Daily Post Photo Challenge: Morning

I know this is technically a “photo” challenge, but I’m going to stretch it out to a little bit more. To begin with, I’m using a photo from my good friend – and one of my favorite professional photographers – Terry Valley. I’ve posted it previously, but it fits this week’s theme perfectly. I think my story does too.

TERRY'S HORSE # 2 - brightened, new credits

I first saw her just across the ravine that runs through the Morgans’ wooded glen. I’d been walking there since dawn, too restless to lie in bed after hours of being too troubled to sleep. Old Man Morgan’s property bordered ours, and I often walked there, regularly ending up at my favorite spot, where the trees abruptly stopped to open up a small clearing and allow the sun to shine onto it in full power.

That day, as the sun caressed the earth with its warmth, it drew a heavy mist from the ground. A veil of softest silk; a gossamer film that shifted and swirled – light gray and white, but suffused with that iridescent pink that can be found only in the day’s very first kiss of sun.

All was silent except for birdsong, but as anyone who’s walked alone in the woods knows, that song is part of the unique quiet of wooded havens. There was no disturbance of nature from any direction – except within me. I had been besieged for months by a mind that wouldn’t be quiet, and a heart that raged against all that had happened until it sometimes felt as if it would burst from my body, and I would have to die. It raged at me that day. And the thoughts harangued me, until I finally threw myself down on the shallow bank of the ravine and leaned against the tree in exhaustion.

I don’t know for sure how long I sat there, looking out at the open meadow area directly across from me, watching the sun draw the mist and change its color from moment to moment. Finally, my eyes drifted closed. It may have been for a few seconds or for several minutes. Not having worn a watch, I’m still not sure. But suddenly, I opened my eyes and there in the open meadow walked the most beautiful horse I had ever seen. She was white –pure white – from nose to hooves, from mane to tail.

She was just far enough away that for a moment, I wasn’t sure I hadn’t imagined her form as a mirage resulting from the swirling mist. But the longer I watched her, more of the mist began to dissipate, and finally I was convinced of what I was seeing. She moved with stately grace, slowly and easily, but sure of her territory. I was interested to see that she walked the perimeter of the meadow, not stopping to graze, as most horses would, but seeming to delight in just taking the exercise.

I expected her to move out of my line of vision and go back to the stables or the coral where she had came from, but she did not. She came full circle around the meadow and back to the place she had started, right in front of me, just a few feet from the opposite bank of the ravine. She nodded her head a few times, then turned and looked right at me. Blowing softly through her nostrils, she watched me even as I watched her. Then she whinnied quietly, nodded her head at me a second time, turned and walked away, disappearing behind the stand of trees at the edge of the meadow.

I blinked, then closed my eyes. Immediately, I realized that my breathing had changed. My heartbeat had changed. My mind was actually quiet for the first time in months. I took a deep breath and roused myself to look around me more closely. I could see by the changes in the light that the day was well on its way, and some of my responsibilities wouldn’t wait any longer. At the thought of facing what the rest of the day held for me, I started dragging again, but I knew there was something different about me – something fresher and more alive that hadn’t been a part of me when I’d started my walk this morning. I’d need to think about it more later.

The following morning, I woke to realize I had slept five hours. That, in itself seemed a miracle, but I was wide awake at the very first rays of dawn. I threw on my clothes and headed out the door, knowing exactly where I was headed, and wasting no time getting there. I sat, again leaning against the tree, and waited. This time, I heard her before I saw her. She snorted softly a time or two, and I strained my eyes to watch for her. The mist was thick again. It was that time of year, and nearly every day, it took an hour or two for it to burn off completely. Then I saw her – the same as yesterday – walking slowly through the meadow – always within my line of vision. This time, when she was on the back side of the meadow, she stopped and looked across the expanse in my direction. I couldn’t see her eyes up close, of course, but I felt sure she was looking directly at me. And when she whinnied softly the way she had the previous day, I was convinced.

She continued her walk and came back to the edge of the ravine, stopping, blowing softly, looking at me and waiting. Yes, for some reason, she just watched me and waited. Finally, I spoke. “Hello there, Morning Star.” The name flowed out of my mouth without conscious thought on my part. I don’t know why. It just fit. She blew softly again and nodded her head. She liked it. My heart actually skipped a beat, and my breath caught in my throat at the idea that this lovely creature somehow genuinely cared about me and was wanting to communicate that fact to me. It was an amazing experience.

