My Burning Bush

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes.”

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

It’s just a Croton Plant in my yard, one of many and in one of the many colors that Crotons come in, most multi-colored. But for some reason the other afternoon when it wasn’t raining and a ray of sunlight hit it. I saw a “burning bush!” Maybe I should remove my shoes more often! 🙂 And thanks to Elizabeth Browning’s thought, I will continue seeing “every common bush afire with God,” and other parts of earth also, where God waits for us to notice. 🙂

Continue reading “My Burning Bush”

Morning Walk in Nature

Walking around my little house is one morning joy I can have any day! As good as up the hill or in a faraway place.

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There I feel that nothing can befall me.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


My Flora & Forest Gallery

¡Pura Vida!

Design by Nature

Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.

~Rabindranath Tagore


Guarumo or Cecropia Tree from my terrace – always facing heaven.


You have glimpsed the divine.”
~Vera Nazarian


See my Flora & Forest Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

God’s Glory in the Skies

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Psalm 19 The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

(Emphasis is mine.)  Sharing what struck me in my devotional reading 3 mornings ago as I read this Psalm. And really, everything in nature has God speaking to me whether in a Bible passage or a famous quotation or not. I am in closer harmony with God in the natural places of Costa Rica than anywhere I’ve been before – like an anteroom to Heaven!   🙂    No predictions intended, but I’m ready!   🙂   Being close to nature is one of my ideas of heaven!

¡Pura Vida!


One little slice of the joys of being “Retired in Costa Rica!”

Nature, Like Steeples, Pointing to God

Buds of the about to bloom Gardenias in Central Park Atenas
Seem to be pointing to God like the nearby steeple
Atenas, Costa Rica

As every walk by the Atenas Catholic Church
Also reminds me of God! Both steeple & palm trees!
Atenas, Costa Rica

And my regular trips to Alajuela (one yesterday)
include walking by the Cathedral, a reminder of God
Even the tall evergreen pointing high toward God!
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Nature is my manifestation of God. 
I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work. 
I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain. 
~Frank Lloyd Wright
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you
~Frank Lloyd Wright
The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
~Psalm 19:1

Ginger & Jason

This post is really only for family and close friends who knew me back when married and younger. Ginger and I divorced in 1990 and Jason tried several things before, in over simplification, ran away and had nothing to do with me since the mid-nineties except for a few times wanting money. I tried connecting with him several times but we lived in totally different worlds and could never connect.

Sometime in the last 5 years he decided to become a transsexual and except for a few close friends, I told no one. How do you? With several gay friends I had come to understand or accept homosexuals, but as I told Jason, I have no experiences with trans and no understanding of it. We remained apart, still not understanding each other. He chose not to stay in communication and I had no addresses or phone number.

A couple of weeks ago I received my first contact from Jason in nearly 5 years. He has legally changed his name to Athena and wrote to tell me that his mother (my wife of 20 years) was dying of cancer and might not last through the week. He needed to see her and close out her business and other affairs. Of course, I paid to fly him from Asheville, NC to Gatesville, TX and other related expenses. He spent a week with her in a Gatesville nursing home. He emptied and closed out her apartment, shipping himself 16 boxes. And all arrangements are made for her to stay in the nursing home until she dies by signing over her Social Security check. Her will and the deposition of her ashes are also arranged. So my little boy has grown up and handled one of the toughest times of life, though she still has not died yet.

We have corresponded several times by email and I am again trying again to “connect” with Jason/Athena, though still not sure how or if possible. He is about to turn 43 and showing some interest in family history for the first time, so that is certainly part of my language. 🙂 We will see what happens. Your prayers are appreciated! And maybe my post of last night makes a little more sense now. God is my rock and my salvation!

As most of you know, I don’t like to keep secrets and not good at it, so again I’m being very open and honest and simply trusting God to be in charge. Thank you for allowing that in me. It is good to have friends!


  Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
  think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6, Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Dios es bueno 

Trust in God Alone

Not a beautiful building
like the Catholics, but
The most loving people
found anywhere!
Today’s sermon at Iglesia Biblica was very well presented and in two languages! After the Lord’s Supper (communion) we heard an exposition of Psalm 27 with the closing challenge to memorize the last verse (14): 

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and courageous.
Wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 HCSB

And last night’s devotional in Open Windows was sort of my answer to Psalm 27 & today’s sermon with the first two verses in Psalm 62:

Psalm 62
Trust in God Alone

1 I am at rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will never be shaken.

My faith is as strong or stronger than it was in the states with a lot less church activity but just as much or more dependence on God. And I am at peace. Tomorrow I will tell you about the latest development with what is left of my family, my son and ex-wife, though I have hesitated to share publicly, I’m feeling led to do so. And regardless what happens next, I live by the above verses and “I will never be shaken.”

And one of the neat things from church today is that the translator between English and Spanish (Both directions, depending on who is preaching each 1st Sunday) is named Zaray, a local school teacher and one of my two Spanish teachers who this week started a new “Intermediate Spanish” class that I’m in with 3 other students. I am a very slow language learner, but it is beginning to “click” and be more fun and I have hope of improving, “poco a poco.”   🙂

Rufous-naped Wren, God’s Creation!

Rufous-naped Wren in Yellow Bell Tree off my Terrace

Rufous-naped Wren

Rufous-naped Wren with his feathers ruffled – possibly a juvenile

Rufous-naped Wren posing by one of the few lingering flowers

You probably don’t remember that last July 2015 I reported here about one of these inside my house.

My Costa Rica Birds PHOTO GALLERY  or All My Costa Rica Galleries

A surprise light shower or sprinkle on this Sunday afternoon, March 6, 2016. It is dry season in the central valley with no rain since October, and this one lasted maybe 10 minutes, getting everything wet, but not soaking my flowers and trees – a reminder that it will start raining again for real in May. And tomorrow night I will continue my every two day watering routine.

If you follow all my adventures you may remember that we had rain stop us from seeing Poas Volcano two weeks ago, but it is at a high altitude, “The Cloud Forest,” that has rain year around as does the coastal lowland rainforest such as Tortuguero where we had a little bit of rain on each of our two nights/3 days there. But the rest of Costa Rica is in the Dry Season until May. Read about the WEATHER in Costa Rica.

Genesis 1:20-23The Message (MSG)

20-23 God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life!
        Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!
    God created the huge whales,
        all the swarm of life in the waters,
    And every kind and species of flying birds.
        God saw that it was good.
    God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!
        Birds, reproduce on Earth!
    It was evening, it was morning—
    Day Five.

Emphasis is mine. ~C.D.

“I look up to the mountains”

Dinnertime view from my terrace reminds me of the mountains Psalm . . .

Psalm 121The Message (MSG)

A Pilgrim Song

121 1-2 I look up to the mountains;
    does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
    who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
. . . . . . .     

7-8 God guards you from every evil,
    he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
    he guards you now, he guards you always.

. . . . . . . . .
Tomorrow night (Tues) I will give you a report on my physical and cardiologist visit which is in the morning. (I’m writing/posting this Monday night.)  Pura Vida!   -Charlie

Black Witch Moth (Late for Halloween!)

Black Witch Moth, Atenas, Costa Rica
Outside of my bathroom window screen & photographed with flash at night

I know! It is not black! Though some can be black, gray, brown or other colors, this fits the description and matches photo in Butterflies, Moths, and Other Invertebrates of Costa Rica by Carol L. Henderson. I’ve seen one other of these earlier. They appear from Florida to Brazil and in every part of Costa Rica.

I am not seeing many new creatures this month but enjoying a good rain every afternoon or evening like I had been expecting since May! Hope the rain continues into Dry Season/Summer, which often begins in November or December. We need rain greatly! It has been a drought winter in Costa Rica this year with our summer beginning in December it will mean no rain for 6 months, our dry season. I’m expecting to water my garden a lot.

Yeah, this is “just a moth,” but click image to enlarge, then look at that intricate pattern, those fake eyes near top to scare away birds, and the subtle colors. It reminds me of a favorite Scripture verse:

Take a good look at God’s wonders—
    they’ll take your breath away.
Psalm 66:5 THE MESSAGE