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Only God Could Create…
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A Bowl of Kittens!

800_7070Only God could create a bowl of kittens! These are two of a litter of four at my daughter’s family’s house in Rome, Georgia. It’s more than amazing that an eternity ago God knew they’d be born last month. That’s hard for me to imagine, but I guess that is one of the ramifications of omniscience – he is all-knowing. Think about this: John 17:24 says “for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” He loved my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids before the foundation of the world. He knew the beginning of each of their lives, what day, what hour, what minute. He knew they’d live in Rome and knew they’d love cats! And he knew these two kitties would be born and when it was time, formed them using his wisdom, power and handiwork. And he even threw in different personalities that they’d each develop.
Now that’s pretty awesome, isn’t it!!!

The Most Magnificent Magnolia!

A Most Magnificent Magnolia!

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:28

Technical
Location: Berry College, Rome, Georgia
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 24-85mm
Post processing: Nik HDR Pro 2, PhotoShop CS6

A Delicate Flower for an Instant of Time!

A Delicate Flower for an Instant of Time! Think about eternity for a moment and then consider the short life of a flower. It is here today and gone in the briefest instant of time! I saw this flower today and was amazed at its delicate beauty contrasted with the dark green backdrop of a thick forest. God chose to place this flower in this place for just this moment in time. And He does it billions of times every day. Most are never seen by the human eye! Those that ARE seen are only visible because our Creator gave us eyes to see, a brain to interpret electrical pulses from the eye, and the intelligence and awareness that allows us to marvel at such a thing!

While Isaiah 40:8 makes a great point about grass and flowers…here’s the rest of the story!

Isaiah 40:6-8:

“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;

Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”

Lord, help us to number our days and realize we too are like the flower! With one big exception! We have eternal life in Christ!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!” John 3:16

A Foggy Tennessee River Sunrise!

A Tennessee River Sunrise!

The Tennessee River in Chattanooga carries barges all day long, but we enjoyed this beautiful scene early one foggy morning on the deck of the house we rented for a family vacation. You can just barely make out the Egret peacefully perched on a limb in the distance!

Psalm 97 – “The Lord rules. Let the earth be full of joy. Let the many islands be glad. Clouds and darkness are all around Him. His throne is built upon what is right and fair. Fire goes before Him and burns up those who hate Him on every side. His lightning lights up the world. The earth sees, and shakes.

The mountains melt like a candle before the Lord, before the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens tell about how right and good He is. And all the people see His shining greatness.

Zion heard this and was glad. The people of Judah have been full of joy because of what You decide, O Lord. For You are the Lord Most High over all the earth. You are honored above all gods.

Let those who love the Lord hate what is bad. For He keeps safe the souls of His faithful ones. He takes them away from the hand of the sinful. Light is spread like seed for those who are right and good, and joy for the pure in heart. Be glad in the Lord, you who are right and good. Give thanks to His holy name.” – New Living Translation

An Egg!

An Egg!We had two of our granddaughters over for the weekend (ages 6 and 8) and I don’t think I’ll every see an egg the same way again! After we fixed breakfast (the kids helped) they decided they wanted to hatch a couple of the eggs that didn’t suffer the fate of being eaten by us humans. So finding an appropriate “nest” to keep them in (a pot holder with a hand pocket did just fine), they proceeded to “adopt” five eggs from the egg container for the weekend. They became the center point of everything we did as they nurtured the little fellows to hatch. Not wanting to dampen their enthusiasm, we enjoyed helping out. The little guys were very cold so we built a fire in the fireplace and put them in a pot on the mantle with a soft rag so they could be warm. During the night our 6 year old was convinced she heard one of the eggs begin to crack open so when we awoke, she had them nicely in her bed all snuggled under a blanket. One of them indeed had developed a crack just like a little beak was trying to poke out. (I took the macro picture above as soon as I saw it!) This really looked like a little chick was trying to get out and it created great excitement!

I felt it would be a great teaching opportunity so I decided to put things in perspective for them.

“Ok, girls, just think. Those eggs we ate for breakfast were all gooey and all we saw was a yoke and some clear stuff, right?”

“Right Papa George.”

“And just imagine that in only about 20 days, God takes all that stuff and makes a hard beak out of it, creates little eyes, feathers, feet, skin. A little heart, and even a voice so the little chick can peep! Isn’t that amazing!”

“Uh, yes, Papa George, it really is but we think these chicks are about to hatch NOW!”

“Right, well we’ll see…”

Later that day when my wife asked what the girls wanted for dinner, she got an emphatic “Well, definitely NOT eggs or chicken!”

After they left, we gave the eggs to our daughter when she picked up the girls and told her how they had been a part of the family over the weekend. So she laughed and carefully placed them in her car to take home for the long journey home.

