Showing posts from August, 2018

Can Your Web Endure the Storm?

There was a heavy rain storm the other night, a welcome reprieve from the heat and smoke of the last few weeks. As I was listening to the wind rattle anything not tied down, I glanced up at the top of the window where something was moving. It was a HUGE spider curled up in the center of its web, hanging on as the gusts blew. My toes scrunched up and I recoiled a little into the couch, as is my typical reaction to spiders, but after a moment I relaxed into awe as I reflected on the beauty of the structure that was withstanding the weather. This prompted a Google search! The spider and its web in my window during the day. Spider silk is robust, having a greater tensile strength than steel of the same weight, and an orb spider like the one in my window can weave a web twenty times its size in diameter. When building, it uses its own body as a measuring tool and senses a vibration change when a new strand sent floating on the breeze attaches to a solid object. And this amazing

Can You See The Beauty In The Dark?

Nate, the youngest of our two nephews on my husband's side, is enchanted by science. When he found out that Uncle Shawn had a new telescope, he couldn't wait to take it out. Since we live a couple hours away, we had to schedule a special time to get together, and we finally found time last weekend as we agreed to meet each other in the mountains to camp. Shawn's interest in astronomy began when he was about Nate's age, but he just recently saved enough money to buy an advanced scope with the accompanying accessories. He had set it up on our porch several times, but the surrounding light pollution left us wanting a better view. We waited until about ten o'clock then packed up the equipment and drove up the road to an open field among the pine trees. Once the headlights were turned off, the blindness set in. Shawn had a special headlamp that shone red light on his work space (designed to preserve the eye's vision in the dark), but I wondered how I was going to

What Is Beauty's Message For You? The Origin of RL4B

The concept of RL4B was coined by Methodist pastor Dave McConnell in a sermon on November 24, 2013. He proposed the image of a secret agency where the members received coded messages that were hidden in plain sight, visible only to those who went looking. These messages are Beauty. I believe this is Divine communication, a way to reflect God's love for us. But my non-Christian friends and family can be secret agents, too, knowing that beauty often defies explanation or scientific examination and connects us to something beyond ourselves. What do you find beautiful? There are many common, more obvious examples like sunsets or rainbows, but as we learn to see (or hear) beauty on a deeper level, we can find ourselves entranced by the most ordinary things like plants that give us fruits and vegetables or an ant colony preparing for winter. Perhaps the most powerful force of beauty is what it can do or say to us. Jonathon Edwards, an eighteenth century preacher, asserted that

What Is A Doorway?

This is my first post in over 3 years, and I'm trying not to feel guilty about it. I'm the type of person who likes to commit to projects and do them on schedule in an organized fashion. This blog has not been one of them, and it bugs me a bit. Okay, a lot. But as I'm picking up writing again, I find myself seeking an outlet for sharing the things that I find beautiful and joyful each day. Since launching RL4B in July of 2014, I have found a new, meaningful way to describe the goal of relentlessly looking for beauty through the metaphor of a doorway which connects earth to heaven. Though I view it through a Christian lens, the experience is not exclusively a religious idea. Doorways are there for anyone who cares to pay attention to how this world shows us glimpses of a universal understanding and our connection to something bigger than ourselves. Doorways open up to    joy         beauty             smiles                 tears                     our very souls. Do