Monday, February 23, 2009

Isaiah 43

Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Isaiah 43:1-3

Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine.When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.

Isaiah 43:1-3

Friday, February 20, 2009

Signs of Spring!

The first thing to bloom in my yard each year is this Flowering Quince, transferred years ago from my mom's garden in Oklahoma.


Miniature Daffodils (I wish they smelled as pretty as they look!




A brand new bud on my pear tree


Henbit is just a weed, but it even has it's own beauty, until it takes over my yard!

Dandelions, amazing how this changes . . .


to this!


You can visit the Brenda Photo Challenge Blog to see all of the other participants. Joy at Shuttershy is our host this month.


Flowers appear on the earth, the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:12


I love how God renews my life each day, in each situation, when I seek Him. Spring reflects that joy we feel in the renewal of life. I wish you many beautiful springtimes!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stormy





He was a wonderful dog!

One day about 6 years ago, my son presented me with a dog. Not just any dog. A very large, tall, two year old Doberman Pinscher. As my son and I drove in his car listening to the thunder and watching the rain outside the windows, I asked him what the dog's name was, "Stormy" was his answer. The coincidence of his name, with the stormy day on which he became a member of our family, helped to put to rest my doubts. Storm, or Stormy, became such a beloved pet. He taught me so much about love, sacrifice, gentleness, loyalty...the list could go on.

We had him for two months, when he was hit by a car. We all helped nurse him back to health and I think this time solidified his place in our home. There's something about the look a dog gives you, looking you straight in the eye, communicating love and joy. Alot of people were afraid of him. I just had to laugh, knowing what a wimp he really was. When someone would walk up the sidewalk to the house, he would stick his face out of the curtains. Because he had been woken up from a long nap, his eyes would squint, his nose would scrunch up, which showed his pointy teeth. I have to admit, I would have been scared too, but he always made me think of Jerry Lewis.
On the other hand, he was a beautiful, strong, muscular dog with a gleaming coat and color and drew admiration wherever we went. He was tall enough that he could actually "sit down" on the couch. He would just sit his rear end down and hold his head high and smile. He was so funny! He wasn't perfect, by any means. He would get so excited when someone walked in the door, that you couldn't have a conversation for about 5 minutes. I can also think of several favorite blankies and stuffed animals that were destroyed or disappeared. He loved walks, and he loved even more sneaking (or pushing) his way out the door and running FREE for awhile. He was a great guard dog and always gentle with my kids and their friends. I've heard this kind of dog referred to as a gentle giant. I have to agree.

My dog hasn't been well for about a year, and during the past two weeks we knew it was time. He struggled with breathing and even sleeping. He would look at me as if to ask for help and I felt so helpless. He spent time at the vets but had come back home Monday. He wouldn't eat, and it seemed he had lost his "spirit". He didn't have the energy to look me in the eye anymore. He passed away at home yesterday evening. We buried him in our backyard this morning, early. As I climbed into bed last night, I realized I wouldn't be listening for his footsteps or requests to go outside. I started wondering about his spirit. Where is he now? So, today I googled the subject. There seem to be alot of other people wondering the same thing. I even found bible verses which communicate God's love for His animals, something I never even thought of while my dog was alive.

And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
Revelations 5:13

"For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
Psalm 50:10-11

A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal.
Proverbs 12:10

From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth."
Genesis 9:8-16

LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH PRAISE THE LORD!
Psalm 150:6

"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than most humans." ~ James Herriot

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sanctuary

a place of refuge and protection



a consecrated place



I've noticed lately how, in the midst of worship, my mind clears, my heart quiets, my worries flee, and God speaks. It's where my moments of greatest inspiration are found.



A clear mind. . .


(Webster's definitions of the word clear)

bright , luminous cloudless ,free from mist, haze, or dust . . .oh

untroubled , serene, clean , pure easily seen through . . .that's why

transparent easily heard easily visible . . .it's starting to make sense now

plain free from obscurity or ambiguity, easily understood. . .of course

unmistakable , capable of sharp discernment . . .I can see

keen free from doubt . . . I believe

sure , free from guile or guilt . . .I am saved

innocent ,unhampered by restriction or limitation, unencumbered by debts . . .I am free

absolute free from obstruction ,emptied of contents or cargo , free from entanglement . . . I've laid down my burdens, set down my load

lucid capacity to perceive the truth directly and instantaneously. . . Now, it's all clear to me


I love words and their meanings. They never fail to amaze me.



Saturday, February 7, 2009

Textures and Patterns

Everywhere you look in San Antonio, you see textures and patterns. Maybe that's why I love visiting there.

Mission San Jose


Mission Espada

The Rose Window at Mission San Jose in San Antonio.

I love old doors and windows for their texture. This is an old doorway in Jefferson, Texas.

I love this stained glass window in the atrium of our new church building.



I love the texture of old books!


I love the pattern that the sunlight and shadows make
on this old church in East Texas

The Brenda Photo Challenge is on Textures and Patterns. It's being hosted this time by Donna at Cottage Days and Journeys. I can't wait to see everyone's photos!

Can you believe I'm actually sitting here with my back door open listening to birds singing? Very lovely.