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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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

Hello, friends!

It's been a busy week but I did manage to capture a few delights to share with you! I know many of you are still under snow and ice. Perhaps a bit of spring gardening will encourage you!

The knockout roses are doing wonderful this year. All my lantana came back and most of my milkweed has sprouted. The Mexican Bush Sage which bloomed through the snow we had in December hasn't shown any signs of green yet and I'm afraid I might have lost it.

Ready to plant is more Mexican Bush Sage, butterfly weed and two "pow-pow" coneflower plants - excited for these to bloom! I also planted a few pentas for instant color.

The creeping jenny I planted a couple of weeks ago is doing well despite the high winds we've been having. With gusts up to 30mph here lately, you've got to wonder if the experience inside the birdhouse is a bit wilder than being out on a limb!

Carolina Wren

This Woodhouse's Scrub Jay posed nicely for me the other day.  

I haven't spotted any ruby-throated hummingbirds yet. I wonder if they got a memo about the weather y'all have been having up north?  I'll close with this week's shots of the current Yard Boss.

It's easy to see why they call them black-chinned hummingbirdsOne of these days I'll catch him with the sun on his chin and you'll see his pretty purple throat. 

What are you seeing through your lens this week?


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

Saturday, April 14, 2018

1 My times are in thy hand;
my God, I wish them there;
my life, my friends, my soul, I leave
entirely to thy care.

2 My times are in thy hand,
whatever they may be;
pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
as best may seem to thee.

3 My times are in thy hand;
why should I doubt or fear?
My Father's hand will never cause
his child a needless tear.

4 My times are in thy hand,
Jesus the Crucified;
those hands my cruel sins had pierced
are now my guard and guide.


I don't know when it was, the last time I sang or heard these words from the 19th century hymn writer, William Freeman Lloyd but it is no surprise that the refrain has been playing itself in my mind these last few days.

In the midst of the current political and world climate, it is easy to become fearful, even afraid of what the future may hold.

Lately, I've been finding great comfort in the life of Daniel.

As a young man, Daniel was taken from his life in Jerusalem and carted off to Babylon to serve in the King's household. The book of Daniel, in the Old Testament, spans the next 60 or so years. Daniel was exiled, away from all that he held dear for the rest of his life.

Daniel saw many atrocities against man and endured countless attacks on his faith during his lifetime. He faced death many times, including one night in the lion's den.

Interestingly enough, the only time Daniel expresses fear is when he is in the presence of angelic beings. Daniel 10:7 is one example:
And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. (Dan 10:7-8)
So what does Daniel's life in Babylon have to do with us today?

Daniel was able to live his life in exile, not only live but thrive (Daniel 2 tells us that the King promoted Daniel to a high position and bestowed on him many rich gifts) because he believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that God is sovereign over all things.

Daniel's ability to face his accusers, to be compassionate to an evil king, and to write the book of Daniel as an encouragement to the Israelites was only possible because of his humble response to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

Daniel had peace because he understood that nothing happens outside of God's ultimate control. This Truth can be difficult to grasp. Firmly believing it, even when we don't understand, comes down to faith.

Faith is born when we bow our heads to Jesus as Lord but it takes flight when we begin believing God's word as Truth. [click to tweet]
The holy God of Israel, the LORD Who saves you, says: "I am the LORD your God, the One who wants to teach you for your own good and direct you in the way you should go. (Isa 48:17)
Spending time with Him and in His word will give us the assurance and peace we need to overcome the fears cultivated by a God-less view of world circumstances. [click to tweet]

Daniel believed having only visions of a victorious end. How much more should we, having experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit given by the risen Savior, believe in the hope that is set before us!

What will it take in your life for you to know that God reigns?


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

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 15:52

Time keeps marching on. Spring has tarried long this year for many of you. I wonder, do you wake up and feel like you've tumbled backward through a wardrobe into Narnia?

Fear not. Aslan IS come and spring will, too.

I'm excited to report that I've seen more monarchs already this year than all of last year put together!

This antelope horn milkweed hadn't even opened yet but this guy was doing his best!

There are more wildflowers blooming every day and the butterflies are everywhere!

American Lady and Gray Hairstreak on wild garlic
We had another new visitor to the front yard this week!

The Spotted Towhee!  My pictures are a little fuzzy as he was quite a distance away, hiding in the grass!

I was watching the Cardinals when I spotted his black head and said, "What's that!"

They are native to our area but are not usually seen at the feeders. I suspect this guy was just looking for something different for dinner!

There has been a lot of singing and chasing going on, which is typical for this time of year.

I have more than one pair of Cardinals. Although it is difficult to distinguish at times, the older male has more black feathers on his face. I'm trying to get good pics of all of them so I can get a real count. Is it two or three pair? I'm not sure.

While I was taking pictures of the monarch butterfly (above) the Eastern Bluebird swooped in to say hello. A little while later, a flock of cedar waxwings flew in, hiding in behind the new leaves of the tallow tree. They were gone before I could get a decent photo.

Never a dull moment!

The oak tree blossoms make for an interesting backdrop for our little "yard boss."

What are you seeing through your lens this week?

Have a wonder-filled week, friends!

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