Purpose – Monarch Time/Protecting through TLC Part I

Teeny-tiny Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar on Milkweed

Sunday afternoon, I spotted five Monarch caterpillars on my milkweed plants. If I let nature take its course most will likely become victims of insect predators. The Monarch Butterfly Garden posted a list of bugs that dine on butterflies, their eggs, and caterpillars. A large portion of these insects are important pollinators too, essential to home gardens and crops. My small contribution towards a solution is to raise as many Monarch butterflies on my porch as possible.

Milkweed Leaves

An additional problem to solve is cannibalism. Yes, Monarch caterpillars are voracious and eat smaller caterpillars and eggs. A quick fix is to keep them well-fed and provide one whole leaf for each caterpillar at all times. I grew quite a bit of milkweed this year, I can keep the caterpillars supplied with plenty of food, and also make sure they are in containers with same-sized companions.

Monarch on Vitex Blossoms

Is it worth spending valuable time to boost the Monarch population by a few butterflies? Oh yes, the flash of glowing orange wings alighting on my garden flowers and plants fills me with joy. I want to do all I can to increase the numbers of these beautiful butterflies.

Pressed Flowers & Purpose – Queen Anne’s Lace and Butterfly Host Plants

I walked along a local roadside this morning and picked several stems of Queen Anne’s Lace. I chose silver dollar-sized flowers for my two-fold purpose. One is to press the flower as a whole, and also press a few of the smaller florets. I love the floral details captured in the upper left corner of the photograph. I pressed several of the flowers and placed them for a few hours inside the car under a weight. The heat of the car will flash press them, and they will be ready to use within three days by ‘Using the Heat at Hand‘.

I bring Swallowtail Caterpillars to maturity on the back porch. If I leave them in the garden they soon disappear. My second purpose is to pick enough Queen Anne’s Lace to also feed the caterpillars. I have good luck raising them, and fifty-plus Black Swallowtail butterflies started life on the porch this summer. This year, since the fennel is becoming quickly depleted, I added Queen Anne’s Lace as a host plant. Along with rue, dill, and a few sprigs of carrot foliage, I’ve had the largest and strongest ‘flutter‘ of caterpillars/butterflies ever.

Caterpillars taking a nap beneath an umbrella of Queen Anne’s Lace – Priceless. The beautiful off-white flowers of Queen Anne’s Lace are part of Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge/Color.

Purpose – Amazon Smile

No, Amazon Smile does not indicate a LARGER than life grin. Amazon Smile is a charitable program available through Amazon.com that contributes 5% of your purchase price to a favorite charity. I am mentioning it as a blog post because most people don’t seem to know about his terrific opportunity to give through your purchases at Amazon.com.

amazon smile

If you shop through Amazon.com, please take a moment to check out Amazon Smiles.

Purpose – Plucking the Moon & Stars in 2015

WordPress Photo Challenge: “Possibility. Opportunity. Potential. As another year gets underway, let’s celebrate the new.”


“It’s the first photo challenge of 2015, and the theme is ‘new.’ Cliché? Perhaps, but clichés develop for a reason. For many of us, the year’s beginning is time to take stock of the past and plan for the future; this week, let’s get excited about those plans by celebrating what’s new.”

I know, I know…another cliche`, but sometimes cliches` are “Just what the doctor ordered.” (Discerning in advance much eye-rolling here from post readers.) Yes, I’m going to say it…one of my goals is “Reaching for the moon this year” (More eye-rolling and cheesy grin too!)

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Why let your heart be earthbound my friends? Reach for the heavens, open your heart to the Father of Creation. Raise your arms to the sky and let your first goal be praising the Lord every day. Hallelujah!

“Let us lift up our heart with [our] hands unto God in the heavens.” 

Lamentations 3:41

Photograph taken at Turkey Point Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.

Purpose – Unexpected Gestures


Years ago, this unexpected note, a gesture of support from a co-worker uplifted my spirits. This young woman knew of the adversity I faced in a place of employment where a few wore two faces. What others said to me, was not what was spoken behind my back. We’ve all been there. Most of us leave it behind in high school. Unfortunately, as adults, many are also victims of ill will in the workplace or other social situations. Barely out of high school herself, this sweet girl took the time to leave a note of encouragement on the counter where I would be sure to see it. I don’t think she realized how much it meant to me. She couldn’t have known that I would keep it tucked away in a satin bag filled with letters sent from those dear to me. I keep it still, to remind me of her sweet spirit and thoughtfulness, and to help me remember that sometimes an unexpected gesture of kindness is also the Grace of God extended to us through another.

