Life Verse:

"...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS in John 10:10

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sharing Thanks

The works of the LORD are great, Studied by all who hve pleasure in them. HIS work is honorable and glorious, And HIS righteousness endures forever. HE has made HIS wonderful works to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and full of compassion. HE has given food to those who fear HIM; HE will ever be mindful of HIS covenant. HE has declared to HIS people the power of HIS works, In giving them the heritage of the nations. (Psalm 111:2-6)

Let me urge you to take some time this week, just you and GOD, to express your thanks for all the HE has done, is doing, and will do in your life. 'Busyness' will rob us of our special time with HIM, but a thankful heart returns again to praise HIM for HIS wondrous works.

As you consider the things that GOD had done for you, allow your thanksgiving to bubble up and overflow your heart. It is a wonderful thing to see our thanksgiving spill over and touch other lives!

Be ye thankful!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Autumn Trails

While hiking recently near Mountain Creek, I was obliged to stop for a while and gaze at the soft glowing beauty of a stand of Hickory trees in regal gold and yellow color. Standing slightly behind them was another hardwood (I could not identify it) echoing their song of Autumn, and adding a brilliant red crescendo. I stood for some time drinking in this wonderful sight and communing with the CREATOR of this landscape.
Autumn is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. The splendid tapestry of color is exhilarating, but it is the feelings that are stirred within me when I gaze at such a wondrous landscape that makes this season so special. Sights such as this help to keep me in proper perspective amidst the chaos and challenges of living in this world.
I pray that you take a moment to look around, be still and know GOD.

On the Trail with CHRIST,

Pastor Larry

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail

Hike: North Loop with side trip to Chimney Rock; 3.0 miles; 08:45 - 11:00
Wx: Sunny, light breeze, very h-o-t, humid. Predicted high today 99 degrees F! Conditions: Trails very well maintained. Spectacular vistas of Lake Martin. Really enjoyed "Moss Drip" Signage (white blazes) were only on one side of trees. Many types of birds and insects. Quite a few spider webs on the trails. Scared by a Black Racer! (He was probably more scared than me - he was moving faster too!) Thoughts: Romans 1:1 - 2:16 All around man's ways are evident. Even in these serene settings one can see, hear, and almost feel the way of man. GOD forgive me for when I choose self over YOU. Cleanse me and draw me ever closer to YOU.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ft. Toulouse Hike

Cloudy, damp from rain yesterday, warm, very light breeze. Hiked 08:30 - 10:30.

Trails are well maintained for part. Unfortunately a good bit of originally designed trail has been lost - some walkways and steps have given way and are blocked off (for safety?). Was still a very nice hike. 3.5 on 5.0 scale. Many birds throughout the park. Shared part of the trail with a Terrapin. Squirrels playing in hardwoods. Friendly rabbit at the recreated fort.
Ft. Toulouse is a well-done recreation. Ft. Jackson has not been restored but it is easy to see its footprint in the landscape. The Mississippian Indian Mound would be lost to the average eye if it was not for the sign identifying its location.

Speak to my heart LORD JESUS. I enjoy the spiritual refreshing and beauty as well as the physical surroundings. The beauty, complexity, order, and mystery of nature speaks to YOUR glory LORD. We can be drawn toward YOU through YOUR creation. All of creation sings forth YOUR praise.
Daniel 6:3 says, "...Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him..." Excellent means better than average - something different -set apart (holy). I am set apart by YOU. I am nothing without YOU. Thank YOU for YOUR presence in my life - YOUR call on my life, for all of my life!
This place is beautiful because YOU are here. Open my heart to know YOU better and my eyes to see clearer. May I lead others closer to YOU.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Barton's Beach Nature Preserve and Grist SP

I had been thinking about this hike all week, pouring over maps and info from the web. I had never heard of this preserve before. It's web-description did it justice. Was most unlike any place I have hiked - the facilities are very unique in their architecture (thanks to Auburn Univ students!) and the area is really a large swamp (ox bow lakes and the Cahaba River).

This hike was more physical than spiritual due to the constant harassment of flies, mosquitoes, and the like. (Time to get out the DEET for hikes for the rest of the summer.) How easy we are distracted from what GOD is trying to tell us or do in our lives. We get distracted by the small "gnats" of this world. Help us LORD to keep YOU in focus no matter the distraction. May we all walk daily in YOUR SPIRIT!

Grist SP was small but nice. Lake Grist is peaceful (about 100 acres) and stocked well with bass and other fish. Primitive and full-service sites are available. Looks to be a good site for a weekend getaway - to really get away from the rush of city life. Hope to bring an RA group here for a campout later this summer. Only got to hike one of the trails. Nice hardwood and pine upland forest. Thank YOU LORD for the beautiful area we live in and the places YOU show me to hike!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hiking Mtn Creek Park

Saturday morning hike at Alabama Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek.
Wx: Sunny, light breeze, v-e-r-y warm.

Trail Conditions: No one else at the park this early (hiked the trail from 8:30 to 9:15am). Chipmunks, squirrels, birds, frogs, lizards, and big ants kept me company. Gnats and mosquitoes beginning to show up as well. May need DEET on next hike here. Took several pics.

This is still my favorite place to hike. The tranquil setting and solitude allows me to focus on YOU, LORD and what YOU may be telling me. Today was no exception. I had been pondering exactly what message to bring tomorrow for our Commencement Service honoring Diane. YOU pointed me to Colossians 2 and 3.

My heart was also stirred by Psalm 147. This is the perfect Psalm for a hiker! It describes exactly how I feel each time I am able to hike. (Same thoughts and feelings I experienced as a young teen in the woods behind home.)

I am also inspired to bring a Sermon Series on HikingThe Life Trail. This could be a life-long sermon series! Would also like to bring the RA's/GA's here on a hike one Saturday morning - maybe even a day outing this summer (or for a Bible Camp Day?). I wonder if I could get permission for a night time hike here during the Winter??? Will need to find out.