Welcome

Welcome! I'm so glad you stopped by today! If you're inspired by what you see, I invite you to follow along via one (or more) of the options on the side bar below.

.

.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 5:52

We were in Palm Springs last November for a car auction and, although I was dealing with a bad flare-up, we managed a quick trip to the Palm Springs Air Museum. I didn't get many pictures but this museum was well worth the effort it took to visit.



As stated on their website: The Palm Springs Air Museum is a living history museum dedicated to educating the public about the role Air Power played in preserving American liberties and way of life. The Museum preserves, exhibits, and flies aircraft from World War Two, Korea, and the Vietnam Wars. Most of the aircraft are in flyable condition.

There was a beer & wine fest going on while we were there so we could hear planes flying overhead which made the experience rather fun. From their website, it looks like they host a variety of events throughout the year. 



The displays are creative and well done. They even have a plane set up that you can go inside.




They also had several, huge, model ships which were really neat.




I can't remember the story behind this helicopter, it may have had something to do with the event. The saddle, up top, cowhide, and longhorn skull made this Texan feel right at home!



It should be noted that the Palm Springs Air Museum is counted as one of the top 14 air museums in the world. They even have a decent restaurant, so it's easy to make a day of it!

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018



I don't know about you but winter is a hard season for me. It's not the cold, although it is harder when we have the bitterly cold days, but the bleakness that eats away at my soul. There is no snow to turn the wilderness into a wonderland. I am very tempted to just endure until things warm up and begin to grow again. 

Yet, as much as my personality may wish to bury its head under the covers, my spirit senses that there are blessings to receive, joys to be found, and lessons to be learned. To simply endure or tolerate this season as a hardship would be a bit like seeing winter but missing Christmas. 

As I'm writing this, there are nine more weeks until Easter, when our spiritual, if not our literal, spring begins. No doubt these nine weeks will fly by just as the last nine have done, and the nine before that, and the nine before. . . There is only one way that I know of to slow down Time.


Stop and pay attention to each moment.

I do not wish for winter to linger. But neither do I want to miss what God has for me in this season. [click to tweet]  So over the next nine weeks, I'm going to be exploring these five things that I believe God has for us to either receive or learn in this season of winter.

Loss; living with less
Cold; numbness
Wait; rest
Hope; hopelessness
Growth; hidden


I hope you will join me. But more than that, I hope you will contribute. Either by commenting on the posts directly or by emailing me. I would love to know what God is showing, giving and teaching you during this season.

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 4:52


This time of the year always brings to mind a scene from the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice. Lizzy is sitting at her window, looking out over the bleak winter landscape as she pens a letter to Jane who is away in London. Being fond of the out-of-doors, Lizzy was dejected about being confined inside. But more than that, without her beloved Jane to act as a buffer between her and their ridiculous mother and sisters, the situation is downright intolerable!

Thankfully, I am not forced to sit and listen to ridiculous or obtuse people (unless you count the TV), nevertheless, I can identify with Lizzy with regard to the weather of late.

Cold, bleak winter days are a challenge for me. Especially when it is damp. The dampness does help reduce the pollen, however, so even there we find a silver lining.





That's not smoke but rather pollen coming off the cedar trees. Ah-choo!
I did take advantage of one sunny, dry day last week to escape our cozy cottage.




I enjoyed being out under the tree canopy and visiting with my friend the gold-fronted woodpecker! They are so amusing to watch! But hard to get a clear picture since they dart around so much.

One thing I love about living here is that you never know what you're going to see out the window!



It's common to see the does grazing but - wooza! - they have a gentleman friend with them today! It's hard to tell from the picture but there is actually a ledge just behind where the doe is standing in the foreground. The buck is down in the lower field. The first time I looked out all I saw was his, um, derrière!

I was so glad he came up, closer to the cottage so I could get these pictures.




I wanted to ease the door open for a clearer shot but I knew he'd be gone in an instant. Hope to see more of you, big fella!



Despite the dreary, gray days there is always beauty to be found.



This is a truth that God is consistently revealing to me.



There are lessons to be learned and blessings to be received even during the stark, bleak days of winter. I hope you'll join me later this week as I explore some of the things God is showing me and teaching me during this season.

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Inspired by . . . two promises



Psa 1:1-6  Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  (2)  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.  (3)  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.  (4)  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  (5)  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;  (6)  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
***

The prayer ended, "Give me stability and contentment regardless of the circumstances. How I need that! Amen," and I realized the author was exactly right. To be content is a wondrous blessing and an admirable prayer. 

But it is not enough. Not for these days. We must be and must pray for, stability.

