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Archive for the ‘Hiking’ Category

In September of 2013, I published a post entitled  “Let us be Redwoods” . Please take a moment to click on it and then come on back, ok?  I’ll wait here for you….

….Okay – ready?   Thanks.

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scientists-redwood-nichols_52779_990x742Last week, 2 1/2 years after the original post, I reposted it? Why you may ask?

Good question – it’s one  I asked myself while doing it without really knowing the answer.

“Why am I resending this?”

For some reason I felt a strong pull inside telling me to repost it. It literally, popped into my head to do it. Weird.

In addition to that, for the last few weeks the ‘Shema‘ has been on my mind.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up…”  Deuteronomy 6:4-8

Yesterday, I think I heard the answer.

“ONE” was the message spoken by my pastor this morning. He quoted the opening of the ‘Shema’ and also these words prayed by Jesus:

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  John 20:20-21

Th mighty oak is a strong and powerful tree. It’s roots burrow deep into the ground – 30, 40 even 50 feet down in the earth, grabbing firm in a death-defying life grip. When the storms come, with the turbulence, the assault and the violence, they bend, twist, crack and snap in the raging, swirling winds.

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And though they are mighty and stong, the tree can break free from its grip on the earth, and slowly, steadedly pull up and away from the deep roots, tearing up the ground, cracking, ripping, smashing –  crashing  to the forest floor in a hunderous explosion of  brokenness, destruction and death.

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Do you know how high 300 feet is straight up?  It’s a football field stood on end.

The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet high.

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How high is The Leaning Tower of Pisa?                        The Capitol Building?                    The Tower of Big Ben?

Redwood trees grows to heights greater than 300 feet – exceeding 360 and 370. Imagine a single tree towering over our Lady of Liberty!  Here – take a look…

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If we were to design such a tree, our ‘educated’, logical, scientific brains would think that we drive the roots of the Redwood down into the bowels of the earth itself in order to keep it standing during the storms (storms? just sheer weight and gravity should make it topple over like a top!).  But, as we know – that is not the case. Their roots are only two to three feet deep!  Can you imagine a 370 foot tree being supported and held up by 3 feet of roots? It defies logic – science and engineering. Think if the Leaning Tower of Pisa only had a two foot foundation!

The Redwood Tree is not only an amazing example of God’s creative genius and power, but it’s the revealed answer to God’s riddle of “ONE”!

“No way” – you say. In the forest there are many redwood trees and each are individual, stand alone trees. “Ain’t no riddle there mister, sorry  don’t see the connection  fella.

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Oh, but our eyes only see on the surface – it’s under the surface that we find the answer to the Redwood’s success – and it’s there where we find the  “ONE”.

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Yes – there are many Redwood trees – that’s the beauty of it – they survive.  Many trees – and each is an individual – each tall, straight and strong. Each having its own root system. It’s shallow, to be sure – only digging 2 to 3 feet into the earth – but those roots spread out – interwine – connect – even fuse with the roots of its neighbor – forming – you guessed it –  “ONE”  unified, solid community foundation where “ONE” supports “ALL” and “ALL” supports “ONE”.

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When the storm rages against any single tree – it’s raging against the community – against a unified mat that withstands and defeats any and all storms. God’s love is the sap that fuses the roots together!

And here’s another thought to chew on:   High above – overhead in the sky – the redwoods form a protective canopy – a covering – that shelters the oak, the pine, the hemlock and the beech tree – providing them cover from the storm. Think of those trees with the deep roots – that are looked to for their fruit – (our pastors and leaders) – they have refuge and shelter under the canopy of the shallow rooted redwoods (the flock)!

Scripture tells us to be “rooted” in the word and to “love” one another with the “love of God”. That “love” is the ‘sap’ that flows through the roots, fusing and joining together all the community of God.

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What a marvelous mystery God has given us!

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Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

 

 

 

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Is there anyone in the world – who hasn’t heard of Niagara Falls?

Well – I’m sure there is, in the deepest jungles of Africa and Brazil, and on the remote steppes of Mongolia and the grassy plains of the Yellow River – and on various desert islands across the oceans – there can be found lonely people wandering about who have never heard of Niagara Falls.

But, everyone else walking on the face of the planet, has heard that somewhere, within North America, there exists a magnificent waterfall, called Niagara.  In fact, millions upon millions have seen it, standing in awe at its immense power and majesty.

