By Julian Wells
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV)
“The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs and 16:9 NASB)
Welcome to the first edition of Lakeside Reflections. In 2015 I launched this site as Ridgetop Reflections. At the time, my wife, Patty and I lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina where we witnessed the wondrous beauty of God’s creation from our rear deck facing the Blue Ridge Mountains. Those experiences (especially the sunsets) often left me speechless. But they also inspired me to reflect on God’s wondrous love, his bountiful provisions, and his amazing grace and to share those reflections with others who find their way to this site.
But as Solomon wrote so beautifully in the passage above, “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Then he provided a series of coupled examples, one of which was “a time to plant and a time to uproot.” With clear divine guidance, we determined earlier this year that the time was right for us to uproot. So we traded our mountain home in North Carolina for a lakeside home in the Panhandle of Florida to be closer to our kids and grandkids for however many remaining years God graces us with in this earthly journey.
In a post published in 2016 titled The Paths of Life, I shared a personal story of how God disrupted our retirement plans 20 years ago when he directed us to Denver, Colorado as my last duty station with the Federal Prison System. Just as clearly, God guided us in this decision as well, confirming it in multiple ways- none more clear than the following.
Later in 2016, I published a series of posts titled Lessons From the Cotton Fields. The last post in that series was To The Fields! It remains one of my favorite posts. Central to its narrative was a church I had encountered on a morning walk in Callaway, Florida while visiting our family. A sign out front described it as “The perfect church for imperfect people”.
That church is Northstar Church and it is 35 miles from our current home. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the parents of Northstar’s senior pastor are now our next door neighbors. On that fateful morning walk over four years ago, the Lord already knew the plan he had for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) We just didn’t know it yet.
While we no longer enjoy those jaw-dropping mountain sunsets shared in so many of my reflections from the ridgetop, the sunrises in the mornings and moonrises in the evenings reflecting off the water here by the lakeside are simply serene and God’s presence is equally as evident.
My hope and prayer is that those of you who found my writings in Ridgetop Reflections worthy of your time will be continue to be enlightened, encouraged, and comforted by Lakeside Reflections.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Ps. 16:11 ESV)
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