Amethyst in Bloom



Amethyst…a color or a mineral? Both, except the mineral doesn’t bloom, it develops. As soon as I looked at Cheryl’s flower garden awakening to Spring’s thaw, I immediately realized that several of these flowers are a particular shade of purple called amethyst.


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Contrasting with the deep greens of late April, the purples certainly stand out…they almost shout out, “Hey, look at me!”. The water droplets are from a rain we received last night. Amazing how a rain can transform a landscape. Years ago I was exposed to deserts and mountain meadows which revealed their buried treasures years apart and for only a short span of time-all because of rain coupled with the right climatic conditions. Imagine seeing what only few will ever see…fields of color which are usually monotone.




No matter how you look at it, the Creator certainly has a flair for the magnificent!

Simply Captivating

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Occasionally, a picture is worth a thousand words. I am not sure this image of one of our Clematis blooms qualifies in that category-not that the flower doesn’t, but the photographer (me) may not have presented her well enough; no digital tweaking done.

Nevertheless, I will keep this post to a minimum of words. Immediately to her right is a vine with the whitest of flowers you have ever beheld, and next to those are newly planted red colored flowers yet to bloom. Just imagine this spectacle in your mind…three totally independent clematis vines revealing their true colors without compromising their inherent beauty and DNA. Yet, they stand together as a testament to nature’s diversity.

You must excuse me for starring at this beautiful object. Lovely, is she not? And there are a hundred more like her! Obviously, I am biased in my assessment.

Simply captivating. I hope you agree.




Spring is such a vivacious season with verdant grasslands and forests. Along with this season of hope comes the longing to explore, to go outside and seek beyond what we think we know to be there. Or, we simply become invigorated with what we are familiar with, but only witness quarterly. This is true if we live in a climate where there are four seasons.For the longest time I have considered Autumn to be my favorite season, but when Spring arrives I fall in love with her energy, colors and aromas. Can we have more than one favorite season?

Depending on where one lives, Summer may be all we know such as in the Amazon Basin of Brazil. On the other hand, if one lived in the southern Chilean Andes, all we would know are the wonders of winter-like conditions supplemented with a short period of semi-warmth. Or, consider the vast Sahara desert with thousands of square miles of sand. In these areas of the world, seasons aren’t considered quite the same.

However, the world I know enjoys multiple seasons, and each season has it’s own appeal, as does each geographic profile; be it desert or arctic landscape, mountain or rain forest, plain or rolling hills. They all teem with stimulating life and beauty. The key is in the seeking to discover, for it is only then do we really notice what God has given us via his creation. I haven’t even mentioned the oceans or the skies!

My wish is that this season…this month…this day, may reveal something new and remarkable to you. As you walk the pathway of this season of your life, be encouraged, for there is beauty even among the dreariest of circumstances and environments. Seek.



Fire in the Sky !

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“Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams                                                     Seeking grace in every step he takes                                                                                     His sight has turned inside himself to try to understand                                                         The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

And the Colorado rocky mountain high                                                                                     I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky                                                                                               You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply                                                                   Rocky mountain high…”

John Denver (1975) partial lyrics to Rocky Mountain High

Success: One More Definition

“Success is achieving my full potential while fully surrendering to God”.     J.B. Wood


When I came across this quote, I was taken back by its simplicity, and at the same time, its profoundness. Hence, I decided to share it. I realized that this quote relates to the first success quote I shared in my previous post. That definition by Whit Hobbs is about excitement, confidence and the joy of being enthralled with something you love to do, and do well. The first part of this definition concerning achieving one’s full potential corresponds well to what Whit described.

It is the second part of J.B.’s definition which makes me pause. I believe his statement is biblical, and is also necessary for God’s people to grow in their faith. But, the term ‘surrender’ doesn’t sit well with most of us. Don’t we equate surrendering with defeat, weakness, loss of power, and the removal of one’s personal rights and privileges? That form of surrender is anathema to our survival instinct and sense of well-being.

Of course, God quite often puts a different spin on many ideas and principles we are familiar with. When Jesus walked among us, he turned the culture upside down by making proclamations which were often difficult to comprehend or were in conflict with current thought and practices. As an example, he said, “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”. Taken at face value, most of us know intuitively-and by experience-that this imperative is impossible for man to achieve. Ultimately, he was implying that we should strive to be perfect by following his lead and seeking his help. Perfection comes later.