No – they’re not the tallest or even the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, (actually, there are about 500 waterfalls in the world that are taller than Niagara (Angel Falls in Venezuela is the tallest, at 3,212 feet), but most have little water flowing over them)…

Iguazu Falls – Brazil

…but they are the most known and visited. The combination of height and volume separates Niagara from all the others and makes them the spectacular wonder that they are.

Over 28 million people visit Niagara’s waterfalls each year. Since 1825, the world’s leading statesmen, monarchs, authors, painters, scientists, politicians, celebrities, business leaders and people from all walks, colors and languages have journeyed to stand in awe of the majestic falls and hear them roar their song of glory.

The Niagara River and Niagara Falls have been known outside of North America since the late 17th century, when Father Louis Hennepin, a French priest, at the request of King Louis XIV, accompanied the explorer La Salle, and first witnessed them in 1679. He wrote about his travels in ‘A New Discovery’ of a Vast Country in America (1688). While his painting of the Falls contained some exaggerations and distortions, it was widely circulated in Europe and became the icon of the “new world”.

But, what are the Falls and from where do they draw their strength?

Let’s take a journey down the Niagara River.

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Silently the moon hides, the earth is black.

So black you cannot see the hand held in front of your face. The sky opens and the moon winks from behind the clouds offering you the silhouettes of the trees.

The moon likes playing with the earth.

The ground is cold and damp but warms quickly from your body as you sit on a cushion of leaves and dew-laden grass. The crisp pungent odor of earth mingled with fallen leaves rises from the ground – the perfume of the forest.  You breathe in, pulling the fragrance deep into your soul. It mixes with your blood, flows through your body filling it with the essence of earth. “From dust you came and to dust shall you return“. You merge with the forest.

You are alive. The forest knows you and it welcomes you.

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Come – walk with me let’s step back in time together –  let’s roll the hands of the big clock back. No -no – not that little one on the wall. I mean the ‘big’ one – the ‘big clock of life‘. You know, the one that’s measured in years and centuries. Let’s roll it back, ohhhh, shall we say – 10,000 years or so. Back to a time when the only technology was the layers of time etched in a rock or the rings of life buried in a tree.  Back to a time when there is no combustion engine – no Twitter –  no electricity – no war (?), well no people as we know them, anyway.

Back to a time when God walked the planet.

Let’s walk His Creation…and maybe He’ll walk with us…

along the shores of the steep canyon, where the impatient River races to join with the ‘Big Water’ up North, cutting a wide trench through the land, slicing a deep scar across the face of the earth.

It hasn’t been given a name yet – but walk with me along the shore of what we know will one day… be called “Niagara”.

We travel down the side of the canyon, carefully watching the placement of our feet and clinging tightly to our life, gripping the growth of the steep wall to secure our journey downward.

Down… down... down the sides of the great trench.

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He liked being alone in the woods long before the sun’s first light broke upon the trees, piercing a darkness so thick you could feel it peel away from your skin as you stealthily moved through the cold night air. It was a comfort the old man yearned for in a world turned upside down for him.

In those pre-dawn hours, alone in the forest, the night cold and close around him, the world was a different place and time – a special place and time – his place and time. A place and time found nowhere else on earth. Where the ‘day’ creatures were slowly waking up, preparing to forage and the ‘night’ creatures were silently slipping through the darkness, to beat the approaching light, scurrying to the safety of their “homes”. It’s the quiet time in nature’s clock, when the mind and soul can find that single thread of unity that enables understanding – and healing.

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Well – thanks to my wonderful friend – Emlyn Chand – this blog is now up and running!  She had done a wonderful job of developing and designing this beautiful, artistic page and I have had the good fortune to spend some enjoyable time with her which has proven to be very valuable in understanding this media. She is also an author and as such understands both, the social media and the writing. Please visit her at her blog Emlynchand.com or noveltypubilcity.com

Writing in the Woods combines my love for the outdoors with my love for writing. I love both separately and sometimes on rare occasions I’m blessed with the supreme joy of combining both into one. This blog will be a mixing bowl where ingredients of thoughts, questions, insights and musings will be  slow layered together to produce a ‘bread’ called ‘me’. Hopefully there’ll be enough leven in the dough for it to rise high and strong.

In order to get the right mix of ingredients, I’ll be posting reviews of books that add either nutrients or spices into the recipe. Author interviews along with your thoughts and comments will all blend together to produce bread unlike any other having a unique texture, aroma and taste.

‘Hiking’ will journey over land  –  across waters – or into the wilderness of our minds.  Who knows what we may find as we hike along the pathways of our lives and our minds?  For me – it’s the journey that’s important – and the destination will take care of itself.

Thank you for joining me!  Let the journey begin.

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