Silence

An interior silence will enable one to live through life’s most turbulent storms. Many of us tried to achieve this state of silence but were shaken when tested by these storms. The type of ‘silence in our souls’ that can withstand storms cannot be created or attained by human efforts. We can only get this silence when it is spoken into us. The One who can speak such silence is God whose language is silence.

Mountain lake in Misty Fjord Mountains Monument, Tongass Nature Reserve, Alaska. August 2016.

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Shelter

 

1 Behold, a king will reign righteously

And princes will rule justly.

2 Each will be like a refuge from the wind

And a shelter from the storm,

Like streams of water in a dry country,

Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.

3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded,

And the ears of those who hear will listen. (Isaiah 32:1-3)

 

May the Lord bless us with rulers like these.

 

Capilano Park, Vancouver, British Columbia,Canada. August 2016

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Hailstones

Sometimes blessings, like hailstones or pallet of ice, may hit us hard and cost some pain. It may take us a while as we watch it melt before we discover it to be life-giving water. Many of the misfortunes, destroyed dreams and losses that we face in our lives may actually be blessings in disguise. So long we hang on, the blessings will reveal itself. It is never actually over until it is over.

Hailstones on a leave in Butchart Garden, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

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Ice

9“Out of the south comes the storm,
And out of the north the cold.
10“From the breath of God ice is made,
And the expanse of the waters is frozen. (Job 37: 9-10 NASB)

The Hubbard Glacier in Alaska. A massive wall of ice, slowly moving into the sea. What we see from the sea will be 400-years old ice as it takes that long for the ice to move down from its source; about 120 km from the coast. Most of the ice of this wall is under water so ships cannot sail too close to the terminus. Regularly, icebergs calved from the wall, some of them the size of ten-story buildings. Most human constructions pale in comparison. Beholding it, one can only acknowledge that God is an awesome God.

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Fence

The fence at the edge of a pathway is helpful to prevent us straying off the pathway and falling into the river. We all have a tendency to stray off pathways, even well-marked one, hence the need for fences and guidelines. Many of us feel that fences are restrictive. They prevent us from going wherever we like and restricts our freedom to wander. Fences actually have the purpose of keeping us safe. Do you feel fenced in by your many duties, obligations, and expectations? Examine and reflect on these fences. They may serve a useful purpose. The Bible acts like a fence in some way to keep us on the true path.

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:9-16)

The fence beside a path and a pond in Capilano Park, Vancouver, Canada. August 2016

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Eagle

11As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: 12So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. 13He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; 14Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape. (Deuteronomy 32:11-14, NKJV)

The Lord often gives us strength to do what we otherwise may not be able to do. With the Lord we have riches untold; riches not only physical but also emotional and spiritual. He only ask that we be faithful to Him and Him alone.

An eagle sitting on the tallest tree in the forest, strecthing its wings and sunning itself on a small island north of Sitka, Alaska. The nest is on the folk of a lower tree in the temperate rain forest. Summer, August 2016.

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Stream

To reach a stream of living water, it is sometimes necessary to tramp along damp mucky ground through the darkness of the forest. To do so, we must aim for the sound of the stream, walk forward, avoid potholes and distractions, and keep walking. The stream does not come to us. We have to force ourselves to go to it if we want to drink of its water.

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Rainbow

“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on earth.” Genesis 9:16. I am struck by the fact that the covenant is with all living creatures, not just humankind alone. A God who cares for all creatures great and small is a trustworthy God.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all…
by Cecil Frances Alexander

Rainbow in the Pacific Ocean, north of Sitka, Alaska. Summer. August 2016.

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Big

“Captain, here there be whales!” Scotty in the movie Star Trek: The Voyage Home.

Humpback whale in the Pacific Ocean, north of Sitka, Alaska. Late summer. August 2016

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Fluke

“They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all…” Captain Kirk quoting D.H.Lawrence in Star Trek: The Voyage Home

Whale fluke (tail) in the cold Pacific Ocean outside Sitka, Alaska. Summer. August 2016. This whale will soon head south to the Hawaiian islands for the mating season.

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