A Trip Through the Amish Area

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While in Lancaster, PA, my wife and I toured the Amish area. Through our tour guid, we learned about the passion and purpose, which inspires these Godly people.  Their Christian spirituality is the framework that sets  their lifestyle. 

The picture below show mules that are the power force to pull the plows, hay wagons, balers, hay cutters, and wagons through the acres of farm land. 

mule power

Tractors often must be adapted for off-road use only, lest they provide the opportunity to go too far from home. This usually means steel tires rather than rubber.

Tractors with steel tires

 The Amish look to God for help in this dangerous world.  When they are face with problems, their first instinct is to pray rather than to seek a quick fix. They learned patience; they feel demanding a quick fix signals a lack of trust in God. 

I hope you enjoyed this little article and have an opportunity to tour and visit an Amish community.

A Sense of Awareness

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After a scorching summer, today is a blessing. The heavy overcast clouded sky sprayed a light mist throughout the day. I stepped outside, and a chill hit me like you’d feel when you first jump in the water. As I walked to the river, I became more aware of my surroundings.

Squirrels noisily scampered over the fallen leaves to search out the fallen acorns. A crisp autumn day displayed its colors like an artist’s palette of reds, yellows oranges, and browns. Leaves of oak, maple, and elm laid among the musty rich soil of last year’s decaying leaves. The once vibrant green leaves still cling to the limbs, are now withered and spotted with age.

I inhaled deeply and smelled the smoke of burning cedar from the chimney of a nearby house. A fishy scent permeated the air as I came closer to the water. Like steam from a boiling teapot, cloudy vapors hovered on the waters’ surface. Drops of rain pelted the water like bait fish jumping in and out of the water.

In the distance, I heard fog horns bellow out their low blaring signal. Out from the waters cloudy vapor, I could see the silhouette of a crab boat. As it got closer, crab baskets stacked 4 high seem to overflow the boat’s tiny deck. The boat cut a deep wake making its way to the pier to offload its daily catch of the day.

In these days of technology and fast paced time, we no longer take in the beauty of nature and hear the sounds of joy. Although the day was dismal and dreary, I found happiness and pleasure in capturing the various senses of my surroundings.

Photographing Nature: Squirrels and Birds

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The other morning I stood in the woods with my camera.  I heard various birds chirping and rustling through the leaves.  As I scaned the area for a bird at rest, I noticed something clinging to a rotted piece of a limb.  I wasn’t able to make it out with my naked eye.  So I looked through my camera lens to see this baby squirrel.  It looked frightened as it emerged from the hole in the trunk of the tree.  It nervously tested each piece of the tree bark before he planted its feet.  Here he is holding on for dear life.   Natural instinct may have coaxed it along to let him know its time to search for food or starve.

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I did end up photographing this Tuffed Titmous and Blue Bird

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The photos may not win a prize but I sure enjoy the time I spend with God’s creation and all His love.

Hope you all enjoy!!!

How my prayer was answered

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My friend and I volunteer to paint murals on the walls through out the hallways of the Veterans Administration hospital. The hallways were painted an institutional drab tan. Now, with painted murals, it brings life, joy, and contentment for the patients, staff and visitors as they pass through the halls.

One particular morning, I asked God for His blessing on a mural my friend and I were to paint. I prayed for direction, help and assistance to paint this mural.

Unlike my friend who is a professional artist, I am a novice painter. As like most novices we don’t see our mistakes and faults as well as others see them. Throughout the painting, my friend Stan found fault. He’d say your lines are not smooth, you need more value, use more water, or you’re holding your brush wrong. This was one of those days, he was not himself. I was ready to give it up and hand the brush over to him telling him, “if you can do it better, then you do it.” But I didn’t.

I just stood aside and watched him paint. Inside me, I pouted and I started to put myself down. I was thinking I’ll never be a good artist.

When I got home, I realized that Satan was telling me all those negative things. But, God answered my prayer from this morning. I asked Him for direction, help and to assist me. He did it through my friend Stan who told me my problems and showed me how fix them.

It was then I realized God was there the whole time as I painted. I seemed to have given up not only in myself, but in my faith, trust and belief.

God was there the whole time. My lesson is to focus on God not on myself. I pray this story may help others.

Below are a few murals we painted at the Veterans Hospital