This post is part of Sunday Trees.
August 2018/Full Moon
Daffodils trumpet out Spring, these two pointing in the direction of the sun are a ‘Good Match,” and perfect for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.
The patch of daffodils is blooming in the gardens of The Church of the Good Shepherd, a local Episcopal church in my community. I appreciate the bench they have included in their garden for contemplation and prayer.
Today the lyrics of the hymn, ‘God Leads His Dear Children Along,’ came to my mind when I sat down to write a blog post. The hymn is based on two Bible verses…
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” ~ John 10:3
“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” ~ Psalm 23:3
I’m including a small portion of the lyrics of this hymn, written by George A. Young in 1903, and a beautiful rendition of a Mennonite Church congregation singing the song. I chose this video out of several because it made me feel I was part of the congregational singing.
“God Leads his Dear Children Along,
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.”
The weather in my area, in what should be glorious Springtime, has been grey, cold and dismal. The greyness is getting into people’s moods and outlook for the future. In the midst of another weekend of rain and gloom, I must look forward and seek out God’s Word to remind me that I need to keep on making small steps and not let myself become weary in spirit. The clematis vine is a good illustration of that point, at Winter’s end it is completely buried under the ground, but by small increments, and moving forward (and up) each day, it will soon cover its support with blossoms and leaves. I need to do the same in every aspect of my life. “FORWARD ALL!” Blessings on your day.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
~ Colossians 1:16
Yesterday, after a Saturday outing, we opened our front door and almost stepped on a beautiful moth in the entryway of our home.
I didn’t want to damage the delicate creature by picking it up with my hands, so I coaxed it onto a piece of paper. Before it flew away I couldn’t resist taking a few photographs with my camera. I’m so glad I did. My eyes, even with magnifying glasses, couldn’t make out the wonderful detail of the moth’s features. Examples of God’s handiwork, such as this beautiful moth, with its ‘feathers,’ and sweet face, never fail to fill me with praise. Hallelujah!
As I worked toward identifying the moth I came across the terrific site of Discover Life. By filling in a questionnaire on various characteristics of my moth, I was able to narrow the search down to two types of moths: Lomographa vestaliata and Spilosoma congrea. On further Google searches, I was able to rule out the Lomographa vestaliata, and say with surety my moth was a Spilosoma congrea, better known as an Agreeable Tiger Moth.
“”Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” ~ I Corinthians 15:55
Yesterday, I came upon this hornet’s nest, shattered, abandoned, with all its threats defeated. It seemed appropriate that it was being overtaken by the new life of the blossoming Spring trees; a perfect visual analogy to remind me that the sting of death was defeated by the Resurrection of Christ Jesus for all eternity. Hallelujah! He has risen!
“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” ~ Hebrews 2:14
On Saturday, my husband and I took a stroll through the antiquing town of Mullica Hill, New Jersey. I enjoyed coming upon this display of candles in the front of one home/business. What a great idea and a good way to shine out light upon the world. The inner recesses of the baskets are also the perfect choice for today’s Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola Challenge – Brown
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16
Mary’s Song – Written by Wellington E. Watts/Soloist Nancy Watts
The beautiful photographs in the video, several photos of the National Cathedral, were taken by Lyons Photography. The link below leads to an e-card of the video that can be sent to family and friends.
Dandelions are resilient flowers. They are one of the first blossoms to show themselves in the Spring. Often, in the middle of our New Jersey winters, I will find a blossom or two reflecting the gold of the sun.
The poem included in the photograph of the dandelion, “My Jesus I Love Thee,” was written by William R. Featherston when he was sixteen. In 1876 Adoniram Gordon put the poem to music. “My Jesus I Love Thee,” is still sung in churches all around the world, just like the dandelions the hymn is resilient and will surely be sung many years in the future too.
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ’tis now.
I love Thee because Thou has first loved me
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ’tis now.
I love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ’tis now.
In Mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.” ~ Psalm 119:30
Living at peace in our modern-day world seems unlikely as we read/hear of current events. Every nation appears to be on the precipice of ruin and war due to the selfish and violent natures of a few. It’s easy to start contemplating the horrifying what-ifs, but I stop myself short and say aloud, “God is in control.” The words of this hymn came to mind today and gave me sustaining peace. We must stay aware of the times we are living in, but as we do, we must also continue to have constant faith in the coming triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The hymn, “I Know Whom I Have Believed,” was written by Daniel Webster Whittle (1840 – 1901)
“I know not when my Lord may come,
at night or noonday fair,
nor if I walk the vale with him,
or meet him in the air.
Refrain:But I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able
to keep that which I’ve committed
unto him against that day.”
~ Daniel Whittle Webster
“Seven Wonders.” If I had to reduce my language to seven words…what would my seven words be?
PRAISE GOD ALWAYS…REJOICE IN HIS LOVE.
Sometimes living your life as a praise offering to God means not fitting in, or in cliche`d terms, “Standing out from the crowd.”
Yesterday we visited National Park, New Jersey, and I was able to find through the eye of my camera several instances of nature standing out in a crowd.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” ~ Matthew 5:16
While we walked the path along the Delaware River, flocks of geese landed on the water. In their midst swam just one beautiful swan. Different, yet holding his ground alongside the hundreds of geese; he dared to be unique. We all should have that same bold attitude as we serve God and be “different” than those who serve their own self and the values of this fallen world. “Dare to be Different!” ~ Joyce Meyer