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Tuesday, July 10, 2018





"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1Cor10:13

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2Cor12:9

God is always fair and just in His dealings with us. In fact, He goes far beyond "fairness," showering us with His mercy (withholding the judgment we deserve) and grace (giving us that which we do not deserve).

Don't be like Eve, believing the lie that God is holding out on you.


His love is complete. He could not love you more and He will never love you less.

Blessings,

Saturday, July 7, 2018




Let your speech always be with grace.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

By your words you will be justified.

The tongue of the wise promotes health.

If you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as My mouth.

But as you abound in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, . . . see that you abound in this grace also.

Lord, our country is being torn apart by words unfitly spoken. May those who know You speak wisely and with grace.

Blessings,

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Inspired by . . . the True Light



"There appeared a man named John. He was sent from God, and came as a witness to testify to the light, so that through Him all might become believers. He was not himself the light; he came to bear witness to the light. The true light which gives light to everyone was even then coming into the world." John 1:6-9

In this passage, John calls Jesus the "true light."  Without even mentioning it, John warns us against the darkness. There is One True Light in this world but there are many false lights.  Paul warns us in 2Co11 about the enemy who disguises himself as an angel of light. The enemy loves to take the good things that God has made and pervert them for his own evil uses.


Be on guard against the things of this world that glitter and shine. Test the spirits. Hold your decisions, your relationships, your circumstances up against the light of scripture. Step cautiously upon the path, never straying from the lamplight of His word.

Blessings,

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Inspired by . . . what makes you free




The proud boast:
"We are Abraham's descendants, they replied; we have never been in slavery to anyone. What do you mean by saying, "You will become free"?

The Truth:
"In very truth, I tell you', said Jesus, 'that everyone who commits sin is a slave. The slave has no permanent standing in the household, but the son belongs to it for ever. If then the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.' "

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We enjoy more freedoms in this country than in any other country in the world. More so than the Jews, who were under Roman rule at the time, we have much about which to boast and celebrate. And we should celebrate. And we should remember the cost of our freedom. For freedom isn't free. Neither our personal freedom nor our freedom from sin. Both were paid for in blood.

Wishing you all a happy and safe Independence Day!




Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Inspired by . . . the prevailing Light



"In the beginning the Word already was. The Word was in God's presence and what God was the Word was. He was with God at the beginning and through Him, all things came to be; without Him, no created thing came into being. In Him was life and that life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never mastered it." John 1:1-5

There is evil in this world and at times it may appear that those instruments of evil are prevailing. They are not. Darkness can not and will not ever master the Light.


We all have a choice; we can increase the light or cast a shadow.  May we go forth today shining brightly.

Blessings,


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 24:52

"Don't pray for patience!" Our Pastor jokingly admonished us a few weeks ago. Anyone who has ever received an answer to that prayer knows why . . . You learn patience by learning to trust God in all circumstances. The circumstances that teach us best are ones that are clearly outside of our control.

Be careful what you pray for.

Some lessons in patience are more enjoyable than others. I prefer to learn patience from the hummingbirds.



The hummers in my yard tend to be a little camera shy.



Add that to the speed in which they fly and getting just the right shot can be a challenge.



It took me about a week to get these three images. I hope you enjoy!


Have a wonder-filled week, friends!

PS This post is for you, Floyd!
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, June 2, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 22:52


Lord, I need the clear shinings of
Your love, the beams of Your grace,
the light of Your countenance - these
are as summer suns to me.
C.H. Spurgeon


Mournful Duskywing

I love you, June but you came too soon!

Winter dug in its heels, then Summer rudely pushed its sister, Spring to the side; taking center stage with sunny face, steaming breath and orb of light.

The corn is popping in the deer feeders and the fields are quickly turning to shades of brown. Still, I'm a child of summer. Unashamed, and unafraid.

This year, I'm choosing to focus on the Light.


Cotton Candy Lantana and daddy long-leg spider
The sun is in command, forcing me to squint even behind my sunglasses. Rising in the east, her thick rays cloak the earth, painting each blade of grass with a yellow stroke. 