It did get me to thinking about the egg and how God uses this amazing process to start life in so many of His creatures! And no matter what egg it is (including the egg we started with), He takes a single cell and as it divides and multiplies, it begins to form brain cells, eyes, bones, toes, teeth, vocal cords, little ear bones and nerves that allow hearing…

Ok, if you think that all happens by some kind of random process, you have MORE faith than me!

I say, Only God could do that!

(by the way, here is a link to “How to hatch an egg”)

After seeing our granddaughters faith, joy and wonder, it reminded me of what Jesus said about children and how much we can learn from them!

Mark 10:13-16 – “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”

Matthew 18:3 – “And Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”

Technical Stuff: Shot with a Nikon D800, Nikkor 60MM f2.8 Micro lens, Nikon SB910 flash, and grandchild held Lumiquest reflector!

A Tiny But Determined Tree Snail!

A Tiny But Determined Tree Snail!
I found this tiny little snail this morning in my garage after a rain. It was only about 1/4 inch across but so unique and perfectly formed with both a crusty hard shell for protection and a soft elastic body that could navigate all around its environment. I decided to take a closer look and picked him up and took him out to my deck. It took the little fellow about 10 minutes before he poked his head out (well, actually just his eyes!) to see whether it was safe. Eventually, his gooey body unfolded out of the little shell. I saw such amazing features looking through my micro lens I thought I’d share them with my OnlyGod365 friends! I asked my wife Carol what she thought of when she saw this photo and she immediately said, “Perseverance!” I thought that was a perfect description! Even though it probably only travels at a couple feet per hour, it found a way to escape my deck after I went inside for 15 minutes to eat a sandwich! I found a scripture that illustrates perseverance, but it DOESN’T call on us to move at the pace of a snail!!!

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Technical stuff: Shot with a Nikon D800 camera, Nikkor 60mm F2.8 macro lens, Nikon SB910 Flash, Lumiquest hand-held reflector.

Here are few more amazing shots of our little buddy…

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The Love of a Grandfather!

The love of  Grandfather!I am speechless as I look at this photo of my grandson wrapping his perfect little fingers around my crusty pinky finger just a few hours after he was born. What an awesome little guy. You cannot see these tiny fingers and not marvel at their amazing complexity and perfect design! And to feel them grasp my hand with such strength for the first time is a memory that I’ll not forget!

Thank you God for allowing me to see my grandchildren! I think of the infinite number of times You could have easily taken me home. Thank you for giving me this day! I am reminded of Psalm 139:13-18 which says it best!

Psalm 139:13-18:

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

Fire!

Fire!Only God could have created fire! I took this picture in my fireplace at Christmas as we were roasting marshmallows with the grandkids. Then I looked at it again really closely and marveled at the complexity and power of a God who could create such a thing as fire! I asked my son-in-law Justin for a verse… He immediately said “Our God is an all consuming fire!” Hebrews 12:14-29. Here are excerpts…

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. …You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

…for our “God is an all consuming fire.”

A Tiny Water Drop Reflecting the Forest!

A Tiny Water Drop!I stood out in the rain and took this photo of a single raindrop dangling off a Dogwood tree branch. It wasn’t until I got in the “digital lightroom” of my computer that I saw that what it reflected – the trees, sky and even its own branches were in sharp focus while it’s own image was diminished. This seemed a perfect example of the quote from John the Baptist – “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

John 3:27-36:
To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.

The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[b] gives the Spirit without limit.

The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

A Magnificent Live Oak Tree in Fort Walton Beach, Florida!

A Massive, Graceful, Live Oak in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

This amazing live oak tree anchors a playground in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where we took the kids a couple of weeks ago. Carol took this picture looking up into the tree and the mass and beauty of this living sculpture by God was astonishing! Beneath the tree we all played with the kids on the seemingly tiny playground equipment while this fortress formed a massive umbrella over us. What random paths the limbs seemed to take away from the trunk, with the branches reaching out for light perfectly creating a uniform canopy of shade.

I am reminded of God’s Word in Psalm 91…

God is my shield and my strength
I put my trust in him

He is my protector
His shadow watches over me
I will rest in it

I am covered in God’s wings
My refuge is in his wings

God’s faithfullness is my shield and rampart
They will protect me

The Lord Most High will protect me
He is my dwelling and my refuge

He has commanded his angels to watch over me and guard me
They lift me up in their hands
To keep me safe and guard me from evil

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord,
“I rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

A Coming Day of Hope…

A Georgia Fall Forest Sunrise!

“All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

There is a hope through Jesus that we can attain an ecstacy just beyond our current grasp! This is such a mystery that at the dawn of each new day, we anticipate the unknown. What will the day bring? Joy? Tragedy? This uncertainty is unsettling but is a matter of faith and trust that compels us to either cheerfully greet the day or cower in fear and bitterness. Which do you choose? I am quite reflective today for unspoken reasons. I am praying for a friend.

