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Tag Archives: nature
“Behold, He shall come up as clouds, and His chariots shall be as a whirlwind.” —Jeremiah 4:13 KJV
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“Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass.” —Deuteronomy 32:2 NKJV
One of the things I love about photography and God’s creation is how they can help me gain a deeper understanding of scripture whether I read a verse and try to compose a photo for it or shoot a photo and try to find a verse for it. Consider the verse above and what it says, even if you’ve read it a hundred times. I have read it many times before and missed its depth. It is the Lord’s desire and instruction that His teachings be abundant as rain, His words a gentle covering like dew, beautiful and magnifying like raindrops, and refreshing like showers.
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This past week in a ladies’ Bible study, we watched the video below about the ‘bigness’ of God and the evidences of His love for us. It’s a long video, so if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, start at minute 26. If you haven’t seen it already, I think you’ll be blessed.
I found these two heart-shaped stones while strolling the beach a couple of days ago. More of God’s little love notes. (❉◠‿◠)
Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
And little notes He scatters round,
Like heart-shaped stones upon the ground.
I don’t need signs so I’ll believe,
But from His heart I will receive.
His little love notes make me smile
And stop to praise Him for a while.
The heavens reveal His love notes, too.
Like dove-shaped clouds in skies of blue.
Jesus loves both you and me,
Just open your eyes and you will see.
© René Yoshi 2013
Have you ever wished you could crawl up into God’s lap and cuddle with Him? While weeding my garden at twilight last night, I observed a curious sight. Eleven bumblebees seemed to be sleeping under my oregano blossoms. I’d never seen anything like it, so I grabbed my camera, took some photos, and googled “sleeping bumblebees”. Apparently, bumblebees don’t have hives like honey bees, and since they are cold-blooded and need to be warm in order for their flight muscles to work, they can’t fly when temperatures fall, so they must find a place to rest. Because flowers provide shelter and a certain level of heat, as well as breakfast when they awaken in the morning, they choose to sleep inside or under flowers.
This morning I went out and found a sleeping bumblebee with its ‘bum’ sticking out of a hosta flower. The sun had not yet reached it, so while other bees were buzzing around hostas just a few yards away in the sunshine, this little bee remained safe and cozy. It reminded me of a nursing baby cuddled by the one providing it with nourishment.
I couldn’t help but think of how we can learn from the bee. It works hard during the day, gathering its food and benefiting others at the same time, and it takes the time to find shelter and rest. We were created to work and provide for ourselves and to benefit others, as well as to rest 8-10 hours a day and one day a week.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” —Exodus 20:8–11
Let us take the time to take shelter in the Lord, our Provider, and rest in Him.
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. —Psalm 4:8
(To see more photos, click here.)
I think I may have missed a blessing, a gift of provision. My eyes and ears are not always open to the things of the Spirit, and sometimes I know I’ve missed things because of unnecessary fear or a lack of faith even when I have felt prompted to do or say something.
On my way back home after taking my daughter to the airport in Manchester, NH, I saw some ice fisherman on a lake at dawn. I immediately took the exit following, but being a woman alone and realizing I’d have to walk through the woods and then onto the ice to get a picture, I decided against it. The morning light was so beautiful, and I really wanted to take a picture, but I foresaw no future opportunity along the interstate. As I continued to drive, I felt impressed to take the Bethel / South Royalton exit long before I even reached it. I said, “Lord, I want to take a picture, but I’m tired and hungry. If You want me to take the exit, I will, but You’ll have to compel me.”
By the time I reached the exit, I felt compelled. I hoped I wasn’t wasting my time. I turned toward South Royalton and reached the intersection that hosts Eaton’s Sugar House, and it was open, bustling, and serving breakfast! I bypassed it, not wanting to miss the beautiful lighting, and turned again toward South Royalton. I found a place to park next to a rocky spot of the White River. It was a beautiful spot, and since I’d been wanting to capture a slow-shutter water shot, it was perfect, and I used the rocks as a tripod. I am so happy with how the photo turned out!
I didn’t end up stopping by the sugar house to have breakfast despite my hunger. Instead, I decided to drive the relatively short distance and fix something to eat at home. Strangely, it hadn’t occurred to me that the sugar house was just as much God’s provision as was the river. Now, I’m kicking myself for possibly missing a greater blessing. But still, I am filled with joy at His thoughtfulness. I feel like He grabbed my hand and said, “Come with Me! I want to show you something I know you’ll love!”
