Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grand Canyon 8

As a young boy I used to gather small rocks, place them on our cement driveway, then smash them with my dad's hammer to see the bright colors and interesting textures that lay hidden inside their dull exteriors (stupid to do without safety glasses). I also made a collection of special rocks, some of which sit today on the windowsill of my office.

My interest in geology has never gone much beyond simply being interested, but the geologist's paradise called the Grand Canyon certainly reinforced my long-standing fascination with rocks, minerals, and the earth's history.

This cross is also on one of my calendar pages. I thought that "wide and long and high and deep" connected the verse and the photo quite well!

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Grand Canyon 7

I love the happy little "accidents" that happen when I make crosses--like the cloud shadow "arrows" pointing to the purple center of this image. This is one of the crosses I've made into a calendar page, and its accompanying verse (because of the arrows) is 2 Cor. 4:8-9 . . .

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Grand Canyon 6

The headwaters of the Colorado River are at 9,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies. By the time the river gets to the Arizona border it has dropped to 3,000 feet. Through the Grand Canyon, the river is between 2,800 and 2,500 feet in elevation. However, the rim of the Grand Canyon, the point at which the river began eroding this magnificent ditch, is at 8,000 feet.

Since water does not flow uphill, how can this be? Geologists say that this section of northern Arizona began a major upheaval about the time the Colorado River began flowing through the area. As the land rose, the river kept cutting its path deeper and deeper into the upheaval.

Which means that the Colorado River we see today is pretty much at the same elevation above sea level that it's always been; it's the LAND that has risen around it!

Sometimes we see without seeing. Hymn for today: "Open my eyes, that I may see."

Put this cross on a mug!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Grand Canyon 5

The Colorado River flows 1,450 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, through southeast Utah and then the 217 miles of the Grand Canyon, then turns south to become the border between Arizona and Nevada, the border between Arizona and California, then the border between Baja, California and Sonora, Mexico, before it empties into the sea.

Well, not really. Because by the time the river has satisfied irrigation needs along the way--especially in California's Imperial Valley--it is reduced to a trickling stream or a dry creek bed.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Grand Canyon 4

"With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."
2 Peter 3:8

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Grand Canyon 3

The Colorado River is no trickling creek, but when I compare the size of the river with the size of the canyon, I realize that the key word in this place is "time." How much time? Let's not argue about that. But enough time to remind me that my time on earth is just a brief pulsing moment in the landscape of eternity.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Grand Canyon 2

When I was a student at Hesston College--some time ago--I wrote a paper for Communications professor Melva Kauffman in which I wrote: "I believe that China exists. But because I've never been there, I don't KNOW China exists." In response, Melva wrote in the margin, "You are an existentialist--a reputable one!"

I didn't know what an existentialist was, so I looked it up--which didn't help much. I still have difficulty explaining what an existentialist is, but though I never had any doubt about about the existence of the Grand Canyon, after seeing and experiencing it for the first time this summer, I now KNOW it exists.

Do I BELIEVE God exists? Or do I KNOW God exists? Does it make any difference?

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Grand Canyon 1

Let's spend some time at the Grand Canyon. All the layers and colors and textures make great material for crosses!

Put this cross on a mug!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

School Bus 7

If you're a school bus driver, your troubles are all behind you.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

School Bus 6

Annual U.S. school bus statistics:

450,000 public school buses
24 million students transported
4 billion miles traveled
10 billion student trips
20 billion times a student gets on or off

Order a bus cross for your favorite driver!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

School Bus 5

Statistics show that school buses are 172 times safer than your family car. Accidents involving school buses get lots of understandable press coverage (sort of like airplane crashes), but parents can put their children on buses with a great deal of confidence that they will be safe.

Order a bus cross for your favorite driver!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

School Bus 4

My only bus driver through eight years of elementary school was Mr. Carper. He was a kind, quiet, gentle man that we respected enough to cause him only minimal trouble. I spent many hours of my life in old Bus #2. Thanks, Clarence!

Order a bus cross for your favorite driver!

Friday, February 16, 2007

School Bus 3

I drove a school bus for four years while we lived in Illinois. I enjoyed the kids, the challenge of arriving at the same time every day, the sports trips and field trips, and (as an ex-teacher) the chance to be involved in school again. I did not enjoy cold feet and hands on winter mornings, snow and ice on the road, or the new Transportation Coordinator/Principal who was an incompetent __________ [ can't think of an accurate word that I won't regret using ].

Order a bus cross for your favorite driver!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

School Bus 2

I still think of my father almost every time I see a school bus. He drove a bus for 16 years in Louisville, Ohio, and was much loved and respected by kids, parents, and school officials.

Bus drivers must do many different things at the same time: operate a large vehicle safely and with punctuality, and relate to students with warmth, friendliness, toughness and appropriate discipline.

Next bus you see, say a prayer for the driver.

Order a bus cross for your favorite driver!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

School Bus

My cross, but not my photograph. Jane Esau took a series of bus photos and gave them to me so I could make crosses which would become framed gifts for all the Tri-County bus drivers. A fun project. More bus crosses to come!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Log Cabin 2

As a person with few construction skills, I'm always impressed by those who know how to build houses. But today's construction experts might join me in being impressed with the ability of pioneers to build log cabins from scratch with no power tools and no trucks delivering needed supplies.

We have the Swedes to thank for our American log cabins. See this website for some history and more details.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Log Cabin

Palmer-Epard cabin; Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice, Nebraska

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cabin and Rake 2

Notice again the blue shadows on the white snow.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cabin and Rake

For a really interesting description of this kind of rake, click here.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Palmer-Epard Cabin

You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.

Isaiah 25:4

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Focus 3

Location: Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice, Nebraska.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Focus 2

Here (below) is what this cross looks like on one of my calendar pages. I know it's a bit early, but you can order a completed 2008 calendar from the link on the right. I now have created 137 calendar pages, enough for the next 11 years, so perhaps I should stop.

But it's SO much fun!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Photographers choose their point of focus carefully. Here I focused on the nearby plant, leaving the far horizon soft and out of focus. The camera can't focus on everything.

So it is in life. None of us can focus on everything. If we try to do that, we'll end up with a life where nothing is in focus, where all of life is just a big blur. The productive and beautiful life dares to choose its focus: "This is who I am; this is what's most important; this is my calling."

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Brown Plant, Blue Shadows

Have you ever noticed that shadows on snow are often blue--not white, not gray? It seems that bright things with neutral colors take on the color of the sky on sunny days. On some photos I edit out the blue to create a neutral gray snow shadow, but here I left it blue--and even emphasized the blue a bit.

Next time you're walking in the snow on a sunny day, look for blue shadows.

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