Walking on High Cliff


Crack in the Niagara Escarpment rock at High Cliff.


The Red Bird Trail follows along the edge of the Niagara Escarpment which forms the cliff of High Cliff State Park in Wisconsin.


The Niagara Escarpment is a large arch shaped, raised rock that runs from an area south of Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, through Door County, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a number of large islands in Lake Huron, Ontario, Niagara Falls, and continues on into New York.  It is most famous because Niagara Falls runs over it.


“How magnificent are Your works, LORD,
how profound Your thoughts!”

— Psalm 92:5, HCSB.

God’s creation is magnificent, and reflects His glory.  But the greatest and most profound thought of God for us is His own incarnation in Jesus Christ.


Christ is the only way of forgiveness and reconciliation.  He is the only way to heaven.  (John 14:6).


Jesus is the rock of our salvation.  (Psalm 62:2).

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

— Isaiah 53:5, ESV.

Book of Concord Drawing, Reformation 2016


Four hundred ninety-nine years ago, Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses.  Those theses sparked a discussion in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church that is still ongoing.  The first theses said:

When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘Repent,’ He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

In recognition of this 499th anniversary, I would like to give away a copy of the Christian Book of Concord bonded-leather-cover Second Edition from Concordia Publishing House.  This is similar to the regular hard-cover Second Edition, except it has a bonded-leather-cover with gold trim on the page edges and comes in a gift box.  The condition is new, never used.

If you would like to enter the drawing for a free copy, just fill out the form below.  However, you must be at least 18 years old, may enter the drawing only once, and you must be a resident of the United States.

After the winner is chosen at random, all names and emails will be permanently deleted.  The deadline for entries is 12 noon on All Saints’ Day (Tuesday, November 1), 2016 A.D.

Only God Can Heal


“‘If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!’  (Matthew 7:7-11)…

“For this reason have we who are evil a good Father, so that we may not always continue evil.  No evil person can make another person good.  If no evil person can make another good, how can an evil person make himself good?  Only our Father, who is good eternally, can make of an evil person a good person.

“‘Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved.’  (Jeremiah 17:14).”

— St. Augustine,
Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament, 11.2,
as quoted in A Year with the Church Fathers, CPH 2011, page 313.

For Others

“Christ first takes possession of the conscience, and when it is right in faith toward God, then he also directs us to do work toward our neighbor…   God does not desire the Christian to live for himself.  Yea, cursed is the life that lives for self.  For all that one lives after he is a Christian, he lives for others.”

—Martin Luther,
Homily for Trinity 19, Church Postils.
Emphasis added.

The End of My Canon G12


Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Boyd Lake State Park in Colorado.


I got up at about 6 am to see the sunrise.  It looked like it might be a beautiful sunrise, so I walked down to the water with my trusted and beloved Canon G12 camera.


A crane and some ducks foraged for breakfast.


As I approached the water, the fowl moved off to the side in the bluer areas of the scene.


The sky toward the sun started out very red with a hint of purple in the clouds.


Down by the water’s edge, the whole scene was filled with light and color.  Little by little the light shifted from red to orange.


The blues away from the sun made a beautiful contrast.


The colors constantly turned and changed as the sky brightened into brilliant orange.  (Some of these photos are best viewed by clicking on them, and viewing a larger size).


Some of the best sunrises and sunsets are when the sun shines underneath cloud cover causing the clouds to reflect back the light from the sun.  In this case, the clouds reflected the sun, and the water reflected the clouds.  This effect doubled the light.


This wide angle shot pulled back from the lake to show the full pallet of color.  The sun is just starting to appear, and the colors are retreating.  Please notice the magenta just to the right of the main sunrise.  I tried to capture that color, but failed because my camera malfunctioned on those pictures.


At this point, most of the pictures were horribly overexposed due to what I think may have been a malfunctioning computer or shutter.  This one turned out okay.


The light receded off the water even further.

