MORNING MANNA: "I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your Word" Ps 119:147; Other text: "Morning manna in the mist" This is what we woke up to our first stop in Britt, Ontario on our way to a backpacking trip. We were 4 Bible study buddies and a dog on a grand adventure! Each of us saw this retreat as a way to draw close to God in particularly troubling times both individually and as a group in leadership at our church. One of the themes of the study we were doing spoke of the morning manna in the wilderness – and the spiritual sustenance God provides for us in His Word: new each day, just enough for that day's need, always ready and waiting…but you must look for it and "get out of the tent" to gather it. Here you see one of us on the pier walking the dog - seeking, finding and drawing sustenance from the morning manna in the mist. If only we would start each day gathering the manna God always sets out for us!
HE DAWNS: "He dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth upon a cloudless morning" 2 Sam 23:4 AMP. We backpacked to the only campsite on AY Jackson Lake in Killarney Park, Ontario, Canada. Everywhere we looked, it appeared untouched by man, just as God created it. The sunrise morning mist greeted us across a mirror image lake…an awesome dawning of both the morning light and His tangible presence with us. We shared the lake with two resident beavers. They were not bothered in the least by our intrusion, going about their business of building a dam over a stream head. During breaks, they swam the lake with just the tops of their heads protruding above the water line and a small wake following. As we sang praise songs over the lake in the dark of night, they would swim close as if drawn by the praises! I painted one of them in the foreground to remember how we shared God's creation with them, each doing what we were created to do: build dams and worship God.
ARISE, SHINE:"Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Is 60:1 KJV. Imagine waking up, unzipping your tent, and being greeted with this incredible sight. That is exactly what happened. It took my breath away and the scripture that God provided for this says it all. The photo I used as a reference for this painting was taken with a flash, lighting up the foreground and adding to the contrast. I tried to capture this is my painting as well.
FEAR, LAUGHS:"He laughs at fear and is not dismayed" Job 39:22 NASB. One of the best ways for me to cope with my fears is through humor. I actually created these no bear signs to post at our campsite! It did not make the fear go away, but it helped prevent the fear from controlling me completely. It was a way to proclaim and recognize the fear out loud, and then make fun of it and take its power away... no longer dismayed into paralysis by it. I would like to point out, however, that I purposely used universal signage so that the bears could understand and heed its declaration as well. I posted them around our campsite and although we saw evidence of bears on the trails, none bothered us at the campsite. On our second trip to Killarney, however, my "camp-mate" didn't give me time to post them before we left to rent the canoe. THAT is why we came back to a bear at our campsite! As a result, the effectiveness of the signs are unquestioned and I have a patent pending.