While taking advantage of this gorgeous cool spring-like day, I took my daughter’s dog for a walk and silently talked with the Lord, reminiscing about the bee and other ways He has expressed His love and care. The wind began to blow, and I heard a noise. The trees were ‘clapping’ together, and I was reminded of a worship song that is based on Isaiah 55:12, which says, “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
I also heard another sound that wasn’t quite as worshipful. A pine tree creaked and groaned. Romans 8 records how “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together” in expectation of its delivery from the curse— delivery Jesus Christ will bring at His Second Coming. And those of us who have believed what Jesus said about Himself, although our adoption ‘papers have been signed’ and we’ve been sealed by the Holy Spirit, we, too, groan at times in our frail and aging bodies, as we wait in expectation of deliverance also.
As I continued walking, I sang the song and began to hear other sounds join in— crows cawing, the melting snow dripping, and an occasional rush of wind. It was beautiful. Just like today.
In my last blog post Sunrise, Bunnies, and a Jacuzzi, I gave a testimony of God’s ‘romancing’ love. In this post I’d like to share two experiences that reveal God’s rescuing love as well as His affirming love.
I know many of my posts convey gratitude for God’s love and the various ways He expresses it, but that’s where I’m at in this season of my life, although I hope I never stop telling of His great love. I have heard people criticize preachers and musicians who focus on a particular topic like God’s love, or His mercy and grace, and while I understand the importance of the need to go deeper, I also understand from experience and observation that the preachers are generally trying to reach people where they’re at, and the musicians are singing lyrics that express their own experiences as they seek to minister to and reach people.
I spent a week away to decompress, seek the Lord, reflect, and rejuvenate. I am grateful for the opportunity, means, and generosity of others. Sunday was my last day, and I sought out a church to attend. The people were so warm and welcoming, and the ministry revealed a heart for God and people. I was so blessed by their love. During the week prior to attending the church, the song “How He Loves Us” sung by David Crowder continually played in my mind, and during the service, the worship team led us in singing it. Apparently, it was the first time they’d sung it, and I half-jokingly told Annie, one of the worship team members who’d chosen the song, that it was for me. Oh, I know it’s not all about me; I’m sure it spoke to the hearts of others, but I was so blessed by God’s reaffirmation of His love for me, especially after facing a week of intense struggle.
After church and in-between doing laundry and cleaning the place where I was staying, I went outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the outdoor pool. The air was a little cool, but the sun was warm, so after becoming a bit heated, I soaked my feet in the frigid water and watched the ripples and reflections. Then I asked the Lord if there was anything He wanted me to see. Because summer has not yet arrived, the pool, while maintained, remained unused and had a few small leaves and bits of debris floating on top. I noticed the shadows cast by them, and one in particular caught my eye. The shadow was clover-shaped, but nothing on top appeared to match it. I continued to observe the shadow and noticed a hint of movement. The only thing I could connect it with was a bee that appeared to have drowned. But no, it was still hanging on to life. So I retrieved a small piece of wood and lifted the bee out of the frigid water and onto the warm stone tiles surrounding the pool. It remained there, warming itself in the sun long enough for me to snap some photos with my phone and even long enough for me to run up to my room, grab my big camera and snap a few photos with it, until the bee finally became reanimated and flew away.
God not only cares about you and me, but He even cares for a little bee. His love moved me to lift the bee from certain death, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of that rescue. There is a new Christian song called “Love Lifted Me” sung by Ashmont Hill. It appears to be based off the old hymn by the same name. Both tell of God’s great love that lifts us up when nothing else helps, but the hymn expresses so much more in the way of being rescued from certain death. As a woman, I have a longing to be rescued. The Lord is my Hero, my Knight in shining armor, and His love lifted and rescued me in so many ways this past week that I am free to sing of His love.
I spent some time at the beach recently and while rock hopping, taking photos, and looking for shells and bits of driftwood, I came across this partially submerged rock with the exposed part forming a heart. I see things like this as messages from a God of love.
John Lubbock, an English baron said, ““What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
The Talmud says, “We don’t see things the way they are. We see things the way we are.”
What do you see?