You’ve heard of the Blue Ridge Parkway? Ever driven it? Wonder if it’s worth your precious time off from work?

I hope these two shots answer the last question for you. I have taken my family up into the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina every autumn since 1995. And I always ignored those brown “Blue Ridge Parkway” signs around Cherokee and Asheville. Until 2009. Now, views like these beckon our frequent autumnal return.

When I stand in places like this, smelling the wind, my soul seems to look up as my eyes look out. May God give us all grace to cherish the majesty and mystery he reveals dimly in nature, and more radiantly in Christ. Amen.

View from the Linn Cove Viaduct

[Majesty along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nikon D40. October, 2014.]

View from the Linn Cove Viaduct

[Mystery along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nikon D40. October, 2014.]

We are traveling this weekend to enjoy the mountain air and autumn colors in western North Carolina. I took this picture with my iPhone on the Linn Cove Viaduct.

I hope to share more next week. Until then, enjoy the weekend and look to God’s grace for every need.


It’s almost 2 o’clock on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Centreville, Virginia. I’m sitting on my brother’s new deck (attached to his house ;) reading, thinking, praying, and now doing something I’ve never done before.

I’m simply writing this update on Average Us. It’s what blogging used to be: a note, a letter, a status, a web log of your life written for anyone who happened to care. This was before people fully understood the potential of blogging as a communication medium. I usually try to write in order to help someone hope in God in their struggle, or I keep silent. But today, I’m just writing because I enjoy writing and communicating.

(I’m a bit of a talker, no surprise).


I was looking at a list of things I wanted to write about, all of which require a bit more thought and research.

I’m also thinking about the men’s discipleship group I will lead Monday night.

And my nephew’s wedding which is in 3 hours.

And the family and friends to chat with.

And the 12-hour drive home to Atlanta with my mother tomorrow.

So you see, I won’t be doing any research or thinking about a blog post for Monday. I will however spend the next hour preparing to lead the “D-Group” Monday night.

And I will wish you well with this one hopeful thought…

I can imagine a world where every person is glad to see, or hear from, each of his or her seven billion family members. I’m starting with you.

Let’s Hope in God. Worship Jesus. And enjoy what He gives.


What’re you up to?


On this Photo Friday I want to do something different.

Most of you visit here because Dawn and I focus our posts on the hope in God that helps us deal with the difficulties of life. Whether its your health, disappointments, mistakes, sins, or mental health, God in Christ is our one true hope beyond the averageness of this life.

But some of you visit on Friday to see a picture and leave a like. And some of you are actual photographers who leave a like. Dawn and I so appreciate your views, comments, and likes that we wanted to show our appreciation by featuring your work here.

So, this week…

Let me say thank you to Leanne Cole from Australia. Leanne runs two blogs: one focuses on the art and practice of photography; the other showcases Leanne’s fine art photography. Leanne regularly stops by here on Photo Friday to leave an encouraging like for this non-photographer’s photos. But, Leanne is a real photographer who offers photography training on her website, and she likes coffee and has a cat named Tiddles. (What’s not to like about that?)

From Leanne Cole's Art Blog

Go check out Leanne’s website to see some of her work and learn a thing or two. I particularly loved this photo. Looks like a slow river of chocolate.

Thanks for the generous encouragement Leanne! May God’s grace sustain you in every endeavor.

Lon and Dawn



Unless you live under the current threats of ISIS or Ebola, this is what your life looks like:

You wake up. Live your life. Go to sleep.

Wake up. Live.



And if you’re average like me, hardly one of the thousands of thoughts that occupy your attention during the living is of God.

And yet, God is near, like your shadow on a bright day, ever-present with you. Inescapable. Helping. Now.

Continue Reading…

Wild Violas, Lunden, Norway

[Wild Violas. Nikon D40. Lunden, Norway. May, 2014.]

Autumn is just, barely, getting started here in Atlanta. The mornings are a bit cooler. The days are shorter. Leaves are looking tired.

The change inspired me to plant some violas around my mailbox. Down here we plant violas and pansies in the fall. They survive our southern winters and provide a bit of color that spreads eagerly as winter creeps into spring. I can’t help but hope the violas I planted a few days ago will look as good as these wild violas I saw while on vacation in Norway.

A gardener will always hope.

Have you ever seen the Pink Swallowtail butterfly?—No?

Well, I suppose that’s because there is no such thing.

Swallow Tail in Sunlight, Pink photoshop

[Pink Swallowtail. Photoshop.] 

This photo of a yellow Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail is my one and only experiment with Photoshop ever. You’ll notice by comparing it with the original below that I also de-colorized the ground and sharpened the image a bit. I like how this emphasized the natural circle of light around the butterfly which was filtering down through the leaves above me.

You never know what your creative side will think of next. I wonder what creative possibilities went through the infinite mind of God when He said,

Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.—Genesis 1:24, ESV

Swallow Tail in Sunlight

[Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail. Nikon D40. Smoky Mountains, NC. June, 2009.]