We live in a beautiful part of eastern NC. Just a few counties over, toward the outer banks, is the small town of Hertford, NC. Last Saturday we drove to Hertford. Along the way we picked up my sister-in-law in Gates county and ended up at the Nicholson House, a country restaurant in the community of Belvidere, NC, located in Chowan County (near Hereford). I learned on our Saturday drive that Belvidere, noted for its rural life and wide open spaces for farm land, is also the home of Wolf Man Jack, a disc jockey that most “boomers” can remember. As we drove by his house and looked at his grave in the family cemetery we racked our brains as to whether it was Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles that broadcasted his radio show. I guess it matters not; what does matter is that he is from Belvidere.
This sketch from my sketch book, The Nicholson House, is an old 19th century Victorian home converted many years ago to a lovely restaurant. We enjoyed our Saturday lunch and for a little while reminisced on life in the 19th century, shopped for deals in the gift shop, and enjoyed the beautiful day and ride in the country.
During this Lenten season our church’s theme is “Praying With Our Eyes.” The theme at Lakeside Baptist Church, Rocky Mount, NC, focuses on the many ways we see God if we are attentive enough to notice and willing enough to care. God’s sanctuary can be found wherever we are, whoever we are with, and whenever we look closely.
In worship last Sunday, Dr. Jody Wright, expounded upon the theme and his focus was illustrated by using a painting. Using art is one of the ways we can “Pray With Our Eyes.” Upon further reflection during the day I noticed a sunbeam stream through the shutters of our living room windows. It landed upon the wall and gave an interesting shape. I could not help myself; pulling out my phone camera I took a picture of the beautiful shape. Thus you now know the inspiration behind this painting.
I know what it means to me but I would invite you to take a prayerful look and discover what it means to you.
Sunsets this time of year are just amazing. Whether it is at Lake Wilson; or down in Savannah, Ga. (my home town); or even the view above the grocery store in our neighborhood. The sunset helps me to stop, slow down, and think about the creator. God says “Be still and know that I am God.” Check out your sunset tonight.
We have the privilege of assisting in a food desert not far from our home. You may ask “What is a food desert?” A food desert is a place where there is no access to grocery stores that have nutritional food available for purchase. If the community is over 10 miles from a grocery it is a food desert.
Several years ago a small garden was begun in Conetoe, NC. That garden was to grow produce to assist the community in obtaining good food. Now that garden is a farm specializing in growing produce on 27 acres. I am glad I can do what I can to help the folks in Conetoe.
On a recent trip to our favorite island, St. Simons Island, we were relaxing at the pier following our evening dinner. Sunset is spectacular each evening. Enjoying the sunset over the Sidney Lanier Bridge in the distance, I heard a noise just behind me. I turned around and behold a crusty old pelican had landed near my feet. I am told by the locals that this new friend of mine is a regular. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by humans and as we got acquainted, his presence drew a crowd of onlookers. I haven’t given him a name but I am sure there are those who have. This is an embellished representation of my new friend. I will look for you Mr. Pelican on my next visit.
This painting is on display at the Belle Arts Gallery, Behaven, NC (www.belleartsgallery.com) and is currently for sale. You may purchase greeting cards from me personally at email@example.com
Last weekend I had enough of staying home. Anna and jumped into our car and headed East on highway 64 East with no particular destination. We just drove. We came to Jamestown and noticed on the highway an old fire truck that was sitting in a field. In looking at the headlights I have determined it is a 1970s vintage truck. This is my interpretation of the old girl. (More later about our Saturday adventure)
As our staying at home in NC has been slightly adjusted to phase 2 of reopening, I am choosing to visit places (socially distanced) that are quiet and peaceful. A visit to parks in our area allows me to be in nature. Stopping to listen to the sounds of nature results in peace for me. My visits remind me that God is here with me when I become anxious. A recent visit to Lake Wilson, in Wilson, NC yielded this watercolor.
Over the past few months my studies have led me to think more about nature. As I walk through wooded areas, visit parks, and experience the fragrance of the flowers, I am more and more aware of God through being involved more in nature around me. I have always been aware that God reveals himself to us through nature. It seems my senses are much more aware these days.
Last week my wife and I visited a park and spent a couple of hours sitting in our camp chairs. The picture you see is a result of our visit to the lake.
“For the beauty of the earth. For the beauty of the skies. For the love which from our birth. Over and around us lies. Lord of all, to thee we raise. This our joyful hymn of praise.” -Folliott S. Pierpoint
www.lacountanderson.com A couple of years ago my wife and I took a trip with fellow musicians to the country of Cuba. Our assignment was for our choir to sing concerts in Baptist churches within the southern part of the country. Cuba is a beautiful country and the people we met are equally as beautiful in spirit and in their faith.
On one occasion during our trip we arrived at a church to do our concert. It was early afternoon and dinner was being planned for our group. Church pot lucks are the same no matter what country you are visiting. Our dinner was on the church roof top overlooking Bayamo, a scenic town in Cuba. I am fascinated by old buildings and this town is a treasure for fellow artists who love to paint old architecture. Equally fascinating were the storm clouds brewing above. A spring storm was coming and as you might guess, we had a soggy pot luck that evening.
These days my attention is immediately drawn to God’s creation; a spring storm, the lovely people I encounter, and the beautiful flowers all around me. In school I remember studying how God reveals herself to us. Nature is one of those revelations that I learned about and it seems I am reminded each day of the power of God. The rainbow I saw on that day in Cuba as well as the storm clouds that accompanied, I saw the power of God in nature.
This watercolor sketch I developed from that experience.