Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Anxious Thoughts

I went for a short walk tonight after dark. It was a beautiful, cold winter night. The coming snowstorm hadn't yet blotted out the stars. The snow creaked sharply under my boots. The woods were perfectly still, as though the trees were holding their breath. It was a beautiful night.

And yet, some of the beauty was lost on me, because of the uneasiness that comes with being alone in the dark. The last time I went for a nighttime walk, I had a strong brother with me, and thought hardly a moment about my safety. But now, my ears were strained for the noise of footsteps behind me, my eyes searched the snowy landscape. Why the difference? Was it that there were more dangers tonight? No, of course not. Was it that before, I was sure my brother could defend me from every possible danger or combination of threats? No, I knew he would do everything within his power to keep me safe, but surely there are some dangers that no man can ward off singlehandedly. I think the difference was that tonight, the responsibility of my safety rested in my hands, whereas before, I trusted my brother entirely to protect me. It was his responsibility, and so I didn't think a moment about it, but thoroughly enjoyed tramping about in the snow.

I wonder why it is that, though I can trust a human being so completely, I struggle to entrust myself utterly to God. Why, when I begin to worry about something, can I not remember, "It's His responsibility," and trust Him so fully that I forget to be anxious? I sure would enjoy the walk more.

Last night I was struck by the last two verses of Psalm 139, especially the phrase, "Try me and know my anxious thoughts." Why did the psalmist ask God to know his anxious thoughts? Why not his sorrowful thoughts, his perplexed thoughts, his wrong thoughts?

Could it be that David recognized that his anxious thoughts were the keys to the real issues of his life, the things that were important to him? If I want a summary of my priorities, all I have to do is notice the things that I'm being anxious about. Am I anxious for my success, my reputation, my glory, my comfort? Then those are my priorities. Am I anxious for God's glory, for the success of His work, for souls to be saved and Christians to grow in the Lord? Then perhaps those are my priorities. But wait! Does God really want me to be anxious about even those things? True, He wants me to desire the things He desires, and perhaps to have fellowship with Him in sorrowing over the things that break His heart. But has He not also said, "Be anxious for nothing," "casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you."?

Imagine what it would be like to live with absolutely no anxiety! No anxiety over big things, decisions I must make or challenges I face. No anxiety over little things, how to organize my day, or whether I'll be able to reach the store before it closes. No anxiety over the things that will happen, no anxiety about the things that could happen. No anxiety about the snowstorm that's coming tomorrow, or about the gas prices going up. No anxiety about the direction in which the new administration will take our country. No anxiety about the traffic lights that turn red just before I get to them. No anxiety about what others will think of me. No anxiety about anything.

"But," we find ourselves saying, "I'm not really anxious about those things. Just concerned, trying to be responsible." People who are responsible, make sure that responsibilities are given to the people who can handle them. I can't do a thing about the weather, nor about the traffic lights, nor about the gas prices. And with so many of the other things I get anxious about, there are some actions that I can and should take, but then my job is just to give it to the One Who is ultimately responsible for them. He loves to bear our burdens, and He doesn't need our help to bear His. We can be glad for everything that is beyond our power, because that means that it's His responsibility. We get to simply enjoy the walk!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Today was just gorgeous; despite the chilling temperatures, I was soon lured outside with my camera to try to capture some of the splendor. No profound thoughts to go with them today. :)

This is a bad picture artistically, but isn't there something wonderful about birds singing among the icicles?

Ice Meets Sunshine
(and don't bother trying to figure out how to cock your head...I took it at a funky angle)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Afire with God

Some great excerpts from an essay written by John Macbeath, which I found in What a Friend We Have In Jesus.

The sweet singers of Israel saw God in everything....to them the earth was crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God. "Study nature," urged Kingsley, "do not study nature for its own sake, but as the countenance of God. Try to extract every line of beauty, every association, every moral reflection, every inexpressible feeling from it. Adore God!"

It would be impossible for us to tell how much of the merit we find in nature is to be attributed to the knowledge of life and of God which we have derived from Jesus Christ. An honest investigation would prove that appart from the teaching of Christ and His influence on human thought, we should find nature to be a very inadequate instructor. Nature, without Christ, does not offer intelligent and intimate communion with the Unseen. No one can say that he is acquainted with an artist because he admires the artist's workmanship....A whole world of progress lies between these two points of expression, "The heavens declare the glory of God," and "The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." The one indicates greatness, the other expresses grace. The first exhibits power, the second presents personality. The former is material, the latter is spiritual....

