December 24, 2015

The Greatest Gift


                 The Greatest Gift!
"And she will bring forth a Son and you shall call his name JESUS,
for He will save His people from their sins”1 and “they shall call
His name Immanuel,” which is translated “God with us.”The greatest gift of unending love 3 … unending peace 4 … unending forgiveness 5 ... unending relationship. 6  The gift that defies gender 7 ~ age 8 ~ culture 9.
This gift is offered to you, and to me!
Father, thank you for your great gift. I accept it without hesitation.
                    In Jesus name,
                                 Amen!


                               
1. Matt 1:23b; 2. Matt 1:21; 3. Ephesians 2:4; 4. Ezekiel 37:26; 5:Isaiah 43:25; 6. Matthew 28:20b; 7/8/9 Galatians 3:28 
(Previously submitted 12/22/2009)
Previously posted 12/23/2010



December 19, 2015

Happy Holidays?

In a recent online article entitled Holiday Depression, Dr. Richard Boyum states “We generally think of the holidays as a joyous, happy period. The period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year's is a time in American culture for much celebration. 

People come together to eat, sing, share gifts, and enjoy the camaraderie of each other’s presence. But there is an increasing body of knowledge that says that the holidays are a period of time that is, for many, stressful at the least and for others, downright depressing.”1
He then goes on to list information that may contribute to this depression, and suggestions to help keep the holidays happy.

This holiday season, when I too am inclined to become stressed or depressed, I will remind myself :
Of the Holiday Hope found in the Holy Scriptures ~ “from the ends of the earth I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed,2 … for you have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling.”3 
Of the Holiday Promise  ~ “And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,”4
Of the Holiday Gift  ~ “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!”5

May your Holiday Season be a joyous and happy one!
2. Psalm 61:2a NLT©2007; 3. Psalms 116:8 NASB©1995
4. Isaiah 9:6 NLT©2007;
5. 2  Corinthians 9:15 NLT©2007
Previously posted 12/11/2010

December 11, 2015

Another Prayer From The Psalms


During my recent walk through my favorite park, I observed this American Coot, and my heart filled with another prayer from the Psalms:
Heavenly Father,
Today, lead me beside still waters1, 


guide me with your eye2
 
and set my feet on the Rock3
In Jesus name,
Amen!


1. Psalm 23:2; 2. Psalm 32:8 ; 3. Psalm 40:2
Photos:Mt. Trashmore Park
Previously posted 2/13/2012

December 1, 2015

Heavenly Splendor

to create
such splendor
in the heavens
tells only of
Your
indescribable 
and
eternal
greatness! 

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

Photo taken February 2, 2012 – North Military Highway
Previously posted 02/14/2012

November 6, 2015

Brokenness

Heavenly Father,
for being available to heal 
the brokenness
after the pain of:
divorce
death 
depression
discouragement
disappointment ~
I never for one moment 
thought 
I would survive
but with Your help
I did
Thank You Father,
Thank You.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.
Photo: Northern Shoveler
Taken at:Mount Trashmore Park, Virginia Beach, Va.

 
 

October 10, 2015

Today's Prayer

Heavenly Father
may your voice
be the only voice
I hear
recognize
respond to
and
follow
in Jesus’ name
amen.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me – John 10:27
Photo: Sunset, Virginia Beach, Va. 10/07/2015

October 2, 2015

Simply Ask


AVAILABLE:
  joy1
    peace2
  comfort3
forgiveness4
  strength5
    hope6
 love7
   REQUIREMENT:
      Ask8
        Believe!9
1. Psalms 16:11; 2. John 14:27; 3. Isaiah 61:2;
4. Psalms 103:3; 5. Psalms 86:5; 6. Psalms 29:11
7. John 3:16; 8. Matthew 7:9; 9. Mark 11:24
Photos: SouthernMagnolia Bloom, Mimosa bloom ~ Norfolk Botanical Garden
Previously posted 08/14/2014

September 13, 2015

Grateful



As my friend Patti and I walked through the Garden recently, I captured this Great White Egret  displaying its exotic beauty and I breathed a prayer:
Heavenly Father, for family, friends, birds, feet that walk, and eyes that see beauty,