What gesture of kindness can I extend to someone today in the name of Jesus?

Promise and Purpose – Walkabout

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When I need rest for my soul I often expend physical energy in walking. An unhurried stroll along a forest path, beside a bubbling stream, or on a sandy beach always gives me a mental boost. I look down at the treasures of nature at my feet, I look up at the beauty of the skies, I feel the breeze, wherever my senses alight there seems to be a sense of peace waiting for me. The Sabbath is a good day for a long, uplifting walk. Blessings to you on this day.

Walkaabout 2

Purpose and Praise – Landfill Harmonic and 1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

This amazing video trailer inspired me, gave me chills, and also brought a few tears to my eyes. I hope to be able to see the full-length feature when it is released.

“Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where young musicians play instruments made from trash.”

Purpose – Finding/Creating Sanctuary

Cottages in Pitman Grove 007

In previous posts I’ve stated that during my childhood I lived for two years in one of the cottages/homes built around the Pitman Methodist Camp in Pitman, New Jersey. Today I live in the town next door to Pitman, and on sunny days you can often find me riding my bike the mile or two to the center of the grove to walk within the shadow of the tabernacle.

The blue cottage above is one of the homes encircling the tabernacle. The cottages form a wheel, with twelve paths, as spokes, leading to the sanctuary. These walkways, according to the camp history, signify the twelve apostles.

I find walking on these paths conducive to inner peace and an attitude of prayer.  My spirit is uplifted as I dwell upon the fact that many souls were saved and lives committed to God upon these grounds.

Cottages in Pitman Grove 004

Here is another view of the home in the first photograph. You might wonder why I am posting a photo of the back of the cottage. I ask you to take notice of the white door. Behind this door is a set of stairs that lead to the basement of the home. When I was in third grade, a precious elderly lady started a club called the JOY (Jesus & Others & You) club. Children from the nearby elementary school would gather within that small space, sit on the stairs as if they were the finest pews, and sing songs of praise. Within that stairwell, this wonderful woman of God created a sanctuary of hope and joy for a handful of grade school children. I often think of her, and thank God that she did what she could, and used what she had, to bring to us a sense of our Father in Heaven.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf…” Hebrews 6:19-20 (NIV)

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

Purpose, Perspective and People – Doing Good

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I have been studying the book of Hebrews this past year. I am about two thirds of the way through this amazing book of the Bible. In recent weeks I have come upon a verse that I decided would be a verse of purpose for me in the coming year.

“In response to all he has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good.” Hebrews 10:24. (TLB)

I like the way this verse is worded, and it seems to go hand in hand with what Jesus told us in Matthew.

Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find you are obeying all the others.” Matthew 22:37-40 (TLB)

Two members of my family are a good example of fulfilling the commandments and purpose expressed in these verses. In towns in Panama, Nicaragua and Peru there are now beautiful and structurally sound churches for worshipping God due to their commitment to doing good and using their strengths and resources to further God’s Kingdom. The churches they build stand in the place of lean-tos and sheds or no building at all. When the new church buildings are complete there is room for up to three hundred people. Congregations of 28 have grown to 200 or more people praising and worshipping God. There is room in the churches for the congregation to grow, lives are changed, people are saved. Children grow up worshipping God in a structure that is sound and secure. I can’t help but add an “Amen” and “Praise God.”

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I might not be able to build churches, but I can use the resources I have to build good things in the lives of those my life touches. Every day usually brings an opportunity of some kind to us all. Whether it is a large thing, a small thing, a public work, or a work done in secret, all of us have the opportunity to fulfill the purpose in Hebrews 10:24. I am committed to “doing good” in the New Year of 2013.

Here are a few more pictures of the new churches going up and their congregations. God bless us all in this New Year.

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church 6

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church 3

church 1

Pleasure & Purpose – Joy

My heart swells every time I see this note posted on my refrigerator. I hope I remember to tell my friends, family and most of all my Father in Heaven, “I love you SO MUCH!” Amen.
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  Matthew 22:37