Photo-A-Day: Flower

Just as I mentioned about sunsets displaying God’s glory yesterday, I think flowers do also. In fact, so much of creation sings His praise, it’s hard to miss it. I only had to go out into my garden to find some very pretty samples of the beauty of flowers.

Of course, being a patriotic Australian, I do love our Aussie natives. This Purple Cloud Callistemon or “bottle brush” was specially picked by one of our daughters who loves everything pink and feminine. The flowers do have a magical colour and this plant has flourished in our back yard.

Then, my hubby pointed out his chillies. The flower of that plant is quite striking if you look closely, he told me. And yes, it is rather pretty and purple (and only the size of your thumb nail), even if it produces tongue-burning fruit which I cannot see reason to eat. Well, each to his own I guess.

These blooms are only part of the beauty that surrounds our home. If only it were July or August, then I would have taken photos of acacia flowers, “wattle,” in their canary-yellow, downy splendour. Can you tell they’re my favourite? When a flower blooms it is like God blowing a kiss from heaven, He is rather romantic like that. 🙂

Do you have a favourite flower? What makes it special to you?

Published in: on 16th April, 2012 at 7:20 pm  Comments (4)  
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Photo-A-Day: Sunset

I was looking forward to this photo topic. Sunrises and sunsets are my favourite times of the day. Today’s sunset was not overly exciting, but over the years I have seen some pretty spectacular skyscapes. It is always a household tradition, if one of us (usually hubby) sees a great sunset or sunrise, to call everyone out for a look and a snapshot.

Then there are those kind of sunsets you wait around for, such as a sunset on Uluru. Nothing quite like it, with the red glow seemingly emanating from the rock. Or, the sunset on the beach at the Mindil Beach markets, or even in Broome. Watching the sun dip below the horizon while the golden rays reflect off the ocean is hard to beat.

To me, sunsets and sunrises are like God’s living artwork. Forever changing in their colours and shapes. No two sunsets are ever the same. So, I sit and say, “What are you going to paint me today, Lord?” He never lets me down. Kind of like a love letter in the sky. No-one can do it better. Creation displays His glory in living colour. How can one doubt that He is real when you see that incomparable artwork splashed across the heavens?

“The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” [Psalm 19:1 NIV]

Published in: on 15th April, 2012 at 6:46 pm  Comments (4)  
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Beauty Remains

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” [Genesis 1:31 NIV]

Photo by Roger Kirby

I was out for my early morning walk the other day and I was struck by the beauty of creation. The sun slowly peeked above the horizon, making clouds turn from grey to purple, to red and gold. The tall gum-trees throughout the grassy reserve stood as silent sentinels, reaching their arms in praise to their maker, swaying in a dance to the gentle breeze.

Galahs and lorikeets chased each other from one Banksia to the next in a squawking cacophony, while magpies warbled a morning greeting from where they perched on the fences. A marsupial or two rustled through the undergrowth as they ran for cover, or maybe it was a lizard – I never actually spied the shy little creatures.

Photo by Tiffany Hunt

Then I crossed the bridge over the pond, where the sunrise reflected on the rippling waters. Ducks frolicked in the early morning light, making plenty of joyful noise … and I was captivated.

Even though our world has been vastly corrupted and damaged by human selfishness and error, beauty still abounds. God’s wonderful hand of creation is yet evident in every breath, if we just take the time to open our eyes and ears. Take a moment today, to enjoy His wonders.

“I am convinced that God has built into all of us an appreciation of beauty and has even allowed us to participate in the creation of beautiful things and places. It may be one way God brings healing to our brokenness, and a way that we can contribute toward bringing wholeness to our fallen world.” [Mary Jane Worden.]

Published in: on 21st February, 2012 at 3:29 pm  Comments (2)  
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Nothing But Dust

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” [Psalm 103: 13-14 NIV]

What I love about this verse is that in one breath we see not only that we are basically insignificant – mere granules of dust which are here one day and gone the next – but in spite of that we have the interest and love of the Lord of Creation. It almost seems like a contradiction, doesn’t it?

