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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Inspired by . . . come thirsty

How are you feeling today? 

Is your spirit full? Are you walking forth in JOY, believing in His promises?

If that's you, then join me in a fist-bump and shout of Hallelujah! His promises are true and His grace makes the path easier to walk.

But maybe that's not you. Perhaps His grace seems a bit distant and your feet feel more like blocks of clay. Your spirit faints within you and it's hard to believe His promises in light of the world's current circumstances.



Does your soul long for rest? Do you desire to be made new?

Come.



Drink of the Living Water.



Your Father knows what you need. Trust Him.



Don't allow the things of this world to cloud the Truth. Do not be afraid.



Trust in the One Who created the universe. Who gathers your tears in a bottle.




The One Who holds you in the palm of His hand.

And will never let you go.

Shalom,

Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Let Us Walk Worthy,
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

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 30:52

Looking for some help from my birder friends this week to identify this bird:



It can be difficult this time of year with so many immature birds around. Please leave a comment if you have an ID to share. I'm in south Texas.

UPDATE: popular opinion thinks this may be a female indigo bunting. I'll let you know if the male shows up!

It's fun to watch the birds preen. They strike the funniest poses. This is one of the few times the Mockingbird is silent. Preening and eating.









We were blessed with some rain yesterday!



Rain showers my spirit and waters my soul.
~Emily Logan Decens



What's watering your soul this week?

Blessings,



Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Photo Friday

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Inspired by . . . remember who you are


I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2Ti 4:1-4)

I just finished Andrew Peterson's trilogy, The Wingfeather Saga. I have to be honest, I almost didn't order book two and three. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent story and I enjoyed it immensely. But reading uses something that is precious to all of us: time. 

After finishing book one I wondered if perhaps my time was better spent reading non-fiction or, better yet, my Bible, rather than a fantasy adventure written primarily for young adults. 


All this Texas Spiny Lizard is missing is his wings.

But God uses many people and many ways to communicate His truths. Now that I've finished the saga, I'm glad I spent my time reading this delightful story. Not only was it a measure of self-care, time spent simply doing something I enjoy, but I was reminded of a few faith-building lessons along the way.

"Remember who you are." Thus says Nia Wingfeather to her three children every day when she drops them off at school. You see the Wingfeather children are not just ordinary children. They are The Jewels of Anniera; sons, and daughter of the High King.

But the Wingfeather's world isn't any more perfect than ours. When people come against them with lies and half-truths, anger and violence, they will need to remember who they are. And so their mother reminds them, every day.

They are sons and daughters of the King.

So are we.

And just like for the Wingfeathers that means we respond differently when people come against us, our families and our beliefs.

Sometimes it means not saying what we want to say, and doing what we want to do. It means responding {or not} according to the ways of the Kingdom rather than the ways of the world. It means being prepared "in season and out of season" to tell others about our King and His glorious Kingdom. To extend the invitation of inheritance to all.




The Wingfeather children face some dark days. The middle child, Tink, struggles with his identity and purpose. To help him, his brother, Janner, makes him repeat aloud his name and who he is. Doing so keeps Tink focused on the truth and on his purpose.

Perhaps your current circumstances or the tragic and disheartening things happening in our world have left you feeling confused, and fearful. Maybe even hopeless.

Remember who you are. Remember Who you belong to. Remember Who you represent.

Repeat it to yourself.

My name is _________________. I am a son/daughter of the King.

Maybe you even need to say it out loud.

Blessings,


Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Let Us Walk Worthy,
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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 29:52

As you might imagine we are full on summer here in south Texas. It.Is.Hot!

Too hot to do much of anything, other than, well, maybe this:




Activity slows down to a crawl with most of it centered around water. Even the terracotta turtle gets a bath. 



Seriously, though, the birds seem to be eating less and bathing more.


Lesser Goldfinch
House Finch (female)

House Finch (Male)


The sweet little Inca doves are back. The range map shows them as year-round visitors but I only see them in the summer. It is likely a food source that brings them around.


