Meditating on the Nature of God via “Andie’s Isle”

I rarely share videos, but this one, forwarded to me online, filled me with such a sense of peace and awe that I wanted to pass it on. If you can indulge in five minutes of nature photography and some encouraging thoughts, please visit “Andie’s Isle” for a gorgeous journey into the beauty of God’s creation on earth:

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name;
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness
” (Psalm 29:2)

 “For the Beauty of the Earth*”

1. For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

2. For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

3. For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony,
linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

4. For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

5. For thy church, that evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
offering up on every shore
her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

6. For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.”

(* Originally composed by Folliot S. Pierpoint, 1835-1917; there are several variations, but this is the version with which I’m most familiar.)

Impressions of France: Selfies and Otheries

Eiffel Tower in eveningEverywhere you go these days, people are busy taking selfies. Have you noticed? Eiffel Tower. 5.6.16I have, and I’ve also noticed that selfifying special places is fun and contagious! Alan and Kathi in Chapel 5.16.16My cameras are too old to embed geographical data into the photographs, Gardens at Versaillesbut my cell phone does, Ville de Blois Gardensso everywhere we went on our recent tour of France, The Château de Chenonceau selfieI made sure to take at least one picture on my i-phone Versailles. Outsidejust to keep my records straight Chateau Villandry through someone else's sunglasses!and help me remember what I’d seen. The Palace of Versailles, Château de Versailles copyFor example, after we’d taken in all the grand sites in Paris Blois. France skyline from Ville de Bloisand then visited about a zillion châteaus along the Loire River Valley,Chateau Chenonceau Argonne Forest? it was hard to remember which was the Château de Chenonceau, Chateau Chevernyand which was the Château de Cheverny. Château de ChaumontAnd, what’s the difference between the Château de Chaumont Chateau de Chambord copyand the Château de Chambord, anyway? Chateau Chaumont SelfiesIt wasn’t too hard to remember some of them. Versailles Hall of MirrorsI mean, everybody recognizes the Hall of Mirrors in Château de Versailles, right?Chateau Villandry copy And I could never forget the  Château de Villandry, Chateau Villandrybecause it has some of the Europe’s most amazing gardens. Chateau Cheverny GardensI finally remembered them this way: Chateau Chenonceauthe Château de Chenonceau spans the Loire River. Chateau Cheverny. MarlinspikeThe Château de Cheverny is famous as the prototype for Tintin’s Marlinspike Chateau Cheveryny Hound Selfie??& their gorgeous pack of hunting dogs. (One wanted me to take a selfie for him.)Chateau Chaumont Gardens Château de Chaumont is famous for their modern art gardens,Chateau de Chambord Selfie and the Château de Chambord is the most massive château Chambord Chateau Card Roomin the entire Loire River Valley, boasting some 440 rooms! Leonardo da Vinci invention at Clos LuceLeonardo da Vinci retired at Clos Luce, and many of his inventions are there. Mont St. Michel AbbeyWell, this introductory post is going to be too long, Ville de Bloisbut I wanted to tell you that Eiffel Tower Selfiewe saw all sorts of marvelous places in Paris besides the Eiffel Tower. The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile copyWe climbed the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile and watched sunset over Paris.Louvre Alan +KathiWe spent hours at the Louvre and Rodin Museums. The Avenue des Champs-ElyséesWe meandered along the Avenue des Champs-Elysées The Roue de Parisand enjoyed the evening ambience of the Roue de Paris.Sacré-Cœur everybodyOne evening we splurged on a taxi ride up to visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Highest Spot in Paris . Sacré-Cœurwhich is the highest point in Paris. Bell Tower in Notre DameWe attended services at the Notre Dame on Mother’s Day, and then we climbedThe Bell in Notre Dame up the bell tower to see where the hunchback of Notre Dame (maybe) lived.Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Garde in EtratatThen, during the following week, Omaha Beach. Francewe visited many of the World War 2 sites along the misty Normandy Coast. Mt. Saint Michel Alan and KathiWe spent a day at Mont Saint Michel, Bayeaux Tapestry copyand we learned about the Norman Conquest via the ancient Bayeaux Tapestry. Mont St. Michel copyOne day we walked 12 miles and climbed 52 flights of stairs! Flight to VeniceThere were times when we got very tired…but it was worth every moment!  🙂Looking out at ocean from Mont St. MichelYou know, the world is an amazing place, Chambord Chateau Alanand selfies (and otheries) are fun, Mona Lisa at Close Luce with Kathibut there’s a lot more to life than just taking pictures of ourselves, isn’t there? Chateau Chervery GardensAs we go along drinking in all the lovely experiences of this world, The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoilelet’s remember that our God is the greatest of all. Loire RiverHe is the One who created the earth Villandryand has made possible every good and beautiful thing we see around us!  Peony at Italian VillaGive unto the Lord the glory due unto his name;
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).