I Caught ‘Em Last Autumn when Fall Fell, Part 1

Fall is “so so last season”. Actually, as of today, it is “so two seasons ago”. (Please read that in your best ‘hoity-toity’ voice.) But now that Spring has officially sprung, I can’t believe I have yet to share these photos with you. I caught ’em last autumn when fall fell. I’m way behind, I know!

I’m hoping you might enjoy these pictures even more now, than if I had been timely in posting them. Sometimes we are happy to see something other than our current reality. Isn’t that why Christmas in July is such a popular thing?

Well, anyway… I hope God’s past creativity brings a smile to your face today. Here we go!

I Caught ‘Em Last Autumn when Fall Fell, Part 1

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith!”

Luke 12:27, 28

Thank you, my friends, for indulging me. My first Fall in this quaint mountain town was so beautiful! I can’t believe how different these photos look from the what I am seeing in these same locations today!

God is an incredible artist! This will be a three part mini-series. I hope to see you next time for “I Caught Em Last Autumn when Fall Fell, Part 2”.


Wisdom for the Week March 19, 2023

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Photo of the forest with 1 Peter 2:9 overlaid
We get to walk in His wonderful, beautiful light!
Celebrations Reflections

The Most Divine Recipes

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my faithful and fun Back Porch friends! Many of you may remember a post I wrote last summer where I told y’all I was struggling in the kitchen. Baking in my new high-elevation home was not going according to plan.

My most divine recipes were not working. I wish I had taken photos of some of the epic failures so you could feel the heartbreak with me. They didn’t look appetizing, smell enticing, or taste right.

A few fun facts about altitude:

Did you know the boiling temperature of water is different in the mountains? Or that thinner air causes bakery items to rise more quickly? (And subsequently fall dramatically?) After wasting time and ingredients, I turned to the internet for suggestions.

I experimented to no avail. Eventually I reached out to you all to see if you had any tried-and-true high-altitude recipes for baked goods. I didn’t receive any which, on hindsight, makes sense because most people live closer to sea level.

Platers full of muffins and green embellishments.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My zucchini bread turns out amazing in lower elevations. If anyone is interested in this passed down family recipe, let me know. (Photo taken a few years ago.)

I finally broke down and bought a high-altitude cookbook. And let me tell you – it has been a godsend! My first bite into a soft, moist, sweet blueberry muffin nearly made me cry. I had feared I’d have to grow accustomed to dry, crumbly, volcano-shaped baked goods for as long as I lived here.

The new divine recipes made me think.

The right recipes for my location made all the difference. I’m sure if I took my new high-elevation cooking instructions and tried them at sea level, it would be a whole other kind of disaster. (Is it strange that I want to try, just to see what sort of chaos it would create?)

But here is what I realized –

Sometimes I try the wrong recipes for my appetites outside of the kitchen as well. I want to satisfy cravings in other areas of my life. I desire some of the sweet stuff I see other people enjoying.

It is typically success of some kind. Accolades, money, adoration, beauty… these things call to me more often than I’d like. I apply my own recipes, attempting to cook up what I want.

The problem is, while recipes for such treats work for some people, in some places, they might not be correct for me, where I am. All they produce for me is a dry and crumbling mess that barely resembles anything I was working for. In a word, disappointment.

God has the most divine recipes.

But do you know what? God has a plan for me. He has a recipe, if you will, laid out for my life. He has already done the calculations, and it is right for who, where, and how He has me.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’.”

Jeremiah 29:11, 12

If I submit to His recipe, He will ensure I am baked to perfection. I will turn out exactly as He plans. When the timer goes off on my life, He will take me out of this oven I’m in (we all feel the heat, right?) and add the final touches to present me, faultless, to God our Father.

“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy.”

Hebrews 10:14

5 reasons God’s recipes are the most divine:

Just like my high-altitude cookbook has recipes for the height at which I live, Jesus calls me to live higher. His instructions meet me there. If I adhere to His recipe for my life,

1. I will not fall.

    “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

    Psalm 37:23, 24

    2. I will not boil over.

    “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

    Isaiah 26:3

    3. I will not be dry.

    “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

    John 7:38

    4. I will not burn (out.)

    “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had…”

    Isaiah 43:1, 2

    5. I will not be disappointed (or disappointing).

    “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

    Romans 8:28

    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

    Psalm 32:8

    My dear friend, for what are you striving? Do your efforts continue to fall flat? Maybe the recipes you’re following are not right for you.

