God’s Palette

All the colors are there in the leaf. God’s Palette. Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet.

I found God’s Palette yesterday, Saturday, in our backyard.

This I read early Sunday morning (Today’s Daily Word):

“In the past, I may have hidden my inner light, afraid to be myself. I may have tried to please others by conforming to someone else’s idea of who I should be. I may have shrunk from an aspiration, fearing that I would fail in pursuit of my goal. I may have doubted the divine perfection at the core of my spiritual self, identifying with my perceived flaws and feeling small and inadequate.

“Today I make a new choice. I choose to live fearlessly, drawing upon my faith to believe in myself, my imagination to envision my best life, and my understanding to know my divinity.

“Bold and brave, I am fearless as I live my life authentically, pursue my dreams, and express my divine nature.”

And then this verse:

Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread … because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.—Deuteronomy 31:6

I love the last sentence and the verse from Deuteronomy.

I had a test for Covid-19 this morning. I have no symptoms. I had the test because on Wednesday I have a routine colonoscopy scheduled. The last time I had one, and the first time, was about ten years ago. I find it interesting it is called routine. I picked up my gallon of fluid to prepare for the procedure after the having the Covid test. The nurse who administered the test told me her name was Joy. And she was a joy; I could see the love in her eyes. The test lasted 5-10 seconds and was ticklish.

So this morning’s Daily Word spoke to me. “Today…I choose to live fearlessly, drawing upon my faith…bold and brave…” And I did.

Something else; last night I read some old Blog/Journal entries and I was filled with a degree of sadness, if not regret. What happened? Something happened. I have had an online presence for nearly twenty years. I have made friends with people all around world. For example, I met Helena online fifteen years ago and featured her photographs in my art gallery. Susan and I housesat for her and her husband two Septembers ago. I think that is wonderful. And amazing.

But I wondered has my life become so routine, if not boring, that I have nothing to say. I don’t think so. Of course, I am no longer commuting to New York City and returning with stories like these:

“Daryl and I are on the road at 6:00 a.m. He listens to Nelly, Jay Z, and other rap artists on my cd player and I listen to NPR on the radio. When we arrive in New York City we first head to the bathrooms at the Four Seasons Hotel on West 57th Street. I’m early for my appointment at Playboy so we look at the Will Cotton paintings at Mary Boone and the Annette Lemieux show at Mckee. I have a very good appointment at Playboy (“Daryl put that magazine down please”); one of the most beautiful offices I’ve seen in the city. And then we played a game of pool at Bar Code on Broadway, listened to music at Virgin Records, had lunch at B.B. King and saw a movie–“Just Visiting,” which I thought was hilarious, but I must say I laughed all the way through “The Spy Who Shagged Me,” twice. We slept at my dad’s and had a wonderful dinner with him.”

“In my Dad’s apartment are four brown “Pilgrim” coffee mugs. He has had these for as long as I can remember. My Mom and I would sit at the kitchen table when I was home from college and drink coffee together before I drove her to work. I am drinking coffee from the mug with a turkey on it (the other three have pilgrims painted on them). A special friend once wrote “we are the only creatures with poetry. The things that exisit are the question……to learn is to question.” I like that. I wish I had written it. I am trying to remember this morning as my Dad still sleeps. And if to learn is to awaken, then if we practice the sacrament of the precious moment, we constantly experience a re-birth; I see this morning a garden with many steps and a waterfall; I step from stone to stone; moment to moment; and like a dog (that “animal mentality”), I hope, super-attunded, focused to that which is there, here. I woke this morning from a dream; it had happened but I was dreaming; Daryl and I are in an outdoor pool in winter in Maine, taking a break from skiing (me) and snowboarding (he). Mist is rising from the pool. Snow surrounds us; and the mountains rise like mythic creatures into the dark and misty sky. All is quiet. All in calm. He is the holy infant. And here is this pilgrim mug from which I drink. I am reading a wonderful article a friend wrote entitled “Focal Points Lead the Eye.”

“By midday I knew I would not be going to the ballet this evening; my feet were sore and swollen and I needed a good kick; a pick-me-up. His name was Bonsu Osei, taxi license number 048360. I called him Banzai. License number 007, license to kill. I feel as if I am surfing the Bonzai Pipeline as we head down the cavern of Fifth Avenue; I can see nothing except a flurry of color, heads seem to turn, cars and trucks and taxis are at a standstill; I wonder if and when I will wipeout. We come to a screeching halt at a red light and a cripple, oh, I mean a man in a wheelchair wheels himself over to Banzai’s window and says “spare some change?” and Banzai gives him change and I wonder if the man in the wheelchair is a man Banzai once ran over surfing the streets of New York City.”

