Friday, October 23, 2015



A beautiful sunrise greeted us as we neared the shoreline of the Netherlands (my husband Larry and I had flown through the night).  We soon landed in Amsterdam and took the train to city central and then walked a couple blocks to our Singel Hotel along the Singel canal.

Amsterdam was very much as we'd envisioned from pictures, but there's always something different about actually being there and experiencing the sights and sounds and "feel" of a place.  Although we'd heard there were many, many bikes whizzing around the city, we were still amazed by how extraordinarily many there were.  We had to be very vigilant not to get hit by a biker as we walked from place to place, not only that, but bikes are parked in every possible space.

Tall, skinny houses with ornate roof-lines were everywhere -- so picturesque -- and canals were almost as plentiful.  We read that there are 1500 bridges in Amsterdam, which is helpful when you need to cross to the other side of so many canals.  It all makes for a unique and charming city.  We visited the Rijksmuseum of art, the Anne Frank House, and the Royal Palace, as well as doing a considerable amount of walking.

It was rainy and chilly during most of our three days in Amsterdam, but we enjoyed our visit and found bright spots, such as these bright and cheery sunflowers at a flower market.  We are so thankful for the opportunity to experience some of the wonders of Europe -- and we are always thankful to return to our dear homeland of America.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Beautiful Butterfly Brings Joy

It's time for some joyful thoughts.  Seeing a beautiful butterfly sitting on an equally beautiful flower -- now that's something that brings a smile to my face.  This lovely little guy (or maybe it's a gal, who knows?) was busy around the butterfly bush in my backyard when I managed to snap a pic of him.  He wasn't still for long, constantly flitting from one flower to the next, busy about the work God created him to do. 

What amazing color and design and delicate detail God fashioned in this unique butterfly.

When God was speaking to Job, He made it plain to him that all of nature is well-aware of who their Creator is and of all His glory -- and they thereby glorify Him with their very being.  Not only that, but they offer messages to us of the Creator, as evidenced by God saying that "they will teach you."  Note God's words to Job and to us  "But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you.  Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?" Job 12:7-10.

We have much we can learn from this little butterfly.  Have you ever heard a sound from a butterfly?  Yet, in his silence, he speaks loudly of his Creator.  If we have eyes to see and ears to hear, we will discover God's messages to us through His creation.  As the Psalmist said, "On the glorious splendor of your majesty and on your wondrous works I will meditate" 145:5.  Meditating, being still before our mighty Father, these are usually prerequisites to seeing and hearing His messages to us.  What a delight to discover a personal message from the Almighty Himself!

Oh, what an extravagant, generous, loving Father we have!  "He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also He has put eternity in their hearts..." Ecclesiastes 3:11.  Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!