I’d been a Christian believer all my life, and I was firmly convinced that God had personally created every single creature on the earth. I knew that in His Word, He clearly indicated that the human race is responsible for those creatures – not only to bring them into subjection, but also to love them, care for them, meet their needs, and bless them. I had always been a responsible pet owner when I was a boy, and I believed my dogs and cats had always been happy in my care. But this experience was a different thing. This time, it felt as if this animal were taking the responsibility to love me and care for me – even if only for a few moments. I wondered: could God cause these less elevated creatures to know – really know – when humans had needs? And could He — well, admittedly, I believed He could – but would He call on them to help those humans in their times of need?

I didn’t have an answer to that question, but Morning Star, whinnied softly to me again, nodding her head once more, so I started telling her about my life. I poured out more that morning than I had poured out to any other creature under Heaven. Well, in fact, I don’t think I had even said all of those things in so many words to God Himself. He knew them, of course, but there’s a difference.

When I was to the place that I was ready to stop, Morning Star was still watching me intently. Throughout my speech, she had responded with her soft, comforting, blowing sounds and an occasional nod. That was all, but oddly enough, it was all I needed. When I had been quiet for several minutes, she whinnied and turned away, again making her stately way into the copse of trees that evidently held the trail that led to her home.

I went every morning that week, more eager to rise from my bed each day, and realizing when I did so that I had slept more hours each night. By the seventh day, I felt truly rested. I hurried to my place of rendezvous, and, to my delighted surprise, Morning Star, was already there waiting for me. She stood, beautiful in the mist, which held a unique golden-pink glow this morning. “Hello, Morning Star,” I whispered. She greeted me with her familiar soft blowing, nodded her head at me, and began her walk. I wondered at her turning away to walk right after I arrived, but then I realized that she was giving me time to settle in and get quiet enough to receive more help.

When she had come full circle and stopped, looking at me, waiting for me to speak, I realized the I had nothing to pour out to her about my terrible life experiences. My mind was so quiet that I couldn’t even find the haranguing thoughts that had been pounding through it for weeks on end. They were gone. My body felt light, fresh, energized. “Well, Morning Star,” I began, “Believe it or not, I don’t have anything to complain about today. In fact, I’m feeling grateful that I’m alive and well and capable of working.” As I spoke the words, I realized that deep inside I had been experiencing a gentle nudging for the past couple of days — a desire to begin work on projects that I had put off for months. I realized with a thrill to my entire being that I actually wanted to work again! I wanted to live again!

I looked back at my friend. “I’m okay, Morning Star. Really okay! I’m ready to get back into life.”

She whinnied, more forcefully than she had done previously, and nodded her head so energetically that I had to laugh. Then she began to paw the ground and even prance a little. I could never explain to anyone how I knew, but I did know that Morning Star was happy – happy for me! It was one of the most exciting experiences I had ever had. I laughed, and she whinnied, eventually rearing up on her back legs and pawing the air in her own excitement. “Thank you, Morning Sar.” I said, and her response was another excited whinny as she reared up once more and then settled down again.

I rose and slowly made my way across the ravine, thankful that the water merely trickled through it this time of year. She stood still before me, still making her comforting blowing sounds. “Thank you, Morning Star,” I whispered again, reaching up to lay one hand on her nose and the other on her neck. She felt like velvet, and I was not surprised. She turned her head and nuzzled my cheek. I laughed, patting her neck again. “I love you, girl. Thank you for being here.”

After nuzzling my cheek another moment, she stepped away from me and half turned. I glanced upward, knowing the true source of the gift I had been given. I closed my eyes and lifted both hands in the air. “Thank you, Lord,” I whispered.

Opening my eyes, I turned to reach out to Morning Star again, but she was gone. The mist was gone. In its place, glorious sunlight enveloped the meadow and filtered through the trees and shrubs, spreading it’s warm brilliance everywhere. It bathed my face, drying the tears that had begun to course down my cheeks. I couldn’t hold them back, but they were not tears of distress. They were tears of joy and gratitude. I knew Morning Star would not be back. I would miss her sorely for a while, but she had given me a gift that would always be a part of me. I had my life back, and the will to live it.

