hope sign

hope sign

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Opening The Gift

I woke up this morning feeling a little queasy.  I don't think I am getting sick, I think it has something todo with the heat being on this morning and I got too hot upstairs.  But when your belly feels bad, it's hard to have a cheery disposition.  

Then, I come downstairs to find coffee grounds on the floor by the trash can and I have to start cleaning ASAP.  My mind is now running 100 mph on why is it so hard to take out the trash...ever been there?

I finally get a cup of coffee in my pretty peacock cup (Thank you Mom) and sit down at the kitchen table.  My mind is still listing all the things I have to accomplish today and then I feel a nudging to open the WORD.  

I open my Bible app on my phone and I am thinking that it will have something to calm me down or make me happy.  You know, a happy text from Psalms or maybe Philippians 4:8...NOPE.  It's about salvation being a gift from God so that none of us can boast...huh?

God saved you by his grace
when you believed.  And you
can't take credit for this; it is a
gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward
for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT

But just the act of opening the WORD and reading calmed me down.  What stands out to me this morning is the first 6 words...God saved you by his grace. I am so thankful for the grace of God and for salvation.

How can I go around my home in a huff of anger over spilled coffee grounds and overflowing trash when I am saved by the grace of God?  I know it's a nasty job to clean that stuff up but today I am deciding to abide in the grace that God has given to me.  To open this gift and pass it on, even to my own family.

Love this pic of Henry, Parker and Luke.
Brothers, nothing like family.

It's easier to give grace to those we don't see that often but we need to start at home.  I love my family and I am so thankful for all of them.  I pray that God fills my home with grace, peace, love and joy.  That we treat each other with respect and consideration.  That His presence is a constant when we rise until we rise again in the morning...never ceasing.  Let this be, A Place Called Grace.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Light, Fall, Jesus, Life

Sunday evening, my daughter, Juliana, called and asked if I could take her family pictures on Monday afternoon.  Her husband works nights and Monday is the best day to get things done because he doesn't sleep all day.  Of course I said yes and then I started thinking where we would do these photos.  She wanted them taken in my backyard, which was great...not a huge commute...lol.  

I love taking photos in the fall.  The light is perfect.  The trees are spectacular. Even the color of the grass compliments what you are trying to accomplish. The orange, green, red and yellow of the leaves are the natural filters needed.  

I am not a professional photographer.  I play and take pics of my family and friends.  I love photography and would love to learn more but there are only so many hours in the day and days in the week.  

One thing I love about photography is how you get to play with light.  Light brings life into a photo or it can totally make things look crazy.  

This photo was taken during the baby dedications at church.  My girl Melody took the pic...not sure what she did, but our Elder, Bruce looks like he should be on Touched By An Angel...lol.  This is an example of light making things crazy.  Cool pic but not one for the wall.

I got to play with the light yesterday before Juliana and her family arrived.  It had been a while since I just got to play with the camera and light.  

I put the sun in the middle of this tree, just by adjusting my position.  

The first photo is enhanced to show the color, the second is not.  I love both photos.  

Goofy pic of Henry.  One of my favorites from yesterday because it shows his personality.

I love the color of the trees and brush in this pic of Henry. The light gives it that enchanted forest look.  

Light, so important for photography.  One spot of light can change the outcome of a photo.  One spot of light can change the outcome of a life.  How?  

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 
“I am the light of the world. 
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, 
but will have the light of life.”
-John 8:12 ESV

Jesus (light)=Life

Just a little thought for the day.  I hope you are blessed and enjoy the fall light.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bridge of St. Peter...Symbols of the Crucifixion

Bo and I on the Bridge Of St. Peter

Angel with the spear/lance

Angel with the cross...my favorite

What is known as the Bridge of St. Peter in Rome, Italy, took my breath away. Each angel is holding a different symbol of the Crucifixion.  The cross, the spear, the sponge, the nails, the crown of thorns, the column, the whip, the superscription, the veil and the dice.  

It is a pedestrian bridge now.  It has lasted through wars, weather and vandals. Amazing to me.  They have had to repair and keep up with the wear and tear on the bridge.  The detail and majesty of it, makes you feel like crying a little. 

Not everyone who walks this bridge is a believer. There are beggars with little cups, people from all backgrounds and nationalities lining the bridge, taking pictures.  I am sure some just come to see the beauty of it and the artistry that surrounds you.  Some may come for the history or some are just fans of Bernini.  But when I look at the statues and see the elements representing the crucifixion...I am humbled and moved to my soul.  

