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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Greg & Diana

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)

Our son Greg is engaged to Diana Wagenbach and we find ourselves deeply grateful and humbled at the Lord's tender leading and care for our children.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


We use phrases like, "I was left hanging."  Or, "It kept me in suspense."  And we don't usually like it all that much.  At least those of us who treasure certainty don't like it much. 

But what if we could see the invisible yet strong cables of God's arms holding us up?  If through the eyes of faith we could be more at peace just hanging, knowing that we are kept by His grace (see I Peter 1:5).

The Rio-Antirrio bridge spans the Gulf of Corinth from the Greek mainland to the Peloponnese.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


For some reason this picture makes me think of the phrase, "I'm going to my happy place."  While I wouldn't suggest "escape" as a recommended regular practice, it certainly can be beneficial to let one's thoughts drift to a "place" where there are good memories of peacefulness, time with friends and loved ones, vacations, etc.

This little village on the north end of the Greek island of Cephalonia evokes some of those warm thoughts as I recall the day--in a week of such days--I spent there with my best friend and helpmate.

And with the cold and gray of winter reaching like tentacles all around us, a little blue sky and water doesn't hurt either.  Would you agree?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


San-tor-EEE-nee.  A gem of an island in the Aegean Sea.  Its crescent shape marked by stunning west coast cliffs plummeting into the caldera of a long dormant volcano, and dotted with dozens and dozens of these white-washed, blue-domed churches.  Absolutely stunning.

This particular shot is in the northernmost town of Oia (EEE-uh).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

"So the children went in and possessed the land...and they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness." (Neh. 9:24-25)

Sound familiar?  We are blessed.  Happy Thanksgiving!  And watch out for v. 26.

God bless each of you.  Among my many blessings are those of you who take the time to drop by and read these musings...or just look at the pix...that's OK too!  :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not One Stone

We identify visitors to the city by their upward glances in admiration of the skyscrapers.  (Though I could be mistakenly identified that way too as I've never lost my sense of wonder for such things--including pointing a camera in all directions.)

I guess it's no surprise the disciples pointed out the magnificent temple during their Jerusalem visit in Matthew 24.  It likely did surprise them when the Master prophesied of the day when "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down".  How permanent those stones must have seemed to them then.  I believe it was around 70 A.D. when the Roman Titus was responsible for fulfiling that very prophecy, as chronicled in the arch that bears his name in Rome. 

Nothing on earth today is any more permanent.  Nothing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mars' Hill

From this rocky outcropping, the Apostle Paul--having beheld the city (Athens) "wholly given to idolatry"--made his appeal that the "unknown God" they unwittingly served was Him in whom we live and move and have our being.

From our vantage point, removed by much time and great distance, we can tend to relegate idolatry to what we know of the remnants of Greek mythology; quaint and fairly harmless at this point.  Yet in its roots lie the very human tendency to worship the past, raise to doctrine the dogmas of men, and constrain God to something we can hold in our hands, understand, and control.

The Ten Commandments weren't issued with an expiration date nor the suggestion that any of them might not be highly relevant at some future time.  So how does "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" and "Thou shalt not make any graven image" apply today? And how might we be just as blind as those Paul derided on Mars' Hill?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


"How are you doing?"
"Busy. It's really crazy right now."
"We should get together sometime."
"Maybe when things slow down."

Busy, busy, busy.  It's an epidemic if not an addiction.  We boast of how many emails we get, how full our calendar is, how sleep-deprived we busy.

All in stark contrast to:

"Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10)
"Come ye...apart...and rest awhile." (Mark 6:31)
"In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." (Isaiah 30:15)

Lord save us from ourselves.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Autumn Postcard

I hesitated in posting this one knowing that my friends in Connecticut had their Fall cut short by a crippling snowstorm.  But maybe they can get some vicarious enjoyment from the reflective interlude of a little "New England" postcard from the Midwest.

Fall has that same sense of beauty tinged by angst that I feel in viewing a full moon.  The greatest explosion of color coincides with the begin of the fading glory, however slight.  Yet what a deception the Spoiler offers in the accompanying lure to avoid beauty, love, warmth just because it might fade or diminish.  And even in earth's disappointments lie the seed of hope that God's love never wanes nor fades away.

And we are going to a city where the roses never fade!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I confess to less than complimentary thoughts when I have seen these cars on the highways of the U.S.  They seem toy-like and downright dangerous as they share the road with SUVs and other behemoths that rumble through our land.

