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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Inspired by . . . three

I've been tossing this post around for a few days. I'm still not sure if I'm going to publish it or – or not. I guess if you're reading it, you'll know what I decided. {smile}

A friendly comment on Facebook earlier in the week reminded me that I started this blog three years ago . . . today.
I've never really celebrated my "blog-iversary." The first year I mentioned it, almost is passing, and last year, not at all.

I started this blog as a place to talk about the books. I called it Inspired by . . . because I knew that there was only so much I could say about the books before boring you to tears. The title Inspired by . . . pretty much gave me a blank canvas to write about anything that happened to be inspiring me – with the hope that it would also inspire YOU!
My life was very different three years ago. I did a lot of scrapbooking, and crafting, DIY projects, and cooking! I had a lot of fun!
Then, about eight months into my blogging adventure, my world completely changed. It seemed overnight I had a new location, a new lifestyle and a new focus.
I'm still having fun! But my life, and this blog, is now more focused on writing and photography.

The ultimate goal of Inspired by . . . hasn't changed. The underlying inspiration for everything I do is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My intent is to glorify Him by inspiring YOU. I don't always succeed, but that is always why I write.
I view this blog and my writing as a privilege – not a right. I am beyond honored when He encourages and uplifts YOU through the words you read here. I know He has done this, because YOU have told me. Through your sweet comments, YOU have inspired and blessed me in return.
So. Many. Times.

I think maybe it is time to celebrate that – to celebrate it all.


I want to share two books with you. I'm going to give them away actually, to one blessed winner.  Next to the Bible, these two books are God's greatest inspiration to me.

The Valley of Vision and Daily Light for Every Day.


The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions, edited by Arthur G. Bennett. I'm giving away one leather bound copy.


Daily Light for Every Day, with a forward by Anne Graham Lotz, is a daily collection of morning and evening reading of scriptures. Just scriptures, combined in a way that will encourage and inspire you. I'm giving away one eBook copy.


So, just to clarify, if you win, you get one leather bound copy of The Valley of Vision, and one eBook copy of Daily Light for Every Day. I'll be announcing the winner on Monday, June 2nd.


If you already have these in your library, they make great gifts!

No matter how long you've been visiting here, even if this is your first time, THANK YOU! 
I pray this place will continue to be a place of encouragement and inspiration.

Now for the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS I've never done a giveaway before, but hopefully all will go smoothly!  If not, please extend some grace to the giver and email me with your questions or concerns!


Thank you for celebrating with me!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Inspired by . . . a safe nest

I have been waiting nearly four weeks to share this with you – and I'm so excited to do so today.

You see a few weeks ago, I found this:




It's a nest. I would love to see exactly what it's made out of, but I'm not allowed to climb trees anymore, lol! 

I wasn't sure whose nest it was, so I lurked about for awhile and was so pleased to see this:






She is a scissor-tail flycatcher. I've shared images of these beautiful birds with you before. I imagine it is a bit challenging to find just the right spot for the nest – with room in the back, lol!




As you might imagine, now that I had found the nest, and saw that the parents were actively sitting on eggs, I began lurking about – checking daily for increased activity.




Trying not to annoy the poor girl to death with my camera clicks! Birds are such attentive parents!

Then, on Sunday, we had terrible T-storms, blowing rain, earth-shaking thunder. I was so worried that the nest might be destroyed.  It wasn't until Monday that the weather cleared enough for me to get out. It was still cloudy, so these shots aren't the best, but . . . happy birthday, little ones!






After the feedings, in which both parents participate, momma does a lot of "inspecting" to make sure everyone settles down quietly for their nap!




She did this for several minutes . . .




. . . before flying off to meet up with her mate. Here are the two of them perched near their nest, keeping watch {over the crazy lady with the camera!}.



Textured with Kim's bentedges


As I mentioned, I've been pondering this post for several weeks, just hoping I'd be able to capture some baby shots to share with you. All this time there has been one scripture that has kept coming back to me over and over again.


Jesus told him, "Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to sleep."  Luke 9:58


I can't quite get my mind around the truth that Jesus laid aside the Glory, and Power, and Might that is rightfully His, this Jesus that could have called ten legions of angels to His aid, but didn't - He laid all that aside to come to earth as a man, and suffer, and die for my sin. It's not just a message for Easter Sunday. It's a message I need to be reminded of every day. And He graciously uses the world, created for Him and by Him, to remind me.

I'm not guaranteed a safe home, a fancy home, a big home, or a perfect home in this world – but I am in the next.

Because the One who protected the scissor-tail babies through the storm on Sunday is the One Who has gone ahead to prepare a place for me.


"Don't be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in me.
My Father's house has many rooms. If that were not true, would I have told you that I'm going to prepare a place for you?
If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going."
  John 14:1-4


Welcome Home.






