Verse for today:
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Verse for today:
Monday, December 30, 2013
31 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; And let them say among the nations, "The Lord reigns." 32 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; Let the field rejoice, and all that is in it. 33 Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the Lord,
1 Chron 16:31-33 (NKJV)
12 "For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12 (NKJV)
When thru the woods
And forest glades I wander
And hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze
Then sings my soul
My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Hike: Portions of Black & Red Trails, Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends, Monday, 12/30/2013, 10:00-12:00 CST
Distance: 5 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Overcast (little to no sun showing through). Mid to Upper 40s. Calm. Trails wet and muddy from recent rains.
It has been a while, much too long, since I was out on the trail, hiking. So much interference and conflict the last several months have taken their toll. Except for a short hike in mid-November, this is the first time I have been on the trail since hiking with Diane and Robert in the Witchita National Wildlife Refuge back in September! I knew I needed it -- I just did not realize how much.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord... Jer 29:13-14 (NKJV)
A few things I learned today on the trail... I think I already knew this (at least in my head). Heart knowledge though is a little better...
(1) GOD answers prayers. HE shows up! HE will be found when we earnestly seek HIM.
(2) I have got to guard my time with HIM better in 2014 than I did in 2013.
(3) I need these quiet hikes in the woods with HIM as much as I need air, water, or food.
(4) When we face difficulties, conflicts, and disappointments, HE is the answer!
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The age-old quest for power
Exclusive: Scott Morefield spotlights choices of Frodo, Geo. Washington, Jesus ChristPublished: 2 days ago
By Scott Morefield
J.R.R. Tolkien tells the tale of a ring so powerful that, should it fall into the wrong hands, the world would plunge into darkness. Lost underground for ages, it finally made its way into the hands of a noble young hobbit, Frodo Baggins, charged with delivering it to the only place where it could be destroyed, the fires of Mount Doom. His epic journey there and the help he received is a classic story for the ages. Before Gollum's greed eventually sealed his own and the ring's destruction, the ring of power, which had destroyed so many, even almost consumed brave Frodo in the end.
History tells of a man who rose to become president of a great young republic, yet, when offered the chance to continue his run of power, declined. George Washington, who once famously said, "I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world," retired quietly to his Virginia farm, sadly but all too correctly predicting that, "unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government."
Little did Washington know how right he would be, that, hard as he and his fellow founders tried to create a constitutional system of government full of the checks and balances meant to protect against the tyranny common in seemingly all other nations, thanks to the inevitable and all-too-human lust for power and control it would only take a couple of hundred years for their vision of a limited government of and by the people to fall apart.
Power is, indeed, a scary thing. From politicians, to business executives, to fast-food shift managers, most everyone wants more than they already have – until the thirst and lust for it becomes unquenchable, a black hole on the souls of those who allow it to consume them. Frodo, like so many others in fictional Middle Earth, succumbed. Washington avoided the siren's call, but he is one of the few in history. Most who obtain power, whether through revolution, war, heredity, riches, or elections, tenaciously hold onto it until death or military or electoral defeat. Few wield it nobly or responsibly.
Sadly, those who long for power over others gravitate to positions where they can obtain and exercise it, often in tyrannical ways. From the evil kings, generals and dictators of old to the Communism and Nazism of the past century, history is filled with mass murderers who committed their crimes under cover of State, often in the name of the public good. Sadly, there was no Frodo to carry their rings of power to Mount Doom.
But, there is hope. The Bible tells of someone who had more power than any of us could ever imagine, the power to create and destroy stars, planets and entire universes. And yet, He was willing to give up all that power to humble Himself, to become a lowly man like us.
Born of a common woman, placed in a stable's animal feed trough, worshiped by the lowest of the low summoned from their sheep-watching duties, the surroundings of the King of Kings was conspicuously absent any "kingly" trappings. He grew up a carpenter's son in a town, Nazareth, known for producing nothing of value (John 1:46). He was reviled and persecuted, eventually suffering the most humiliating and painful death mankind could dream to do to his fellow man.
Hanging on that cross, the blood dripping from his body, Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, the Lord of everything, the Prince of Peace could have called ten thousand angels to destroy those who stood and mocked him. At any time, he could have asked the Father for the power He willingly gave up, but He didn't. Instead, He rose again on the third day so those of us who believe on Him could one day be with Him for eternity.
