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.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1867

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Picking Nits

On one hand we are called to "be our brother's keeper," willingly and lovingly helping him along life's path.  On the other, Paul warns us against being consumed one of another if we "bite and devour." (Gal. 5:16).

Doesn't it go back just one verse to Gal. 5:15, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Side by side. Patient. Loving. Helpful.  Any "nit picking" done with the consent and full knowledge of the one being helped.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wait For It!

I have to infer that the gentleman on the left is the storyteller.  I seem to have caught his friends at three distinct stages of grasping the humor of it all.  Mind you, it was all in Spanish so I was far behind the man in the center.  And I was rather focused on being surreptitious.

Lifelong friends, I fancy.

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly" (Prov. 18:24).

Note: feet left in place on behalf of Sydney Eisenmann Parkhe!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Population Density

What are your first thoughts when you see this image?  Sure glad I don't live there?  Charming European city; good to visit but better to leave?

What does God see?

"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."  (2 Chr. 16:9).

The whole earth?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Shopping

Not sure why, but the first thought I had when reviewing this picture from a display at the Madrid bus/train station was "Black Friday!"

Too much has probably been said about the madness of it all so I'll forgo the indulgence here.  When it comes to gifts, though, I was very appreciative of the thoughts shared by a minister this past Sunday.  He said that some of the best gifts he received growing up were when his folks didn't ask for suggestions but just picked out something they thought he'd like.  "We got a lot of miles out of that toboggan," he summarized!

The main point being, we can trust God to give us what we need and then graciously thank Him.

Somewhere in this season of the year, the true meaning is waiting to be discovered afresh.

"For God so loved the world..." (John 3:16).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Clear Channels

The Roman Aqueduct system is fascinating.  This one, feeding the Spanish city of Segovia, rises to three times this height as it reaches the middle of town.  While the architecture and engineering required of this first century construction project is staggering, I'm struck by its function.

Day after day, this silent structure provided clean, fresh water from the source to the need.  It had to be covered or regularly cleaned to provide a "clear channel."

"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:"  (2 Thess. 3:1).

Thursday, November 28, 2013


"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." (Gen. 1:29)

"Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen." (Rev. 7:12)

(Image from La Boqueria, Barcelona)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Perspective 2

Perspective makes a big difference.  Can you really be sure whether Nelson is above or below me in this frame?  The Proverbs make reference three times to the need for a "multitude of counselors."  I'm thinking the repetition is especially necessary given our tendency not to see--by definition, really--the perspectives of others. 

While we must consider our own vantage point as valid and legitimate in order to function, we can never see it as complete and still find the "safety" Solomon promises.  And further, our plans will be thwarted if we only keep our own counsel.

"Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established." (Prov. 15:22)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Weep for the City?

What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "city?"  Is it positive?  When I was growing up, there was a huge migration out of the city. It seemed that everyone wanted to live in the suburbs or beyond.  Being a "city slicker" wasn't a kind or endearing label. 

Today's young people seem to look more favorably towards cities.  For whatever reason.

What does God see when He thinks of the city?  We don't have to guess at that.

"And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it," (Luke 19:41)

He wept with desire that the lost of the city would be gathered unto Him.  So I wonder how He wants me to think when I think of the city?

Friday, October 11, 2013

When I Consider

 A cursory review of this blog will illuminate my love for this subject and Psalm 8:3&4.  When I posted this to Facebook recently, a friend commented, "God's Thumbnail!"

Just how big is God, anyway?

For me, though, it's the "what is man?" question and the praise in "that thou visitest him" that is truly humbling and awe-inspiring.  Surely the "heavens declare!"

Monday, September 23, 2013

Faith's Victory

Some dear friends from Connecticut are saying goodbye to this precious soul, "Gram Webb" to them, this week.  We rejoice in victory won.  What a delight to have known her!

The soldier won the battle, (She's) in gloryland somewhere.
The soldier won the battle, no more aging there.
Living now with Jesus, waiting 'til I come
Busy for the Master, forever always young.
"Soldier Won the Battle" (unknown)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Christ, The Foundation

"I now have found the firm foundation
Where evermore my anchor grounds!
It lay there ere the world's creation,
Where else, but in my Saviour's wounds?
Foundation which un-mov'd shall stay,
When earth and heaven pass away."
Truth is, most foundations aren't seen.  Only what we build upon them can be observed.  I was drawn to this wall by its being made of slate.  So much variation yet a wall nevertheless.  And obviously built on top of something sturdy.

"On this foundation I, unshrinking,
Will stand, while I on earth remain;
This shall engage my acting, thinking,
While I the breath of life retain.
Then I will sing eternally
Unfathomed Mercy, still of Thee!"
(Zion's Harp #221, v. 1, 6)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ryan & Sarah 8.18.13

"Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth." (Prov. 5:18)

We continue to marvel at God's goodness to us.  So blessed to find love multiplied, not divided, as we welcome our daughter Sarah.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

On the Rocks

Sometime in some national park somewhere we heard a ranger say, "Annie Algae and Freddie Fungus took a lichen to each other but now their relationship is on the rocks!"

