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)


Ready for Occupancy

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Cheryl Boardman
Monday, March 12, 2018

I saw this bird house, along with a whole lot more, at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary which is located in Delta, British Columbia. There were large ones and small ones and ones placed up in trees located near water with fairly large openings to fit wood ducks. Most were fairly basic, and some, like this one, had a touch of color and some personalization by a former tenant.

I didn’t see any obvious signs of occupancy yet but I’m sure that nesting will start taking place quite soon. Anyway, the bird houses looked like they had been cleaned and numbered and were ready for use. People had obviously spent a lot of time preparing them to welcome the birds.

Jesus said that there is a place prepared for us in His Father’s house. Some Bible versions talk about mansions and other are translated as dwellings or rooms but essentially, there is a place to stay. (That is totally the opposite of there being nowhere to stay when He was born into this world!)

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
John 14:1-3 NKJV


Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Bev Riter
Sunday, March 11, 2018

You probably haven’t seen a shoe or boot decorated like this – I hadn’t either! Someone created a work of art by the addition of flowers and even mice on discarded and well-used boot. Where did that boot take its owner? We put our shoes or boots on every day, practically without thinking. That could mean several times a day if we take them off when we get indoors. People in tropical climates might not wear shoes – at least not all the time – but those of us living in the Pacific Northwest wear them most of the time when outdoors.

People are required to remove their shoes before some places of worship. God told Moses to remove his shoes (sandals) because he was standing on holy ground. (Exodus 3:5) He told Joshua the same thing. (Joshua 5:15) During their forty years in the wilderness, the children of Israel’s sandals didn’t wear out. (Deuteronomy 29:5) Jesus told the seventy He appointed to go out and carry no purse or pack and travel barefoot. (Luke 10:4) That was quite a request! Thankfully, God doesn’t require us to go barefoot (or go with no supplies or money) when we witness for Him today. We can wear our shoes! As in the time of the apostles, the harvest is great and the laborers are few. Where have your shoes taken you? And where will they take you?

A Fluffy Bit of Eden

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Maylan Schurch
Sabbath, March 10, 2018

A long time ago in one of these Daily Photo Parables I mentioned that Shelley and I live near the Lake Youngs reservoir, which is protected by the high chain-link fence you see in the photo above. I think that I once referred to the other side of the fence (to the left, the Lake Youngs side) as a sort of Eden, where deer roam unchased, and where the hunting rifle is never heard.

I took this photo this past Sunday while Shelley and I were on a walk. The little dog and its owner had just paused to chat with us, mainly because the dog was frantic to get acquainted with two new friends. He (or she) strained at the leash, and licked our fingers, and would have kept on licking if “mama” hadn’t towed him away.

As soon as they passed us, I knew what was going to happen, so I hauled out my belt-camera and got ready to take a picture. Sure enough, the little dog kept looking back at us with longing eyes. Just seven feet from the closest thing our neighborhood has to paradise, this dog loved all of humanity as though this planet had never strayed from Eden.

Want to whet your appetite for the New Earth, where everyone—animals and human—will live lives of joyful potential? Click the link below:


The Writer

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Maylan Schurch
Friday, March 9, 2018

While wandering through Bellevue’s Barnes & Noble bookstore last Saturday night, I was startled to turn a corner and discover the scene you see above. I didn’t want to take the photo from the front, because for privacy reasons I don’t want to show people’s faces, so I walked past him first.

Actually, what you see does not do full justice to what I saw. Not only has this young man commandeered both the soft armchair opposite him, plus dragged over a wooden chair—both intended for the use of other customers besides himself—but he has spread out in front of him fifteen or twenty scrawled sheets of spiral-bound notebook paper.

He didn’t seem to be studying for a college class—there was no textbook nor outline visible—yet he considered whatever he was working on so important that he was depriving two other customers of seating privileges.

I’ll bet he’s a writer. And most likely an aspiring one, because a more experienced author would have settled into a less chaotic system, at least a one-chair one. No, I’ll wager that this guy was taking his first crack at the Great American Novel or something similar.

Have you ever thought how fortunate—or providentially blessed—we are that God chose writing as a way to preserve His acts and ideas for us, rather than oral transmission? Imagine how it would be if we had to depend only on stories our parents told us, which they’d learned from their parents, and their parents learned from their parents. Instead, we have 66 Bible books totaling about 750,000 written words.

And the Bible’s writers didn’t always have it easy. Some wrote under difficult circumstances—Isaiah and Jeremiah in a country threatened and then overtaken by Babylon, Paul in a prison cell chained to a Roman soldier, John in an exile’s cave in Patmos. But all wrote under the inspiration and guidance of God.

To review what our precious Bible has to say about itself, and about how to understand and use it, click the link immediately below.



Image ©2018 by Chelsea Jurgensen
Commentary ©2018 by Russell Jurgensen

An unexpectedly heavy snowfall over Snoqualmie Pass provided a dazzling display in the car’s headlights last weekend. Many drivers exercised caution and slowed down to a safe speed. Some drivers, however, didn’t heed the signs and spun out in the road causing a full freeway closure.

There might be times in life where it is good to pay attention to signs around us so that we can slow down to avoid trouble. Maybe we think our way is right and someone else’s way is all wrong when, instead, we should be more thoughtful.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18

About that road closure, it lasted around nine hours. We were not far from home but we ended up staying the night, warm and snug, in a hotel.


Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Darren Milam
Wednesday, March 7, 2018

It’s all over the news – in a positive way, and in some cases a negative way. Inclusion basically means ensuring everyone has a chance to be included. That can mean a lot of different things. It can be pertain to a club, a job selection, a team, a school, a community – all sorts of things. When I think inclusion, I think of variety. Regardless of what’s being selected, you have a good representation for the larger number.

God is VERY inclusive. We can think of lots of examples that point to this fact. One that comes to mind right off is Noah and ark. Noah and his family practically begged people to choose God and jump on board. Another example – creation. What better example of ensuring the Garden of Eden (and eventually planet earth) had an incredible variety of animals, plants, texture, colors, people, etc. In Psalms we can read all about the vast selection.

Psalm 104:24 & 25

How many are your works, LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.

The next time you hear the term Inclusion – think of what God has given us and who He wants included in the joy of those gifts.

This image was captured at Market Square, in San Antonio, TX. These bright, colorful, decorative flags showed off a variety of design and a created festive environment.

Northern Gannet III

Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Robert Howson
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Nigel was his name, at least that’s the name he was given by conservationists who lured him onto Mana Island, a small island some two and a half kilometers off the west coast of New Zealand. They did so with the intention of reestablishing a New Zealand Gannet colony, something that hadn’t existed for the past 40 years. To do so they created a concrete collection of gannets which were designed to serve the same purpose as duck decoys do for the hunter, to encourage other gannets to come in for a closer look. In addition, gannet calls were broadcast through solar powered speakers.

Gannets are very social creatures, nesting in close proximity to each other as shown in this photograph of a Northern Gannet colony. But unfortunately for Nigel, he was the only one to respond to the invitation in 2013; that is, until just a few weeks ago when three real life members of his family landed. However, Nigel failed to respond to them and as a result, he has lived there in isolation until his recent death in February of 2018. Instead, he died in the company of his concrete companions earning him the title of The Loneliest Bird in the World.

Rather than try to conclude with the moral of the story, I leave it to you as you consider your witness to the world, your interaction with others, and your place in your community. But it would be a shame if Nigel could find his counterpart within our own congregation.