Unfading Beauty

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

—1 Peter 3:3-4

 

Looking out over the water

I didn’t expect to see it

A quiet beauty in soft pink

A delicate statement of color

On a warm summer afternoon

 

With no tailored stones

Or fashioned presentation

The natural spoke silently

With marvelous eloquence

 

unfading

A New Thing

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

—Isaiah 43:9

 

Many years ago, an elderly neighbor helped me to plant some flowers in my front yard.

The flowers we planted actually came from her yard.

She was sharing what she had with me.

The flowers that we planted bloomed a dark pink, as I recall.

In the years that followed, the flowers began to come back from the new seeds that had fallen in a new color–yellow.

My kind neighbor has since passed away, but the flowers she helped me plant have now spread to a sizeable area in my yard.

Dark pink, light pink and yellow.

The investment she made in our yard was really an investment in our friendship.

The plants that are thriving now came from that original day when she brought over her flowers.

The yellow ones were a new surprise when they first bloomed.

God is the Creator of new things.

New situations.

New hope.

New life.

New joy.

Sometimes, when all we’ve known is pink, we are pleasantly surprised by the yellow.

God is at work.

Can you see it?

 

 

 

newthing

The Flower Fades

The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

–Isaiah 40:8

 

While visiting a large city, I was driving through a residential area.

One home, in particular, caught my eye.

Spring blossoms, ablaze in color, were bursting forth on bushes planted by a fence.

An opening near a gate separated two colors as the bushes seemed to beckon an onlooker into the back yard.

With this much beauty on the outside, could their be a gorgeous flower garden on the inside?

As stunning as they were, the flowers on the bushes would soon wither and fade.

There for only a season—–

God is not just with us for a time and then gone.

He is with us always.

His word stands forever!

 

 

flower fades

According To His Purpose

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

–Romans 8:28

To know—to understand deep within my heart

In all things—the wonderful, beautiful, priceless moments and the crushing, heartbreaking, confusing ones

God works for the good—the good that only He can bring about, the good of His choosing

Those who love Him—those who have seen and felt His compassionate love and mercy and respond 

Called–set apart, chosen

According to His purpose—His design

All praise belongs to Him!

Plant Seeds of Peace

And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

—James 3:18

 

 

I really liked the flowers I had purchased.

Placing them at the end of my front walkway in a nice little pot, they were there to greet me each day as I left for work and returned.

When this winter is over, I am hopeful that the flowers with return, as they produced many seeds during their tenure in the warmer months.

I am quite ready to see the new beautiful blooms that emerge from the tender plants that push up through the soil.

We can be like those flowers, too.

What would it be like if we lived our days as peacemakers, planting seeds of peace wherever we happened to be?

 

harvest

All Things

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable His judgments,

and His paths beyond tracing out!

“Who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been His counselor?”

“Who has ever given to God,

that God should repay them?”

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.

To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

—Romans 11:33-36

~

God knows everything.

He knows all about us and what is happening in our lives.

That seems too difficult for us to imagine, yet He is holding all the stars in the universe in place, He is keeping all the cells in our bodies alive, and He has formed and created each individual thing on earth.

A magnificent flower, blooming in mathematical perfection draws itself upward to the sun as the earth follows a path around it prescribed by God Himself.

God knows everything.

all-things

Stand Firm

Last night, there was a freeze warning for my area. Wind chills were to be in the 20’s. 

Trying to be conscientious, my husband and I covered many of our outdoor plants to protect them. 

This morning, there was frost on our roof. 

As I was leaving a friend’s house this afternoon, I stopped to photograph a common weed growing in their yard. 

They had not covered it in the night, yet it survived and even thrived through the cold. 

1 Corinthians 16:13 reads:
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

That bright yellow bloom was standing proudly in the grass, strong and healthy. 

God is our strength and our help no matter what conditions surround us. 

The Set Time

We know how long it takes for a baby to form before it is born.

We know how long it takes for certain crops to mature, ready for harvest.

We know how long it takes for the earth to make its journey around the sun.

Yet, there are so many things that we have no idea how long we will have to wait for.

In fact, we are not even sure that some of the things we are waiting for will ever take place.

God sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth at just the right time.

Jesus was not early in coming, nor was He late.

In our own lives, God is in control of time.

We pray, and God answers in His time frame.

He will never be late with an answered prayer.

He will never be early with an answered prayer.

When the set time has come, He will work in the lives of His children according to His will.

Through faith, we must trust Him completely to care for us as our all-knowing Father.

 

~

 

But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman,

born under the law,  to redeem those under the law,

that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”

So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child;

and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.

—Galatians 4:4-7

 

set-time

Let the Peace

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

—Colossians 3:15

Walking along the deck at a park I had not visited before, I saw some flowers growing from the watery edge.

The blooms were a beautiful lavender color with marks of yellow and blue.

Surrounded by green leaves, the flower commanded attention as its beauty stood out from the surroundings.

I need to remember to let the peace that Jesus gives rule in my heart, commanding the attention of my mind.

The beauty of His peace will always stand out from the anxiety and confusion in the world.

 

let-the-peace

A New Thing

The wildflowers blooming near the lake caught my attention.

Pausing to photograph them, I noticed that some blooms on the stem had withered and died.

I hadn’t given it that much thought until tonight.

As I looked at the image of the flowers, I could see several of the blooms that had become brown and shriveled, but also the new white ones that were dazzling and bright.

Among those, I also noticed the flowers that were yet to burst forth, just waiting for the appointed time.

In Isaiah 43:19, God says,

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Time is moving forward for all of us and God is in each moment of time.