There is no remoteness in God. He enjoys the world down to the last rose of summer or the last swallow in flight, and above all He loves man. The Old Testament celebrates the glory of creation when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy. The New Testament heralds the glory of God's redemption, "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." That is the music of an infinitely mightier and sweeter song. --The Face of Christ (London: Marshall Morgan and Scott, 1935), What a Friend We Have in Jesus, (Gospel Folio Press, 2003)

A view of the fading sunset through some of the icicles that adorn our eaves.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Well, this post doesn't really have anything to do with nature...except that it kind of grew out of my evening ski through the fields tonight. 'Twas a splendid evening out there!

Often when I speak with people about spiritual things, they comment, “I’m not religious.” Usually I say something like, “Oh, I’m not either, I just believe the Bible and have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”

But I wonder if I should answer differently. Maybe I am religious after all. Is it religion to have a friend who loves you, and whom you love? A friend whom you love to think about, and who loves to think about you? A friend who lives daily life with you, who knows and really cares what you’re going through? Then I am religious, because God is that Friend to me.

Is it religion for a girl to read and re-read and read again, letters from a lover who must for a time be separated? To find in every word and stroke of the pen, reference to the character of her beloved? To memorize his words of love to her? Then I am religious, because the Bible is a love letter to me.

Is it religion for a child to climb up on her daddy’s lap, and sob on his shoulder because of the things that hurt her and which she can’t understand? Then I am religious, because God is that Father to me.

Is it religion to tell a friend the things that are on your mind, to ask for some of their wisdom, to prattle on about all the events of your day, knowing that the friend wants to hear it? Then I am religious, because prayer is the only way that I have to express some of my thoughts and emotions.

Is it religion to heed the warnings, and follow the instructions, of one who is wiser than you? Then I am religious, because God’s commandments are the teachings that I try to observe.
Is it religion to attend a gathering to celebrate the accomplishments of a mutual friend? To rehearse the ways in which that friend has excelled, to rejoice together in his successes and the nobility of his character? Then I am religious, because I gather once a week with other believers in the Lord Jesus, to remember together everything that He has done for us, and just how wonderful He is.

Is it religion to believe one who has always been faithful, and to take his word over that of other people—who have been known to make mistakes or fail? Then I am religious, because I have staked everything upon God’s word.

Is it religion to tell other people about the one who has made your life bright and full of joy and love? Then I am religious, because there’s no other cause that would induce me to risk the ridicule and scorn of those who don’t yet know my Savior.

So I guess maybe I am religious after all, if that’s the kind of life that you would consider religious. But wait—you said you aren’t?


Friday, 1/9/09
This morning I went for a walk to see the sunrise and take pictures. It was quite cold, around 12 degrees. There was a hint of pink in the sky as I tramped out, along the road to the orchard. I followed the tractor ruts in the snow, trying not to get my boots full of snow. They went out to the woods pasture and back to the bottom of the hill where we camped in the summer. The heifers turned to look at me as I went by, but other than that, I was alone. Apparently I didn’t need to be in quite such a rush to get out there, because the sun was a long time in rising. I stood watching the grey clouds, which covered most of the sky, but were slit apart at the horizon, where that glimmer of pink intensified very slowly.

Behind me, the forest whispered and rustled, as though the night was gathering up its skirts to sneak away before the sun could catch it. I took some pictures, but it was so hard to capture the frigid greys and whites in my camera. Getting chilly, I decided to walk down to the pond, but because I didn’t want to mar the suave whiteness of new-fallen snow, I traced the paths of the wild things who had been before me. It was fascinating how their tracks converged and diverged, swirling here and there to pursue some interesting scent. Down to the pond they went eventually, where the ice was covered with a riotous networks of tracks. One could just imagine all the animals, small, medium, and large, dancing around on the ice.
As I traced my way up the hill, the eastern horizon was becoming more and more golden bright, and the clouds were now almost entirely swept from the sky. As I stood at the top of the hill, all of a sudden, with the exuberance of a surprise arrival, the sun dawned. The landscape, once so cold and flat in the grey light, was now dazzling with golden light, shades of pink, and billions of sparkling snow diamonds.

