Joshua Tree Spooky or Lovely?

When you come into Joshua Tree National Park it may not seem interesting or different. But once you enter the gates and you see the structures and the plant life, it will take your breath away that such strangeness exists. Life and death are so close at hand here. It starts off benign enough then transforms to these weird rock formations and plant life.

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Ravi Zacharias tells the Story of Andre Stamos

Ravi zacharias

“In 1945, at the age of 20, he was captured by the Soviets and incarcerated. After some years of imprisonment, he was believed to have gone insane and, therefore, was transferred to a psychiatric ward in solitary confinement, 300 miles outside of Moscow. In 2000, when the Russians were trying to empty out their prisons and psychiatric wards, they brought a Hungarian psychiatrist to examine this man.

The psychiatrist examined Stamos for a few hours and concluded, “This man is not insane. In fact, it is you who are driving him insane. He is not talking nonsense. Rather, he is speaking a rare dialect of Hungarian.” As soon as he was released, the first thing Stamos asked to see was a mirror. He had not seen himself for 55 years; he had been 20 years old when he last saw his face. Now at 75, he looked at the mirror, put his face in his hands, and sobbed uncontrollably like a little baby, because of what had happened to him. To go through most of life without knowing what you look like is nearly unimaginable to us Americans. “

 

Our simple freedom of looking in the mirror to see our face should not be taken for granted. Our ability to pick up the Bible and read the word of God should not be taken for granted. Life is nothing without following the Lord.

Soaring Higher to do the Best She Could

George Shinn in 1875 was summoned once at midnight to the bedside of an old woman who lived by herself without much in the way of either money or friends and was dying. She managed to convey that she wanted some other woman to come stay with her for such time as might have left, so George Shinn and the old woman’s doctor struck out in the darkness to try to dig one up for her.

It sounds like a parable the way it is told and I am inclined to believe that if someone were ever to tell the tory of your lives and mine, they also would sound more like parables than we ordinarily suppose.

They knocked at doors and threw pebbles at second story windows. One woman said she couldn’t come because she had children. Another said she simply wouldn’t know what to do, what to be, in a crisis like that. Another was suspicious of two men prowling the night and wouldn’t even talk to them.

But finally, as the memoir of Dr. Shinn puts it, in the prose of another age,

“They rapped at the humble door of an Irish woman, the mother of a brood of children. She put her head out of the window.

‘Who’s there?’ she said. ‘And what can you want at this time of night?’ “

They tell her the situation.

“Her warm Irish heart could not resist.

‘Will you come?’

‘Sure I’ll come and I’ll do the best I can.’

“And she did come,” accounts Dr. Shinn. “She did the best she could.”

 

Excerpt from: “Listening to Your Life” by Frederick Buechner for December 4th.

Fence on the Beach

Fence on the Beach, Oil Paste

 

 

Surf’s Up with Father and Daughter

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Father getting ready checking the surf while daughter plays in the sand.

 

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When he is ready, he wades the waters and she bravely treads in with him.

 

 

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As it gets deeper, he places her on his long board and off they go.

 

i did not have a long enough lens nor good enough camera to record their return on the larger waves.

As my husband and I watched this amazing short drama, we noticed the little blonde in the shallow surf. Unafraid, she dove again and again in the churning white surf. Fearless, she steadily got up and dove in over and over again.

After Dad finished his stretching on the beach, he picked up his long board and she hopped over excited and jumping up and down. He walked down the beach, she followed and like all children stopped and fiddled with the sand. He kept going and she would look and up and follow. Trust!

After he checked if she was ready, and she hopped up and down again, they got in the water and he paddled them off into the riptide.

Obviously he is an incredible surfer. Obviously he did not need a long board, he could have used a short one with ease but this attentive man brought a long surf board to take his little girl out. Without “teaching” and with just spending a few precious hours with his daughter, he bolstered her up and encouraged her as she learned the skill of riding the waves.

On the way back, riding the waves, we saw him hold her up, show her how to lean always keeping his hands on her. On the second wave, he actually picked her up and moved forward on the board to make it go faster.

Once on shore, her excitement was evident and she clapped her little hands, jumped up and down again and looked up at him with trust born of her short experience in life.

My husband and I were amazed and moved by the whole scene. Whether he knew it or not, this amazing man was making memories with his little girl, making her more confident and self-assured for future success.

 

Ferruccio Furlanetto as Leporello in Don Giovanni

http://youtu.be/l0lN6SJkpBQ

 

I am sharing an from Don Giovanni the opera written by Mozart. One of the premiere Basso voices is Ferruccio Furlanetto who sings Leporello’s part.

This is an enjoyable and funny Aria where Leporello, Don Giovanni’s servant is convincing (this abused woman by his Master) to see that he is not worth the trouble.

Leporello lists all his Master’s conquests all over the world, explaining that he has a “catalogue” of his paramours. He produces the book and invites her to read with him the lists he made. 

 

Please enjoy!

 

Furlanetto