Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A King is Born

Photobucket Jupiter next to the moon Christmas night.

Matthew 2:2
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Merry Christmas

Photobucket A break in the clouds on a short hike Friday 21-Dec-2012 added a little color to this photo. I was plowing snow for the 2nd day. Snow was still sticking to the side of the trees and I enjoyed walking through the fresh snow of the woods.

Job 38:22
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,

God makes the snow. And He gives life and light.  Just as I seek solace from hiking in the woods so I seek renewal from God's word.

Job 16:5

“I could strengthen you with my mouth, And the solace of my lips could lessen your pain.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Missouri River Jetty

Hiking along the Missouri river Saturday I noticed the sandbar down stream from this jetty. The jetty pushes the flowing water out into the center of the river and the water down stream from the jetty moves slower than the water in the main channel.

Water is able to carry material as it moves and the faster it moves the more material it carries. When the water slows down its ability to carry debris decreases causing the deposit of sand just south of the jetty 

In life with Christ we are able to do things for Him as we move with Him. The more we are in Christ the more we can carry things for Him or the more we can do for Him. Our ability to serve Christ deminishes if we don't spend time with Him. 

2 Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."
This verse shows the Bible promises work as we are with Christ. So this Christmas season let us go to Jesus for He came to give us life and ability.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bent Tree


This tree is like a landmark to me. I use it to locate another tree that is quite big.

Let us use the Bible to let it point the way where we are going.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Tree of Heaven in Drought

A tree is thriving in an 8' x 8' patch of dirt in the middle of the concrete jungle. The water it needs is not provided by the patch of dirt it's planted in. The roots have reached a place where they acquire water from another source.

Tree of Heaven is a weed tree in my book. The tree came from China in 1784 to provide food for silkworms.

Tree of Heaven is a resourceful tree. It spreads by sucker and by seed. It will grow better than most native trees. And in this spot the tree is thriving where other trees would die. When I took this photo we were in a drought. No rain had fallen for weeks. And when we did get rain it was next to nothing. But this tree is thriving in adversity. Looking at the branches no branch is being left behind. The tree is not growing as high as others of this species in better locations. But this tree is thriving.

What are we to do to thrive in adverse circumstances? Gain a source of water (be able to feed yourself in the Lord)

Life will throw problems at us at times. Thriving in adversity is where Christian growth happens. James 1:2-4 Put down your roots deep in Christ. Have a faith that is not dependent on anything but Christ.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Drought Kills E White Pine


These Eastern White Pine trees are dying in the recent drought. They are planted in good soil and have been there for many years. The trees grow in a way that their age can easily be counted. Each year the branches grow from a ring around the bole of the tree. So counting the rings of branches I came up with 17 years. That seems about right considering the age of the park and the structure they were planted around.

The tree has a range that is not native to this part of the country. In normal years there is no problem with them but West Central Missouri has some extremes that are beyond the capabilities of the tree. You don't see any Coniferous trees growing naturally here, except one juniper tree called Eastern Red Cedar.

White Pine has soft needles growing 5 to a bundle. But the needs of the tree are not met in the extreme conditions of drought. We experience no rain for months and 105 degree days.

Christians will live a long time in conditions that are not favorable for growth. People will tell them of the problems of living that way but many will not listen. There will come a time when stress will kill the ability of these people to live for the Lord.

Learn what is pleasing to the Lord and what revitalizes your life. Life does not come from movies or rich food or wild music. Life comes from the Word of God and the relationship, God offers.

Your life will flourish as you seek the Lord, even when suffering.

Psalm 1 don't dwell with the scoffers, the ungodly, or sinners. Stay in the Word of the God day and night. When the heat comes, you will stay green and yield fruit.

That is not to say we should stay away from the people of the world. But we are to be influences and not be influenced by them. Don't participate in their foolishness.

Have your life sustained in the word of God not in the words of scoffers, ungodly and sinners. What we listen to will affect our life and the ability to produce. Scoffing will never produce anything.

