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Friday, May 31, 2019

Inspired by . . . Bird Blinds Vol. 2

Pedernales Falls State Park
As promised, more pictures from my first bird blind experience at Pedernales Falls State Park. I'm blessed to see most of these birds in my own front yard but I still enjoyed watching them in a different environment.

Woodhouse's Scrub Jay

Ladder-back Woodpecker

Northern Cardinal (female)

Ladder-back Woodpecker

Ladder-back Woodpecker

Northern Cardinal (male)
Lincoln's Sparrow

Carolina Wren
Sitting in the quietness of the blind I am reminded . . .

"Life is this simple: We are living in a world
that is absolutely transparent and the Divine
is shining through it all the time.
This is not just a nice story or a fable.
It is true."
~Thomas Merton


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Inspired by . . . how best to live

"Choices are always powerful. It does not matter that we rarely understand exactly what we are choosing. Perhaps that is precisely where the power lies: not in the choosing but in the learning how to best live with our choice." ~Christie Purifoy, Placemaker


The older you get the more you tend to look back. You begin asking questions like: "How did I get here?", "Why?", and "What's next?"

The "how" may become clear even if the "why?" and the "what's next?" remain shrouded in the mist.

Stepping back through our memories brings us to the many crossroads of our choices. Even where those crossroads are deeply scarred by the trainwreck of someone else's choices; evidence remains of how we chose to pick up the pieces [or not] and move on.

There is nothing wrong with looking back. The bible is filled with admonishments to remember. The key is not to look back with bitterness and regret. Rather we look back with an eye of discernment. Seeking those divine moments when His hand was upon us; teaching, guiding, protecting. This knowledge is often given to us only through hindsight. 

For me, "learning how to best live with [my] choice[s]" is two-fold:

Change and Trust.

If I'm making choices that move me in the wrong direction, I need to change. We are body, mind, and spirit. Unhealthy choices equal a disconnect between these three elements.

Romans 12 teaches us how to correct and guard against this disconnect so that we can know the will of God and make choices that reflect His will and bring Him glory:
"Therefore, my friends, I implore you by God's mercy to offer your very selves to Him: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for His acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart. Conform no longer to the pattern of this present world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds. Then you will be able to discern the will of God and to know that is good, acceptable, and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

At the same time, living with my choices means trusting that He who began a good work in me will bring it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. That even when I make the wrong choices or am tossed about by the waves created by the boulders tossed by others, He is faithful.

There is no room for a victim mentality in Christ. The "whys" and the "what's next" are most clearly revealed when we embrace the freedom we have in Him. Looking back is just where we begin. We do not remain in the past.

Rather, we give thanks for the present and rejoice in the future.

For this is His will for us in Christ Jesus.
"Always be joyful; pray continually; give thanks for whatever happens; for this is what God wills for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess 5:16-18


Monday, May 27, 2019

Inspired by . . . Freedom Isn't Tidy

It's messy. Bloody. Tragic.

Liberty may be an unalienable right but it's not guaranteed.

And it is most certainly not free.

It is paid for by the blood and sacrifice of men and women.

Today we honor them by remembering that sacrifice.

Today we honor them by continuing to stand for the truths that our forefathers set forth as self-evident.

In Remembrance,

Friday, May 10, 2019

Inspired by . . . Bird Blinds Vol. 1

Pedernales Falls State Park

Any of you who have been visiting this blog for a while know how much I love birds and photographing birds. So you may be surprised to learn that, until recently, I had never been in a bird blind.

I have been hearing for years about the birding opportunities at Pedernales Falls State Park but had never taken the time to visit. This past January, we finally made it!

The park is beautiful and hosts two bird blinds! 

What an amazing experience!

Rather than blog-bomb you with an overabundance of photos I thought I would share over two or three posts.

Let's start out by cleaning things up a bit!