Thursday, November 17, 2011

What is Your Perspective?

I posted this last November 8 on my Wind and Honey blog.  It has been on my mind a lot the last few days so I'm reposting it here.

I've come to the conclusion that our outlook on life can be determined by how we look at a tree - or maybe how we don't look.  Have you stopped to look around at the trees and the changing colors?  Have you taken a moment to notice them?  Because they will only be there for just about that moment.  Soon all the leaves will be on the ground and the beauty will have changed.

The tree above is outside of my studio, and this is how most people would see it.  But if you look more closely you will see it something like this.

But I am convinced that the only way to truly appreciate a tree, the only way to truly experience it is to see it like a child.  So first one has to lie down under the trees in the grass.  One has to experience the crunch of the already fallen leaves on the grass.  

And then the magical moment is when you turn your face up and look straight up into the tree thus getting the perspective of a child.  I'm convinced that trees truly love children and children love trees. The love affair that goes on between them gets lost somewhere in those teen years.  So I dare you today to go outside and find one tree to look at with the perspective of a child.  It just might change your day.

Isaiah 55:12
"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Faith So Real You Can Touch It

On Thursday a dear friend of mine will be laid to rest.  But in reality, she's been walking with her Jesus ("My Jesus", as she lovingly referred to Him) for a few days now.  On Monday, Jan Storms graduated from this earthly stage of life.  She moved to the promised peace and joy of truly being in the presence of her Heavenly Father.  Oh the glories and wonders that she is seeing!

Jan's time on this earth was a physical challenge, to be sure.  She battled cancer multiple times.  She was always determined and very strong willed about it.  And time after time, she won.

I have known few people with as tangible of a faith as Jan had.  Perhaps her battles had taught her that.  We can learn from her example.  Jan loved her family and they were the passion of her life.  Her four children and her husband Bruce were in her thoughts at all times.

My parsonage kitchen is being remodeled right now.  I can hear them banging and clanging as I type.  That was Jan's project and plan from the very beginning.  It was a bittersweet moment when they arrived to begin the project just a few hours after Jan's departure.

Jan has been greatly loved, respected, and admired and she will be greatly missed time and again.  But I hope that just for one moment in our grief that we can stop to celebrate with her, to realize that someone we have loved is actually at this very moment in the presence of our Lord.  What an amazing thing.  I think she would want us to do that.

A few months ago, I shared this song with Jan - "Bring the Rain" by MercyMe.  A friend had shared it with me and I immediately thought of Jan.  Those of you that have known her will understand why right away.  She told me she loved the song and that it was how she felt.  And, of course, I already knew that.  Her love for the Lord and her surrender to His Lordship in her life in all areas was obvious. 


"Bring me joy, bring me peace, bring the chance to be free, bring me anything that brings You glory.  And I know there'll be days when this life brings me pain but if that's what it takes to praise you, Jesus, bring the rain."