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Friday, April 28, 2017

Inspired by . . . the power of your testimony


I've been camped out in the book of Acts these post-Easter days. Marveling at the boldness of the apostles so soon after we left them cowering behind locked doors.

Dispute it if you will but these same men would not be so bold, would not die, for a stolen or an otherwise "missing" body. What gave them their boldness was seeing the risen Savior in the flesh and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Verbena
Not only did the apostles appear in public and speak boldly, they healed people just as Jesus had done.
But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. (Act 3:6-8)
Though the Jewish authorities sought to stop Peter and the apostles they could not deny their boldness nor the evidence of the miracle standing before them.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 
But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, "What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it(Act 4:13-15)
We might not be able to say we've seen the risen Lord, or produce a body that's been healed . . . or wait, maybe we can.


If you're a believer then you have been healed, changed, made new! You have witnessed, experienced the power of the risen Savior in your life! 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2Co 5:17)
Maybe you're like me and don't think your testimony is particularly exciting or relevant. 

When I accepted Christ and received the Holy Spirit, there wasn't an outward manifestation, such as speaking in tongues or casting out of demons, etc. But the inward manifestation was very real. And, over time, the fruit of the Spirit has been revealed in my life. 

I do not doubt Christ because I KNOW Christ. [click to tweet] I KNOW the power within me because I know MYSELF and I know the changes in me are not of my own doing. 

Every testimony is relevant. People can choose to believe the Bible or not, but they cannot deny the truth of your personal testimony. [click to tweet] Share what you know to be true about yourself.

Maybe you're afraid that you don't know enough scripture or theology to talk to someone about your faith in Christ. 

Chances are you know more than you think but it's okay to admit you don't know everything. None of us have all the answers when it comes to the things of God. Again, start with what you do know. What has God done in your life? Your testimony is your most powerful witness for Christ. [click to tweet]

We can also rely on the promises of scripture to speak boldly about Christ. Jesus encouraged His disciples before He left with these words:
And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." (Luk 12:11-12)
Just like after Christmas, it can be easy to lose the JOY and HOPE that the resurrection brings. I encourage you to spend some time in Acts reading about the "acts" of the apostles and how they boldly brought the message of the cross to Jerusalem and beyond.

Hummingbird Moth


I know you will be inspired!

Blessings,


Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement
#DancewithJesus

Monday, April 24, 2017

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 17:52

My Dreamer and I were out of town last week, so I'm a bit off my regular post schedule.

Our trip didn't go at all as planned. In fact, we ended up doing something entirely different, in a completely different place.

Eastern Phoebe
But that's okay. Sometimes we need to be reminded that our future is not in our hands.
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."  (Jas 4:13-15)
That can either be an incredibly scary truth or an incredibly peaceful one.

It really depends upon your view of God.

When I consider the current state of our world, knowing that God is in control brings peace to an otherwise chaotic view. Dialing that down to our own "little worlds," I've found the result to be the same. We may want to be in control, but striving for that reality only ever left me in a continual state of worry and strife. [click to tweet]

I still make plans, but I try to do so with an open hand and open heart.

I should take a lesson from the sweet little finches that visit my yard.


Lesser-goldfinch Texas morph
Because of the destructive raccoons in my area, I wasn't able to leave my bird feeders out while I was away. Silly me, I was actually worried about the birds not having food while I was gone.


Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mat 6:26)
Yes, I am more valuable than they. And God will care for me, just as He cares for the birds of the air.

In other bird news, I spotted my first ruby-throat of the season!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
They are on their way north to a feeder near some of you! In a rare show of solidarity, I captured a few of the females eating together.



One of my favorite milkweed varieties, antelope horn, is in bloom.



This milkweed attracts a lot of different pollinators. These little butterflies are hairstreaks, the "Olive" Juniper Hairstreak, I believe. The antelope horn is a primary food source for monarch butterflies, so I'm glad to see it in abundance this year.

Nestwatch:

Mamma wren is busy feeding her babies.




I count a total of three beaks so far! They're growing fast. Be sure to come back next week for another update.



Have you made any plans lately that didn't quite work out?

What are you seeing through your lens this week?

Have a wonder-filled week,

Note: Earlier this week, my friend, Lyli, shared ten powerful promises of God that will bring you peace. You can find them here: Lylidunbar.com




Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My LensBird D’pot,
Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens,
Wild Bird WednesdayOur World Tuesday,
Community Global, Photo Friday, Little Things Thursday
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory, Life-N-Reflection,
Faith On Fire, Grace & TruthInspire Me Monday,
RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement,
#DancewithJesus, Life-N-Reflection

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 16:52

After culling my photos from this last week I realized I had far too many that I wanted to share with you for one post. So you'll have to come back next week to see the rest!

These first pictures are awful as far as quality goes. I took them through our side windows after the sun had set. My poor camera had no light to work with. But it was so exciting to see this Common Gray Fox! I just had to share them with you!




Despite his name, these foxes are anything but common. This is only the 2nd time in the five years I've lived here that we've seen one.  I think you can tell how beautiful he is even though the pictures are so poor. He usually only comes after dark but I hope I can get better pictures to share with you in the future.

I added a new bird to my life list this week. This lovely Eurasian Collared Dove.



Sadly, the white-winged doves were not welcoming, so I haven't seen her since.

Does this look like a likely place for a nest?



I didn't think so either, but those crazy wrens . . .



You can barely see the little pink babies inside. I'll post updates as they grow!

I've mentioned before that we have a variety of flycatchers in the area. I've seen the Great Crested Flycatcher in years past, but this year it seems he has decided to stay. He may have a mate and a nest - I'm still watching and investigating!




We finally got all the plants in the garden! I stick mostly with Lantana, Sage, and milkweed varieties. Partly to discourage the deer but they are also wonderful plants for butterflies! 



And we've already had visitors!




I've seen two monarchs already! So far, only the pipevine swallowtail [battus philenor] has lingered long enough for me to capture. Always a favorite!

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in--what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

What are you seeing through your lens this week?

Blessings,


Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My LensBird D’pot,
Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens,
Wild Bird WednesdayOur World Tuesday,
Community Global, Photo Friday, Little Things Thursday;
Life-N-Reflection