Cue the teenage groan.  Works every time on any trail anywhere.  Most recently in Vermont, climbing Mt. Pico.  Abundant rain made for lush ferns and all kinds of things growing on the rocks and trees.

"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." (Col. 1:17-18).

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Self-Correcting Tree

So reads the sign along the trail by this interesting specimen. I suppose it's true as far as it goes but I suspect the location of the sun was more than a little influential in the so called 'correcting'.  This is probably similar to the "train" in "train up a child" (Prov. 22:6).  Herein is great hope for we who start out parallel to the ground, seemingly making no progress. Then the strong influence of the source of light and growth reveals that the Master was there all along, drawing unto Himself.

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:" (John 6:44).

Saturday, August 3, 2013

More Ryan & Sarah

I'm not sure engagement pictures ever look "natural".  But it seems as if our second session with these two yielded better results than the first.  Or maybe the dad/photographer was more relaxed.

In any case, it's been a joy watching these two begin to blend their lives together.  And in that blending, we have again been blessed to "gain a daughter" whose life is now blending with our family as well.

"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;" (Mark 10:7)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Life's Shadows

This image struck me as how life feels at times.  Some days are "dark", some are "light". As we walk along the "corridor of time", we transition between these stages, as it were.  It can be easy to forget one while experiencing the other.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Guapa Chica!

My blogging hiatus after Dad died has me reaching back a few months.  Most of my posts are not "time sensitive" as this is not really a diary or any kind of attempt to chronicle the events of our lives in an organized fashion.  That said, our Julie spent the spring semester studying in Spain and we were blessed to visit her in late March.

Spain is amazing and I look forward to dribbling out some images from the trip over time.  The highlight was our long weekend in Granada, Julie's "home" for almost five months.  The Alhambra is an amazing icon of that once Moorish city.

If you're so inclined, you can read some of her exploits here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ryan & Sarah

"Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth." (Prov. 5:18.).

I'm way overdue to post and especially on this topic.  Right in the middle of Dad's illness and passing we were blessed with the arrival of a new family member in the form of Sarah Drake whose engagement to our son Ryan was announced.  The smile on Ryan's face is pretty typical of how he seems to feel having her at his side! 

For our part, we feel blessed beyond measure as God continues to reveal Himself in the lives of our children.  An August 18th wedding is being planned.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Dale R. Eisenmann, 72, of Darien, Illinois passed away at the Tidewell Hospice center in Bradenton, Florida on April 23, 2013.

He was born January 13, 1941 in Watseka, Illinois to Christian and Lydia (Koehl) Eisenmann. He married Judith A. Feller on June 25, 1961. They loved each other deeply and enjoyed almost 52 years interwoven with blessings and life’s challenges.

They were blessed with three children; Bradley (Cynthia) of New Lenox, Illinois, Todd of Darien, and Luann of Darien. He loved his four grandchildren; Greg (Diana), Ryan (fiancée Sarah), Julie, and Nelson. His two brothers, John (Beverly) and Kenneth (Sharon) also survive. He had nine nieces and nephews.

Dale served on the faculty at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry in Chicago for 32 years. He worked in research and administration, ending his career as Interim Dean in 2000. However his true profession was in the service of the Lord. He was a member of the Apostolic Christian Church for 59 years and served as minister and elder until his retirement in 2010. He deeply loved his church and cherished so many close relationships among the brethren. In his spare time he enjoyed gardening and nurtured a deep affection for God’s marvelous Creation.

Services will be at 11:00 AM, Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Chicago Apostolic Christian Church with ministers of the church officiating. Visitation will be from 3:00 to 8:00 PM on Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Modell Funeral Home in Darien, and also from 10:00 to 10:45 AM Saturday at the church. Burial will be at the Apostolic Christian Cemetery in Elgin, Illinois.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Apostolic Christian Home for the Handicapped in Morton, Illinois.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tangled Webs

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!
--Sir Walter Scott
It's usually early in childhood that we require admonition to truthfulness.  We are told to always tell the truth and to be sure it will find us out.  To avoid even "little white lies," so called, and to learn that deception can masquerade as truth, or be "technically" true and still mislead.

We can ponder the heart motivations which drive the act of deceiving others but what lies at the root of our vulnerability to accept a lie in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary?  What fans the flame of an effective conspiracy theory?  I will only allude to some of the more famous ones for fear of attracting the same "Google love" that sends their advocates scurrying around the Internet for fodder.

Perhaps the most famous and enduring surrounds the death of a beloved American leader and whether or not his killer acted alone or was "bought and paid for" by enemies, foreign or domestic.  Another suggests that space travel is all contrived and that we never actually landed a man on our lunar neighbor.  More recently the tragic events that toppled buildings in our capital and largest city surely must have been a government plot or something other than what they--Oh, the faceless "they"!--say they were.

Sadly, we're bent to want to believe the negative about others, perhaps especially those in authority.  Somehow it elevates the self.  "Did you hear?" pricks the ears, ready to glean a juicy tidbit however dubious.  So much the easier to swallow--and pass along--if we can make it fit the "pattern".

