantly, that act of aggression elicited a patriotic response in the North in which formerly feuding factions came together in a purpose to preserve the Union.  The things which divided soon became clearly less important than that great and noble purpose.  Amazing how that tends to happen!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Aaron & Hur

OK, it's quite a stretch to compare the biblical account of Aaron & Hur holding up Moses' arms to the often unseen support aircraft of the Blue Angels known affectionately as "Fat Albert".  But it's worth it to draw some attention to the unsung heroes who lend their loyal, quiet and unassuming support to those who are more visible.  The famous "Blues" get the focus but they'd attest to the reality that the show would not go on if it weren't for their ground, maintenance, and logistics crews.

Thanks to all who selflessly serve in so many places, lowly and great.  The Lord is your reward.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Gen. 8:22)

I love fall!  And this year we've been blessed with an abundance of those wonderful clear, crisp, cool days.  Among the delights of a climate with distinct seasons is the quarterly reminder that God has promised that the seasons will continue "while the earth remains".  Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010


I took this picture during a college visit and wasn't really sure if or how to use it.  I like the image but couldn't think of a fitting caption or thought. 

Then along comes the news today that my little girl Julie was accepted to Illinois State University!  More than enough reason.  Congratulations, Julie--I love you!

Friday, October 15, 2010


frak' tel. A geometric pattern repeated at ever smaller scales. (American Heritage College Dictionary).

I love a good zoom lens.  So functional for bringing up close an unsuspecting subject.  But what's really fascinating is that when you zoom in on God's creation, the complexity never gets fuzzy.  It's crystal clear and ever more beautiful as you discover the never-ending patterns.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Every Beast is His

 "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills." -- Ps. 50:10
No, this one isn't on a hill in this picture, but he's a noble beast, don't you think?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Necessary Stones

"He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it...Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith;" --Eccl. 10: 9, 10

Which of the stones from the iconic Altgeld Hall could safely be removed before the tower would fall?  Good question to ask when we start assuming the things we think are unnecessary can be forsaken.  Maybe someone older remembers why the stones were placed in the first place.

Yes, I realize things can and do change in any organization.  Maybe that's why it's so important we understand the difference between principles and rules. We must understand the principles, doctrine, etc. if we are ever to know which stones must stay fast and be shored up.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


"Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us." -- Luke 1:78

Dayspring isn't a term we use anymore but I understand it to mean the rising sun. How appropriate that old Zechariah would prophesy that his son, John the Baptist, would prepare the way for this "dayspring from on high", Jesus Christ. 

There something in a beautiful sunrise that gladdens the soul with the promise of a fresh and unspoiled day.  It's even more beautiful to link this explosion of color with God's tender mercy towards us.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Alma Mater

Alma Mater; literally "nourishing mother".  That certainly evokes warm feelings as one looks back either upon their childhood--if blessed by such a mother as I was--and, in the more common usage, to the college or university from which we graduated.

This image is literally of the Alma Mater from my Alma Mater, the University of Illlinois where two of our sons now attend.  And, in recent days, our daughter has decided to attend Cindy's Alma Mater, Illinois State University.  Plenty of warm feelings to go around these days!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mysterious Ways

"Hey, stop looking at me like I've got a crooked toe!"  Can you guess which of our children was overheard making this tongue-in-cheek comment recently?

This one goes in the category, "God works in mysterious ways".  We first saw these toes (both corrected by surgery but one needing it again) shortly after they made their entrance into the world.  We have the birth certificate to prove it.  The amazing part is that this same infant somehow lost the standard hospital identification wristband in the nursery.  But we had built-in proof that the toes matched the certificate and definitely belonged to our child!  One trip to Solomon avoided...  :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sweet Light

Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.  Eccl. 11:7

Cindy put me on to this verse recently after a night of some tossing and turning.  The light of the morning sun often helps restore a clearer perspective!

Extra credit if you can guess the location...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Niagara Red

He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow. Psalm 147:18

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This shot reminded me of those graphs that plot two variables and often make the point that the intersection is the optimal point.  And that got me thinking of Ephesians 4:15, "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ". love.  How easy it is to come down on someone with a full load of "truth".  And how we appreciate it when someone approaches us in love and esteem.  I bet Paul had to work on this too, as do I.  Worth the effort.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First Quarter

Back to a favorite subject.  This moon is nearly at what's called the "first quarter".  Its loveliness is only diminished by the thought of what is yet to come as it waxes to fullness.  Life and eternity are like that, it seems.  I suppose you could say our first quarter is somewhere around age 20 if we get the full biblical "fourscore, by reason of health". So much beauty and so much potential at that stage.

Or maybe we only reach this "first quarter" at life's end, to be completed in fullness on that heavenly shore where, as the hymn-writer put it, "the half cannot be fancied".  I like that thought better since at age 45, I'd already be considered waning under the first analogy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Eyes Have It

I've been trying to decide whether and how to use this image which I snapped somewhat surreptitiously during a recent visit to Lancaster County, PA

I suppose I could comment on the juxtaposition of the Amish boys with an "Italian Restaurant" sign behind them, or the modern street bearing their 19th century conveyance.  But it strikes me that there's something hidden a little beneath the surface. Maybe it's in the eyes?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Maybe Next Sunday

Shot this one on the church bus in Magdalena, Mex.  I pray this little girl will someday climb aboard that bus rather than simply wave as it goes by.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Because You Obeyed

"In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore...because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Gen. 22:17-18)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Follow the Leader

When flying tight formations like this, it's imperative that each plane follows the leader.  Even in a deep dive.  But not into the ground.