I have no idea how she came to be in that glen. That she was not a figment of my imagination coupled with the mist, I am quite sure. I touched her with my hands and felt her nuzzle my cheek. But do I believe she actually lived on a segment of land anywhere in that county? Maybe not. Maybe an angel rode her to the glen each morning for that week. Perhaps I’ll never know. But I do know that she is one of God’s creatures, and that He graciously led her to me when I needed her. She loved me when I needed love. I’ll love her for the rest of my life.

 

~~~

 

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth — Featuring a Guest Photographer

I’ve featured some of Terry Valley’s photography on my site previously, but this week’s subject brought several of Terry’s photos to my mind anew. He is a much better photographer than I am, and I just thought this week’s challenge was a perfect place to give his work a little more attention. All of these photos do justice to the subject of “depth.”

BEE ON YELLOW ORIG - WIDENED

TERRY'S PINK LILY PADS
TERRY'S HORSE # 2 - edited
WHITE BIRCH - credits
ASTERS - with credits
LILY - credits

To participate in the photo challenge, visit “The Daily Post” challenge page.

~~~

GUEST POET – Brenda McKeand’s ‘The Summer of Riding Horses’

During the last decade of my life, I was blessed with a friend named Brenda McKeand. She was a talented writer and poet, as well as a very committed nurse. She was also a tremendous encourager, and she was one of my greatest cheerleaders as I made my ventures into authorship.

Brenda is with the Lord now, but she left us her work, which keeps her alive in our midst. Several of the pieces are poems that she collected into a book entitled, The Summer of Riding Horses: About Nursing and Other Things. The “other things” have to do with love of every kind. The individual poem from which she took the title is a love story of the first order. Powerful and touching, it is one of my favorites of all of her work. I’d like to share it with my readers.

For those of you who are familiar with the midwestern U. S. the setting to which she refers will be clear. If you are not familiar, I will tell you that Paducah is the name of a fairly large city on the northern edge of Kentucky. It sits right on the Ohio River, and the whole area is about a two-hour drive south of the town where I live now – and where Brenda lived all the time I knew her. During the last part of the 1800’s and early part of the 1900’s, the whole area was an entryway into the states of Illinois and Indiana when peoples from several nationalities, including Native Americans, came down the river, moving west, looking for a better way of life.

Paducah itself has many wonderful memories for me personally. My mother lived there as a young woman, and she told me stories of being a waitress in the largest hotel in Paducah. She was one of many “girls” who served guests “ham and red-eye gravy” that Brenda describes so colorfully. I agree that the city and the surrounding area provide the perfect setting for her poem.

ONE HORSE IN FENCED FIELDTHE SUMMER OF RIDING HORSES

I met him at the river where Paducah lies,
with its magnolia trees, ham, and red-eye gravy
served by girls with soft southern accents.

He was part Indian, with sun-seasoned skin
and dark pony tail;
All denim and silver, he wore turquoise
around his neck on a black string.

Here, I learned to love horses –
to feel them tremble and shiver,
smelling of leather saddles,
sweat, and hay-scented stables –
and ride down country lanes
with shifting shadow patterns,
and leaves flitting down.

He grew restless in the fall,
making a bow I dared not touch,
as he would no longer touch me.

He drank the black tea,
purifying for the hunt
in the Cherokee tradition –
asking the deer’s permission
to take its life
and mine
to let him go.

~~~
© 2010 Brenda McKeand

 

 

~~~

 

 

Morning Star

 

TERRY'S HORSE # 2 - brightened, new credits

I first saw her just across the ravine that runs through the Morgans’ wooded glen. I’d been walking there since dawn, too restless to lie in bed after hours of being too troubled to sleep. Old Man Morgan’s property bordered ours, and I often walked there, regularly ending up at my favorite spot, where the trees abruptly stopped to open up a small clearing and allow the sun to shine onto it in full power.

That day, as the sun caressed the earth with its warmth, it drew a heavy mist from the ground. A veil of softest silk; a gossamer film that shifted and swirled – light gray and white, but suffused with that iridescent pink that can be found only in the day’s very first kiss of sun.

All was silent except for birdsong, but as anyone who’s walked alone in the woods knows, that song is part of the unique quiet of wooded havens. There was no disturbance of nature from any direction – except within me. I had been besieged for months by a mind that wouldn’t be quiet, and a heart that raged against all that had happened until it sometimes felt as if it would burst from my body, and I would have to die. It raged at me that day. And the thoughts harangued me, until I finally threw myself down on the shallow bank of the ravine and leaned against the tree in exhaustion.