Fear strengthens the web as well.  "What are things coming to?" we ask, and fill the unknowable void with wild extrapolations and hearsay, satisfied that we've found the answer. Further query is not needed, thank you very much.

Rather that we would ask: Is it true, is it honest, is it just, is it pure, is it lovely, is it of good report?   And surely we'd want the virtue and praise that comes from thinking on such things (Phil. 4:8).

Starting with me.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sense of Wonder

Solomon records four things which are "too wonderful" for him (Prov. 30:18).  Do you think his list was longer when he was a child?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Watch and Pray

With all the goings on of the papal retirement and the occasion of our Julie visiting Rome right now I thought I'd reach back a bit and dust off this image.

Whatever else might be said about it all, the architecture of St. Peter's is amazing.  Though I'm not aware that Peter ever got anywhere near there, you can hear echoes of the disciples as they came out of the Jerusalem temple, "Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" (Mark 13:1).

Imagine their disbelief at His response, "there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."  Followed by the warnings of great and terrible things yet to come.

The concluding thought, for then and now, "watch and pray."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Is My Name Written There?

Today in church we were reminded that our names will be carved in a headstone someday, along with two dates.  And though some might choose to have additional details about their life engraved in granite, the only thing that really matters at that point is whether our names are written in heaven.  In the Lamb's Book of Life (Rev. 21:27).

As we sang in Sunday School:
Lord, I care not for riches, Neither silver nor gold;
I would make sure of heaven, I would enter the fold;
in the book of Thy kingdom, With its pages so far,
Tell me, Jesus, my Saviour, is my name written there?
       --Hymns of Zion #211, v. 1

Saturday, February 9, 2013

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, v. 1

Has love's bright flame died out among us?
Nay, it shall burn intensely and with will;
Ne'er shall Thy love in us be waning,
And as it bound the saints, so bind us still.
It gives us hope where we in fear would groan,
Leads us to trust in Thy good help alone.
--Zion's Harp #192, v. 3

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Moment in Time

I trust the lack of complete sharpness in this image can be overlooked when the speed of the subject is considered.  Just try to imagine--or calculate, if you are so bent--the distance traveled in 1/400th of a second.

As I noted in the blog description above, one of the things I enjoy about photography is the capturing of a brief flash of time.  Some images seem frozen, some shout the fact that there is a before and after.  But in each case, we move through life a second at a time; all too often unmindful of its fleeting nature.

James 4:14.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ends & Means

How did a "third rate burglary" taken down a presidency?  How could someone who had risen to such a position of power stumble at the most basic moral lessons our parents impart?  Tell the truth.  No little white lies.  No ends justify the means.  Be sure your sins will find you out (Num. 32:23).

Somewhere the big man began to lose his grip with mortality.  Like old King Saul, no longer "little in his own eyes".  Too big and powerful to fail.  No input needed, thank you very much.  Obviously I must know it all if I got to this place. Who would dare suggest otherwise?

We all need truth-tellers in our lives.  Those willing to risk our wrath to remind us we're mortal.  As a good friend of mine says, "Feedback is a gift."

(In case you're wondering, the building is The Watergate. Just a third rate burglary...)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stay Connected!

This blog hasn't borne much witness to the fact that I'm a train fan, airplanes typically getting the top billing.  While my interest doesn't translate into much of a pursuit of a particular aspect of this subject, I do find them quite interesting.

Sure, there's a romance to riding the rails.  And the technology, though pushing the two century mark, is still fascinating.  (No, I don't like being stopped by a train anymore than the next guy.)

There's something about the way the engine provides power (motive force, if you will) which is transmitted link by link to the very end of the train, perhaps a mile back.  No matter which direction the engine is going, uphill or down, the very last car (enter a plaintive lament for the extinct caboose) will follow.  Indeed there's a fascinating place in the Canadian Rockies where the locomotives emerge from a mountain tunnel directly below and perpendicular to their rear cars as they navigate the famous Spiral Tunnel.

But of course the cars must stay connected to one another if that magnificent train is going to remain a unit and deliver its full load.  How sad when we stop looking for ways to get along and break the links that bind us together.  Our divorce culture has permeated every aspect of life, wreaking its full havoc wherever it is found.  And God hates it. (Mal. 2:16).

Saturday, January 12, 2013


This post is really about asymmetry.  The engineer in me likes symmetry.  There's something about things balancing out that just makes sense. At first.  Until you see that God's creation isn't about straight lines or having everything equal on both sides of the line, real or imagined.  That there's really more beauty in the lack of symmetry.  If you don't believe it, just take an image of the prettiest face you can find and reverse one side and substitute the reversal on the other side--ugly!

Then there's the whole "yin and yang" thing which is really a sick joke played on humankind, right up there with karma.

But to return to the lighter side, the Rule of Thirds in photography is an example of how even our eyes and brains don't really prefer symmetry.  I don't think I did too badly on that here, do you?

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I can't think of anything witty or erudite to say about this (which is not to say any previous posts have fit that description). I just really like the picture and think my wife is amazing for creating such a delightful and tasty subject for my camera and palate at Christmas!