Frog parking only!

When we saw an all inclusive trip to Mexico on for half price, my wife Marie and I decided to take it.  It was our first time there and there were a number of other firsts.

It was the 1st time to swim with sea turtles – to swim in an underground river – to see a Mayan ruin.  It was of course our first experience in a Mexican city, where there is almost endless shopping.  During one of those trips Marie took my picture with a couple of local musicians.

You can see that they are very friendly and very classy.

But one big surprise was that these guys get special parking.    Their parking spaces say, “FROG PARKING ONLY”    and in smaller print is reads, “all others will be toad.”

The little guy in the next photo was hard to spot – he wasn’t standing on the street with his guitar like his bigger cousins.  Tree frogs do well on Vancouver Island and you will often hear then “singing” with their raspy, slightly monotone voices.  That’s how I found this one on a flowering shrub.  Quite photogenic don’t you think?   Whenever I hear such tiny creatures singing it reminds me ……… just like most frogs, God can also give us songs in the night to reduce our stress.  I wouldn’t recommend hiding in the bushes in my back yard – you could get in trouble.  But I do suggest you ask the Lord for His song in the night and sing on!

Things we “otter” do

In chatting with a friend, he told of someone who said “I’ve never had any regrets.”   My friend and I can’t quite agree with that statement – we’ve both been pulled into doing stupid things, saying hurtful things and for sure  neglected to do things we know we should have done.

The things we “otter do” often remain undone, while the very things we hate and promise ourselves we will not do – well, you know, we end up doing those!

We “otter” wear long sleeves when we’re picking wild blackberries – long pants wouldn’t hurt either. I even take along a long-handled hoe to pull the branches down to be within reach.

There are times when common sense somehow slips out the window and that results in having regrets. (by the way the blackberries were excellent this year) This little photo shows just how plump they can be.

This is another photo that I was delighted to get. This otter was with his companions feasting on frogs in a pond behind our home. When he noticed me standing on the bank, he came swimming straight for me to check me out. Good thing I clicked the shutter when I did, because he quickly swam away once he saw my hairy face!              It just proves “you otter keep your camera handy” for you never know when you’ll really need it.

That reminds me that we otter love God and live the life that Jesus says we otter live – for without love we are nothing more than clanging cymbals and noisy gongs – which is not the music I want to make.



From the Mud to Solid Ground

My journey through life has taken a few corners, crossed a few rivers and gone down into some valleys. The odd mountain-top experience usually didn’t last too long.

I don’t know about you but my life is so much better now than I’d ever planned it to be.  Psalm 40 describes it well, so please allow me to elaborate.

(vs 1) “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,”             He makes the promises – my part is to wait for the right times of fulfillment.

and He turned to me and heard my cry.”  Who am I that the God of all creation should pay any attention to me? But He cares that I have needs and heard my heart’s cry.

(vs 2) “He lifted me out of the pit of despair; out of the mud and the mire.” But how did You lift me, Lord? It was not by a physical means, but by You changing my heart! An inner strength by Your Spirit let me see past my difficulties to Your transforming power and wonderful provision.

He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” This Psalm was written for the “choir director” as words to a song. For me, the solid ground was finding Jesus Christ, who began a new work in me; new direction and purpose, new everything.

(vs 3) “He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.” At perhaps the lowest point in my life came a delightful surprise – God gave me “songs in the night” taking me past the pain and suffering to peace and even joy.

Many will see what He has done and be amazed.”             I hope many will see the changes in me and enjoy the bonus songs He’s given me.    It’s a real God thing!

They will put their trust in the Lord.” Oh, that many others would be encouraged to cry out and go through the same process of being pulled out of the mud and mire, just as I have, to then stand on higher ground, and get their own songs as added bonuses!     May it be so.

Scripture quoted from the New Living Translation.