I don’t know for sure how long I sat there, looking out at the open meadow area directly across from me, watching the sun draw the mist and change its color from moment to moment. Finally, my eyes drifted closed. It may have been for a few seconds or for several minutes. Not having worn a watch, I’m still not sure. But suddenly, I opened my eyes and there in the open meadow walked the most beautiful horse I had ever seen. She was white –pure white – from nose to hooves, from mane to tail.

She was just far enough away that for a moment, I wasn’t sure I hadn’t imagined her form as a mirage resulting from the swirling mist. But the longer I watched her, more the mist began to dissipate, and finally I was convinced of what I was seeing. She moved with stately grace, slowly and easily, but sure of her territory. I was interested to see that she walked the perimeter of the meadow, not stopping to graze, as most horses would, but seeming to delight in just taking the exercise.

I expected her to move out of my line of vision and go back to the stables or the coral where she had came from, but she did not. She came full circle around the meadow and back to the place she had started, right in front of me, just a few feet from the opposite bank of the ravine. She nodded her head a few times, then turned and looked right at me. Blowing softly through her nostrils, she watched me even as I watched her. Then she whinnied quietly, nodded her head at me a second time, turned and walked away, disappearing behind the stand of trees at the edge of the meadow.

I blinked, then closed my eyes. Immediately, I realized that my breathing had changed. My heartbeat had changed. My mind was actually quiet for the first time in months. I took a deep breath and roused myself to look around me more closely. I could see by the changes in the light that the day was well on its way, and some of my responsibilities wouldn’t wait any longer. At the thought of facing what the rest of the day held for me, I started dragging again, but I knew there was something different about me – something fresher and more alive that hadn’t been a part of me when I started my walk this morning. I’d need to think about it more later.

The following morning, I woke to realize I had slept five hours. That, in itself seemed a miracle, but I was wide awake at the very first rays of dawn. I threw on my clothes and headed out the door, knowing exactly where I was headed, and wasting no time getting there. I sat, again leaning against the tree, and waited. This time, I heard her before I saw her. She snorted softly a time or two, and I strained my eyes to watch for her. The mist was thick again. It was that time of year, and nearly every day, it took an hour or two for it to burn off completely. Then I saw her – the same as yesterday – walking slowly through the meadow – always within my line of vision. This time, when she was on the back side of the meadow, she stopped and looked across the expanse in my direction. I couldn’t see her eyes up close, of course, but I felt sure she was looking directly at me. And when she whinnied softly the way she had the previous day, I was convinced.

She continued her walk and came back to the edge of the ravine, stopping, blowing softly, looking at me and waiting. Yes, for some reason, she just watched me and waited. Finally, I spoke. “Hello there, Morning Star.” The name flowed out of my mouth without conscious thought on my part. I don’t know why. It just fit. She blew softly again and nodded her head. She liked it. My heart actually skipped a beat, and my breath caught in my throat at the idea that this lovely creature somehow genuinely cared about me and was wanting to communicate that fact to me. It was an amazing experience.

I’d been a Christian believer all my life, and I was firmly convinced that God had personally created every single creature on the earth. I knew that in His Word, He clearly indicated that the human race is responsible for those creatures – not only to bring them into subjection, but also to love them, care for them, meet their needs, and bless them. I had always been a responsible pet owner when I was a boy, and I believed my dogs and cats had always been happy in my care. But this experience was a different thing. This time, it felt as if this animal were taking the responsibility to love me and care for me – even if only for a few moments. I wondered: could God cause these less elevated creatures to know – really know – when humans had needs? And could He — well, admittedly, I believed He could – but would He call on them to help those humans in their times of need?

I didn’t have an answer to that question, but Morning Star, whinnied softly to me again, nodding her head once more, so I started telling her about my life. I poured out more that morning than I had poured out to any other creature under Heaven. Well, in fact, I don’t think I had even said all of those things in so many words to God Himself. He knew them, of course, but there’s a difference.

When I was to the place that I was ready to stop, Morning Star was still watching me intently. Throughout my speech, she had responded with her soft, comforting, blowing sounds and an occasional nod. That was all, but oddly enough, it was all I needed. When I had been quiet for several minutes, she whinnied and turned away, again making her stately way into the copse of trees that evidently held the trail that led to her home.