Full Size Image of this Post

A Beautiful Beach Carved By a Master Craftsman!

A Beautiful Beach Carved By a Master Craftsman!

“When He established the heavens, I was there. When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, when He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed, when He set for the sea its boundary so that the water would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth; then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.” Proverbs 8:28-31

In Proverbs 8, God’s attribute of Wisdom is personified as a workman toiling along with the Creator. Read the entire verse to understand this beautiful passage – Proverbs 8. Indeed, this scripture in Proverbs points to Christ – referred to as the embodiment of wisdom from God in 1 Corinthians 1:30-31. “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 1:30-31. What a wonderful, creative and powerful God we serve! And how gloriously He demonstrates wisdom in His creation!

A few technical details – I shot this in Pensacola, Florida in 2007 and have been playing with the image ever since in Photoshop and then in Corel Painter 12. Shot with a Nikon D300 on a business trip to Gulf Power. Hope you like it! And thanks so much to my son-in-law, Dr. Jonathan Huggins, Chaplain at Berry College for helping me with the insight into this passage! – George

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Little Toes!

Little toes!

“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet: and sets me upon my high places.” 2 Samuel 22:34

God has a LOT to say about toes and feet! Here is a great resource with REFERENCES TO FEET in the Bible. You can use it to find all kinds of references. In my family there are 70 toes on my grandchildren alone! A lot of toes to keep up with. The population of the world today is about 6.9 billion, so with 10 toes per person, that makes 69 billion toes that God created on people alive today! And He did it without breaking a sweat. What an amazing God we have. Look at the verses about the feet and consider his mighty works. Oh, by the way, these toes are my newest grandson’s at about 6 months old!

A Beautiful Sunset on a Warm Fall Evening in Destin!

A Beautiful Sunset on a Warm Fall Evening in Destin!

“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me.”
Psalm 139:9-11

My daughter Christy loves the Lord, her family and photography! She sent me this beautiful photo of Destin for OnlyGod365.com. This picture reminds me of God’s eternal, steady and patient hand and how He set the planets in motion for us to wonder about all our days. And what power it takes every day to create light, the tides, orbits and the science that allows us to enjoy a perfect climate. And yet, as I write this, He also sends the amazing, fearsome, inexplicable, powerful storms like Hurricane Sandy, that can cause 50 mile per hour winds here in Georgia while hitting the New England coast a thousand miles away! What power, contrast and wonder. It should fill us with a deep sense of awe and humility. As we see the devastation, we are called to help in any way we can. If you would like to meet the needs of those impacted, please visit Samaritan’s Purse to see how you can help.

New Life from Old Wounds!

New Life Springing from Devastating Wounds

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things passed away. All things have become new!” II Cor. 5:17


My lovely wife Carol took this picture on our outing to Berry College to see our family. The tree is in Jon and Lisa’s front yard. When Carol saw it, she said, “What a perfect picture of what God does! Let’s put in on Only God!” She’s quite a photographer! This photo paints a beautiful picture of God’s redemption. When we trust Christ, our “old things” pass away and it’s painful, but God brings “new” life out of our suffering! This is my favorite verse and is MY story too! Do you want to know about new life in Christ? This site by Billy Graham is AMAZING…Peace With God! Please check it out…

A Seagull Enjoying a Flight over the Beach in Destin!

A Seagull Enjoying the Beach in Destin“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them all! Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Matthew 6:25

What a beautiful word picture Jesus paints. And this beautiful bird is a testimony to his words! We could almost see the smile on this seagull as he hovered over us, wondering if we were going to toss a cracker up in the air to him! This is one of those photos that makes photography all worth it! Truly only God could put together an elegant, beautiful, feather-light creature like this that can soar lazily in the air and then effortlessly fly straight ahead into a strong wind or swoop down to pick up a crumb without touching the ground! I didn’t do a single thing to try to make this photograph any different…no special effects could enhance the amazing beauty and detail of God’s handiwork!

Cool Beach Sand on a Hot Windy Day!

Cool Beach Sand on a Hot Windy Day!“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I am awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18

Think about that. God’s thoughts outnumber the grains of sand. That makes sense, because each grain of sand required a thought to be created! What an awesome, powerful, infinite God! But more than that. A God who thinks about each of us, every day, every hour, every minute, every second! As I was thinking about this I looked up the verse Psalm 139:17 and found a link to a devotional on the subject. It is by the Fathers Love Letter and I love what it says…Click Here and take comfort!
P.S. By the way, these feet belong to some extremely wonderful people in my life! My wife Carol, daughter Lisa and granddaughters Ava and Abigail!