blcknwhitepanzy 2015 photo challenge

Forever…

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

 Isaiah 40:8  NKJV

bnwrose photo chall 4

 

I want to thank Lee at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus for inviting me to participate in the Five for Five Black and White Photo Challenge.

Sherri Matthews at A View from My Summerhouse did accept my nomination! Her photos will post next month.

 

bnwrday blsd day 4

Due Season…

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 NKJV

Sometimes our personal “winters” seem to go on forever. They are barren and cold. There are few glimpses of the sun. We can easily become tired and hardened if we aren’t careful!

Yet the ice eventually thaws and spring comes once more. We can reap a harvest if we don’t give up. We can sow seeds of love and mercy even when we don’t feel like it.

Some people will never deserve our love. And we will never deserve God’s love for us!

God loves us in spite of our flaws. He equips us to do the same.

We can love our neighbor. God would not command us to do so if we were not capable of doing it. It’s not always easy but God’s grace is sufficient. For everything! 

WILDDOGWOOD 14 two

Sow seeds of life not death.

Keep moving, trusting and doing good.

Love. Give. Forgive.

And in due season we will reap the harvest.

 

**Thanks for checking out Day Four of the Five for Five Black and White Photo Challenge. To join in the fun simply post five photos in five days and ask someone to join you each day. Lee from Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures invited me to participate. You can check out his photos right here.

 

 

 

 

bnw photo chall 3 blsd 2015

Into The Woods!

Robert Frost wrote “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference,” in his poem The Road Not Taken.

I suspect the route to fulfillment and blessings requires that we instead forge our own path.

As a child I was cautioned not to go into the woods that were near our home. The potential for snakes and briar bushes kept me fairly obedient. I teetered along the boundary but fear kept me content to remain just on the edge.

Yet as an adult, I’ve experienced God pulling me away from what I perceived to be a safe place and nudging me into a few “scary” ones as I kicked and screamed along the way.

Sometimes God leads us where we don’t want to go.

We may second guess what God is doing and why we need to inhabit such uncomfortable quarters.  Our prejudices and fears often place us in direct opposition to his prodding!

I don’t like to walk in the woods.  I’d rather walk through a clearing where I can see what is in front of me.

The woods are full of dark shadows, biting things and all manner of critters. The further in you go, the less sun you see.

But sometimes life is like that.

We may wander paths where we feel alone, but The Sun is still there, ever present as we confront our fears.  God has forced me time and time again to focus on my present state of affairs instead of obsessing about the future.

My present state has at times been scary. But these same life experiences taught me to look up instead of worrying about tomorrow.

I’ve learned to trust more, rationalize less.  bnw photo chall 3 blsd 2015

I have slowly learned that I’d rather forge through the woods with God than walk that more traveled path without Him.  

I think many of us don’t fulfill our purpose or reach our full potential because we want to play it “safe.” For some “safe” may mean away from the criticism of others. Or, it may mean to simply maintain the status quo.

Yet, if you are still longing for more out of life it may be time to make your own way.

Dare to knock over a few bushes, pick up your spiritual sword and hack away at your obstacles. Get up and get moving in the direction God is leading you.

Is this potentially scary?

Very much so. But if God is truly leading you “into the woods” He will certainly get you through them!

Will you get scratched up a bit or bitten?

Probably.

But you will emerge stronger and resilient as you come out of those scary places with God.

Trust God to lead you. Listen and obey.

Our paths are as unique as we are.

You can follow the crowd or be led by our Shepherd.

Is it past time you took a walk into the woods?  bnwchll3 2015

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

 

**Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out Day 3 of my Five for Five Black and White Photo Challenge.  Thus far I’ve only had one other blog agree to participate. The rules are simple. Just post five black and white photos daily for 5 days and nominate another blog to participate. I was nominated by Lee over at Lee’s Birds and you can enjoy his photos here.  Come join the fun!

 

 

BNWPHOTOCHAL BLSD 15

Good Fruit!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:4-6 NKJV

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:10 NKJV

Are you bearing good fruit?  BNWPHOTOCHAL BLSD 15

 

**Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out Day 2 of my Five for Five Black and White Photo Challenge. If you would like to participate you can find all of the details here.

 

 

 

bnwchallge yellow what do you see blsd

Color blind!

My friend Lee, over at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus  invited me to take part in a Five day Black and White Photo Challenge. I’ve always loved black and white photos. Perhaps it is because black and white photos challenge me to view things differently.

Instead of merely glancing the surface when presented with a color photo, black and white pictures often prompt us to look a bit longer into the various textures and layers we may not otherwise notice.

The ridges in the petals and the drops of dew in the featured photo might likely go unnoticed against the vibrant yellow and contrasting green of the original image.

We can lose sight of details that matter when we allow ourselves to become distracted by color as well.

Many sports fanatics are blinded by team colors. Some die-hard alumni bleed their school colors. I’m not going to even delve into skin color.

Opportunities for fellowship, friendship and growth are often lost when we fail to look beyond superficial appearances.

Our blessings often lie in the background of our lives waiting to be noticed and appreciated. We can fail to recognize and appreciate the blessings right in front of us when we go off chasing the more colorful things in life!

We can all stand to view things a bit differently from time to time.  bnwchallge yellow what do you see blsd

Who knows?

When we learn to look beyond the obvious, such as color, we may very well find what we’ve been searching for.

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” Ephesians 1:17-19New King James Version NKJV

 

sanctry blsd cats 2015 blog

Shelter!

“Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter”
Psalm 143:9 NKJV

My “yard cats” know exactly where to go in times of trouble. I’ve watched them hightail it up this tree in mere seconds. Unfortunately, we aren’t always as quick to run to our safe haven.

Some of us are quick to turn to friends. Friends who often offer a wealth of advice even while struggling to manage themselves.

Others prefer to “Google it” and see what can be found on that world wide web. It can certainly draw us in, sometimes tangled and deceptive, offering as much misinformation as good.

If only we were as quick to seek our Father/Shelter in times of trouble what angst we would spare ourselves!

As we go through life’s trials and unexpected turns, we can choose to rely on ourselves and other people. Both are imperfect choices.

Or we can turn to God. sanctuary 2 cats blsd 15

God’s Word holds the answers we seek.  Only God can provide peace and protection. Come to Him all who are weary and heavy laden.

Some of us are so accustomed to running, we don’t know how be still. Instead of running away from your problems run to God. Trust Him to take your burdens, whatever they are, in exchange for the peace and refuge only He can offer.

Never underestimate God’s love for you!  Run to Him and be blessed!

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

Psalm 61:2-4 NKJV

 

 

 

WHATISLOVE BLSD 15

Searching For A Real Love, Baby?

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:9-12 NKJV

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 NKJV  

HOLYBRY 15  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

May God’s love surround you and manifest through you this Valentine’s Day.

B Blessed!