Hence, we come to the meaning of surrender as Wood used it. His intent is positive rather than negative. To surrender to God is to place one’s self directly under the power and influence of an entity far greater than mere man. God is nothing less than the Creator of the universe, as well as our personal friend if we chose to accept him as such. Anyone who can create an atom or cause an embryo to be formed in a womb must, by deduction, be able to govern all things far better than even the wisest of mankind could ever do. Where God is infinite in all things, man is finite. He is superior while we are inferior. Nevertheless, we struggle not only with this concept of surrender and putting it into practice, but also with the very concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing God.

If we believe that achieving our full potential leads to a form of success, then we are on our way to something good. If we realize this potential while submitting and surrendering to God, we will achieve something even better than good…something  extraordinary. I have been trying to meld the two together most of my life, and still struggle with both parts of Wood’s statement. However, I am not without hope. I am not alone.



Success: One Definition


I recently read a profound quotation by Whit Hobbs, which goes like this: “Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, wherever you are, however young or old, and bounding out of bed because there’s something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you’re good at-something that’s bigger than you are, and you can hardly wait to get at it today.” That is one long  sentence, but it comes alive-as if the author were running out of breath and didn’t want any periods…especially since this is a combination of thoughts expressed in a condensed format. I consider Whit’s statement to be an achievement in and of itself.

Recently, I watched Carson lounge in the early spring sunlight. After his breakfast, he bounded off the deck, did his business, walked around the yard (sometimes chasing a squirrel or bird), and then came inside to play a bit of ball. He gets ‘success’ without evening thinking about it! Next, he is content to simply rest where he decides to flop his white, furry body down…his reward for being joyful. Just watching him go through his morning routine makes me smile. Often, personal reflection occurs at these moments.


I recall relating to Whit’s statement many years ago when life was full of dreams and reality didn’t derail any of them. Those were the ‘Good Old Days’ as Carly Simon would sing about back in 1971. However, the truth is the good old days can also be here and now so we better find and embrace them. Living in the past provides a reference point, and good memories if one were so lucky to experience them. I am fortunate to reflect on my past with a high degree of fondness, as well as with a dose of sadness and a pinch of regret thrown in. I’m an optimist at heart, but also a realist. Life has taught me much. So, despite any negative experiences from the past and present, I choose to view the present and future with a positive attitude. Although not always easy to do, the opposite is quite unappealing in every way.

There are many definitions about success that one could argue for a lot of them, and dismiss most. So, what about success as Hobb’s describes it? Can it be defined by a simple paragraph, or does the term need an entire book describing this elusive noun of which most gauge their lives against? In my humble opinion there are too many books…too many articles…too many lectures about what success really means, and how much it matters in our lives. For one individual success may be related to financial and professional achievements and to another it may be defined by how one contributes to the greater good of others. Of course there are so many other ways to view success.

I have lived much of my adult life wondering about such things to the point where I was often troubled. Was I doing enough? Was I engaging enough? Did I risk enough? Did I achieve enough? Was I enough? How could I become successful if I didn’t understand what that really meant? So many questions, and seldom any satisfying answers. Such was my conundrum. Perhaps this is why Whit’s definition impacted me so much. It is filled with the essence of joy permeating one’s life, and I like that. Plus, it is simple to grasp his intent without having to read a term paper to understand it.

I think what this quote does for me is to reveal a great word picture which causes me to desire the result. I want to wake up tomorrow morning, bound out of bed, and seize the day with gusto. I believe that is possible. I also know myself, and that I can be my own worst enemy. In addition, current trials hamper my ability to be as positive about each day as I would like. This reality is frustrating. Nevertheless, I will try, and continue to try until this joy becomes a daily reality. To do otherwise is like surrendering when there is no clear adversary confronting me. I do admit that this type of optimism requires daily (sometimes hourly) effort and prayer-at least for me. One day it shall be much easier to bound out of bed and attack with a fervor that which I love to do most-and do it well.

I sincerely hope you can relate to Whit’s statement and are experiencing the fruit of joyful living. If not, then please join me in relearning how to awaken with gusto.