On this Christmas Day, the day Christians celebrate our Savior's birth despite the tenacious efforts of a society determined to forget, in a world where mankind has completely abused the power we have been given, might the answer to our problems be to emulate, not banish, the One who willingly gave up all His power for a creation in dire need of a Savior?
"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors." (George Washington)
Scott Morefield's articles have appeared on WND, Natural News, Infowars, Liberty Crier and many other sites, including A Morefield Life, where he and his wife, Kim, share their marriage and parenting journey. They and their four small children aspire to liberty in the hills of east Tennessee.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Space Weather News for Dec. 12, 2013
GEMINID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering a stream of debris from "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower. Last night, NASA cameras recorded more than a dozen fireballs over the USA. Geminid activity should remain relatively high for the next three or four nights, with a peak expected on Dec. 13-14. Check http://spaceweather.com for more information and observing tips.
GEOMAGNETIC STORM: On Dec. 7th, a solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field, sparking an unexpected geomagnetic storm and Northern Lights over several US states. Did you miss it? Auroras alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).
You are subscribed to the Space Weather mailing list, a free service of Spaceweather.com: http://spaceweather.com/services/ .
To unsubscribe click here: http://www.spaceweather2.com/u?id=79T&n=T&l=spaceweather or send a blank email to leave-spaceweather-1663670J@www.spaceweather2.com
"...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS, John 10:10b NKJV
Monday, December 09, 2013
Friday, December 06, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
Distance: 7 miles Rating: 5.5/5
Difficulty: Difficult (Due to distance, terrain, and skilled navigation required)
Conditions: Warm temps, PCloudy to cloudy to PCloudy, moderate rain for about 30mins near 1 mile point of hike. Moderate breeze was stiffer near the top of "The Crab Eyes".
Awesome hike with Diane and Rob. Left Ft. Worth at 5am and got on the trail around 10am. Weather was great (not too hot) and a little cloudy (to keep the sun off). About the 1 mile point we did receive about 30 mins or less of steady (moderate) rain. Thankfully the temps and wind did not make it a potential hypothermia event!
The Wichita Mtns NWR is well designed and maintained. It is the home to Bison, Longhorn, and Elk (among many other species of animals). Observed several bison and longhorn during our drive to the trailhead, but did not encounter any along the trails (though there was ample "evidence" of their passing that way).
I was surprised at how dense the plant life was in the first mile or so of the trail. Wheat grass and other grasses grew almost to head height. The trees (mostly Post Oaks) were plentiful in the valley and riverine area (though they were short by Alabama standards). There was a plethora of grasshoppers (all sizes and colors) -- much to Diane's chagrin. Dazzling dragonflies, in myriads of colors, greeted us along the stream sides. A few flies were in evidence but they did not pose a nuisance on this trip.
As we gained elevation we encountered shorter grasses, small plants with yellow tomato-like fruit, prickly-pear, and small barrel cacti. There were short, gnarly cedars (probably very old in spite of their short stature) and an occasional post oak as we climbed to near the summit of "The Crab Eyes".
Small, swift and colorful lizards greeted us at almost every turn of the trail. Thankfully their cousins (the snakes) DID NOT make an appearance!
The final climb to "The Crab Eyes" was the most difficult portion of the trek but the view was worth the effort! With a stiff, cooling breeze in your face you could survey the full expanse of the valley below the ridge-line.
Of course, Rob and I had to slither into the "Boulder Room" on our way back down the trail. It required crawling on your stomach through an opening in granite into a "room" made of boulders tumbled together countless ages ago. One could easily imagine Comanche Indians playing around or sheltering in this cave.
This hike would rate as one of my best... not only because of the beauty and spiritual-feel but because I could share it with Diane & Rob.
Charron's Wilderness -- Wichita Mountains -- a jewel created by the hand of GOD. HIS handiwork was vividly seen here!
Get out there. Be still and know HIM.
Monday, September 09, 2013
Distance: 6 miles Rating: 5.5/5
Difficulty: Moderate due to heat
Conditions: H O T !!! Analog thermometers located throughout trailheads in the canyon bottom read from 108 to 112 DegF... Yikes. Hydration was a major concern throughout our explorations in this canyon. Trails were in good shape. This park is more heavily used than Caprock and we encountered a few other hikers/bikers during our adventures.
