Psalm 113

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The sun sets over Hartman Creek forming silhouettes of the trees.

From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!

The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!

— Psalm 113:3-4, ESV.

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Sun beams peer through the trees at Hartman Creek State Park.  This area of the park is a good place to contemplate.  God creates amazing beauty for even the poorest of us.

Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people…

Praise the Lord!

— Psalm 113:5-9, ESV.

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Only God Can Heal

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“‘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.

A Slice of Heaven

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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.

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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.

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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.

Dreamy Hartman Creek

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These pictures are from a hike in Hartman Creek State Park near Waupaca, WI.

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Fishing is popular in this area.  Two canines helped in this photo.

Is the word “canine” related to “Canaanite”?  A Canaanite woman came to Jesus, and cried, “Lord, help me.”  And Jesus answered,

“It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”  She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”  Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith!  Be it done for you as you desire.”  And her daughter was healed instantly.

— Matthew 15:25-28, ESV.

Just wondering about the etymology and God’s grace.

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The sun came out after after a rain shower.  Back-light illumination is one of my favorite ways to photograph vegetation.

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Rain fell as mist floated across the water.

Hartman Creek is one of my favorite places to go mountain biking.  It has an extensive single-track and double-track trail system.  However, I generally do not take pictures while mountain biking, opting instead to enjoy the sights and scents without electronics.

God’s blessings to you.

Beauty Exists

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Silvery water reflects tall pine in gentle ripples through warm dreamy air.

After taking this picture, I wasn’t sure what to think.  Was it good?  Would others appreciate it?  I sent it to a friend who liked it a lot.  Her enjoyment caused me to like it a lot too.  Getting feedback is good for any artist.  Otherwise, the only reaction some pictures will ever elicit is a question: “Is this good, or not?”

Taking pictures for one’s own enjoyment can be a good hobby, but photography, as with any art, is really about communication with others.  Art should be a communal experience.  I’m not sure if the picture above communicates anything deeper than that God is good and beauty exists, but at least we can share that pleasant thought together.

Beauty exists whether we perceive it or not.


Notes:

This post was originally published in 2012.  For this re-post, I increased the size of the photo, modified the wording slightly, added new tags, and changed the title.

The picture was taken at Hartman Creek in Wisconsin, and it is now one of my all time favorites.

God bless.

The Beginnings of Autumn Color

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Autumn Color in Northeastern Wisconsin will hit peak soon.

One of the best places for Autumn color photography is Hartman Creek State Park near Waupaca.  The whispering, green pine and reflective waters help to contrast and show off colorful autumn leaves.  In the picture above the leaves are just beginning to turn color.

Hartman Creek also has some excellent mountain bike trails.

Dreamy Air, Gentle Water, and Sharing

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Soft silvery water reflects tall pine in gentle ripples through a warm dreamy air.

After taking this picture, I wasn’t sure what to think of it.  Maybe it was good, but maybe not.  Would others appreciate it?  I sent it to a friend who liked it a lot.  Her enjoyment caused me to like it a lot too.  Getting feedback is good for any artist.  Otherwise, the only reaction some pictures will ever elicit is a question: “Is this good, or not?”

Taking pictures for one’s own enjoyment can be a good hobby, but photography, as with any art, is really about communication with others.  Art should be a communal experience.  I’m not sure if the picture above communicates anything deep other than that God is good and beauty exists, but at least we can share that pleasant thought together.

Whenever we enjoy what God has created, we enjoy it together.