We are made of matter, of earth, of biodegradable materials that will not last, no matter how much we inject them with Botox or exercise them or fix them up with medical technology. We are, as the bible says, like chaff, easily blown away by the wind, or like the morning mist which disappears with the first rays of sun. In the great scheme of things, when you think of the size of the universe and the infinity of time, we are really less than nothing. See this short video to get more of an idea of what I am saying.

God sees all of that, He knows how small we are, and yet, He takes a personal interest in each one of us. He loves us, has compassion on us, He forgives, satisfies our desires, redeems, He works righteousness and justice on our behalf, He renews and restores, He is slow to anger, He provides and nurtures, He gives us hope and a future, He heals and delivers, He even speaks to us if we will listen.

I don’t know about you, but that amazes me. It absolutely blows my mind to think that the God and creator of the universe, loves this little speck of dust enough to send His beloved Son to earth to die on my behalf, so that He could have an eternal relationship with me. Something to think about …

“The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him.” [Psalm 103:15-17 NIV]

Published in: on 27th December, 2011 at 5:47 am  Comments (6)  
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One Three Nine (Part 2)

Continuing from last week, I would like to meditate on more of my favourite piece of Scripture, Psalm 139.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. [Ps 139:13-14 NIV]

Photo by Julia Freeman-Woolpert

When I read this, I remember my nana sitting with her knitting, lovingly working on a jumper or some such thing for one of her grandchildren. Every stitch has to be carefully made and counted, else the garment not be right. The Lord created us in the womb, counting each cell as it came into being, making sure we were just how he wanted us to be. He doesn’t make mistakes. We look at ourselves and see imperfections, things we don’t like, but I would dare to say that when we complain about the shape of our nose (for example) we insult our very creator. His Word says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Like David, we need to get a hold of that truth and “know it full well!”

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. [Ps 139:15-16 NIV]

These days, with the help of modern technology, we can have a sneak peek at what is going on in the womb. It is amazing to be able to hear your child’s heartbeat at six weeks when their image on the screen is no more than a bean-shaped shadow. Yet they have vitality already streaming through them. What a comfort to know that the Lord watched over us even in the womb, caring for us, ordaining our life, knowing the path we will walk. He knows all of our days before even one comes to pass. Even in that secret, hidden place inside of our mothers, He was speaking purpose and life over us. Wow!

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you. [Ps 139:17-18 NIV]

When I spend time dwelling on all of this, I come to the same conclusion as David – that God’s thoughts are precious even as they are vast. It really is too much to comprehend. I rest in the knowledge that God’s love goes beyond even what my limited understanding can accept. It is wonderful to know that the Creator of the universe, cares for every cell in my body and every thought in my head. I hope you have been encouraged by this Psalm as much as I am. Remember that in God you never, ever, wake up alone.

Published in: on 6th December, 2011 at 5:09 am  Comments (2)  
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Wonders of God

I was thinking about some of the wonders of the world. If you stand before them and gaze at their beauty and majesty, they take your breath away. Yet, they cannot compare to the wonder and greatness of God.

Take the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) for example. An amazing and stunning display of light in the northern hemisphere. But, God created light. He is light. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” [John 8:12 NIV]

I think this phenomenon in our skies might be a muted reflection of the decor He uses in Heaven. See Revelation 4:3 —

A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.”

Secondly, I considered Mount Everest. No-one can deny the sheer majesty of this mountain. Many have tried to conquer it and many have died in the attempt. It reaches into the sky, declaring its unsurpassable greatness. And yet, it in no way surpasses the immeasurableness of God. Not even close. He holds the mountains in the palm of His hand. How can you compete with that?

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.” [Ephesians 95:4 NIV]

Of course, one cannot leave out the Grand Canyon. The mind just boggles at the immensity of this natural wonder. In the same way however, we cannot fathom the extent of God’s love for us. Just as we could stand on one of these great cliffs and try to comprehend how it came to be, we can also try to wrap our finite and limited imaginations around the unbounded nature of God’s love. The Canyon might be able to be measured, but the love of the Father cannot–ever.

…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” [Ephesians 3:18-19 NIV]

Do any areas of God’s creation inspire you to see His greatness? I’d love to hear them. 🙂 

Published in: on 10th May, 2011 at 2:59 pm  Comments (4)  
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