Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do It

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (John 2:5)
Doing "whatsoever" requires our total commitment otherwise it is not "whatsoever". "Whatsoever" means anything.

Have you ever prayed this prayer? "Anything, Lord, I'll do anything if You will only..."

It sounds simple to say it. But when it comes to stepping out, we make excuses. Walking after the "whatsoevers" means we don't make excuses. We just "DO".
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: (Isaiah 1:19)
Notice before reward, there are two steps. The first one is our willingness. The word "willing" is defined as "cheerfully consenting or ready". We see this in 2 Corinthians 9:7 where we are told to be "cheerful givers".

Think about that. So often we want the benefits without the work, but our mental outlook towards a task matters to God. Just "doing" isn't enough. A wrong attitude forfeits our right to "eat the good of the land". And in reverse, a right attitude brings great blessings!
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. (Deuteronomy 30:14)
What we fail to realize is that when we are willing, cheerful, and ready, when we commit ourselves to do "whatsoever" God asks, He backs us up. He never asks of us anything His promises do not cover. He said of himself, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it."

I like to think of it this way. I will do it because He will do it!

Remember what it says in the Psalms? "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?" (Psalm 118:6) What can man do when the Lord is behind me? The Lord is behind me! God Almighty is behind me, before me, and beside me! How marvelous is that?

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Isaiah 6:8)
God is asking, "Who will go?" Going for you might be something as simple as praying for someone. It might mean stepping out and doing things that make you uncomfortable. But most of all, it means willing obedience. It means doing the "whatsoevers" always, no matter what.

You do them knowing there is great reward - the reward of God's presence, His ability, His great peace, whatever you need to complete the task. And in the end, the reward of His joy in seeing your obedience, that He can say of you, "Well done. Well done." (Matthew 25:21,23)

That by itself is more than enough reason for me!

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we...do... (1 Thessalonians 3:22)

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Live Life Desperate


In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me. (Psalms 120:1)
So often it takes falling completely to the bottom for us to see God is the only way out. I know because I have been there. I reached the point of complete desperation and was consumed with a desire for release from the pain and fear.

"God, please help me! I can't do this any longer!" I cried.

At that moment, your mindset changes. You become like the little child Jesus spoke of in Matthew, willing to do whatever is needed in order to be free. (Matt. 18:4) You finally trust that He, your heavenly Father, knows what is best for you and will always protect and sustain you. You at last know He WILL "fix it".

There is something to be said for arriving at that moment.

But what if we lived our entire lives in that manner? What if we lived as if we were desperate all the time? Every moment of every day engrossed by our need for His presence, completely relying on His ability to work on our behalf. Always knowing it is not in our power or our might, but His, that things are accomplished. (Zec. 4:6)
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
That is true faith - to live utterly dependent on His fulfilling His own promises. Realize, however, I'm not talking about being lazy. Action IS required on our part. We are the one who "casts" the care. But God has an action as well. Our job is to give Him complete control. His job is to accomplish it.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (2 Corinthians 3:5)

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Complete Confidence


The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?...though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. (Psalm 27:1,3)
What are you the most confident of?

The meaning of the word "confident" involves trust and reliance on someone or something. If you think about this definition in reverse, it cannot be "confidence" if there isn't some form of reliance. Reliance rests entirely on the performance and the strength of whatever that object is. In fact, one explanation of the word "rely" reads, "Rely is used when the person is needed to physically do something." (Thesaurus.com) Reliance depends on the actions of something else.

...and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. (Romans 2:19-20)
Much is said today about being "self-confident". But self-confidence is opposite to God's instructions. Jesus informed us in order to follow Him, we must first "deny ourself". (Matthew 16:24) Romans 8:8 says, "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." Even stronger is the word given in James 3:16. "For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." (NLT)

That doesn't sound too good to me!

Yet we are self-confident all the time. And in being that way, we deny God the right to "do" something in our life. Instead of depending on His actions on our behalf, we trust in ourselves. Remember those silly exercises where someone falls backward expecting someone else to catch them? Well, there is something to be said for that image. That is how we are to "be confident" in God.

I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. (Ezekiel 36:36)
Throwing away all confidence in yourself is a huge task. It means deliberately choosing to live your life dependent on God. Think about this. Every step you take for every day of your life, every decision, every choice, are entirely God's. No matter what your mind says to you, no matter what your body says, no matter how afraid you are, or how confident you are in your own abilities, your every choice is what your heavenly Father has asked of you.