Believe, speak and act on what you truly believe.

Lord, guide me to have my roots down deep in you so I can still flourish in trouble.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Hard Soil

 I noticed some trees that were planted in a former roadway. The asphalt and base of the road were taken up and the ground was planted in grass. But our dry summer has turned most of these leaves brown.

I took a close look at the twigs and there still seems to be life, but time will tell if they survive and will be vibrant next year.

The ground under the road was not dug up. The trees were just planted right into the road bed. The ground might of been augured up to plant the tree but ground around the tree was still packed hard.

Trees need to be able to expand their roots into the soil to gather water. Hard packed soil will restrict the roots from expanding as needed. Without the ability of the roots to grow the tree will be under a stress of lack of water.

Our life is like a tree in many ways. When I saw this example of mismanagement I thought of how we become hardened against the things of God.

Just as these trees need the soil to be plowed up so they can thrive. People need their heart to change to receive from God. Without a change of heart there is no ability to hear the things of God.

A hard heart is not conductive to receive anything of the spirit of God. What should we do with a heart that is hard?

The first step is to go to God and tell Him. God is not unaware of the problems of mankind. He will give a soft heart to those who truly want to change and live for Him.

Call unto the Lord for help. He will hear you. Repent of an attitude that rejects the things of God. Be willing to listen to the teachings of the Bible.

If you seek the Lord He will not cast you out. Deut 4:29

Lord I don't want to respond to the hard knocks of life with bitterness or a hard heart. Give me a heart to seek you and look for you in life.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Blue Moon

Photobucket Before work while walking the dog I noticed the full moon was still in the sky. There was no place to get a photo by our house because of the trees. As I was walking I heard a Barred owl. A nice greeting for our blue moon.

Yesterday was the 2nd full moon of the month and is commonly called a "blue moon"

Here is the Barred owl call.

Later as I was driving to work the moon just was setting over the horrizon and I pulled off the road and got the above photo of the blue moon setting, over the Blue river. :)

God is good to give me much nature to enjoy.

Thank you Jesus for all I can enjoy and experience. You made the sun to rule the day and the moon and stars to rule the night.  Your lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 136:8,9

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hidden Path

We were hiking back into a little known trail. Not too far away there is a well known trail that is worn and used occasionally. The trail we took seems to have have no one on it for days or weeks at a time.

For a trail to be known there needs to be a sign or the trail starting at the road or parking lot. Without these no one will know it's there.

To get there you need to cross a field of knee high to waist high natural grass. Photobucket
There is no path through the grass. One just has to walk straight through it. When you get to the trail it is not apparent, but if you go through a small opening a trail is there. Photobucket

Hiking along the trail is not bad; not many trees or branches have fallen across the trail.

A hidden trail is tranquil, peaceful and calm. The hustle and bustle of life is left behind.

Jesus offers a peaceful and calm life. Not many will accept it as a valid way to go, but those who do find joy, restfulness and purpose.

How do you find a hidden trail? For me, it comes from hiking off trail. I come across many deer paths appearing out of nowhere and continue for a while, then disappear. While traversing these I will encounter a human trail.

God says seek Me and you will find Me if you search for Me with all your heart. We can find the trail of God with an honest and good heart.

The way I seek the Lord is through the Word of God. Ps 16:11 "You will make known to me the path of life..."

As we seek God, He shows us the path to walk on.

Let us not stumble around in darkness off trail but follow Jesus and the light he gives us to walk on the path of life before us.

A trail will take you through the woods faster than just crashing through the brush. Following God's trail for life will be much better and rewarding than going it on your own without Christ. God's path gets brighter and brighter. Prov 4:18

To walk on a hidden trail, one needs to believe it will go somewhere. When we hike in the woods, sometimes we don't care where it goes. We'll just turn around and go back the same way. But in life we don't want to take a path that leads nowhere. We don't want to spend a lot of wasted time.