So many more stories about trips to New York City with Daryl, Danielle and her friends, visits to my customers, art galleries and museums, dinners with my Dad. I am blessed to have these stories as wonderful memories.

There were photos and poems then. And stories. There are photos and poems now. I simply need to look for new stories and write them down.

And, of course, there is always God’s Palette.

 

Palm Sunday

No palms today

No church services

Except online streaming

But prayers

Are said

We work on

The jigsaw puzzle

We clean the freezer

We eat leftover meatloaf

We go outside

A garden oasis

A choir of birds

Cardinals, Bluejays, Sparrows

Sing their songs

Tulips, Forsythia, Heather

In bloom

A church

Our yard

My mother was a church

Sunday School teacher

In the Bible we read

“But there will be no more gloom

For the land that is in distress…….

In the future he will bring glory……

To the land…….where foreigners live.”

About October

I began the month with great expectations. Read the Bible daily. Practice yoga daily. Write daily. This I didn’t accomplish.

But Susan and I did begin a new season of volunteering in the Bridges Together Program .

Here are two of our students–4th graders.

I made some delicious food.

Here is a meatloaf with mushroom gravy.

Blueberry Scones.

Cranberry-Walnut Scones.

A Berry Galette.

Fig Chutney, which was so good served with chicken and oven-roasted Gen Tso’s cauliflower.

And since we have both fighting colds this past week, chicken soup.

Susan made a wonderful white chocolate cake. YUM!

One night we went out for dinner at 99 Restaurant and I had a sweet potato crusted haddock. I tried to replicate it at home with cod. Not as good, but still special.

Our garden continued to bring us great joy.

As did our Freddy. And Susan continued to sponsor the Nepali children in soccer.

I also had the opportunity to photograph my friend Beth and her family. I photographed her family last winter and I photographed her wedding a number of years ago.

 

And my friend Hajer.

And here is your humble author and friend. A self-portrait with my better half from October 3. She is my rock and inspiration. She is helping me get through some medical issues; this week I am having the first of two or three operations to remove kidney stones. Earlier in the month I thought I might have one as I have had them before; my back hurt and there was some blood in my urine. A CT Scan and Cystoscopy this month revealed two large stones and numerous small ones.

The long and short of all this is I AM reading the Bible, practicing yoga, praying, writing every day for now on. Thank You Susan for your continued inspiration. I love you. Keep smiling.

 

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

My Cup Runneth Over

One of the first things I do every morning is read from The Daily Word, and I often return to it throughout the day, reflecting on the message.

The message on Friday, August 2:

Prosperity
I happily share my abundance with others.

Created as a reflection of God, I already have everything I need. Like an overflowing cup of tea, I am filled with more than enough. I am prosperous because I am one with God, the infinite source of all that is. When I align my mind with this truth, I feel abundant and find joy in sharing with others.

In order to ensure that I have plenty to give, I replenish my cup by taking care of my physical, mental, and spiritual needs. That way, I am not depleted and am able and eager to share from my abundance. I nurture the gifts that God has given me so they can grow. My cup runneth over, and I have plenty to share with others.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.—Psalm 23:5

The highlighted a reminder to myself to continue with my spiritual reading, walking, yoga, healthy living.

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Psalm 23 New International Version (NIV)

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

 

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew21:1-11

A Sunday Sermon: A Recipe for Self-Improvement

I read the following a few days ago and I found it inspiring. Food for thought, if you will. Susan gave me the magazine last week. She had been talking about reading spiritual books with an older man in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. He had said to her that was what he was doing. And he gave her a few copies of Turning Points Magazine & Devotional.

For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful.
2 Peter 1:8

Recommended Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-8

Aldous Huxley, the twentieth-century British author, said, “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

What area of your life do you want to improve? Just take a moment and think about that. In what area would you most like to grow? With God’s help, you can improve your one corner of the universe. What it really takes is the power of God in our lives, and there is a passage of Scripture on this very subject.

The apostle Peter wrote, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness…. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness… knowledge… self-control… perseverance… godliness… mutual affection… love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive” (2 Peter 1:3-8, NIV).

God will do His part (“His divine power has given us”), but we must also do our part and “make every effort.” Find an area of your life to improve, and start right now.

~From Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

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