An Abundant Life

DSC_5969John 10:1  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

John 10:2  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

John 10:3  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

John 10:4  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

John 10:5  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

John 10:6  This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

John 10:7  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

John 10:8  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

John 10:9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 When I was in tenth grade one of my classes was world geography. The whole class moaned and groaned when we were given an assignment over the Christmas holiday. Each student was to choose a country to study its Christmas traditions. It turned out to be a very interesting assignment. I can’t remember now if I chose Holland or Italy, but it planted in me a desire to see more of this world than my local area. My family had moved around a little (from Illinois to Pennsylvania to Maryland), and I had moved around with my husband when he was in the military. We spent two and a half years in West Germany (before the wall came down) and were able to travel through Holland. I also was able to take a dependent’s tour of Paris, France.

 Back in the United States we lived in West Virginia (my husband’s home state), Maryland (to help my parents), and finally Florida, to help my husband’s parents.

 Now that there is no one requiring our attention (all of our parents are safely at home with Jesus and wouldn’t come back if they could), we are back to traveling status.

 We spent this past winter in Quartzsite, Arizona (one of our favorite places to go—dry weather is great for my sinuses). We left there about fifteen days ago and went to Joshua Tree National Park in California, where we spent two nights, using one full day to drive through and see cholla cactus in bloom, ocotillo cactus with their lovely red flowers blossoming on the tops of their tall limbs, prickly pear cactus with their fuchsia flowers, and yucca and Joshua trees with white cluster flowers.

 From there we went to San Bernardino to visit my aunt and cousin. We spent a week there and have been traveling along I-40 eastward through California, Arizona, and New Mexico so far. The scenery has been nothing short of A-MA-ZING, incredible, stupendous. We have been at elevations over 7,000 feet, down to just over 1,000. We have seen dark red mountains of sheer rock with ribbons of white running through them. We have gawked over lighter red mountains with white and grey rock tumbling over them. We have seen gorges cut into gulleys too deep to see the bottom from the roadside. We have stopped to take pictures of what I can only describe as painted rocks (not by vandals). We have seen mountains covered with trees and shrubs, descending to valleys and dales covered with sage and fox grass. We have seen a few mountains with snow still on them, and shady places in the lower valleys with snow on the ground (the temperature outside was forty-two degrees).

 We have been through Navajo and Hopi territories. I thought these would be the high plains Indians. When I went into one of their travel plazas I was informed that these are the lowland tribes. The high plains tribes are in Oklahoma.

 There were many wind-swept rock formations that had been carved out and sand-blasted by Santa Ana winds and dust storms, leaving undulating patterns in concave overhangs. We passed through an area where there was a sign indicating there had been a volcano in the area. There were acres and acres of lava rock that appeared to have been heaved up out of the ground and dumped randomly by some unknown force.

 There were other places where small mounds of rocks appeared to have just jumped up out of the ground. In the same area we saw grass-covered and shrub-covered mounds and smaller hills and mountains. The landscape changed so quickly, so dramatically, then went back to what we had seen before.

 We aren’t finished yet. Sometime tomorrow we should get into Texas. We’ve been across the Northern panhandle before, but it has been many years. I’ll keep you posted on new scenery.

 I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me this lifestyle. This is my abundant life. How do you define abundant life?

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