As you come to know Jesus, you will find He means what He says. He can be trusted with our lives in the now, not just with our lives after death. Many trust Jesus for life after death but not life in the present. Jesus can be trusted. Follow His path. It will lead to life everlasting and a satisfying life with peace and joy. Yes, there will be heartache with those who don't choose to follow Jesus on His path of life, but everlasting life is a joyful life.

Stay on the path; don't deviate to the left or to the right. “Make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:13
There is healing when we follow the path Jesus has for us. When we get off that path there can be all manner of troubles.

Jesus has plans for our life. Eph 2:10 The works of our life were prepared beforehand. Walk in the path of the works God has for us. We walk by faith as directed by the Spirit of God.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sycamore Bark


We passed by a patch of ground that had much American
Sycamore bark on the ground. This bark flakes off
during the year. This was an excessive amount of
bark. I had not seen this before.

What lessons can we learn from this in the
Shedding of bark is like shedding our protection. Our
protection in God is our faith. Satan can't get at
us as we are hid in Christ.
Ps 91, Eph 1, Eph 6, John1
Light overcomes darkness. Let us not shed our
protection of faith and confidence.
"For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." Hebrews 13:36

Gal 6:9 "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for
in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."
Keep at the work of God, looking to Him to fulfill
what He has called you to do.

The purpose of bark is to protect the cambium. Life
of trees flows from the cambium area. Sap is moved in
the cambium. Water is moved from the roots up to
the leaves.

The shedding of bark also could mean that the
former purpose of faith has shifted. Some things
of faith in Christ never change, like salvation. We
are saved by grace through faith. That doesn't
change. Other things, such as a calling to do a work
for Christ, may remain for a season then change to
something else. So the flaking bark shows the tree
is putting on new bark and the old bark if

We outgrow or are promoted to a new work at the
direction of the Holy Spirit.

The Sycamore tree grows in girth and sheds its bark
as it grows. Many other trees' bark will expand and
the fissures of the bark widen as it grows in
girth. Sycamore can't expand its bark because the bark is brittle, so it sheds
bark as it grows.

Shedding of bark may indicate  fast growth of the
tree as the tree stem expands bark is shed so new
bark grows in its place.

Let us always be ready to grow in Christ and not
resist change.  

Monday, March 05, 2012

2nd Hawthorne Bud Photo

The above photo was taken on March 3rd 2012. The photo below is taken on February 20th 2012. The buds have expanded just a little.


Sunday, March 04, 2012


Here is a photo showing root growth because of erosion.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lightening Strike


Here is an American Sycamore that has been struck by lightening.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Leaning Bur Oak with Water Bowl?

On our hike Monday morning I noticed this leaning tree. Looking at debris around the tree I ID'ed it as a Bur Oak. It is the dominate tree of the forest and it is the only one that leans like this. As you look up the bole notice that the lean of the tree becomes more pronounced. This signifies the tree is shifting further as time progresses.

Could it be the ground is unstable. The bigger the tree gets the more precarious the tree becomes.

This photo shows a bowl that has grown on the root. It is as if the tree is trying to catch rain in the bowl to provide the tree with water.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Slippery Elm Buds

Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva) buds.

American elm has smaller buds. Where I live along the Missouri river near Kansas and Missouri I don't run into Slippery elm often. At this time of year I want to search for these buds to come back and see these trees again.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cottonwood Buds

Eastern Cottonwood buds taken 17-Feb-2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mourning Dove

Saw this Mourning Dove at lunch.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Winter View

Photobucket Steped out of my office and got this shot before I took off from my truck. Using the trees to block the sun.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Here, my wife stops so I can take photo showing the different light at twilight/sunset.

Monday, February 06, 2012

U Turn

Photobucket Found this unusual branch on an American Sycamore tree. But why would a branch grow out and then turn around? The white bark emphasizes this unusual growth.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Surtsey Island

I was reading Christian Nature and found this interesting article that can point to a young earth. The article linked here explains the process of beach formation was very quick.

Saturday, February 04, 2012


Drizzle building up on our Crabapple tree.