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.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Inspired by . . .  Life thru My Lens 04:52

Always be joyful; pray continually; give thanks whatever happens; for this is what God wills for you in Christ Jesus. 

The winter birds are helping me live out 1 Thessalonians 5:16 during this wet and dreary weather we're having.

Birds have a special place in my heart and in my life. Almost every time I can recall that I've been very sick or dealing with significant issues in my life, God has sent me birds. He has spoken to me through their gentle ways. Through their complete and utter dependence on Him.

As you can see, this winter has been crispy cold. Seeing the birds all fluffed up is amusing. Knowing that He has uniquely equipped them to deal with the cold reminds me that He has provided for me as well.

The Cardinals and the House Finches may be part of my regular backyard visitors but I will never take them for granted. I never tire watching them and delight in trying to capture their beauty.

This week we had some special visitors to the yard!

The Cedar Waxwings come through only once or twice a year looking for berries. They are always a challenge to capture! This year a flock of about thirty flew through. We don't really have any good berry trees or bushes - we need to plant some!  They often stop in the Tallow and Cedar trees briefly before moving on.

These were the only two pictures I managed to capture this time around!

There is one other bird that always brings me joy. Although I'm almost guaranteed never to see one in the wild!

I'm working on this cross-stitch pattern as part of a triptych for our new grandson's nursery.

I'll leave you with a few lessons I'm learning as I stitch . . .

Lessons from a Penguin

☆Mate for Life (Matt 19:6)
☆Always dress well (Col 3:12)
☆Always wear your happy feet (1 Thess 5:16)
☆Sing to each other (Eph 5:19)
☆Never forget your loved ones (Ex 20:12)
☆Stick close together (Ecc 4:9)

What are you seeing through your lens this week?

Have a wonder-filled week, my friends!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Inspired by . . . what is brave?

I saw a very small, pale yellow butterfly while I was out walking yesterday. I'm amazed at their resilience. Butterflies need sun. Their body temperature must be a least 60-85 degrees before they can fly. So how do they endure the cold wind and rain? Personally, I would fly south. The ones that stay seem to me to be very brave indeed.

I want to be more like a butterfly.

Love God Greatly's new study is called: Choose Brave

Are you following along? 

This word, brave, does not sit comfortably upon my shoulders. I attribute bravery to people who run into burning buildings, wear a military uniform, sacrifice personal safety for the benefit of another. I've never been put in such a position but I would likely be more of a handicap than a help.

I'm no hero. But I'm no victim either. When it comes to bravery in my Christian walk, I stand firmly behind the truths of this week's study.
"But you, man of God, must shun all that, and pursue justice, piety, integrity, love, fortitude, and gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:11
Being a man or woman of God is not a passive call. We must choose each day to actively pursue righteousness.  How do we do this? Eph 6:10, "find your strength in the Lord, in His mighty power."

Each day, at every turn, we step forward with Him in mind. Trusting in His promises. Obeying His word. It's not so much, "What would Jesus do?" but rather, "What did Jesus do?" 
"Put all your trust in the Lord and do not rely on your own understanding. At every step you take keep Him in mind, and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6
God did not create us and then abandon us. He created us for good, and for a specific purpose. (Eph 2:10) He wants us to succeed! And He has promised to be with us every step of the way. Don't get tripped up by unmet expectations. People will disappoint you. God never will.
"Let us never tire of doing good, for if we do not slacken our efforts we shall in due time reap our harvest." Gal 6:9
Forgiveness is one of the hardest tests of obedience we can face as a Christian. This is especially true when the offense has caused physical or deep emotional harm. It takes a lot of courage and trust in God to forgive and process through such hurts. 

For some of us, if we're honest, our list of offenses against us is more about our pettiness and pride than any real intended harm. Unmet expectations, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings can dig deep trenches if we let them.

Dismantling our pride is hard. Humility is risky. Both are required. [click to tweet]
"Be tolerant with one another and forgiving, if any of you has cause for complaint: you must forgive as the Lord forgave you." Col 3:13
"With the Lord on my side, I am not afraid; what can mortals do to me?" Psalms 118:6
The truth is, mortals can do a lot. But our lives and our salvation are in God's care. Ultimately, our hope is in Him. The question comes down to this:

Do you believe God and His word? 
Do you trust Him?
"Have no fear, for I am with you; be not afraid, for I am your God. I shall strengthen you and give you help and uphold you with My victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 02:52

Happy New Year, friends!

2018 ended and 2019 has begun with coughs, Kleenex, and . . . well, we won't go into all our medical maladies! Suffice to say we are ready for something NEW that doesn't make us wish we bought stock in Kleenex or some prescription drug company.

January and February are the hardest months for this summer girl. This year, however, I'm determined not to let the weather (or illness) get me down. I have committed to finding at least one thing, out there, each day that brings JOY and warmth to my soul. Even on the 35 degree days when it's wet and windy!

It's been a while since I've posted a Life thru My Lens edition. Back in June of 2018, actually. I've found that I miss them. Maybe you have too.

Here is something else I'm missing . . . the butterflies of October.

I can mourn the passing of the leaves or rejoice at seeing the birds more clearly in the trees.

A gift from a friend is bringing more birds to my yard!

"Listen to your life, see it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and the pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace." - Frederick Buechner (From Now and Then and Listening to Your Life)