Psalm 23 – American Plains Indian Version

In my Wisconsin wanderings I came across a path beside a river.

20171007_135329_1685

It led to this covered bridge which led to…

20171007_135548(0)_1690

This tiny chapel which was only big enough for about 20 people. (I apologize for the blurry picture.)

20171007_135713_1693.jpg

We followed the path that led behind the chapel and found a series of small frames set on posts.

20171007_140103_1698.jpg

20171007_140054_1697

Not all of the plaques were still readable so I have typed a copy below. I hope you enjoy reading Psalm 23 in this Plains Indian Version.

 

The GREAT FATHER above a SHEPHERD CHIEF is.

I am His and with Him I want not. 

He throws out to me a rope

and  the name of the rope is love

and  He draws me to where the grass is green 

and the water is not dangerous, 

and I eat and lie down and am satisfied. 

Sometimes my heart is very weak and falls down

but He lifts me up again and draws me into a good road. 

His name is WONDERFUL. 

Sometime,

it may be very soon,  it may be a long, long time. 

He will draw me into a valley. 

It is dark there, but I’ll be afraid not, 

for it is in between those mountains 

that the SHEPHERD CHIEF will meet me 

and the hunger that I have in my heart  all through life will be satisfied.

He gives me a staff to lean upon.  

He spreads a table before me  with all kinds of foods. 

He puts His hand upon my head  and all the “tired” is gone. 

My cup He fills till it runs over. 

What I tell is true.

I lie not. 

These roads that are “away ahead”  will stay with me

through this life and after;

and afterwards I will go to live  in the great house

and sit down  with the SHEPHERD CHIEF forever.

~Isabel Crawford (Missionary to the Indians of the plains)

 

Wisconsin – Part III

I have lived in Wisconsin close to 40 years. Most of that time has been spent in whatever local town we were living in at the time. Often we went to Lake Michigan or another smaller inland lake. Door County was also a popular destination. We have driven by Wisconsin Dells and through the town a few times, but had never gotten off the beaten path to discover why it was famous…why it had become a tourist trap. We were pleasantly surprised by what we found.

The only way to see the Dells is on the Wisconsin river. Since we weren’t about to rent a canoe the five of us decided to splurge on a boat tour. My sister, Jill and her husband Dennis were along for the adventure.

My granddaughter, Arianna snapped this picture of the boat. We chose to sit in the open air on top.

IMG_2345_1141

 

At first the scenery reminded us of the hike in Devil’s Lake we had been on the day before.

IMG_2349_1145

 

But then it got more and more interesting.

IMG_1463_1397

 

img_2329_1125.jpg

 

img_2322_1118-e1507196058634.jpg

 

IMG_2351_1147

 

 

Karen's phone_1235

 

Twice the boat docked to allow us to follow the trails that wound between the rocks.

IMG_2344_1140

 

There are no words…

IMG_2341_1137

 

IMG_2337_1133

 

IMG_2356_1152

 

Karen's phone_1251

 

IMG_1472_1414

 

IMG_1482_1406

 

IMG_2343_1139

 

My advice in all of this? Look for the hidden things. The things right under your nose. There is always beauty and good hiding somewhere close.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11

 

 

Wisconsin – Part II

The journey continues. Tomorrow we will be in Wisconsin Dells, today it is…

DEVIL’S LAKE STATE PARK

Here is the beginning of the trail and a picture of what we will be climbing on.

IMG_0027_1210

karens-phone_1271.jpg

The steps went on forever much to Arianna’s dismay.

Karen's phone_1272

Arianna found a stick to help get her up the steps.

IMG_1440_1434

At last we made it to the top where we could look down on the lake below. (Remember the first picture?)

IMG_1442_1433IMG_1444_1417

After making our way down through more trees we wound through boulders and rocks.

IMG_1449_1432Karen's phone_1292

Finally leaving them behind to reach level ground that led us back to the beach where we started.

