Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trusting Your Father

                                                               A Picture of Trust
The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet, these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3 foot wall. Do you know why? They must be certain where their feet will fall, or they will not jump.  I guess they have not learned trust in their development.

Whenever I look at this picture of my son and granddaughter, I think how Ava’s trust in her father takes away all fear. He throws her into the air (to grandma’s chagrin), and she expects him to catch her. She is assured that her daddy will keep her safe. John has proven himself to Ava time and time again in her five short years on earth. John has a very close relationship with Ava. They look alike and act alike. As I watch her actions and reactions, it is like rearing John again. She loves to do risky things because he has taught her that he will be there to encourage her, help her, and cheer her. She has assurance that her dad is her best friend, best provider, and safety net. She does not let fear entrap her if her dad is near. Ava is secure because of her love for her daddy and  his unconditional love and trust.

John has taught Ava trust. I believe this will carry over in her spiritual life. Since she has learned to trust her earthly father, it will be easier for her to trust in God. Trust has many benefits. According to scripture Psalm 37, one who actively commits himself to the Lord can expect these benefits:

• to enjoy safe pastures,

• to inherit the land,

• to enjoy peace,

• to be upheld by God,

• to gain an enduring inheritance,

• to live securely

• to never be forsaken by God

In verse 31, a benefit of trust is “not to slip”. This photo of a daughter being hurled in the air is an action shot of trust. Ava knows her daddy will not let her slip.

As I look at this photo, I think of how many times I have hurled myself into dangerous situations. I have put myself  in precarious positions. But, God has not let me slip. He has caught me and held on to me and brought me into safe pastures.

Psalm 31:5 in the Message version reads, “I’ve put my life in your hands. You won’t drop me; you’ll never let me down.” Both of these psalms free me of my fears and encourage me daily. These words provide an assurance that I will be caught in the hands of my heavenly father.

Today is one of those days that I needed reminded of how well my Father cares for me. I write this to share scriptures that create a strong base for my trust in Him. These words ignite my spirit. I trust because my Father has caught me and kept me from harm many times. I know His love is unconditional.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Creators create blogs...sort of

We are writers, after all, we write. Period. Generally speaking, we don’t do techie stuff. None of us really knows, no care to know, how the mysterious mechanics of the cyber world work. We only know that it all works and that it is important to the success of our blogging endeavors. nittygritty of
I totally agree that bloggers thrive on writing.  It is our passion, past time, and purpose.  In our blogging group , we all agree on this principle.  What we can't agree on, is how is the best way to utilize all that blogger has to offer.  Those technical tricks are baffling. 

At my home, we had a blogging class taught by my friend, Jason.  He is so intelligent  and has may skills in computer science.  He is  productive and generous with his talents. Jason took time to teach my blogging friends some ideas on increasing traffic to our blogs.  He showed us how to link to other post, work on our page design, and how blogs are effective.  All of us were fifty or over, yet we were so eager to learn how to upgrade our blogs.

Jason's patient instruction made us feel successful.  Today we are attempting to apply those teachings.  So, I hope you visit again to see some improved postings and blog designs.

I need you to do me a favor.  When you visit my blog, will you become a follower?  You just need to look on the right side of my blog and push "follow".  If you arrow down on the kind of account button, you need to  push google account or any of the others on the list to which you belong.  I promise no crazy emails will come into your box.  It really helps me to have followers.  I am trying to get noticed by publishers or other writers.  If they see several people follow, they will stop a few seconds and view my writing.  Thanks so much for helping me in my pursuit to be a published writer.  Blogging is a way of communicating and sharing in our way too busy world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Play Date With God


Often our time with God is spent talking with Him and sharing our thoughts. This one day retreat for women will teach how to connect with God in more creative, spiritual ways. The day will open with Prayer and Scriptural Yoga. This will be followed by learning how to peel back the layers of labels that we carry and learning how to see ourselves as God truly made us. This will be done through various artistic expressions & exercises. (No artistic experience required)! Sandi and Monique are both Masters Level Instructors who have over 30 years experience combined; teaching, serving and leading others. They will lead you through a day of relaxation, fun, fellowship and a deeper understanding of who you are in Christ.
When: November 13, 2010, from 9am—4pm
Where: People of Praise, 3300 W. Moore Rd., Muncie IN 47304
Cost: $65.00 (Includes supplies & lunch)
What to Bring: Bible, 1 Picture of Self, Yoga Mat (if you have)

SANDI BARON, M.A. @ 765-289-7049 OR SBARON8208@GMAIL.COM


Monday, October 18, 2010

Unweaving Rainbows

Unweaving Rainbows

I must confess. I have been a rainbow chaser for years. When I was three to five years old, I started my addiction. I remember fondly when my family and I would eat our lunch and a typical quick Florida shower would water the palms and flowers. Unexpectedly, my dad would look out of the window and suddenly leap from his chair.

