Friday, July 6, 2012

One of the Greatest Wonders...

The Grand Canyon is recognized as one of the greatest wonders of the natural world, breathtaking in its incredible splendor. Its not just an icon of beauty, however. Its a solemn witness to the mighty power of God, who is the omnipotent Creator of all things.  For the beautiful rock strata of the Grand Canyon, with the evidence of their deposition under widespread waters, speak of God's awesome power and justice.

We've been so blessed to have our grandmother visiting for the past 2 weeks. During this time, we spent a couple days at the Grand Canyon, which was a dream come true for Mom Mom. 

On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. 
Psalm 145:5

... And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm... Psalm 40:2

We all enjoyed our one-on-one time with Mom Mom.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5-8

Great are the works of the Lord... Splendid and majestic is His work... He has made His wonders to be remembered... Psalm 111:2-4

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

He brought forth streams also from the rock and caused to run down like rivers. Psalm 78:16

You formed the mountains by Your power and armed Yourself with mighty strength. Psalm 64:6

Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee... Jeremiah 32:17 

Therefore, as we gaze in silent wonder at its unique magnificence, we are reminded of the words of the psalmist...  "Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, You inspire shouts of joy." Psalm 65:8

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Learning To Truly See…

I, Andrew, had been looking forward to joining Blind Bikers Across America ever since my friend invited me to apply with him. Although being excited about the upcoming adventure, it was a little intimidating not knowing whom I was to be teamed up with and what to expect until I arrived at the event. I had hardly ridden a tandem bicycle before much less with an unsighted partner. All of the apprehension subsided when introductions and the first few practice rides came and went. What a lesson in trust! Courtney, my tandem bike partner, and I hit it off right away. While undertaking 110 miles of incredible biking, we talked almost non-stop about her life, my life, the sights of the bike journey, and countless topics. My life was greatly enriched by getting to know her and by the conversations that we shared. God unquestionably had His hand in grouping us together.

This trip was packed full of one exciting thing after another. Along our route, the Natchez Trace Parkway, we stopped to explore some historical landmarks and creation's wonders. About three quarters through our first day of gradual inclines and steep demanding hills, a waterfall beside the parkway was a much-coveted excursion. What a refreshing respite to rinse off and cool down from the heat and arduous biking.

Friday we toured Helen Keller’s home; it was her birthplace, where Anne Sullivan, her teacher, taught her to speak through sign language.

We were so fortunate to explore the entire house. Most can only gaze into each room from a barred entrance, but being privileged to be with the group from the Blind Bikers Across America, we were able to see and touch everything from inside the rooms, not simply from the doorwaysAs a captain for the event, I was the eyes for my partner, Courtney. This was an incredible lesson from history and a vivid lesson in serving others … this is a memory that will be permanently etched in my mind.

After touring the house, we made our way outside where we saw plaques and monuments.

The water pump where Helen's teacher, Anne, finally was able to break through to her.

We also came across the tree where Helen did most of her learning. Mike, a very determined individual, decided that if Helen could climb that tree to learn her lessons, he could climb up it too! It was exciting to watch him strain for the next knob to place his hands, pull himself up the last bit, and sit up there with a big smile on his face at his accomplishment.

While preparing for the trip, my mindset was that of desiring to be a blessing, an encouragement, and a help to those our society sees as handicapped. Yet, I came away the greater for the experience; deeply blessed and feeling encouraged. I learned to truly see life in a new and different light, to appreciate God’s gifts and provisions more deeply, and to enjoy serving others more fully.

I’m definitely looking forward to next year!!