The morning air was fresh and alive, and the whole world seemed to be rejoicing. I felt like a child on Christmas morning who can’t decide what new toy to play with first. Everywhere I looked was beauty, and although I did my best, I knew that there was no way my pictures would be able to capture it. The landscape was too vast, the light too brilliant, the contrasts too dramatic, the glory too inexpressible—and finally, the time was too short.

As I went back indoors, I thought what a glorious picture of hope I had just experienced. The night had seemed unending, the cold so heartless, and the sky, which held the only hope of light and warmth, was cloudy and dull. But then—suddenly, gloriously, the sun rose. And the dazzling beauty made it hard to remember what the darkness had been like. Makes me think of Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” And 2 Corinthians 4:17,18, “for momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” One of these days, the glory of the sun is going to seem like darkness, because the Son shall be revealed, with a beauty, warmth, and magnificent brilliance that we never dreamed of. It’ll be worth the wait.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009
In the late afternoon, I bolted outside for a walk before the sun had gone too low for me to take pictures. I thoroughly enjoyed that walk. There is a certain beauty in wintertime scenery that is hard to describe. There is some visible beauty, if you look for it, the delicate tracery of branches against the satiny gray sky, the shine of sunshine on ice, the bare curves of hills and valleys. But it’s no beauty to compare with the luscious summer or lavish fall. I think the beauty is more one of simplicity, with no pretense or show. It’s the beauty of ceasing to strive for beauty. The plain crunch of snow underfoot, the freedom to walk anywhere without any pretense of following the paths that lie beneath the snow, the stark colors of black and white, the transparent chill of the air, the utter quietness.

There one can be alone and really feel alone; there is no foliage that could hide onlookers from sight, no rustling leaves to conceal the sound of footsteps. I felt no obligation to follow the paths, but cut from the big field up to the orchard, then up through the woods. I stopped a while on top of the knoll there to pray. Surrounded by the transparent honesty of winter, it was easy to be transparently honest with God about some of my frustrations and perplexities.
Next, I went along the edge of the forest, tracing the perimeter of the hill pastures, and taking pictures of the sun which was setting. My mind was snagged from its perplexing thoughts to figure out how best to capture the glory of the sun, setting with orange and gold highlights beside the dark, dark green pines. I flopped on my back in the snow to try to get the widest angle possible, and then had to figure out how to remove the snow which had slipped in my clothes.

After that I made my way over those wonderful dramatic humps of ledge that are up in the high pastures, and back along the stone wall to get a picture of the sun setting behind my rock of meditation.


December 13
We had a very severe ice storm that wreaked havoc for many citizens, as great numbers were without power and trees were down across many roads. However, it WAS beautiful! A couple mornings after the storm, I drove to the house of some friends.

The drive over there was incredibly, stunningly, gorgeous. As I got closer to their house, there was more and more ice covering everything. To say that it was dazzling like crystal, is a trite understatement. Absolutely everything in nature was glazed with sparkling ice. The trees drooped, some of them gracefully, some of them in grotesque globs, their branches laden with jewels. The brushy places, rather than being disorganized thickets, were bouquets of silver. It’s amazing how artistic the Lord made nature to be. I thoroughly enjoyed the drive over, and thankfully the roads were not slippery, for the most part, because I could gaze all the more at the enchanting beauty. I stopped several times to take pictures.

"Out of the south comes the storm, And out of the north the cold. "From the breath of God ice is made, And the expanse of the waters is frozen.
(Job 37:9-10)

He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. He casts forth His ice as fragments; Who can stand before His cold?
(Psa 147:16-17)


We had a simply glorious autumn this year. The week before I started work, I had extra free time, and spent a while just photographing the splendor.