“Girls, look, a rainbow. Let’s find its end.”

With this announcement mama, my sister , and I would jump into our Chevy sedan and take off to find the pot at the end of the rainbow. My sister and I would squeal with delight. Daddy headed toward Daytona . It seemed the rainbows usually clustered in that area. As a four year old, I just knew the pot of gold would be found. We sang, “ Do Lord” in harmony and "Jesus Loves Me". Dad sang in the choir and had a bellowing bass voice. Those adventures are some of my fondest memories of being reared in Clermont. We arrived at the ocean’s edge. We hurried out of the car to jump in the waves, and Daddy would announce, “ I guess we found our pot of gold.”

I still get excited when I see a rainbow. I run to my neighbors of thirty-eight years and make her view the sky with me. My husband knows I won’t give up until he too sees the magic of the rainbow. It is the symbol of promise from God that He will never totally destroy the people of the world again.

As an artist I marvel at the clarity of each color. The colors are separate yet merged. They softly bump into the next color. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet are all marvelously displayed . Many artist before me have painted scenes with rainbows in the clouds, over the mountains, and by the sea side. They too have hungered to capture the beauty.

In real life, the colors can be seen, however, only when the angle of reflection between the sun, the drops of water, and the observer’s line of vision is between 40 degrees and 42 degrees. In other words, you and I must be in the right place at the right time. Otherwise, we have no idea the rainbow is there because it is above our heads and view.

Think about it, the rainbow is there but we can’t see it. Doesn’t that remind you of faith? Hebrews describes faith as, “ the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.” (Living Bible Heb.11:2&3) So, rainbows are there , but we must inhabit a very special position to see them. In this way, the contours of the miraculous and of rainbows are the same. Even though we can’t see them, they are there. It is a matter of perspective. .

Today rainbows have even more significance. They are like God. He is with me each moment. It is only when I am in the correct position that I can hear Him, know Him, and feel His presence.

As a child it took my father’s eye to show me the rainbow. As an artist, it takes my oil paints and creative spirit to paint a rainbow. As a believer, I need to be in the position of “now” to know He is with me. I thank my earthly daddy for teaching me to cherish rainbow moments. I thank my heavenly Father for inspiring my faith with them.

Photo by Carolyn Shelton

Thursday, October 14, 2010

May Taught Me Grace

May’s Grace
When I was a little girl in Clermont, Florida, May came to our home about three times a week to help Mama cook and clean. No, we were not rich; we were white. Because of the segregation laws in the forties, May could not come in the city without a designated job or purpose. She could work at our house and legally go to the grocery and pharmacy. Well, it was a little more complicated. My mama had to gather her groceries from May’s list. Mamma would pay for them, and then May would help by caring for me and our home. May’s husband was allowed to come and get her at our house and get gas while he was in town for a “purpose.” Of course, as a small child, I was not aware of any of these political policies. I just loved May because she was May.

She was making biscuits one day. I watched intently as her hands patted and rolled the dough.

“I am not eatin’ any of those nasty biscuits, “I declared.

“Now, why not, baby?”

“Cause your old black hands are making them dirty.”

With this, May broke into peals of laughter. “Oh, child, you will eat the most of all.”

“Nope, I sure won’t eat those nasty biscuits.”

May sat beside me. I felt her warm, round arm hug me. I looked at her apron full of her stomach and tucked my head. “Darlin’ let me see the bottom of your hands.” I opened my hands widely and showed her.

“Now, look at mine. What do you see?”

“I see flour.” I said.

She brushed her hands and sat her palms beside mine. “See child, mine is like yours. Mine is a little pinker because I am older. But, our palms and hearts are just the same.”

“How do you know what color my heart is?” I asked.

“Child, we all have pink hearts. In our maker’s eyes, we are all the same. We are His children.”

I always trusted May. She never got impatient with me and told me Bible stories every day. I asked her to read to me, and she would just answer, “Can’t.” Then, I thought she couldn’t because she didn’t have time. Now, I realize that she probably couldn’t read.

May shaped my thinking about God, about people, and about love. She helped mama by cooking and cleaning, but most of all she helped me. I loved just following her around and hearing her stories. She knew just how to tell a child a God principle without preaching. She just gave me grace. She made me feel loved just by being. I am so thankful that God sent May to shape me like Him. He used her adversity and turned it into a blessing for all of us. We loved helping May with groceries, clothes, and things at the pharmacy. She was a part of our family even though society saw her as less and uneducated.

May’s love and teachings have helped me realize that our culture pressures and yardsticks are often very wrong. May represented love. Cultural biases dictated hate. May loved from her pink heart. Society had no heart for African Americans. May had a permanent impact on my spirit. Society thwarts my spirit and even tries to control it. Sixty some years later, I still hear the teachings of May.