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Thought-Provoking-Thursday-Button   PlayDatesGod

Kim Klassen dot Com Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
A Soft Gentle Voice 7 Days Time

Monday, May 26, 2014

Inspired by . . . sacrifice



Lives lost

victories won

securing freedom

for everyone



Textured with kk_rainyday


 Thirteen began

Fifty carry on





Textured with kk_dream


Dreams are worth

fighting for.



Textured with kk_dream






I'm remembering the fallen today.

I'm praying for those who are currently serving, both at home and abroad.

I'm praying for the families who are left behind.

Their sacrifice is great -

and should be honored.




We Honor You Today

We Remember You

We Thank You








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P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Inspired by . . . after the rain


Lord, thank You for the rain You showered upon us today.




The little Lark Sparrows didn't waste any time getting back to their dinner ritual. Did you know that Lark Sparrows walk along the ground, rather than hop like other sparrows? They only hop when trying to attract a mate.




He does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count.
He gives rain to the earth and sends water to the fields.  Job 5:9-10




This House Finch was pretty wet.  Oops! Not anymore, lol! {both images textured with Kim's kk_rainyday}



I happened to be outside when the rain stopped and was able to observe some bird behavior I had never seen before. This Lesser Goldfinch "Texas Form" {meaning he has a solid black back} flew into this crepe myrtle tree and began drinking the water that had collected on the leaves!




The insects are out after the rain, too, and that meant supper for these Scissor-tails!




They kept flying back to the nest, which tells me their babies might have hatched.  I'll be stalking the nest for the next week or so – fingers crossed for some baby pictures!




He covers the sky with clouds. He provides rain for the ground. He makes grass grow on the mountains. Psalm 147:8




There was a lot of activity at the hummingbird feeder!  This poor female black-chinned hummingbird was under constant attack! {That white line in the picture is a rain drop!} Not much deters these little guys from feeding. I've watched them at the feeder when they could barely hold their own against the wind and rain.


We all face storms in life.

How do you handle life's storms?

Do you face them head-on like the hummingbird?

Or do you take cover like the sparrows and wait for the storm to pass?


"Therefore, everyone who hears what I say and obeys it will be like a wise person who built a house on rock.
Rain poured, and floods came. Winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not collapse, because its foundation was on rock.
"Everyone who hears what I say but doesn't obey it will be like a foolish person who built a house on sand.
Rain poured, and floods came. Winds blew and struck that house. It collapsed, and the result was a total disaster."
  Matt 7:24-27





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Friday, May 23, 2014

Inspired by . . . old book – new book


Shh . . . don't tell . . . . Jonathon Graham here, hijacking June's blog again, to share some words about old books and new books!


I love the smell of books. Don't you?

Old books, especially, seem to have a mysterious scent about them. It's interesting to think about all the different people who might have held the book, what they thought when reading it, how it impacted their lives. Hmm, I might suggest to June that she write a book about the journey of a book one day, lol!

I have a fair-sized collection of books. Nothing extraordinarily valuable in the eyes of the world. But each book that I've kept, I've kept because it has value to me.

My wife and I have limited space in our little bungalow, so most of my collection is currently boxed, awaiting the day when I'm able to shelf them again.

Since moving to the bungalow a few years ago, I've been purchasing most of my books in eBook format. One of the things I really like about eBooks is that, if I have my cell phone with me, I have access to my library! Now when I'm waiting at the doctor's office, or other similar appointments, I can catch up on my reading!

I must admit, though, I do miss holding a book in my hands and turning the pages.

So why am I talking about books anyway? Well, because I have some exciting news to share with all of you!


Starflower has just been released in eBook format!




I know a lot of you prefer eBooks, and June and I are so thankful to be able to offer Starflower to you in this format!




Even more exciting, for those of you who still like holding a book in your hand, when you purchase the print copy of either Heart's Desire, or Starflower, you can get the eBook version for free!




For those of you new to eBook reading, you don't have to purchase a Kindle to read these books.  The eBooks can be downloaded onto your personal computer, or your smart phone. This also applies to those of you who have ipad, tablet, or nook. You can still read eBooks purchased from Amazon on your personal computer!

Oh, and one more thing before I go – and June would definitely NOT want you to know about this – so don't breathe a word!



Her birthday is next month!


And I happen to know that she has some special gifts lined up for YOU during her birthday week!

So stay tuned!


Well, I'm off to hijack her Twitter and Facebook accounts!


Be Blessed,



PS – For those of you wondering about June's new book, No Tomorrow: it wasn't released last month as expected, but we have some exciting news about this title, coming soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Inspired by . . . taking a moment


Take a moment just to breathe in God's presence today.


Set aside your needs and wants; petty or significant, or somewhere in between.


Just rest . . .


. . . in His presence for a moment.
















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