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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