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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

IMG_4178A few hundred gathered for an outdoor wedding.  It has been on my calendar for months and we booked our flights early.  It was a nephew who was going to exchange his vows.  Family is important enough to fly half way across the nation to be a part of the festivities.

The temperatures hovered in the eighties.  As a Houstonian the 80’s in July is like a cool breeze.  My friends and relatives laughed about the weather.

We had left Houston and her 90’s temperatures for our flight to the Northwest.  When we stopped in Albuquerque for a transfer the temperatures had reached the 100’s.  Stepping off the plane in Oregon was like a refreshing breather with her 80’s temperatures.

Of course we cannot forget the humidity.  Houston is famous for the trapped water vapors that make the sticky environment test the patience of the most humans.  Oregon was relief.

Ushers seated us on the groom’s side, stage left.  Tall trees cast a broad canopy of shade over half of that side of the seating.  Those who had claimed those seats were parked and did not give any indication of budging.

IMG_4184The rest of the guests left something in their chairs and were crowding in the aisle under the shade.  It made for fun and exuberant reunions.  All of us who had not seen each other for years caught up.

Most were eager to hear about Texas.  We drawled on and on about the weather, the state pride, the Western garb and of course the BBQ.  Some chimed in on outdoors and the wide open spaces.

Finally, the ushers invited us to our seats.  The wedding was about to begin.  I settled into my seat and drank in the beauty of the Northwest.

Tall Douglas fir trees surrounded the patio. Overhead the sun was doing its daily dance through the sky. Its rays felt wonderful, invigorating and comforting.

There was no need for artificial lights or candles.  One bright light shone overhead.  It was sufficient and complete.

God’s creation of the sun was all that this wedding needed to give the perfect ambiance for memories and photographs.  Videographers were  happy with the natural light as well.  The shadows added texture to the images captured in digital form.

The bridal party stepped into view.  Oohs and ahs were abundant.  The creator’s sun came in handy for that gathering.  It was as perfect a setting as perfect can get.

photography credit: brucefong photography


Israel 2014 IFL 354The pace that our trip to the Holy Land was maintaining pushed the limits of our human ability to retain the overload of information.  It is a challenging task to decipher what our pilgrims can receive and how much we can push them to give full value to their once-in-a-lifetime tour.  While it might seem strange, giving them a respite helped increase their capacity to take in more.

Along the journey a momentary glimpse of something unique could seal the faith of a pilgrim with a visual reminder.  Constantly we were looking at this or seeing that.  Yet, a moment of beauty from a single window bringing in the sunlight from the outside into the dark dingy cavernous stone cathedral was captivating.

God’s created sunlight lit up the ceiling of an ancient architectural wonder like only a postcard could do.  It happened between moments of our guide giving one of his many lectures.  The crowd of people were being directed to another location.

As we waited for our turn to file out, I glanced up.  The arches of the ceiling and roof were reflecting the physics of structure and the aesthetics of design.  God lit up the shades of stone and the strength of engineering to give one of those beautiful moments when faith not just felt but also seen.

Israel 2014 IFL 360Stepping out into the sun was a reward.  Inside the building sunlight was relegated to a single portal.  Now, it was the dominate attraction in the sky.

Floods of sunlight showered on the foliage around me.  A tree burst out in yellow blossoms.  Each was reflecting the radiant light of the stellar ball of fire.

The pedals captured the rays of light.  Brilliant puffs of color decorated our canopy of shade.  God was reminding us that this was the Land that He promised His people.

If we would live by faith, we too would enjoy His fulfilled promises.  There was nothing that the God of creation could not do.  With faith everything was possible.

Israel 2014 IFL 364The powerful light was too much.  I looked down.  There my eyes rested but found another amazing delight.

The symbol of our faith was there.  Representing the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the grave grew up by my feet.  Easter Lilies blossomed just at the right spot on our tour.

My mind was contemplating the reality of my faith.  The beauty of my faith was there for my eyes to stroke.  Faith is a saving reality and beauty to behold.

photo credit: brucefong photography