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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Inspired by . . . Seasons



Always be joyful; pray continually; give thanks whatever happens; for this what God wills for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thess 5:16-18
*****


If only some of the seasons in our life would end as quickly as Spring does in Texas. The official start of summer isn't until Friday but Mother Nature doesn't abide by our worldly calendars. Evidence of spring's abundant rain is quickly disappearing under the sun's golden fire. And what moisture the sun doesn't extract, the wind beats dry.

It's been a bit dry around this place lately. Time is a fire that licks lustily at the river of words that long to flow freely. Streams of creativity are dammed up, waiting for release. Despite the lengthening days, my current responsibilities leave me with little daylight and even less energy.

There are books waiting to be released but no time to engage a launch team; characters from current stories stand frozen mid-scene; still others beg escape from the corners of my mind. These days, stories are written in my head as I struggle to fall asleep at night - - Only to be forgotten as priorities march in on the rays of the rising sun.

Just as the flowers bloom in the desert, I'm determined to "give thanks whatever happens" and embrace this season of my life. God's purpose is not always evident in the minutia of daily living. Yes, always, when life doesn't give us what we want - - God has something better.

Sometimes . . . it's just Him.

Shalom,




Friday, May 31, 2019

Inspired by . . . Bird Blinds Vol. 2

Pedernales Falls State Park
As promised, more pictures from my first bird blind experience at Pedernales Falls State Park. I'm blessed to see most of these birds in my own front yard but I still enjoyed watching them in a different environment.

Woodhouse's Scrub Jay

Ladder-back Woodpecker

Northern Cardinal (female)

Ladder-back Woodpecker

Ladder-back Woodpecker

Northern Cardinal (male)
Lincoln's Sparrow

Carolina Wren
Sitting in the quietness of the blind I am reminded . . .

"Life is this simple: We are living in a world
that is absolutely transparent and the Divine
is shining through it all the time.
This is not just a nice story or a fable.
It is true."
~Thomas Merton

Blessings,

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Inspired by . . . how best to live



"Choices are always powerful. It does not matter that we rarely understand exactly what we are choosing. Perhaps that is precisely where the power lies: not in the choosing but in the learning how to best live with our choice." ~Christie Purifoy, Placemaker

*****

The older you get the more you tend to look back. You begin asking questions like: "How did I get here?", "Why?", and "What's next?"

The "how" may become clear even if the "why?" and the "what's next?" remain shrouded in the mist.

Stepping back through our memories brings us to the many crossroads of our choices. Even where those crossroads are deeply scarred by the trainwreck of someone else's choices; evidence remains of how we chose to pick up the pieces [or not] and move on.

There is nothing wrong with looking back. The bible is filled with admonishments to remember. The key is not to look back with bitterness and regret. Rather we look back with an eye of discernment. Seeking those divine moments when His hand was upon us; teaching, guiding, protecting. This knowledge is often given to us only through hindsight. 

For me, "learning how to best live with [my] choice[s]" is two-fold:

Change and Trust.

If I'm making choices that move me in the wrong direction, I need to change. We are body, mind, and spirit. Unhealthy choices equal a disconnect between these three elements.

Romans 12 teaches us how to correct and guard against this disconnect so that we can know the will of God and make choices that reflect His will and bring Him glory:
"Therefore, my friends, I implore you by God's mercy to offer your very selves to Him: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for His acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart. Conform no longer to the pattern of this present world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds. Then you will be able to discern the will of God and to know that is good, acceptable, and perfect." Romans 12:1-2


At the same time, living with my choices means trusting that He who began a good work in me will bring it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. That even when I make the wrong choices or am tossed about by the waves created by the boulders tossed by others, He is faithful.

There is no room for a victim mentality in Christ. The "whys" and the "what's next" are most clearly revealed when we embrace the freedom we have in Him. Looking back is just where we begin. We do not remain in the past.

Rather, we give thanks for the present and rejoice in the future.

For this is His will for us in Christ Jesus.
"Always be joyful; pray continually; give thanks for whatever happens; for this is what God wills for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess 5:16-18

Shalom,