October 28, 2020

Autumn Along the Talimena Parkway

Once we began our drive on the Talimena Parkway, the trees started out green, and very beautiful. When we reached a higher elevation we saw the color change happen quickly. We stopped to take a small hike into the forest before continuing our way. Later, as we drove even higher in the mountains we reached a point where most of the leaves had already fallen and the remainder of the drive was mostly with bare trees. Ah, but there was the return drive home, so we did drive through all the beautiful colors of autumn again!

Here are our pictures from where we stopped to take a little hike.



 



Autumn is fleeting, once a year it comes and goes in all its colorful majesty. I hope you take time to enjoy the season!

October 27, 2020

Surprised by a Wrong Turn

Several years ago Randy and I were enjoying a road trip on our way to drive the Talimena National Scenic Byway in southeastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas in the Ouachita Mountains for the peak season of fall foliage viewing and on our way we took several winding roads just to see as much countryside as we could.

Sometimes you take a wrong turn when you are in unknown territory. In Randy’s enthusiasm to find the best scenic roads, we ended up on one of those rough roads that you just aren’t sure you should continue down. About the time Randy admitted he thought he had made a wrong turn, we hit another very rough spot in the narrow gravel road. It is too risky if your tires hit one more giant rut and you are in the middle of nowhere. Now, we needed a place to turn around!

Right ahead of us as we reached a bend in the road, we could see another narrow gravel road to the left and we knew this was the place to turn around.

We pulled in and much to our surprise as we pulled up a little farther, before our eyes was this wonderful sight! I think both of our jaws dropped in amazement at the same time as we could not believe our good luck!

I was literally jumping out of the car before we even came to a complete stop and running toward the lake to take pictures, and then I paused to just breathe in the beauty. The sunlight shimmering on the water was stunning.

There was a beat up old red pickup truck off to the side and Randy strolled over to ask the older gentleman inside if the road we had turned off would get better ahead, or worse. The man said worse, and advised us not to try it in the kind of car we were driving.

Ah, but we had gone just far enough! That is how we ended up here.

The old man in the beat up truck drove away and it was just us. Just us and a lake and abundant sunshine and beauty. We were two very happy travelers!

I will post some of my pictures from our time on the Talimena Parkway later this week. Here is a link to some information about this Scenic Drive. 

https://www.talihinacc.com/fall-foliage-update

October 26, 2020

In the Waking Moments

 

Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You. 

There is a beauty to each new morning when you first wake up. 

It is still dark and you go to the window with half-awake steps and look out into the sky and see a ribbon of color forming on the horizon announcing a brand new day.

Then you breathe your first words to the Lord and thank Him for this day and for His abundant blessings in your life.

You worship Him for who He is and know that our great God will walk beside you each moment through this day and with every step.

Do this today and again tomorrow and the tomorrows after that and you will know Him as you have not known Him before.

You will delight in Him.

And He will delight in you.

Drawing close to the Lord in the waking moments of a new day, it doesn’t get any better than this.

October 24, 2020

Where Is God's Place?

I am going to ask a serious question. We have all faced it counting myself, and some of us need to consider it again.

I have heard many fellow believers admit they don’t ask God for help until they are at the end of their resources, and it is at that point they will ask for His help when they find themselves in a difficult situation.

After all, we are capable of doing much in our own strength, but we cannot do everything. Our resources eventually run out. God’s resources never run out.   

But what about the ordinary days? What about the normal days in our lives? I am talking about the non-serious trial days.   

Are we charging off into our life with or without Him? Do we sometimes leave Him cast aside? Are there days we go about our business as if we don’t actually need Him?

Although we know He is always with us, do we acknowledge it throughout our day?  

Where is God’s place in your life today?

Is He as near as your heartbeat and every breath you take? Or, is He in the distance on the sidelines, or maybe somewhere in between?  

If He’s in the distance on the sidelines, the explanation is the one who moved was not Him, it was us.

He has promised us that nothing will separate us (Romans 8:38-39), that He will never forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5), and that He is not a God that is far off.

Do you know how blessed we are to have a God like that?

This is exactly why the answer should be that His place in our life is as near as our every heartbeat and every breath we take. 

Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord~ Jeremiah 23:23-24