Thursday, August 26, 2010

End of the rainbow...

This is just a small section of a full, double rainbow that arced overhead the other night. While the one end was hidden by houses and trees on the other side of the base, the second "end of the rainbow" could clearly be seen touching the ground. I've never before seen the base of a rainbow and I'm sure that if I chased it to where it appeared to be, it would elude me no end (little word play there). In any event, it was the most magnificent example of God's covenant with His children that I have ever witnessed.

On a more technogocial note, I lost a little over fifty pages of my latest manuscript through a computer problem the other day--added to by my incomprehensibly dumb failure to back it up on my thumb drive. I was heartsick. We tried everything, but the little bugger (an Acer Aspire I use for traveling, going to the library, etc., when I don't have access to my desktop) refused to power up. I prayed God would fire it up long enough for me to retrieve my manuscript and transfer it to my thumb drive.

My daughter and son-in-law were helpful in coming up with ideas, but nothing seemed to work. My daughter even suggested I do what I had advised her do one time when her laptop went kaput--remove the battery. I agreed I should try that (although I didn't remember suggesting that to her), but didn't get around to doing it. I was still holding out, I guess, for God to do something magnificent.

Well, you guessed it. After about the eighth time she suggested it, my son-in-law removed the battery, plugged it back in, and miracle of miracles, it powered up. While I was waiting for God to do something remarkable, He had already solved the problem by reminding Darice of something I had completely forgotten I'd reminded her to do. Talk about remarkable. When will I learn to not only trust that God is always there, but that He knows how and why and when I'll need Him long before I do?

It was like grabbing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Until the next time...

Friday, August 20, 2010

God is in His heaven...

Few things remind me of God's power and sovereignty as do the skies and the heavens beyond. Nighttime brings the moon, stars, galaxies, meteor showers, nebulas, planets, constellations, and the occasional comet. If I'm really lucky, the northern lights put in an appearance. Of course, some of those heavenly sights require perfect weather, a certain geographic location, clear skies and just-right temps, as well as a strong pair of eyes or binoculars--perhaps even a telescope.

The daytime skies, though, are different. Aside from those dreary, overcast, drizzly days we all get on occasion, the sky provides some of the best displays of God's love for His children seen anywhere. Blue and sunny skies are not only cheerful (and essential to life on earth), but they also provide the perfect backdrop for clouds. Whether drifting lazily along like great cottonballs piled upon one another or feathered delicately by the winds aloft, clouds always remind me that God is in His heaven and that He is playful. Why else would clouds, those tiny droplets of moisture that clump together like mounds of white cotton candy, come in so many different sizes, shapes, and altitudes? Why would puppies and bears and buildings and images of Thomas Jefferson (or Thomas the Train, for that matter) appear above us if not to prove that God loves beauty and mystery and the ever-changing panorama that clouds give us whenever we look skyward?

Every once in a while, I come across a cloud formation that takes my breath away. So it was on the day I took this picture as I leaned out the window while my daughter drove along the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Denali National Park at 60 m.p.h. I'm lucky I didn't end up on the pavement. But some sights are worth the risk of a nasty road rash.

There's something about the way He places the sunbeams at just the right angle to demonstrate, through His playfulness, love for beauty, and passion for us, just how often He thinks of His children and our view of the sky above. As if it's not enough that he placed the sun and moon and stars and planets right where He did, He also gave us the magical disappearing act of wisty or puffy or thunderous or sun-dappled or sunset-layered or sunrise-streaked clouds to delight and amaze us down here on our earthly level.

And if that's not enough to remind us of His love, sometimes He sends a rainbow. Couldn't get much better than that, could it?

Until the next time...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Up close and personal...

Some blessings are bigger than others. A great example of that is the magnificent guy pictured here. After weeks of an absolute dearth of wildlife here on base, unusual for our experience-to-date in Alaska, I ran across this handsome specimen and his buddy (and co-tree muncher, also a bull) on the way to the library the other day. (Me, not them.) I pulled over and snapped photo after photo. Others, of course, followed my lead and before long, several cars were lined up on one side of the road keeping watch over the bulls as they partook of a leisurely, leafy lunch.

One of them wandered into the brush and out of our view. This guy, though, not only stayed in sight, but also decided to cross the road and take a closer gander at me. I guess turnabout's fair play even in the moose kingdom. I kept one hand on the button to raise my window in the event he decided he didn't like the looks of me, and the other on the camera. The photo on the left is the result of my not being able to catch his head as he wandered by at arm's length from my open window, but then everyone needs a good "moose torso-and-hindquarters shot," don't they?

I wouldn't recommend my behavior to anyone else. Yes, he's gorgeous and very picture-worthy, and yes, he and his friend were the first moose I'd seen in a good three weeks. But that's no excuse for taking the chance of becoming the morning headline: "Stupid Woman Gets Head Knocked Off By Fed-Up Bull Moose." Thank goodness I had the brains to stay inside my car. I'm careless, but not entirely without sense.

Being able to enjoy, observe, and photograph these beauties is a blessing indeed, but a second (and probably more important one) is the way God looks out for me when I don't always do it the way I should. Thank You, Lord, for granting patience to your beautiful and wild creations, allowing me to enjoy their grandeur in safety, even when I don't deserve it. I promise I'll be more cautious in the future.

Until the next time...