Painting in the Mountains

Recently I had the awesome privilege to be painted by three amazing artists: Daniel Keys, Tyler Murphy & Ryan Mellody. You should totally look them & their art up, if you don't know who they are. Here is Key's painting of me:

The whole experience was a lot of fun! We drove to the top of a nearby mountain range, then trudged about 1/4 mile off the road, near some cliffs. They painted me while I held the pose for about 3 hours. (It's a lot harder to do then you think it is!) Then I got to do some painting of my own too. And a large herd of mountain goats decided to stop by. Got some really good pictures of them. This is my fav -
Mountain goat next to Ryan's painting. 


Kayacking the Yellowstone

So recently I went on a kayacking adventure! 13 miles on the Yellowstone River… it took about  3hrs. The water was still up a little bit from snowmelt… But overall it was lowest it had been all summer. Even then the current was deep & fast. I loved kayacking - I took a few pictures when the water was calm. It looks pretty tame here - but there were numerous class 3 - bordering class 4 -  rapids that we had to go through! It was fun exciting & scary. 

…Later in the day when we were pulling out, we found out that 2 people had drowned on the very stretch of river we had just came down.  Some ambulances & very distraught people were at the finish point. Pretty sobering. Both of the people who perished didn't have on life vests - one victim was a grown man, & the other was a small child. Both were separate incidents.  If you get out this summer - make sure you wear your life vest! They don't always save your life, but they sure can help!  


New Song by Park City Music

That's the latest cinematic song composed by my brother. Give it a listen! Leave a comment here, or on the song! I'd love to see what you think. I really like it; you can almost lose yourself in the sounds, just listen to all the different noises. Or you can chill & let it blend into the background. Either way, it's a fun song.


Sugah Snaps

I been pickin' sugah snap peas from da garden!
(And taking pictures while doing so…;)) 

Ah, can't you just taste the goodness? Sweet, crunchy, mouthwatering peas.


Roots: are they bitter?

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) 

The other day I was working in the garden. (It's my grasshopper ravaged weed patch, really! Oh the irony!) It was so hot a day, that the mosquitoes were (thankfully) in hiding. While I was pulling weeds, I was thinking about roots. They are so interesting & complex! There are tap roots & fibrous roots, (among other kinds). Roots help anchor the tree or plant in the soil. As the roots penetrate deep into the soil in search of water & nutrients, the roots help to further secure the plant; anchoring it for the storms that will inevitably arise.

Do you have roots in your life? Roots from your past, from your family, or places you have lived? Most people have roots; ties that link us to a place or someone. Some roots go back far, they can be sweet or bitter. Usually deep roots are good, but occasionally, they are the worst kind. 

Take your average weed. It has deep roots & flourishing green leaves. It looks always looks healthy, but it is a weed. Weeds are always unwanted, just as sin is unwanted. Sin can & has unconsciously created deep roots within our hearts. We need to seek these weeds out & uproot them. However, it's a tricky business, because a weed can be mistaken for a real plant!

As I was weeding the bean plants, I purposefully didn't pull a rather sickly looking young plant; I thought it was a bean plant. A few days later I came out & was astonished to see the little runt of a "bean plant" had risen up & choked out the real bean plant! It was a fast growing & deceitful weed. (I pulled the weed out, but the poor bean plant hasn't really survived.)

There may be sin or bitterness growing in our lives, & we have deceived ourselves into thinking,"it's just a little sin, there's nothing wrong"or "this really isn't a problem - Or maybe the bitter weed has grown in your life so subtly that it is just plum unnoticed, save by those who are around you!

Just as bad as the weed's taproot can be, a weak root system on the real bean plant can be deadly. The leaves are lush, green & growing - but roots, the part hidden from our eyes is dead & decaying. The plant has fooled you into thinking it's doing well, even flourishing, when it's truly dying of thirst & want of nourishment.


Now ask yourself: Am I fooling others into thinking my life is good? Am I putting on a show, just to impress others? Our sinful hearts get satisfaction from the ego-boosts of accomplishing something in its own power. We will attempt to climb a high cliff, or take on extra responsibilities, or agonize through marathon - all for the satisfaction of conquering a challenge by the force of our own will & the stamina of our own body. (Doing those things isn't necessarily a bad thing; while doing these things, it's the attitude of our heart that matters.) It should always be God's grace that is the doer, inspiration & motivation for all our works. (1 Corinthians 15:10) 

But being sinners, we are all self-centered doers, whether we think so or not. We both need to look deep into our own gardens & examine all the plants & desires that are growing. A works-orientated heart may also express its love of independence & self-achievement by rebelling against courtesy & the Lord. (Galatians 5:19–21). We need to wait upon the Lord for all things, to be sober minded, to have quite & gentle spirits. Every ounce of our strength comes from the Lord! (1 Peter 3:4, Isaiah 40:28-31) We should never forget that. 

Be wary & diligently keep in step with the weeds that are growing in our lives. Just as we should keep in step with the Spirit that guides us. (Galatians 5:25) Let's evaluate our hearts. Is there sin growing under our very nose? Do we have hearts of "faith" or hearts of "works"? Are we angry or hardened because of what's happened in our lives? Sometimes the weed's taproot goes deep & it takes some pretty serious pulling to uproot it. 

Weeds of the heart - Are they stealing the water & joy from our daily life? We can't live without water & nourishment, but we try to fool ourselves into thinking that we can. 

Our souls are ever-thirsty for the true & living Water of Life. Turn to Jesus, let him love you. Let him feed your soul. Plant yourself in Him, grow deep roots in His Word.    

"That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."  ~Ephesians 3:16-19