The stability of mind that comes only from meditating on His word. 


I'm reminded of this passage in James, "A man like that should not think he will receive anything from the Lord. He is always in two minds and unstable in all he does."

A man like that. A man like what? Answer: A man who doubts God.
Jas 1:5-6  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  (6)  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Not someone who doubts that God exists, necessarily, but one who doubts what God has said.
Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
From the beginning, the evil one has set about to twist the Truth in our minds so that we question God's goodness and His love for us.
Jas 1:13-15  Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one.  (14)  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  (15)  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.
I've been reading C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and there are people in this age, in every age, who, like Digory's Uncle Andrew in The Magician's Nephew, believe that the rules don't apply to them. They either ignore Truth or deny that it exists. 

Uncle Andrew had made a promise to his late aunt. A promise that he did not keep. He had convinced himself that he was a "great thinker." Someone with "hidden knowledge" to whom "common rules" (like keeping promises) did not apply.

Uncle Andrew's broken promise brought a great evil into a brand new, innocent world: Narnia.

But all was not lost because Aslan, Narnia's creator, knew about the great evil and already had a plan of protection and redemption. (Another story for another time)

There is, however, one more promise in this story that I want to share with you. Aslan sends Digory to a garden high in the mountains to a tree bearing silver apples. Digory promises Aslan he will bring him back an apple from this tree.

All is well. Digory has the apple in his pocket and is about to return when - evil makes her appearance. 
"Do you not see, Fool, that one bite of that apple would heal her? You have it in your pocket. We are here by ourselves and the Lion is far away."
Do you see how the evil one speaks directly to Digory's greatest desire? His mother was dying. His greatest desire was to heal her. Our greatest desires are not necessarily and not always bad in and of themselves.

But Digory had made a promise. He remembers the tears in the lion's eyes when they spoke about his mother. And as hard as it is for the little boy, he takes the apple back to Aslan.

With it, Aslan grows a great tree that protects all of Narian. Then, he allows Digory to pluck an apple from that tree to take back to his world and heal his mother.

Aslan grants Digory's greatest desire in the right way, at the right time. All is well.

Digory didn't know much about Aslan. Not nearly as much as we think we know about God. But he remembered Aslan's tears and he remembered enough of what his mother had taught him that the witch's words rang false and hollow.

What about us? Can we recognize the false and hollow words of the enemy when he speaks? We will if we know the Truth. [click to tweet]

And this, I hope, circles us back to the beginning.

Stability of mind and deed, the ability to be content in all circumstances. Knowing what to ask for when we pray. Waiting for God to act. All these things are realized only when we know the Word of God for ourselves. When we meditate on it day and night. When we seek God in relationship, not simply as a religion or a set of rules.

It's a tall order, friends. A life-long commitment. An eternal reward.


Blessings,
















Sharing inspiration here:
#TellHisStoryFaith 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, Salt & Light

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 3:52

Some of you know that I'm not a native Texan. It seems strange to type those words because, well, moving to Texas felt like coming home. I won't say I'll never leave, only God knows that, but I truly love it here.

Prior to moving to Texas, I lived in Arizona for nearly twenty years. If you've never been to Arizona you're probably thinking hot, dry, desert. You'd be right.

And you'd be wrong.

Arizona is an incredibly beautiful and diverse state. In fact, AZ Highways once did an issue that featured places in Arizona that compared to every state in the country. Even Alaska! From sand dunes to ski mountains, Arizona has it all. Well, everything except oceanfront property, as one famous Texan reminds us!

One of Arizona's hidden gems are her lakes. Saguaro Lake, just north of Fountain Hills and northeast of Scottsdale is one of my favorites. Formed in 1930 by the Stewart Mountain Dam, Saguaro Lake is the fourth reservoir on the Salt River. With 22 miles of shoreline, there is a lot to see an enjoy!

My Dreamer and I took the Desert Belle cruise and tour when we were there this past November. It's a well-run, narrated tour and highly recommended.


Desert Belle



Heading into the canyon


Big Horn Sheep - I spotted them too late to get a good picture.

Various waterfowl. American Coot, Clark's Grebe, and Ring-necked Duck were a few I could identify.
Rare, cristate or crested Saguaro

The majestic Four Peaks

Web formation on the canyon walls caused by cooling strands of lava.

Saguaro Cacti


The yellow is lichen on the rock surface.