The voice of the LORD...strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, "Glory!"
(Psa 29:9)

Shorn Fields

July 18
I decided to answer the call of the lovely evening, and go for a little walk. It was about 8:20 or so, and the farm was deserted. I went out past the barn, which was empty, with the fencers clicking away comfortingly, and the dusky manure smell lingering in the air. Then, it was out to the open field, where the breeze carried the definite smell of the dry hay. It seemed to me that the fields were already greening up a little bit after the last cutting of hay. Somehow, when the grass is long, full of birds and bugs and rustling movement, it seems like the field has a life of its own, and keeps to itself, while you watch from the outside. But when it has been mown short, there’s no pretense about it, and instead, there is a feeling of familiarity and fellowship, which was accentuated by the fact that I recognized the dips and contours much better after having raked over them again and again when we were haying. Then, the bumps and craters seemed like jolting little nuisances; now, in the all-forgiving twilight, they seemed more like the warts and wrinkles that we all must bear with in one another. Those fields have seen so much over the years that the family has been on this farm. Men and women have left their blood, sweat, and tears in that soil, and now I’ve added mine too, though in a comparatively trivial measure. I know there’s nothing sacred about the land; it’s just dirt and a lot of rocks. But the lives that have labored together on this land are precious, and so are the memories that have been formed here. I walked down to the edge of the turtle pond field, overheard the birds calling goodnight to each other from their bedchambers in the hedge, then turned around. The tree frogs were creaking out their rhythmic, nonchalant melody, as though to say to the world, “Calm down, everybody. It’s bedtime. You can finish that in the morning.”

Monday, January 12, 2009

Evening Thoughts

July 24 The Lord gave me a good encouragement this evening. When I came into the kitchen, I heard Grampie saying, evidently in reply to something Grammy had said, “Home? This is our home, though not our eternal home.” I said, “That’s right, and our eternal home is so much better!”
“Perfect!” Grampie said.
“And we all can’t wait to get there.” “
But I guess that’s one thing we have to do—wait,” Grampie replied.
“It’ll be worth the wait, though, and all the better for it!”

“Lord Jesus, come! Thy Bride her Lord would see,
And know the joy of being like to Thee;
So worlds on worlds will see what grace has done,
As long as everlasting ages run.”
~Samuel Trevor Francis

After supper, I was itching to get out in the fields. So once I got Grammy started on dishes, I headed out. I walked out past the shop, where the guys were working, up through the barnyard, under the fence, and up the rocky path to my favorite high pasture.

I climbed fast, eager to get up to my special thinking place on the rock wall. I went by the cows, chewing on the lush grass, and one of them reached out her nose to touch my outstretched hand. Her nose was warm and slick.

I ducked under the fence, and walked through the buttercups, clover, and dandelions, beaded with rain. As I dropped into the little valley cradled like the palm of a hand, there was that magical feeling of being all alone, on the top of a mountain somewhere.

Grey blue hills met blue green grass on two sides of the horizon, while on the others, trees stood against the sky. I soon reached my special rock. It was a wonderful half hour. The wind was blowing strongly and steadily, pushing away the clouds. I sat facing into the wind, letting it push back my hair, flap my shirt sleeves, and blow into my mouth. The wind seems like such a cleansing thing, like standing in a strong current and feeling it swoosh past.
It was so good to be alone with the Lord, to pour out all that was in my heart and on my mind, to face the vague things which bothered me throughout the day, to lift up my eyes to the sky and think of the Lord of glory who was just on the other side. To smile up at Him and be beyond the view or hearing of any human person. Indeed, the wind drowned out many other noises, so that I seemed even more alone than some other times.

Far away, so small that I could hardly see them, were two birds, leaping on the currents of wind, tossing up and down and around. I told the Lord I want to be like them, resting on the wind of His will, whatever direction it might take, exulting in joy and freedom. Farther away than the birds, were the very distant hills, each ridge a shade fainter than the one before it, stretching until the last ridge I could see was only a very distant, rust colored outline, in the clouds and humidity, illumined by the setting sun. Some of the hills nearest to me were still in shadow, while the shoulders of the hills beyond were illumined by sunshine.

I could not even see the sun from where I stood, because of the clouds, but while I stood there (for I stood up in the wind to see the hills), the clouds began to be swept away and leave clear sky, so that while the evening grew older, it did not become darker, for the sun was unveiled more and more.