Our adventures started with a guided Jeep tour of the canyon rim along the Elkin's Ranch property. Nicole, our trail guide, was very knowledgeable on ecology, geology, and history of the canyon and provided an informative and enjoyable tour. Some of the sites were quite simply astounding. Palo Duro is not the Grand Canyon but it is certainly "grand".
After our 1.5 hour Jeep tour we entered Palo Duro Canyon State Park and began our driving descent to the canyon floor. (Of course we had to stop at the Trading Post for their "world famous" cheeseburger. They were quite good. Note to self: a hamburger might not be the best meal to eat before a long and hot hike!)
Palo Duro is a wondrous place. The red, brown, yellow, and grey of the canyon rims, buttes, hoodoos, and pyramids are a constant treat to the eyes. Early Spanish explorers called the pyramids "Spanish skirts" because of their beautiful colorful stripes.
We were surprised by a flock of wild turkeys and later a small turkey chick along the Paseo del Rio Trail. A small reconstructed Cowboy Dugout structure can be seen along a short turnoff from this same trail. Prickly Pear cactus is more than abundant throughout most of the park and especially so on this trail. The red "pears" are edible (they taste just a little sweet and have a green-bean flavor). The Mesquite is taller here and some actual trees live along the river bed -- this is the Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River. During our hike the river level was an astounding 4 inches! (Hey, this is summer in Texas!) Given adequate rain though and this river would be raging through the canyon bottom.
The Lighthouse Trail was well maintained and provided great vistas of the canyon cliffs and buttes. Santana's Face was a prominent feature as we hiked in and back out along this well-used trail. Bright blue lizards made special appearances along the trail-side. Many would even "pose" for their photos.
Palo Duro is one of those "magical" spots in life -- being able to share it with Diane & Rob made it even more special. I hope to be back again for more adventure.
Thank YOU, LORD, for the beautiful work YOU have done here.
Distance: 3 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Trails in excellent shape. Partly cloudy. Moderate wind. HOT and dry. Temp around 100 DegF, but was moderated by the brisk breeze!
Wonderful hike with Diane & Rob! Caprock is lesser known and encompasses less acreage than Palo Duro but it is none-the-less a spectacular place. One of the most appealing features of Caprock was the solitude. You could be still and hear GOD's sounds only -- no noise and confusion of the big city.
Caprock Canyon drops away from the surrounding plains to reveal red and grey cliffs and gorges. On the plains the state buffalo herd roams free. Within the canyon you are almost certain to see lizards of all types as well as the large black ants. Unfortunately you may also "see" some horseflies. They were not too much of a nuisance, though we did keep a watch for them.
The Haynes Ridge Overlook Trail was STEEP -- Tx Parks & Wildlife did not exaggerate when they labeled this trail "extremely steep and rugged". The trail climbed out of the canyon and up to the rim. Negotiating this trail would have involved some serious scrambling (at least) so we elected to turn around at that point and go back down the Canyon Loop Trail.
The rich red and grey color of the canyon cliffs seemed to surround us on all sides. Small mesquite and cedar bush dotted the canyon floor and cliffs with splashes of green. The lizards were mostly sandy brown or green.
The constant brisk wind near the saddle on the Canyon Loop Trail was impressive and provided a welcomed cooling power. One of the primitive backcountry camp sites lies within 20 yards of this point -- that is where I would choose to camp!
A natural bridge was the focus of our trek along Eagle Point Trail. We were on the bridge before we actually recognized it as being a natural bridge. While not a long or deep natural bridge, it was still a treat to experience. We were able to climb down to the stream bed to get a close-up view of the bridge. A few bats called the bridge home. It was sad to think that as the eroding effects of wind and rain continue this little natural bridge will one day collapse and be lost to us. Right now though, it is a joy to behold.
Caprock was a wonderful surprise to us all. The trip out of the Metroplex was aimed at Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock was a "small" after-thought or side trip. It was well worth the 93 miles of driving.
34 Ascribe strength to God; His excellence is over Israel, And His strength is in the clouds. 35 O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!
Psalms 68:34-35 (NKJV)
Friday, July 19, 2013
I never knew I was making "Drones" as a kid... maybe I was just ahead of my time?!...
Kayak Hike: Cooter's Pond, Thu, 7/18/2013, 17:00-19:00CDT
Distance: 2 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Hot/Humid. Wind: Calm Partly cloudy. Rain shower came up as we were taking out. No lightening/thunder.