Our recent trip to Greece and Italy changed my paradigm.  These cars were born to ply the narrow streets of Athens and Rome! 

Limited parking?  No problem.  And if even the compact spacing afforded in the above image isn't available; you have other options...

Still not buying or recommending one for stateside, though.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Pillar: a supporting, integral or upstanding member or part. (Merriam-Webster).

From a child, I've heard the term pillar used to refer to those who provided support, often in a quiet and unassuming manner, and especially in the context of the church. It always struck me as a high compliment.

Some of the columns are in the sun; up front and visible.  Some stand in the shadows and carry their load unnoticed.  Removal of any one of them would put a greater load on the others.  And who knows how many could be removed before the structure would collapse.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Acro (top), polis (city): City at the top.  T'he semester of Etymology I had with Mr. Tripp back at Hinsdale South was one of the best classes I ever took.

No surprise, I guess, that those Greek roots show up in Athens.  This happens to be from the vantage point from which Paul beheld the city wholly given to idolatry and challenged the Mars Hill gathering that the God they acknowledged as "unknown", was Him "in whom we live and move and have our being".  No less true today.

Friday, October 21, 2011


There's a look that you only give to your heart's love.  A smile that only years of knowing and loving can evoke. 

I love to make her laugh.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Actually shot this with my cell phone on an early  morning bike ride recently.  I'm in a race against time as the sun rises later and later each day.  Always some sadness as the days shorten.  Yet peace in the promise that the seasons will follow in sequence until the Lord's return.

I like bridges, roads...connections.  Are we building connections?  Some good advice I heard a good while back; never burn a bridge.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sometime We'll Understand

Not now, but in the coming years,
It may be in the better land,
We’ll read the meaning of our tears,
And there, some time, we’ll understand.

"Sometime We'll Understand" (Maxwell N. Cornelius")

R.I.P. Patrick Mizwicki, 1997-2011

Friday, September 16, 2011


I've been wondering if or how to use this image ever since I captured it in New England last summer.  Though it's not a true "widows walk", it reminds me of that lonely roost where the wives of seafarers would pace; watching and waiting, often in vain, for the return of their loved one.

This week, our son Nelson lost a neighborhood buddy in a tragic accident.  At 14, Pat was "too young to die".  Yet he's gone.

At the same time, my dad is continuing his recovery from open heart surgery.  Doing well at age 70, all things considered.  So thankful; especially in light of Pat.

These things send our minds in a thousand directions.  We hug our kids a little closer. We say our "I love yous" a little more freely.  We resolve to let the unimportant things pass a little easier.  To value each day a little more.

We realize we are all watching and waiting; for the return of something lost.   But while we wait, we must live.  With hope.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Molten Glass

"Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?"  (Job 37:18)

I don't really know what kind of sky Elihu meant when he challenged Job and his friends with this and several other questions that illustrated how far above men God really is.  But I do love the sky.  A canvas always changing, always declaring His glory.

Monday, September 5, 2011


If you look closely, the peak of our state's capitol rotunda makes a plug for national union (along with the sovereignty of the state).  The more I learn about Lincoln (of which Illinois is "the land of", you'll recall), the more I realize his guiding principle for the nation was union.  While other great causes existed at the time and no doubt inflamed the passions that led to war, it was "staying together" that motivated Old Abe to go to the lengths he did.

How can we apply this today?  When passionate voices cry out for one cause or the other.  Our Southern friends of the past, driven to preserve a way of life, used methods and "moral undergirding" that threatened and ultimately led to secession and war.  Lincoln never blinked in his resolve to preserve the union, believing that only together do we solve the great problems of the day.  And that the very founding principles of democracy were threatened if secession could ever be the answer to the challenges of any particular era.  No, the principles are validated when a people stay together and work those challenges out; however long it takes or however difficult.

