Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fresh Mornings

We had lunch at Gladchuk Bros. restaurant yesterday in Frederick. I loved their fall color display. The sun was bright and overshadowed the mums lower left, but they were just as lovely as the ones in the wagon.

I was introduced to a song, new to me, that I heard Sunday morning. Mercies Anew was written in 2001 by Mark Altrogge and Bob Kauflin, and I love the words!

When I awake each morning and have my first conscious thought of God, I immediately thank Him for His mercies. Most of us our aware of the Scripture in Lamentations 3:22-23 which says: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions [mercy] never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

The first verse of Mercies Anew speaks to that:

"Every morning that breaks, There are mercies anew
Every breath that I take Is your faithfulness proved
And at the end of each day When my labors are through
I will sing of Your mercies anew."

Charles Spurgeon said: "His mercy is unfailing. It will never . . . leave you . . . If mercy is your friend, it will be with you when you are tempted not to yield to the Lord and when you are in deep trouble, to keep you from sinking. It will always be with you to be the light and life of your countenance and to be the joy of your soul when, earthly comfort is quickly fading."  He also said: "His mercy is tender . . . infinite . . . underserved . . . effective . . . diverse and abundant."  August 17th devotion in Look Unto Me: The devotions of Charles Spurgeon, edited by Jim Reimann

"I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever." Psalm 52:8

Chorus: "And Your mercies, they will never end For ten thousand years they'll remain
And when this world's beauty has passed away Your mercies will be unchanged"

If you haven't heard this song, or it's been awhile, enjoying listening to it again and sing along.

Why don't you take a few moments and meditate on God's mercies in your life. I think you'll soon be singing: "I will sing of Your mercies anew"!

                                                                    Fall is in the air!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Land of Refreshment

My first morning out the fog rested over this farm. The green grass, golden corn and light blue sky were nice to see.

I spent three beautiful days in the Lancaster area--my, it was good to get away! Sunshine, blue skies and comfortable temperatures were my delight as I drove the back roads and took pictures.

My lodging was quiet and peaceful. When I opened the door, the first thing I saw was this sign on the wall.

What a welcome! I was reminded once again of my heartfelt promise: "As for me, I will always have hope . . ." Psalm 71:14

I hope you'll enjoy as I share some of my favorite snaps!

There was a lot of harvesting going on. Everywhere I drove I saw horses and men gathering the crop.

          There were markets on the roadside with plenty of pumpkins and mums. Quite colorful!

One farm had a sign out from that said: Greeting Cards. Of course, I stopped in to take a peek. When I came out of the barn, these two youngsters were watching me.

These golden horses (there were three) were eating up this special patch of greenery. I started laughing at how serious and determined they were going about their business. There were little yellow flowers on the ends. A delicious treat!

I enjoy driving past farms with laundry blowing in the breeze. It must have been wash day because everywhere I looked clean clothes were drying.

I stopped to get a picture of the bikes lined up outside the school house, and while I was there the children came running outside for a ball game.

                         An early morning snap of a girl on her scooter riding down the lane.

                              Tobacco barns were full. This lone calf was guarding the barn.

I usually drive 20 to 30 mph on the back roads. Traffic is very light, and I can catch a snap I might have missed if I drove faster. This is one where the horse just looked like it was enjoying the view.

I bought myself a special remembrance from this trip. Country Lane Quilts is located on an Amish Farm, housed in the basement of the large home. And boy do they have large homes!

 This snap was outside of another quilt shop on an Amish Farm. It looked like it was spring or early summer in Lancaster County. So many gardens full of color drew my attention. I'm thinking Lancaster must have an unwritten rule to have pink petunias in the front garden. They were everywhere, like the two snaps below. Jerry suggested they may have had pink petunias to support breast cancer. The third snap welcomed me "home" each afternoon to the Carriage House where I stayed.

This Amish man, below, had just caught the pumpkin. I watched for a few minutes as pumpkins were loaded up.

I found another beautiful tree standing guard over the crop and lane.

Came around a corner and found a field with young foals for the miniature horses.

Loved coming up upon farm scenes, next three snaps. I liked the red blades on the windmill.


A heavy pull for these working horses.

My last morning driving the back roads I came around a corner and saw these happy youngsters running down the road towards their school house. They were laughing and talking. I got one snapped off as I drove by them. Not too bad a snap with them running and the car moving. I was thrilled! Just seemed a pleasant send off as I returned home.

I'm back, once again, to my last two weeks of therapy. My joy, from a few days away, will see me through. Hope you've enjoyed the tour!

Monday, September 21, 2015

My Camera's Ready!

This sign was shared on Facebook from John Hard's page. Being the ultimate introvert, I love it. I laughed so hard I cried! He also shared 10 views of being an introvert that were very well said. If you're an introvert, I hope you get a big laugh too!

Yes, my reward has come! After a year of cancer treatments, and knee replacement surgery and recovery, me, myself and I leave tomorrow morning for three nights in Lancaster! I'm so excited!

It will be a back roads and photography trip. I haven't been able to do very much photography this year, so I'm looking forward to driving around and getting some nice snaps.

I'll be driving the southern route to enter Lancaster County, which I've never done before. I'll be stopping at Conowingo Dam on the way to see if any eagles are there. Then I will meander through the country side, stopping at a few covered bridges and farm sites. I'll enter the Lancaster area through Strasburg.

I have two new books, maps and directions, and I'm praying for some clouds in a blue sky. My lodging is a lovely Carriage House just south of Intercourse.

