Tag Archives: snow

creation’s testimony…

As the Christmas holiday passes, and we enter the long winter months ahead, I am reminded of the significance of the winter season in my own life. While many around me dread the snow, I look forward to it. Every time the snow falls it is as if there is a freshness and a newness that comes along with it.

This morning I found myself remembering a December several years ago. The trees were laden with the white of winter and it was as if everything around us had been transformed. It was not at all unusual for my family to be found out on snowmobiles when the snow was like this. The trails were smooth and the scenery was breathtaking. On a cold evening of this perfect winter we set out for a late trip into a backcountry hot springs. We had packed our sleds with the things we would need for dinner and a late night swim. The trip could not have been more perfect.

However it wasn’t the time spent in the more than century old log cabin eating dinner by the fire, nor was it the hours we spent soaking in the pure spring water that made an imprint on my soul. Instead, it was the return trip that would, in a sense, change me. In order to get home we had to cross over the top of two summits. The first was well traveled and known by many. The second was a bit off the beaten path, and that night, there was not another soul to be found on that part of the mountain. As we came to a clearing near the highest point of the trail, we stopped our snowmobiles and sat in the quiet. The sky was completely clear and black. In it there were more stars than the eye could comprehend, and as the full moon shone, the snow reflected the twinkling of the stars as a million tiny diamonds scattered in front of us. Perfection.

I have often tried to dissect that experience. Even though much time has gone by, I am left in awe of the Presence of God I experienced on that late night.

The Bible often talks about God’s creation and how it interacts with its creator. In Psalms the writer talks about the fields being jubilant and the trees of the forest singing for joy (Ch. 96) In Luke Jesus’ disciples are caught up in their praise of God as Jesus enters the city. In fact the Pharisees ask Jesus to rebuke the disciples for their overt display, but Jesus responds, “I tell you if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) The disciples had seen God move in such miraculous ways that they couldn’t help but give Him the Glory. However, had they chosen to keep quiet… God’s own creation would have cried out proclaiming the greatness of God.

If then all of God’s creation is aware of His greatness, how much more should we, who are created in the very image of God, be ready to sing and dance and praise Him for the great things He is doing in our lives? We can choose to keep quiet, or we can choose to let people know that our lives are what they are because of who God is.

That cold winter night, it was as if God’s own creation was pouring back everything that it was to bring glory to its Creator. And that is what I want. I want those who look at me, and the work that God is doing in my life to be aware of who receives the Glory for the great things they see. I want a testimony of God’s greatness to seep from my very being and back into the heart of my Creator.

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through a lens…

My perspective on life has been shaped by so many things.  Experiences, people, places.  Every moment along my life path has added to my little bundle I carry with me.  And, that little bundle works as a filter for how I experience new things.

Last week I was visiting a friend of mine in Oregon.  We always have great moments together.  I knew before I even left on my trip that I would come home with things to write about.

This particular weekend was unusually cool in the Portland area.  Every  morning I would sip my tea and watch the sun rise in between Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood. And, every morning I would watch as the low clouds would slowly moved in covering the sun.  Every day there was the threat of rain and every day the sky cleared without follow through.  Finally, on Sunday, the sky opened up we were in the midst of a classic pacific northwest rainstorm.  If you have not experienced a storm like this, you should put it on your list of things to accomplish.  The rain drops in the northwest seem bigger.  The puddles seem wetter.  The storms seem longer.  It is one of the things I love.  To sit and watch the rain fall.  However, there is one small thing I would rather avoid when the rain comes, and that is driving.  Driving in the rain scares me to death.  I would rather do just about anything else.  In fact, my friend and I have a running joke that I would rather drive in a blizzard, and she would rather drive in a down poor.  While we laugh about this, there is a reason these things ring true in our lives.

My growing up years were spent high in the mountains of Idaho.  I don’t think I ever fully appreciated that beautiful community until I was an adult, but now I look back on that place with more than a fondness.  I think it is the place my heart will forever call home.  The summers are filled with fishing and camping and wildflowers.  And the winters, the winters are filled with everything “snow.” It is not uncommon for my hometown to have 6ft of snow on the ground and another snow storm on the horizon.  The days are short and the months are long, but the snow brings a sense of loveliness and quiet.  I never once considered that some people may not relish the thought of driving in these conditions.  After all, I spent more of my first year of driving, sliding on frozen roads than I did cruising on dry pavement.  (There are great stories to be told about that first winter of me driving… maybe at another time.)  However, this same friend in Portland cannot understand how I care to venture out in a snowstorm.  When she comes to Idaho to visit me in the winter, I do all of the driving.  Our differing life experiences have molded our perspectives on what is “normal” or “easy” or “better.” Two different lives, two different experiences, two different perspectives.

I feel that often in life when we encounter those with opinions that are different than our own, it is our immediate reaction to prove them wrong, to show that we are the ones who are right.  We forget that people have had life experiences that have shaped who they have become.  And while some of that perspective may alter their vantage point, there is great reason as to why they are where they are and why they think the way they think.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know ho to answer everyone.”  Colossians 4:6

My faith is deeply rooted.  It IS so much of who I am.  I see life through the lens of my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I tackle problems and seek direction through the Word of God.  I know where I find Truth.  However, if my conversations with others (who have different life experiences) lack grace and true richness, there is nothing to be gained.  If I cannot listen as well as I can speak then I have accomplished nothing.

So, for today I challenge you to consider what it is that shapes your perspective?  Are these lenses healthy or unhealthy?  Are there new lenses you could assimilate into your life, or are there lenses you need to shatter and dispose of?  Finally, do you have an awareness of the things in life that shape OTHERS so that you can truly have grace and a sense of richness in your conversations?