I'm with Lincoln.  Because, by the way, he was with the One who said, "A house divided cannot stand..."  And He wasn't speaking of democracy, I shouldn't think.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Mighty Fortress

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
(Martin Luther)

Never failing.  "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." (Ps. 73:26)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Humble Beginnings

According to our tour guide on a recent visit to the Old Statehouse in Springfield, this little office tucked under a stairwell was home to Ulysses S. Grant during his first military assignment.  It reminded me of Samuel's rebuke of King Saul when the pride of position and office led to disobedience and ultimate downfall.  How true his words linking effectiveness and humility:

"When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?" (I Sam. 15:17)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

High and Lifted Up

"I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." (Isaiah 6:1)

Contemporary church architecture doesn't seek to evoke the majesty of God as it once did.  Interesting to ponder how attitudes change over the years.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


What a difference a single letter makes.  According to Merriam-Webster, a capitol is a building where a state legislative body meets.  But if you capitalize the word, it becomes the building where the U.S. Congress meets.  Then change the "o" to an "a" and it's not a building any longer but a lot of other things:
  • the crown at the top of a column,
  • a stock of accumulated goods,
  • an "upper-case" letter (used above as in "to capitalize",
  • and, just to keep it interesting, a city serving as a seat of government; where, incidentally, you are likely to find a building called the capitol.  Or the Capitol.
Got it?  Aren't you glad you learned English as a primary language?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Old State House

We enjoyed a wonderful trip this past week to Springfield, our state's capital; touring among other things the Old State House which served as the legislative seat of government from 1839-1876 overlapping a number of years with Abraham Lincoln.

It's interesting to ponder the sheer volume of laws passed over the years as men have labored to rule themselves.  It makes me think of a favorite biblical phrase in which Paul articulates God's vision for a day when His law would be written on the fleshy tables of the heart, not in tables of stone (II Cor. 3:3).  Possible today as we yield to His Spirit.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rose of Sharon

Jesus, Rose of Sharon, bloom within my heart;
Beauties of Thy truth and holiness impart,
That where’er I go my life may shed abroad
Fragrance of the knowledge of the love of God.
(Ida A. Guirey)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Salmon Mango Salsa

I should have taken more time with this shot but it was time to move this culinary delight from the grill to the table.  And my display was fogging up from the heat and humidity!

Anyway, credit Cindy for this delightful offering.  It tasted as good as it looks.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I hear that red attracts hummingbirds.  I suppose that's why all the feeders have a large splotch of red on them.  But there's no red like a geranium.  Now we need to find a feeder that doesn't leak so our hummingbirds hang around for a drink.  Then maybe I'll capture an image of one of them to share someday.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Matt. 10:31)

Flowers aren't the only thing I can see from my porch perch; I love watching these brightly plumaged finches dart in for a repast at our feeder; God's eye on each of them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Appointed for Seasons

"He appointed the moon for seasons:" Ps. 104:19

I admit I can't resist the glory of the moon. Its daily changes as the dark side slowly makes its rounds from our perspective while showing the same face to us because it somehow rotates exactly the same speed as the earth turns. I'm fascinated with its varied features of dry seas, Tranquility and Serenity most prominent, its cratered surface, and its faithful reflection of the distant sun as it fulfills its appointed duty to reflect the seasons to all Creation.

So this one is a just past First Quarter, waxing gibbous, that I took a couple nights ago.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


This is mostly about keeping a promise from a previous post.

These beautiful Asiatic Lilies grow just a few feet from my perch on our front porch, a favorite summer Saturday morning refuge.  God is infinitely creative and it's a never ending challenge to find ways to capture images that reflect just a glimpse of that creativity.

"Consider the lilies how they grow:" (Luke 12:27)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Till the Ground

Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." (Gen. 3:23)

From the earliest days, man has tilled the ground, by the sweat of his brow, in hopes of a crop.  I've been blessed to know many farmers, indeed am descended from a long line of them.  It's honorable work and a wonderful heritage.

This little guy in the farmer cap was a gift in memory of Cindy's dad -- the quintessential farmer and "red tractor" man. Tomorrow would have been his 80th birthday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

By Any Name

I think it was Shakespeare who commented that a rose would smell as sweet by "any other name".  Yet words (and names) mean things.  We attach meaning and significance to people, experiences, locations, even pets, by the names we give them.

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches;"  (Prov. 22:1)

Friday, June 24, 2011


The first word that came to mind when I shot this image of an "expectant" pod of soon to be glorious blooming Asiatic Lily didn't seem appropriate as the title for a blog.  I hope you enjoy the thrill of beholding the potential represented in this shot.  Stay tuned for the "birth"!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

That's like comparing...

You could probably argue that apples and oranges have more in common than what makes them different yet we hold them out as the example of contrast, as if it were ridiculous to speak of them in the same sentence.  I wonder how often our words suggest we have focused solely on what separates us to the neglect of great similarities.

