clouds, sun rays
As I write this we are almost home from a 2,650 mile driving vacation! Because my husband is now retired, we decided to drive up to Vancouver, Washington to visit our son and his family instead of flying. We drove up the coast stopping in Carmel and Monterey, and then, drove more inland stopping in Redding and then finally Vancouver! We spent a wonderful week with our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren!

We took a slower time driving home because we wanted to stop and savor the beauty of the Oregon coastline. There is something mesmerizing and enchanting about the charming little towns along the ocean! Incredibly beautiful scenery met us continuously on our drive. The combination of sand and unique rock formations along the beach, the waves of the ocean, and the tall evergreen trees is so relaxing and calming in its beauty. The charming little towns offer quaint shopping, antique looking, good food, and friendly conversations with its residents. One evening we saw a pod of grey whales swimming and feeding from our balcony! We climbed the rocks near the water’s edge and collected small rocks, agates, and shells. Little souvenirs to bring back these memories later! We enjoyed beautiful sunsets and walks along the beach. It was charming, restful, and enchantingly beautiful to enjoy the handiwork of God! It was all I had hoped it would be!

During our last night in Yachats, Oregon, we met a man at the next table during dinner who was showing a video he had taken of Thor’s Well. Thor’s Well is about 2 miles south of Yachats and is a collapsed sea cave about 15 miles across. It was an incredible sight to watch his video as the waves surged up through the well and over the rocks with such force. It was even more hypnotizing to watch the large opening suck back in everything within reach with such force it was frightening. The action repeated itself continuously and was indeed hypnotic! His video was a bird’s eye view from the top. I looked up UTUBE videos of Thor’s Well and they were taken from the side. It is just not the same! This bird’s eye view has a beauty that draws you in…even though your mind is telling you of its enormous danger. It is interesting to note that Thor’s Well is also known as “The Pacific Gateway to the Underworld”.

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Love Turns Dust

 

Pride is such an ugly thing.  When we pour ourselves into doing good deeds, it can be hard not to feel we are doing something out of the kindness of our own hearts; that it is truly ‘our’ idea.  Serving others is God’s idea.  Caring for the poor, the widow and the orphan… they are the heart of God.   At the center of it all, He has chosen US to be His hands and feet until He returns..  We humans, no matter how ‘good’ we think we are when we love others, sometimes need a reality check. There is just no way to emphasize accurately the enormity of this truth: It should have nothing to do with our goodness, and everything to do with God’s goodness.

How can we look at a poor mother and not see the poverty of our own spirit without the King’s riches. How can we look at an orphan on this planet and not see a picture of ourselves without our Redeemer? We are nothing without our Heavenly Father. We were starving, poor, thirsty and without shelter before He bought us with His blood. Is there not a more powerful display of God’s love then the price He paid to call us His child? And that is what we are. We are children of God, He gave us that right.

 ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are” 1 John 3:3

Our good deeds should scream of what He has done for us!

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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” Jeremiah 1:5

How does this truth make you feel? … that in God’s sovereign right you were made the object of His choice–before you were born. Before you were born again! Who can understand the righteousness and mercy of our LORD? Would I have chosen me? I dare not consider the multitude of my sin that so quickly disqualifies me from any honorable standing; yet God, in His mercy upon me, forgave my dreadful lot through Jesus. And yours, too. The Cross is God’s justice, His mercy, and His promise for me, and for you. The power of Christ’s blood shed is for all who see themselves disqualified, rejected, unworthy, and sick because of sin. May His saving power heal today. May the power of Christ’s perfect blood cleanse and heal those hidden places in our hearts and minds today! May God bring to light the hidden fears, the unbelief, the ugly pride that the devil convinces us we must own. No more! Before you were born you were set apart! Jesus alone! His love overcomes it all!

Thank You, Father for choosing us, not because of who we are, but because You saw fit to make us the object of Your mercy and grace. Open our eyes to see more clearly Your heart toward us, toward others. Let our response grow increasingly humble, grateful, and devoted to You. You deserve it all, glorious Lord and God. We are nothing without Jesus. We are everything You delight in because of Jesus! Thank You for forgiving us; please help us to walk in forgiveness. This is the way of the Gospel. Thank You, thank You, we praise You, and we love You, Lord, amen.

 

By Dana Lange

 

 

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Have you ever had the enjoyment of observing a mommy hummingbird caring for her babies in their nest? As I write this, we have a mommy hummingbird who has built her tiny nest in the wind spinner hanging from our covered patio. That little nest spins gently whenever we get a breeze. It also spins a little faster when the wind picks up!

The process of raising baby hummingbirds is not easy, and it is messy! Mommy not only must feed her babies, but she must also clean up after them. Their living quarters are small, so the babies learn to poop on the edges of the nest. But, those poops can’t stay there either. Mommy hummingbird flings them over the side! It is as if she says, “Fore!”, and uses her long beak as a golf club and hits those “balls” as far and as long as she can! Many are splattered randomly on the wind spinner itself! Many have found their way onto a patio chair cushion looking like a multitude of polka dots randomly placed! Others are on the concrete below and are easily washed off! The babies are growing well and soon their nesting time will come to an end! A change is coming! They will learn to fly and live as God has intended their lives to be!

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