Showing posts from May, 2015

Heavenly Light

This was the featured image on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Facebook page this morning. It's the perfect image for a Sunday morning, especially on Memorial Day weekend when we remember the lives of those lost in the service of our country. This weekend many of us also choose to remember the lives of family and friends that have passed on. And so the illuminating rays of sunlight over the Missionary Baptist Church in Cades Cove speak to each of us and to those no longer with us. It's not hard to feel the spirit and the peace portrayed.

This morning my friend, Bryan Nowak, noted that the sunlight looked like heavenly beams. I smiled knowing I had titled this image "Heavenly Light" shortly after the photograph was taken last June. The name is inspired by a sacred choral postlude I was introduced to by my nephew, Chris Plaas, who sings with a men's chorus called Brethren. The hymn, featured on the Brethren's CD Prayers and Praises, was written by the …


Life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs, highs and lows. We don't stay in the same place -- physically, emotionally, or spiritually -- for very long before something changes and we must also change. When we arrive at a high place, a low invariably follows. I'm sliding on the downslope tonight after arriving on a big high this morning. To fight the feelings that accompany downslopes, I pause to reflect on the good things of the past few months.

Spring is my favorite season and April is my favorite month of the year. April is dogwoods and redbuds, tulips and daffodils. It's about Easter and Jesus Christ, it's about new life and second chances, it's a celebration of surviving a long, cold winter. April is an explosion of wildflowers that fill me with joy -- trillium, trout lilies, and lady's slippers. As I drove the Loop Road around Cades Cove last Wednesday afternoon and observed the last of the dogwood blossoms fading and falling to the ground, I felt a twinge…