Jerry will be loving my girls for me. He went away a few weeks ago to his favorite spot, for a much needed rest, after taking care of me all year. Mom's is going to visit her friend while I'm away.

I'm walking fairly well now, most of the time without a cane, be it slow and steady, although my other knee is now bringing me pain.

 I hope to have some nice snaps to share with you upon my return. All this from the ultimate introvert!

PS  Jerry made me promise I wouldn't bring any puppies home. We got Abby and Jo in Bird In Hand!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Have You Been to the Forest?

The original entrance to the Enchanted Forest
Do you remember the Enchanted Forest? If you lived in Maryland when you were a child, you may have visited the Enchanted Forest a time to two. For me, it was a long ride to Ellicott City, where a few hours were transformed into a fairy tale.
It has not been in operation since 1989 when a developer bought it and promised to keep the park open. He did for one year, then a shopping center was built around the park.
 The other week a friend on Facebook posted new life for the Enchanted Forest. Martha Clark bought the park and it took a decade for her to move the "forest" to her families farm.
It was hard work and costly. Most structures had to be restored.
And now Enchanted Forest lives on. Check out Clark' website at I just may have to travel back to the 1950s and enjoy the fun at the Enchanted Forest once again!
Now that's an ice cream cone! 
 The layout of the original park in the 1950s:


Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the enchantment of the Enchanted Forest once again

 . . .  with your grandchildren!                                                    

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Filled Up

Do they look familiar? I'm certain they're the same doe and fawn I snapped the first Saturday in June. The fawn was the smallest I'd ever seen. It's still small. This pair was in the same back yard, same location. I started driving last week which made it possible for me to go out Saturday morning for my last fawn spotting trip. Doe and fawn were everywhere! It was overcast, a little cooler and perfect weather for taking pictures. This time I did get the little one nursing!

I was surprised. It dawned on me that during my cancer treatments and recovery I couldn't read. And during this season of recovery and healing since my knee surgery I haven't been able to read either.

I can't really put my finger on the reason I haven't been able to read. Not a novel. Not the Bible. Nothing.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." Romans 8:26-27

I thought it strange that it's happened during both times of trial. I can't pray much either, and it was that way during the cancer treatments too. Yet, I've felt no guilt in not picking up my Bible. You see, I was full to overflowing in God's Word.

During my days of sunshine and calm, I'd fill myself with His Word. When uncertainty and fear showed up, as well as being sick, all I had hidden in my heart embraced me and carried me along.

My friend, Carol, reminded me about the Bible verse above when I shared this with her. So true.

                                            A relaxing time in the cool of the morning!

So my advice to you, as you travel your own life with peaks and valleys, is to immerse yourself in God's Word when everything is going well, and He can fill you up for those times you're unable to call out to Him. How comforting and caring!

And if you're surrounded by a body of believers to walk through life with, they will be His Hands and Voice to fill you with His care.

I'm just beginning to read again as my recovery and healing continues. I'm so thankful God's inside of me!

Fill Me, Holy Spirit, Fill Me

 Lewis S. Chafer (1871-1952)

Thou art calling me, Lord Jesus, As Thy living witness here;
Only by Thy life within me Can I any witness bear.

Fill me, Holy Spirit, fill me, All Thy filling I would know;
I am smallest of Thy vessels,Yet I much can overflow.

Thou art calling me, Lord Jesus, To be working one with Thee;
Only by Thy life within me Can there any service be.
Thou art calling me, Lord Jesus, To prevailing power in prayer;
Only by Thy life within me Can I intercession share.
Thou art calling me, Lord Jesus, To a victor’s holy life:
Only by Thy life within me Is there conquest in the strife.

"I am the vase of God, He fills me to the brim,
He is the ocean deep, contained I am in Him."   Angelus Silesius, 1624-1677

I leave you with this parting shot . . . a relaxing retreat into the woods.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Tree

                                                    A beautiful tree on Pefferkorn Road.

I know a tree and it's beautiful. I passed it every day on my drive to and from work. When I turned on the road where it stands, I always looked forward to seeing that beautiful tree.

One of my favorite fall snaps is that tree (below). I snapped it early in the morning and the cows across the street lent their presence to the scene. The owner of the house was in the yard so I chatted with him a few minutes and told him how beautiful the tree was. I think he thought I was a little nuts!

So I knew exactly how Mark Hirsch felt when I read his story in September's Guidepost magazine. He'd lost his job as a photojournalist and was in a bad car accident. The doctor told him he couldn't do anything for three months. Just rest and relax.
He bought an iPhone and laughed when a friend said how great the camera is on it. A camera on a phone? "That's for amateurs," he said. "You've got to treat it like a regular camera," his friend said.
He found himself drawn to the old bur oak tree he's passed so many times and took the challenge from his friend and took a picture of the tree. That began a year long project of taking a picture of that tree with his iPhone. One picture every day for a year.
He published a book featuring those pictures. I was fascinated by the project and ordered the book. His imagination and artistry is beautiful. I was amazed at the number of different snaps he took and loved drowning myself in the scenes. At $40 it was a little steep for me for a book. But I'm so glad I did it!
I want to be like that tree that stands tall and beautiful, firmly rooted in God's soil and drawing others to Him. Unfortunately, I'm human, and I have a lot of flaws and weaknesses. But I still press on, reaching for the SON to sustain me, grow me and maintain me.
Kindred spirits we are. Maybe I can take a drive to Pefferkorn Road and see my beautiful tree once again!