Inca Dove blending into her surroundings.
Here's another summer visitor. Although I'm not 100% sure I'm ID-ing her correctly. The photo is cloudy because I was shooting through the window.


Summer Tanager (female)
The mockingbirds have been acting crazier than usual. I'm not sure if it's because they have another nest to defend or if it's because the persimmon fruit has ripened. 


Mockingbird eating persimmon fruit


We have a lot of dragonflies and damselflies this year. But I haven't seen as many butterflies since it's turned hot.




Not much is blooming in this heat, but you can always count on the crepe myrtle to put on a beautiful summer show!



It's not all birds and blooms, though. This baby lizard has been entertaining me for the past few days, and the deer come daily for water. I just have to remember to look before I open the door, so as not to scare them away!



Texas Spiny Lizard
White-tailed Deer
I don't know if the temperature has anything to do with it, but the sunsets have been red hot, too!



Last night I sat out on my porch and watched the night invade the day. The sun lit the moon with her rays even as she relinquished her place in our sky. The earth calmed and breathed a sigh of relief. The moonlight kept the darkest shadows hidden as the birds sang their postlude. Peace descended. Light and airy. Welcoming.

And then they came on silent feet. The does and the little spotted one. They came for water.




And my soul drank with them.
Under the light of the moon.

Blessings,



Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Photo Friday

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Inspired by . . . warm, frothy milk




I've always preferred my milk cold. Even growing up on a farm where we had fresh milk twice a day, I drank the cold milk out of the refrigerator. But reading about warm, frothy milk paired with freshly baked bread, spread with freshly churned butter, topped with jam makes me wonder what I've been missing.

Maggot Meatloaf, on the other hand, is far less appetizing.

As you might have guessed, I've been indulging in some fantasy lately. When you're hurting and grieving it's a healthy way to escape for an hour or two.

The worlds of The Little White Horse and The Wingfeather Saga couldn't be any further apart if they tried. Fearsome Toothy Cows and lions that protect frolicking lambs simply do not coexist.

But as different as these stories are, certain elements remain the same. Evil and trials challenge the pure-hearted and courageous heroes who long for peace and acceptance. Yes, there is a happy ending in each of these stories. But not for all the characters. Even the good ones. There is pain, disappointment, and suffering.

Perhaps these fantasy worlds are not as far removed from our own as we first thought. While we don't live in fear of the Fangs of Dang or the Men from the Dark Woods we face personal trials and corporate evils that, in some ways, seem to be increasing every day.

It's tempting to respond like Sir Benjamin or the Hollowsfolk by simply ignoring the Dark Woods, or building walls to keep out the Fangs. But we all know that neither of those responses is the answer. We all live in this world together and what happens affects us all. 

There has always been evil in this world, and there have always been those who have stood against it. We all have a choice to make. We can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Our action or inaction falls on one side or the other.

There are many ways to stand against evil. You don't have to join the military or march in a protest. You can speak love to your neighbor and have compassion on your fellow man.

God has given all of us unique gifts and a specific place of service. Stand against the evil of this world with your actions and with your words.

Do what the Lord requires of you. It's really that simple.


Act justly. Love mercy. 
Walk humbly before God.

We may not all be Moon Princesses, but we are sons and daughters of the King.

Shalom,






Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Let Us Walk Worthy,
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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 28:52

I've been saving these images for a while. I think this week is the perfect time to share them with you. We can all use a little humor, a little levity to balance the heaviness and sorrow.

If you're a regular here you know I love birds. I delight in watching their activity. The simple acts of feeding, building nests and raising families. I enjoy capturing them on film with my camera and am always amazed by their vibrant colors and detailed markings. Each one is a work of the Master's hand.

But just as with our family pictures sometimes the camera catches them in a not so flattering pose. Today I'm sharing with you some of those unflattering shots that I've collected over the years. 




Eastern Phoebe

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Lesser Goldfinch

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Greater Roadrunner

Carolina Wren

Eastern Srub Jay

House Finch

Northern Cardinal
Birds look so different "head-on" don't they?

I hope these brought a smile to your face today.

Blessings,



Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Photo , Life-n-Reflection