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Friday, September 29, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus

My view of the Psalms shifts when I begin to see them as a Jewish hymnal. This divinely inspired collection of hymns were recited and sung by the Jews in public worship. (1 Chr 16:7-36).

Jesus was intimately acquainted with the psalms and likely sang or recited a portion of them every day of His life.

The early Christians sang and prayed the psalms (Col 3:16; 1 Cor 14:26) and as the written word became more available to the common man, the psalms were likely the only part of the Bible a lay-Christian owned.

In short, "the psalms are the divinely ordained way to learn devotion to our God." (Timothy & Kathy Keller)

For this reason, more than any other, I have chosen the book of Psalms as my focus for the upcoming #write31days challenge. 



Beginning on Sunday, for the following 31 days, I'll share with you a reading schedule that covers all 150 Psalms. Many of you probably already know and/or use this simple formula. 

Through the daily reading of the psalms we will learn to see God as He really is, not just as we wish Him to be. [click to tweet] 

The psalms will teach us a daily dependence upon God:

~through our petition and pledges
~by the mercy we receive from Him through confession and repentance
~and through the comfort He provides when we lament and pray

Most importantly, when read in the light of the entire Bible, the psalms bring us to Jesus! This truth will be revealed again and again as we read through the book of Psalms over the coming month.


Will you join me?

Blessings,

You can find the complete collection here.
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; #write31days

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 37:52

The oaks are offering up their acorns. Tossing them to the ground at my feet as I walk along. I tell them it's too early but they only rustle their leaves and smile. They know their wisdom runs deeper than mine.

A small flock of killdeer flies in. Their high calls fill the air and their white bellies gleam in the setting sun as they arc through the air. They are frequent visitors here and I enjoy listening and watching for them.

They turn my thoughts to another shorebird, the green heron. A lifer for me, I spotted this little hunchback in Granbury, TX earlier this month.



We finally took the time to stop at Houston Street Park. Otherwise known as Shanley Park or Bicentennial Park this beautiful park is tucked just behind the town square.







Filled with handicap accessible walking trails and large shade trees this park draws you in. 



Numerous benches and picnic tables give you an excuse to linger and enjoy the fountains and flowers.





And whatever else might make an appearance . . .



As we head toward the autumnal equinox this Friday the sun is sleeping later and spending its time in the southern sky. I'm already thinking of October and the #write31days challenge. I've got a plan and look forward to revealing it to you soon. I hope you'll join me! And if you're taking the challenge, please let me know so I can plan to follow along!


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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Inspired by . . . the Stone


In light of all that is happening in the world, the black darkness moving in the middle east, the instability and threat of North Korea, the moral breakdown and devaluing of human life that ultimately leads to persecution, not to mention all the natural disasters that threaten our homes and our lives, in light of all this, where do you find your security?

During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the Jewish people found themselves in a terrifying situation. The Babylonian king had conquered them. He destroyed much of their city, desecrated their temple, and carried off their brightest and best men into exile. They were completely without hope.

In light of all this, Daniel, one of those brightest and best, writes about his experience as an exile in Babylon. His Divinely-inspired words reveal the sovereignty of God in every aspect of life. A sovereignty that extends even over the dreams of a pagan king. 

The truth about God set forth in Daniel restored the hope of the Jewish people and it can restore our hope for the future and in the circumstances of our present day realities.

There is a lot of speculation about the interpretation of the dream in Daniel 2. But the message is clear: God sets up kingdoms and brings down kingdoms and His kingdom will never end.

In Nebuchadnezzar's dream the final, everlasting kingdom is described in this way: "...the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."

Jesus said of Himself in Matt 21:42-44, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." 


The angel told Mary, "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom, there will be no end."  (Luk 1:31-33)

Do you believe:
Human history is under the control of God and has a purpose that will be achieved. ~ Alistair Begg [click to tweet]

Viewing events through the lens of God's sovereignty can influence how well, or not, we handle trials and tribulation. Being prepared for the storms of life, whether literal or figurative, is about more than having enough gas, water, and snacks. 

Trusting God, seeking Him daily, and obeying His word will increase our faith and give us the strength we need to live joyful, righteous lives even in the midst of the storm.

Daniel didn't just endure seventy years in exile under a ruthless king, he excelled and was abundantly blessed!

In these uncertain, and often scary times let us follow Daniel's example and put our trust in the sovereignty of a gracious and loving God Who promises to never forsake us.

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

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 35:52

It's been quite a week. Being in the Texas Hill Country, the only thing Harvey gave us was a much needed, soaking rain. But thank you for all your continuing prayers for Texas!  It is so encouraging to this weary heart to see all the good shining forth through the darkness of this tragedy. 

The storm brought with it cooler temperatures and a nod to the changing season. I love fall but I admit, I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. 

I've been on the lookout for early migratory birds and/or any unusual sightings from the storm. So far the only one making an appearance has been the ruby-throated hummingbird. The male makes a hasty exit whenever I pick up my camera, but the female is more than happy to flaunt her stuff! The first shot isn't the best but I like it because you can see the pollen on her beak.





The shot below was taken from a distance in an area of the garden that was untouched by the sun. I thought it produced a rather fun effect.



My garden has finally gotten over the deer devastation from earlier in the summer and I'm not the only one enjoying the blooms!


Mournful Duskywing
Cotton Candy Lantana
The mealy sage is going crazy, flaunting its purple finery for all to see.



How often do you see a roadrunner up a tree? Not very often! This is only the second time I've captured one among the branches. They make the most interesting clucking sound!




I've been blessed with a family of Woodhouse's Scrub Jays and a family of Northern Cardinals this year. It is so entertaining to watch them interact. I posted a picture of two of the young cardinals feeding each other on my IG account last week. You can find it here.



 The peanut suet is a favorite of all my yard birds.



It's hard to get a crisp shot with a swinging basket! 

The snow-on-the-mountain [also called snow-on-the-prairie] is in bloom. These plants can grow over 5ft tall! A friend on IG challenged me to post some black and white photos and this plant's delicate blooms translate beautifully!





What are you seeing through your lens this week?

Have a wonder-filled day, 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