Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The Flowers of Summer

Every year, I'm amazed at the flowers that sprout and bloom from seed.

My granddaughter, Dylan, sprinkled the seeds of these lovely flowers,
and they've brought me great joy, both because 
they are my favorite color and because Dylan planted them. 

I hope the flowers of summer are filling you with wonder and hope.


 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Are You Ready?

Mark 1:1-3
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”—
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”

It's baseball season.

I had the joy of attending a Cincinnati Reds baseball game with my granddaughter and her boyfriend. We sat in my husband’s section, where he ushers. Before the game, I was watching the behind-the-scenes action on the field. One of the field crew smoothed the dirt with a drag matt he pulled behind his small tractor. After he finished, a crew brought out a water hose and doused the dirt. I had watched this process before, at other games, but at this game it reminded me of how many people it takes to get things ready ahead of time.

The folks in the concession stand, the ticket takers, security, ushers and more, get the baseball stadium ready for the fans and players.

Isaiah prophesied about the preparation for the coming Messiah. John the Baptist got things ready. He preached of one coming who would reconcile people with God. He prepared the way for Jesus. Without John, the listeners may not have believed Jesus was the Son of God.

Jesus lived on this earth, died for our sins, and rose again in victory over the grave. Now we have one more thing to prepare for. His return. He’ll come on clouds of glory and welcome God’s children home.

How am I preparing for that? Reading the Bible to better understand the life God wants me to lead. Praying for my loved ones and folks in need and talking to God about my own salvation. Attempting to live a life that reflects the love of Jesus on others. Loving God and loving people.

Be ready for Jesus’ return. He’s coming back.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Blooms of Many Colors

Hydrangeas are simply gorgeous.
They bloom in many colors and add beauty to all landscapes.

I visited my brother the other day and noticed this lovely pink one
on the same bush as the pale pink and lavender.
They each blossomed in their own shade of color.

Much like people, we gather together, spend time hanging out,
even come from the same family, yet, we're different from one another.
That's because God created us to be who He meant us to be and to bloom
into ourselves. We each have our own abilities, looks, and passions.

Honor God with the life He's given.


 

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Heart Health

Colossians 1:9-12
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 

I eat blueberries every morning. 

I’ve spent a week at my daughter’s house to help her after knee surgery. Hannah and Stephen have three blueberry bushes in their backyard. In all of my 66 years, I’ve never picked fresh blueberries. The night before surgery, we went outside in the South Carolina heat and tugged the pretty blueberries from the bushes and blackberries from an adjacent bush.

I found the colors of the blueberries in their various stages of growth pleasing as well as the soft shade of green of the leaves. One morning while I was there, a friend of Hannah’s brought her two small children to pick some berries. I showed the little boy the difference between the ripe berries and the small green ones just growing, and the red ones, at the in between stage. He and his little sister did well differentiating between them.

As we picked, the verses in Colossians came to mind as I thought about the various stages of development. The little green orbs reminded me to bear fruit, while the red ones encouraged me to grow in the knowledge and word of God, and the sweet blue ones gave me hope of being strengthened by God and filled with joy.

While blueberries offer positive effects like antioxidants and better heart health, the Holy Spirit dwells with me and gives me endurance and patience every day, plus the best spiritual heart health, ever.

I’m thankful God created blueberries, and I’m grateful He sent his Spirit to help me through the everyday challenges of life on earth.

Thank you, Father, for your love.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Entwined

Sometimes when I see flowers, I'm reminded of how life works.

These two double lilies make me think of my dear friends 
who help me navigate life. We share prayer requests, hallelujahs,
joys, and sorrows as we're entwined together by Jesus.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11