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FullSizeRender-3My cellphone was right on time.  Yup, I set the alarm clock to start ringing at 530AM.  A short two night respite in the country had come to an end.

Now, meetings, appointments, errands and projects waited for me back in the city.  On our campus people would be buzzing with activity.  This was an “all hands on deck” kind of event as we celebrated our new campus.

Sometimes I stack my calendar with day after day filled with activities.  This was one of those weeks.  Nevertheless, in the middle of the week I creatively squeezed two nights in the country.

Yes, it just means that I order myself to relax.  “Now, relax!  Start to unwind quickly before time runs out!  Hurry up!”  It’s comical, unrealistic yet the reality of the life l live.

My routine to get to reenter the faced paced life of my role at the seminary was about to kick in again.  I expressed my gratitude to my hosts, loaded my gear and drove out the gate of their fabulous ranch.  My sleepiness was tugging at my eyelids.

Down the country road for a short distance blended me on to a State Highway.  Traffic was non-existent.  Fog shrouded the landscape and turned everything into a monotone.

My radio kept me company.  Memories of the last few days played out in my mind.  Then, a morning hope became my entertainment.

The distant Texas sky exploded out of the low-lying fog.  A monotone world was shattered with splendid vibrant colors.  Our sun with its signature blazing ball was creeping over the horizon.

Now, it was show time for the Creator.  He put this drama into motion when He made this world.  The physics, the astronomy, the aesthetics, the life, the sensation are knitted together for a daily spectacular show for anyone to enjoy.

A sunrise wipes away the fear of what the day will bring.  There is a power and size in His presence all too magnificent to ignore.  We at least naturally grin and the pleasure and reminder of His display that He is still in charge.

We humans worry too much and trust too little.  He still invites us to warm up under His generous grace and relax with a touch of His mercy.  Step more lively into the day as He welcomes us into His care.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

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I stopped and looked at the gorgeous morning of a new work week.  It was Monday and my responsibilities were piled high in my computer inbox.  But, I stacked the deck in my favor before the diligent work began.

First, I hopped on my bicycle and wheeled through my neighborhood.  The temperatures at 630AM are welcoming and pleasant.  Meteorologists predicted that the warmer weather would grip our city with 100 degrees in a matter of hours.

Right now just as the sun is climbing its perch to scorch our city, I was taking in the 71 degrees and allowing my legs to burn off some energy and get my blood circulating freely.  My lungs were inviting me to stretch their capacity.  Keeping ahead of all of the physical limits was my smoothly beating heart.

Houston never allows a July morning to be anything but predictable.  Humidity was stripping away the ease to breathe and feel cool.  Sticky weather was starting to fill up every cubic foot of air space.

Sweat was pouring down my face.  It dripped off of my chin soaking my helmet strap.  A good spot lay ahead and I paused to rehydrate.

Now, the sun was making its grand appearance.  It was a welcome sight this early in the morning.  The quiet pool reflected the light and enhanced the beauty of trees, shadows and puddles in the pond made by hungry fish looking for breakfast.

Tranquility and peace marked this stop.  Cool water reinvigorated my tired body.  But, this was home, my neighborhood.

A smile crept across my face.  For a brief moment, although surrounded by thousands of neighbors and even more commuters getting ready to flood the streets, I was alone.  Serenity was mine to claim and I was relishing in the thrill.

I climbed aboard my road bike, wiped the sweat from my brow, checked my time and knew that I could easily make it home for a shower and then the commute to the office.  God had reminded me that when I take a moment to reflect a His good Word that I had read before my ride, let Him hear my personal worship on the road and relished in what He would privilege me in doing in the hours ahead, then the day, even a Monday, was going to be a grand day.  Do you like Mondays?

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

FullSizeRender-1This special and favorite topic has found its way in my writings many times.  It is my favorite time of day.  Sunsets are great but if I am forced to choose, I would cast my ballot for a sensational sunrise.

When the morning breaks, long before the sun rises I smile and often mouth my greeting, “Good morning, Lord!”  It is a reminder of grace.  No matter what we failed to do the day before or how we might have messed up or the wrong choices we made, we get a “do-over” with every new day.

When it is time, an agreed departure moment on the clock, my bride and I load into our transportation machine.  It fires up on command and moves at adjusted speeds just like it was designed to do.  Soon we join tens of thousands of other commuters on the asphalt arteries leading into the city.

Darkness fades.  Other vehicles and buildings along the way come into view.  Dawn is upon the city of Houston.FullSizeRender-3

Yet, like so many mornings, the rising sun announces its coming with a warm up act.  The horizon glows as if a massive fire is spreading across the sky.  Brilliant colors mix in perfect harmony not according to fashionistas but according to eternity planned schemes of the spectrum of light.

Yellows, oranges, reds and purple blend into each other.  All during our route into our destinations, the sky is brightening up.  Like the climactic lever controlling the lights on a stage, a masterful performance takes over.

This is not about what is to come.  No one rushes the presentation.  There is no hurry to finish this show.

FullSizeRenderNor is there ever a boredom because of familiarity.  A repeat is never identical.  Shades, shadows and sparkle are always in different proportions.

It is impossible to be bored with something that is new every morning.  The variety defies human understanding and results in human marvel.  Beauty from the hand of the Creator never ceases to stir the wonder of the created.

The sunrise is the beginning of every new day.  Every sunrise is a marvel of God’s creative hand.  Each one is new in shades, combination and sensation.

Capture the soulful joy of every new day with a one-of-a-kind sunrise.  Each one is tailor-made for what the Almighty has customized for the day for everyone who draws breath to live one more day. Bask in His reminder that He starts the day, rules the day and ends the day.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

IMG_4323My alarm clock was not needed. I picked up my phone and turned off the alarm before it rang.  The morning sun rays leaked heavily through the plantation blinds and brought enough light to rouse me to the new day.

It did not take long to wash up and get dressed.  Then, I stepped out into the morning air and automatically smiled.  The Texas heat was still hours away.  For this slice of the day at least, there was time let creation swallow me into the beauty of the surrounding woods.

For a while I walked while reading the Bible from my I-phone.  Yes, there is an app for that. My soul was refreshed from my morning devotions in His Word.

Suddenly I looked up, I stopped walking.  My pause was spontaneous and inexplicable.  At least I could not remembering making the decision to stop.

Instead, the scenery captivated my total attention.  I suppose thousands of summer campers have walked this route before me.  Maybe all of them stood there in that same spot gazing at the view.

The sun was shrouded in the low hanging cloudy skies.  Its rays were diffused and made the morning horizon glow.  Shadows streaked across the ground like an artists guidelines just before he or she paints a masterpiece.

IMG_4317This morning I saw a portrait of life.  God was shining His light.  The woods were not dark nor threatening as long as the light was shining.

Ahead was the view of the lake.  It was inviting.  Clearly, the sun was spilling out on the path that I would walk to greet the people He had assigned for me to meet.

God leads our lives the same way.  I could not see the end of the trail. However, enough of the trail was lit up by the morning sun right through the woods to the top of the gentle slope.

It was enough to walk with confidence.  Certainty of the next few steps was clear.  I could walk as far as I could see.

This method kept me going once I resumed my walk.  With no fear or hesitation of getting lost my stroll through the woods was made simple by the well marked trail and the light that shone on the pathway.  God does that for all who follow Him.

God’s divine plan is to show us just enough so we know where our next several steps will be.  However, the destination is a long way off.  We trust Him for the next steps and He will handle the final destination.

photo credit: brucefong photography

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