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." (Prov. 25:11)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In Memory

We're all missing Dad Herrmann this Father's Day.  This little angel was given in his memory by our Chicago Church family.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Can a dad be forgiven if he is partial to his little girl?  This beautiful young woman came into our lives 18 years ago today and we haven't been the same since.

We had a bit of a start that day when the doctor showed us the perfect knot our new daughter had tied in her umbilical cord in utero.  We gulped hard to think of the outcome had she pulled it just a bit tighter.  Cindy worded plaintively what I was afraid to think, "Is she OK?".  The answer resounded in that little room from a doctor sensing our fears, "Very, very OK!".  Truer words never spoken.  She has brightened our life at every turn.

Love you so much, Julie!  Happy Eighteenth Birthday!

Oh, and she graduated high school this week too.  :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beating the Heat

We've had some "dog days" and it isn't even summer yet.  This displaced polar bear seems to have the right idea!

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)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


How do you capture 25 years of life spent married to your best friend?  I doubt that it's possible.  In truth, I fear that too many words might detract more than they'd add.

But I sure love that smile!

"Her price is far above rubies." (Prov. 31:10)

Credit: Ryan Eisenmann, photographer

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Blessings

"Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table." (Ps. 128:3)

I'm a blessed man!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


How far is the impact of a single act felt?  How long does it reverberate?  Does what we do even matter?

Drop a pebble in a still pool or, as above, watch when a fish breaks the surface, however lightly.  The entire pond is affected.  Likewise with each act of faithfulness.

My life today is impacted by choices made by generations of faithful men and women before me.  How will my choices shape the heritage I will pass along?

For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. (Ps. 61:5)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


In I Cor. 15, Paul makes it clear that there are all kinds of glory -- celestial, terrestrial and otherwise.  I kind of like both of the "glories" pictured.

Yet, Isaiah 42:8 is a solemn warning that we must never rob God of His glory. Indeed He will not give it to another.  No robbery when Creation itself sings "Glory!".

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Role or Identity?

I'm not sure but would assume that this bee doesn't struggle with role/identity confusion.  Truth is, I inadvertently caught it on short final for the pollen harvest.

We humans on the other hand have a big problem with keeping our roles and identity separate.  We're motivated--and rightly so--to do a good job in the various positions we find ourselves filling.  But does being a good ______ (fill-in-the-blank) mean I'm a good person?  One who is worthy of God's love?  The admiration and respect of others?  Not really.

We recently read the biblical account of the rebellion of Korah during the Israelite's time in the wilderness.  It's an amazing story that fits our modern discontent and tendency to murmur, complain and ultimately rebel way too close for comfortable (a.k.a. distancing) comparison.

What's even more fascinating, and convicting, is how Moses and Aaron responded.  Either could have easily said, "You're right, God--wipe these people out."  Instead, in the face of grievous accusation and rebellion against them personally, they entreated God to spare the people, Aaron literally "standing in the gap" between God and the gainsaying children of Israel.

I'd say their identity was in Christ, not their earthly (even spiritual) roles, wouldn't you?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Every Living Thing

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Gen. 1:28)

Isn't Creation marvelous?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
 --Cecil F. Alexander

If you look closely, you'll see a nut in his mouth!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Come Apart

"And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while:" (Mark 6:31)

Today we leave the sunny south (not exactly a desert place, I realize), rested and renewed from a wonderful vacation.  Someone once said you should "come apart so you don't come apart". Good advice, I should think.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Too wonderful (Part II)

I don't usually post images taken with my cell phone but this one is too fascinating not to share.  Again, God's creation is just "too wonderful" (Prov. 30:18&19). And yes, he swallowed the whole thing.  Tough on the frog.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Too wonderful

The way of an eagle in the air was mentioned by Solomon as one of the things he found to be "too wonderful" (Prov. 30:18-19).  Perhaps in our modern comfort with human air travel we've lost some of our sense of wonder.  No, not an eagle, but wondrous all the same.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Ps. 8:3&4)

It's probably clear to those nearest me how much I love those couple of verses from the Psalms.  And what better to remind me of them than the "supermoon" we enjoyed in shrouded splendor a few weeks back!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shrink Wrap

I have to say I wasn't aware of this use of "shrink wrap" until just recently...