I went every morning that week, more eager to rise from my bed each day, and realizing when I did so that I had slept more hours each night. By the seventh day, I felt truly rested. I hurried to my place of rendezvous, and to my delighted surprise, Morning Star, was already there waiting for me. She stood, beautiful in the mist, which held a unique golden-pink glow this morning. “Hello, Morning Star,” I whispered. She greeted me with her familiar soft blowing, nodded her head at me, and began her walk. I wondered at her turning away to walk right after I arrived, but then I realized that she was giving me time to settle in and get quiet enough to receive more help.

When she had come full circle and stopped, looking at me, waiting for me to speak, I realized the I had nothing to pour out to her about my terrible life experiences. My mind was so quiet that I couldn’t even find the haranguing thoughts that had been pounding through it for weeks on end. They were gone. My body felt light, fresh, energized. “Well, Morning Star,” I began, “Believe it or not, I don’t have anything to complain about today. In fact, I’m feeling grateful that I’m alive and well and capable of working.” As I spoke the words, I realized that deep inside I had been experiencing a gentle nudging for the past couple of days — a desire to begin work on projects that I had put off for months. I realized with a thrill to my entire being that I actually wanted to work again! I wanted to live again!

I looked back at my friend. “I’m okay, Morning Star. Really okay! I’m ready to get back into life.”

She whinnied, more forcefully than she had done previously, and nodded her head so energetically that I had to laugh. Then she began to paw the ground and even prance a little. I could never explain to anyone how I knew, but I did know that Morning Star was happy – happy for me! It was one of the most exciting experiences I had ever had. I laughed, and she whinnied, eventually rearing up on her back legs and pawing the air in her own excitement. “Thank you, Morning Sar.” I said, and her response was another excited whinny as she reared up once more and then settled down again.

I rose and slowly made my way across the ravine, thankful that the water merely trickled through it this time of year. She stood still before me, still making her comforting blowing sounds. “Thank you, Morning Star,” I whispered again, reaching up to lay one hand on her nose and the other on her neck. She felt like velvet, and I was not surprised. She turned her head and nuzzled my cheek. I laughed, patting her neck again. “I love you, girl. Thank you for being here.”

After nuzzling my cheek another moment, she stepped away from me and half turned. I glanced upward, knowing the true source of the gift I had been given. I closed my eyes and lifted both hands in the air. “Thank you, Lord,” I whispered.

Opening my eyes, I turned to reach out to Morning Star again, but she was gone. The mist was gone. In its place, glorious sunlight enveloped the meadow and filtered through the trees and shrubs, spreading it’s warm brilliance everywhere. It bathed my face, drying the tears that had begun to course down my cheeks. I couldn’t hold them back, but they were not tears of distress. They were tears of joy and gratitude. I knew Morning Star would not be back. I would miss her sorely for a while, but she had given me a gift that would always be a part of me. I had my life back, and the will to live it.

I have no idea how she came to be in that glen. That she was not a figment of my imagination coupled with the mist, I am quite sure. I touched her with my hands and felt her nuzzle my cheek. But do I believe she actually lived on a segment of land anywhere in that county? Maybe not. Maybe an angel rode her to the glen each morning for that week. Perhaps I’ll never know. But I do know that she is one of God’s creatures, and that He graciously led her to me when I needed her. She loved me when I needed love. I’ll love her for the rest of my life.

~~~

~~~

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sea # 1

When I think of the sea, I think of my novel Racing Toward the Light, primarily because it was a painting of the sea by internationally renowned artist Steven Sundram that inspired the story. A print of his painting was a gift to me from some friends, and the very day I received it, I was so drawn into the aura and mystery of that painting that I couldn’t resist putting my feelings into words. Those words became the setting for the novel, and I virtually lived in that painting for the whole three months that it took to write the book.

Steven’s painting is the focus of both the front and back covers of the book. You can find many more examples of his excellent and inspiring work on his website.

You can find the book at the publisher’s website: St. Ellen Press.

