Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Safe Haven

My little son Will examining a spot where deer lay at night.
Today the temperatures are in the 60s here in Minnesota.  It is unusual to get this warm at this time of year.  The normal temperatures are in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.  I think back now, for many years on the prairie, hunting deer with my muzzleloader, the snow was very deep and very hard to walk through.  In some cases I could even trek over the frozen ice of the Little Sioux River when tracking a deer.  This year though, ice can only be found in the stores.

On this day, Americans celebrate with their families, Thanksgiving Day.  For many it is a time of rejoicing and reacquaintance, but for the not so fortunate, it is a time of being alone and filled with sadness.  During the holidays for these individuals it becomes a time of sorrow filled with memories and what ifs.  I remember being overseas eating Army food and wishing I could be having my mom's cooking instead.  I remember in college eating at a restaurant far from home, and missing my family and the good food they were having.  But then one day, my thoughts changed when accepting Christ.  I began to choose to help others not so fortunate as myself by working in soup kitchens during Thanksgiving.  I decided that I was going to change, and help others rather than dwell in my own saddness.  Jesus helped me to see through his eyes instead.
I understand as in all things, one must choose to see what a person wants to, whether it is bad or good, happy or sad.  I know that there is a balance in all things, and sometimes, heartache cannot be avoided.  It must be worked through, and in the end, growth does take place.  Sometimes though, it is through these most difficult times we realize our inner strengths and weaknesses.  There are times though that I am overwhelmed with life, and no matter how positive I might try to be, it is not enough.  As a Christian, I know that my strength and insights about life comes from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Little cousin Nathaniel running to his mama, Gayle.
As with a child having a gentle earthly father and mother, I find myself running to Jesus for help frequently.  The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  When asking Jesus for strength, he indeed gives it freely.  When requested of Jesus, he will give you insight, peace and joy, all because we ask of him.  I know that within myself, I can do very little without his guidance and love.  I recognize my frailties and fallen nature that comes with being born of Adam’s sinful nature, and because of Adam, we also live in a fallen world where sickness, war, and sin prevail.  We cannot change that, but we know the person who can change us, and the world that we live in.  In all things, we must seek out our savior, and Jesus will give to us all the things that will help us to grow in his love.  The Bible says in Proverbs 3: 5,6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”  As a hunter, when tracking deer, I know that when its footprints are spaced far apart, the deer is running from something, and away from danger.  I also know that it is running towards a safe haven of its own choosing.  Jesus is our safe place, we can run to him with all our needs, and he will never leave us alone.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Winter in the North Country

We now are nearing the wintertime of the year here in Minnesota.  The days are getting shorter and the weather colder.  The last of the leaves are now gone on most of the trees, and we now see the animals near our home readying for the long winter ahead.  In Minnesota we have about 5 months of winter and snow.  During this time we see the animal coats turning from light brown to gray, and for some, white.  Along with these changes, their fur also gets coarser and thicker as a way to fend off the cold that comes with the long winter.  When looking out the window, we see many times the tracks of various animals in the snow, all heading to a predetermined destinations. 

During this time of year we also observe the last of the waterfowl heading south.  They are flying high in the sky, not seeming to have any desire to stop or rest.  They know instinctively that they must get as far south as possible in their quest for survival.  The eagles and birds of prey either stay close to the open water in the river, or they are seen heading further south where the water is open year round.  This makes it easier for them to catch their fish, and other water prey, all adding to their chances of survival.  Snowy owls will soon arrive from the north along with the ever-present snowbirds that come from the cold Artic Circle.  Birds such as the nuthatch, chickadee, sparrow, tufted tit mouse, and varied finches are now present at our feeders, all trying to stock up on food to gain the needed winter fat, all in an effort to weather the cold that is coming soon. 

Will enjoying his heritage.
In a conversation with my family over the last two weeks, we have talked about the people that predominately settled here in the North Country.  They were mostly from northern Europe and Scandinavia.  This area of the U.S. provides the climate that they were used to in their native countries.  It seems that many people from the more Mediterranean and tropical climates struggle to stay here in the North Country, especially in the winter.  The changes I imagine are perhaps too harsh in adapting to the drastic fluctuations in weather throughout the year.  Many searching for warmer weather, chose to head to the states located further south where the winters are milder and less harsh.

Playing in the snow.
One of the things that we are proud of, that is in living in this climate, is that it teaches you to prepare for the season changes.  Canning must be done, clothes and homes must readied for the cold weather ahead, and living in general must see adaptions taking place in order to prepare for the drastic climate changes around the corner.  With all of these adjustments though, there seems to be a basic life style that is less affected by time than in other locations of the U.S.  People know that in order to survive the harshest weather, and to prepare for each season and its changes, basic routines have to be carried out each year.  These give way to traditions that are long tested by the elements, and time.  They have proven to be true and allow for only small variations to exist in order insure survivability. 

Our land of the North Country
In comparison to the above, children feel safe and content when they understand and accept the limitations established for them by their parents.  When these borders are given by the caregivers, and are not changed according the whims of immediate pleasures and tangents, a child feels cared for, safe and loved.  Like wise, our land here in the north hands out harsh and consistent changes each year, but these changes are always predictable and never alter, much like the caring parent.  Most people that live here feel over time, that safety found in knowing that our North Country has certain elements that are always unfailing, and are always predictable, even though our native land goes through expected changes throughout the year.  There is the knowledge though, that with change, comes a certainty of dependability, completion and safety. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Seeking God's will for our nation and the world.

Today we vote for our next president.  News polls say that it will be a close race right up to the end.  Please pray for our country this day and pray that God will heal our nation that has gone so far astray from his will.   2nd Chronicles 7:14 says:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Many of you that read my blog are from other nations.  Please, this day, pray to our Lord and Savior that God’s will is done for our nation.  We need his leadership so badly right now; the world is watching our nation to see where it will lead us all.  Let us seek God so that his guiding hand will take us in the direction of his will.