After the above photo, it was clear that something was terribly wrong, and it wasn’t going to fix itself.  I kept snapping photos, but they were all white and covered in lines.  That magenta color would never get its own shot.  Eventually, I would get one last photo:


The very last photo.

Then the sun rose above the clouds, and the colors faded to gray.  “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21, ESV).

And now a moment of photographic silence in honor of my departed G12.










A Slice of Heaven


Hartman Creek near Waupaca, Wisconsin

There is something quite beautiful about the way the pine needles shimmer in the late afternoon summer sun (that I’ve never been able to capture with a camera).  This place seems to me like a slice of heaven.


Mist from campfire smoke and water vapor.

Even tainted by sin, God’s creation remains wondrous.  But the greatest beauty of all is God’s mercy in Christ.  In him all things will be made new.


Mist on the creek.

Christ is much more than just a slice of heaven.  He is life itself.  (John 14:6).

God’s blessings to you.

Long Weekend


Mountain biking, hiking, and watching the sunset at High Cliff.


The pictures in this post are from Labor Day weekend 2016 A.D.


Swimming, watching the waves and clouds, enjoying the cool breeze, meditating, praying, and reading Tainted by Morgan Busse on the beach at Whitefish Dunes.


Hiking at Whitefish Dunes.


Mountain biking at Peninsula.


Biking the Sunset Trail, mountain biking, picnicking, biking the Sunset Trail again, and more mountain biking for good measure.  That landmass on the horizon is Chambers Island (just west of Adventure Island).


At the end of the day at Peninsula State Park, a sudden realization.  Also thankful for the car I purchased brand new sixteen years ago.  199,000!  That’s worth one last photo before leaving.  16 years, 199,000 miles.  Thank you Lord Jesus.

Cool Mountain Biking Video

One of my favorite activities is mountain biking.  The video above shows a joy in exercise, the outdoors, companionship, and biking.  I love it.

Give me joy.  Give me life.  Give me wisdom.

Have a blessed Labor Day weekend!

Some Interesting Clouds


I think these might be stratocumulus clouds, but I’m not certain.  When these clouds appeared, there were a number of pictures on TV, and I think there may have been a specific name for them, but I cannot remember it.


The entire sky reflected the amber light of the setting sun.  The show lasted for about one-half an hour.


The light itself shown with golden shades of heaven, as God revealed Himself to be an artist.


Even the afterglow was beautiful.

Then the light retreated back across the clouds, and faded away.


Live forever.


The life we live in this world is short.  Like the flowers of the grass, we are here today and gone tomorrow.  But the word of the Lord endures forever.  (1 Peter 1:24-25).  And we have His promise of forgiveness and life eternal.  Hold fast to His word of promise.  Live forever.  (John 11:25-26).


Encouragement from John Chrysostom:

“Do not be downcast, or give up your zeal, or become sluggish.  Rather, press onward with more eagerness; even the apostles, when they preached, although they were scourged, stoned, and constant inmates of the prisons, not only after deliverance from dangers but also in those very dangers did they announce with greater courage the message of truth.  Paul is to be seen in prison, yes, even in chains, instructing and initiating (Acts 16:24-25) and moreover doing the very same in a court of justice (Acts 26), in shipwreck, in tempest, and in a thousand dangers (Acts 27).”

Do not be downcast … do not cease good works … never fall back!

“Imitate these saints, and do not cease good works, so long as you are able.  Although you see the devil thwarting you ten thousand times, never fall back!  You might be shipwrecked, perhaps even with your wealth.  But Paul, carrying the Word, which is far more precious than all wealth, was going to Rome and was shipwrecked.  He sustained innumerable hardships.  He indicated this when he said, ‘Because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us’ (1 Thessalonians 2:18).  God permitted it, thus revealing the more abundantly His power, and showing that the many things that the devil did, or prevented from being done, neither lessened nor interrupted the preaching of the Gospel”

— John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Statutes, 1.30
as quoted in A Year with the Church Fathers:
Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year,
2011 CPH, page 253.