Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fall found Texas

Within the last two weeks or so fall has come to Wichita Falls. I was waiting, waiting; wondering when it would get here. The leaves are now changing and falling. The weather is beautiful. It has been mostly in the 60s with a few days in the 70s and a few in the 50s. We have had some chilly nights and mornings, which have been absolutely delightful! The other morning I woke up to read 27 degrees on the thermometer across the way. I had to prove it could really get into the 20s here, so here is the picture. By the time I got outside with my camera, however, it had already risen to 28.

Most trees around here turn yellow, but we have a few nice red ones like this. This is along the trail to Lucy Park near the falls.

It is such contrast to see these pretty summery flowers next to the golden fall colors. Actually, it reminds me of a time in Fort Collins when we had a May snowfall, and the gorgeous yellow tulips were covered with white glitter. It just goes to show you, life is resilient.

Strangely, even some of the 'evergreens' change color here. I promise it's not dead. I have seen it happen here, and it will return to green in the spring.

These golden leaves are everywhere. I need to learn more abou tthe kinds of trees here. Does anyone know what this one is?

I came upon these ducks swimming in the river on my way back home from this nature trip. To my surprise, they didn't even notice I was there. Or maybe they were more concerned with their hunting!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A child enters the kingdom of heaven

I have been meaning to post some pictures of our color-changing leaves. They started to change a week or two ago and are very pretty right now. Soon I will send a picture, but for the time being Matt is using the camera at work.

I have been enjoying a fantastic Bible study lately by Beth Moore. If anyone is interested in a study that is scripture-based, penetrates your heart deeply, and has plenty of room to write, it is called Jesus: 90 days with the one and only. One of the recent things to penetrate my heart has been our need to be like children as we live our lives and prepare for heaven. To me, this means trust that our needs will be filled, open our hearts to the wonders of our God, be fully present in each moment, admit and apologize for our mistakes, and freely express our love and affections. It is when I see these things from children at school that I am most astounded.

Each day of this Bible study offers a chance to pray God's word. For those of you who may be new to this practice, praying God's word means reflecting scripture in your prayer. When you first begin, you may paraphrase scripture, but as you progress you will use scripture as a guide to pour out your heart to God in a way that aligns your heart with his. I would like to share with you a few prayers that might uplift you as you prepare for the busyness that comes with this special season.

Dear Jesus,
I long to purify my thoughts, words, and actions so that I can truly serve you. Above all, I want to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength. I need you desperately because I can not do this on my own. Help me please to love. Amen.
(Rom. 16:19, 2 Cor. 7:1)

Dear Jesus,
Sometimes talking to you feels so symbolic. I stop myself now and know you are real. You are man. You are God. You are Christ. You gave up your life on the cross in exchange for your eternal one - and mine. You carried the burden of my disobedience because you love me. You love me. You call me. You give me grace and peace. Jesus, I want to know that my loved ones are saved by you. I want to share you with them. I pray they are obedient and answer your call with "Yes!" Amen.
(Col. 2:13-14, Rom. 5:8)

Dear Jesus,
Please teach me to be in alignment with your will. Even more, teach me to abandon my will and adopt yours as my new way of life. I desperately want to be obedient to you for the advancement of your kingdom and my protection under your sheltering wings. I follow you, Jesus. Amen.
(Ps. 17:7-9)

Dear Jesus,
My security is in you, my Lord Jesus Christ, because you have brought the plans of heaven to fulfillment. My trust is in you completely because you hold true to every promise. My hope is in you forever because you love me, lead me, and guard me. You are my savior and I shower you with praise, my Jesus! Amen.
(2 Thess. 3:3, 1 Thess. 5:24)

Dear Jesus,
I am so grateful that you have chosen me. You are mercy. You are grace. You are love!
I pray that your mercy, grace, and love will secure me in your heart forever, and change my heart so I will serve you with abandon.
Remove all hypocrisy, fear, shame, greed, and worry from my mind, heart, and body. Fill me up instead with honesty, wisdom, joy, generosity, and trust. I pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
(Deut. 7:6)

Dear Jesus,
Your power and glory amaze me always. Please send down the Holy Spirit to dwell inside my heart. Once there, strengthen me with your power so that I may remain rooted, pure of heart, and firmly established in Love. May I -dear Jesus- comprehend with other believers the vastness of your love. It is longer, wider, taller, and deeper than anything else. Grant me even an inkling of knowledge of it. Fill me, Jesus, with your fullness so that I will never again be hungry or thirsty. Amen.
(Eph. 3:16-19)

I got a little carried away, but prayer is just such a good thing!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fly over

Matt was fortunate to be part of a fourship fly over of Tweets at the Saturday game in Lubbock, Texas vs. Texas Tech. This is his second time flying over the Red Raiders' stadium, last time being in a twoship. Tech won the game, by the way, with an awesome last-eight-seconds touchdown!

This was a really big game and exciting for them to get to fly over. It looks fantastic to me, but Matt said it was hard to get the timing right. They were to fly over just after the National Anthem finished, but the singer was so slow that they had to turn around and get back into position to try it again. Matt will probably be part of another fly over at the Air Force Academy the week of Thanksgiving.

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