As well pulled back into dock we sensed we were being watched. We finally spotted a droid hovering just off the side of the boat. Upon exiting we found the operator standing on the dock. It was a little unnerving to realize we were being filmed. In truth, there are few public places where we are not being filmed these days. You learn to get used to it, if not accept it. But having a teenager film you in a completely natural (as in, out in nature) setting seemed a bit intrusive. I suspect we'll be seeing more and more of these droids in the not so distant future.

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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Inspired by . . . His terms

I was reviewing last year's journal entries this week and found an entry from January 4, 2017, that I want to share with you.




It's hard to know what God is allowing to happen in view of the fallen state of man and what is His will. I write this even as I realize that is wrong.  We can know, to a certain extent, although not fully in all things.

Those things that stand according to His word are certainly within His will. Those things clearly contrary to His word are outside of His will - but not, however, outside of His sovereign control. It is these things He allows to happen yet works for the good of all who love Him and who act according to His purposes. These are the things that are often the hardest for us to understand and accept.

We ache to know His will, yet we will not ask on His terms. We will not do the work of emptying so that He can do the work of filling.  We want change in us but not change in our world.

The truth is that any growth, or any movement whether physical or spiritual affects the things around it. You cannot ask God to change you and then not expect to see that change play out, good or bad, in your relationships.

Salvation is not a static state of being for God's love is constantly propelling us toward a state of purity in Christ Jesus.

The Son of God appeared for the very purpose of undoing the devil's work. When we agree with Jesus and do the things He's told us to do we take part in that undoing. A worthy goal for the New Year, don't you think?


Lord, help me to be at work undoing the devil's work today and every day. In the name of Jesus, Amen. [click to tweet]


Blessings,




Sharing inspiration here:
#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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 2:52

And just like that, we're in the second week of the new year. So far the weather has not been kind. From Storm Eleanor in Europe to the "bomb cyclone" along the U.S. east coast, at least half of the world has been experiencing frigid temperatures. Even Florida had snow last week!

It's wonderful book-reading and couch-potato weather. But while we're slowing to a huddle and staying in to keep warm, the animals are doubly active, foraging for the extra food they need to increase body fat, which keeps them warm!



It was nice to see the male Kestrel back again. 



A few meadowlarks have been around as well. I believe these are Eastern Meadowlarks because the malar stripe at the base of the bill is white. On the Western larks, it is yellow. (corrections welcome!) These guys are very skittish so I was pleased to get this shot.

A flock of European Starlings and cowbirds flew in for a day of foraging.



The backyard birds have been busy, too.




Mr. Cardial is looking pretty sleek in his red coat! 



The branch I had the peanut feeder hanging on came down in the heavy snow we had last month. I relocated the feeder to the front yard and have enjoyed watching the birds, especially the titmice, from my kitchen window.



Full disclaimer, all pictures were taken from the comfort of my cozy warm cottage! 

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

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Inspired by . . .  inwardly renewed

With few exceptions, winter has been holding much of the U.S.in a death grip this last week. Except to feed the birds, I've been held captive by the warmth of my cozy cottage. Nothing but hoar frost grows in my garden now. Wasn't it just last week we had butterflies?



Time has marched on into a new year and it's not looking back. Neither are most of you. My social media feeds are filled with excitement, hope, and how-tos for 2018. It's wonderful.

Many of you are charging full on into 2018 while others of us are easing in to the new year, celebrating Christmastide and looking ahead only as far as Epiphany on Saturday.

Some of us are still licking our wounds from 2017. I took time this past weekend to sit and review my daily journal notes from last year. I knew it had been a difficult year but seeing the daily entries really brought it into focus. 

I was surprised really. Because although I have days of discouragement and despondency I am, overall, thankful, grateful and JOYful. At least, I think I am.

During this time of reflection, the truth of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 has become real to me.
No wonder we do not lose heart! Though our outward humanity is in decay, yet day by day we are inwardly renewed. 
Our troubles are slight and short-lived, and their outcome is an eternal glory which far outweighs them, provided our eyes are fixed, not on the things that are seen but on the things that are unseen; for what is seen is transient, what is unseen is eternal. (RE)
You'll thank me, perhaps, that I'm not going to expound on all of my thoughts and reflections in one post.  I hardly know all that I want to say. Yet.

I do know this, we all face trials. The ones that convince us of the frailty of our frame and the reality of death are, I think, the hardest to bear. 

This verse doesn't deny those realities, yet it gives us direction and great hope.



Certainly, we can say goodbye to 2017 and start fresh in 2018. But not all troubles are so easily cast aside. These verses in 2 Corinthians give us a framework with which we can reset our perspective where some of our trials are concerned. 

Let's start the year off right-minded with eyes fixed on the One Who can help us overcome, or give us the grace to endure. 


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