I am grateful


Photo: Great White Egret

Previously posted 6/19/14

August 5, 2015

Celebrating Life



Twenty six years ago, my heart raced between the walls of my chest as I heard the dreaded word from my physician … cancer. Today, after the mercy and healing power of  the Great Healer, prayer, the support of family and friends,  an amazing medical team, and a complete lifestyle change with the help and guidance of my expert nutritional team Alvira and Shirley (now deceased), I am grateful for the gift of life. I no longer have the luxury of my once favorite strawberry cheesecake, pina colada slurpees, or ice cold colas on a hot summer day, but I think life is a better exchange.
You may have lost a family member or a friend through cancer, I join you in honoring their memory. You may know someone now battling the dreaded disease. I join you in praying for their recovery. You may be a survivor. I celebrate with you. Will you join me in celebrating? 
LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered--how fleeting my life is. ~ Psalm 39:4
I will praise you as long as I have life.  Psalm  146:2
Photo: Red Admiral Butterfly identified by: Butterfly Society of Virginia 
Taken: 06/19/2014 at: Norfolk Botanical Garden - Butterfly House

July 15, 2015

Beauty Unfolding

Over a three week span, I captured this Heaven Scent Magnolia preparing for Spring.







                                                              

 I was amazed by its unfolding beauty and by Words from the Creator ~

“Consider how the flowers grow. They never work nor spin yarn for clothes.
But I say that not even Solomon in all his majesty was dressed like one of these flowers1.”
1. Luke 12:27 GWT
Photo: Heaven Scent Magnolia ~ Norfolk Botanical Garden
Previously posted 4/5/2011

June 20, 2015

Intricate Beauty

These Japonica Camellias 
commanded my attention this week,
and I enjoyed every moment spent admiring the intricate beauty 
 of each flower ...                                                   I hope you do too!
“The glass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our
God stands forever.” ~ Isaiah 40:8 (NLT)
“The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord remains forever.” ~
1 Peter 1:24b-25a (NLT)
Photos:  Hoffheimer Camellia Garden ~ Norfolk Botanical Garden
Previously posted 3/5/2011

May 12, 2015

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made


We are:

            Fearfully and wonderfully made.1
The apple of God’s eye.2
         Precious and honored in His sight.3
               Loved with an everlasting love.4
         Chosen before the creation of the world.5
               Created in His image.6
          Engraved on the palms of His hands.7
    This defies human comprehension!
Psalm 139:14; Zechariah 2:8; Isaiah 43:4; Jeremiah 31:3;
Ephesians 1:4; Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 49:16
Photos: Black-Crowned Night Heron/
Saturday Sunset-Norfolk Botanical Garden
Previously posted 1/16/2011

May 7, 2015

Sunsets

I have been taking extra time recently to be aware of the beauty of nature around me. Somehow, each evening, the sunsets seem more and more amazing. This photo was just another demonstration, and as I watched the day slip silently into night, I reflected on the words of the Apostle Paul “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.1” Immediately ;my heart breathed this prayer:
Father, help me to replace anger with kindness, compassion, and patience, with myself, and with others,
                     Amen!
1. Ephesians 4:26
Photo: Mt. Trashmore Park, Virginia Beach, Va.
Previously posted 11/8/10
                    

April 27, 2015

Learning To Wait


According to National Geographic, the Great Blue Heron “snare their aquatic prey by … “standing still for long periods of time and waiting for fish to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills.” One of the definitions of the word ‘still’ from Roget’s 11, The New Thesaurus is: "motionless and undisturbed." As I watched this Heron waiting for, and expecting food, I compared my waiting skills ~ in traffic … my physician’s office … my favorite department store … for answers to prayer ~ You guessed it, they did not measure up!
I am still learning to wait  in a “motionless and undisturbed” fashion, how about you?