Our limestone rich roads reflect the light back as an offering and we are caught from above and below in a web of white.


Cotton Candy Lantana and bee
Summer is the season of light, so it seems fitting that it was likely this time of year that the true Light came to dwell among us.


Pow-pow coneflower
The true Light Who enlightens all humankind. By His creating power, He enlightens every person with the light of reason; that life which is the light of men is from Him; all the discoveries and directions of reason, all the comfort it gives us, and all the beauty it puts upon us, are from Christ.


Mournful Duskywing on pow-pow coneflower
My garden is one of those beauties that is constantly enlightening me to His presence. Everything from the smallest aphid to the fox squirrel that comes to drink from the fountain speaks of His intelligent design.

The light of His presence, the warmth of His grace, these are as summer suns to me. [click to tweet]


What beauty 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
#TellHisStory

Saturday, May 26, 2018




"Come, people of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord." (Isaiah 2:5)
During the summer months, it is difficult to avoid the light. It is the season of the sun and she dominates the sky. With over 70 references to light in the NT and over 130 in the OT, scripture talks a lot about light and darkness. 

Through His Word, the Lord speaks plainly to us. When the Spirit dwells within us, He will guide us into understanding. (John 14:26) With Jesus proclaiming Himself as the Light of the world in John 8:12, the mention of light in scripture is something to which we should pay close attention.

So what does it mean to walk in the light of the Lord? The verses before Isaiah 2:5 give us some guidance. I see three key things here:
  • a teachable spirit; accept His instruction (vs 3)
  • a peaceful spirit; lay down your need for power and control (v. 4)
  • a humble spirit; give Him Lordship over your life (vs 2)
"If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, then we share a common life, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."  (1 John 1:7)
The light Isaiah talks about is the illumination that will be present in the days to come when the Messiah appears. John speaks of the same Light, now come, and how our Christian walk (actions) should manifest the things of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22)

Therefore, let us walk as children of the Light. 

Shalom,




Further reading: Eph_5:8; 1Th_5:8; Rom_13:12


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

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.


Blessings,






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)

Shalom,




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

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 18:52


Four cheery yellow breasts 
clinging to a sock full of seed, 
red cap above a speckled back, 
bird-song and Pheee-be calling, 
Lady-girl dozing in the shade.

This is Saturday to me. 

Choosing stillness over stirring
watching rainbows on the wing
gazing heavenward
puffy whites floating 
on a sea of blue.
Eating manna
sipping wine.

This is Sabbath to me.

Don't worry, I'm not turning poet on you. I'll leave that to those of you who have the gift. These are just some words arranged in lines. Snapshots of my world. Here are a few more. 








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

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Inspired by . . . the path of the just



The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Prov 4:18 NKJV
I love this verse. It is like the warmth of the sun to me. Whenever I read it I think of the sun shining on the water. The path of its light will always come to you. No matter where you roam, up or down the shore, the path of light will follow.

It is a beautiful reminder that God is always with us. We cannot escape His presence. We can travel to the limits of the east or the bounds of the western sea and still His hand will guide us.
Where can I escape from Your spirit, where flee from Your presence?If I climb up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.If I travel to the limits of the east or dwell at the bounds of the western sea, even there Your hand will be guiding me, Your right hand holding me fast. Psalm 139:7-10 REV
It is a reminder, too, that the path of the righteous is through His Son. As we walk in the light as He is in the light we become more like Him. Closer and closer to that perfect day when we will see Him clearly and in an instant all be changed.

I'm so glad that God is not like us, aren't you? He is slow to anger and abounding in love. Even in His anger, He does not sin. His anger is always based on justice. Unlike our anger, His is never prideful or cruel. He is never impatient or arrogant. Never bitter yet often sorrowful.

Through all our faithlessness, He is faithful. He will never abandon us. That work which He began when the spark of His love first ignited in our hearts will be completed on the day of Christ. That perfect day.


Blessings,

References:




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

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?

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