Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Church Light

Hanging light at First Mennonite Church, Beatrice, Nebraska.

Monday, July 30, 2007

bench at Bottle Creek Retreat

"Be still, and know that I am God."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

at Bottle Creek Retreat 4

These benches are an important part of Bottle Creek Retreat. They encourage sitting, stopping. Most people's lives are in perpetual motion. Stopping brings balance.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

at Bottle Creek Retreat 3

Friday, July 27, 2007

at Bottle Creek Retreat 2

This cross features our lovely white pine beside the pond. The brown color in the middle of the cross is made up of the dropped needles from the tree.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

at Bottle Creek Retreat

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

White Pine needles 3

My crosses remind me that my perspective is not the only one. Just as one photo can be seen from an infinite variety of perspectives, so can any idea or issue look different to different people. From Iraq to the O.J. case to a divorce in the family, there are many ways of perceiving the same event. To recognize the limitations of your own eyes is a strength, not a weakness.

Monday, July 23, 2007

White Pine needes 2

There are at least 24 varieties of White Pine, or "soft pine." They all have needles in bundles of five.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

White Pine needles

Most pines make you say "ouch" when you touch the needles, but white pine needles are soft and flexible, soothing to the touch. Perhaps, in this case, they shouldn't be called "needles."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Stella de Oro 4

There are over 60,000 cultivars of daylilies. You probably can't grow them all!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stella de Oro 3

These flowers are prolific (pro-life!) Get a small clump started, divide it, divide it again, and soon your whole property can be covered with gold.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stella de Oro 2

Pure gold!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Stella de Oro

Most people just call these daylilies "Stellas"--like the girl's name. "Stella" is Italian for "star" and "de Oro" is Spanish for "of gold." So this "Gold Star" is a double hybrid!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stained Glass Windows

When you're inside looking out through stained glass, you can't see any details that lie beyond, but you know there's light out there. That'll preach!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stained Glass Windows

A visitor to our church, apparently knowledgeable about architecture, described our building as "Neo-Gothic" in design. Click here to see some better-known Neo-Gothic structures; do we fit in?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stained Glass Close-up 2

Back in the days when most people weren't literate, stained glass windows in churches were educational devices, telling the biblical story. Though most people today can read, there is still great value in being surrounded by visual reminders of God's salvation story. Our windows are merely decorative, but beauty is its own witness to God's goodness.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Stained Glass close-up

During the Reformation, many stained glass windows were destroyed and replaced with plain glass--a great tragedy. Destroying beauty does not nurture faith.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stained Glass Window 3

I wonder how many folks at First Mennonite Church would recognize their stained glass window just from my cross above. Do the brilliant blue rectangles and red dots give it away, or have people worshipped there for decades and never really noticed? That's one of the reasons I love photography--it helps me notice.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Stained Glass Window 2

Stained glass in churches goes back over 1000 years. By the 10th century, depictions of Christ and biblical scenes were found in French and German churches and decorative designs found in England.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stained Glass Window

First Mennonite Church, Beatrice, Nebraska

Monday, July 09, 2007

Pews and Hymnals 2

Those who designed First Mennonite Church did not include a cross; so I'm happy to provide one.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Pews and Hymnals

First Mennonite Church, Beatrice, Nebraska

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sunrise at O'Hare 2

"Some glad morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away . . . "

But probably not on a Boeing 737.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

O'Hare at sunrise

While waiting at the gate for my flight, I saw this plane heading off into the Chicago sunrise. No matter how commonplace an airplane's takeoff, I am still amazed at how a huge metal object can so easily and gracefully lift from ground to sky.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sunken Shrimp Boat 3

Creating something beautiful out of something dead--satisfying!

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