I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” ~ Psalms 40:1 (AMP)
 Photos: Norfolk Botanical Garden
Previously posted 10/19/2010





April 9, 2015

Casting My Cares


have found that a good way to understand Scripture verses more deeply, is to read various translations of the Bible, and also, to look up definitions of certain words found in the verse. This week, the word "cast" in Psalms 55:22 caught my attention. One of the definitions of the word in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible, is ~ “to hurl”. Searching further in the Primary Dictionary Series: Dictionary 4, the word “hurl” is defined ~ “to throw something violently”. Based on these  definitions, my understanding of the verse would read like this: “throw your cares violently on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”
     
I have a few cares I can do that with, do you?                                                            
 Photo: Dwarf Pampas Grass ~ Norfolk Botanical Garden
Formerly published 9/18/2010

March 30, 2015

Spring Beauty

During spring, there are so many variations of floral beauty all around us. As I viewed these beautiful flowers today, I was reminded of the verses from the Holy Scriptures:
“Walk out into the fields and look at the wild flowers … have you ever seen color and design quite like it? If God gives such attention to the appearance of wild flowers ~ most of which are never even seen ~ don”t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you?” Matthew 6:29-30 (MSG)
Father, may we always remember how special and beautiful we are to you,  
               In Jesus name,
                       Amen!
Photos: Saucer Magnolia, Formosa Azalea 
Taken at : Norfolk Botanical Garden
Previously posted (4/10/2010)

March 13, 2015

A Heavenly Conversation


Me: I could not help but stop to admire your beauty and capture it on film.
Lily: Did you know that I was designed by the Creator1 and the Giver of Life2 to add more beauty and to bring joy to the earth3?
Heavenly Father: My child, and if I so intricately created this lily which will bloom and add beauty and joy to this earth for only for a short while4, do you believe I will care for you ~ my most intricate and valued creation?5
1. Genesis 1:1-2. 2. Job 33:4; 3. Isaiah 35:1-2; 4. Matthew 6:30; 5. Matthew 6:26/Psalm 139:14       
Photo – Lily of the Nile –Norfolk Botanical Garden
Previously posted 8/14/2010

February 21, 2015

A Mother's Prayer

       A Mother’s Prayer
                                            
Heavenly Father,
I thank you that: my children shall be taught of you, and great shall be their peace.You will  pour out your spirit, and your blessing upon them.They shall be mighty upon the earth.You have released angels to protect them in all their ways.They are free from sickness and disease.You have filled them with your wisdom, your knowledge, and your understanding. You love and will care for the beautiful children that you have given me. I declare, that my children will know you as the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 8 Thank you for hearing my prayer.9
                        In Jesus name,
                                       Amen!
1. Isaiah 54:13; 2. Isaiah 44:3; 3. Psalms 112:2;
4. Psalms 91:11; 5. Isaiah 53:5; 6. Daniel 1:17
7. Psalms 139:14-18; 8. John 17:3; 9. Jeremiah 33:3
Previously posted 08/26/2010

February 12, 2015

The Greatest Love

     The Greatest Love!


I have set my love upon you.1

My Love for you passes knowledge.2
I think of you Often.3
You are of Value to me.4
You are the apple of my Eye.5

Will You be mine?6
Will you accept My Offer?7
I will love you Unconditionally8 ... foreveR!9
-->
                             ~    Jesus
1. Psalms 91:14; 2. Ephesians 3:19; 3. Psalms 139:17-18
4. Luke 12:7b; 5. Zechariah 2:8b 6. Isaiah 43:1
7. John 3:16; 8. Romans 8:38-39; 9. Jeremiah 31:3 
Previously posted 2/13/2010

February 2, 2015

Comprehensive Commitment


Two of the definitions for the word separate in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary are “to sever an association” and “become divided or detached”. Based on these two definitions, one of my favorite Scripture passages would read like this: “for I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to sever an association or become divided or detached from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1
Now, that’s what I call comprehensive commitment!
1. Romans 8:38-39
Photo – Day Lily Lil’ Red Wagon – Norfolk Botanical Garden
Previously posted 07/10/10

January 10, 2015

My Heavenly Father Cares

Said the Robin to the Sparrow
“I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush around and worry so?”

Said the Sparrow to the Robin
“Friend I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.” 1

Growing up, my mom reminded me of this conversation often. Now, my Heavenly Father reminds me of it often. This Canada Goose seems to need no reminder. It seems he has grasped it.
Heavenly Father, I think it's time that I fully grasp it too! 
“Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7 (LAB)
1. Overheard In An Orchard – Elizabeth Cheney
Photo - Canada Goose - Mt. Trashmore Park, Virginia Beach, Va.
Previously posted 7/17/2010

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!


Dear friends, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 1:2
Previously posted 1/2/12