The good news is He has said, "I will do it." That which He has promised, He is also able and more than that, willing to perform. (Psalm 27:4) Having confidence in God is like being backed by the ultimate supplier. Whatever I need, whenever I need it, He is there to provide it. He is always able, always loving, never weak, and never failing.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (James 4:10)
This brings me to the opposite of self-confidence - humility. God has said if we will humble ourselves, if we'll throw away the pride we have in our own abilities, and become subservient to Him, if we'll allow Him to DO for us what He has promised to do, then we'll find success. Humility requires we take an action on our part. Colossians 3:12 instructs us to, "PUT ON...humbleness of mind." In other words, if we have to "put it on" then sometimes it is not "on" to start with.

Self-confidence is pride, but humility is trust. I live every day knowing that in myself I can do nothing. (John 5:30) I am entirely dependent on God coming in behind me and stepping out before me, and this gives me boldness. (Psalm 139:5) For I know that God is bigger and stronger than anything I'm ever facing. In Him I am completely confident.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Learning Curves

*This blog first appeared at Pix-N-Pens, July 8, 2010.

Well, I finally did it. I bought a DSLR. I am excited; don't get me wrong. However, what has happened is exactly what I expected. I am back, in some ways, to being a beginner. There is now a learning curve between the knowledge I have acquired over the last ten years, and the knowledge I am lacking.

I keep asking myself how it will change me, as a photographer and a writer. I guess time will only tell.

Mushroom
Mushroom

My last camera never did sit right with me. You know how that is. It's like the time my husband and I bought a new car only to trade it a year later because we neither one liked it. I was finished with that camera not too long after I purchased it. If I'd had foresight, I would have returned it.

In the long run, I think it did damage to my photography. Oh, I took some great pictures with it. But unlike it's predecessor, it had less of a photographic range to work with. I equate it to taking photos on a leash. I could only go so far before I ran out of options. As time passed, I felt this more and more.

Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we buy certain things only to discover it really isn't what we want after all? What happens between the shiny catalog advertisement and the actual owning of the object? You know, you buy the new pair of pants and then your spouse or a friend makes one comment and you never wear them again. That's kind of how I felt about that camera.

My husband suggested I sell it. He loves to sell things. My response was, "I wouldn't sell that camera to my worst friend." (Not that I have a worst friend.) So instead, I have buried it back in the closet. I think somehow it'll do its best work there.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

I have now so much to learn, and I am looking forward to it. I pinch myself sometimes to see if I'm not dreaming, that I really CAN take that shot and it will turn out. My brain has yet to adjust. But I suspect when all is said and done, I'll adapt just fine.

After all, my philosophy hasn't changed. I still believe that anyone can make great photographs, no matter what camera they are using. Well, perhaps not if they have the one I just got rid of...

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fifth Steve's Digicams Article

My fifth Steve's Digicams article is now available. I am not able to reproduce it here. However, you can read it at the link below.


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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Do It For The Children


Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them... (Matthew 19:13-15)
I was at the store today when a scene passed before me that made me weep. A young mother was being escorted out by the management, and she had set herself to not go quietly. Waving her arms wildly, she cursed and swore. With her were four young children, two of them in diapers. Dirty and unkempt, the two older children stared blankly at their mother. The two younger screamed and cried.

It was at that moment that I heard the following phrase whispered into my heart, "Do it for the children."

I must ask - Who is praying for these children? Is there anyone? Must I write their lives off as lost? (The oldest was maybe seven.) In this passage in Matthew, we see Jesus praying for the children. In fact, he rebuked those who tried to prevent it. As a parent I know I pray for my daughter all the time. I pray for her friends and my friends' children as well. But this incident has caused me to examine my prayers. Have I ever thought to pray for such as those?

Romans 10:14 states:
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
How shall they? How? If you and I don't take the time to pray for children just like those, to pray, no matter that we don't know their names or circumstances, to stop and say, "Lord, be with those children. Touch and protect their lives. Send someone to speak Your love into their hearts," then will they ever hear?

Look at it this way. If we are truly to be the "light of the world" then we must "do unto others" as we'd "have done" for ourselves. (Matt. 5:14; 7:12) What I would do for my daughter, I must be willing to do for other children just like these.

"Do it for the children," He asks of me.

I can only say, "Yes, Lord."

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Declaration of Independence

It's most appropriate that today being the fourth of July and the day we celebrate our American freedom, that we should stop at some point amidst all the celebrations and think about those who made this nation what it is. I created this video a year or so ago. It's a look at the words of this famous document, as well as the people and ideas behind it. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Words From History: The Declaration of Independence


It is also available at my Photodex account where you can right-click and watch it full size. *This site does require the installation of a small, harmless browser add-on.

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Story Saturdays

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