Each day, a number of our church members, who are also photographers, post photos and spiritual commentary, following this schedule: NOTE: To see previous blog entries, access blog archives on the right sidebar.

  • Sunday (Bev Riter)
  • Monday (Cheryl Boardman)
  • Tuesday (Robert Howson)
  • Wednesday (Darren Milam)
  • Thursday (Russell Jurgensen & family)
  • Friday and Sabbath (Pastor Maylan Schurch)

 

Watchfulness

Photo ©2018 by Chelsea Jurgensen
Commentary ©2018 by Russell Jurgensen
Thursday, June 21, 2018

A bird family decided to make a nest in a hanging flower basket outside our window. We believe they are Dark-eyed Juncos. Chelsea has been getting pictures at various stages. Amber carefully waters around the nest to keep the flowers hydrated. The birds spent two days building the nest. The next day the mother bird started laying one egg per day. In this picture it has three eggs. She stopped at four and is now sitting on them. It is amazing to see the careful construction and constant attention it takes to prepare for baby birds.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12: 6,7

It is nice to know that the Lord cares for small creatures and promises that we are much more valuable. Let’s put our trust in the Lord.

Deer in the Headlights

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Darren Milam
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Have you ever been in a situation where you were so shocked or surprised that you were stuck and didn’t know what to do? Life can give us those situations – things that come out of nowhere and we find ourselves frozen into immobility. It’s easy to start problem solving, looking at the situation and figuring out how WE can take care of the situation, how WE can solve the issue. That’s the natural process, for us humans. It’s not that I am suggestion giving up and not even trying to work through the issue/challenge.

What I am suggesting is, starting with a prayer. A prayer, allowing God to help in the situation. Just think of asking for help, before you even get started on something. God WANTS to help with all of our big or small challenges. He wants us to want Him to be in our daily lives – through the good and the bad.

The next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, don’t freeze in place and stare wildly. Instead, pause and send a quick “help” request to God. He’ll give you the guidance and strength to work through whatever it is.

This shot of the “deer in the headlights” was taken up on Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park. As these deer meandered across the road (yes, my headlights were on) I was able to grab my camera and snap a few shots.

Blackburnian Warbler

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Robert Howson
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

It’s an easy question to answer, “How do you know this male Blackburnian Warbler has a nest nearby?” The nest was actually never discovered, but that didn’t lessen my certainty about its proximity. There were many tall trees nearby, the type of place where they usually build their nest out toward the end of limbs. This may provide some protection from would-be predators. But when most insectivorous birds are feeding, they consume their acquired meal rather quickly so they may continue to capture more of the same. However, when feeding young, they retain their prey while they continue to hunt for more food, thus enabling them to make fewer trips to the nest. This is critical since feeding may reveal where the nest has been placed.

And in the human realm, how do you recognize an individual is a Christian? More than a bumper sticker or amulet, in time, the pattern of one’s life will reveal their true allegiance. This means more than regular church attendance, for with a little effort, quite an impressive track record could be established in that regard. On the other hand, it’s much more difficult to fake it over an extended period of life, in real time action. Jesus was speaking about how to distinguish between true and false prophets in Matthew 7, but His words are equally applicable to those of us who want to follow in His footsteps. “You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You need never confuse grapevines with thorn bushes or figs with thistles. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit produced.” (Matthew 7:16, 20 Living Bible) The headwaters of the Mississippi River provided the setting for the warbler to show his true colors. May our daily routine on this day reveal our true allegiance to Him as well.

Blooming Season

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Cheryl Boardman
Monday, June 18, 2018

I love flowers and I really love hibiscus plants. We don’t see too many of them in the Pacific Northwest as the climate is too cold for them to grow year round. You can buy a plant and it is warm enough in the summer for it to bloom nicely but unless you can bring it indoors in the winter, you’ll have to buy a new plant the following year.

There is a time for everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NCV)

Getting Attention

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Bev Riter
Sunday, June 17, 2018

This man on stilts dressed in Union Jack clothing was getting everyone’s attention as he stood by the Westminster Bridge in London. After getting their attention, he handed people a card promoting a nearby British Fish and Chips restaurant. It seems that being dressed this way and on stilts was a good promotional tool – it got people’s attention!

Have you thought about ways God gets people’s attention? How has He gotten your attention? Even though He is there for us, sometimes we forget Him. If we ignore Him, He might need to get our attention. God might be trying to reach people when they are restless or fearful and can’t sleep. He might be trying to reach you through His blessings, telling you He loves and cares for you and will forgive you. Are you willing for God to get your attention? I Peter 3:18, says that Christ died for our sins to bring us to God. God, come into our lives and help us to follow You!

The Gaze of Guilt

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Maylan Schurch
Sabbath, June 16, 2018

Tuesday afternoon of this week I walked to the window of my home office and slid it open to cool off the house a bit. Something unfamiliar outside the window caught my eye, and I glanced down and saw what you see in the photo above. A dark cat with pale blue eyes was sitting in one of our deck chairs, staring fixedly up at me.

This is one of the neighborhood cats, occasionally to be heard in verbal conflict with the white cat which lives across the street. It was a surprise to see him or her in our back yard, in our very chair, but I imagine that if a feline wished to engage in pondering rather than pugilism, this was the place to do it.

If this cat had belonged to us, I’m sure it would have taken no notice when it heard our window being opened. But this cat never took his eyes off me. Every time I walked to the window—though it contained a running electric box fan—the cat was always staring up, as though to say, “Okay. I know I’m not where I’m supposed to be. Wanna make something of it?”

As is made very clear by the humorous “dog-shaming” videos on YouTube, where the owners remonstrate about outrages the animals have performed, at least some animals can feel guilt. Normally cats seem more impervious to this emotion, but not our lawn-chair occupant.

Is guilt good or bad? Yes and yes. Guilt is often the Holy Spirit working through our conscience to help us realize what we have done wrong. But there is such a thing as false guilt, which is when we are shamed because of something which isn’t wrong at all.

The good news is that the Bible tells us exactly how to deal with guilt. Click on the link below to find out.

http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/topics/guilt

Ban the Bomb!

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Maylan Schurch
Friday, June 15, 2018

I was a college student in the 70s, and I always feel a gentle nostalgia for messages like the one above, which I photographed earlier this week while stopped at a traffic light. Banning all nuclear weapons was perhaps more of an urgent matter back before the Soviet Union crumbled, but now we have terrorists to worry about, as we fervently hope that all the world’s nuclear supplies are solidly secure.

Within the last week or so, the ban-the-bomb idea has been floating over the Koreas, and Presidents Kim and Trump have signed a document which at least symbolically moves in that direction.

But those of us who read our Bibles know two truths. First, “wars and rumors of wars” will not cease until God winds things up. Second, He will succeed at bomb-banning where no one else could, because He will allow into His new earth only people who are devout followers of the Prince of Peace.

While we’re waiting for that happy time, let’s learn some of what the Bible says about peace, at the link below:

http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/topics/peace