Throwback Thursday: Sunset Over 7 Mile Bridge

From September 27, 2012.

7 Mile Bridge

Took this on our trip to the Florida Keys.   One of the highlights of the trip was a sunset cruise. This is a famous Seven Mile Bridge located just outside of Marathon, Florida. The original Seven Mile Bridge was built by Henry Flagler as a part of his Florida East Coast Railway. It would later become part of the Overseas Highway.

Check out The Sky Watch Blog.


TDZ Retrospective: GPS and God

Posted February 9th, 2014.

GPS is great invention, especially for someone like me who is directionally challenged. Most of the time I can get to new places without getting lost. When going somewhere new I used to allow an extra hour just for getting lost.   My favorite feature of GPS is the list format that details every step of my trip in advance. I like knowing what to expect and what is coming up.

Of course then there are times when GPS doesn’t work so well. My GPS seems to have a knack for finding the most inopportune times to stop working.  We had one those “adventures” on a recent road trip. We were trying to bypass traffic on the major highway and save sometime. The map feature was sort of working so we had a general idea where to go. We knew  the town we were headed to so we were able to follow the road signs to that town. We were able to get there by following the signs. We just didn’t have all the details in advance.

As we were driving, I realized that following God s more like “old-school navigation” than GPS. When he calls us to follow him, he doesn’t necessarily map everything out.  He gives us direction for each step and sometimes a little more. He does provide navigational tools (Bible, prayer, church) but I have to choose to use them. So many times I just want to get from point A to point B without taking time to learn something or even enjoy the journey.

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Sometimes By Step by Rich Mullins

Throwback Thursday: Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse began as the Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse in 1883. Construction began in 1884 and was completed in 1886. It was first lit in November 1887. In the 1920s the Lighthouse service added indoor plumbing and bathrooms in the keepers’ building. In 1925 electricity arrived at the light. The name was changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet in 1927.

When the Lighthouse Service was abolished in 1939 the Lighthouse was transferred to the Coast Guard. During World War II, the keepers quarters were  turned into barracks for the Coast Guardsmen who protected the light and stood watch against enemy submarines. In 1953 the lighthouse became automated.  The Coast Guard abandoned the Light Station in 1970 when a new light was established at the Coast Guard Station on the south side of the Inlet.  Two years later the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association was founded as a non-profit, organization to restore and operate the property as a museum. In 1972, the Light Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of only a handful of 19th Century Light Stations to have all its original buildings still intact.

TDZ Retrospective: Compass

Originally posted August 18, 2013.

As the sailor locates his position on the sea by “shooting” the sun, so we may get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God. We are right when and only when we stand in a right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position. A.W. Tozer

Taken near Bocca Grande, FL

Taking a stand on moral issues can be difficult in a society that glorifies tolerance, political correctness and individuality. Whose moral standards does one adhere to? What happens when one’s personal convictions collide with that of another? Is it intolerant to maintain one’s personal standards with those around us claim it is old-fashioned, closed-minded or even hateful?

Like Tozer I believe that God is the starting point for moral standards.  What I may think is right is often influenced by my personal knowledge, emotions or circumstances. The constant in my life is God. He doesn’t change.

It isn’t intolerant to have personal convictions and standards. One important element of my faith is the conviction is that God’s Word (the Bible) is the standard for my life. It is the foundation of my moral compass. There are absolutes.

At the same time I also believe that the Bible has guidelines for how we should treat others. Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean you should be rude or inconsiderate.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. Psalm 111:10 NIV

Throwback Thursday: Sky

From July 5th, 2011, this is one of my all-time favorite shots. It was taken in Cedar Key, Florida.

I took this at Cedar Key, Florida.  We had gone on the sunset cruise. The public pier is on the left hand side. It is the new concrete one that was built after the 2004 hurricanes wiped out the old ones.  On the right hand side is the old Sea Breeze restaurant.

TDZ Retrospective: A Masterpiece

Posted April 14, 2013.
057 I made this Piggy bank as a gift several years ago. When The Big Guy was a grad student I was able to use the studio in the student center. The studio was run for and by students. The prices were good plus it was convenient.

I worked on Piggy for several hours until she looked just right. She was so cute. Everyone in the studio agreed Piggy was adorable. Piggy was left to be fired and finished. I was really excited about my masterpiece. When I create things there is a sense of pride in my work especially if I create it as a gift for someone.

062When I returned a few days later to pick up Piggy and some other pieces I was disappointed to find that something had gone wrong in the firing process.  Piggy was perfect except for little dent marks on top.  The student manager offered another product on the house. She went off on a long explanation how Piggy was to blame for the problems. It was hard to “fire” Piggy and that no one ever made piggy banks. Instead she kept offering me a cute panda or elephant “piggy bank”. She didn’t understand why I didn’t want a panda or an elephant. They weren’t the same. Dejectedly I set Piggy at my workspace and selected another piece. The manager started to take Piggy away. When I stopped her, she was amazed that I still wanted a damaged product like Piggy. Well of course, I wanted Piggy she was my creation. I invested time into Piggy.

057Many times we are like Piggy. We were created for a purpose.  However we have gotten messed up with dents and dings from life. It doesn’t mean that God wants to throw us out. He wants to redeem, re-purpose and even use life’s dings for our good.

Like Piggy God can still use us. We use Piggy to collect spare change. All of the spare change is donated to missions, World Hunger Day, Operation Christmas Child and other charitable causes.