IMG_1446_1418

(Most of the photography by Bill Pickering)

“For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, … all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things and by Him all things consist.”  Colossians 1:16-17

 

 

 

 

 

A Weekend in Wisconsin

A Weekend in Wisconsin

We spent a long weekend in a home on the Wisconsin river near Portage. The next few days I will put up some pictures of various hikes we took. Today we visit Mirror Lake and Parfrey’s Glen. Enjoy.

MIRROR LAKE

Karen's phone_1295

IMG_2248_1189IMG_2256_1197IMG_2259_1153

 

PARFREY’S GLEN

IMG_2266_1160

There was a short hike through woods that led to a stream that we crossed a few times.

 

The end of the hike we were rewarded with a small waterfall.

IMG_2282_1176

And then it was the hike back to the car through a magical forest.

Karen's phone_1290

“O Lord, how many are Your works. In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions.” Psalm 104:24

Forgiveness

Forgiveness. We all want it, but have a hard time giving it to others.

I’ve been working several months on a book on forgiveness. It simply refuses to be written. I’ve started again and again. So today I decided to include you in the struggle. I’m going to put bits and pieces up here until I finish the job. Knowing you are looking over my shoulder might give me the kick in the pants I need to persevere.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

______________________________________________________________________________

IMG_0975

We need to start at the beginning.

It nearly broke His heart. This man and woman God had created decided to believe Satan instead of God. They did the one thing God commanded them not to do, ate of the fruit of the only tree off limits.  Satan made Eve doubt God’s goodness. Made her think God was selfish. That He was keeping something good away from them. Satan deceived her into thinking he had her bests interests at heart. It was all a lie.

Eve gave some of the fruit to her husband and the rest is history. He chose her over God. The thought of losing her was too overwhelming. And then they hid. What else could they do? The shame and guilt were destroying them.

God sought them out. Gave them a chance to explain. Their explanation consisted of blaming each other, Satan, even God. Yes, Adam said…”this woman whom you gave to be with me…” (Genesis 3:12) Do you hear the not so subtle tone in his voice?

And so the perfect world was ruined. They were expelled from the garden, never to return. But God didn’t leave them without hope. He promised a Savior who would one day bring redemption, forgiveness. Things would be restored.

Satan thought he had won…but God’s plans are always bigger. Forgiveness would be a  reoccurring theme from now on. Satan, who was beyond forgiveness, would continue to cause all the trouble he could. The F word (forgiveness) would make him scream with anger. It must not happen. The redemption must not be complete. And so the battle continued.

Genesis 2:7 – 3:24

 

 

The Greatest of These is Love

Our family was under stress. My husband had just retired. We were getting our house ready to sell by cleaning, fixing, packing and throwing away. We were also looking for a new place to live in another town. It wasn’t going well. Most of the places we asked to see were selling before we could make an appointment. Our current house had a string of unexpected things to fix. It had all taken its toll.

Our mood changed from expectant to surly. We weren’t exactly fighting, but our tone must have been off because our granddaughter, Arianna, quietly handed each of us a handmade construction paper heart with the word love written in crayon.

She instructed us to put them in our pocket so we would remember to love each other.

We quietly said, “Oh, honey, we still love each other.”

She wasn’t convinced and her silence brought conviction. We had forgotten that circumstances and things are not what make a happy life. Our love for each other was much more important. Love must be lived out in words and actions and ours had not lined up with what we claimed.

I’m not used to being put in my place by a seven year old, but God will use whatever is available to get through to hard hearts, and Arianna was available.

We accepted the hearts and obediently put them in our pockets.

Our house eventually sold, we found a new one, and survived the move.

I would be lying if I said our surly days were over, but Arianna had helped us to be a little softer and kinder to each other. And every time I think of the paper heart for my pocket I breathe a prayer of thanks to a good God who blessed us with a granddaughter who knows exactly how to speak the truth in love.