These things, representations, are more than just history or art to me.  You see, I know what happened.  I know what the whips were used for..."BY HIS STRIPES, I AM HEALED".  I know the the spear/lance was used to pierce his side where, "WATER AND BLOOD" flowed out.  I know the nails were used to hang him on that tree but "LOVE HELD HIM THERE".  The veil was ripped that separated us from God...RECONCILING CREATION WITH THE CREATOR.  The cross restored it all.  Oh what the cross did for us.  

When I looked around at this bridge, and when I think about it or look at the pictures, I am reminded what Christ did for me.  I hope you enjoy the pics and maybe someday get to see it in person.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Yoke of Bondage or Freedom?

Stand fast therefore in the 
liberty by which Christ has
made us free, and do not be 
entangled again with a yoke
of bondage.
Galatians 5:1 NKJV

Bondage...just the word creates a lot of unsavory pictures in my mind.  

I for one hate to be confined to the point I will start to panic.  Even as a little girl, I hated to be the one who slept next to the wall.  I would rather sleep on the floor than next to the wall.  So, my older sister Christian slept next to the wall, baby sister Cheryl slept in the middle and I slept on the edge of the bed. Still, if I felt too confined, I would just take my pillow and sleep on the floor.  

So the very word, bondage, is a very uncomfortable word for me.  

Physically, I hate bondage but emotionally, spiritually, my inner self sometimes embraces it.  Why?  Because it is my familiar place inside.  It's the un-forgiveness, the hurts that have kept me warm, the strife, the bitterness, the sinful nature that I was born with, the old haunts that want to destroy me but I have turned the bad memories into warm, fuzzy, deceptive ones.  

Christ has set us free from these self imposed yokes.  We enjoy the freedom for a while and then something happens and we want to give up our Christ given freedom for the yoke of bondage.  Sounds crazy, doesn't it.  It's all too familiar to me.  

Last night, I saw a picture of someone who has hurt some of my family members.  My mind started racing with made up conversations and I was winning the fight.  In my imagination, this person felt as bad as I wanted her to feel.  But then, as I wanted to go to sleep, I was hurting in my heart.  I cried out, "God, please make it stop.  Shut my mind off so I can go to sleep.  No more bitterness and un-forgiveness."  

The bondage of un-forgiveness was trying it's best to bind me up and even steal my sleep.  But I cried unto the LORD and He heard me.  I fell right to sleep.  

It is vain for you to rise up early, 
to sit up late, 
to eat the bread of sorrows: 
for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
-Psalm 127:2 KJV

The scriptures I have shared today are for me and for anyone else out there who struggles with picking up old habits, yokes of bondage.  When we forgive, and allow God to take our yoke from us, the freedom is amazing.  

Today, I choose to walk in the freedom that Christ has given me.  How about you?  What yoke of bondage do you need to let go?  What keeps taking you back into the old life?  Like the song says, "He is here, He is here.  To break the yoke and lift the heavy burden..."  

Even in our attempts to do good, if things don't go our way, we lash out and act as one still bound by our old self.  When we see this, (like I did last night), just call out to God.  He hears us and He will step in...for that I am so thankful. 

I hope you have a freedom filled day.  Living this New Life with joy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Glimpse At Kimi's Italian Journey

Looking out my hotel window in Rome by the Spanish Steps and I strain my eyes to tell if this man is walking a fat dog or could it be a pig...IT'S A PIG!!!  I tell Bo to come look and grab my camera.  We are about 5 stories high but I have cropped it so we can all see the pig better.  

Today I thought I would share some of my photos from Italy.  Not a lot but a couple of my favorites from Florence.

From the outside of a Cathedral, overlooking Florence.
This was an impromptu stop, recommended by our driver, Alex.

The Red Dome.  We could see this from our hotel room.
One of Bo's favorite places we went.
You can see it in the photo above as it stands majestically in the center
of the city.

On our way from Cortona to Florence.  Everywhere you look is just beautiful.

The courtyard of a castle we had lunch at.

Really cool photo of Italian trees.

I have hundreds more photos to edit and share but I don't want to overload you today.  

I will leave you with a scripture...

God's way is perfect.
All the LORD'S promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who
look to him for protection.
-Psalms 18:30 NLT

I hope you enjoy my glimpse into Italy.  I pray that they LORD brings you peace today and gives you rest...knowing that you are in the palm of His hand. Keep looking to HIM!!!