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.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens Revisited, Vol. V

A brief dip of overnight temperatures into the low 60's last week gave us a hint of the changes to come. Yet a scroll through the 10-day predicts September arriving in the triple digits. While other regions are enjoying the last of the sunflowers and the first of the pumpkins, summer shows no sign of lessening its grip on central Texas.

Since it's too hot for a walk, let's just sit here on the porch and enJOY the birds, blooms, and flying flowers.

It's hard not to be impressed by the Vermilion Flycatcher. We don't see him in the yard often, he prefers a copse of trees further on. A few times every summer he'll visit the birdbath and it's always a treat!

We had some rain last week which caused our Texas Sage to burst out in joyful bloom. This Pipevine Swallowtail took full advantage!

I just love these sweet little Inca Doves. They come to feed in the evening and are always together. As ground feeders, they are constantly moving and it is difficult to get a clear shot!

Finally, the female Summer Tanager! She has been alluding me all summer. 

Are you tired of seeing pictures of butterflies on zinnias? Sorry. Not sorry. I could chase this Painted Lady from bloom to bloom all day long.

I have so many Cardinals this year! Based on their behavior patterns I'm pretty sure one pair had two hatches. This immature female is from the second hatch. It is beyond entertaining to watch them feed. The younger males wait their turn while the older males feed. I think they may deserve a post all their own!

Thank you for stopping by and letting me share my porch view with you. I pray that you catch a glimpse of His majesty in these images and feel His love surround you as you go about your day.

Have a wonder-filled week, friends!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Inspired by . . . I am the Lord

Have you ever heard the term task-saturated? Perhaps you've even experienced it yourself. Task-saturation is the perception or reality of having too much to do and not enough time or resources to get everything accomplished. For most, the worst thing that can happen is stress and low productivity. But in some occupations the results can be lethal.

Such as fighter pilots and Levitical Priests.

I've experienced the effects of task-saturation as I've struggled to run small businesses over the years and that feeling of being hopelessly overwhelmed was one of the things that kept coming to my mind as I read through the Old Testament book of Leviticus.

If you can get past the blood, the sheer number of required sacrifices is staggering, pay attention to the details; which animal for which offence, what to roast, or not roast, where to rub the blood and what finger to use, what can be eaten the next day, what can't be eaten the next day, and on and on. The Israelites didn't have a handy app to help them keep everything straight. They couldn't even write down all the rules! These traditions were given orally. From God to Moses, from Moses to Aaron and the Israelites.

These practices would have consumed their lives. Apart from eating and sleeping, their minds would have been focused on keeping God's laws.

Why would the Israelites subject themselves to such a consuming lifestyle? They had known bondage in Egypt; surely this wasn't much better.

We may find the answer in the closing chapters of Exodus. Because of the Israelites disobedience (remember the golden calf?) God had decided not to journey with them on their way to Canaan. He said He would send an angel ahead of them but other than that, they were on their own.

Despite their rebelliousness, this news caused the Israelites deep distress. They "put off their ornaments" and "went about like mourners." They could not stand the thought of being separated from God. Finally, after what appears to be an extended time of dedication and worship, Moses convinces God to go with them.
"I shall go Myself and set your mind at rest." Ex 33:14 RE
Once it is decided that God will travel with the Israelites, He then gives them the specific instructions for the temple design and sacrifices.

Forty-five times in Leviticus God says, "I am the Lord."

Friends, when God repeats something, we need to listen!

We are all guilty of forgetting the majesty, power, and holiness that surrounds the Lord our God.

Read >>>>Psalm 29

Reading through Leviticus may be tedious, but more importantly, it is a painful reminder of our sinful state before a holy God.

The Israelites could not have lived in His presence without offering again, and again the blood of bulls and goats. To disobey God's law meant death.

It still does.
"Wretched creature that I am, who is there to rescue me from this state of death? Who but God? Thanks be to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
Why didn't God send Jesus into the world sooner? I don't know. But I do know this, God's timing is perfect.
"when the appointed time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to buy freedom for those who were under the law, in order that we might attain the status of sons." Gal 4:4
There is a reason why God subjected generations of His children to these ritualistic sacrifices and a reason why, by His grace, we are spared from them today.

The danger on this side of grace is forgetting what, "I am the Lord" really means. I'm not suggesting that God wants us cowering before Him like the Israelites did at Mount Sinai, but I do think He wants us to "fear" Him. As in, "to have a reverential awe of."

I'm ashamed to think of how it must hurt our Father's heart when I come to Him flippantly or with concern only for my own wants. Never acknowledging His majesty and power. Never acknowledging the sin that separates me but for the blood of His Son.

How much better to come to Him humble, and weeping, expecting nothing, and instead, hearing Him say, "Climb up here in My lap. Let Me show you everything I have created for you. Everything I have planned. My dear child, all that I have is yours. I am the Lord."


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens Revisited: Vol. IV

Welcome back to Life thru My Lens!

Thirteen years and this summer promises to be the hottest yet. My plants are struggling in the heat. Their foliage is green and healthy but blooms are scarce. It takes a lot of energy to bloom. 

The plants aren't the only things struggling to bloom. 

Let's put our deep concerns aside for a moment. Take a breath and let me show you around the yard.

This salmon-colored zinnia is filling my spirit this week. Color and light are some of God's most profound languages. The Gulf Fritillary is just icing on the cake.

Water is life and where you offer it, life will show up. In abundance!

The hummingbirds especially enjoy the spray from the sprinkler. When the Greater Roadrunner isn't sipping from the birdbath he can usually be found teasing our German Shepherd. Their red, white, and blue eye patch reminds me of a Firecracker Popsicle!

The Woodhouse's Scrub-Jays are absolutely hilarious to watch when they're taking a bath! They are the grumps of the bird world.


"If I don't move she won't see me." 

And then there is Lady. Our rescue GSD. She is truly a gentle giant. Rock harvester and excavator extraordinaire! In this picture she is laying in a hole she dug under one of our cedar trees. If you know anything about this part of Texas you know you get about 4 inches of dirt and then it's all rock. This gal knows how to keep cool!

Well, it's gotten a bit warm. How about a glass of sweet tea?

Have a wonder-filled week, friends!