I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mount is prest

Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

–Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

 We have, over the past two or three years, had the privilege of visiting many of our National Parks and some other worthy sites in our vast and beautiful country. I’m not a loco-tree-hugger, but I have become a huge fan and I appreciate the necessity of keeping as many as proves to be healthy for them.

 This is my holiday blog. It is not about Christmas trees, as beautiful as they are, but a note to honor the creator of these magnificent living partners in His world.

 I begin with my most recent trip to visit Pearl Fryar. Topiary Artist. In Bishopville, SC Mr. Fryar has spent his life creating this garden from a corn field. It was featured once on CBS Sunday Morning and I was spellbound. I never dreamed I would see it, let alone meet the sculptor. He is ageing, but still the strongest and most agile person I have met older than me. He has started to hire help and has started a foundation to carry on his work.


ODD TREES:  A few odd ones we move to next:  a work of art called a singing tree, a tree with wonderfully shaped root system, a frozen tree archway and a shoe tree we saw in Montana.  I have no idea what the purpose of the shoes in the tree were.  I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a picture of a tree with such unusual fruit.



SEQUOIA:  These majestic giants are native to our west coast.  A few have been moved to other continents during the Victorian era, before the environmental protection laws were written.  These laws are meant to save other trees from un-native insect pests.  A good Idea.  Sweet Husband is standing in front of one exported to Scotland over a hundred years ago.  It is still quite young.  These trees live to over 2,000 years making them the oldest organism on our planet.  Pictures cannot capture their grandeur.


Banyan Tree:  These trees are characterized by their aerial prop roots that grow into thick woody trunks, which can become indistinguishable from the main trunk with age. Old trees can spread out laterally, using these prop roots to cover a wide area. In some species, the effect is for the props to develop into a sort of forest covering a considerable area, every trunk connected directly or indirectly to the central trunk. The topology of this structure of interconnection inspired the name of the hierarchical computer network operating system Banyan Vines.

This photo was taken at Edison’s summer home in Florida.  It covers an acre of ground.

When near the Edison & Ford Winter Estates' west entrance, see t

REDWOOD:  Superlatives abound when a person tries to describe old-growth redwoods: immense, ancient, stately, mysterious, powerful. Yet the trees were not designed for easy assimilation into language. Their existence speaks for themselves, not in words, but rather in a soft-toned voice of patience and endurance.  I can only express my reaction in tears of gratitude to my wonderful creator.

Exactly why the redwoods grow so tall is a mystery. Theories continue to develop but proof remains elusive. The trees can reach ages of 2,000 years and regularly reach 600 years.

Resistance to natural enemies such as insects and fire are built-in features of a coast redwood. Diseases are virtually unknown and insect damage insignificant thanks to the high tannin content of the wood. Thick bark and foliage that rests high above the ground provides protection from all but the hottest fires


Monterey Cedar: These are medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree, which often becomes irregular and flat-topped as a result of the strong winds that are typical of its native area along the pacific coast of California. It grows to heights of up to 40 meters (133 feet) in perfect growing conditions, and its trunk diameter can reach 2.5 meters (over 8 feet). The foliage grows in dense sprays which are bright green in color and release a deep lemony aroma when crushed.  I fell in love with their wind-shaped beauty


Live Oaks:  As a resident of the deep south, all of my life, these magnificent trees never fail to make my heart stop each time I see one.  They do not become lovely until they are at least 100 years old.  The trees below are 300 to 500 years old.  They lose their leaves in the spring when the new leaves push out last years leaves.  Therefore they are evergreen and probably why they gained the name LIVE.

Lodgepole pine cone, Pinus contorta, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

This is the cone of the Lodge Pole Pine.  The seeds are naturally glued in and can only be dislodged by fire.  The forest are dense and as far as the eye can see in most areas of Montana and Wyoming.


I want to add something new to my blog post (below) from a couple of days ago.

There are circumstances in our families that we have grieved over (some of us) for years. We pray, but eventually we look at them and JUDGE them as impossible. Am I correct?

Disease, addictions, broken relationships, infertility, poverty, despair, rejection of the Gospel.

So in judging these impossible, do we, “…despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4 NKJV)

Beloved, judgment does not always have to do with seeing ourselves as righteous in comparison to others, but in rendering the goodness of God powerless in the light of what we see as impossible.

It was, after all, His goodness that brought me to His loving arms. And has kept me, in spite of my many poor life choices.


I was informed a couple of days ago that the lotteryf Power Ball is (was) 9million and today as I write it is up over a billion (yes, with a “B”). That is a lot of money and yes, we purchased a ticket and will probably get one tomorrow…

The day before I was told about the Powerball I starting reading Paul’s letter to Rome again. It is my current favorite book.

A couple of weeks ago our pastor challenged us to find a personal scripture for the year. I prayed and asked for one.

Chapter one was mostly about the normal activity of the culture of the day (perhaps our current culture). Then it appears Paul starts addressing the Jewish believers in Rome for their judgment of the new Roman gentile believers.

This has basically been my stance with my judgment of my fellow man or my fellow believers. The word of God is the truth and my activities and your activities as related to it is between me and God and you and God.

I am certainly available to discuss His word lovingly when and where necessary with other believers. If I am in need of correction, I am open to it from God (Who is going to correct His children) and from other believers whom I respect.

I do not believe the Word of God should be used as the plumb line for non-believers. The Word of God is not relevant to a non-believer, is it? Is it my place to quote the Word of God unless asked? And if asked, I can only tell them of the riches of His GOODNESS.

So, in the process of reading the first chapter onto the second, one line took my breath away…do you despise the RICHES of His goodness…

. . .And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?  Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?  (Romans 2:3-4 NKJV)

Despise is a strong word. Do I despise His goodness? It is, after all, the goodness, mercy, acceptance that brought me and daily brings me to repentance.

THIS will be my scripture for the year of 2016. May I not forget it in the daily dealings with the woman in the mirror and the people I meet that so desperately need the riches of His Goodness…

I found 10 more references to His Riches in short order and have listed them below.

Perhaps I won’t win that Powerball, but true riches are mine for now and forever more. Amen


Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had *prepared beforehand for glory, (Romans 9:21-23 NKJV)

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! (Romans 11:33 NLT)

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.  (Ephesians 1:7 NLT)

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called – his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.   (Ephesians 1:18 NLT)

So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.  (Ephesians 2:7 NLT)

Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures (riches) available to them in Christ.  (Ephesians 3:8 NLT)

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  (Ephesians 3:16 NLT)

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:19 NLT)

For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.  (Colossians 1:27 NLT)

I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.  (Colossians 2:2 NLT)

*all converts to Christianity