As situations change, we sometimes have to let go.

There are times when one opportunity withers, yet another is right before us.

If we could see what God sees, we would know that He has other opportunities waiting to bloom–ready to burst forth, at their appointed time.

This photograph is now a comfort for me.

An illustration of God’s activity in our lives.

One chapter closes as another unfolds.

At the time of God’s choosing, the new will come.

 

 

 

new-thing

Seek Me

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.

—Jeremiah 29:13

Have you ever noticed how some flowers turn their blooms toward the sun?

I wonder how many times I have gone to a window in my home and turned a plant around, because it’s blooms and stems were leaning toward the light. 

We need to look to God. 

We need to turn our hearts toward Him. 

If we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him. 

Cause to Grow

He waters the mountains from the upper rooms of His palace; the earth is full of the fruit You cause to grow.

 

—Psalm 104:13

 

I purchased some flowers a few months ago and placed them in a pot at the end of my front walkway.

For the longest of time, they were at a fairly consistent height and low to the soil.

Not even remembering what type of flower I had selected, I thought they would stay at the height they were.

Recently, the flowers began a growth spurt.

Some of them look like they may have actually doubled in stature.

God knew all along how tall these plants would get.

I just didn’t.

In fact, they may even grow taller still.

Have you ever thought that things were just going to remain the way there were without changing?

Have you ever thought that certain people would never change?

Have you ever thought that it would be impossible for you to change?

God is in control.

God sees who we can become with His strength and guidance.

It doesn’t matter if we expect it or not, God is still at work.

 

 

 

earth-is-full

Great are the Works

Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.—Psalm 111:2

Every weekend, vendors come to a local venue near my home to sell items to the general public. 

One of my favorite areas is populated by several people selling a great variety of potted plants, bushes and small trees. 

While walking in that section this morning, I came upon a flowering plant that I did not recognize with vibrant pink blooms. 

Stopping to look at it more closely, I decided to photograph my new discovery. 

Somehow, I think Heaven will be just a bit like this. 

At every turn we will see a marvelous masterpiece of God’s design, new to our eternal eyes. 

Until then, He has given us an entire world to enjoy, as we ponder each of His glorious creations with awe and wonder. 

Oh, the Joys

Oh, the joys of those who do not

follow the advice of the wicked,

or stand around with sinners,

or join in with mockers.

—Psalm 1:1

If I am not following the advice of the wicked, then I am probably following the advice from those who aren’t.

If I am not choosing to embrace the lifestyles of  people who are living ungodly lives, then I am probably choosing to embrace the lifestyles of people who are living a godly life.

If I do not join with people who are mocking others, mocking faith or mocking God, I am choosing to distance myself from those who do.

There is joy for those who have a desire to please God and follow His guidance for everyday living.

joys

Your Love

The flowers floating in the planter on the water were beautiful.

They had grown tall and lush in the fertile soil.

Love is beautiful.

Is my love for others growing and overflowing as God would want it to?

Is yours?

 

 

And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.

—1 Thessalonians 3:12

 

your love

Love Never Fails

Love never fails. 

From 1 Corinthians 13:8

 Today I was presented with an elegant bouquet of white roses. 

They were meant to convey appreciation. 

They were meant to be an encouragement. 

They were meant to show love. 

Honoured to have them, I placed each stem into a vase with water, setting it on my dining table. 

Love never fails. 
 

With Your Favor

Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous;
    You surround them with Your favor as with a shield.

—Psalm 5:12

A friend brought flowers to me.

She blessed me with the beautiful blooms that God had created.

The Lord blesses us every day.

He surrounds us with blessings and His favor.

 

shield b

The Time of Singing

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

–Song of Solomon 2:11-12

 

Driving past a church on my way home, I noticed a nearby home with a tree in the yard.

It was bursting with color!

Alive with captivating blossoms, it was lovely to behold.

Getting out of the car in the church parking lot, I took some photos of the branches with their delicate and graceful flowers as they were singing silently of the beauty and majesty of their Creator.

The winter is certainly over where I live.

The flowers have appeared.

The time of singing has come!

flowers appear

A Full Life

A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.

–Proverbs 13:7  The Message

 

What does it mean to be pretentious?

The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary states that the definition of pretentious is as follows:

“Having or showing the unpleasant quality of people who want to be regarded as more impressive, successful, or important than they really are.”

If we want to be regarded as more impressive than we really are, how much time and energy would it take to hopefully bring that about?

If we want to be regarded as more successful than we really are, how much would we have to work to constantly support that facade?

If we want to be regarded as more important than we really are, how many worthwhile opportunities would be lost while our attention was focused on maintaining the illusion of importance?

After awhile, if we were to look back, a great portion of our time (and our lives) would have been lost to deception.

Our lives might be characterized as empty.

Proverbs 13:7 in The Message reads,

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.”

If we live as who we are, and if our identity is in Christ as His follower, we have no need to be known as something that we are not.

We simply seek to be known as who we are–children of God, forgiven and free.

Now, that’s a full life….

 

 

showy

He Heard Me

Walking with my friends in the garden, I came upon a beautiful camellia flower blooming.

Still cradling water droplets from the recent rain, its delicate, pink petals were layered in elegant, star-like formation.

There’s something curative and calming about strolling through a garden, pausing to appreciate the artistry that God has created in every design.

Fears and anxieties begin to ebb as we view each new expanse of beauty.

Psalm 34:4 reads,

“I sought the LORD and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

What better place to pray than in the quiet solitude of a garden of flowers?

 

 

sought