Daily Meditations

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ, photo copyright 2010 Mark Dahle


Beauty. Some see it. Others think, "That's really strange." "That's different." "That's wierd."

When we see something for the first time, we are often surprised. Then we get to decide what we think. Do we like it? Or is it "too new"?

Of course, what's new to us is often commonplace for "locals." That's why it's so helpful to travel, to get out and see new sites. Even if you're in a small town, there's some parts of it you've never really looked at yet.

What part of the world do you want to explore today?

God, thank you for the beauty and diversity of creation. Help us to appreciate what you created. When we see something new that you created, help us to appreciate it. Thank you. Amen.

Photo: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ
© 2010 Mark Dahle

Construction equipment, Redding, CA, photo by Mark Dahle


Paul tells the Corinthians that it is possible to read the Bible and not get its full value — that it is as if we were wearing veils that kept us from seeing clearly and from getting all that’s in the Bible for us.

Paul says that faith in Jesus can remove the veil. He says that when the veil is gone and we see clearly, we begin reflecting God’s glory. Paul writes, “we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

We reflect God’s glory! We’re being transformed into God’s likeness! Wow! Sometimes that’s hard to see. Maybe there’s still a veil covering my eyes!

God, help us to reflect your glory and to be transformed into your likeness. Thank you for your mercy. And if I’ve got anything clouding my vision, please remove it so I can see clearly. Thank you. Amen.

Photo: Construction equipment, Redding, CA
© 2010 Mark Dahle

Desert Botanical Garden Cactus, Phoenix, AZ, Photo copyright 2010 Mark Dahle

Be yourself (unless you need to change)

It’s a tricky business, knowing what habits we should change and what characteristics we should keep, even if people don’t appreciate them. A cactus is designed to be prickly. It’s how it was built. It shouldn’t change, even if somebody complains, loudly. Can the same be said for prickly people?

God, help us to know what we should change about ourselves, what we should keep as is, and what we should make even more pronounced. Help us to be the people you created us to be. Thank you. Amen.

Photo: Cactus, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ
© 2010 Mark Dahle

Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park

“I have hope”

Lamentations doesn’t sound like the name of a book that would have much hope. But in the middle of grieving over what has happened, the author remembers that each day brings a new start. The author says:
This I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD
never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

God, thank you that your mercies are new every morning.Thank you that your love never ceases. We praise you. Amen.


Photo: Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park,
© 2010 Mark Dahle