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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Inspired by . . . what to wear

Ah, a Royal Wedding! What little girl hasn't dreamed of being a princess? Although I'm fairly certain that real-life princess-ship is a far cry from the Disney version, I wish the royal couple the very best.

Princess Meghan looked beautiful in her wedding dress, of course, but what I noticed most in the royal pictures were the hats! Oh, my! The British milliners have certainly been busy, haven't they? 

It's fun to dress up. Even if it's just for the occasional dinner out. Some people "dress-up" every day for work. And some of us who work from home may never change out of our pajamas and bunny slippers. Well, that's a fun thought anyway! The truth is, most of us put on a new set of clothes every morning. Royalty or not, we all put our pants on one leg at a time!

Perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul used something as common as clothing to describe the very uncommon change that occurs when we become a Christian.

Where we were once dead in our sins, we have now been brought alive in Christ. (Col 2:13)  In 2 Cor 5:17 Paul tells us:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.
In his letter to the Colossians, he goes on to explain how we are to take off (put to death) our sinful nature; lies, rage, bad temper, etc., and in verse 12 to:
Put on, then, garments that suit God's chosen and beloved people:
Just as those who attended the Royal Wedding put on clothing appropriate for the occasion, Christians should be clothed in:
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience.
Being tolerant and forgiving, as the Lord has forgiven us. 

It's easy, and fun, to dress up for a handful of special occasions over the course of our lifetimes. It is much harder to put on the garments of compassion and kindness every morning.

The secret to success is found in Galatians 2:20:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
It is only when we allow Christ full rein (and reign!) in our lives, working His way and His will, that we can be successful to: let every word and action, everything you do, be in the name of the Lord Jesus, and give thanks through Him to God the Father. (Col 3:17)

People will be talking about Meghan's dress and who wore what to the wedding for weeks to come. Think how wonderful it would be if people spoke about us and Christians in general, in terms of our compassion and kindness.


Sharing inspiration here:
#TellHisStoryFaith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, #HeartEncouragement,
Thoughtful Thursdays#w2wwordfilledwednesday,
Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments,
#DanceWithJesus; Imparting Grace

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 20:52

This past week was for the birds, in more ways than one. Even though things are a bit busy for me right now, I still find time to sit in wonder of all He has made.

Here's what I've been seeing . . .

The sweet Phoebe pair wakes me every morning. They have a nest somewhere behind the house.

Eastern Phoebe

I was glad to see this flycatcher back this year. He is a bit tricky to ID but his song gives him away!

Great-crested Flycatcher

Now that the lizards and snakes are more active I'm seeing more of this guy. They are so fun to watch!

Greater Roadrunner

The mockingbirds are just crazy this time of year! They seem to nest later than the other birds. Lots of showmanship going on right now!

Northern Mockingbird

We have a pair of scissor-tailed flycatchers back this year. They prefer a copse of trees down in the field but they often come up to the cottage to visit me.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

 I spotted two females before this guy arrived for a bath!

Summer Tanager

One of the most breathtaking birds, this little guy never fails to delight. 

All four of the flycatchers pictured here are part of the Tyrannidae family called the Tyrant Flycatchers. It's so thrilling to have them all here! 

Vermilion Flycatcher

Next week I'll show you what's blooming in my garden. And some other friends that came to visit!

What are you seeing through your lens this week?

Have a wonder-filled week, friends!

PS Click on the bird's name to find more pictures and listen to their song!

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

Friday, May 11, 2018

Inspired by . . . that the world may know

Have you ever done something you didn't want to do out of love for another person? I'm going to bet that you have. And when you did, it was a beautiful witness of sacrificial love.

Scripture tells us that Jesus laid aside His glory and power (Phil 2:7) when He became a man. He did this willingly, knowing the purpose of His earthly time from the drawing of His first breath.

He knew it when satan tempted Him in the desert, offering Him the Kingdom without the pain of the cross. (Matt 4:8) And He knew it that night in the garden when He asked the Father to spare Him. (Mar 14:36)

More than the manger, the garden shows me the fullness of Christ's manhood. No sane person would submit to the torture of the cross without first determining that there was no other way. Gethsemane shows me the sanity of my Savior. [click to tweet]

Before Jesus went to the garden the night of His arrest He told His disciples: "I shall not talk much longer with you, for the prince of this world approaches. He has no rights over Me, but the world must be shown that I love the Father and am doing what He commands;" (John 14:30-31)

There is no question that Jesus went willingly to the cross. His sacrifice is proof of His great love for us. But the cross is not just about us. One of the last statements Jesus makes is, "the world must be shown that I love the Father."

The cross is not only evidence of Christ's love for us, it is an affirmation of His great love for the Father. [click to tweet] One of the primary lessons of the cross is Jesus' love for God. We are often so focused on His love for us that we overlook the testimony of His love for the Father.

The enemy has degenerated love into many shades. But love is only pure when given freely. Perfect love cannot be coerced, faulted, or oppressed. 

Love is a choice and when love is chosen, it is true. [click to tweet]

God gave us free will, even knowing the evil that would come of it because He could do nothing else. God is love and love is God. Love does not exist without God.

What God asked of Jesus He asks of us. Sacrifice born of love.

The acts will vary but the results are the same:

That the world will see our love for the Father.

By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, 
if ye have love one to another. (Joh 13:35)


Sharing inspiration here:
#TellHisStoryFaith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, #HeartEncouragement,
Thoughtful Thursdays#w2wwordfilledwednesday,
Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments,
#DanceWithJesus; Imparting Grace