Sunday, April 26, 2015

It Was a Field Day!

Friday was fun. At least for a few of us it was fun. While my oldest was facing his chemistry final at college (the one who was decidedly not having fun), my two other kiddos and I loaded up for a field trip to the GTM NERR. That's a lot of letters that stands for an even longer collection of words:  The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. Son was there to observe nature in all its glorious and dizzying forms. Daughter was there to capture it on film. I was there to enjoy the gorgeous day. Collectively they represented the Biology and Photography classes of Summit Homeschool Co-Op. Our guide for the day? My friend Michelle, a.k.a. Appliejuice over at Wordpress.

The day couldn't have been any better. The air was cooler and humidity was down. We all gathered together, recorded the moment for posterity, and were off.

Here is the happy group, ready to start!
And oh, for all the nature we encountered!
Alligators!

Wren eggs!

Hermit crabs!

Cnidarians! (a.k.a. jellyfish)

Evidence of raccoons!

Butterflies
And so much more I didn't take photos of, like skinks, insects, birds, and fish.

We hiked one mile out to the edge of the river and ate lunch while we looked at the beauty surrounding us. I'd never been to this part of the GTM before, so it was with new eyes that I gazed around. It was lovely. I can't wait to return!

Daughter, contemplating life, perhaps?


An old well

Drift wood
Thanks, Michelle! For getting it all organized! I'm so glad I could come along!
Our fearless leader...


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Resurrection

Easter is here. Yesterday our family attended worship services. Easter service is one of my favorites of the entire year, although I have to say that Good Friday service still ranks highest. I am mindful of the incredible sacrifice of my Lord for me, my family, and for the world. It takes my breath away.

This year, as I reflected on scripture, I came to this verse:

...blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
John 20:29b (NIV, 1984)

Jesus is speaking to Thomas, forever immortalized as "Doubting Thomas." Having missed Jesus' spectacular appearance within the locked room earlier in the week, he boldly proclaims that he won't believe unless he touches the places where Jesus suffered. When Jesus appears again and sees Thomas, he gives him the chance to do just that and then says the words written above.

According to this passage, we are all blessed if we are in Christ, because we are unable to see. Even if we doubt. Even if we sin. Even if we complain. We receive Christ's blessing for believing in an unbelieving world.

What is this blessing? I believe it is Grace. Grace that, when we sin or doubt or despair, reminds us that we are forgiven. Grace that whispers in our hearts, "Take courage." Grace that proclaims, "Do not fear."

It is Jesus' sacrifice and gift of grace that we celebrate today. Be blessed! He is risen!