RACING FRONT COVER - ALTERED FONT~

Take part in the fun. Get directions HERE.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement

Moving Forward and Clearing the Hurdles

You will see in this exceptional photo that the horse is literally flying over this double hurdle with a measurable amount of clearance. A particularly difficult feat, and a beautiful sight to behold. I was inspired to see in this photo the meeting of a challenge in a quote from a woman named Dorothea Brande. She said: “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”

The beautiful horse in this picture believed he could fly over this hurdle with room to spare.  That is the only reason he is doing it successfully.  I found that looking at this picture and dwelling on it encouraged me to challenge myself to do the same, and I’m passing on that challenge. Whatever it is in your life that you need to — or even want to — accomplish successfully, believe that you can do it.  See yourself doing it.  Throw your heart over the hurdles that look like they could hinder you.

A famous trapeze artist from two generations ago was training a new student who, one day, suddenly became filled with fear as he looked at the precarious perch where he had to perform.  He froze — couldn’t move a muscle — and began to gasp, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!”  The long-time veteran put his arm around the young man and said, “Yes, son, you can do it, and I will tell you how: throw your heart over the bar, and your body will follow.”  The Word of God backs up that premise with the truth from Proverbs 23:7, which says of man, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

The horse in this picture threw his heart over those bars.  He believed he could make that jump with plenty of room to spare.  So he did.  He simply acted on what he believed.  When you go through a difficult situation in your life and the hurdles seem so enormous that you feel you’ll never clear them – or when you find yourself facing the challenge of doing something that looks a little too big or too high for you – come back and take a long look at this photo.  Meditate on it; then obey Dorothea Brande’s wise words:  “Act as if it were impossible to fail.” Make one forward movement, and the rest of the moves will follow.

Slideshow Featuring Photographs by Terry Valley

This post is my first experiment with the slideshow apparatus. I decided it would be a good time to try to feature several more photos by Terry Valley, a good friend and professional photographer from Wisconsin.  It’s sweet of him to allow me to use his photos to do this experiment.  I hope it turns out well.  I hope you enjoy Terry’s work and God’s creation.
(Special thanks to Lucid Gypsy for insisting I could do this.)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

This week I’m sharing a photo that was taken by a good friend of mine who is a professional photographer. Terry Valley lives in Wisconsin, and most of his work features various aspects of God’s beautiful creation as seen in that area. This photo is one of my favorites of his and is used with several others in a line of greeting cards called the “God’s Green Earth Collection.”  It was taken in the very early morning, and I thought it was a good example of seeing “through” the stand of trees to that beautiful white horse in the field beyond.

Anyone interested in seeing more of Terry’s work or contacting him about it
is welcome to send me a comment requesting more information.

Believe You Can!

You will see in this exceptional photo that the horse is literally flying over this double hurdle with a measurable amount of space to spare. A particularly difficult feat, and a beautiful sight to behold. I was inspired to see in this photo the meeting of a challenge in a quote from a woman named Dorothea Brande. She said: “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”

The beautiful horse in this picture believed he could fly over this hurdle with room to spare.  That is the only reason he is doing it successfully.  I found that looking at this picture and dwelling on it encouraged me to challenge myself to do the same, and I’m passing on that challenge. Whatever it is in your life that you need — or even want — to accomplish successfully, believe that you can do it.  See yourself doing it.  Throw your heart over the hurdles that look like they could hinder you.

A famous trapeze artist from two generations ago was training a new student who, one day, suddenly became filled with fear as he looked at the precarious perch where he had to perform.  He froze — couldn’t move a muscle — and began to gasp, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!”  The long-time veteran put his arm around the young man and said, “Yes, son, you can do it, and I will tell you how: throw your heart over the bar, and your body will follow.”  The Word of God backs up that premise with the truth from Proverbs 23:7, which says of man, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

The horse in this picture had been trained by his master to jump over those hurdles successfully. He knew the thrill of doing so, and he knew the rewards of success. That training caused him to believe that he could make this jump with plenty of room to spare. Our God teaches us that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13), and that “with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37). He also tells us that if a man has faith in God and shall “not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23). We too have been “trained,” by the Word of God, to accomplish what we set our hearts to do.

That horse threw his heart over those bars because he believed he could make that jump.  So he did.  He simply acted on what he believed and succeeded. Let his example stir you. When you go through a difficult situation in your life or you find yourself facing the challenge of doing something that looks a little too big or too high for you, go back and take a long look at this photo.  Meditate on it until the power of it has saturated your own soul. Then obey Dorothea Brande’s wise words:  “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”