Eventually, I got down from the wall, and headed back to the farm. I met the cows again, munching away. Some of them stopped and stared at me, others lifted their heads and kept on chewing while tossing a careless glance in my direction; others ignored me altogether, but chewed away. They were in the ravine pasture, and very picturesque, scattered over the steep shoulders of the two adjoining hills. I came back, feeling as though I had left some troubles behind me, back to the world of everyday life.


July 14
The evening was so gorgeous, that I decided to go for a walk up in the hill pastures. It was simply lovely. I went up past a crest in the hill, out of sight of all humanity, and spent quite a while just standing, looking up into the sky. Where the sun was going down, the sky was a gentle salmon color, and the leaves of the trees looked so graceful outlined against it.

There were ragged, clumpy clouds that would have looked sullen with their charcoal grey and edges and bottoms that were almost a light maroon. However, the sky above them was still smiling blue, with white and ivory cirrus clouds shimmering in graceful strands. The ragged clouds glided one way, with the smooth cirrus above them, so that it was hard to tell which was moving, or perhaps it was both, moving in opposite directions. The grey clouds almost looked like debris floating slowly down a stream that had a shining sandy bed.

I stood there a long time, thanking the Lord for bringing me here for the summer, and for giving me even just the enjoyment of this single evening. I told Him about the things on my mind, asked Him about the decisions I need to make, and just marveled at His beauty and the fact that, while He is infinitely more glorious than those clouds, He is also infinitely more near and concrete, as close as they looked just then. It was a good time to be completely alone with Him, away from the view of everyone, and kind of get re-calibrated. I’m finding that it’s a really good practice just to drop everything for a few minutes, several times a day, and just go to Him.

July 3 I decided to go out and enjoy the splendid morning. I went for a walk through the fields; I decided not to run because then I couldn’t enjoy the splendor of the weather so much. It was sunny, and quite windy. I wished I had my camera, but I knew that there would be no way to capture the drumming of the wind in my ears, the swoosh of the long grasses blowing in the breeze, the warmth of the sunshine, and the magnificent, changing colors. Depending on whether the sun was out or behind a cloud, the grass looked more yellow or blue, as though the two colors that made the luscious green were competing with one another.

There was clover, and buttercups, some dandelions, vetch, and other flowers I don’t know the names of. I scared a deer out of one of the multifloral rose hedges; he went zipping up the field in front of me. After going almost to the last field and back, I got my camera and went out again. As I came home, there were dark clouds in the southwest, and they seemed to be encroaching on the sunshine. The wind was still blowing vigorously, but it didn’t seem quite as friendly as before.

The Lord has given us so much to enjoy. I've been thinking lately that the way most of us live life, is like someone who would chew a piece of an orange only once, then swallow it. If they would just chew a little more, there'd be a whole lot more juice to enjoy. Even so, we rush through life forgetting to fully enjoy the experiences the Lord has given us...and we wouldn't necessarily even have to slow down, so we can't say we don't have the time. There'd be a lot more happiness in life, I think, if we really enjoyed the things that the Lord has given us for our delight. That goes for everything, whether it means noticing how comfortable a chair really is, savoring every bite of food, enjoying the cool feeling of water on your face when you shower, noticing the beautiful colors in creation, delighting in the feeling of taking deep breaths of air without any difficulty, or feeling your pulse bouncing and thrilling at the life that is vibrating within you. It means running up the stairs and rejoicing that nothing hurts, or laying in bed and being conscious of the relaxation of every muscle. It means noticing the singing of birds, the scent of clover, the graceful swirl of clouds. Usually we notice things when they are uncomfortable or something is wrong; it would be way better to rejoice in all the things that are right and lovely and splendid. The world would be a much happier place if we all lived life that way—and all of these things could be done without slowing down the pace of life. How much time do our brains spend just vegetating, when we could be enjoying things?!


Friday, June 27, 2008
Got out for a nice walk/run this morning. It was very foggy, such that when I was out in the field the only sign of man’s presence was the wheel-ruts I was walking in. Everything else, except the dew-laden grass and buttercups and dandelions, the trees and hedges emerging from the fog, and the birds singing and swooping about, was grayed out. I felt really and truly alone, with so many of the distractions taken away. I think that must be how Moses felt out in the desert. As the clamor in my heart started to subside, it was good to know the Lord’s presence with me, and to be able to think about Who He is and what He has done, and His heart toward me. I went twice the distance that I sometimes go, just because it was so good to be alone there. As I started to come back, the sun began to appear. First it was so faint that I could look straight at its disc, without squinting. Soon, it was too bright for that, but still the fog was thick, so I was still alone. When I came back, I got my camera and tried to get some pictures of the buttercups in the dewy grass. Everything was so laden with moisture. Even the hairs on my arms were silvery with the mist, and when I blinked my eyes hard, I could feel the wetness on my eyelashes.

