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May 28, 2010

Look, Ma! No Fear!

There's just something about boyhood challenges and conquests. There is a little Teddy Roosevelt (who exclaimed what fun it was to charge up San Juan Hill and almost get killed) in most boys. They have a romance with danger. Blind to consequential pain and possible death, they charge into the dragon-filled abyss with abandoned excitement.

It is proof of God's existence, His mercy and watchcare that any of us survived.

May 27, 2010

Memorial Day

Somewhere in your family history lay the remains of fallen, wounded, imprisoned, or unscathed soldiers --- but now all buried and forgotten, most of them anyway. Ours is the most thankless of any American generation. Lord, have mercy on the ignorant and grant a thankful spirit for the freedoms we hold in our country.

May 15, 2010

Back to Buckley

I was hoping to get a few more shots of the Deep Water Channel again this morning before having to work in yard. Got there at 7:30 and left after 9:00. I was thankful for everyone's willingness to visit a bit. Patrick walks his 13 year-old dog, Oreo, here every day. Oreo has a degenerative joint problem and still is faithful in following his master even with the pain. The vet told Patrick it was congenital and there was nothing that could be done about it. The daily exercise is to prevent complete rigor mortis, I guess. Poor pup!

Lots of birds out compared to last Saturday. An osprey flew overhead while I was talking to Patrick. Salt and pepper raptor. A hummingbird let me get within 8' of it while it was warming up for the day. Wow! Saw my first grackle. It's strange, crackling calls give it away. It was being pestered by a red-winged blackbird who was protecting his chicks, I assume.

God's creation includes the best of beauty and ingenuity - all for the purpose of glorifying Him.

May 13, 2010

Peace Lily

Off camera flash adds the unusual to the equation. Dare I say, 'weird and unreal?' Single light sources, including sunlight, can add unwanted or unusual shadows. For this shot, I placed the flash in back of the lily and colored the background in Photoshop.

This is a picture Angel took of Jack while I was holding the flash at different angles. She is getting more comfortable with focusing and composing, learning that patience and persistence are key.

May 9, 2010

Innocence Lost

Science has now learned what thousands of years of motherhood discovered long ago: Kids aren't moral blank slates, written upon by externals alone, but come into this world as a moral decision makers, ready to exact vengeance as soon as possible.

So reports the

May 7, 2010

A Shockwork Orange

A Shockwork Orange

This color orange -
Yellow-wedded red;
Pumpkin skinned pastel;
Ignobly born
And little worn.

Sometimes redneck shocking;
Mid 60's model-frocking;
Cadillac's laughter, mocking;
Indespensible in green-grassed palettes;
Irresistible in Van Gogh's guise;
Primitive, but proud enough to play
That perfect part which God has chosen.

There's a reason it has no rhyme.

Wordydave - 2005

May 2, 2010

T.R.'s View of Certain Immigrants

This is an interesting read from 1911:


THE IRISH ELEMENT IN AMERICA - An Address by Ellen Ryan Jolly

About 150,000 men of Irish birth and descent were engaged in the Union armies during the Civil War. The first shot fired in that war was by an Irishman Patrick Gibbons at Fort Sumter. The first officer to reach Little Round Top [Battle of Gettysburg] was Col. Patrick O’Rourke, who fell at the head of his regiment. One of the first officers to raise the Union flag in Virginia was the gallant Michael Corcoran. The record of Phil Sheridan, son of Irish parents, is so well known that it needs no mention here. The Irish Brigade at Gettysburg under the gallant Col. Kelly made a charge on Pickett's men the flower of the Southland. Never was a greater struggle. The flag of Ireland was carried that day by the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and there they stood a bleeding, fighting, struggling mass never yielding an inch until Hancock came to their relief, and like an avalanche swept the confederates from the field.

The 116th Penn. Regiment [my g-g-grandfather's regiment] also carried the Irish Flag under Gen. St. Clare Mulholland. In that war the flag of Ireland was carried by the 69th of NY, the 63rd NY, the 9th Mass., the 83rd New York, the 28th Mass, the 35th Ind., the 69th Penn., 116th Penn., the 23rd, 111th, and the 10th Ohio, and never did the green and gold of Ireland wave beside the starry emblem of this nation whose cradle we rocked but it brought forth curses from the brave fellows on the other side who knew that where that green flag waved stood brave men who did not know how to show their backs to any foe. From east to west the sons of Ireland poured into the armies of the nation.

In the history of our country the Irish have produced governors, senators, and representatives and judges and mayors galore. In statesmanship, in finance, in law and medicine, in educational matters, in science and engineering and construction, in business and athletics, everywhere and in every path of life the Irish element in our citizenship has attained eminence. Theodore Roosevelt has publicly proclaimed that the people who have come to this country from Ireland have contributed to the stock of our common citizenship qualities, which are essential to the welfare of every great nation. “They are a masterful race of rugged character,” he says, “a race the qualities of whose womanhood have become proverbial, while its men have the essential indispensable virtues of working hard in times of peace and fighting hard in times of war.”

The Irish of the present day are still marked by these sterling qualities. They love Ireland with a child's devotion to a tender mother, and they love America with the kind of love which makes them ready to offer their lives in the hour of danger which God grant may be far distant. I will close by expressing the wish of every true Irish Heart. God save Ireland, and God bless the United States.

May 1, 2010

Invisible Reality

This double-vision glitch taken this week reminds me of that hidden portion of our lives. There is an outward reality, the world of physical senses. But there is also that inward, 'around-ward,' spiritual reality that we can't see or sense with our innate being. More real and certainly timeless, the Bible makes it clear that we are blind this invisible realm due to our fallen nature --- that universal bent of being that long ago disowned God, truth, and righteousness and traded them for self worship, lies, and sinfulness.

Jesus told a man he "must be born again [or from above, or spiritually] to enter [and see] the kingdom of God" (John 3). The Apostle Paul tells us all are born spiritually dead (Ephesians 2). God must awaken us to truth and true spirituality. We cannot see Him in a relational way until a conversion takes place, a new heart is given to us, and we are adopted into His family by faith.

By contrast, most other world religions deny any breach of relationship with the Creator. People are born innocent, perfectly able to obey God and earn their "salvation," however they define it. They view Christianity as a weak man's religion, one that depends on God for faith and obedience and salvation. They deny the reality that sin and sinfulness deserve God's extreme wrath because of His perfect holiness, teaching that if our goodness outweighs our badness, God will overlook the bad. This is not what Jesus taught, nor His disciples. If it were true, His death on a cross to pay for sin has no meaning.

Thank God for His mercy and grace in giving us what we were blind to and could not deserve. We say with the Apostle John, "What manner of love is this: that we should be called the children of God!" (I John 3)