    Will you join me today in asking God for, and applying to our lives, His most Divine recipes?

    “The plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”

    Psalm 33:11

    Are You Still Coming?

    I read a story that went like this:

    “There was a young mom with three small children whose husband was out of town. The phone rang. What a relief to hear a cheerful voice asking how she was. “Well,” she said, “the baby is sick, the dishwasher just broke, laundry is a mile high, and there are Cheerios all over the floor.”

    “Don’t you worry,” the caller said. “I am coming right over. I’ll clean the kitchen, do the laundry, and take the kids to the park while you take a nap. And how is Tom?”

    “Tom?” the mother asked. “My husband’s name is Jack.”

    Silence. The caller said, “Oh, I must have the wrong number.”

    Silence again. Then with a small little voice the young mother asked, “But are you still coming?”

    Oh, my goodness, I can relate! Can you? It has been several years since my children were small, but I well remember the feeling of overwhelm.

    Maybe I remember it well because I still feel it. My hurdles are different now, but they are still here. No matter what stage of life you’re in, I’ll bet the problems of this world weigh on you too.

    And you know what? Help is on the way!

    But just like the story above, the offer is contingent upon our association with a name. It is the name above all names. Jesus.

    He told His disciples He’d be back. He promised help, relief, and hope. He would right every wrong and avenge all injustice.

    “‘Do not let your hearts be troubled… My house has many rooms… I am going there to prepare a place for you… I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

    John 14:1a, 2a, 3

    It has been a long time since then. It is easy to get discouraged. Our hearts cry out to Him, “Are you still coming?”

    The late Pastor Chuck Smith used to say he preferred cloudy days. He would look up into the sky and marvel. When asked why, he exclaimed Jesus was coming back for His people and would meet them in the clouds. “It could be today”, Pastor Chuck would say.

    “Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.”

    1 Thessalonians 4:17

    Help is coming. But we don’t have to wait for His physical arrival. He will help us right here, right now! What is it you need?

    “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

    Psalm 46:1

    Feel free to refer to my previous post, May the Source Be with You, for just a few of the resources available to us, as God’s children. Of course, it bears repeating; the name with which you are connected matters. Have you accepted God’s offer of adoption?

    “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”

    Ephesians 1:5

    For now, the days pass, the problems persist, and relief seems distant. But help has been promised to the children of God, and one thing we know for certain is that God always keeps His Word. He will help us today. And when we wonder if Jesus is still coming, we can rest assured that He is.

    For more on becoming a child of God, you may want to read The Gospel in a Nutshell. It contains the heart of the Good News. If you still have questions, feel free to connect with me via the Contact page above, or in the Comments section below.


    Wisdom for the Week March 12, 2023

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    A beach background with Psalm 84:10 overlaid
    Can we join David in His sentiment that one day spent with our Creator would be better than a thousand anywhere else?

    May the Source Be with You

    “Oh, I have my sources!” Have you said that? In what context?

    It is a sentence we use when we’d rather not to divulge how we know something. We use it to protect a secret source of information or a confidential informant. I have mostly used the sentiment in fun, but I’m sure it can be serious as well.

    Today I want to reveal a source. Luckily, this source wants to be known. You can tap into this one any time, day or night.

    God is my Source:
    Source of Joy (Psalm 43:4)
    Source of Salvation (Acts 4:12)
    Source of Wisdom (James 1:5)
    Source of Hope (Romans 15:13)
    Source of Peace (Romans 15:33)
    Source of Strength (Psalm 73:26)
    Source of Patience (Colossians 1:11)
    Source of Encouragement (Romans 15:5)

    May the Source be with you!

    God is our Source of life. He has every resource we could ever need. The above list is just a sampling of what He offers. Have you met with Him today?

    “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

    2 Peter 1:3

    This post was inspired by some years-old notes I found from a sermon given by Pastor Chuck Wysong at Life Community Church.