Under The Pine Tree

Tuesday, June 24
After supper I saw the sunset falling in golden sprays along the lawn; it was at just the right height to accentuate every lush fold and wave of the grass. It seemed too bad to sit inside when there was all that beauty outdoors, so I decided to go just lay out on the grass under our big pine tree, like a little kid.
It was just splendid. I thoroughly enjoyed every second, every sensation. The grass, just a tiny bit damp, just a little prickly, gathered around my body. The breeze swept gently over my face, like the whoosh from the skirts of a lady dancing in slow motion. Birds chirped and tittered around me, now and then some children’s voices could be heard, the frogs were tuning up for the night, and every so often a bee or fly buzzed over. It was pure relaxation, lying there, and I thanked the Lord that whatever busy, hectic, frightening, or dangerous times I might have in my future, I could always look back to this minute of perfect happiness. I thought of the kids who have grown up in the cities, and never can get away from the horns, shouts, traffic, and pollution. What an absolute privilege to be here, right now.
I opened my eyes, and admired the way that the puffy pine boughs were undergirded by the great black limbs. I could smell the tangy scent on the breeze every so often. My eyes feasted on the colors; dark brown, rich green, bright, gentle blue sky, and pearly clouds. Then, I got caught up watching the antics of the little birds that were catching their supper on the tree. I don’t know what kind of birds they are; I think perhaps nuthatches. They have very pointy beaks that make them look a little ferocious, even though they look like the size of a dollup of whipped cream on a spoon. Very important they seemed to feel, scurrying around on the trunk and branches like little highways, then drawing up short and standing at attention, as though trying to glare someone down. Then, they’d suddenly dig their beak into the bark, and pull up a worm, which they’d munch industriously before hopping away again. Once, one of the birds seemed to tumble off the trunk, drop a few feet, and stick back onto the tree like a ball of Velcro, with a little moth in his beak. Another time, one took a nosedive down toward me, only to flick up and away. I think I saw about three of them busy at the same time. Once, two of them came scuttling along their respective roadways, only to meet and exchange a flurry of titters. I couldn’t figure out if they were friends meeting one another with surprised exclamations, or if the sound was more like the honking of horns, irate motorists each informing the other to get on his side of the road. Either way, they zoomed off momentarily to their respective precincts.
The sun went behind a cloud, the mosquitoes started to circle above me, and the breeze lost its smile. I looked over at the house, and saw Grammy waving cheerily at me. I waved back.
I sat up, looked around, bade goodnight to the sun, which had peeked from behind the clouds in dazzling brightness, and headed inside. The imprints of the grass soon faded from my arms and legs, but the imprint of those golden minutes will last a long time.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Catch up!

Hello everybody! Now that I finally have a blog, there's a lot of stuff from the last few months that I'd like to put up. So enjoy the summertime posts while you toast yourself by the woodstove and watch the snow fall! I don't know how frequently this will be updated; it all depends on how much time I have for tramping around with my camera. And if the abundance of adjectives and descriptive devices drives you crazy, I'm sorry...but then, maybe I'm not. After all, there's really no words that are adequate to describe some of the beauty that's around us. My prayer is that as we all enjoy God's splendid creation, we'll be inspired to get to know Him better, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, creation just gives a glimpse of God's character, while the Lord Jesus is "the radiance of His glory, and the exact representation of His nature." (Hebrews 1:3).

A note about the title of the blog...as you probably guessed, it is from the verse that's on the sidebar of the blog, Psalm 65:8. That Psalm has a wonderful description of how God blesses His creation, and it speaks in two places of His creation shouting for joy. From dawn right through the day until sunset, His handiwork shouts out His praise. And don't you think it would do us good to take a lesson from Creation, and let out a good shout of joy every so often? We sure have a lot to rejoice about!