Enjoyed kayaking with "The Bro" after work. No fishing today - just paddling & exploring.
Alligator Gar were not as active as last outing, but they did perform some small jumps and rolls for us. Heron, egret, kingfisher, & sandpipers were busy along the shore.
Water level was several feet lower than two weeks ago. In spite of the frequent rains of late, I suppose Alabama Power's pull through the dams keeps the level lower. Water surface was almost glass-like. Paddling in this smooth water was a wonderful experience. One could hear the soft cut of the paddles through the water's surface. Peaceful and relaxing indeed!
Thankful for the experience and this place.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Distance: 5 miles Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Mostly cloudy. Hot & humid. Lots & lots of rain this week. Trails still wet & muddy in spots. A few blow-downs encountered but still passable. Encountered 4 mountain bikers during the hike.
Observed gray squirrel & cotton-tail. Quite a few dragonflies near the power-line cut-through. Several summer wild flowers.
YOU are awesome in this place ABBA FATHER!
- RedHead Goretex Hikers
- Shorts/Polyester Tshirt
- MountainSmith Lumbar Pack (ESK)
- 1 KleenKanteen of water
- JAZZ videocam
Saturday, July 06, 2013
Hike: Portions of the Red & Black Trails, Swayback Bridge Trail, near Wetumpka, AL, Saturday, 07/06/2013, 09:45-12:15CDT
Distance: 5 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Mild temps. Steady, light rain through most of hike. Has been raining like this for the last couple of days! I am so thankful for the rain!!! Needless to say, trails are wet and muddy. A few blow-downs but none impassable.
Shared the trails with a mountain biker at the start of my hike (and 4 additional cars were in the parking lot when I completed my hike) - otherwise no one else braved the rain to enjoy GOD's forest refreshed by a summer shower..
Chipmunks and gray squirrels were busy despite the rain. There must have been a thousand spider webs across the trails -- and I busted through each one.
As you might expect, mushrooms were in abundance because of the rains. Shrooms of all sizes and colors dotted the forest floor. The splatter of rain on the forest canopy was a beautiful symphony to my ears. The forest even smells better after a good rain.
I started to wear Frogg Toggs for the hike but opted instead to hike the trail without any rain gear. Yes, I got a little wet but the forest canopy shielded me from most of the heavier cascades. I thoroughly enjoyed my summer-time rain hike. It was a special, prayerful time of worship, communion, and thought.
- KaBar Eskabar
- JAZZ digital camera
- 1qt Canteen/cup/holder
- ESK Lite
- RedHead Goretex Hikers (Yes... rain gear for my feet!)
- Polyester tshirt
- Cotton hiking shorts
- Cotton Do-Rag
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Distance: Estimated 6 miles Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Conditions: Mostly cloudy to Partly cloudy. Wind: light & variable Water level higher than normal due to recent rains. Very warm & humid.
Kayaking with the 'Bro'. First time we have launched at Cooter's Pond in a while without being run out by thunderstorms. Had a great day of kayak-exploring. Glenn did a little fishing with spin casting reel. I did not bring fly-fishing or spinning gear this trip.
We explored along the bank from the launch ramp to RTJ Golf course. A "finger" of the Alabama River goes under a bridge at RTJ and almost all the way to I-65 (you can hear traffic near the end of the slough). The giant slough has many acres of lily-pads. So many that it would be easy to think you were in Florida. We observed several Great Blue Herons and Egrets busy with their own fishing. Small, bright red Cardinals, Purple Martins, and Mockingbirds were active along the riparian tree-lines.
The "stars" of the day though were Alligator Gar! I was amazed at their jumps -- several feet out of the water. Some gar were 4' or longer. Quite impressive as they rocketed out of the water and fell back with a great splash.
Glenn saw one alligator near the end of the slough but could not determine his size.
I am never bored at the splendor of GOD's Creation. HE is magnified in HIS work.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Saturday, June 08, 2013
Distance: Approx 4 miles (Up and Back) Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Partly Cloudy, Hot. Humid
Put in @ Brown's Construction on Autauga Creek. Much deeper here than below the dam. had a great time exploring the creek and swamp. Bright red cardinal and beautiful Red-winged Black bird were treats along the journey. Went as far upstream as practical -- downed tree blocked the creek and I did not want to risk falling in while attempting to portage.
This is one to do again! Should bring fishing gear next time.