Like the noble Bereans, we all must "search the scriptures".  Paul said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." (I Cor. 11:1).

Friday, September 3, 2010

Single Focus

Back to the airshow theme!  I'm quite sure this guy didn't know I was taking his picture.  In fact I'm very sure he was intently focused on the job at hand -- "driving" an F/A-18 Hornet at high speed and with utter precision.

This guy's intensity reminds me of the Apostle Paul's singular focus and determination to know nothing save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (II Cor. 2:2).  Indeed, though he was talking about running a race, these verses from I Corinthinans 9 seem to apply as well:

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Cor. 9:24-27)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Waxing Full

I guess it's no secret that I love a full moon.  So I also enjoy the moon when it's waxing full because of the anticipation. But I almost can't bear to look when it's waning.  Maybe it's the thought of loss that the word waning brings; the seemingly too distant reality of the return of fullness. 

Life can be like that in some ways.  But in others, such as our love for each other, we cannot accept this!  A Zion's Harp hymn captures it best:

Should your love and your affection
Threaten to decrease and wane,
O implore for God's correction
Till its strength it may regain.
(ZH #33)

Notice the action counseled at the mere threat of such waning!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Glory in the Cross Alone

"God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14). A friend of mine gave a conference talk recently on the topic of humility, closing with this verse. May our glory be the cross!

Anyone recognize the location where this image was taken?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blindness = Sight Without Vision

This young man's personality is as high-wattage as his smile!  Love you, Nelson.

This canoe was made by hand by a craftsman who recently lost his sight.  I'm glad he had the ability to envision and then make reality this beautiful work before his sight was taken.

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision" -- Helen Keller

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Anchor Holds

Tho' the angry surges roll on my tempest-driven soul,
I am peaceful, for I know, wildly though the winds may blow,
I've an anchor safe and sure, That can ever-more endure.

Mighty tides about me sweep, perils lurk within the deep,
Angry clouds o'er-shade the sky, and the tempest rises high;
Still I stand the tempest's shock, for my anchor grips the Rock.

And it holds, my anchor holds;
Blow your wildest then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail: by His grace I shall not fail
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

"My Anchor Holds", W.C. Martin

My first thought was that the anchor pictured isn't doing much good, displayed as it is along the shore with a backdrop of ships at anchor in a calm bay; sails struck and idling the summer away.  But then I noticed the rust and signs of great use.  How great the tales must be that accompany this now rusted and resting stay!  So we press on, knowing the anchor is sure when it grips the Rock.  No matter how mighty the tides or angry the surges, or deep the perils...I am peaceful, for I know...I've an anchor safe and sure.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Sorry, but the airshow pix might be a staple for awhile!  When you look at this picture, what do you think?  Are you amazed at the unbelievable formation flying of these four, no five, F-18 Blue Angels airplanes?  Frankly, I am.  As a private pilot with a mere 350 flying hours, I can't imagine getting this close to another plane; never mind at their speed and with the turns they do together.

What else do you see?  Maybe you noticed that the #4 plane is slightly out of formation; actually noticeably farther away from his flying comrades than the rest.  Do you think he's a slacker?  Maybe just not as good as the rest?  It's interesting to ponder how we react to slight differences -- do we overlook the incredible reality of how close they are to focus on the variances?  I confess to having some of those thoughts.

Then, it turns out that the #4 guy dropped out of the show the next day because of illness.  So maybe, just maybe, he was feeling a little off his game when this shot was taken and left just a little extra margin of error to protect his formation partners.  That changes the perspective, doesn't it?

Lord, help me to be quick to listen, slow to judge, and to be full of grace.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

OK, so these aren't eagles...and not really "angels" either...but their upward attitude reminded me of this verse.  And as I soak in the effects of a very blessed week in which waiting on the Lord was key, I'm thankful for the promise from God through the old prophet.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.
("Have Thine Own Way, Lord" -- Pollard/Stebbins)

A good friend of mine has a pottery hobby/business ( and was the creator of these lovely works of art.  I'm a bit envious of his opportunity to be frequently reminded of Isaiah 64:8, "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

Praying to be "yielded and still".

Friday, August 6, 2010

Busy as a...


I've been wondering if, how or when I'd use this image.  It somehow seemed relevant as life has taken on a somewhat frenzied pace lately.  Not complaining, just learning to trust day by day.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

They Dwell in Kings' Palaces Too

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. (Prov. 30:28)

I'm told tarantulas are harmless.  The kids in Mexico and on our mission trip seemed to think so.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where is the House That You Build?

"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Isaiah 66:1-2

Sitting on the square in Magdalena de Kino, Mexico last Tuesday night, one could see the twilight fading and the light of a distant planet shining as a backdrop for this church.  It made me think of this scripture. Our buildings can't contain Him, the Creator of all. He looks to the humble.